Interview with Murphy Michaels

Murphy Michaels is one of the new artists at Ritual, he was nice enough to take the time to answer some questions regarding his work at Ion, his life, and what we can expect from F.A.K.K2.

State your name and position at Ritual, for the record.

Murphy Michaels. 3d artist/animator

So you're the new guy, how did your hiring come about at Ritual?

I met Rob Atkins through Mike Wilson (of G.O.D.) at wilsons house last christmas eve. we became friends, and how i ultimatley ended up here.

Tell us about your first day at Ritual?

My first actual day here amny of us had just gotten back from E3 so i still needed to take care of things like oredering a system, etc.

How well do you manage your time at work when you have a wife and three kids at home?

At work i work, and when i get home i spend it with the kids until they go to bed. then it's my time for a few hours to do my own stuff.

Will we be seeing any of your work/influence in Daikatana when it is released?

Well, there were only two of us animating the characters for Daikatana so i hope so.

I saw that Zep says that there will be a lot of people leaving Ion Storm after Daikatana and Anachronox are released, do you see that happening?

Absolutlely. when you don't treat people good they tend to not want to work for you.

What are you working on for F.A.K.K.2?

I was hired to animate but since i have to have a model to animate, i'm modeling right now. it may end up that i do alot of the modeling. not sure yet.

How far along is the F.A.K.K.2 project?

Still in the design phase. we have some finalized characters designed that i'm started on but there are still alot of fresh ideas.

Tell me about the process of making a model, do you have a general storyline for the game, then create ideas, or do you just sit back, kick it, and think of something you like?

The group comes up with character ideas that fit with the sorty and then joel does concept drawings for them. by the time i model them i have something i need to adhere to.

You mentioned you use Lightwave, is that the best software for the job, or just your personal favorite?

Every software has pros and cons. of course i prefer lightwave but i've seen some cool stuff done with almost all the major packages. i do think lightwave has the best modeler though.

What is it like to make a game that mirrors a movie, is it a hassle, or something that should be done more often?

I think it's tricky to do. bottom line is the game has to be good. if the strength of the game is based on a movie or movie characters it will probably suck (spawn) but if the strength lies in game design and game play and has a movie or character as a secondary issue you can make that work to your advantage (bond).

In the press release you said "Rather than lateral moves within companies, my employment history has been a steady climb. Each company Iíve worked with has afforded me more creative freedom and the chance for self-improvement and Ritual continues that exciting progression for me," what do you see yourself doing next? Possibly your own game idea?

Before coming to ionstorm i was trying to start a company with a small group and it was hell. we had good ideas, strong talent and generated alot of interest but its just not that easy to get somebody to invest a million + dollars into a fresh start up. it's too large a risk for people. sure i'd like to try it again but not anytime soon.

Have you ever come across something in a game that just blows your mind, and what was it?

Not that i can think of recently. i think gamers expect huge advancment from one year to the next anymore. i'm always impresses when someone can really expand on genre though, like myth did for strategy games.

What do you think the largest advancement in the first person shooter has been?

I think quake still was the largest from what was seen before it.

Any type of music that works your imaginitive juices?

I've kind of mellowed out in the last few years and been listening to alot of classical, new age and experimental music. but tool is still among my favorites too.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Murphy, any thing else you want to share?

Fat birds don't fly. some game comanies need to realize that.

I wish you the best of luck with the rest of F.A.K.K2 and Sin!


Well, that's all folks! Many thanks to Murphy Michaels for taking the time to answer my questions..