Business is War

Corporate greed takes on a new meaning in Syndicate, with in-game cinematics created by Vincent using Cinema 4D

"Climbing the corporate ladder is tough when the guy at the top is shooting at you. That's why you'll need all of your skills - and a real go-getter attitude - to take on today's release of Syndicate," says Electronic Arts (EA) of its 2012 remake of the classic 1993 action strategy game of the same name.

London-based directing team Vincent worked closely with the game developers and art directors at EA and Starbreeze in conceiving the overall styling and scriptwriting of the in-game cinematics and trailers. "Syndicate had a huge following in '93, with a popular cyberpunk graphic styling," said John Hill, Director at Vincent. "Our challenge was to create a new graphic language that would seduce the high-end gamer of today."

Using Maxon's Cinema 4D software on Mac OS to create the 3D animation, Vincent used only dots and lines to create the imagery, without any depth-of-field or heavy polish added in post. The color palette was restricted to just black and white, plus orange as a highlight color. "We were conscious of the basic interpretation of a dystopian future and wanted to steer away from the usual distressed typography and glitchy styling of many current first person shooter games," explained John.

Set in the year 2069, everything in the Syndicate world is digitally connected. Consumers no longer require external devices, such as tablets or smart phones, to access data and services. Instead, a chip implanted in the consumer's head provides direct access to all aspects of modern life - from housing, to banking, to education. With unprecedented control over the "CHIP'd" civilians, the neural chip companies - called syndicates - wage war against each other for control of the masses.

Embarking on a brutal adventure of corruption and revenge, the game’s player adopts the role of Miles Kilo, a prototype agent for the EuroCorp syndicate. To illustrate the connectivity theme of the game, Vincent designed a family of signature wireframes in Cinema 4D that would scale and connect like a fractal. The trick to producing the complex animation and advanced connectivity was to find the right mix of methodology. Expressions created in Cinema 4D using the built-in XPresso editor played a key part, as did mixing camera data from various software to create a seamless linear camera.

"Cinema 4D is a very capable, fast and stable 3D software package. It's intuitive and great for creative users," said John. "We wanted to create a dramatic and engaging prologue that would not only provide a background narrative to the game, but would also establish a visual language for all in-game graphics and promotional material."

"Syndicate was our most enjoyable project from last year. It's always vital to have a supportive and like-minded client to produce a good result," summed up John.

More information on Vincent:

Previous slide
Next slide