The Graveyard post mortem, part 2

We have finished part 2 of our article about the making of The Graveyard. After part one about how the idea was born, now it’s about getting from idea to realisation: funding and technology. Read all about how we get arts funding for our projects and how we found working with Unity3D for the first time in…

The Graveyard: How to make an idea come to life

The Graveyard post mortem

We are in the process of writing an article about the making of The Graveyard. We will be publishing each part as we finish it. Starting with Birth of an idea, about the concept of the game, where it came from and why we think it’s relevant. Next is a chapter about finding funding and technology. After that we will discuss the production itself, what went right and what went wrong. Then we will talk a bit about the important contributions of the character animator, the music composer and the sound designer. And we will conclude with an analysis of the distribution, sales, press and audience response to the game.

But first:

The Graveyard: Birth of an Idea


We made a new game!

The Graveyard-song2

We have just released The Graveyard, a very short game that we’ve been working on in secret. Its about an old lady who visits a graveyard. She walks on a path, she sits on a bench, she listens. That’s it. Except that in the full version (only $5!), she can die.

Here‘s the press release.

Download the trial now!

And support your indie game developer! 😉

read a preview/review of The Graveyard on Rock, Paper, Shotgun!

Note: the Mac version is now a Universal Binary (meaning it will run on PPC processors in addition to Intel.)

The Kiss available for download

The Kiss: Incorporator

We have made the remake of our 2001 project “The Kiss: Incorporator” available for download. This version was made for an exhibition in the Flemish Parliament, curated by Muhka’s Edwin Carels.

“The Kiss: Incorporator” is made with a 3D scan of our naked bodies, kissing. The errors produced by the scanning technology expecting to find a single body, form an essential part of the piece. The result is a single mesh of two painfully stitched together naked human bodies, welded together in an eternal, devouring kiss. “The Kiss-Incorporator” allows you to navigate the cavernous “ocean of blood” inside of this mesh, through a threedimensial soundscape of industrial and natural sound loops and towards the single eternally beating machine-heart, shared by both bodies.

This project was conceived before we had even thought about making games. It was very much a part of our romantic episode with Entropy8Zuper! The body scans that were the basis for the mesh in the piece, were part of a session we did for another piece, entitled Eden.Garden, which was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is now gathering dust on their server. It featured Auriea and I in the roles of Eve and Adam, hence the attire, or lack thereof.

Get The Kiss here!

Exhibition: The Kiss @ Nano Nu

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TheKiss-2007-10-29-18-35-51-04 TheKiss-2007-10-29-18-32-39-92

Commissioned by curator Edwin Carels of Muhka Media, we have remade an old experiment in realtime 3D, entitled The Kiss: Incorporator. This remake will be premiered at Nano Nu this weekend, in Brussels. For the occasion of the installation, a special pedestal was made that allows the visitor to navigate through the piece by means of two sturdy joysticks.

See more of the project here:

Nano Nu is a two day festival about Nanoscience and Nanotechnology featuring scientific experiments, commercial products and artistic interpretations of the theme. It takes place in the Flemish Parliament on 9 and 10 November 2007. Other artists in the show are Honoré d’O, Peter De Cupere, Louis De Cordier, Nick Ervinck, Angelo Vermeulen, Jodi, Annemie Van Kerckhoven, Dirk Vander Eecken and Patricia De Martelaere.

Blender3D returns to Realtime!

Blender3D and CrystalSpace are sponsoring Apricot: the Open Game project. Building on the experiences they had with Project Orange which yielded the Open Movie, Elephant’s Dream. They hope to make a full “industry qualtiy” game using Blender’s game engine and give the results, source code, assets and all, away to the community for purposes of education and inspiration. This is good news given that the software grew by leaps and bounds and copious bugfixes during the Project Orange phase!

Some of their goals:

* Targets
— Validation: create full functional game prototype, industry quality
— CS engine: HDR lighting, game logic modules
— Blender: animation prototyping, pipeline improvements (option: using Verse?)
— Realize in Open Source, deliver in Open Content (CC?)
— Education. (Training/workshops, presentations, documentation, DVD)

* Core Team
— five to seven people (they get fee + travel + housing)
— 2 CS developers, 1 Blender developer
— 1 content related developer (AI, logic, …)
— 2 artists / game designers
— plenty of online support from CS/Blender developer and artist communities
— external support for music, voices, audio edit

Their schedule of 6-8 months looks a bit optimistic in my view, unless what they plan to make is another car racing game… (*shiver* :p)

We made several projects with the Blender game engine back in the day. Both of these projects are from around 2000. (Back then they used to work online too, via the now defunct Blender3d browser plug-in.)
My favorite was Guernica which used the game engine to parse data on a network packets or parsed text from a webpage to generate a distopian world.

Then there’s also The Kiss which is a 3d scan of Michael and I… yes, kissing. But we used the Blender game engine to create a way to explore the space inside the model.

We love the idea of Blender with the integrated game engine and it’s seriously about time it was updated to work as well as the rest of the wonderful (and free) Blender3d package. There isn’t anything else like it out there, where you can model, texture, animate, and build an interactive realtime standalone application in one place. Sadly the game engine has become the, forgotten step-child of the rendering and movie-making portions of the software. And more sadly, there probably won’t be anything else made with such a unified schema. The idea of not having to export/import and code in separate apps seems so futuristic!

Let’s wish them luck on the modernization of the Blender Game Engine! Better yet, cotribute or contribute!