After a month or so of testing, gathering some feedback and making some tweaks, Dozer Dash is ready for play. The leader board is up and as of this time we are moving forward with level 2 – Catapult Island. Have fun playing!
Within the confines of Pixel Fish Studios rages a small yet heated battle. It’s not political, religious or even about sports. No it’s about something much more important- 3D software. In our studio the heavyweights are Maya and Lightwave and the smack talk never seems to die. Now to be honest, we’ve been moving away from Lightwave because of certain issues with UVs and game design, but it’s still considered a competent tool and it was the only thing we used for many years. You might say Lightwave has that old flannel shirt feel to it.
But when we were hired to do the Alpine Village previsualization project, it was naturally assumed we’d easily go from the architect’s program to Maya for texturing and rendering because after all, Maya is the “best” (so we’d been told). Except that it wasn’t. Time and time again the file import resulted in mangled meshes, missing UVs and head scratching.
So what does one do when faced with repeated Maya failure? Yep, Lightwave to the rescue. The pipeline plan changed to include both Maya and Lightwave and proved to be incredibly successful. So why do I even bring this up? Because it goes to show that all options should be placed on the table. Pride could have easily gotten in the way on this project. And while I’m sure an all-Maya solution could have been found, the better way was to fall back to an old friend.
Last week after many hours of 3D modeling, model texturing, game development and web design, we were happy to announce the beta of Dozer Dash De-Construction Yard. The gameplay for the current and future levels will consist of piloting a bulldozer and other props in order to clear the various levels of boulders. But these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill boulders. These are the exploding variety that can damage your surroundings and cost you money.
If that sounds like your kind of fun, we hope you’ll take the time to try out our game and provide some feedback via the comment form.
About the project:
Dozer Dash will be an ongoing game project with multiple level releases planned throughout the year. The game is being developed with the Unity game engine and all development and aspects of the game are happening inside the walls of Pixel Fish Studios. It has always been the goal to develop a vibrant 3D and independent video game studio here in Boise and we feel this is an important step in seeing that goal come true.
Thanks from the Pixel Fish team!
For the past two months, members of Pixel Fish team have been involved in the locally filmed feature by Greg Green of Abruzzo Productions. Three of a Kind is a dramatic story set in Chicago, but was filmed mostly in Boise using a film crew made up of Salt Lake and Boise area freelancers.
While a large majority of the cast was based out of Los Angeles, several local actors also played small roles. Jesse Cordtz acted as a Second Unit Director and 2nd AD to the team while Pixel Fish supported the efforts of Abruzzo Productions with pre-production, post production and special effects.
Here’s what the Director and owner of Abruzzo Productions had to say about us -
“Working 30 years in this business I have yet to encounter a company that delivers what they say they can deliver…until now. Not only does Pixel Fish Studios in Boise deliver the goods, they excel in every area including; attention to detail, customer service, on-time delivery and a superb final product. Jess Cordtz and his group are amazing – I’m surprised they aren’t in LA or New York. The company is truly a gem.”
Abruzzo Productions LLC
Cinema Partners, Inc.
Links to local news stories about the projects below.
When talking to people in Boise about the greatness of Unity and all it can do, it’s sometimes hard for them to get passed the video game aspect of it. Perhaps that’s because when they ask about the technology, some of the first words to come out of our mouths are, “video games”, so our bad. Though we do go on to explain that the possibilities beyond games are vast and many.
To show a great non-gaming use, the folks at Scion have embraced the power of 3D and Unity in this cool little visualization tool. It’s even got some funky beats to go along with it. You’ll need the Unity plugin, but’s it worth it. Check it out at http://www.scionnation.ca/scion/build-price/tc#build-your-scion
On Wednesday we had the pleasure of hosting some kids for a job shadowing event organized through DisAbility Rights Idaho. During their time here the kids played and tested some of our games and gave us some incredible (really incredible) feedback on how to improve them.
The highlight though was when we brought out the motion capture suit and showed them how their physical movements are translated to a 3D character. We think it’s pretty cool too.
Thanks again to DisAbility Rights Idaho for approaching us about this opportunity.
Pixel Fish Studios was excited to learn that we are among the recipients of the New Filmmaker Grant Program created by the Idaho Film Office. Our portion of the grant will be used to develop our upcoming video game Swarm – Backyard Buzz.
We’d like to thank the Idaho Film Office for their support and shared vision of creating new jobs and opportunities for our state. Pixel Fish Studios is committed to fostering the video game and 3D/CGI industry in Idaho and creating new employment opportunities. We feel that Swarm is a key step in reaching this goal.
About the game: Swarm – Backyard Buzz will be a third-person multiplayer web-based game centered around some of the characteristics and the community of bees. Development and design is expected to take approximately one year.
Unity recently released version 3 of their game engine with a host of new features and nice-to-haves including export to XBOX 360 and PS3, Beast Lightmapping, source-level debugging and new lens effects.
Inevitably when we hand someone our business cards and they look at the back, their first question is, “What’s this?” Our simple response is that it’s a bar code which is usually followed by a look of confusion as to why we would put a bar code on our business card. A simple demonstration and it becomes clear.
While technically called a QR Code, these bar codes can contain information as simple as a web or email address to a host of information as the image below illustrates. The nice thing is that with the right smart phone app, all of the information can be captured and stored by the phone with little effort by the user. While we think that it provides a certain cool factor, perhaps the best thing about our cards is that they really do get a conversation started.
We animated this droid and Darth look-a-like for an exclusive stage show in Burbank, California utilizing motion capture and 3D technology.
[SWF]http://www.pixelfish.me/flash/anna_darth.swf, 402, 327[/SWF]