Posts Tagged ‘Arkane’

Travels In Arx Fatalis: Part One

By Alec Meer on March 23rd, 2011.

This man will save the world. First though, more meths.

Arkane’s 2002 dungeonering game Arx Fatalis passed me by at the time – arriving, perhaps, in an age where I felt positively spoilt for choice in terms of RPGs. In this new age of endless manshoots and a contemporary legion of platformers, I have no such surfeit. The time is right, then, to look backwards.

This is an occasional diary series, to be updated as and when I dip in and out of the game. I should warn you now that it’s more than possible this won’t run until the game finishes. Consider it selected extracts rather than the full, unabridged story.

I awake, as I have so often awoken, in a jail cell. For a change, though, I’m naked. Well, I’m wearing a belt over my nipples and some furry pants, but I’d get at least as many funny looks as I would if I were naked.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

67 Comments »

Unfatality: Arx Fatalis Source Code/Patch

By Alec Meer on January 14th, 2011.

Arkane are now owned by Zenimax Media, a large multinational corporation – which means the studio’s soul will be crushed, its imagination will be quashed and it will never, ever perform a single kind act for its fans again. THAT’S WHAT CORPORATIONS DO. Flee! Panic! Cower!

Oh. They’ve, uh, just released the source code for its revered 2002 RPG Arx Fatalis (a game they once hoped to call Ultima Underworld III, but were stymied by Dark Powers). Also, a last-ever patch designed to make the game play hot-diggity-damndy-dandy on Windowses Vista and 7. In other words, they just made a dead game live again, for no reason other than that they wanted to. Guess those corporate types are alright after all!
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

58 Comments »

Zenimax Is Arkane Studios’ Dark Messiah

By Kieron Gillen on August 14th, 2010.

I think I shall kick him into that spiked thing. That is what I shall do.

One of the stories to emerge from Quakecon was that Zenimax have got their corporate cheque-book out again. Following Id into Bethesda’s masters maw is Arkane Studios, who you’ll know from Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might And Magic and doing work alongside 2K Marin on Bioshock 2. To state the obvious – with Id, Bethesda and publishing Splash Damage’s Brink, this helps cement Zenimax as a major power in that PC-centric PC/Console developed game area. By which I mean, traditional PC games which are now developed for both (and so provoke comment thread – aha! – Rage for merely existing). The press release follows and if you want to try and work out what Arkane are actually up to, our interview with Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith is where they lay out their current thinking best. Though I would say that.
Read the rest of this entry »

, .

65 Comments »

Dark Futures Part 4: Raphael & Harvey Arkane

By Kieron Gillen on July 9th, 2010.

Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith are game designers who are currently co-directing an unannounced project at Arkane Studios, working across offices in Lyon and Austin. They’ve been making games professionally since 1993, with a keen interest in first-person games with detailed environments and RPG features. Colantonio is the founder, CEO and Creative Director at Arkane. Under his direction, Arkane created Arx Fatalis and the PC version of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Over the years, he has worked with Electronic Arts, Valve, Ubisoft and 2K. In 2005, Colantonio expanded Arkane, opening a new office in Austin. At Ion Storm, Smith was lead designer of the award winning game Deus Ex, which received a BAFTA ward in 2000, and project director of Deus Ex: Invisible War. He was lead designer of FireTeam at Multitude and studio creative director at Midway Games (Austin). In the early 90’s, Smith worked at legendary RPG studio Origin Systems. Both Colantonio and Smith have spoken at numerous game conferences, and are passionate about immersive, highly interactive games with simulation elements.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , .

54 Comments »

Making of: Arx Fatalis

By Kieron Gillen on November 2nd, 2007.

[An unusual one this. Normally I interview the Project Lead or Lead Designer or similar. In this case, I was actually interviewing Christophe Carrier, who was Sound lead at Arkane on this Ultima Underworld-inspired RPG (Christophe, when asked for inspirations, simply stated “We wanted to make Ultima Underworld 3″). This was done when I was visiting Arkane before Dark Messiah of Might And Magic hit. And since I’m in Paris today, seems as good a time as any to repost it.]

Arx puns probably would be a good idea here.

How does a development team start? Where do they come from? How are they begat? They happen because of one thing: people decide that, actually, we’d like to do it our way for once. People coming together from different places, meeting and going forth. Arkane’s Christophe Carrier had worked in the games industry for most of the nineties, when not in bands. His first experience was in Quality Assurance (QA) “I was working for Electronic Arts as a QA person – fixing things, organising the testing, going to England to test games,” he recalls, on things like Bullfrog’s Theme Park. Then he moved into areas more relevant to his talents. That is, working primarily in the field of sonics. “I did all the sound for a game called Hexplore for Infogrames,” remembers Christophe, “Before a game for the PS1, which was where I met Raphael and we worked together.” That is, Raphael Colantonio, the future charismatic CEO of Arkane, it was the sort of fateful meeting which helps form a country. “He decided to do this game,” Cristophe says, “He created this company and I put money into it, and I worked on our first game. I made the sound and the SFX… and then got into the design”.

“This game” was a little thing called Arx Fatalis.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

17 Comments »