MxO Vault: Developer Q&A with Toby Ragaini

By Paul Martin August 11th, 2004, in Interviews, The Matrix Online

There has been no shortage of news today on the Matrix front, and here’s the latest word on MxO, coming to you this fall. Toby Ragaini took some time out to answer questions for the MxO Vault Staff on everything from hyper jump effects to spoons.

Q: It has been stated that the game is being developed using an all-new engine. Could you outline some of the technologies we can expect to see in place as concerns graphical effects? Is there any particular aspect to the visuals that the team is especially proud of at present?

Toby – One thing that people often comment on when seeing the game for the first time is how similar the game world is to the Matrix as depicted in the films. It was a very difficult engineering feat to depict a dense urban cityscape complete with seamless interiors.

But we’ve also been careful to include the little touches. For instance, rather than a plain loading screen that pops you into the world fully-loaded, you jack in to see the familiar green matrix characters streaming over everything. As the textures are loaded, the entire world gradually fades in. It’s a cool effect, and it really establishes that this IS the Matrix.

Q: What, if anything, are they doing to give the game that “non-reality” type feel other than super abilities for characters/NPC’s? Example: Buildings warping as Neo flies by in the movies.

Toby – We’re using graphical effects to remind people that this isn’t the real world. For example, when characters perform a hyper-jump, their landing creates a sonic wave that distorts the ground underneath them. Other cool effects include the programs that Hackers launch. Disrupting someone’s connection to the Matrix distorts the characters RSI with static and other kinds of digital errors.

Q: Will we be able to affect terrain at all? Example: huge crater in the ground when Neo and Agent Smith crash into it, windows blown out of buildings, grabbing an object to use as a weapon (chairs, poles, etc).

Toby – No, the technology to support a seamless AND deformable environment would be too prohibitive. The lighting issues and physics involved would have forced us to make too many compromises in other areas of the game.…ory_select_id=1

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