The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By utilizing the hardware rendering power of a modern gaming PC, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get environment so they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.
Parent company Valve is currently involved in Steam (PC hardware/software) gaming ecosystem, and a VR partnership with HTC.
iDirect is a staging system for blocking your characters’ movements, actions at markers, interactions with other characters and speech. iDirect+iSpeech are integrated with Chat Mapper (www.chat-mapper.com) so that all you have to do is point/click and assign a conversation script to have one or more characters move and interact with each other intelligently.
The user sets up markers as if they were directing a live person on the stage. When the avatar reaches a marker, it is given instructions on what behavior to do, what animation (or sequence of animations) to do, pause, speak (when combined with iSpeech), fire an external function, trigger something, disengage from the path, etc. One marker can fire and track another marker or set of markers so you can control 1 avatar or an entire crowd with synced animations and conversations. Chat mapper is integrated so you can control the entire simulation from it using XML or you can control conversations via your own scripts. There’s not a single way to do anything and everything works together. It’s complex under the hood, but pretty simple for the game designer to use.
iSpeech is a standalone Unity3d plugin that works in conjuction with iDirect. iDirect+iSpeech are integrated with Chat Mapper so that all you have to do is point/click and assign a conversation script to have one or more characters move and interact with each other intelligently. iSpeech lipsync system for Unity3d is robust and fast with easy setup in a clean, easy to use custom editor within the Unity3d Inspector.
iSpeech recognizes 40 phonemes from the AnnoSoft standard and allows for 18 unique visemes via 2-frame FBX files that you simple plug into the corresponding slot with the Unity3d Inspector. With iSpeech, you can have Chat Mapper XML or your own XML files drive the conversation or multiple conversations. When combined with iDirect, you can control the movement of the character on the stage as well as each animation along the way to include blended animations at any point.
iDirect+iSpeech offer 3 license types:
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articy:draft 2 is a collaborative environment for the creation and organization of game content like quests, interactive dialogues, characters, items and level layouts – from first design to export right into your game.
Chat Mapper is a branching dialog editor from Urban Brain Studios with Lua scripting and XML export. Non-Linear Branching Tree Graph Visualization, Conversation Simulator using TTS voices, and multiple export formats for printing actor scripts and for getting dialog into various 3rd-party tools like Dialog System for Unity.
It is free to try, with pricing that ranges from $65 for an Indie License, $495 for Commercial, and an If You Have To Ask You Can’t Afford “Publisher” level which includes a player for Unity.