Talking about Wizard 101 and how it’s all kid-friendly and stuff. EXTREME CLOSEUPS.
You’ve come a long way, baby. I might update later when I actually watch it all the way through.
Pour out your favorite beverage. It’ll all be over soon.
Sean Dahlberg’s at Bioware Austin now. Can’t keep a working man off, I guess.
Not that I’ve been paying close attention to Shadowbane for the past three years or so, but a couple things are worth pointing out. One, all the servers are going to be reset in the next patch, and players are unsurprisingly (to me, anyway) supportive of the plan, though not entirely supportive of all the other changes to the gameplay in store.
Two, announced this morning, Sean Dahlberg has left Stray Bullet Games and in keeping with his status as a Named Character, Ashen Temper is dead. They even worked Malorn the Just in there, proving once again that the stories surrounding Shadowbane have always been far more inspiring than anything that ever happened in game, and every opportunity really ought to have been given to tell more of those.
As for where Sean’s going after this, he ain’t saying, but don’t think for a minute he would have left without a better deal at hand. Shadowbane was his entire career in the game industry up until now, and such things are hard to let go, at least when held for so long.
That was the first time I’d been inside a McDonald’s since Super Size Me came out.
No big stories here, just photos and captions. Unfortunately my HTML skills are out of whack, so all you get is thumbnails and links to the bigger pictures. This was from Friday, May 19, at a downtown Austin bar known as The Jackalope.
Continue reading The Wolfpack Wake…
There was a party tonight in Austin. Everyone who was a developer for Shadowbane (with scant few exceptions) was invited. I was the only one on the guest list who neither actually did development work on Shadowbane or worked for Wolfpack Studios.
I took pictures and might write up some more personal notes from the event, but for now:
- Stray Bullet Games, the new studio emergent from what was Wolfpack Studios (which Ubisoft officially dissolved two weeks ago)
has at least one revenue stream and workload, in the form of contracting to another game company I don’t think they want named yet, in addition to supporting Shadowbane for Ubisoft, again on contract. The new studio will include just about everyone who was working for Wolfpack at the time of its closure except for most of the design staff (mainly because their contract work does not include design, at least not outside of Shadowbane.)
- Quite a number of ex-Wolfpackers had moved out of the Austin area and could not attend, but several who do live in the Austin area were absent. Company co-founder Todd “Warden” Coleman was the most noticeable no-show.
- Clay “Nazgul” Towery brought the Wolfpack Studios logo banner that was on display in the Ubisoft booth at AGC last fall. Everyone present signed it. Including me. I was touched that people there thought I should. It’s apparently going to be framed and set up at the Stray Bullet offices (which are the same as the former Wolfpack offices.)
- Nazgul has a picture of my crotch with his foot against it, along with many other people’s crotches and his foot. I think they were all male crotches, but Sara “Lietgardis” Jensen was there and fair game.
- I made it all the way there and all the way back. Anyone who didn’t want me there was gracious enough not to say so. I probably should stow my old apprehensions, but they’re hard to get rid of. Still, the surprise made the pleasant experience that much sweeter.
- Many bawdy stories were told, most of which I know better than to repeat to the Internet, especially the ones involving suction darts and ant metaphors. (Both of those involve Jeff “Ashton Kai” Toney, who is a very nice but demented person.)
From Ubisoft’s 2005 annual report, page 63:
On February 25, 2004, Ubi.com Inc. acquired 100% of the shares in Wolfpack Studios Inc. for US$188 thousand.
On September 3, 2004, Ubi.com Inc. sold the shares in Wolfpack Studios Inc. to Red Storm Entertainment Inc. for the same amount.
Impact of Wolfpack Studios Inc.’s consolidation: goodwill amortization between the date of acquisition and March 31, 2005: -$7 thousand.
Heather of PlayersLunch.com finally put up the pictures she took of the one and thus far only Shadowbane Player’s Luncheon, held Nov. 17, 2002 at the Texas Renaissance Festival near Plantersville, just four short months from the game’s release the following March. My own report is still available via Web archive.
What a difference two years makes. I still remember that day. Meridian deciding for solidarity in non-costuming after realizing Nazgul had forgotten his pants. Belthior, who had asked Heather to do the lunch in the first place, showing up even though he’d quit Wolfpack several months before. How nervous and distant Rustoleum looked. How pleasantly drunk Warden got on high-quality mead. Heather plugging the Massive Online Gaming book that Incan Monkey God put out and was hoping to make into a quarterly book. (Their partner, Versus Books, declared bankruptcy before they could get out Vol. 2.)
But more importantly, I remember a whole pavilion crammed with fans of Shadowbane who weren’t just looking forward to playing it, they anticipated it like it was going to be the highlight of their lives. I mean, there was this guy, Wolfhart, who rode a bus all the way from Minnesota to South Texas and crashed on the Fairegrounds with no place to sleep for the night. (The Queen of the Faire reportedly took pity on him and let him stay … wherever Faire Queens stay.)
Apparently these photos were up on the old site at one point, but only just got added to the new playerslunch.com site format. If people wonder why I sometimes get wistful thinking about Shadowbane, here’s a good example of why.