August 28th, 2007 by Rory

Lately I’ve been researching Shakespeare’s Macbeth for the purpose of designing quest content for Arden. So far I have watched Polanski’s film version as well as Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood,” which is a Noh-style rendition of the story. These, along with the actual text from the play, have given me several ideas how I could draw a player into the story and let them interact with its characters and locations. Among other things, Macbeth contains ghosts and witches, so I think it could be interesting to add more magical or fairy tale elements to it. There are a few basic plot points in the play and each one will be tweaked in a way that remains true to the source, yet creates a way for the players to get involved. For instance, the final confrontation at the end of the play begins with Birnam wood being gathered and used as camouflage by Malcolm’s army. Players will be a part of this army and be required to chop down a tree limb and take it up Dunsinane Hill. They might also stumble upon the three weird sisters. The witches will speak in a somewhat riddled fashion and give players a glance of the challenges that await them. The quest ends with a massive assault on Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane. I hope that it is a fun experience.

Terra Nova + Xfire Debate

August 26th, 2007 by Rory

Ted posted an article I wrote about “Legends of Norrath” on Terra Nova.

I’ve had a chance to read the rules for the game and it sounds fun. It would probably be difficult to play with real cards, so it seems fitting that the game has been developed as a purely digital game. Although the game interface is up right now, the game doesn’t go live for a few days.

I also participated in an online debate last week over the Xfire gaming service. The topic was virtual economies and property. Many of the questions raised and ideas tossed around were somewhat dated. It’s not anyone’s fault, necessarily, but I thought the question about the possibility of big companies selling virtual currency could have been refreshed a bit. EA sells virtual currency for single player games! Second Life sells Linden dollars! We’ve already been down that road. My frustration is probably due to the fact that I read entirely too much gaming news, but I felt my perspective did add something to the debate.

Arden in BusinessWeek…

June 12th, 2007 by Rory

Life After Second Life and Beyond Second Life

Check out the fifth slide in the first link for a nice blurb and video about the project.

Recent Work

May 30th, 2007 by Rory

I’ve been really busy lately finishing up grad school, but I have managed to get some additional work done. Some of my recent Arden work includes a new color palette for the starting zone, preliminary interface graphics, and a oven model. The original palette appeared a little washed out to me, but the new one is a little more vibrant and indicative of the balance I’d like to see in Arden once we have a more filled-out world.

Arden Interface Frame Test (TGA format with XML frameset) Bread Oven Bridgwater Palette (Revised)

Ludium 2!

May 27th, 2007 by Rory

Ludium Logo

Ludium 2 is happening on June 22nd and 23rd! Register here!

Technical Manual + Style Guide

May 3rd, 2007 by Rory

I’ve finished the first revision of the Arden technical manual and style guide. There are still some aspects of the style guide I’d like to change, but overall I think it’s looking good. Some guys on the Multiverse forums have been posting some neat tips and tricks for materials lately so I might include some of these scripts in an appendix. Skybox information and color palettes will also be included in the next revision provided I can secure a copy of Terragen.

Technical Manual and Style Guide (PDF 2.7mb)

Arden Style Guide and Technical Manual – Outline

April 15th, 2007 by Rory

I’ve been working on a style guide and technical manual for Arden that will be used by future Lead Artists on the project. The purpose of this guide is not only to give some artistic direction for the world, but to also provide some helpful tutorials for Maya, Multiverse, and Photoshop — basically any technical, back-end stuff that can be frustrating. The outline for this guide is posted after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Textures Page

April 9th, 2007 by Rory

I’ve added a textures section to the gallery on my website. I’ll be adding more and more to it this afternoon.

You can view it here.

Puzzle Quest – Challenge of the Warlords

April 6th, 2007 by Rory

Okay, so you might’ve heard some rumblings about this game on a few websites. It’s available for the PSP and the DS. There’s also a free demo for the (upcoming?) PC version available at the official website. If you are a fan of simple, mind-numbingly addicting puzzle games like Bejeweled but also have an interest in RPGs, you owe it to yourself to check out this game. I can sum it up in one sentence: Puzzle Quest is an RPG where the battles are resolved by playing a one-on-one version of Bejeweled.

So that sentence probably didn’t do the game justice, but if it’s enough to pique your interest, please give it a test drive. Despite what the interwebs might tell you, the game isn’t very hard to find. Both the DS and PSP versions are available on the usual e-commerce sites. You know, where gamers STOP to make such purchases.


April 3rd, 2007 by Rory

Late last week I finished updating the Arden project site with some information about the assets we need before the end of the year. When I say end of the year, I mean May 4th, which is officially when my work on this project will end. I can’t say “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ll be happy to move on…” There is still a substantial amount of work to be done and I wish it wasn’t over for me. Funding for Arden is not unlimited so the possibility of employment for another year is very slim. Before you get the wrong idea: yes, it has been fun.

I hope that my technical manual and style guide will provide the next artist with some legs to stand on. I have roughly a month to get these two documents completed, which should be sufficient time. Items included will be a list of naming conventions, a walk-through that takes the reader from Maya 8.0 to the Multiverse engine, texture specifications, asset lists, and concept thumbnails to give artists some aesthetic inspiration. Yay for that.

I’ll post updates at some point outlining my progress.

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