Sep 24, 2011

Finally, a portfolio site!

It's been long overdue... but I finally have one.

I really should put more work into it, but I guess for the time being it'll be fine.
Give it a visit!
http://alontako.daportfolio.com/

Oh and a quick update on Bronn (click on it for the bigger version where you can see the face):

Sep 19, 2011

Bronn the Panther

Starting my own visualization of Bronn from Song of Ice and Fire.
Won't follow the exact description - only the one that's in my head after reading the book. :)



Here's a quick fix for some proportion stuff:

Some anatomy block-in:

Sep 3, 2011

Human Revolution.

Romanticism
In times like this, when the world is on the brink of another world war, and the financial condition is what people say "the worst it has ever been", a game like Deus Ex: Human Revolution is more than a new installment of a video-gaming classic.

It's an experience that makes you think about what it means to be human, to be a part of today's society.
It makes you question what this world is coming to.
It makes you think, how can I be of any help, to make this world a better place?

Story Telling
In the year 2000, Deux Ex was released by game-designer Warren Spector.
For it's time, it was a wonder. It was the best of the best. It was a truly anachronistic experience. Games like Deus Ex, they come once in a decade. They don't have to be "the best in history" - although some will say that about Deus Ex (the first) - they just give you an extremely unique experience, they make you think. They have value beyond the fun of video games.

A couple of years later, a new installment of the Deus Ex franchise was released, and it failed - for many reasons. We shouldn't talk about that now. Since then, it seemed like the Deus Ex universe was dead. And more so when Ion Storm was shut down, barely 2 years after DX2 was released. Warren Spector, the legendary designer behind the first (and also the failed second), moved on to different things - and we were left with a historic game, a failed sequel, and no hope for anything new named "Deus Ex".

Until 2007. Then we were told another game is being developed, by a new team, fresh, and extremely talented. We have been waiting for 4 long years, we've heard tons of news about the new game, we've been drooling for months, and then - it was released. And it was worth the wait.

Clarification
DXHR is, above all else, a new Deus Ex game.
The biggest fear I had when this game was announced, is that the original creators weren't there to support the process, and because of that it will not be another Deus Ex. I was proven 2 things:
1. I was wrong, it IS in fact a Deus Ex game. More than the second was, for sure.
2. The saying that "once a creation leave's it's creator, it becomes independent" - proves itself to be correct.
Deus Ex is not something Warren Spector owns. It's a world, it exists outside the boundaries of the original creator, and anyone can visit it, and with enough time exploring it - anyone can give everyone an answer as to what happens, happened or will happen in that world.

The game initially feels very different from the original. The visuals are based on a black-gold coloring, instead of the traditional Deus Ex black-ultramarine/teal color setting. The originals were very futuristic, while the new one is more stylized, an interesting combo of cyberpunk and renaissance.


In his shoes
You will play Adam Jensen. A former policeman, SWAT, and current security head of Sarif Industries - One of the leading company in a rather new, exciting field of science - human augmentation.
If you've played the original Deus Ex, you will know where this story is going. If you didn't you won't. But neither will make you less curious to find out what - happens - next. You will uncover conspiracies, you will meet friends, enemies, and you'll fight. Hard. Until evil fails, and good wins. The only difference between someone who played DX1 and someone who didn't, is that those who did, know that in the Deus Ex universe  much like in our own - there is no such thing as good or evil. It's all a matter of perspective. And in DXHR, just like DX1, you will experience firsthand what different world views make people do - and how their actions change the way the world views them, or could view them.

Any word beyond that, regarding story and experience, would ruin your experience, so I'll stop here and move on...

Gaming
The first DX was a revolution. It was a freak game at a time when freak games didn't really happen. It combined RPG with FPS and Adventure and Puzzle and Stealth and what not - and it did it extremely well. It was like a blast to the head, telling you "goddamnit, there really ISNT a limit to game genres" - and there isn't. I've always told myself, if you get into designing a game and you know your genre beforehand - you won't go very far. When you design a game, just design the game. Let critiques worry about tagging it.

At that, DXHR knew what genre it would be. And it shows.
DXHR delivers, but it delivers nothing more than it set out to deliver. DXHR is an amazing game, with amazing gameplay, and it does what it was intended to do better than any game that came before it - including DX1. But the difference is, that DX1 is a 2000 game, and DXHR is a 2011 game. Gameplay wise, it's the best of the best in it's genre. But it doesn't reinvent anything.

Now, that's not a bad thing, but it's important to clarify. DXHR is a better GAME (gameplay-wise) than DX1 - but for it's time, DX1 was a much, much bigger leap in gameplay depth and quality than DXHR is today.

With that said, DXHR is clearly an amazing game.
It draws inspiration from some of the greatest games ever made: Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect, and of course Deus Ex. It takes the good from each of those, and adds it the the already amazing formula of DX1. It takes DX1, and improves upon it with the newest tech, ideas, and gaming concepts of today's games. And it does it extremely well, better than any of the things it was inspired by. It's better than ME2, it's better than MGS4.

Add that to the epic story, the freedom of choice that me and my fellow older gamers have been missing so much, the AMAZING visual design, the awesome voice-acting that covers every single dialogue in the entire game, and the oldschool attitude of this game... and you get a blast from the past.

A blast from the past
DXHR is a new game, but it's a new game that plays and looks like what we've all been dreaming of, 10 years ago. When I was in my teens, I would think "damn, I wonder what games would look like in 10 years." This is what I imagined. A game that takes what's good from what I knew back then, and builds upon it with the best ideas the last century has produced. 

I never imagined today's games the way they are. Today's industry is full of half-baked games. Very short, very easy, very forgiving. There are standards you must meet, which outweigh the original goals of this art form. Today, to make a game, you have to answer those. Make it look awesome, Make an online feature, make it short - you don't have much time. Make it cheap, we want more profit. Make it streamlined, so nobody would ever feel like they're working too hard. Make it easy, so everyone will think they're geniuses. Make it work on all consoles, so we can sell it to as many people as possible. And the list goes on. 

DXHR was made with one thought in mind - make it DEUS EX. And it shows.

It is truly the biggest experience I've had in 2011, gaming-wise.
It's a game to remember. It's a game to play. Not only as a gamer, but as a person living in this world.
It's a game for those who've been missing video games. 

Gloom and Hope
DXHR did not sell like a COD game would sell.
I didn't expect it to - COD games turn to a certain crowd I don't like to include within those who would find a game like DXHR appealing. I did, however, expect more impressive sales on it's first week.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a game I'd like to see more of.
I do hope it sells enough to be worth a sequel to the producers. Because you know, games like this are why I try so hard to be a part of this industry. Games like this are what moves me, and keeps me standing on the edge, waiting for another. If games like this stop getting released because games like COD become the only thing worth making - I just might lose interest altogether.

Thank you Eidos Montreal, for giving us this. I needed that.