Quite flattered and surprised to announce that I’ll be the artist-in-residence at one of North America’s largest museum galleries, the AGO. During February and March they’re providing a studio, a stipend and institutional support to make art — in my case, game art — and engage the public. What the public engagement will look like is still in the planning stages but I’ll be posting more about it as event details firm up.
In related news, I took part in a hackathon and made this art game in about six hours with the guys at Verold. The Magi’s Rendering is my first 3D game, and you can play it now in most recent browsers. Credits and design notes below.
Design and Writing: Jim Munroe
3D Model: Mathew Borrett
Music and Voice: Brian Bernard
Scripting: Michael Bond, Derrick Weis
Thanks to: Ross McKegney, Sean Lerner
How it happened:
- A few months ago Mat showed Sean and I a 3D model he was making of impossible houses, rooms that go nowhere and the like. We discussed the idea of making a game around exploring this space.
- Verold announced they were having a one day game hackathon. They had some pretty sweet tech that allowed for 3D in the browser, so I got in touch and let them know what I was thinking.
- Mat couldn’t come but he sent me a stripped down version of his model. I imported it into the Verold Studio and started playing around with it. I got drawn to this mysterious arabesque door and started writing.
- Brian Bernard came in and voiced the lines, then found a track he’d made that suited the tone. Derrick got a floaty camera working, the waypoint-trigger scripting, and the sound firing. Michael got the beacons pulsing.
What I learned:
- Jams and hackathons rule for quick drafts. It was lovely having the help of all these talented folks with the idea that we were both getting something useful: on my side, a new experimental game; and theirs, a playable demo of their tech. In some ways this is the same dynamic we had with making Guilded Youth. (Those interested in participating in next month’s hackathon should check this out.)
- Artist-accessible tools are amazing. I was moving around waypoints (the places you teleport to) and in one case, was way off. I had intended for it to be right in front of the pulsing beacon, but it wasn’t there — it took me a bit to look around and see, above me, a faint pulsing glow from one of the alcoves. The pulsing effect on the beacon was one of the last things we added, and the way it interacted with the other systems suggested a whole hide-and-go-seek approach for a future iteration. Emergent gameplay!
- With my starting point it was hard to avoid cultural appropriation. Although it is in a fantastical context, and while I made some attempts to address it (combining clichés like “saffron” and “carpets” with “flatbed trucks”) I acknowledge some people might find it problematic and am open to discussing it.