News Design Artwork Photos Articles
  Life in a Suitcase Nov.23.2004
After months of pacing the floor, biting my nails till they bleed and completing a mountain of paperwork ... I finally got my work visa. Yes! This is something I have been dying to tell everyone about for ages but due to the possibility that I might not get the visa I decided to keep quiet instead. After all there is no point telling everyone good news and then it being followed by bad news, right? ... exactly, so on with the news.

Back in July / Aug I applied for a job at Raven Software and after sending them my portfolio and having an interview I was eventually offered a job as a Level Designer. When I heard I had the job I did the Irish jig of delight and could not stop grinning for at least a week. I finally got a games development job in the States which is something I have been wanting for some time.

With the final paperwork completed this month I will be starting my new job soon. All I have to do now is condensed my life down to one suitcase and a bottle of vodka. I knew I shouldn't have ordered my winter supply of vodka so early this year ...

After spending a huge amount of time creating my latest Q3 map Pyramid of the Magician, I finally kicked it out the front door into the world. I received a lot of good feedback and generally most people liked the map. There was a nice thread of feedback at the Func_MsgBoard forums and a review of the map at MapCenter. Followed by Level of the Week at PlanetQuake and finally another review at ..::LvL.

This will probably be my last update for a while as I am busy trying to squeeze in my final fix of computer games into what little time I have left. I won't have access to a home PC for a while and there is so many good games out at the moment that I need to play at least a few of them. My personal favourite at the moment is Eve Online which has just released a new expansion pack and offers 14 day free trials. I have never really played online RPG style games before and its true what they say about them, they are so damn addictive!

Voting for Pole Dancers in Tandoori Restaurants ...

  Terrain Blending Trilogy Oct.18.2004
After a lot of writing and constant proof reading the Terrain Blending Article is finished. It started life as a small collection of ideas and suggestions, but some how turned into a 7 page monster! The article does contain a lot of technical jargon but hopefully its presented in a nice and easily understandable format.

With all three items finished that should be enough information on terrain blending to help most people's projects and give them a better understanding of the new features in the q3map2 compiler by Ydnar from Shaderlab. With no more Q3 projects left for me to do, its time to look at a different engine and Doom3 certainly looks very tempting at the moment.

Blending Out...

  Exposed Roots Oct.13.2004
Well its time to release the source files for the map Pyramid of the Magician so that everyone who is interested can see how it was put together. The terrain blending in this map is based on a new idea and one which can produce some really nice organic results when used with the right textures.

While creating the Pyramid of the Magician I also wrote an article about the various ideas and uses I found for terrain blending. Hopefully in the next couple of days I will have time to finish off the article as it would nicely compliment the release of the source files. For all those who cannot wait I suggest you have a zoom around the source map as it provides a lot of good working examples of what can be done.

All my work released on this site is now linked to this new Creative Commons Deed. If you have questions or queries regarding this deed, please check out the site for further details.

Phase Shifted ...

  Mayan Madness ... Oct.10.2004
Not much has changed at Simland besides a few new sections here and there and the final release of my last Q3 map (well maybe) called the Pyramid of the Magician. Its been in the oven, cooking for a very long time and uses a massive amount of goodies from the q3map2 compiler by Ydnar from Shaderlab. It features new textures, models and sounds and is not a small download for all you modem users out there. The map was designed primarily to be visually pleasing but with the help of some friends it also has good solid gameplay as well. I would like to stress that this map is not designed for low end graphic cards.

Once the dust has settled on the release of the Pyramid of the Magician I will release the source files including the map editor/Photoshop files. I also have a new article discussing the new compiler features and how they worked in my latest map. This will not be a modem friendly release as the source files are currently 50Mb and rising. All I can suggest is to be patient and leave the download working over night.

On the job front I left SplashDamage end of may and would like to thank them for a cool time with the development and release of the game Enemy Territory. It was an amazing buzz to finally release a game and then see your work out on the internet across thousands of servers.

On my request to PlanetQuake, my Email address has been deleted due to the stupid amount of spam mail and viruses constantly being sent to me. What is even more annoying is the idiots who actually think I send this crap out as well and rant and rave about me sending them virus! Some people never learn, especially about mail spoofing. So if you have tried to contact me in the last couple of months, I'm sorry to say your mail has probably been trashed.

Drifting with the Wind ...

  Man Made Rock March.25.2004
Over the Christmas Break I took a lot of digital pictures and wanted to release them on my website for general viewing. Trying to add a lot of new content to my site turned out to be a nightmare as my site really needed a tidy up exercise. January was spent re-coding every page from scratch so that the site could expand with new content easily and not be a headache for me. Visually the site should look the same but a lot of old stuff has been removed, so if any links are broken then please let me know.

February was spent writing like crazy trying to get down all my thoughts on rocks and how to create them. I've ended up with several related articles called Rock Walls, Rock Details and Phong Shading. There is more subjects to cover but this is a good starting point and hopefully will be useful to somebody.

The Enemy Territory Level Designer Reference guide was updated with a few more sample maps from various ideas talked about in the Splash Damage forums. As and when I get more time I will try and add more sample maps so more people have the right examples to start mapping. No more waffle left, back to the grindstone ...

Rock Scissor Stoned ...

  Remote Island wanted ... Jan.1.2004
The Lost Abbey just started out as a test map for a new terrain system by Ydnar from Shaderlab. Then over time it mutated into something else, an even bigger test map!. The test map has been created for a game called Enemy Territory. I choose ET because its something I'm familiar with, as I worked on the game for about year with Splashdamage.

Hopefully when I get some more free time I can update the Lost Abbey page with more progress screenshots. I've got so many ideas and plans for this test map that I need to focus on one thing first, the terrain. It was the original idea for starting this map in the first place!

zoom zoom zoom ...

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