No luck yet, and Seamus isn't really giving any hints. I will say that through all this I've gotten a deeper appreciation for how complex the boot animation is. It's just a simple little video that plays while the console is waking up, but the design behind it is actually quite remarkable. Microsoft outsourced the animation to the game studio, PipeWorks
, and they did a pretty impressive job, especially considering how compact it is + how fast it is to load + how reliable it has to be.
I discovered a few things that were new to me-
- The blobs are randomized. Their size and movement are constrained by limits, but are still randomized within those limits. So each time you power on your Xbox, you're seeing a slightly different animation play out.
- The movement of the "flubber" blobs is physics-based. It's not a simple scripted animation routine. Instead, their motion and how they morph and combine together is based on physics being rendered in real time.
- Each blob has characteristics that control its movement and how each one morphs and deforms with the center larger blob, including:
- Temperature (this affects the blob's speed, just like a lava lamp)
Then of course there's of the rest of it: the 3D models, the shaders, the lighting, and overall design aesthetic.
And I mentioned this before, but aside from all the stuff you can see on screen, the sound is generated in real time too. It's not just an MP3 or WAV file that plays a pre-recorded sound file. It's generating frequencies (sort of like how a MIDI file works) and applying sound-effects on-the-fly thanks to math and code written specifically for this animation sequence.
Now I'm curious to find out more about other 6th-generation console startup animations.