Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pirates pt. 6 - Gameplay02

And here is the last of the pitch...an example of a level beat. In this case it's Jack's escape from the port, showing some puzzle aspects and character abilities. In the course of the story, Jack gets trapped at the top of an embattlement, uses the cannon as a harpoon gun, and fires a rope to the dock cranes, slides down the the swings, and sails off into the sunset. Or the next stage in the level.

So that was it. The Pirates game that never was. It was pitch meant to be a supplement to the games based on the sequels, and try to salvage themes from the first movie, much the way The Two Towers game did for the Lord of the Rings games. At least it was a starting point to develop a game engine and art direction for when we had enough content to add in the story lines and characters from the sequels. But no, everyone wants to start late.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pirates pt. 5 - Gameplay01

Here's some functional gameplay ideas we came up with, to add to the basic free roam style the game was going to be based on...

Multiplayer - We were going to have a set of characters to play in the one player mode, so you can switch guys who had different strengths, Will was the best sword fighter, Jack would fast and have jumping/crawling/sneaking abilities, and Ana Maria would have ranged weapons.

Some highlights of Jack's abilities to perform the platform aspects, getting across smashed docks, etc.

And an occasional sidebar to the game progression, some kind of puzzle aspect, in this case, mastering a firing order with the cannons to defeat enemies and move the story along.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pirates pt. 4 - Weapons.

Except for a bigass crossbow, and other real world weapons, like swords and daggers, we had now useless supernatural weapons as well. Jack could snipe some fool with the crossbow for a ranged weapon, and go to his sword for close combat, or...

He could use an Aztec coin for limited invincibility, which, in the original PotC script, he had all along, and wasn't revealed until he was stabbed by Barbossa in the final battle. Which was a cool idea that got left out, I assume to play up the urgency of the final piece being with Will.

There was also a Cursed Dagger, which when thrown would go through all enemies AND friends, the conceit being it wasn't a kill all without consequences, and you either had to have enough health to take the hit, or perform a simple combo to catch/recall it in flight.

Also Vorpal Swords having the same dangers of killing all, if you put your hands on the hilt, the sculpted hands would clamp down and start swing until all are dead!

But Captain Blood said no supernatural!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pirates pt. 3 - Enemies

So we have Sea Lions to contend with, what other legendary creatures can we put in? Back to the Pirate Legends Book? A Gryphon guarding buried treasure? Badass! It's in!

What? No? And take out the sea lions too? This is the genius put in charge of production for the division - and I'm paraphrasing here - 'I don't think they're going to have all this supernatural stuff in the sequels, I like Captain Blood, I'm thinking they're going to go that way.' Did he read any new scripts, did he go to the production offices, did he know anything at all that was going on with the sequels? No. He's an unimaginative dickwad that's since been let go. Did he not see the first one? It had fucking walking talking skeletons running around! It still hurts. How happy was I when the Davy Jones images were released, and it was a dude with a squid for a head?! In fact, I'll now refer to the head of production as Captain Blood. Dipshit.

Since we were a couple of professionals, Karzappy and I had lots more enemies in mind, due to the fact we designed well rounded game pitches. We had Natives, British Soldiers, and a brilliant idea, in my opinion, that Karzappy had, The Black Cloaks. Basically Pirate Times versions of the Ringwraiths. Elite British mercenaries, pirate hunter badasses.

So here's some images to go with the rant...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pirates pt. 2 - Characters.

So we have Jack Sparrow, that's a no brainer. Who else will fight? Mr. Gibbs. Of course. Will Turner? More than likely. Ms. Swan? Certainly.

Wait. Not Ms. Swan? But she's a lead in the film, she did action stuff all through it. And Keira Knightly is rising movie star, built in marketing right there!

Maybe if we kept her in a dress and didn't give her a traditional weapon, then we can include her in the character set? oooooooooooooooooooo-kkkaaaaaaaaay.

We still need a chick, so we did a pass at Ana Maria. She's tough and pirate-y, but who knows if she'd be in any sequels. All we knew is that the sequels had been greenlit, and the principals signed to star...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It's killing me that I'm not getting my own projects done, but when the Green comes calling, like a whore, I follow. I had/have lots of older images on the website, but no explanations or captions, and in the interest of keeping new content on the blog until this bit of overworking madness finishes up, I'm going to post some older projects and talk about my involvement/and for legal reasons, my own 'interpretation of the events.'

I'll start with a little background, one day I got two scripts on my desk, one The Haunted Mansion, with Eddie Murphy already attached, and Pirates of the Caribbean, months before Johnny Depp was announced as the lead. We were told that Mansion was the big play, and the Company wasn't really going to support Pirates. The Mansion script sucked ass, as anyone who saw the movie already knows, and it was pretty much shot with this script. Pirates was a fantastic read, and remember, this is before any of the craziness Depp brought to the role, so when we had our weekly meeting I begged to be the artist on the pitch for the video game. So I got it, and then a few weeks later I was told there wasn't going to be a game, no support from the Company.

So fast forward a bit, and the Mansion movie comes out, a game is released to go with, and it has nothing to do with the movie because during the course of production, the heads realized THERE WAS NO GAME in that script, so the Mansion team did the best they could. And that movie/game is forgotten to the history if the world. By then Pirates is in post production, and the buzz on the Lot was insane, this movie was going to be big. Anybody with half a brain, who had read the scripts side by side, could have predicted this, (and I can be fairly safe in saying the entire group I worked with saw this coming, but this is the END DAYS of the Eisner Era) and would have had a game ready. So panic ensues, and the heads make the most moronic decision to sign over rights to commandeer a pirate game about to be released and barely re-skin it to justfy a PotC title on the box.

Fast forward again, and it's time to talk sequels, and no, we won't make the same mistake again. I get the assignment, and work with probably my most favorite working partner I had at Diz, a producer named...(since I don't want to name him without him knowing about it, we'll call him Karzappy, he'll know who he is)...Karzappy, so we sit down to brainstorm ideas.

And so begins the art; we had books of Pirate legends, so we started with a Hippogriff, based on the pics in the book, there was a horse and a lion shown, both front halves normal, but with sea serpent tails. So I picked the lion, and since we needed to address the first movie, we started to fill in events, and this is how Jack's boat started to sink, after a battle with some Sea Lions in the game. Also, we needed a game hub, so we came up with the wrecked ships rigged together, with an old hermit who gives advice to Jack. If you've seen the third movie...interesting. I doubt that any of this art really made it outside the walls of our offices, especially to the production, I think it's more a case of great minds think alike.

So this is the beginning of Pirates Week, or two, and I'll be adding more art and insight to this doomed pitch every day, until I'm out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just a bit more filler...

This is from a new sequence, the second finale/epilogue of the story. This page will be put into two frames, one overall establishing shot, choppers and deployment, lots of werewolves, and then one super closeup, maybe a few Templars with big guns blazing away...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some more filler...

This a companion piece to the Vatican finale, the assault with the blimp, and the showdown with the demon. After the troops land, this is what they do while our hero fights the main bad guy. Just need to reformat the sequence into a single frame. Lots of fun background detail in this one...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Miss me?

Yeah...I'm working 60+ hour weeks until at least May...so here's some filler!

More keyframe sources...this one is the companion to the Chopper Rescue. I'll probably keep the same exact content, but reframe it in the correct aspect ratio.

Look out!