The cinematic trailer for Ubisoft’s latest AAA game title Skull and Bones, released on July 7, tells a rags to riches story about the destitute character Sam, finding his way from the streets of Boston, overcoming adversities and swashbuckling his way to become a pirate lord in the Indian Ocean.
“After a great collaboration with DDB Paris and Ubisoft on Assassins Creed: Valhalla in 2021, we were given the opportunity to pitch on the release trailer for Skull and Bones,” shared Jan Cafourek, Executive Producer at Stockholm-based Goodbye Kansas Studios. “We understood from the start that DDB and Ubisoft were looking for something exceptional, and we eagerly accepted the challenge.”
In order to tell the story — which spans oceans, continents and time — Goodbye Kansas collaborated closely with DDB and Ubisoft Singapore to find the correct context, tone and tempo of the narrative as well as flesh out and develop the protagonist: Sam. The challenge was to show the hero’s journey, the rags to riches story, as well as hint at the larger scope of the game’s world and the possibilities it offers.
“We have a great team here at Goodbye Kansas and we’re constantly pushing ourselves to become better and create beautiful and engaging imagery,” said Henrik Eklundh, VFX Supervisor. “Our digital human characters are some of the best in the business and we feel we pushed the boundaries with Sam, but also expanded our capabilities within FX simulation and Houdini integration.”
The team were particularly keen to work on the visual effects of the different environments in the story: from sea locations, water, storms and sea battles, each scene required an understanding of the art of the craft itself. “My favorite thing about this project was the simulations in the combat shots. The flamethrower from our main ship cast its fire around 120 meters to the opposite boat. That looked incredible,” added Eklundh.
For director Emnet Mulugeta, working with the actor portraying the protagonist, David Nzinga, was exciting. “It was a real treat working with an actor like David who could bring out the character through subtlety that suited the part. It helped us convey the character’s emotional journey naturally and truthfully. ”
Skull and Bones will be released November 8.
Goodbye Kansas Studios offers award-winning and uniquely integrated visual effects, animation, design, performance capture, scanning and real-time production services for feature films, TV series, commercials, games and game trailers. The 250+ staffed company is part of Goodbye Kansas Group AB, which has studios and offices in Stockholm, London, Helsinki, Vilnius, Belgrade, Beijing, Los Angeles and Manila.