Archive for February, 2011

February 26th, 4038
by Dorthy Dabbledots

The Three Men

Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and it is no wonder why Ematica requires music of its students. Ancient humans, like us, used music to express that which has no words. I am shocked to discover the lack of music being played now. In dark times, music can reach the soul.

I remember the first ancient song I heard. I was a young graduate of Ematica, eager to succeed and to explore but full of doubt. I found myself, like most Ematica graduates, with the universe at my feet and unsure what the next step should be. My experiments had been going horribly wrong. I was not sure if inter-dimensional reflections of sub-prime matter was my true calling. Heading out to the unknown universe to discover the source of sub-prime matter seemed daunting. I doubted my abilities, yet the budding new field of archaeophysics strengthened my courage as an explorer. I needed to rethink how I  approached my experiments, to reorganize my thoughts and to relax so I headed to the Galactic Music Consortium.

Filled with the energy of Ematica student musicians practicing and or listening to the ancient archives, the Galactic Music Consortium always put my heart and mind at ease. I sat quietly, contemplating. When suddenly I noticed a new pattern of music from the corner of my eye. It was an odd mix of instruments I had never heard or seen before. The song took me out of the actual, whispering to me what seemed like a secret, and made me wonder who am I and for what, whence, and whereto and who was Al? The song was a parable of three men.

The first man believed he lived life as he should but fate had been cruel to him. He wanted his opportunity for greatness handed to him on a silver platter. He wondered how he would escape from the trapped life he lived. The second man wanders around with a short attention span and no true focus. Fearful of what to do and what his path should be, there are incidents and accidents. The third man gives up everything to pursue what he loves. He has no money and no knowledge of the culture but he understands the virtue in the simplicity of truly living. He can stop and look at his world with a new vision of freedom spinning in infinity. The third man could see angels in the very fabric of everyday life. Out of pure joy and relief, he shouts, “Hey, Hallelujah!”

After sitting on the bench and listening to the ancient parable of the three men, every fear I had about not succeeding floated away. I would follow my heart to ends of the universe to be an archaeophysist.

I don’t want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard. Do you?

We maybe thousands of years more advanced than those who wrote the parable of the three men but music is still a magic beyond everything we know today.

As always and until next time, remember to “stay hungry, stay foolish.”

GDC and a concept

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Hey guys we are super excited to go to GDC for the first time as Adventure Works! We look forward to meeting other indie developers at the Indie Summit and beyond.

Hollye designed some sweet shirts and business cards for us, and I thought I would share them. The past couple days were spent storyboarding and prototyping the Pilot, scene by scene. We are strong believers in failing fast and iteration. We can already see some of the rough edges of our mechanics and narrative start to dissolve.

Today I decided to set aside some time to sketch characters until something felt right. The visual direction of the series hasn’t been decided yet so I kicked off the exploration with this character concept. Hang on a second…I just got off the phone with Dorthy and she is sending us another Galactic Chronicle article to celebrate GDC. What a character! I really have no idea what these things mean.

The Series

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Mystery is the catalyst of imagination. We’ve been brainstorming, dreaming and ideating around the clock with a fresh and optimistic focus, gunning towards an experience we believe EVERYONE will enjoy. Early on we made the decision to develop the mythology, characters and episode narratives of our series like a television show.  We started with what’s usually called, “the show bible” and spent several weeks writing and rewriting our characters and developed a rich, mysterious, and magical verse, taking the time to write backstory.  This decision is freeing us to design our series a scene at a time and has already led to some fresh gameplay.

Today I was sitting in a coffee shop called Soulfood Books in Seattle, a place that has helped to rejuvenate my connection with what Joseph Campbell calls the Anthropos.  I recommend soulfood books to anybody searching for warmth, it’s a true hidden gem in Washington. Putting the finishing touches on the Pilot episode, I decided to read the conclusion one last time and I couldn’t help but feel excitement…I started to think about the indie revolution and how it’s revivifying storytellers everywhere, of all ages. The narratives I jot down as a 25 year old will probably be much different than when I’m 35 or 40…and certainly 18. In high school I made a few short “films.” One stands out in particular, the summer after my senior year  I made a “scary” movie with my friends called The Legend of Los Brazos.  To this day it is probably the most fun I’ve had in my entire life and the movie was TERRIBLE but that didn’t matter.  Every part of the production came from US and we all shared an EXPERIENCE.

Today’s indie games movement reminds me of the late 70′s and early 80′s in the film industry.   In a recent Spielberg interview, he reflected on the early portion of his career (Jaws, ET, Indiana Jones, Close Encounters) and admitted that he couldn’t make those same movies right now because he’s changed over the years.  We are overjoyed with the opportunity to create a story because we love doing it and because the energy intertwined in the soul of the series will come from the US of now.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Joseph Campbell

Global Game Jam

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Global Game Jam in Seattle

Last weekend the global game jam took the world by storm, and we stopped by a couple Seattle locations  to check out the action.

Most of the creating took place at The Art Institute of Seattle; we did check out Digipen but we either caught everyone on a break or everyone decided to head over to AIS because that was the happening game jam locale. I was surprised to see how many developers were using Unity to build some pretty slick 3D worlds.

Global Game Jammers at The Seattle Art Institute

We could only stay for a little while because Adventure was calling. We spent the rest of the weekend with characters/physics interactions as well as some of the story beats for the Pilot episode. It was refreshing to see passionate designers, developers, and artists giving it their all 24/7 to create games.

And now some randomness…so I have been watching Stargate Atlantis like crazy and can’t get the theme song out of my head. Now I’m a HUGE John Williams fan, and happen to think the greatest adventure song ever composed is Raiders March, yet I have to say the Atlantis theme and the SG-1 theme hold their own nicely.  But don’t take my word for it:

Sigh…people that know me best know this isn’t last time I’ll post Raiders March or rant about music.  Play them out Dumbledore…

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic far beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!”