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Friday, October 22, 2010

Blue World Notes: How Cloud City's Ghostly Adventure Game Was Made in Blue Mars

At the entrance of Cloud City's ghost game, which we wrote about yesterday

The Blue Mars creator known as Homunculus didn’t have any experience as a professional game developer or 3D graphics artist when he began creating Cloud City. “I used to run some MUDs way back in the telnet days,” he tells me, “but to actually conceive something from start to finish and see it through... this is all really new to me!” Despite that, his new ghost-filled adventure, which I wrote about yesterday, has amazing ambition and impressive features, such as ghosts that follow you around, and special player abilities, like super-human jumping.

“[I] don't think that the abilities will be confined just for this Halloween event,” he says, “If anything [it’s] just a stepping stone for what new things are going to be coming to Cloud City.” As for how he scripted so much complex behaviors, he just smiles. “Trade secret?”

Before joining Blue Mars, Homunculus used to play around with the Sandbox editor for Crysis (which also runs on a variation of the same graphics engine as Blue Mars.) ”When I heard that I could have fun messing with basically the same editor but make money? I was all for it!”

In building Cloud City, Homunculus mainly uses 3DStudio Max, Sketchup, and Photoshop. "I’ve tried messing around with ZBrush and some other tools to help bring out the realism of the textures, and I’m happy with the results thus far, but by no means am an expert.”

Ultimately he wants Cloud City to “become like a mini roleplaying game. Think Zelda.” But the final version of all that he imagines, “That's still a far off dream somewhere,” he tells me. “I'm always coming up with new ways to reinvent the City and where I want to take it from there.”

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