Updated May 29, 2001:
Rantz Hoseley, Art Director
Lack of game-art: >> Gosh. Your post sounds pretty depressing! "I fight against showing stuff before release period." We've been hearing of a "flood" of art releases after E3. Is this not going to happen?
No, there will still be a bunch of stuff that comes out after E3.
Understand, misinterpretation runs rife in this biz. People see a screen and make an entire judgement on the value of a game based on it. Right or not, it works that way a lot of times. Hence, I tend to be leery of showing anything that looks like 'game art' without it being 100% polished and in the game.
Realities of promotion and goodwill with fans, keep me from hording everything until release, but that's why not a lot of art goes up.
Including space monsters in MOO3: When the designers first told me we had to have 'space monsters' in, my reaction was 'no, I think *not*!' As you pointed out, the gorgonzola factor is very high with such things
We've structured them in a way that I think eliminates the cheese factor, while maintaining the gameplay element of 'sentient hazards'.
There sure ain't any space dragons or organics running around.
Art software being used to create MOO3: No, you could not pay me enough to do MOO3 in paintbrush. We're using Photoshop 5, Painter, and DeepPaint3D for our texture/interface work. Not because they are 'expensive' (please, any software that's a work-related app under 1k I consider pretty cheap...) but because they do what we *need* them to do.
There's no such thing as a 'make art' button in an 'expensive' app. The artists still have to do the work, it is just better tools at your disposal.
Will ship art be to scale? They are to scale in their relative *size class* but for clarity in gameplay there is a degree of abstraction in size.
Races disliking other specific races: >> Will the gas bags hate everybody because of what they all did to gas giants?
Hypothetically, that would make sense wouldn't it?
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
I will say that Ichthys and Saurian relations will be strained in the *best* of scenarios because of the back history between the two species.
Etherian inspiration: >> Actually, the Etherean remind me of the creatures described in "2010" by Arthur C. Clarke. They lived in the atmosphere of Jupiter <<
And that was what sparked the original train of thought on them, followed by various books like Pickover's 'The Science of Aliens'.
Irene Macabante, Graphic Designer
Updating the website: >> I must admit I've been disappointed by the lack of updates on the web site recently, I'm also from the UK and I hope you'll be adding more to the site soon. When you were showing us the backstory there was an update nearly every week. <<
Ok, please give us a break. We're not sitting around twiddling our thumbs, squealing, "Oh let's not give them anything! What a great conspiracy!"
The programmers and engineers alone have been working 50-75+ HOURS PER WEEK each to get the demo finished for E3. The artists have been rendering animations over night and also working on the weekends. This isn't your average demo. We could ship this demo way it looks right now.
How many times do we have to explain this?
We are all working hard on the game.
We are all working hard on the game.
We are all working hard on the game.
When we have free cycles, we will update the web site. We promise.
>> Also in Cool Stuff its had "COMING SOON... MOO3 Ground Combat Simulator" up for ages, when will it make its return? <<
See the note above. Tell us: what's a priority for you-- having the game ship when it's scheduled to do so, or having a temporary pretty ground combat simulator up on the web site? The priority for Infogrames and Quicksilver is the game.
You will be extremely pleased to know that as of this posting, it just so happens that one of our web team members now has a free cycle and will be updating the web site this week. On the day of E3, we will be releasing three screen shots of MOO3. Then, on a weekly basis and as the production schedule permits, there will be other artwork released: full 3D renders of ships and races, political depictions and whatever else senior management gives the go-ahead to release. Content may vary. Some things may not be released until a later date. Some things you may not expect may find their way onto the site.
Please be patient. Good things will come.
More on the same: For those of you who missed it in the "Open Letter to Bill Fisher" thread, here is your announcement:
We will be starting our E3 artwork release tomorrow morning at 9:00 (that's PST) on the web site.
Although you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see exactly what it's going to be, I can tell you that it when we showed the staff, most comments involved an open-mouthed gape followed by a simple "Wow."
We should be releasing something new every day until we can't release any more, so keep checking the site.
Why pictures are being released in the way they are: We are following directions. Senior management (that includes Infogrames) has told the web team what we are to post and when. Management wanted us to post only one thing at a time and I think that this is a good thing considering that alone has already caused some major server slow-downs. Plus, you are also seeing artwork as the major press in the E3 press room is viewing them.
Ross Worthley, Lead Artist
Explaining the poster: You are seeing, from top left, Cynoid, Evon, Icthy, Saurian, Klackon, and Etherian. The ship is the Orion Guardian.
William Fisher, Executive Producer
Why MOO3 won’t be open to the public at E3: Thanks for being so concerned. I know that a number of folks were planning to go to the show and hoping to see the game, and that's why I wanted to be sure you were all warned in advance. Let me explain why we're doing things this way.
Infogrames is a big company, with lots of products to show. In fact, they have so many products that we have only been allocated a single machine on which to show the game. Originally, we'd requested two -- one in the press area, and one on the floor. But it didn't work out that way, and we decided that the best place to be is where we can meet the people who will ultimately be responsible for telling the rest of the world about the game. BTW, nobody's singled out MOO3 for the "one machine" treatment. They've been fair across the board, and we're playing by the same rules as everyone else.
When Interplay cut back their E3 booth to press only, I felt the same way you do. I wanted to be able to show our games to everyone, not just the press. But they had good reasons for setting things up that way. There are so many press representatives at a show like E3 that we can't talk to all of them even if we are running non-stop from dawn until dusk. Given a choice, therefore, they decided that it's best to talk to the press and then let the press talk to the rest of the world. That makes a lot of sense when you realize that virtually all of our potential customers are _not_ going to be attending the show and will therefore be getting their information through magazines and Web sites.
MOO3 is a tremendously sophisticated and subtle game. It's not a title that the average person can grok in a 30-second viewing amid the noise and confusion of a show floor. Given the overwhelming amount of material that will confront the average show attendee, and the difficulty of holding a conversation in that huge convention space, it's to our benefit to have a specified slot of focused and relatively quiet time to show off the many features of the game. We figure we'll need at least 10 minutes per session to even cover the high points of what we've already produced. That's a second reason why we want to be off the floor.
Finally, for your benefit and that of the many other fans who are unable to attend, we will be releasing through our Web site and various magazines a significant amount of material over the next few months, starting probably right after the show (unless we can get some of Irene's time before next Wednesday). We want everyone to see and be able to comment on what we're doing, just as has been happening all along. This discussion board plus our Web site are actually very effective means of communicating with everyone, because they allow for nearly unlimited bandwidth and time to consider various points of view. We're very eager to show off the game and talk about it, and have been waiting literally months for this first opportunity. It won't be much longer now.
In conclusion, I share your disappointment that the game won't be out on the floor. I wanted to be there, but I understand why we're not and I support Infogrames' booth planners and excellent PR team in the way they're handling the project. Thanks again for writing. I hope you'll be as excited as we are when you see what we've been up to.
Rantz following up: Bill's right, we *really* did want to show on the Floor, because all of us wanted to see folks reaction firsthand when they see MOO3 in action for the first time. We do understand the situation, from both sides of the coin, and our number one concern in terms of promotion *is* getting the info to the largest number of fans possible.
This, coming from the guy who has become a by-word for withholding information <G>
[ VIEW COMPILATION FROM APRIL 27, 2001 ]