All posts by RHK

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Development Update 5-4-2016

 STAUF RETURNS!

What a weekend!  The cast and crew put in 42 hours over 4 days, including a couple marathon 13 and 14 hour sessions.  Lot of work, but so much fun!  It was such a surreal, amazing experience.  The cast put in some fantastic performances, and I can’t wait to put those scenes in the game.

Robert Hirschboeck flew in to reprise his role as Henry Stauf!  Rob was simply amazing to work with.  He’s a great guy – kind, generous, and fairly humble.  On first impression, it’s hard to imagine him playing the villainous Henry Stauf, but once he’s on the stage, he just instantly assumes the persona of old Uncle Henry.  It was incredible to see and experience.  Naturally, Rob put on a simply phenomenal performance that ran chills up my spine!  It was great meeting him, working with him, and hanging out with him after hours, and I’m truly sad the weekend went by so fast!

We had 4 backers visiting the set, from Connecticut to Michigan, Texas and even the Netherlands.  Meeting them and sharing stories about the original games was really great.  I think they truly enjoyed meeting the cast and crew, seeing how scenes were filmed, and getting a little background info on the plot and characters.  Hopefully we didn’t spoil too much of the game for them!

The 13th Doll team is spread throughout the country – even the world. We communicate on Skype and via email or facebook – the majority of the team I’ve never met in person! I finally got to meet Shane Hunt, one of our 3d modelers, who flew in to help with filming.  He also did some work on the asylum models while the backers looked on.  Sometimes they offered suggestions for easter eggs here and there, so those should be pretty fun to see.

Shane brought some gear along that proved invaluable, including a full size IPad that we used as a teleprompter for some of the scenes with lengthy dialogue.

We filmed 20 different actors over the weekend, and made it through both Tad and Richmond’s scripts completely.  I don’t want to spoil too much, but the pictures speak for themselves:

Props!
Props!
The Crew with Stauf! L to R: Jared Jewell, Ryan HoltKamp, Peder Goodman, Shane Hunt
The Crew with Stauf! L to R: Jared Jewell, Ryan HoltKamp, Peder Goodman, Shane Hunt
Director Peder Goodman with the doctors! - Ben Rollins as Dr. Thornfield and Mathias Blake as Dr. Richmond
Director Peder Goodman with the doctors! – Ben Rollins as Dr. Thornfield and Mathias Blake as Dr. Richmond
The Woman in White returns...
The Woman in White returns…
Joking around with Julia-Kaye Rohlf as she reads voiceovers for The Woman In White
Joking around with Julia-Kaye Rohlf as she reads voiceovers for The Woman In White
Hunter Menken records voiceovers as Tad Gorman
Hunter Menken records voiceovers as Tad Gorman
Hunter and Julia review their lines between takes
Hunter and Julia review their lines between takes
Looks like someone's found some trouble...
Looks like someone’s found some trouble…
Robert Hirschboeck as Henry Stauf
Robert Hirschboeck as Henry Stauf
Hirschboeck with Isabel Cody rehearsing a scene with the mysterious 13th doll...
Hirschboeck with Isabel Cody rehearsing a scene with the mysterious 13th doll…
Stauf hovers over The Woman in White during a pivotal scene...
Stauf hovers over The Woman in White during a pivotal scene…
Hirschboeck signing autographs!
Hirschboeck signing autographs!
It's a wrap!  Filming is complete!
It’s a wrap! Filming is complete!

The 7th Guest was a diverse game, filled with exploration, mystery, puzzles, horror, an abstract story, and a wonderful soundtrack.  Of course I’m a bit biased, but I think The 13th Doll very much includes all of those and more, and I think it will really resonate with the core audience, while appealing to a new generation of gamers as well.  I’m so proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m very grateful for everyone who helped this thing happen.

