Playing in the World’s First Virtual Sports Theme Park
Innovative gaming company FunGoPlay.com creates a groundbreaking 3D gaming experience for children with LightWave
Posted: Tue 02 Aug 2011
An estimated one in three children in America today is overweight or obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). To help combat the growing epidemic, FunGoPlay.com has opened the world’s first virtual sports theme park—an innovative online sports world that bridges the gap between online gaming and physical activity among children. FunGoPlay artists relied on NewTek LightWave 10 software to create and deliver everything from eye-catching imagery and 3D elements, to customizable assets and interactive environments.
The FunGoPlay (FGP) online world melds creativity, imagination, and technological innovation to deliver a fun, safe, and entertaining experience for members aged six to eleven. Members play games and tournaments in the online world, and with FGP Sports Gear, such as a soccer ball or flying disk with sophisticated electronics that track the length of play, players connect in the physical world to earn in-game rewards and achievements, such as medals, points, and power-ups.
Creating a Fun Production Pipeline
FunGoPlay assembled a winning team of 3D artists and a high-end toolset to create the groundbreaking gaming experience, at the heart of which is LightWave 3D® software. “The FunGoPlay team has used LightWave since its first day of production,” explains FunGoPlay Animation Director, William Vaughan, who manages the 3D production activities, including modeling, texturing, rigging, animation and rendering of all 3D assets and delivery. “LightWave has been an invaluable resource and I can say, without a doubt, that we wouldn’t have made the launch deadline without it,” he adds.
SpriteGen, a powerful new utility in LightWave 10, automates the production of sprite animation images for real-time and game engines, which helped the artists at FunGoPlay streamline the production pipeline and meet the launch deadline by shaving days off of each week’s rendering workload.
FunGoPlay Render Wrangler, Anthony Quinones agrees, noting that the SpriteGen tool enabled him to work more efficiently. “It has saved me weeks of unnecessary work by creating a sprite sheet right from LightWave that the programmers at FunGoPlay can use immediately. By not having to compile thousands of frames, it makes my job easier.”
The FunGoPlay artists also relied on the LightWave 10 Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) for instant design feedback. “The new VPR function makes adjusting textures a snap, and allows the art director at FunGoPlay to look over my shoulder without having to wait to see how texture adjustments look,” explains Thompson Conrad, Jr., FunGoPlay 3D artist. “It has dramatically lowered my texturing and rendering times, allowing the FunGoPlay team to move much faster through our workload.”
Visit the FunGoPlay website at www.fungoplay.com.