In the Fall of 2009, I was contacted by game developer Maxis to create a series of environment and character concepts for a videogame with the working title "Spore Labs". At the time I had already been working on ITSP for a couple of years and I thought it might be fun to take a few weeks off the project and come up with original designs in a different style. The game was eventually retitled Darkspore and was released last April. Unfortunately, it looks like none of my designs made it into the final game.
It has been a long and difficult journey, but we have persevered and conquered! ITSP is finally done! I want to thank from the bottom of my heart, my partner Joe Olson and his amazing team at Fuelcell Games (Jonathan Peters, John Scrapper, Garret Smith, Travis Phelps, Dmitri Salcedo, Troy Lawlor, Corwin Light-Williams, Chris Eng, Thomas O'Connor, Ryan Meyer, Kimberly Walker, Daniel Rosas, Bryanna Lindsay, David Heutmaker) for going above and beyond the call of duty. Five years ago, I went into this not knowing anything about how games were made. If it wasn't for their talent, guidance and expertise, this game would not exist.
I also want to give props to my wife, Nancy, who not only supported me through this demanding endeavor, but she also was an instrumental part in managing Shadow Planet Productions and Gagne International throughout the whole process. Big thanks also to my friend and noise maker, Andrew Scott, who like me, went into this project with no game experience and managed to create one of the most beautiful soundscape I've ever heard.
Last week, we presented the game at E3 and the response was fabulous. We received four "Best of E3" nominations:
Best Original Game from Machinima.com Best Downloadable Game from 1Up Best Downloadable Game from G4 Most Original Game from G4
Several reviewers were able to try the game for themselves. We're delighted to see their positive reviews. Check them out:
On a side note, here's a new review of our demo that was just posted at Crush!Frag!Destroy! This brings the total of reviews of our PAX demo to 22 (those are the ones we know of). You can check out all the reviews at this link (PAX Demo Reviews).
I don't do tattoo requests (so please don't ask), but in this case I had to make an exception. Meg's email was so moving and compelling, and the character she described was so vivid in my mind that I just had to find the time to do it.
Once I finished it, I realized that it was the first art piece I've done this year that's not related to ITSP. Crazy!
I thought you would like to see my new tattoo. I had previously gotten a tattoo on my left shoulder of the mouse bunny from your Insanely Twisted Rabbits book, and last night I got the scorpion bunny on my right shoulder!
I attached some pics of the original and the new tattoo. Hope you like them!
One thing I forgot to mention about PAX East last March, was the fact that the XBLA marketing department released a set of 6 limited edition postcards featuring Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and other upcoming games. The postcards, designed to look like vintage movie posters, were quite a hit with the crowd. Only 700 copies of the set were printed so those puppies are pretty rare. Here's a look.
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