Ok, it's Bob. *smiles* Now that we've got that cleared up, let's move
onto your new project. While most of us guess that you'll be working on
the story and creative concepts behind the new intellectual property,
what exactly are you presiding over? I'm guessing that you kick ideas
back and forth between Curt and Todd, but what sort of freedom are you
being given to explore your new world?
style="font-weight: bold;">Bob: To begin, we
have to distinguish between the "types" of ideas.
Curt explained to me his vision of an MMORG. He had certain things he
wanted in the storyline. Taking those ideas, I built a backstory that
makes sense for the world. I also showed him a game story arc that I
thought would work.
and game chapter arc, or whatever you want to call it, will be
important to our game. My hope is that it will help bond the players
together in common causes and help give the world a little extra depth
and a feeling of reality – and certainly it will help the
many designers and artists find a level of continuity and purpose that
should permeate the game.
alt="Curt Schilling Pitch" title="Curt Schilling Pitch"
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Curt Schilling is a major league pitcher for the Boston
Red Sox when he isn't moon-lighting as the founder and chairman of 38
that those tasks are in the bucket, I'm working with the designers to
define the various peoples who will populate our world – the
relationships between cities and races, the economic and political
structures. It's very much the same process I go through when building
a book world, like Menzoberranzan in the Forgotten Realms or the world
of Corona in my DemonWars novels.
trying to create a common "feeling" among the artists and designers,
but from that point, they have to fly with their own wings. For
instance I had a vision for one city, but Brian Jones, our Art Lead,
had a different perspective. He showed me some prototypes that he and
the team had come up with and I wasn't sold, to be honest. But I was
intrigued enough to help find a happy medium between the art team and
the design team on what we wanted out of this city. A couple of weeks
later, our Art Director, Chaz Sutherland, called me into his office to
show me the result of that give and take. It took me several minutes to
breathe. What art and design brought to that initial vision of mine . .
. well, I can only describe it as the same feeling I got when I saw
what Larry Elmore had done for the cover of The Crystal Shard, one of
those moments when you know that the whole is truly greater than the
sum of the parts.
tell that story because I don't want anyone to ever think of this as
just me, Curt, and Todd. 38 Studios is so much more than that, and
while I'm the literary creator of this IP, and Curt had the initial
vision, and Todd brings such a special touch to the overall look of the
world, there is so much more talent than that already assembled in
Maynard. Go right down the list of designers and artists and coders
sitting there and you've got A+++ talent, and if any of the three of us
tried to limit their input into the world, the world would surely
alt="todd photo" title="todd photo" name="photo_j"
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The creator of Spawn, Todd McFarlane as functions as 38
Studios' Creative Art Director
Speaking of Todd, how is he working into the grand scheme of things? Do
you work together to come up with new monsters/races/etc.? Is it cool
to have an artist waiting for you to come up with an idea and so he can
sketch it out on paper? (Personally, I'd love to be able to see my
ideas come to life so quickly.)
style="font-weight: bold;">Bob: Most of my work
has been front-ended on the project, laying the groundwork from which
our world will spring. Todd works directly with the art team every
week. He sees his place as helping these incredibly talented people use
their art to force the best out of the guys sitting on the other side
of the room in design.
honestly say, and Scott Cuthbertson, Steve Danuser and the others in
design will back me up on this, that several concepts from art that
seemingly came out of the blue have made us look at certain aspects of
our world in an entirely different light. Without giving anything away,
two of the races we're using in particular went through dramatic
transformations on the design end because the art concepts were just
that damned good.
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