Pax 2013

I think I have been to at least half the PAXs now.  The last few years I have been able to work PAX at the WB Games booth. Interesting and fun to meet the consumer of your work.  This year I mostly worked with the Dying Light guys, great game.  Also really cool seeing Guardians of Middle Earth there again, with a respectable line, especially considering that the game is a year old.  One of the perks of working the show is getting see the expo early the three days that I went, I was able to play all the games that had huge lines during the day before the public was alloyed in, probably cutting about 4 -6 hours of line time out of my life.  Zero wait time for Titan Fall, BF4, Ryse, Forza 5, Rayman Legends, Knack, and Beyond Two Souls to name a few.

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About half the expo waiting area.

One of the favorite things about PAX is seeing a lot of games that really do not get covered by the mass media.  Here are my top 10 games that I thought deserved an extra shout out:  Betrayer, Cool graphics, awesome story.  Volgarr, Reboot of one of my favorite arcade games Rastan.  Garden Warfare, Gotham City Imposter / TF2 but with plants and zombies (maybe should not be on this list).  Galak Z, Cool 80s anime graphics space shooter.  Super Puzzle Delux, Joust + Match 3 type puzzles.  Life Goes On, Refreshing game mechanic twist.  Pixel Junk inc, Love the art! fun to play too.  Delvers Drop, Good old Zelda like game play.  Secret Ponchos Cool graphics. Tower Fall, Looks like an awesome party game, nice retro graphics.

Dynamic Map Tile System

Its a rare thing in the video game industry to see something that was part of a cancelled project find life again.  Back in 2005 while at Zombie I worked on a title called Rogue Warrior (eventually canceled).  Me and the lead engineer Russell Nelson were tasked with seeing if it was possible to create a system for tiling maps at random or by player vote, we succeeded.  Note, this was way before Unreal tech had terrain stitching, and getting everything to line up was not a simple task.

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The above image is the prototype for Rogue Warrior, and bellow is an image from Zombie’s Special Forces Team X… Made me feel happy all day when I stumbled across this!

Even made the first unique selling point for Special Forces Team X.
“Dynamic Map Tile System – The multi-player maps in STX are customized in real time by players able to vote on selected tiles in the beginning of each round. The game features 9 unique map tiles, creating over 100 multi-player map combinations.”

Update: looks like the another of their games will be using tile tech, Phantom Army

New York trip, where I got to meet Sandy …that Hurricane

A few months back I went on vacation to New York City.  The day after I arrived Hurricane Sandy arrived.  One of the things that I was really looking forward to seeing was a park that I helped design back when I was still doing landscape architecture.  These pictures of the Arthur Ross Terrace American Museum of Natural History were taken hours before the park closed, and did not reopen until after I left.

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Here are some other pictures that I found on the web…

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…and here is a Bing birds eye view map link.  The lead designer was Kathryn Gustafson.

Couple of other cool things about this park: 1. The park was in the Spiderman 2 movie, where the engagement party was held.   2. The original drawings for this park were hung at least for a while next to Fredrick Law Olmsted original drawings of Central Park.

Guardians of Middle-earth — Shipped on Xbox 360 and PS3

Go check Guardians of Middle-earth out, and then Go buy it!

This was a really fun title to work on, and even funner to play… still playing it daily a month after it shipped.    In the credits I am listed as a world artist but for most of the project I had a tech art role.  So not a lot of my art in the game but I did spend a lot of time making the art work behind the scenes.  I did make these hide bushes that are present in every level.

Trailers, for games that I worked on.

These are marketing videos, each video contains areas that I contributed to.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Guardians of Middle-earth

Gotham City Imposters

Lord of the Rings: War in the North

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn

F.E.A.R. 2: Armored Front

Shadow Opps: Red Mercury (Xbox 1, oh my its old!)

Gardening

Here is a link my wife’s landscape design company ANR Landscape Design.  She is a licensed landscape architect, and she does really nice work, if you have a landscaping issues that needs a solution contact her anri@anrlandscapedesign.com.

One of the projects listed on her site is our garden… which I did a lot of the work for and had some hand in the design of.