In a video games industry that pumps tens of millions of dollars into projects, Ace Combat 7’s developers at Bandai Namco Studios used a jpeg of a dog.
As we gear up toward the next generation of consoles, everyone participating in those conversations is wondering how far the technology will go. Can we finally expect a 4K resolution at 60 frames per second in a console box that costs less than $500? What kind of CPU will be used? However, even with modest hardware parts in the PS4, Ace Combat 7 shows that sometimes it’s not about what you can do, but what you choose to do.
Ace Combat 7 is a mission-oriented flight combat game with very corny sub-80s-movie dialogue, and there are cutscenes with immaculately rendered with 3D models and complete with proper voice acting. However, during one cutscene, despite fully modeling and animating three character models to mimic a conversation, the developers at Bandai Namco inserted jpeg images of a dog.
That’s right, as seen on the AngriestPat Twitch channel below, during an important narration discussing the princess of Erusea’s new ruler, Bandai Namco cheaped out in the weirdest way possible by implying the dog in the scene isn’t anything more than two .jpg files places in the scene. They even go out of their way to include dog foley sounds and imply it’s an animated character model.
At no point did the developers of Ace Combat 7 think they would be figured out by laying heatwave effects over the digital lens of the cinematic camera to hide its static image, but boy were they wrong. Twitter reacted in bemusement over the reveal, laughing at how brazen and bold of a choice it was befitting the style of the series.
Even Bandai Namco Nordic got in on the fun!
Ace Combat 7 is the latest in a series of games that aren’t quite made anywhere else, and there’s a diehard fanbase that’s been waiting years for a new chapter in the franchise. It seems to be received well by fans at the moment, with the wait being worth it, but god damn, will I never forget the hilarious fact that they used jpeg images of a dog instead of making their own.