Archive for August, 2008

Tools

August 29th, 2008 by Michael

Quest3D is the authoring tool we use to develop The Path. As a realtime visual programming environment, it allows us to play the game while we develop it, and vice versa. There’s no need for compiling: the game is always playable and editable within the same authoring environment.

But because the game is relatively complex and because it can sometimes take some time to get to a certain state where you want to edit things, we have created tools to do certain tasks. These tools are also made with Quest3D and they use the exact same code as the game. So any change we make, will be applied to the game automatically.

The names of the tools speak for themselves, mostly. There’s a Cut Scene Editor, a Forest  Tile Editor, a Motion Viewer, a Rooms Editor, a Music Composer, an Opening Titles Editor, a Drama Princess Configuration tool, a Drama Princess Test environment, and even a dedicated Safe Ending Editor. I’m sure we’ll end up making a Bad Ending Editor as well. :twisted:

Sometimes several days go by when I don’t look at the game but only edit through these tools. Then Auriea tells me about something that happened in the game, as a result of these changes. These is usually quite fun and surprising. Like the characters suddenly starting to do certain things. Or a special event suddenly happening. But I’m always afraid I’m going to break something. :-?

Inspirations: The Artwork of James Jean

August 26th, 2008 by Auriea

This character, I believe, is Baba Yaga.

I just read on his blog that James Jean is going to stop making the cover artwork for the comic book series, Fables. I must say I have only paid attention to Fables because of his work. I looked forward to seeing what he would do next. The man can draw like a house on fire.

He will continue to make paintings and sell them as Art. Cant help but feel its too bad for us who cannot get access to his work. Hopefully he will keep posting .jpgs I can collect with abandon.

The Making of Carmen

August 22nd, 2008 by Auriea

Who is your hero, Dolores Haze?
Still one of those blue-caped star-men?
Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays,
And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen!

by Humbert Humbert, literary wolf.

screenshot_764
Introducing Carmen!
What can I say about Carmen… In contrast to Robin, she has been nothing but trouble. We wanted to show her to you now, just so you don’t think the Red Girls are all sweetness and light. The original party girl, when she’s not breaking curfew she’s giving me fits trying to get her topology correct… not sure I ever got it correct, her curves were dangerous, even to me.

sexy_body_ref Picture 1 5. Sexy Red-concept (17) screenshot_622 screenshot_767

While all the characters were heavily inspired by doll designs, she was perhaps the most evidently so. I based her silhouette absolutely on images of dolls that I found. Sketched out a design for her. I actually had to model her twice, as after her first version I was advised that the way I’d done her shoulders, knees and elbows would never deform correctly during animation. So I rebuilt her… funny how making something that everyone makes, a sexy girl in 3d, gives me the most trouble… typical, for me anyway.

Beauty may be more than skin deep but I think she turned out pretty well for a shell. See her with her make-up on in the gallery and on our flickr page and don’t forget the exclusive wallpaper for your computer desktop in the downloads section.

Wolf smiling

August 14th, 2008 by Michael


It seems like he’s smiling, doesn’t it?

saturday

August 9th, 2008 by Auriea

2008-08-08 at 15-40-36

The Making Of Robin

August 7th, 2008 by Auriea

We will be releasing official images and info of all The Path characters, starting now and every 2 weeks til you’ve seen them all (well… almost all, have to save some surprises to be discovered, naturally.) And as we show the finished images out front, I’ll be back here giving away all my secrets. Work. In. Progess.

screenshot_752

Introducing Robin! The youngest girl in the family. She was a fairly easy birth.
kid-Martha_groenkapje 1. Kid Red (9)-concept screenshot_618 screenshot_757 screenshot_758

(click the above to see them larger) She started as inspiration in the form of an outfit Michael’s daughter wore one day. Then she was next seen as a (bad) sketch, by me. From there, there was no stopping her emergence!

A quick VERY WORK IN PROGRESS shot of her in the game with the realtime 3d screenshot equivalent of red-eye making her look up to no good! But really, she’s a good kid.

Quest3D 2008-08-05 12-46-40-55

Some final beauty shots to see in the Path gallery and on flickr aaand a desktop wallpaper for you to download.

& just WAIT til you see her MOVE! ;)

Ancient writing discovered in code

August 7th, 2008 by Michael

The Quest3D visual “code” sometimes reminds me of mysterious writings you might find on the walls of an ancient cave. This is the interface group that starts and stops animations and the like.

Exporting animations. And exporting them again.

August 7th, 2008 by Michael

My job these days consists largely of exporting character animations. It’s a tedious and slow process. So I will let you share in my boredom.

First I open the animation file in 3D Studio Max, and judge whether it’s good artistically, and technically acceptable. That’s the fun part because I get to see the wonderful work that Laura Raines Smith did in Texas while we were asleep here in Gent. If ok, which is most of the time, the animation data is saved (in a .bip file) and loaded onto the Official Character file, rigged by Hans Zantman. Then I export the animation in X format and import it in the game engine. 3D Studio Max crashes on average every 5 exports. In the game, for each animation, blending priority and loop frames, etc, need to be entered. Every time the skinning of the character changes (which has happened quite a bit), all those animations had to be processed again. Many of these animations have gone through the same process several times.

For the heck of it, I have counted the animations. There’s almost 500 in total! Most of them are simple short things like a walk cycle or an idle pose. But each is a separate file that needs to be treated. Next time somebody calls us insane, I’ll think twice before I contradict them.

fairy intelligence

August 6th, 2008 by Auriea

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

Wonder how he would have felt about fairy tale video games ?

lashes

August 5th, 2008 by Auriea