Lovecraft has been a huge influence (and in fact creative element) of this project from the very beginning. I look forward into the unknown with a stronger respect for that which came before.
In the opening of his 1926 tale “The Call of Cthulhu” Lovecraft wrote: “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein,
that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
In reviewing HP Lovecraft, I happened across a reference to The Gods of Pegana, by Lord Dunsany. It seems really interesting indeed and reminds me of the feeling I had when I first read Australian Aboriginal mythology.
As I was writing this post, I was watching a Korean language/acted (but produced in conjunction with Hong Kong filmakers and filmed primarily in China) martial Arts epic called “The Legend of The Shadowless Sword”, which I enjoyed quite a bit.
The action was pretty cool (if you don’t mind the floatiness of wire work) and the scenes, acting, costumes, and even story were exactly what I needed to get me through the “blahs” I feel being totally alone in Buffalo, NY with no real chance to get a six figure salary like I can in New York City.
As usual, I really looked at the film as another example of “surreality” to use to inform the combat and magic systems of UMMO.
I recently exchanged a few emails with one of the longtime fans of our project: Manchucat, and asked what they thought about the current dilemma facing game production.
What to do to move forward with no actress yet, no fully decided engine, and a scope that has changed due to my TOTAL falling in love with the idea of using Paging Terrain to make a planet sized game?
His suggestion was a lot more practical than my insane brain seems to somehow allow: Create Britain as the first “release” of the game (which would mean incorporating Celtic as the first mythology and a bit of Arthurian legend) and expand to include more of Europe in subsequent releases.
Simply brilliant actually. The idea helps me to kill a few birds with one stone and, strangely enough, the geography of Britain is a very similar size, shape, and feel to the one I had originally designed for Ummo when it was first constructed.
Back to “Shadowless Sword“. It is interesting for a few reasons beyond being the first really amazing Korean Martial Arts Epic.
There four (initially three) top level Martial Artists in the film (traditionally we refer to them as Heros, even when they are villains) and two of them are female.
The female characters in this film have, by far, the most interesting and exciting fight scenes, whether against one another or separately.
The men in the film are simply too “Superpowered” to actually need to do very much complex fight scenes, and they serve more as dramatic Leads as opposed to combat Leads.
The swordplay in this film is a bit more fantastic than in (relatively) more “realistic” films like “Iron Monkey” or pre-coming to America work of Jet Li. Thee is even a scene where one fo the main characters changes direction in mid-air WITHOUT even so much as using a leaf or a blade of grass for support (HUH?)
Nevertheless, the film is truly amazing and I hope other filmmakers, whether Korean, Chinese, or even American, take a well-deserved look at it (and some notes).
In other news, I am really starting to like the idea of putting together a variety of support material regarding the game before trying to hunker down to the FINAL version.
I have a few options. Chief among them is releasing a single or multiplayer version fo the game that eschews character development in order to better showcase the characters, graphics, and basic gameplay/environment.
Another idea is to release chunks of screenshots and other art from the game (think animation clips and the like) to generate some buzz while the development continues.
After almost five years of working on this project and wanting to release some short films using real life volunteers to fund it, I have finally gone INSANE.
I am going to have to just start releasing materials from, inspired by, and about the project in various mediums WITHOUT one model to base it on.
In those five years i could have used the time to write a few novels, done hundreds of photographic images, released screenshots, and put out an FPS, RTS, or RPG to help fund the MMORPG or at least change industries.
I am going to stop daydreaming and start releasing something for the fans to see as real tangible effort and hope that these mini projects develop into something that can help the main UMMO game become a reality.
First and foremost, according to the new plan… choose an engine to serve as a basic beginning framework and start working on the Britain level.
I will detail some of the options available to us in that regards in subsequent posts, but luckily, I will be standardizing on Blender and World Machine 2 for level creation, so I don’t have to wait on an engine to begin building levels, screenies, and clips that you can SEE.
Whether I will use those tools to release little mini previews of the game or simply use text to detail more about the game construction and design is still up in the air.
Most likely it will be a combination of both. Until I get the funding to truly secure the NEW community development website, I will be using this site as a repository for the new design doc as it is being constructed (the parts I may forget at least)
Expect this site to start being host to a variety of textual descriptions of the actual game in operation for me to work from.
Expect it to eventually host screenshots of characters, environments, weapons, and even sound effects and other game elements.
I have no choice but to hope that the separate elements of the game development can be used, piecemeal, to fund development of the whole… taht and my normal salary.
We still have nibbles here and thee of interested investors. We are still in negotiation with people who have expressed interest in partnering for the BDSM blogging element of the project (like Lotus)
But only time will tell who and what is real, and I cant keep losing valuable time and money waiting to see who is real and who is not.