We’re Big on Greenlight!

Well, sort of. Astrobase Command has been doing very well over its first few hours on Greenlight. We’ve already tallied up an impressive number of positive votes.

Screencapture from the Astrobase Command Greenlight dashboard

We’re really excited by the results, since it’s telling us loud and clear that the concept resonates with almost everyone who sees it. We can’t rest on our laurels, though. The curves are only projections, and don’t mean anything if we don’t keep working hard to convince the community that we’re going to deliver the absolute best game possible game, the one they deserve.

There’s still plenty of ground to cover until December 20th, so we’re just getting started. The Greenlight news is a great wind in our sails. We thank all of those who have taken the time to cast their vote (and those who will in the future!)

Head on over to our Kickstarter updates page to get the latest news.

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Astrobase Command Kickstarter Looking Good!

Looking good!

Looking good!

What an exciting few days! Jellyfish Games’ Astrobase Command Kickstarter launched on Wednesday and was immediately featured as a staff pick. Shortly afterwards, I was picked up to work with the team to help bring this project to reality. We are now a few days on, and things are moving along smoothly and almost as predicted. As word of the project gets out, we are certain we will continue to generate momentum.

There are many things we believe that make our game unique. Dave Williams, the man who initiated this grand adventure, elaborated on one of the key features: the AI Storyteller. This system is the core to the game into which everything else feeds into and out of. There’s a wonderful account of it over on our forum that involves examples with intrepid explorers on exotic planets, strange caves, and alien eggs being brought back to a space station. The short and sweet of it is that the AI Storyteller is the equivalent of having a living, breathing Dungeon Master crafting a unique game experience for the player every time he played the game, offering endless replayability?

You can find out more about our Kickstarter here. If you like what you see, please help us spread the word around. Every little bit is appreciated!

Mechwarrior Online: Project Pheonix

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

I just about had a heart attack when I saw the notice above pop into my email.

Those of you that have some historic awareness of the friction that has existed in the Battletech universe with a certain subset of its initial line of mechs now known as the Unseen will know how important this is. These poor mechs have been on again, off again, for years. Since I started playing Battletech way back in the early days that these formed the mainstay of any force, I have a soft spot in my heart for these mechs.

It looks like Piranha Games has done a great job of giving them a fresh new look. I am eager to start piloting these behemoths on the battlefield!

For more information, check out: mwomercs.com/phoenix

The Beautiful Design Direction in ‘The Last of Us’

The Beautiful Design Direction in ‘The Last of Us’.

This video from “The Last of Us” is a wonderful find by the Gaming Grad. Work like this highlights game development’s inexorable move towards an art form and demonstrates that one can find beauty even in the deepest of horror.

On sharing inspiration – Ripples in the pond

Rise of the Redshirts

Rise of the Redshirts

I illustrated the image above back in 2009 as an entry to the “Be the Hero!” Game Career Guide challenge . I did it rather quickly, but am still quite pleased with the image, as I used it as an opportunity to try some new techniques with a Wacom stylus and Photoshop. The entry didn’t get picked up, so I may re-post it later for reference’s sake, but I did end up posting the picture on conceptart.org. I forgot about the image up until recently, when I was cleaning some files up in my computer in an attempt to speed my aging beast up.

I smiled as I remembered that in 2012, John Scalzi published Redshirts, a novel where one of a starship’s intrepid security staff decides that dying for the captain isn’t for him. As I sat there and thought about it, there certainly is some similarity in the concepts between the story and my image above. I started looking around the internet to see whether anyone else had caught on to the idea. I found that in 2011, a youtube channel called Star Trek Online: Rise of the Redshirts saw the light of day. The similarity between the titles does catch the eye. There is now a very cool game in development called Redshirt by the Tiniest Shark. There are certainly some similarities in the general layout and theme between the two images.

Redshirts game image

I am certainly not arrogant enough to believe that I am solely responsible for the ideas these highly creative people have developed. After all, if I had an idea, there is a high likelihood that someone else may have had the same idea before or after me with no external help whatsoever. In fact, I drew on inspiration from other short stories about the Redshirts always getting whacked to come up with my game pitch and illustration. There are only so many ways to illustrate a game cover, and there are some narrative illustration short hand techniques and tips of the hat that tend to ensure that there will be some similarity in imagery for science fiction posters. However, I do like to believe that the picture I tossed out without a second thought on the internet kicked off some spark in imaginations I’ve never met and ultimately served to enrich each of us. Like a stone cast in the pond, the ripples of inspiration can travel far and wide, touching distant and unseen shores.

So share your ideas. You never know how or who they’ll help.