mtmckinley's forum posts

#1 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Instead of cluttering the forum with blog posts, I'll just keep it in this thread I think. Here's a re-post of Part 2.

A Secret Murder

I decided to bypass Riverwood... you never know. That Nord I escaped with might've gotten captured and interrogated and the last thing I need is to stroll into town. Maybe I'm paranoid, but so far, paranoia has served me well. After making some distance between me and the village, I spied a traveler making his way down the road. He was dressed in robes and seemed far too vulnerable out here in the wilds.

Even from here you could hear the jingling of his coin purse. I had very little money... Anise the witch wasn't exactly a rich witch... and if I was going to get anywhere in Tamriel, I knew it would take coin... lots and lots of coin.

"Every little bit helps," I muttered as I released my crossbow once again. Turns out this lonely traveler was a bit more stout then the fragile old woman at the hut. Even with a bolt stuck in his right shoulder, he still managed to draw his dagger, spot my hiding spot on the side of the road, and come charging at me. Luckily, I had pilfered more then just a crossbow from Helgen. I drew my steel axe from its scabbard at my side and plunged it into the man's neck. He released a satisfying gurgle as his life ebbed its way out in streams of red.

A view of Whiterun from the mountain road.

A handful of gold and a few rings and a necklace later, I continued down the road. The capital of Whiterun could be seen in the distance.

As I got closer and passed through a farm, I saw one of Skyrim's native giants locked in combat with a few other warriors. I leaned against a fence and watched as they eventually took the huge beast down. One of them, a warrior woman with face paint, cast me a dirty glare.

"We are victorious, no thanks to you!"

I laughed, "You seemed to have it under control."

She sneered, "Even so. A true warrior wouldn't have let the chance to battle a giant slip through his fingers. We of the Companions rejoiced at this opportunity."

I rolled my eyes and shrugged as I turned away. The show was over anyway. Time to see what trouble I can get into in Whiterun.

Making my way to Whiterun.

Mods Referenced:

Adventurers and Travelers

#2 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Thanks for the comments and suggestions! I went back to an old save of mine and got a screen grab of the murder of Anise. I'll be sure to take screen grabs of the action as I go from now on. :)

#3 Edited by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

I've been having a great time playing Skyrim again and I thought it'd be fun to do a little Skyrim Diary story as I play my new Orc character. I've got over 150 mods installed and will be telling the story as if those things are normally a part of the game... mostly little things like making dragon bones weigh less, but if a mod ever impacts my story, I'll reference or link to it's Steam page so anyone else can check it out. I'll be adding more installments of this story in the comments! Also, more pictures will come in later installments as I didn't start playing with this diary in mind, so as the entries come in, they'll start having more and more images with them.

Welcome to Skyrim

Let's cut to the chase.

A dragon attacked and interrupted my execution. Escaped with some Nord idiot. The second he suggested a split up, I ran off to the north west, off the trail. No way are these Imperials going to find me so easily. I was going to have a tough time blending in as it were. An Orc running around in Imperial armor might be a bit eye catching. I was just hoping that the dragon would make itself useful and kill 'em all. Get that Nord I escaped with too, while yer at it... don't need him blabbing his mouth about his Orc "buddy" that he saw run off into the woods...

I crossed a stream, killed a deer, and stripped it of anything useful... meat, hide, hell took the antlers too. I hear they can be ground down into something or other.

I clutched the crossbow I had stripped from a body in Helgen as I saw a small hut in the middle of a field. I approached cautiously, hoping it would be that magical combination of deserted yet filled to the brim with useful equipment and valuables. As I rounded the corner, I ran into an old woman, startling her.

"Oh!" she exclaimed. When she regained her composure, she forced a smile across her face, "Don't mind me, dear, just an old woman." She waved me off nervously.

The murder of Anise the witch.

I grunted as the crossbow bolt flung her across the yard. Don't know if the Imperials would ask her about any suspicious looking Orcs running around out here, but I wasn't going to take any chances. A quick search of the old woman's cabin revealed her name was Anise... and it turns out she was a witch. I grunted to myself in disgust as I pilfered her alchemical ingrediants... damn witch was probably waiting for me to turn my back to fry me from the inside out...

Can't trust any body out here. I'm going to make my way through Skyrim alright... and no one is going to get in my way.

Mods Referenced:

Craftable Crossbows and Bolts Everywhere!

#4 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Year 13 2012

I'm back for a brief installment of my career blog. :) When I last posted in this series last year, I had left the game industry and joined up with some old co-workers at a new company. I've been here for over a year now and thought it safe enough to comment a bit about what it is I'm doing now. The company is called Infinite Z and it is responsible for this:

Infinite Z's 3D stereoscopic display: ZSpace

Introducing Z Space! The Z Space is a stereoscopic 3D display. As a 3D artist I've been working on helping out with creating true 3D graphics to be displayed on the device's screen. Not games, though. Maybe eventually! Everyone I work with is from the games industry so we all have ideas of things we could do with such a device in the games space. But for now, it's mainly for more high-end purposes, like product design.

The main cool thing about it is that, by tracking the 3D glasses, the device uses head-tracking to control your perspective, much like Track IR. That way, you can literally look around things that are on the display, making objects look that much more real.

Not a lot else to really say! You can see more about the device at the website:

It's a pretty cool piece of tech and I hope does really well as more applications are developed for it. And maybe I'll be able to make a game for it one day! I miss game development!

#5 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Glad you guys enjoyed the story! :) Thanks!

#6 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

@TheJohn said:

I'm really enjoying these blogs of yours. Thanks dude, and keep 'em coming.

