Mass Effect Andromeda motion-capture developer harassed over poor animations

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Andromeda emplyee targeted by hate mongers 2

While the internet at large has had fun ripping Mass Effect: Andromeda a new one over its countless animation blunders, affairs took a nasty turn over the weekend. Dissatisfied with the apparent quality of the game launching this Tuesday, a couple of Mass Effect “fans” targeted Allie Rose-Marie Leost – one of the people who worked on motion-capture for EA, and Mass Effect Andromeda.

First circulating on some vile blog posts on equally vile websites, Leost’s Twitter feed quickly become a mess of hatred as people singled her out as the sole cause for the animation faults present in the game. The post in question also suggested that Leost might have attained her position through sexual favours – a snide comment that only fueled insults thrown at Leost during the weekend.

They’re all rather disgusting.

Unsurprisingly, it seems the very angry mob got a few things wrong. Incorrectly identified by the post in question, Leost was not actually the Lead Animator on Mass Effect: Andromeda. Although her (now changed) Twitter and LinkedIn bios previously stated as such, evidence points towards Leost being a part of an external team in Vancouver that aided BioWare’s team (located in Montreal) with facial-capture animations. A fact which has already been dug up in the game’s credits.

Allie Loest Credits

The hate being directed towards Leost alone was so severe that BioWare General Manager Aaryn Flynn felt compelled to make a statement, reprimanding the actions of so called fans and setting the record straight on the matter.

Irrespective of where Leost worked, it seems woefully ignorant and incredibly vitriolic for a bunch of people to single out one person as the sole cause for the numerous issues Andromeda is facing in terms of animation. These sorts of implementations aren’t done single-handed, usually comprising of large teams to collaborate and integrate their work over the entire product. Tools and engine changes also lead to unexpected problems, and with Mass Effect making the transition over to Frostbite it’s conceivable that BioWare faced some difficulties getting things working perfectly.

That doesn’t change the fact that there are very clearly issues, but spewing hate at an individual online isn’t going to change that. Nor will it invoke a response from the studio in question that aligns with the demands of these digital pitchfork wielding mobs.

This isn’t critique; it’s childish behaviour at best. And it’s depressing to still see it exist.

Last Updated: March 20, 2017

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • You can’t fix stupid.

  • Member Berry Bob

    I played about 2 hours of the trial yesterday and I thought it was great. I had fun with ME:A. Things are a little different than the previous games (controls, movement, cover etc.) but on the whole it was a pleasant experience. I haven’t noticed or experienced the bugs or glitches people seem to be on about (with the exception of a FSP drop during one of the in-game rendered story scenes). More still on the way perhaps?

    Maybe I’ve just been lucky or maybe my standards are low when it comes to games.

    • Johann

      Meh, I’m also think that I have low standards with games. As long as I enjoy it, I rarely find fault with it. Trial was fun, will definitely get it to play the rest of the game.

  • Captain JJ

    Calm the fk down people.

    • konfab

      no :3

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        <3 Konfap is my favourite new poster on Not-Lazygamer 😀

        • konfab

          <3

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            I love you too man!

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      No! This is war! Blood for the Blood God! Bones for the Bone Throne!!

  • konfab

    This simply comes from Bioware not addressing the problem like adults.

    Gamers are literally trained from birth to find weak spots and hit them with as much damage as possible using the perfect tool. All Bioware needed to do was to say that they have seen the reaction to the game and have immediately prioritised the bugs that their loyal fans have found. Them going into stealthmode and pretending that everything is fine about it simply makes people look harder for a target.

    https://media.giphy.com/media/4eWjrHm6O4DK0/giphy.gif

    • Umar

      You’re kind of making gamers sound like real assholes

      • Dutch Matrix

        Aren’t we though?

        • Umar

          No

      • konfab

        They are.
        If they weren’t, a game like GTA 5 would have flopped instead of becoming one of the most popular games this gen.

        • Umar

          So lets just accept gamers are assholes and blame Bethesda? Great.

