I had such a blast at the CTN Animation convention in Burbank last week. My favorite moment was when Richard Sherman made an unexpected appearance and dazzled us with magical song after magical song. Overall, the feeling at the convention was fresh and alive with inspiring and talented people. During the convention, I also spent a great deal of time on narrative and game design for the next episode in the Cosmic Crusade series, Eldrick’s Adventure: Escape the Lazax.
Sam Bridgeman has been doing some INCREDIBLE visual development for the world and style of the game and I was feeling quite inspired yesterday and roughed out a concept for one particular encounter. This experience is something that we are super excited to bring to life and we will be sharing much more over the coming weeks about this and another episode called, The Traveler.
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.
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.
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!”
Namaste! Many greetings, and thanks for stopping by the blog for Adventure Works’ game series called, Trip Harrison and the Cosmic Crusade. This blog will keep you updated on our Pilot episode with cool gameplay prototypes, concept art, design rants, and some background on characters from the series, like Trip. We’ve even managed to snag some swanky Galactic Chronicle articles from the year 4038. We don’t really know how to read and if we did we probably couldn’t decipher them, but we’ll post them anyways.
If you’re still here, we seriously have exciting stuff going on as we race to complete our Pilot episode, which will be ready for IGF 2012 first on the iPad. Growing up I fell in love with the Space Quest series and over time realized that it had accomplished something that several creative mediums hope to achieve, but few actually do…Vast Narrative. A feeling of nostalgia…perhaps a vested connection with characters, like Roger Wilco and his hilarious hero’s journey, is the type of experience we want to create and share with EVERYONE. As it stands now, Adventure Works is a coalition of the willing, formed with space enthusiasts, former LucasArts patrons, and me, a guy who left a cushy job at Disney to tell a story.