Monday, June 21, 2010

10 Days of Allied Forces: Part 3 - Into the Third Dimension (2002)

After the release and success of Allied Forces I began to work on the prequel, Allied Worlds.  This game would feature a vastly improved communication system which allowed first-person choices in flight, similar to the communication system with player chosen objectives from Wing Commander III and IV.

The communication system was developed and I made it as far as mission five before I began to lose interest in the WAY the story was being told.  The character of Alex "Fox" Harris (now Harper) was always the lead and focus of the written story.  And playing as a witness to the events around this character, at the time, did not thrill me.  You weren't getting the story the way I saw it, simply the way an outside party could see it.  As a result I posted the first little bit of the campaign as a demo in 2002.  The demo made it to the #5 slot on the top 20 campaigns, and was still there when the site (Volitionwatch.com) eventually went down.  The biggest asset was the communication system, which I was the first to develop for Freespace.  Having recently edited my first movie, I began to want to show the story in that way, as a film or as an anime.  As a result, the 2002 release of the Allied Worlds Demo would be my last foray into game design.

Sometime in May 2002, I would finally acquire, through my school, a copy of 3D Studio Max 4.  Knowing that this tool would allow me to create my own proprietary objects for movies was very exciting, and I set to work teaching it to myself immediately.  Reading through the packaged tutorials and learning the art of 3D animation from the ground up.

My first movie, made only about a day after reading my first tutorial, was a throw back to that ancient piece of concept art I had done way back in July 2000.  The Twin Spires!  This was largely due to the fact that the Twin Spires were two, pyramid shapes extending out of the ocean.  Which meant that I could create the basic scene using only Two pyramid primitives and a plane!

This was the movie that I created.  I used the music from Halo 1, which was and still is, one of my favourite soundtracks to anything.  Marty O'Donnel is a genius...







For the rest of the year, my main focus would be on re-creating scenes from this environment, slowly and surely learning more and more about 3D Studio Max, as well as other programs like After Effects.  In addition to developing in my art.  The original Fox had undergone some changes, and was now much more mainstream anime in his appearance.

Other short trailers would come from this period, however most were simple experiments in animation.  All of the work would pay off however, as the crowning achievment of my budding carreer was just around the corner...

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