Moving Again

•January 4, 2007 • 1 Comment

New Year, new host.

I am moving the blog over to my own domain, so I’ll post the link and leave this one up for reference.  If you follow it thought, make sure and change your bookmarks….

http://blog.brucepatnaude.com

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Finally…

•December 21, 2006 • 12 Comments

So I am finally finished with the first person revisit.  It seems like it has taken forever and it has!  But that is not entirely all my fault, oh no.  Some other folks have to take part of the blame.

Between the time we decided to make that part of the schedule, paratroopers were added, Playnet got involved with something else they needed my help on, and then new deploying dynamics for LMGs and ATRs.  Not to mention the layoffs, and the subsequent “rehire” as a contract laborer.   Yep, lot’s of obstacles.

It’s all over now…the new weapons, and some new animations, as well as bouncing grenades, and deploy-anywhere weapons are in there.  The FPS animations will always need some adjusting and we plan to spend some time after the Holidays polishing up what is in there now…but that’s all icing.

I wonder if they are going to “lay me off” again?

Themes

•December 21, 2006 • 2 Comments

Themes…I hate themes.  I can never find one I like.

More Fallout Goodness

•December 12, 2006 • 4 Comments

Gamasutra has an article about Interplay and their SEC filings which might suggest that the company is planning a $75 million dollar Fallout MMORPG game.   Sale of their ailing stock to pay for it I guess.

 According to speculation, the game is scheduled to go into production in January of 2007 with a 2010 launch date.  I have no idea if any of this is true, feasible or will come to fruition, but the thought of playing a MMOG in the Fallout universe makes me salivate.   The Fallout series was and still is one of the best RPG games ever made.

My Kingdom for a Tool

•December 7, 2006 • 11 Comments

Get yer mind out of the gutter.

I’m talking about an animation tool to be used in house, for testing new infantry models and animations.  Something that allows me to load meshes, animations and Granny blends so that I can troubleshoot and tweak before they get into the game build.   Thunder wrote one ages ago and it was pretty good.   My only complaint with it was that it required me to do some text document editing and reloading every time I wanted to look at something or change something.   So when Codec took over he tried, bless his heart, and it was shaping into something really nice, but for whatever reason it never got completed.   Enter Martini:  I’m crossing my fingers that he will work on it and get it to a final, workable state…only time will tell.

If any of you are familiar with a WoW mod called “ModelViewer”, then you will know what I am looking for in a tool of this nature.

Visual Anomalies

•December 6, 2006 • 4 Comments

I recently fired up my Sony Station Pass again after about a year of letting it go, and trotted into EQ2. I grow a little weary of WoW and I needed a change and a more “realistic” looking atmosphere was the goal.

As I ran through the Commonlands and killed some mobs, I was impressed again, with the overall look of the game, and thought to myself: why in the fuck can’t we pull something like this off with WWIIOL?! Then I came to my senses and remembered what the major hurdle is: an outdated and under performing game/rendering engine. Doh!

Squirm (Kevin Rivas) and I had always complained to the powers that be, that we hated doing anything cool for the game because the aesthetics get lost in translation…from tool to engine, it just doesn’t turn out like we would have liked. The current crop of artists probably see the same thing as well but there isn’t a lot that we can do about it. WWIIOL is starting to come around to something that it should have looked like when it was released but that’s really not good enough for today’s gamer. Although you will hear folks say that graphics doesn’t matter and game play rules, you can’t get folks to even look at a game if there isn’t something “cool” to look at. The good games that have awesome gameplay and shitty graphics might get the critical acclaim, but they don’t pay the bills (in most cases).

Things like nice specular lighting, specular maps, height maps, GOOD normal maps, infantry motion capture and bloom effects…..hehe just kidding are things we should be striving for. I hate seeing a “6” for graphics when they are talking about WWIIOL. So much potential, and the talent is here to do it.

So I muddle along, hoping that OSG is everything we want it to be. I hope we artists here presently can stretch it’s limits and deliver something that will be appealing to the masses once again…much like WWIIOL was during the days of the babyshit orange forums.

Much Respect for MODs

•November 28, 2006 • Leave a Comment

In a recent attempt to put together a team of folks to help me with a personal project of mine, I am reminded of the difficulties that arise from trying to get a group of talented folks together, for little to no pay, in order to achieve an objective. The reason i felt a need to give kudos to all of the successful MOD teams out there, producing quality game modifications. It takes dedication and a drive that is hard to find among individuals that could be paid professionals.

My hat goes off to all of you.

Along the same lines, I am beginning to wonder if a well thought out, documented plan of attack and design is necessary to create a good MOD? A commercial game is one thing, but something that is just used to pad a portfolio is another. I have worked on both kinds, and have seen success and failure with both. I am not sure which is the “correct” way.