I’ve made many portfolio sites for myself over the years, each one cast in evermore ridiculous motif. The Copper Labs looked like a series of hexagonal chemical chains. Olde Towne was a little living city inside a shoebox.
But nothing came close to Allegiance.
In 2006 I was hired by Midway Games as a UI Artist; personal free-time willfully exchanged for an income and vocation. But the need for a new personal site was incessant, and now that I had become was a full-fledged video game artist, I wanted the site to embrace that.
I decided the motif would be that this was all an elaborate Sci-Fi game, rife with political intrigue (Alpha Centauri, Star Control), colossal space battles (Homeworld, Freespace), and gorgeous set-pieces (Wrath of Khan, Star Wars: ESB). This wasn’t just a chance to make something bigger than I had ever done, this was a chance to pay homage all who had inspired me (I ended up showing Allegiance to one of the original devs of Homeworld!).
But more than being mere homage, Allegiance was a powerful lesson that I would remember for all my days as an artist and engineer: detail for the sake of detail is hardly art.
Hmm? How much detail, you may ask? Well-
- On the Landing Page, each blip has a random chance to be friendly or hostile, with 5 unique ship classes per alignment – each with hand-keyed paths to travel
- In the Games section, each little drone will randomly repair 1 of 10 components, some counting up, others down.
- Further, the Flagship is visited by 3 ships if you wait: a cruiser, a patrol ship, and a troop transport. The troop transport will dock and stay until all troops are unloaded in realtime (even changing their running lights once docked)
- in the Projects section, individual lights on the city glow and when ships dock, they too change their running lights
- in the Music section, some torpedo hits have a 1 in 3 chance of disabling lights on the enemy ship
- The About section will randomly select 1 of 5 of openings to greet you with
Now, let us make no mistake: great work is comprised of nothing but detail. But if a detail falls in the forest, and nobody sees it, did those 2 weeks you spent to make it happen at all?
Or put another way: just… tone it down, man.
- 2007 . Studio Age . Chicago, Los Angeles
- Photoshop & Actionscript on Flash