Filming, proved to be the most complex and challenging task in the development of the game – by a long shot.  I truly have to thank Peder Goodman, who directed filming, cast the game, found an amazing costumer (Erica Cole) to bring the characters to life, scheduled actors and broke down the complex script into manageable filming sessions, sourced all the gear we needed, from lights to cameras to cranes and microphones and booms and recording equipment and the filming location itself.  I can honestly say that without Peder’s help, this project would likely have never gotten finished.  It’s truly been an honor working with him, and I owe him a sincere debt of gratitude for all the work he’s done.  His passion, perseverence, and dedication are simply incredible.  Should you ever meet this man in person, please buy him a beer. 😉

Although filming is finished, there’s still a long road ahead of us!  We captured over 600 Gb of footage!  We’ll have to sort through a variety of takes, mask out the greenscreen, then add in FX and composite the scenes into the game.  This is likely hundreds of hours of work.

So… a release date is still pretty far off in the horizon, but the good news is that the hard part is behind us.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress, and hopefully we’ll put together a teaser trailer or two so you can see some of the footage we’ve captured.  Should be a lot of fun.  As always, thank you for supporting us!

~RHK

https://www.facebook.com/groups/the13thdoll/

Slacker Backer Page:

http://www.t7g3.com/paypal/

Development Update 4-27-2016

Hey everyone, just a quick update – really just wanted to let everyone know that The 7th Guest and 11th Hour bundle is available on Steam for $2.49.  Again, we’re not affiliated with Trilobyte, but thought you fans would want to know!

Filming!

We’re hard at work filming the game, and expect to be finished, or very nearly finished by the end of Sunday.  Lots of work went into planning and coordinating schedules!  It’s been a bit exhausting, but very, very worthwhile.

Any doubts I may have had about the cast and crew have been proven wrong – the footage looks great.  The cast have put on some amazing performances, and very often I’m grinning from ear to ear during many takes.  I’m very proud of the work everyone has done.

Later this afternoon, I’ll be picking up Robert Hirschboeck (Stauf himself!) from the airport, and we’ll be shooting his scenes all weekend.  Should be an amazing experience!  Until then, here’s some photos from the set:

Peder behind the camera with Tad (Hunter Menken) and Dr. Richmond (Matthias Blake) on set.
Peder behind the camera with Tad (Hunter Menken) and Dr. Richmond (Matthias Blake) on set.
The 13th Doll waits for its next scene while Tad lies unconscious....
The 13th Doll waits for its next scene while Tad lies unconscious….
Peder and Matthias discuss a scene while Hunter reviews his lines.
Peder and Matthias discuss a scene while Hunter reviews his lines.

As always, follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/the13thdoll/

And if you missed the Kickstarter, but still want in on the rewards, click to our slacker backer page!

http://www.t7g3.com/paypal/

Thanks everyone!  Stay tuned for the next update!

RHK

Development Update 4-22-2016

Happy Friday everyone!  Today is a great day in the history of our project… today is the official first day of filming!  It’s a massive milestone for us, and we’re really excited!  It’s been a busy few weeks preparing everything:

  • Peder’s been coordinating shooting schedules, organizing which scenes to shoot when, and scheduling the actors needed in each of those scenes..
  • James and Shane are still hard at work putting 3d models together for the asylum.
  • Matt’s been taking the new models and environments into the game engine so we can prepare for filming – matching the film lighting to the game environment lighting.
  • Erica has done an amazing job costuming the characters for the game.  The costumes are spot on.  I couldn’t have asked for more.
  • I’d taken over scriptwriting duties, and just finalized Richmond’s script on Wednesday, and Tad’s script yesterday. I’m very pleased with the end result, and hope you will be too.

Overall, I think we got the feel of the original 7th Guest, while adding our own twist to it.  It’s a good blend of drama, horror, a couple comedic moments, and just enough campiness to mesh well with the original game.  Best of all, we didn’t sacrifice anything from the story we planned to make when we first started this project – we stayed true to our original vision.  I can’t wait to see it go from the script to the stage.

