Friday, 10 April 2015

Scrapbook Digest - Clippings, Twitter, Blackenrock, Rendlesham UFO's.



 It's Spring; as the barren winter earth comes back to life, a deathly moan is heard across the land...

....when is Blackenrock coming out?

Friday night, working hard, but this chap is terrible company. Moan, moan, moan.

Here's a digest of recent activity, for those who don't use Twitter (or don't check it often). Some bits and bobs: quick snaps and ramblings, mostly game related, (most pics being WIP camera snaps, while I work, rather than official screens).

 ·  Nov 10
These gravestones may confuse anyone who goes looking for them.

Game-wise, things are looking good for next season or, but have a sneaking suspicion that I might actually have a game out for Halloween.

Argh!! I've been here before, I know, but I've got two amazing tech heads helping with some of the programming. If I'm honest, I'll admit that programming takes me ages. I don't have the right brain for it.

 ·  Nov 17
Anyone use one of these, back in early 80's? I had fun re-creating one as a haunted 'ham radio'.

Don't get me wrong, I can script functions in various languages, and have done for over two decades, but I'm slow and chaotic. So, it's been wonderful to see some ACTUAL scenes coming together, at last! I rendered the artwork/backgrounds for some scenes over 3 years ago, so it's been uplifting and encouraging to finally see some action.

 ·  Jan 6
Work wise, I find myself near a well remembered spot. It still smells of fish cuts and skinned cats.
 ·  Jan 6
Activate foliage!
 ·  Jan 6
Almost finished. Layered into a scene, now called 'Lifebuoy Ledge', with the obligatory fog. Seagulls & drizzle next.

This game may have taken an age, but I'm chuffed to bits with it. Re-building Saxton from Scratch has been no small task, enjoyable yes, but very time consuming. The plus side is, though, that once built, finished, I have it to use for ALL the sequels (Blackenrock, Hallowed Isle and First Crown, + any DLC's).

 ·  Jan 15
Lashing it down outside; a good afternoon for making moody portraits of Saxton serial killers.

The characters have also taken a while, and cost a pretty penny as well. All worth it, as they are going to be on screen for the next two years, with meaty hours of dialogue recorded in advance. There's a lot of story to tell, as well as Side Quests and mini-games etc etc. I've mostly utilised voice talent from Cornwall, which has been fun. Don't mock, you'd be surprised how many budding actors and ex-drama students there are in a small, picturesque Harbour Town. There are three Theatre groups and a Drama Academy at the school.

 ·  Jan 21
Meanwhile, back in Cornwall, is doing exciting things with the Corvus family. Jackdaws specifically.

Something that struck me, last year after another TOTAL FAIL Halloween, was the simple fact that I'm never going to finish all the games I want to if I don't hurry up! I mean it. I'd be dead before I get to make Dark Fall 13. So, what to do? Get help and move-on seems to be the idea. I'd like to employ some help with the next title (most likely Dark Fall 4, set on a fictionalised derelict Victorian seaside Pier, or Codename: Rendlesham, see below). 


Russet. A quiet moment at Ulcombe. He's a man of few/loads of words. He's salt of the earth, they say.

Right now, I can see where I can outsource some jobs, so I can focus on the bigger picture. But, it's early days; I've got to finish TLC2 first, then look into things with a clear mind and, hopefully, some cash to fund the next title.

 ·  Feb 5
Prop making today. A mixed bag, including engagement rings and a noisemaker. Both very useful, on/in the right hands.
 ·  Feb 13
Hello to new followers! Do help yourself to a jam tart, freshly rendered today. 

He's alive! The Birdman returns, after a thrifty experiment with an online asset.
Had to add a Y.O.C badge as I lost mine, years ago. The local ornithology group was run by Mrs.Bird. She was fab!

Looking into the future, (I used seagull entrails), I'm also rather keen to make an 'alien' game, set around Rendlesham Forest, famous for the 'Incident' in the 80's. I've been fascinated by the story since it happened. But, my interest was piqued back in my London days, when I got chatting to an R.A.F radio operator (in a sleazy basement bar in Soho). I asked, blatantly, whether there was any truth in the story and whether the UK had been visited by aliens. 

"Ask instead if I've NOT encountered a UFO" came the initial reply.

Recent Freedom of Information releases, and several documentaries, have made our/the exchange less interesting, but it's still pretty cool. To get back on the N38 bus, that night, and travel home, knowing that someone has just told me that UFO's exist was genuinely weird.


Of course, there is every chance I was having my leg pulled, or it seemed a good opportunity to wind up a sci-fi fan. But, I don't care. It's just too interesting.

So… Rendlesham. Game-wise, I'd be looking to avoid making a Slender-clone. Obviously, there would have to be some 'running through the pines chased by bright lights', but that's more of an X-Files thing anyway. Detective stories always work for me, especially if conspiracies are involved, and the real-world setting of East Anglia would be a spooky delight to recreate in Unity3D or, maybe, the Unreal engine. I'm looking at both in my spare time.

 ·  Mar 12
Forest, sandwiched between the two military/aircraft bases RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge.

But, after from being bothered by strange lights, I'd also be looking at the wider area, beyond Rendlesham Forest. There are brilliant game locations just waiting to be built: the creepy 'Nuclear Pagodas', quaint OrfordnessLighthouse, the barren shingle beaches, the misty marshes, two air force bases and the imposing Orford Castle. That's enough locations to make a super game.
So, if you're interested in joining me on the project, come Winter, please let me know via Twitter or LinkedIn. A dedicated field trip to the area is planned, for texture capturing, 3D scanning (thanks Matt!) and foley.

I've got an online space, too, where I deposit ideas, mock-ups, photos and documents. It will be busting at it's digital seams very soon!!

Jonathan

P.s. Currently finishing off the Sleep Walker train. We'll be seeing the interior this time round!

A period train carriage interior, ready for awkward conversations. I've wanted to build one of these for decades!