          • HairyEwok

            Let’s blame Nkandla rather, Bethesda has some nice games at least.

          • Umar

            F Bethesda for not giving me Jade Empire 2 though

          • konfab

            Nah, just blame the French.

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            No, Blame Canada! DAMN YOU CANADA! YOU GUTTED BIOWARE!!

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        Gamers are assholes, but they’re the cool kind… wait… … uh,….

    • Dutch Matrix

      Come on! 2017 Girl is CLEARLY Robocop’s Great Great Great Great Great Great granddaughter

      • konfab

        WHAT IF SHE IS A GETH VERSION OF A CYLON!!

        0_________o

        • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

          OH SNAP! Now I need to re-watch Caprica!

        • Dutch Matrix
          • konfab

            The irony being that the glowing orb version of EDI had more character in her animations than Face-is-tired girl:

          • BakedBagel

            Fucking rip.

            SO TRUE.

            Same with portal now that i think about it?

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      Amazing to think that the Bioware team from 10 years ago could do wonders with the tech, and the current bunch could barely top them.

    • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

      What kills me is the dead eyes, and the flappiness of the mouth! What is this? MUPPETS IN SPACE???

  • Admiral Chief

    Don’t buy day one kids

  • BakedBagel

    Why did she claim she was the Lead Facial Animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda ???

    • in gaming or any design really, lead does not mean head.
      You can have multiple leads. All that means is they were of the more senior ones. Perhaps with a small team but never ever the main person. So you could have multiple lead facial animators.
      Each team working on different parts of facial animation.

      But yes, one must be careful how you represent yourself to the world. False impressions can lead to very unwanted attention.

      • BakedBagel

        Thats a good point. Never considered as much. Just seems weird that at this point she states differently. even if lead doesnt mean head.

        Oh well… No one should take it apon themselves to take their opinions on her. This is a business matter that needs to be decided in the work place. Especially if she was mis-representing her position in the company, EVEN more so in a professional place like Linkedin

        • It’s an internal matter and one that will cause some problems as she was part of external studio that assisted.

          Still doesn’t make it right for her to be blamed as the sole reason for the issues.
          That is for Bioware to take on the chin. They did piss poor QA on animations and that has nothing to do with motion capture who had to port their motion capture to a new platform mid dev. Considering they even got it right in time for release should be applauded not attacked.

          So the devs should be praised and Bioware should be blamed for forcing it out incomplete when they had knowingly changed platforms.

          • BakedBagel

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the root of the problem was the norm. EA and/or Bioware..

            Blaming her for trash tier animations is not fair in the slightest. Honestly. Blaming any 1 dev for a failure as monumental as this is dishonest. Its like me blaming 1 member of my factory staff for a failed job in its entirety

          • HairyEwok

            Like blaming one person working with the engine for the ford kuga catching fire.

          • konfab

            Yet all Ford did initially was say that they were isolated incidents.

          • HairyEwok

            Thing is though, Ford went and immediately addressed the issue doing a recall. Hopefully Bioware/EA address this issue with a patch which will probably be huge and could’ve been avoided if proper testing were implemented on the game.

          • BakedBagel

            Ford did not immediately address the issue lmao.

            They denied it at first. Then a number of families started a class action lawsuit
            Only then did Ford do an “investigation”.

            Ford = EA XD

  • For the Emperor!

    Yeah this sucks. These keyboard warriors need serious help. Also, what I have seen on streams it is mostly the humans that have the animation issues, and a bit of Asari. The less human looking ones looked fine – perhaps she was actually on those?

  • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

    Lol, either Bioware/EA is lying or she was lying about the fact that she was Lead Facial Animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda.

    Of course, both cases do not warrant harassing her, but it is funny how the narrative (from Kaktaku and Lolygon) isn’t “Bioware hired an inexperienced animator to be the lead for their AAA game” but rather “Oh noes gamergate targets poor defenceless woman… Oh No!! Buy Mass Effect Andromeda, you guys”.

    Lol, I really hate modern-day games journalism. Instead of defending companies, why aren’t they defending the interest of gamers?

