Production Diary: Poisoned Pawn

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Steve @ BFG
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The Fortnightly Update Issue #1                      (3/18/15)

 

How do we open one of these?

Welcome?
Hi?
Forward $10.00 to my PayPal account if you want more updates?

I'll let you pick but whichever you choose to accept, we're here! Personally, this is a project I've had to hold close to my chest. I've had a few questions from fans of Tex as to what we've done, the scope of the project and even wanting to know what my role is. Sadly I've had to dismiss you all by using the old "non-disclosure" clause. But, to each of you I did promise that information was forthcoming and today is that day.

What is Poisoned Pawn?


Poisoned Pawn is both a revisit but also the next step in the Tex Murphy legacy. Yet again, both fans and newcomers alike will have the opportunity to experience the origin story of Tex Murphy. Yes, this is the third time this story will be told. That's why it's important to make the gaming experience unique and not just repaint something you have played. Essentially, this is a remake of Access Software's final (and perhaps most underrated) Tex Murphy adventure, Overseer.

By far, Tex Murphy: Overseer was the most noir of the 1990s Tex Murphy interactive movie adventures . The game adopted a cynical, hard boiled tone while eschewing many of the sci-fi elements that dominated Under A Killing Moon and Pandora Directive. The emotional gravity in the Overseer story is intense- second perhaps only to Tesla Effect. In addition to its excellent writing, the game also features outstanding performances from Michael York, Clint Howard and Henry Darrow.

Released in 1998, Tex Murphy: Overseer served as both a sequel and prequel to Under a Killing Moon and The Pandora Directive. The story is told contemporaneously to Chelsea from the perspective of Tex. However, it is here that similarities to Overseer's two predecessor's end because the story Tex tells is of his first ever case before coming to Chandler Avenue. Tex Murphy: Overseer was technologically groundbreaking for it's day, as with the two previous adventures. Not only was it one of the early titles to adopt what was then the latest CPU technology (Intel's MMX Processor) but was also one of the first games to be released on the DVD format, a technology which would eventually place the final nail in the VHS coffin.

Despite these innovations, in 2015 Overseer has not aged well due to compatibility issues with contemporary systems and their operating systems. This is where we come in.

Our mission is to remake Tex Murphy: Overseer in its entirety on the very recently released UNITY 5 engine. Along with the all the original cinematics, puzzles, conversations, story and settings, Poisoned Pawn will feature new and expanded settings, brand new puzzles and even more immersive gameplay. Hence, Poisoned Pawn is truly a step forward in the evolution of Tex Murphy in that it will take the lessons learned from 2014's Tesla Effect and build upon the technology which made that title a success. Best of all, the project has the blessing of BFG, including Chris Jones with a special thanks to Steve for initial support of the project.

An official fan project? How?

Yes, this is more than a mere fan project. It is a fully fledged release intended for the gaming market to build upon the exposure to Tex Murphy as achieved in Tesla Effect. Although classic films such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Casablanca and Raiders of the Lost Arc should never be remade, the same cannot be said for classic video games. Unlike films, games are aged and worn by time and technology. But, through the process of remaking, video games have the best potential for reinvigoration and to be made better than ever (unlike classic films). The timing for this project could not be any better. In the advent of upcoming fan remakes such as Super Mario 64, Black Mesa (a remake of Half Life), Deus Ex: Revision and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, both Big Finish and the small team working on Poisoned Pawn feel that Tex Murphy's origin story is worth retelling for both long term and newly arriving fans. If your first Tex adventure was Tesla Effect, then Overseer is ideal for you as this is the chapter that leads directly into the events portrayed in Tesla Effect and features two of Tesla's major characters in a substantial role.

Who we are.

  • Holger Kreetz - UndyingSpite
  • Matt Jones - DrMerlin
  • Justin Greene - JustinGreene
  • Peter O'Rourke - Marinedalek
  • Darren Sebire - Stinkypelmet
  • Joel-Alexander Lowther - TryWhistlingThis
  • Mat van Rhoon - Cubase
  • Domink Reth - Onlinegamer
  • David Guttridge - Mr_Cyberpunk
  • Piergiorgio Cardone - Gufino2

 

This edition's special focus: HOLGER

In each edition, we're going to introduce you to a member of our team in detail. This will be an opportunity to get to know each member of the team one by one, issue by issue. Some you may know and some you may be reading for the very first time. I'll hand this over to Holger:

"My name is Holger, I'm from Germany and I'm working as a software engineer in the energy industry. My programming skills are: C, C++, C#, Java, JS, Delphi, VB. I'm a fan since 1994. My first Tex game was UAKM which was a gift from a friend and i didn't know what to expect.

I've started with Unity in early 2014 and my ambition was to make a Tex Murphy remake. In Summer 2014 I begun to work on the first fan-remade demo (UAKM) and in fall 2014 on the second one (Overseer, Big Surf Lodge) with the intention to find other people to make a remake of one of the older games. I got in contact with Steve from BFG and he suggested that I should write a mail to Chris Jones for BFGs official permission. The first member who joined the team at that time, was Matt Jones. After 3 month of brainstorming, blueprints, tremble and hope we finally got their permission at the end of January 2015. Then I begun to contact all the people who were offering their help. "The Poisoned Pawns"

Stay tuned to meet a new member in Issue 2!

 

Sneak Peek:

Also, in every edition, we will give you an exclusive sneak peak into some of the work done. This may be along the lines of an FAQ, screenshots, video, audio, interviews or maybe a game play video. To kick off our debut issue, some screenshots and audio.

 

Working on the conversations:

      

Recording music and working on voice-over:

           

Roughly mix, not done yet.  Listen Here:

 

Building the locations:

     
 

In-game screens (very early stuff, work in progress):

     

THANKS FOR READING, STAY TUNED FOR ISSUE #2

Please leave your comments, thoughts, suggestions in the 'Production Diary - Poisoned Pawn comments' area.


(published on the forum on behalf of "The Poisoned Pawns")