We’re also making props for the game, which entails a lot of spray paint, glue, and styrofoam.  It’s actually a lot of fun.  We’d bought a toy knife online that looked like a hyper realistic murder weapon.  When it arrived, it looked nothing like the photos; it’s the cheapest looking plastic thing you could imagine!  So we actually bought a couple knives, ground the blades dull enough to not be dangerous, and painted the blades a matte finish so it wouldn’t pick up too much green reflection from the greenscreen.  My friend loaned me a vintage 1930’s milk bottle (as well as a real dead rabbit carcass -uhh, thanks, but no thanks!)  We’re mocking up a pair of glass eyes,  That’s about the extent of the spoilers I’ll give you 😉

So, In a few days, Robert Hirschboeck, the one and only Henry Stauf, will be with us on set to film his scenes and record voice overs.  A few backers will also be on set with us to meet him and watch us shoot his scenes.  I’ll finally meet a couple of my developers in person – thus far I’ve only known them via skype, facebook, and email.  So, It’s really an amazing time for all of us, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.  I can’t wait!

It’s been a tremendous amount of work, and I really have a lot of people to thank – All of you backers and slacker backers, Peder, Matt, James, Shane, Chris Bormend, Chris Weitzel, all of the actors, and plenty more people I’m sure I’m leaving out.

If all goes well, we’ll have half the game filmed by the end of the weekend.  I’ll post some photos from the set early next week!

As always, you can join us on our facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/the13thdoll/

And, if you wanted to back us, but missed the kickstarter campaign, check out our slacker backer page!

http://www.t7g3.com/paypal/

Thanks everyone!

Ryan HoltKamp

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Development Update 4-8-2015

We’re ramping up for filming, finalizing the script, writing taunts, insults, and hints for puzzles.  The script is nearly 70 pages long, and lots of planning is required.  Which scenes to shoot when, coordinating actors, costumes, stage access, etc – it’s pretty time consuming to get it all together.  Peder and his crew are taking it in stride though.

Last weekend, I gave a talk about the game and a brief demo at The University of Iowa.  We got some great feedback on the game, and it was received very well.

Probably more relevant to you guys is the preparation for that demo.

-Peder and I had to work through some issues to get video to play with transparency.  Ultimately, Peder had to render out video with a mask to omit the black background so that the 3d modeled scene shows through. I had to edit a custom shader to get it to work.  The end result looks and plays great.

– I had to modify the code such that the video plays at the correct time, fixes the camera in place, and restricts player motion until it’s complete.  Also, the music volume had to drop while the dialogue played, then ramp back up afterward.  This scene ends with Tad leaving the kitchen into the maze, so the door had to close after him.

-Matt modified and improved the code for the puzzles in these scenes and fixed some bugs.  He’s also improved the navigation and made that smoother.

-James, of course created and optimized the 3d models, and made them ready for our game engine.

-Chris Bormend created the music tracks for the game.

So it really was a team effort, and everything looked and sounded great.  Here’s a screenshot of Tad reacting to Dr. Richmond in the game:

So, things are going very well with the game!  It’s a bit surreal, and somewhat stressful too: lots has to happen in a very short time period.  Nonetheless, it’s a very exciting time for us.  Thanks to all of you for being onboard!

– Ryan

Development Update 3-17-2015

Hey everyone, just a quick update on where we’re at with things:

James has finished the 3d models for Wonderworld Toystore!  it looks fantastic, and I’m excited to see those scenes come to life.

Shane is still working on the Asylum, which is a pretty big endeavor, but it’s coming along really well, and looks great so far.  James will likely be jumping in to help him finish UV Unwrapping for the models.

These two environments are the last big pieces to add to the game, so we’re moving along well.

Matt’s going through and fixing bugs in the code for various puzzles and doing some testing while he awaits some more puzzle assets being finished.

I’m working on adding the filmed footage into the game.  Using the alpha channel in the video is proving more tricky than I expected, but I’ll get it sorted out sooner than later.

We’re still working on the script, mostly dialogue.  Our current goal is to film in mid to late April, so finishing the script is top priority.

On that note, a few backers have selected reward tiers that include renaming characters, so we’ll be sending out info for that, probably today or tomorrow.

That’s it for now; happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Ryan