I am bringing this up because of this question:

What constraint (if any) limits crowd animation variety?

What's being asked in this case is: why did these companies make this decision?

I feel like this is a rehash of the situation dealt with in Is “How was entire game X made?” off-topic?

  • The exact answers are unknowable, unless someone from one of these companies is here. Different companies might have done the same thing for completely different reasons.
  • Any answers we do get will be speculation.
  • It doesn't help anyone to know this. If Game A was limited by memory and Game B limited by budget, that has nothing to do with you, the developer of Game C, facing your own unique challenges. This is not a practical, answerable question based on an actual problem that you face.

As Jeff commented on the other discussion's question, it's trivia.

A more helpful form of this question would be to, upon encountering a situation where you have an actual problem here, ask about it.


4 Answers 4


You say, "What's being asked in this case is: why did these companies make this decision?"

I disagree: what they're asking is, "What are the factors involved in systems like this which result in such outcomes?"

The question linked to was quite careful to avoid asking why a particular game made that choice, and instead was querying the type of limitations and constraints that presumably make it impractical for every character to be have completely bespoke animations.

The answer to such a question is often useful - as Tetrad said, there are performance considerations which make this approach more efficient.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Huh. That actually makes it quite a wise question to ask. I agree! Thankyou. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2012 at 1:11

I would take it on a case by case basis.

In that specific example, "because it's likely that it's significantly cheaper/faster to skin one model and draw it a bunch of times instead of skinning a bunch of different models for the unique frames of animation they are in" is a good answer.

It's really questions that would give nothing but bad answers that I would worry about.

The "trivia" comment is mostly about "which tech did this game use", which is trivia and not very useful.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Kylotan has me convinced these can be good questions, so I agree with the case-by-case basis, and that this could be a good question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2012 at 1:12

I think there are many common sacrifices or trade offs the games make that are useful for people to know.

My answer to the crowd question was mostly speculation, (though I was a producer on the London Olympics game from Sega for a short time), but I think speculation is also interesting.

If I was developing a game that had crowds, I think it would be useful to search the site for crowds and basically browse the issues other people faced. It might solve a problem I didn't even know I had yet.

  • \$\begingroup\$ though isn't that almost the point. that almost anyone can come and postulate an answer without direct experience, or proof of concept, and just speculation. isn't the speculation in, and of itself requesting a conversation/discussion? \$\endgroup\$
    – gardian06
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 1:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ But I think the speculation is constructive. It gives somebody something to start with until somebody comes along with facts. The speculation might move them closer to finding their answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jay Kyburz
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 4:02

As it was my question, I should obviously submit an answer here.

I'll start by saying that I welcome this discussion and that I do believe my question and potential answers would be constructive.

What I think is bad about the question, perhaps, is that the pre-amble to the question names a specific game. "I was playing Tiger Woods..."

Now, if I reword the intro, and I will after posting this because I believe it is necessary, to say "I have noticed in many sports games", I think it widens the context.

If there is indeed somebody in this community who has experience in creating any sports game with an animated crowd then I fully believe that they will be able to provide a constructive, authorative answer.

With that in mind, I think that:

Why do sports games have little variation in the crowd animations?

...is no different to:

Why do MMORPG games have...?

Why do racing games....?

As I said, I welcome this discussion. It is a community after all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "What I think is bad about the question, perhaps, is that the pre-amble to the question names a specific game." No, I'm aware of that, hence my second sentence. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2012 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't "These companies" mean "Game Development companies in general"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ste
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can understand the want to know "why", but at the same time that is not the point of a Q&A site (it is a matter of popular debate). sites like GDSE are interested in "how" questions, or "I am trying, and not successeding at X" questions (these will probably be better posed as the former then the latter). we are here to help people that have problems, and offer solutions, and not to play guessing games on "why". now if this was a site that had moderators from nintedo we could maybe ask those "why did nindedo do X", but it is highly likely that even there they would be removed, and/or closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – gardian06
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 23:10

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