Monday, February 20, 2012

So many things to work on!

Real Dedicated

It's been a few weeks since I've posted, and that's because I was working with Brendan on the Real Dedicated website. We've launched the first build for testing, and will soon be sending out invites to the members of the Fireball team. There's so much administrative, CSS styling, and back end work before this project comes to fruition, but we're definitely excited to have made the first steps. A big part of our new workflow is using Asana over Assembla as the preferred project management software; it's been immensely helpful already.

Basically, Asana functions as a call-for-works board. Once a new project is underway an entry is created and tasks are made. Anyone can look in on projects and see what's going on, and jump in if they feel they bring something to the table. Alternatively, people can create a project and add potential followers to enlist them and start working. It's a great process for us as a collective and a huge load off my shoulders; I don't have to manage an entire team because the team members now manage themselves. With the time that has freed up I've been insanely productive. Ah, who am I kidding...I've been playing a lot of Skyrim.

Back to my Roots

One of the largest and most direct impacts on my decision to become a level designer was The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. I could go on and on about Morrowind and why it's one of the best games ever released (and in fact I will one day, whenever I get around to writing a thesis on risks and freedom in game design), but for the sake of brevity I'll leave that out. Both Morrowind and Oblivion allowed me to create my own content with the modding tools, and get involved with the modding community.

Now that I've been playing Skyrim and the Creation Kit has been released, I've started up a mod project - and it feels amazing to get back into it again. The first mod I'm making, with Dennis Porter handling the modeling and texturing, is called Artifacts of Old. We're creating a set of artifacts and weaving them into the existing lore. They will be end game items similar to the rewards from the Daedric Princes, but in order to find them you'll have to be clever. Each of the artifacts have accompanying in-game texts that provide the lore and clues as to their current whereabouts; there aren't any quests or quest markers to escort you.

Researching TES lore and weaving in new events and plots is a lot of fun. Dennis and I have solidified the first artifact and it's now in the modeling phase. Without giving anything away, it's of Dwemer origin and is called "Woe". We don't have a set deadline for the mod, but once we get around five artifacts in game we'll release it to the Steam Workshop and Skyrim Nexus community.

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