Pathways and Marathon Trivia
Posted By: Colin BrentDate: 4/24/02 8:00 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Drawing Skillz and bungie history (Hamish Sinclair)

In the inital Marathon, Jason had been knocking around a couple of different ideas about having a space oriented adventure. I'm the one who came up with the idea for using Deimos ("Panic"), the smaller of Mars' two moons as a ship. In fact, I had pushed hard to get Marathon renamed Deimos, but Alex had just finished his first marathon race and was very gungho about keeping the name. I had also plotted out a sequence of events that would take you to the surface of Mars and then to the other moon Phobos in a sequel game. You were suppose to start off coming out of a deep freeze, naked, unarmed and clueless to try to deal with the problems on the ship. A lot of the elements that I contributed, such as the artwork, were in the Beta version that got scrapped. I had moved to Boston around this time (wife and grad school) and was mailing diskettes of artwork and storyline back to Chicago every couple of weeks. This eventually became untenable for Jason and Alex who decided that they needed to act like a real business by hiring real full time employees. After the semi-failure of the Mac convention they decided to bring in an in-house artist with a very different drawing style than mine. That particular Manga style was really coming into vogue then. And as I mentioned earlier, my aliens were looking a bit too alien (cross between an ugly bird and a predatory bug) for Jason and Alex. If I remember right, they eventually had to fire Reg and bar him from the office. Something about drugs and/or stealing. I'm not sure exactly what, but the relationship soured.

Now, about the artwork I did in PID. First, you will note that there are a number of floating things in the depths. They almost all use missile attacks. We found that because of the limited number of animation frames that we could run with the engine Jason had worked up, it was very difficult to get realistic walking movement. Pretty much the same thing with attacks. We couldn't just have something claw or bite you. For animation sake, it had to throw something at you. This was solved with the new engine for Marathon, but for PID we ended up designing a lot of floating monsters. I would usually just start by throwing down a few random lines on paper and then seeing what I could make of them. Then I'd go through several incarnations of a critter until I was happy. Inspiration came from several sources. I played a lot of D&D, read a lot of scifi and comics, looked at the work of numerous artists. But mostly, I just have an overactive imagination. Jason would give me some input, but was generally supportive of whatever I came up with. Alex was very hands off in this process. He handled the business end of things more than anything else (you wouldn't believe how hard it was to get people to distribute Bungie's games originally), but he did make an inspirational chili.

By the way, when we were working on Marathon, I figured Bungie wouldn't last that long (boy was I wrong and my bank account shows it), and Jason had also thought about doing something else with his life. I don't think he fully committed to a career in making games until Marathon was a hit. He is also responsible for the whacky convoluted story in PID. I desperatley tried to get him to change things around so that it would be more intelligible, but he had this idea fixed in his head. So rather than waste my time, I just stuck to the artwork. And I am not responsible for the cover artwork. A painter was commissioned to do that based on a drawing I had come up with. We were all pretty upset with the end result, but Alex was out of money and time so we had to go with what we were handed.

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Drawing SkillzJohannes Gunnar 4/18/02 1:03 p.m.
     Re: Drawing SkillzRincewind MoG 4/18/02 4:23 p.m.
     Re: Drawing SkillzD-M.A. 4/19/02 12:49 a.m.
           Re: Drawing SkillzM 4/19/02 4:00 a.m.
     Re: Drawing Skillz and bungie historyColin Brent 4/23/02 11:42 a.m.
           Re: Drawing Skillz and bungie historyHamish Sinclair 4/23/02 12:03 p.m.
                 Pathways and Marathon TriviaColin Brent 4/24/02 8:00 a.m.
                       Many thanks Colin!Hamish Sinclair 4/24/02 8:09 a.m.
                       Re: Pathways and Marathon TriviaFred 4/24/02 11:50 a.m.

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