move on to a couple of things I came across on the web. Jeff,
you took a screenwriting course?
I studied film at Texas Christian University.
you planning to get into screenwriting eventually?
Film. Somehow into film. That was my intention.
it helps when you're writing the script for your games, like Nocturne
or Blair Witch, but what are some of the other ways it helps you
during the design process?
Your guess is as good as mine (92k).
Nocturne and consequently Blair Witch, are such cinematic
games that having a background in film helped a lot. To establish
scenes, with not only the story itself but also how the cameras
are set up, which is another aspect that I took initial control
over, and we actually brought in a professional cinematographer,
from here in Dallas, and he helped put our final cameras in. He's
like our director of photography.
it also helps you with the direction –
With the visual presentation. You have a better idea ahead of
time going in –
For what it should look like at the end. It helps us get
It's so much better where you want to be at Step X, when you're
on Step A, then being right in the middle of it all and saying,
“Oh so this is how it's going to look!
Yeah we've been very fortunate to be able to build Blair Witch
from the beginning. That's the best spot to come in at, at the
very beginning. Usually I come in at the middle of the project
and have to save it from destruction.
you talk about that for a second? I read somewhere that for the
Blair Witch, you designed the whole thing from start to finish
before you actually started development on the game. Can you talk
about that and how it's helped in the process?
Normally game development, at least the games I've worked
on: somebody comes up with the idea for a game and they say, “Cool”
and they give him some artists and some programmers but they have
no idea what the final project will be or even how they're going
to achieve their goals. For Blair Witch I went in and I wrote
the schedule, figured out how much time it should take to create
the assets, came up with a list of assets, and I came up with
a story, and all of that tied together during the design process
where we have to figure out, ok, how much of a story can I tell?
How many sets do I need to tell the story? How much time do I
have to build those sets. It rolls around on itself for a month
or two until we have the total layout from start to finish. So
we know what everything in the game is going to be, and we know
what the art assets we will need and what engineering has to give
you to achieve it.
you're all working from the same point right from the beginning.
Yeah so we don't have to redo anything. We don't suddenly
realize, “Oh wait a second, we can't have that many polygons
on the Dreamcast” so we have to start over from scratch.
We're not building Blair Witch for Dreamcast.
going to say!
We're hoping to get more into consoles.
And Jeff was talking about it, we develop technology here. Like
Mark Randel made the Nocturne engine, he made the Photex engine,
and with Dreamcast and Playstation 2 and Dolphin coming out, trying
to figure out how our code would port over to that platform. We're
always working on trying to find what's best, because Mark is
such a hardcore console gamer, I think that he would love to see
Nocturne or one of our stories like that taken to a console.