Get YOUR name in our Game! Child’s Play Auction and Dinner 2011

The Child’s Play Charity Auction and Dinner is happening on December 8th 2011 in Seattle, and Fire Hose has a pretty sweet set of items for the auction block.

Before we tell you about that though, how about a bit on Child’s Play?

Child’s Play was started in 2003 by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (you may know them better as Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade fame) in response to the media’s negative portrayl of video gaming culture and of gamers themselves. The two called the gaming community to arms and asked them to donate to the Seattle Children’s hospital during the holiday season.

In that first year the charity raised over $250,000 worth of toys, games, and other gifts; the charity has raised nearly 10 million dollars to date.

The goal of Child’s Play is to positively impact the life of a child through the power of play. Tonight you can bid on items donated by people throughout the gaming community the …

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Marvel Comic Inspires New Slam Bolt Scrappers Art

Hello True Believers,

As Alec noted last week, Issue #1 of the new FF series (the successor to Fantastic Four, now that Johnny Storm has been killed, penciled by Steve Epting) shows Franklin Richards (son of Reed and Sue) playing a video game he has just lost, and that game is Slam Bolt Scrappers!


The shot is from SBS circa Fall 2010 (after PAX Prime, when the health bars were vertical instead of horizontal, many months before release).

Here is the actual image they found on the web and used!:


And here is a side-by-side of the comic art and the original:


As far as we can tell, they set the Hue (in Hue/Saturation) to 180 and then the Cutout filter was applied (before the non-SBS text was overlayed).

In the process of unraveling this, I started playing with the Cutout filter and the Hue/Saturation of other shots from the game. Here were some of my favorites. What do you think? Any of these worth a spot in the Modern Museum of Art?

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How We All Play Together – Game Design at Fire Hose

“Should this be moving faster?” “Is this anticipation long enough to be readable?” “Can it be more awesome?”

For this post I wanted to discuss how the different departments here at Fire Hose influence each other and how we answer some of the above questions when designing a new feature. It will tend to have a bit of an art-focus since animation is the main thing I contribute to the company. In my next post, I’ll go a little more in depth with the art pipeline and walk through a character from design to implementation.

It all starts with a design pitch. This doesn’t necessarily refer to the way the character looks (although we sometimes worked that way too) but it is usually a discussion on how the character will behave in the context of the game.  Here we just try to work out some very broad strokes and create a rough outline of how we want things to take shape.

Of course an actual design document eventually gets into far greater detail than this, but …

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