Even though we won't be getting a true follow up any time soon, Tony Hawk has been more than happy to celebrate this month's 20th anniversary of the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Today on Twitter, Hawk posted a clip of a motion capture session from all the way back in 1999.
In keeping with the THPS 20th anniversary, here is our motion capture session from 1999. We didn’t end up using any of this data because there wasn’t enough time to program it into the final game, but at least I got to do a bunch of hard tricks while wearing an embarrassing suit. pic.twitter.com/pHw09SX3tg— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) September 3, 2019
Though the original Pro Skater is remembered today for its accessible arcade gameplay, this clip from a making-of documentary speaks to how committed Neversoft and Hawk were to making a video game with an authentic claim to skateboarding style and culture. Maybe the physics were far from realistic, but the tricks were supposed to look the part. "Sometimes you'll see something, even animated, and you can tell who they've animated it after," Hawk says in the video. "Once they do it to motion capture, it's obvious."
We'd love to see a side-by-side comparison of the tricks Hawk performs here in the halfpipe while wearing a motion capture suit, but as Hawk himself notes in the tweet, none of the data used during the session was incorporated into the final game's animations. If the trick animations do match up perfectly, then that'd be a testament to the talent of Neversoft's 1999 animation team working from video reference or by hand.
For more on the 20th anniversary of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, read USG's feature on how the games industry at-large remembers the game. And if you want more, here's our oral history of Tony Hawk Underground.