Lots of things have changed this year. Changing jobs, moving across the midwest back home, transitioning to my first place to call my own. I don’t want to give some sappy post-mortem on my time spent at Neo-Pangea, but I think it’d be disrespectful to not mention my Reading family when they were all I really had for the past two and a half years. I had a blast in PA, worked on just about the coolest projects I could ever fathom being a part of (one of which recently earned a Webby Award for the animation!!), and in addition, I met amazing, respectable people that helped me grow into the artist I am today. They’re pretty sweet folks, and I still communicate with them today. I chose to leave Neo-Pangea in order to start a new chapter in my life. Being away from Cincinnati for nearly 8 years straight just made me appreciate everyone from back home that much more. By golly, it’s been an adventure. A thrilling one at that. I’ll miss you, PA~
With this transition it has also brought a lot of sweet going-ons that aren’t typically reported on here. Mourou as a team is still together, and we’re making a lot of headway on our horror RPG epic, Shaded Chasm. There isn’t a whole lot we can show right now, but I wanted to make this post to draw attention to the other locations that you can find us on the interwebs. Consider this somewhat of a shameless plug. We are trying to gain support for the game on Patreon. Basically it’s just a monthly donation that will award spectator access to our development as it happens. We don’t have any patrons yet, but hopefully that will change. Any money donated will go towards keeping us accountable on our development and show us that there’s an interest for this project! You can find our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/mourou
Lastly, if you want to stay up to date with the day-by-day life that I broadcast on twitter, feel free to follow. It is mostly artwork, Shaded Chasm plugs, and casual conversation with the folks I enjoy communicating with. There’s no shortage of indie game development talk, anime references, and butchered Japanese (I’m studying every day!). To follow, simply click any of these images to follow their respective links. That’s all for now!
Look at all the dust! I haven’t touched this site for over a year now. It’s really crazy how time has flown by over these months. Everyone must think I haven’t been up to anything. In truth, things have been quiet here. Work continues at Neo-Pangea as per usual, however, I feel I have been working on so many things that I do not know what to post on my site. Because of most of my work being under the umbrella of Neo-Pangea, it doesn’t feel right having all of my updates being an echo of the Neo-Pangea updates. And so, with not much personal work going on, I haven’t made an update yet during the calendar year of 2014.
Alas, the last time I posted I was working on Shaded Chasm and competing in video game jams. Not much has changed in a year, as I am still doing that same thing! Just this month Mourou competed in the 2014 Develteam Halloween Jam (there was no summer jam this year). You can see my animation atlas and concept art for our entry, Rook, above. I’m not sure if we will win first place, but regardless if we do, it was a blast. We are only going up against one other team this year as compared to last year when we were one of ten teams competing. Also this year, we only had a week to complete our game, rather than two, and our team was half the size that it was last year. I am still proud of the work we accomplished, and I think I’ve improved greatly in my animation technique, speed, and efficiency. I still can’t believe we accomplished so much in a such a short amount of time outside of our fulltime schedules. My style is evolving, which is exciting to see side-by-side with what I did last year on V∆MPSP!RE. Check out the playthrough below! The game can be downloaded here: Rook v1.0
So a few weeks ago Mourou had the privilege of participating in the Develteam Summer Game Jam. It went kind of like the previous 49 hour animaion competitions that we’ve participated in. We were given a theme to work with in order for it to qualify and the theme was “Dual Mode Retro”. This meant that the game had to be either 2D or 2.5D (retro) and had to have two completely separate modes of gameplay (not minigames). Well, we came together and ultimately settled on my idea for a reverse shooter mixed with stealth platformer. The result was rather awesome (with quite a few bugs and things that didn’t make it into the build we submitted). Regardless, our game, V∆MPSP!RE, made it to the top and was voted 1st Place by the Develteam community! We have defeated the competition and taken home a gold (and some Steam games).
This marks Mourou’s first foray into indie game development. Watch the video of me playing it below and see what you think. We all work fulltime jobs while doing this completely in our spare time over the course of two weeks. Enjoy!
Follow the link on YouTube in order to download and play the game for yourself. In the coming months we will be tweaking it in order to release a mobile version to the Windows Phone 8 store. If it does well there, we may even port it over to other platforms as well.
Doomsday Castle Defender
It feels like ages since I worked on this game, but alas, I’m finally making a post about it! Really cool seeing the commercials on TV about the game, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Neo-Pangea was in charge of creating this video game for the new Doomsday Castle show on National Geographic. While other team members took care of the programming, UI, music, and more, I was able to have a large role creating all of the in-game animations, matte painting, and isometric sprites. Very fun. The game is an isometric tower defense game where you build your own castle, defend against the hordes of the apocalypse while getting the Doomsday Castle family members to work together the best they can! The more bandits you defeat, the more weapons you unlock.
Give it a whirl here! Even Machinima had a good time playing it:
Soldier of Steel
I’ve been waiting what seems like forever to make a post about this. Back before the new Superman film was released, we at Neo-Pangea were given the incredible opportunity to build a whole web experience marrying both the National Guard and the film Man of Steel. Our result? http://www.soldierofsteel.com/
I haven’t been able to post my involvement until only recently, and sadly the website will be taken down this week. It’s run its course and may only creep up again when the DVDs for the movie arrive in stores. So be sure to check out, specifically the Soldier of Steel video game. Not only was I given the task to conceptualize the rifle range game and aviation challenge, I also had the opportunity to animate most of the in-game effects such as the rifle, explosions, drones, helicopter, soldiers, dust clouds, zoom reticle, Superman’s heat vision, and more. How cool is that? Be sure to check it out here before it’s too late!
Ultimate Survivor Alaska’s Interactive Maps
Recently, I had the tremendous opportunity at Neo-Pangea to refresh my hands at 3D sculpting and pseudo-realistic illustration. My poison of choice? Mudbox and Photoshop. I sculpted Alaska’s terrain for a new series on the National Geographic Channel – Ultimate Survivor Alaska. There are eleven maps in total and they live on their interactive website located here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ultimate-survival-alaska/interactives/interactive-map/
They upload a new map each week when a new episode airs (Sunday night) so stay tuned to see them all!