...that's about levels after levels after levels of puzzles and monsters
Newb One: What this place needs is something to do, kinda like WoW-lite, an hour-long mini quest, along the lines of a disaster movie. Like The Poseidon Adventure. Look at all these people queuing to camp! Suppose 10 of them paid, idk, 20L to play. They'd be the cast of the story facing hazards and obstacles; along the way, 8 of them 'die'. The two who make it out alive get 50L. They meet new friends, have fun, and we make some money.
Newb Two: It's an idea. Do you know anyone who could script something like that? Or build it? Or find the land to do it on? Or deal with the complaints from disgruntled players?
Newb One: Um, no, no, no and no.
New Two: I thought not. Let's go dancing.
He was right. I hadn't got any of those skills. But around the same time, across the grid and in Finland, Kiana Writer was taking a broadly similar notion and turning it into a dream come true. Not the Poseidon Adventure, but the Harvey Hunt.
Kiana Writer: It took me a while to figure out this place and what was possible here. I was a cop at a race track, then a host at Dance Island. It used to crash nonstop and you'd have to wait a long time to get back online but people would still do it and not whine so much. I started writing for magazines and exploring a lot, and I wondered why there weren't things to do that I enjoy. Point and click adventure games for example. I wanted to try something. A friend and I brought out Where the Hell is Harvey Wayne on Feb 22nd, 2008. I used the connections of the sim owners I had written about and placed a lot of posters around.
MadPea, and Kiana found herself surrounded by a team, many of whom who have come to be like family. So many personalities, so many ideas. Does she have to be tough?
Kiana Writer: Well, there's only one 'Queen'! You could say I'm here for my people skills. There's no room for egos in our group, that includes mine too. We co-exist happily and have roles; everyone has enough creative freedom in their role that follows the concept idea. I have people coming to me all the time with ideas, and I'm like sure great thanks, but how would you actually make this happen? Come back when you have something concrete. We have a never-ending chest of ideas already.
The Zodiac hunt was how she met builder/3D Artist/designer Waghorne Truss.
Waghorne Truss: Kiana showed up at my store one day asking to put up posters for her Zodiac Killer game. I was interested in what she was doing and eventually got involved with it myself. I worked on all the original games: Mad Mines, Swamp Hotel, Notes from the Voyage, Firefly, Reaction, Within. My favourite was The Kaaos Effect, mainly because its use of "holodecks"- it was pretty innovative at the time. Building all the different time periods was a lot of fun. There's always the element of surprise working with talented builders and scripters. They come up with ideas and approaches that I would never have thought of working alone. Working as a freelance designer can be a bit lonely sometimes; this is exciting and interesting. Money would be nice but I'm more interested in helping Madpea expand to its full potential, maybe spreading to other platforms eventually.
Harter Fall: Kiana and me accidentally ran into each other at a party 2 1/2 years ago. Back then my focus was mainly on art, working on my LEA Sim. I showed Kiana my work and she showed me hers and the rest is history. Together with Kiana I organize and plan our designers' work and much of the visual concepting. I do also a lot of 3D Modeling, 2D and Level Design, Video Editing and Audio Engineering. The most challenging aspect for me is to keep all we build performance and low lag. The most fun is to work with brilliant designers and scripters from all around the world.
|At Unia - still a work in progress, hence the pink prim, part of the team's construction setup|
Even seen on the run, without grasping all the backstory, it was easy to tell that Unia is an ocean of thought-provoking adventures that will keep people coming back again and again, trying to get to the heart of the matter. Think Lost meets Inception meets Twin Peaks meets Stephen King. And they all run into the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Kiana Writer: I'm a lucid dreamer and most of my ideas come from my nightmares. It's like movies in my head so I thought that I will make my nightmares into a game.
It's obvious this is going to be one of those build you will visit over and over, for days maybe weeks, trying to solve all the pieces, getting sucked in to the story, probably working with friends, or making new friends as you work your way around the different chapters of the story.
Another member of the team is all round artist graphic designer and Blender buff, RAG Randt.
RAG Randt: I experienced a cool Madpea game a few years ago that took me to various really cool builds. I was impressed by the quality of the games and particularly of the builds. Fast forward a couple of years and Harter Fall and I shared a LEA sim. I knew Harter's work and liked it very much. as we were building, we became better acquainted and he said he was working for Madpea. I believe he asked me if i would be interested in working there as they needed builders for their new homebase, Carnival. At that time I was getting into Blender and mesh and I thought this would be a great opportunity. Harter introduced me to Kiana and then I was hired.
It's a hud-driven adventure, and you're going to have to use all your ingenuity, observation and problem-solving skills. You will also have to walk. Or swim.
She's not exaggerating, or just speaking as an interested party.
This is hands down the best build you've ever seen in SL, for the size and quality of the build, the behind-the-scenes technical magic, and the deeply complex and compelling story. And it's all for a nominal fee. Unlike my newbie idea of an hour long game, you'll be able to lose yourself in Unia for weeks.
Kiana Writer: Some come thinking that this is just fun and all we do is play and have no idea how much work it is some of the ppl do 12 hour days here that's clearly not expected but the workload is a lot for very little money in return it truly takes a person to believe in the concept and what we're doing and to understand that we're not going to be rich by doing this... and we're not doing this for money.
Beyond the cost of the HUD, you can contribute, should you wish, by leaving a donation at The Green Mire. It's the least we can do. When you've seen it, you'll know what I mean. Kiana's dream - the dream to create an effective company in SL, the dream to bring people engaging entertainment, and the way she has taken bad dreams and turned them into something outstanding, while remaining a modest single mum, just goes to show what an exceptional person she is. And Unia expresses it on a philosophically metaversal scale.
I guess we're going to find out.
Check the MadPea blog and inworld group for announcements about the opening of Unia, and - see you there!