You know when you’ve arrived…

I feel quite guilty, you know.

You see, the Catalyst site’s been featured on quite a few design showcases recently (Most Inspired, Best Web Gallery, Smashing Magazine, etc.) and while it’s brought a huge increase in traffic, we haven’t been adding the content that all these new visitors deserve. I’m in the process of writing a tutorial, which I hope to have finished by the end of the week, and I’ve beaten David and Jonathan into agreeing to submit at least one article a month (I’ve said it now guys, don’t make me a liar), so things will get better.

But… that’s not the real reason I’m writing this. Hit the jump to find out more!

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I’m so very, very sorry.

I’m sorry.

Really I am.

I looked at the date of the last post and realised it’s nearly a month since we last added anything of any substance to the site; the failing is entirely mine as I obviously haven’t whipped the other guys hard enough (or maybe too hard so that their arms fell off, or something) to actually do some work DAMN YOUR EYES!!!!! Jonathan getting Call Of Duty 4 hasn’t really helped as we now spend far too much time failing miserably at Team Deathmatch on XBox Live. Ho hum!

But seriously, we are working on some stuff and we will have something good to show you in a week or two (fingers crossed)… I won’t say too much, but I hope you’ll agree that it was worth waiting for when you eventually see it.

I’ll also try and post a couple of tutorials/process overviews in the coming weeks, and maybe a few character sketches – so keep checking back.

Please.


Blood in the Gutter

I’ve just been to see Cloverfield, the monster movie from the creators of Lost (or so it’s billed). The gasps, screams (and on one occasion, sobs) from across the cinema started me thinking about what really makes a scary movie/comic book/novel.

As human beings, we’ re conditioned to respond in a certain way to particular stimuli; that’s why a flickering TV image will continually catch your eye (and also why those animated Flash/gif ad banners on some websites are so darn annoying) – our eye is drawn to anything that’s moving in an otherwise static environment. It’s a survival instinct, one that helped us hunt prey in the past and serves us well today by letting us know there’s a bus headed straight for us as we step blithely into traffic. It’s this same basic survival instinct that makes films such as Cloverfield so effective.

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Gallery updated!

I’ve added a whole shedload of images to the gallery, and updated the Catalyst Studios Gallery page to show a selection of the stuff we’ve done over the past 10 years. Updating the site was interesting as it let me see how far we’ve come during the last decade; even the oldest items bear a resemblance to what we do today (albeit with a lot less polish and some… ‘interesting’ anatomy issues) but I looked at some of the stuff and thought – did I really do that?

Anyway, take a look. The gallery will be updated with new artwork on a (hopefully) regular basis… and I’ll make sure we get a few more coloured pieces in there.


Virtual Reality… Wii-ndeed.

This is awesome.

This is the first time I’ve seen a 3-D Virtual Reality concept that would actually work in a home videogame scenario. It looks inexpensive to manufacture, and I can think of several ways that this could be used to create something totally unique – think Time Crisis but physically moving your body rather than pressing a pedal to hide behind objects (I remember playing a Konami lightgun game in an arcade in Luton a few years back called Police 911 which used a pressure plate to similar effect).

You’d still need to use the nunchuck to move around – running in place is just a bit too silly, even for your average Wii gamer – but if a developer can pull this off in a proper gameplay environment, the Wii might just win over a whole new legion of fans and become a true next-generation machine. It’s certainly something I can’t see being possible on either XBox or PS3 (at least as they stand right now).

Can’t take the credit for this one – found via Penny Arcade.