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      “Of course, both cases do not warrant harassing her, but it is funny how the narrative (from Kaktaku and Lolygon) isn’t “Bioware hired an inexperienced animator to be the lead for their AAA game” …

      Because that would again be laying blame on a singular person. Just as the blog post that started this entire harassment wave did. Reviewers are certainly pointing out the shortcomings of the animation at hand in the many reviews I’ve read, so i’m not entirely sure why there now need to be hit pieces on developers and hiring choices to further the point. That’s not journalism

      • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

        If she claimed to be the Lead Facial Animator, shouldn’t the buck stop with her? Up until yesterday, that was listed as her job title (EVERYWHERE – on linkedin, twitter, tumblr etc.).

        If I was the project manager for a project, and it bombed, my ass would be on the line. Why shouldn’t she be taken to task? And if she wasn’t the lead, why is she lying? I would imagine these are the kind of questions REAL journalists would be asking rather than “Oh no, someone was mean to someone else on the internet”

        • Alessandro Barbosa

          I would imagine that to be an internal matter, and again (as detailed in previous comments) that sort of jargon can change internally too. IF she was misrepresenting her role within the company, that’s a issue for BioWare. Her stating anything on any bio has no effect on what she actually did on the game, and again in no way invites the sort of harassment she received. It’s important to point at that at a time it existed on her bio (which I and most other articles did, including Kotaku), so I’m not sure what else really needs to be investigated.

          Quite frankly the post that started this all off is the most troubled, and how its insinuations molded the hate towards her. All over baseless claims. But hey, people will believe that shit 😛

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            Lol, if an individual misrepresents their qualifications, position etc. that is technically fraud. If I misrepresent myself to my peers as something that I’m not, and it means I can get a better job or title in the near future (because of that misrepresentation or fraud)… I’m NOT to blame… because it’s an “internal matter”?

            That sounds dangerous, mate!

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            “Lol, if an individual misrepresents their qualifications, position etc. that is technically fraud.”

            Yeah definitely, but again I really doubt having something stated in a Twitter bio is affecting what she’s doing on the project. And quite honestly just means she was either confused on her official title, or lying to some Twitter followers. How egregious!

            The problem comes up in the assumptions being made of how she was hired. Considering again that these are team efforts and it’s unlikely her contribution alone is the sole reason the animations are rather ghastly, I consider that more of an issue for BioWare to figure out for their future. Tunneling down this path and attempting to dig up dirt on a single developer who is now already being targeted for something that’s very clearly either not her fault at all, or not her fault alone, well that’s dangerous too 🙂

          • BakedBagel

            Yeah Mr Jim the problem is, that as consumers, we wouldn’t generally be in the process of hiring her. Her misrepresentation on her business profiles effects the companies in question, hence why it should be an internal matter.

            You wouldn’t blame the company for the actions of an individual who in the end actually had limited ties to Bioware. Its like a company ironing out its personal issues in the public sphere. Its not needed.

            But. Its funny that after the whole fiasco with Mad Max’s porting, you would think companies/corporations would hire professionals.

            More so with a AAA release.

          • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

            Do you mean the RalphRetort? Ralph is an idiot, he was exorcised from gamergate for being a tard. The funny thing is, he is slowly turning into the new Gawker – a dirtier slimier version of Gawker.

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            That post of his is literally the reason this happened. He identified her, made baseless claims and set the tone for the harassment. Even though I saw him denouncing it, he’s certainly to blame.

  • Magoo

    But honestly, what kind of a brat throws a tantrum because the facial expressions in their video game are weird?

  • HairyEwok

    I’m just wondering, if the animations were amazing all round would she go and say yeah it’s all me and kept her job description as lead designer or would she be humble and say it was a team effort and then changed her job description quietly.

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      I think if that were the case no one would even be talking about it at such great length, nevermind specifically around one person.

    • BakedBagel

      Thing is, the animations have been a laugh ever since we saw that trailer

  • MonsterCheddar

    Eish.

  • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    Wow. Such large and important issues on discussion.

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