May 12, 2006

Prey Weekly Update #18

Hi everyone, welcome to another Prey Weekly Update. I'll have you know that this is not Project Lead Chris Rhinehart speaking (or typing) to you right now, he is currently a bit swamped at E3 showing off the madness and mayhem of Prey. This here's Eli Quinn, I am an artist at Human Head Studios. I worked mainly on the environmental textures in the game, along with various skins, GUI's, etcetera.

The art tasks for Prey are pretty much wrapped up so the art staff is focused on playtesting right now. We have a number of XBox 360 development kits in the office so we're banging on Venom's version of the game. It looks and sounds great. Although I'm a PC gamer at heart it is a refreshing change. Speaking of the PC version, we are certainly still tearing into it as well. With a portion of our staff gone at E3, Prey Art Lead Rowan Atalla has taken on the not-so-glamorous burden of compiling the list of bugs and fixes. I'm sure that his nigh-legendary coffee intake has only increased in light of that!

The single-player version of Prey has truly come together. I've worked on the game ever since 3D Realms decided to relaunch it with us as the development team in 2001, which feels like roughly a billion years ago. The learning curve with the Doom3 engine was pretty fierce for all departments. You see, back then us texture artists had to paint all the highlights and shading onto one layer, like a photograph. We had to walk twelve miles to school in a blizzard and it was uphill both ways. We had dirt for breakfast. Lead paint scrapings for lunch.

Where was I? Oh yeah...

All of a sudden this new technology came along and we were able to model normal maps and paint diffuse, specular and height maps. Needless to say, it took a while to perfect the look we wanted. It was both intriguing and frustrating much of the time but all that toil has certainly paid off.

Multiplayer Prey (or MultiPrey, as it has been so coyly coined) is one hell of a good time. I can't say I'm the greatest at it compared to others on the team but I still have fun. I don't really sweat when I'm sitting still but I've found that after a good deathmatch round I am covered with a sparkling sheen, like a nerdy James Brown. It's intense, man! A really fun trick that I haven't mastered yet is to hide your body and spirit walk out to the battle, you can't be harmed by a physical body in that mode so you can essentially chase everybody around. Until someone finds your body of course, then you get violently pulled back into the physical realm and you're probably toast. I look forward to getting my ass handed to me by all you deathmatch experts out there once the game is released! Or "pwned" or whatever the hell you kids say these days. Learn to speak English! Pull up your pants! Put that visor right-side-up and turn it around! Pardon me, I have misplaced my cane...

Congratulations are in order for Human Head Concept Artist/Level Designer Ashley Welch, whose dazzling rendition of the sphere in Prey was chosen for the "Into The Pixel" show at E3 this year. What is that, you say? Well, from their site, "Into the Pixel is a juried exhibition of the art of the video game, curated by experts from world-renowned art museums, cutting edge galleries and interactive industry veterans." You can read about it and see Ash's art at this site:

Well, that's about all the rambling I am capable of. I'm not a writer really, I just draw the purty pitchers. Chris will be back next week to fill everyone in on the happenings at E3. So far it sounds like the reception is amazing so he should have some good news for us.

Take it easy y'all, I'll see you on the Prey Forums where I can rid myself of this dastardly punctuation.

Eli Quinn
Texture Artist
Human Head Studios
(still not Chris Rhinehart)

Click the screenshot to watch Prey in action on the videos page!

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Posted by Joe Siegler on May 12, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: Prey | Weekly Updates