Visual Concepts is known for its work with NBA players in the successful NBA 2K games, and with the WWE 2K series, they are looking to bring that same expertise to your favorite superstars. WWE 2K20 features a host of superstars from the company's past and present, and while some are just about perfect, other superstars didn't quite come out as flawless, while others feel like they still needed some additional time to bake correctly. We had the chance to talk to Visual Concepts Creative Director Lynell Jinks all about the challenges of bringing superstars to life in the game, especially when you aren't able to do face scans of the superstars, like in the case for legends such as Dusty Rhodes, Chyna, and more.
"When we got the license from THQ, we also got their archive and their assets," Jinks said. "Luckily they were scanning through Gentle Giant from the early 2000s. Someone like Chyna, they had a scan from 2001 or 2002 or something like that, some early 2000s and we used that. It's not a great scan, it's not photogrammetry like we do with our current superstars, but it gave us a nice base, right? Then we had some really talented artists that will go in and fine-tune it and sculpt it and try to make it look as good as the photogrammetry that we never used. It's always a challenge, and so you're trying to compare something that comes from real-life images and scan data to something that an artist kind of creates, but I believe with time and now that we feel like all right, we kind of have a process down, we can get there. Again, we have some really talented artists that allow us to do that."
While some don't quite hit the mark, others certainly do, like Eddie Guerrero for instance. "To me that that's the stuff where it's like, if we dig through our archives, you can find something and start as a base and it's easier than just trying to come up with than scratch. I don't care how talented someone is, it's harder, right? When you don't have a base, but if you have that base, it gives you a fighting chance. Because it's not like you're comparing apples to apples at that point. That's where I feel like there's certain wrestlers or superstars in our game that might not hold up to some of the other guys because we didn't have that."
"Unfortunately this year we didn't get to touch those," Jinks said. "So we're like, all right, next year if they do happen to be in the game, let's get them at that quality bar that everyone else is at. Because you know, anyone that you've seen that doesn't live up to that expectation hurts us a little bit. We know that."
To be fair, there are so many superstars to get through, you can understand the challenge in getting everyone to the same bar, but Jinks isn't using that as an excuse. "It's hard, but that doesn't give us a pass and we need to do better, right. I'm okay with that."