Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


I got a bug up my ass the other night and decided that I wanted to recycle various model parts into something 'new'. I wasn't entirely successful since some of the parts I wanted to use were so old (circa 2007) and the files were unusable, which made me build a few new things. Still searching for fabulous hair. Also, yay sleep, followed by Friday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cleaning Up the Desktop...

I found these in a folder containing progress shots from my later days at SOU. I know I've still got all the files, maybe I'll go in and finish these up.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Apparently, It's 1999 Again.

So, here I am, doing the same thing I was doing twelve years ago.

Running amok through a dank cave, dodging crocodiles, huge spiders, and angry frog-people in an effort to better myself.

That's right - I'm playing Everquest. Again. How did this happen, you ask? The progression servers happened; a chance to experience the earliest days of the game on up through the most recent in modestly paced chronological order. I mean, how could I not play it again when they did this? Everquest was not only a huge milestone in online gaming, but in my life too.

The game still hasn't lost its signature feel. The dungeons are perilous, the world is large, and the mechanics are delightfully clunky. In my book, the game did a lot of things right, and what I'd like to talk about concerning that, are dungeons.

Everquest Dungeons

Less Linear - These are not linear in the same way that most MMORPG dungeons/instances/whatevers are, in that you don't go in and walk a very linear path with the sole purpose clearing the entire thing to get to the last boss. Take a look at this map of one third of one of the more popular dungeons from early Everquest (And this was 1999 people!);

Adventure - Part of the challenge is navigation and adventure. You don't "check in" at boss A, B and C in the same order every sing time. You have to navigate the halls and do it well, or else you might find yourself in big trouble. (See map pic above!)

Danger - There is actual risk here. Plenty of situations could leave you unable to get back to where you were in the dungeon, especially if your character were bound far away and died. Death also equals experience loss, in addition to time loss. What does this mean? Don't play like an idiot. Use your brain. Be on your toes. Know your way around? Great, because there was no in game map back in the day. You don't? Better go find yourself one online and be prepared.

It's Not Endgame But It Feels Like It - Probably one of the single most paramount ideas that so many forget these days. The dungeon was difficult, but it was highly rewarding. And it's something you could start participating in when your character was in their teens (out of 50 levels, at release). And not long after you started dungeon diving Upper Guk, you were getting loot. Good loot. Loot that you could potentially use for the next 20 or 30 levels without drawing the scorn and belittlement of your peers. The point is - you're level 20, but you feel like you're doing something epic that can have lasting rewards. Why wait till level 50 to let players do that?

You Are Not Alone - That's right, this is before the era of instances. Before the era of 'I have a dungeon just for me'. These were living, breathing dungeons in which you might encounter dozens of other players. While this did lead to some overcrowding, it also was part of what drove the economy. An economy that let valuable drop items largely be traded, bought or sold. Not having a private dungeon with items you can never give someone else works well when your game is set up around that kind of economy. MMOs are supposed to be a living thing, and this way fits the bill. Handmedown economies rock!

Bonus time - the other two thirds of the previously posted map!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Busy Busy

I think this is the longest I've gone without a blog post since I started the thing back in college.

Been very busy working a frustrating job. Most of my projects are currently on hold as I don't have the energy to work on them at the end of the day. I'd rather put them in limbo than do low quality work on them.

Presently playing good old Everquest some, and waiting for a new RTS to come out since the few recent ones I've tried really haven't done it for me. Age of Empires 2 and Empire Earth 1 are still where it's at.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I sat down before getting ready for work and decided that I needed to squeeze in some work on the concept for figure 2 of 3 for my side project.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Still Alive


Been very busy at work and trying to get over a cold for the past week and a half. On top of that, I've been putting a lot of time and money into my aquarium setup but have been having lots of issues, so that's where most of my free time has gone recently. It is what it is.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


A little push before work.

More Work

I went back and revised some of the edgeloops I had going on. I try to save that for later, but they just bugged the hell out of me.

I decided to exercise what Miles taught me; keep pushing it until you've gone too far. I think I could go even a little further with the exaggeration, but I'm pretty happy with it right now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


After the epic aquarium hunt today, I sat down for a few minutes before work to mess with the evil orc head. Despite how large his head looks at the moment, it's going to end up looking very small compared to the rest of his body.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Done with work and leisure for the night. So here's the villain that I was excited about earlier for my current project. He's some kind of abyssal orc demon, or something along those lines. I didn't have much of a back story for him when I started randomly sketching the other night, but he is what he is.

The upper left sketch horns are actually not attached, I was doodling what they'd look like from the front. But upon further considering, I'm going to go back and make him have another pair of horns that are swept back to go with the side-protrusion ones. I think the swept ones give his overall bulky appearance a needed touch of sleek, and remind me a little of a gazelle or oryx.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Off to work in a few, but I've got an exciting mini-update for when I get home. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Simplicity

I went back in time to mid-2009 to find some of my old models in a folder labeled "Other". I was inspired by a combination of things which included Joe Madureira's fantastic artistic style. Then I set about fixing and altering this old model to fit into my new project.

It involves a hero, a heroine and a villain, and will be my first action scene to be modeled as it appears rather than building everything, rigging and posing it, and rendering it out that way. I'm going to keep it simple for the time being until I feel like it hits the sweet spot concerning composition. Below is the current 3D 'sketch' version of the hero.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Still Do Stuff

It just happens between shifts at my new job!

My SO asked me to do a head sculpt of one of her old characters, so I obliged. She's an alien of some sort. I'll be texturing her soon, maybe tonight when I get home. Tally ho!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

DC Universe Online - Finally Pushing MMORPGs in a New Direction

Amidst my World of Warcraft: Cataclysm playing I decided on a whim to purchase DCUO. I have a brief and mixed history with Superhero MMOs, so I was a little hesitant at first. But it was $50 very well spent.

Firstly; the combat. It's like playing an action RPG or beat-em-up game and is very dynamic and cinematic to watch. It has a modified targeting system which is more of a reticule that you place over what you want to hit as you swing away. But, you can 'lock on' to things if you need to. This is where the combat takes a leap towards what I'd actually call, the next generation of MMORGPs.

You can start a combo, change your mind mid-execution to something else, or even get the choice of which move you want to end it with. The commands for these weapon combos are simply left and right mouse buttons by default, with either a 'tap' or a 'hold' on them. For instance, my staff villain has one that is 'tap left x2' followed by 'hold left x3' or something along those lines. It seems a bit awkward on paper, but it looks great playing out and it isn't that tedious as you click through it.

Powers (which are separate from weapon attacks) are more typical of a traditional MMORPG special abilities, but are still given a breath of fresh air by being paired with the reticule targeting system.

The roles system, which allows you to change your character's strengths while leaving their power and skill choices intact, is another push in the right direction. It simply grants you bonuses to the role you wish to fulfill, rather than changing your character's purpose entirely by altering ability choices. You may be a damage dealer with a few healing abilities, but when you choose to take on the healer role, those heals become more powerful.

Finally it would seem we have a candidate for where to go next in the land of MMO gaming. If other games take note of these ideas and refine or alter them, the entire genre could possibly be rejuvenated in the coming years. Being that this game is by Sony Online Entertainment, I have very high hopes for the third Everquest game. I hope to see some of these mechanics and ideas in it, so that I can return to my younger glory days of online gaming in one of my favorite worlds; Norrath.

From what we've seen of Dark Millennium Online as well, it looks like it's going to be more action oriented. But what'd you expect from Vigil, the makers of Darksiders? I have high hopes for DMO as well.

It's a very happy day for me when I start to feel like my favorite genre won't be stagnating even more.