While the filming for Encounter was in pre-production, I had started work on the graphics for the game. What today we would call the assets.
Using a Power Mac 9500, I modeled the spaceship interiors for the QuickTime VR scenes. Multiple renderings of each scene were done and stitched together to create 360-degree panoramas.
Once the video footage was edited, the scenes were composited on CG backgrounds and all the assets, complete with some basic gameplay, were assembled into a demo of the game using Macromedia Director.
I recall using a multiple-brick-sized external hard drive with a massive 9GB capacity to store the game assets and video files.
John and I travelled to the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in LA (either 1996 or 1997) to meet with potential distributors. We returned to Montreal without any serious leads, and around that time the production company which had been bankrolling our project ran into financial troubles.
So another of my projects got mothballed, though recently John was kind enough to send me a copy of the screenplay and artwork for the game, which I had lost in the house fire. Never at a loss for crazy ideas, it has occurred to me that Encounter would make an excellent VR game! Now I just need to assemble a team and find investors. Cue maniacal laughter.
Not for the first time, my life and career would take a major turn with a phone call. This time from Honolulu.
Code & Design
The above listing shows some of the macros whose output I showed last time. I have found that having a GUI, rudimentary as it may be, does allow me to more easily explore the possibilities of the system. It also has allowed me to give the first ever demo of the system, an event which was recorded and can be seen here.
Yes, so late in life I have created a YouTube channel. Kind of like being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Perhaps unexpected from a guy who develops software in a half-century-old language, but the fame and fortune of celebrity culture proved too tempting. It can't be far behind. Can it?
Once I created the channel, I began thinking of the Common Lisp lessons which launched this whole to-do, and how it had been suggested that I make videos of them.
So after my usual overthinking — no one will want to watch this! — that’s what I have been doing recently.
I downloaded some screen recording software, the kind that allows you to record a video of yourself, reworked the lessons, and went for it. The whole “should I record video of myself?” question stymied me for a while, but here you have it, in glorious 21st-century digital video: my face on YouTube. Enjoy.