I'm glad! I'll try to update a little more frequently.

@GrantHeaslip said:

Wasn't it really weird to know that the game you were working on wasn't going to get seen by almost anyone except incredulous game journalists? I mean, you were getting paid, but it must have been kind of surreal to be part of a group of professionals working on something that everyone knew was doomed.

It was weird, and a lot of the people I was working with had quit within a month of starting. We went from a 40 person studio to about 20 or so in a very short time. It was obvious to ALL of us that this thing was a complete failure even if the Gizmondo founders WERE legitimately trying to do real business (which they weren't). The only reason (and I mean the ONLY reason) I stayed, was because I loved the team I was working with. I had been with them for a few years by that time and we had literally become like a family. The ones who had stayed behind were the core team that I started with and I don't think that was a coincidence. It's still the best job experience I've ever had, and I never even shipped a game while I worked there! So, I was determined to stick it out until the end... which is what happened. :)

#7 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

I got some good responses from my last behind the scenes blog, so I thought I'd write another, this time based on my experiences working for Gizmondo. I was an artist at Warthog Texas (previously known as Fever Pitch Studios). Warthog was a large family of developers with development offices all around the world. However, they had not been selling too many hits lately and were not doing well financially. So, Warthog was purchased, as is common in this industry. What's not so common is what happened next.


At the time, my team was hard at work on Conquest 2, the sequel to Conquest: Frontier Wars. It was a very fun project and was progressing well. (There was a failed Kickstarter recently attempting to revive it.) We were looking forward to seeing it release after one more year of development. But it was not to be. I recall the team (about 40 people) being called into the big conference room for a company meeting. The last time that had happened, we had found out that our previous game had been canceled, so it was not a good thing to be called in for another one of these meetings! There, it was announced that Warthog had been purchased by another company. The good news was: we'd all keep our jobs. The bad news: Conquest 2 is canceled.

Then the worst news: we were bought by Gizmondo. Gizmondo was a company that none of us had ever heard of. Turns out, they were developing a new handheld gaming platform, also known as the Gizmondo. Whatever future titles we would be making would be developed for it. So who were these guys? Where did they come from? All we knew is that they were somehow involved with Tiger Telematics. At first, I thought this was Tiger Electronics, the creator of all those old-school handheld baseball games and so on. No, they were actually a lot shadier then that. But we wouldn't find out how shady for a little while yet...

Gizmondo Games

While we were making a game for the Gizmondo device, we all had little doubt that this wasn't going to succeed. However, we had no idea just how crazy the whole situation was going to become. When the financial records of Gizmondo were made public (as all publicly traded companies do) it became pretty obvious that something wasn't all above board. The financial report proceeded to tell us about the executives' seven-figure incomes, not to mention six-figure bonuses, six-figure "vehicle budgets", and other such extravagant spending. Including a yacht. This all seemed pretty outrageous to us, but even that stuff paled in comparison to the next information we learned.

Swedish Mafia

A Swedish paper came out with an article detailing the criminal connections of several of the upper executives of Gizmondo in 2005. None of us in the Texas studio read Swedish papers, but it wasn't long before news traveled and we got a copy sent to us from some of the other former Warthog studios in Europe. We were very surprised, to put it mildly!

Stefan Eriksson - known as "Fat Steve" to the Swedish police. He was a known member of Uppsalamaffian (or the Uppsala Mafia. Uppsala is a city in Sweden). He had previous convictions in theft, cocaine, and arms dealings. He was also an executive in Gizmondo!

Carl Freer - the founder of Gizmondo. And Tiger Telematics. And a prolific forger and con man who has managed to thus far, escape prosecution.

There were others, but to be honest, I forget their names. I know one was an alleged "enforcer" for the Uppsala Mafia... as in knee-breaker... maybe even hitman, for all I know.

When all that info was released, we at the studio were flabbergasted. What was going to happen now? There was some effort to downplay the news. We even had a teleconferencing meeting with Carl Freer on a big TV screen where he said that it was essentially a misunderstanding and that business was to continue like normal.

It didn't.

Within a month, Gizmondo Studios shut down. If interested, you can see some info about the game we made (and completely finished) here at the Hit & Myth page. Never shipped, but fully complete!

Ferrari Enzo

Months later, I was at a new job a couple thousand miles away in Oregon. Through certain news sites, I read about a familiar name... Stefan Eriksson! He was in the news again for... not just wrecking an incredibly expensive Ferrari Enzo sportscar, but ripping one in half! I won't go into the details (I'm sure you can fine them!), but it was incredibly satisfying to know that this jerk was going to be getting busted by the cops for something at least!

All in all, I look back on the whole thing with a sense of... hmm... not satisfaction so much, but just a sense of being happy to have been a part of something so uniquely screwed up! It was terrible at the time, but now it makes for interesting conversation pieces. :)

#8 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Glad to see my old boss getting the band back together! If it gets the greenlight, I hope I get to do some of the art for it again!

#9 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Just got to lvl 50 in ACR's multiplayer and I have to say, I'm seeing what you guys are talking about. I'm not sure if it's because of the match-making only putting me in groups of multi-prestiged level players or what, but you're right, everyone is insane at that level of play! Instead of getting in the top 4 like I was most of the time before hitting this threshold, I'm consistently in 8th place. Maybe I'm still a noob, but you're right, my enjoyment of the game has gone down considerably.

#10 Posted by mtmckinley (121 posts) -

Old post, yeah, but I just recently got into it and am enjoying it a lot. I prefer the traditional modes, like Assassination, Deathmatch, etc. Corruption is fun too.