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    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Rumblings from LWD Central...

    The winds have changed... there's something new brewing deep in the heart of LWD's high-security laboratories... make sure you return to this blog in the coming months. It's not Exmortis3 unfortunately... but it's something new... and spooky...


    Don't worry - you're not expected to work it out... But all will be clear come August 13...

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Questions :: Round 3 *ding* *ding*

    Q/ I'd like to ask about the techniques you use to make the visual perspective of these games so scary (from Matt)

    A/ Every scene is created slightly differently and there is so much I can say about the different techniques I've adopted for this series. I've tried to keep certain effects and colour palettes as constant as possible across each title. To give you an example, in Exmortis2 I primarily used Photoshop to create each scene. I usually start with a photograph, manipulate the shit out of it until I have all backgrounds and animated objects layed out and separated on different layers.
    I apply a sepia and/or multiplied overlay to create the scene's palette (try colorising if you're unfamiliar with different types of blending). All blood effects are a combination of different red/moroon coloured brushes and applied with the "color burn" blending style. I then great a gradient feathered gaussian blur to the outside edges of each scene to create an interesting effect that makes the centre of the image look in focus, and the rest gradually blurs out. The picture above is a perfect example of all these techniques married in to a single scene...
    Q/ I was wondering if Exmortis 3 will be longer and even more challenging than the first two? (From Faytar)
    A/ I certainly do plan on making Ex3 both longer AND more challenging. Thankfully with the cost of bandwidth going down, and the uptake of broadband services increasing - I can now pretty much double the size of my flash games. Exmortis 1 & 2 were both restricted to 5MB due to Newgrounds placing limits on submission sizes - unfortunately as a result I had to heavily compress graphics and sound and cut a handful of scenes from each game... which was a shame at the time because I put a lot of time in to creating the highest possible quality images and sounds - but it was unavoidable if I was to be able to submit to the most popular Flash portal on the planet.
    About a year ago, Newgrounds revised their limitations (thankfully) and doubled the allowable submission size to 10MB. Keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean Exmortis 3 will be twice as long as previous titles... indeed it will be longer, but the extra space also means that I can smash together the game with the quality of graphics and sounds that I wish I could of had in Ex1 & 2 had my hands not been tied.
    As far as challenging - this time around I am trying to put some real thought in to puzzles. Rather than just throwing in a sudoku puzzle and a click-sequence puzzle, you can expect some puzzles which may require lateral and 3-dimensional thinking. But fear not - there will be in-game clues to help and I'm sure a walkthrough will be floating around at the time of release as I have done with previous games.
    Q/ What do you intend to do with exmortis beyond the third game and potentially creating a redux version of the three games as a DVD? (From Faytar)
    A/ There are currently plans in place to look at extending the Exmortis series in to other media. I let out a little blurb on this about a week ago, but I am currently in the act of working with a team of engineers to alpha test a Cable TV version of the original Exmortis 1 & 2 games in India. I won't go in to too much details on this because it is still purely concept and a raw-bones engine we're working with - but the basic idea is to allow the Indian market to be able to play a revised version of Ex1 & 2 via their digital cable television remotes. This is in a pure proof-of-concept phase at the moment, so it's all just rolling along in demo over the next couple of months.
    Other than that, nothing is set in stone as far as the future of this story is concerned after Exmortis 3. As I have said previously, I'm just going to wait to make my next decision of how or if this story gets furthered after I've wrapped up the arc with the release of Ex3 and gauge it's successes/failures.
    That's all for now!

    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    More questions...

    Q/I wanted to know if you get to play the guy from Ex2 in Ex3, and if you get to kill Vlaew (From Tedizslayer)
    A/ In Exmortis 3 you certainly do begin the game as the main character from the 2nd chapter - Mr. Hannay... well - what's left of him considering he was on the wrong end of a mauling from Vlaew at the end of Exmortis2. As far as getting revenge on the big bad... I certainly do intend to provide a rather explosive conclusion to the story - whether you get to kill Vlaew or not, I'm keeping that card close to my chest for now...

    Q/ I know you had planned to put the three Exmortis games on DVD. Are you still planning on doing that? A playable DVD would be awesome. (From Kristen1027)
    A/ I certainly was planning on doing a "remastering" or a "redux" of the trilogy and offering it for sale on a DVD. I had even partnered with a professional media house who has green screens and production quality camera's for some video cut scenes. But after having my laptop and source material of the entire series stolen, it is a plan that seems to be unrealistic now. I'm not 100% ruling it out at this stage, but I don't like your chances. At this point I am more focused on Exmortis 3 - so we'll see how that goes before I make any concrete decisions on furthering the Exmortis legacy in the electronic media...

    Q/ Are you going to give us some more long books of the story to read? (From The Unknown)
    A/ I certainly do plan on doing that. One of the core features of the Exmortis series (in my opinion) that sets it apart from flash games of the same genre, is it's solid back-story and immersive properties which are mostly delivered through the in-game books and diaries. That said - I want to mix it up a bit this time around, so while I will still be looking to go in to depth for you story-junkies out there, I will be experimenting with a few different ways of delivering these back-stories to the player as opposed to just finding a conveniently placed diary sitting on a table in a scene somewhere. I'm still undecided on how I'm going to achieve this - but half the fun is making it work... :)

    That's all from me for now... I better get back to work on a client's website...