I’ve Abandoned my Child

Whew, it’s been a while. I’ve gotten a bit behind in the past couple weeks. Recently I’ve been busy with stuff in life, and I must admit that before that I was kinda slacking off and focusing more on other stuff, such as learning about William Blake, who is now my favorite poet, and researching the fascinating Giulio Camillo, who, though he has now been nearly forgotten, was one of the most famous men of the 16th century. His life’s work consisted of building a theatre of sorts, which he called the Theatre of Memory. The theatre was intended to impart the audience member (who stood at the stage and looked out) with the intelligence of Cicero by activating the memory/intellect through a complex mnemonic system consisting of mystical symbolism. I think that idea–which originated in a Greek memorization method of physically building mnemonic devices and setting them up in a sequence and walking through them–would be interesting to explore in a game. Not necessarily opening the viewer’s mind to a higher plane of knowledge like Camillo’s grand plan, but perhaps in activating the players intellect and memory through symbolism. Which is actually sort of what I’m already going to try to do with telling the mythological back-story of my game through symbolism and imagery. Or it could be interesting to use the concept of the classical memorization method in a puzzle somehow. Sounds like something in Myst. It’s probably something that is in Myst. But yeah… interesting stuff to think about.

So anyway, since my last update I’ve worked a bit more on the cathedral area, adding passageways to different areas. And I think I finally got torch lighting down (i.e. getting the flickering and everything to look right). Besides that, I’ve been working on fixing up some previously unknown issues with my World Surveyor Man (Mir-Susne-Khum) model/rig, and right now I’m about two thirds of the way done with my model for the player’s son.

I’m basing the head off of the eponymous character in the first feature length movie by my favorite director, Andrei Tarkovsky: Ivan’s Childhood.

(almost) finished head model in maya

The head on the right is the same mesh after being brought into zbrush for a minute or so to smooth it out. Looking at it now, I think I smoothed it out a bit too much, but to get it look that nice in Maya would have taken probably at least 30 minutes of pulling points around. And although it's a bit over-smoothed, I should be able to get all the not-detail detail I need when I sculpt it in zBrush.

Progress showing the torso and hat..

Where he's at now, fully clothed! I just need to tweak up this base model and decide how much I want have actually modeled versus just on the normal map, then take it into zBrush for detailing and texturing. I'm excited to sculpt the head.

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