April 16, 2008
The free Lair Dragons and Control Pack is now available on the Playstation 3 store. Two new playable dragons, analog control option, and a whole bunch of fixes for free!
September 2, 2007
Lair is being sold in stores all over the America now. Try it out, let me know what you think!
By the way, if you have a PSP and a PS3, you can do this: (Video Removed)
July 27, 2007
As announced earlier this week, development on Lair has finished and the game is off to duplication! It will be in stores on August 14 September 3. I learned a ton of new stuff making this game – and if you pour 2 1/2 years of your life into something, it had better be worth it on some personal level.
I’m aware of the reviews, of course. Some are very positive, some are not. The common complaint in those bad reviews seem to be the controls – putting the dragon streering on the motion-sensitive SIXAXIS controller doesn’t sit well with some of the experienced gamers. First of all: try it out yourself, give it a chance!
And if you want my side of the story, I will share a simple anecdote: Victoria’s family, lead by my 83-year old grandfather in law, was able to pick up Lair in less than 5 inutes, to fly around with the dragon and to play the first mission of the game.That experience right there beats anything that the reviewers can say. Because let’s face it: the hardcore crowd is an important part of the market, and I sincerely hope that everybody who reads my page and/or hangs out on NeoGAF, IGN, 1UP on a daily basis will buy Lair and enjoy it. Your guys’ opinions are important, and they matter.
BUT… making a game that my entire (extended) family can play, that’s how we will keep the creative flame (and our industry!) alive.
Check the official sources for more information on Lair. I enjoyed the experience and have tons of ideas on what to do next. In other words, I have already moved on to the next project…
P.S.: Hope you like the new vegetation in the final build
June 1, 2007
I will be at Cogswell Polytechnical College tomorrow (Saturday the 2nd) for the opening of the Lair art show. The college will host an open day with tours of the facility, and we will do a panel with various people from the team (including me) answering questions from a moderator and the audience.
“The Art of Lair”
Exhibit Dates: June 2 through July 27
Special Exhibit Events – Saturday, June 2, 12:30-6:30:
- Cogswell Open House: 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.
- Panel Discussion with Factor 5: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
- Gallery Reception: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Cogswell Polytechnical College announces an exciting new exhibit for The Gallery at Cogswell. Factor 5, Inc. of San Rafael will present work from its eagerly anticipated video game, Lair. The exhibit will run from June 2 through July 27. Lair, a dragon combat action game, was developed by Factor 5 and will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment for its PlayStation® 3 platform. [...]
April 14, 2007
You can find all sorts of flashy new Lair media on the web if just look around a bit. The two videos I’d like to point to are the guided developer tour that Gametrailers posted. I think they show off the polished game in the best light and give you a good idea of the finished product. Enjoy!
March 10, 2007
Maybe, while we wait for the GDC downloads to get finalized, I should clear up some confusion. Various people, after reading summeries of my session on the Interweb tubes, seem to have gotten the impression that my session could be easily summerized as “Lair didn’t look good until we used normal maps – you should all use normal maps!”
I did indeed make that comment in the beginning – as a quip to demonstrate that if it really was that simple, I wouldn’t have anything to talk about in the first place. Normal mapping is a widely used (and not all that complicated) technique that has been been applied successfully in many of the greatest blockbuster games we have played over the past few years. My talk concentrated on the fact that in the end, normal mapping is not a big wonder weapon, as some people might think. Your visual results always depend on the quality of the normal maps that are applied to a game, not the simple fact that you can do it in the first place. I did the session to present a few ways to increase that quality.
I just thought that it would be worthwhile to point out the distinction. Keep in mind that GDC is a developer conference. It’s all about the behind the scenes stuff, and about sharing knowledge that will help our industry to become better at what we do – so that we can all learn, evolve…and get the fuck off this planet. I’m not sure about that last part. But hey, any chance to quote the late great Bill Hicks
March 8, 2007
I’m back from GDC, with a shiny new copy of Motorstorm from the Playstation store Can’t wait to play the game online – my PS3 account name is “Matthias”, look me up in some online games!
I think the talk went well (and yes, it was technical ), and I’m incredibly excited for the future of the PS3 in general. Gonna get all downloads for my lecture ready in the next week or so. Thanks for showing up!
February 22, 2007
John Debney, popular film composer and creator of one of my all-time favourite movie scores (that would be Cutthroat Island), is interviewed on IGN about his scoring work on Lair.
January 16, 2007
Details for my GDC 2007 session finalized! It hasn’t been posted (or scheduled) yet, but if you’re going to be in San Francisco this year keep it in mind!
More Than Just A Pretty Map – Creating Next-Generation Materials for Lair
Presenter: Matthias WorchSession Description:
Next-generation materials are more than just an accumulation of color and normal maps. Join us as we take an in-depth look at the techniques that were used to create the highly detailed materials in LAIR.
The focus of this session is on the artist. It will present multiple ways to quickly and efficiently create color, normal and height maps for realistic materials. It will also demonstrate different ways of acquiring source data for these maps, for example by scanning real world surfaces. To address the bigger picture, we will look at the texture/material creation process from a technical art director’s perspective. We will review different approaches to a company-wide shader authoring system and discuss ways to spread material creation knowledge throughout the team.
Attendees will acquire techniques that help them to quickly and efficiently create realistic-looking materials for next-generation games.
Texture artists and art department managers working on next-generation 3D games.
This should be a really fun session! I have a lot of material and demos to share. As usual not many slides, mostly realtime demos that show how stuff is actually done in the applications. Some topics circle back to my GDC 2005 talk, so I can build on a lot of the concepts and ideas that I presented back then. I used similar material to educate our company, and I had various programmers tell me that it helped them to get a much more indepth idea of what the art department is doing. Even if you’re no artist, this would be a great way to broaden your horizon. Hope you can make it!
Update: Talk is posted on the GDC webpage now. No scheduling yet, though. And an outdated bio
October 18, 2006
If you have Comcast On Demand and want to see some more Lair, go to the “The Cutting Edge” section, pick G4tv and the TGS section. They have a short version of the Lair trailer, and if you watch the “PS3 Report”, you get some gameplay footage and commentary. Nothing, that you haven’t seen yet on the internet – but you get to see it on your big TV and can show it to your family and everybody else that should see it!
September 21, 2006
Most videos are tiny resolution, the game runs in true 1080p. Still, this might give you an impression of what the people in Tokyo are playing. Here’s the page for the Gametrailers video (HD version should be added soon), and click on the image below for another high-res video.
May 14, 2006
E3 2006. People, games and excitement in the LA heat. And Lair, on the big screen in the Sony Playstation 3 area. More pictures of the conference soon (Sunday). Online version of the trailer here.
April 25, 2006
As mentioned earlier there won’t be any online material from the GDC talk about Lair, but Victoria just got some pictures developed that she took during that time. Here’s one of me setting up before the talk. See, it’s almost like you’re there! No? Not really you say? Ah well…
April 24, 2006
Been busy! In the meantime, if you want to know what I’ve been working on: a screenshot of Lair made it to the web after GDC (click for 720p version).
March 26, 2006
I’ve received a few requests for the GDC 06 lecture slides, and as much as I’d like to do that – the truth is that there just isn’t that much to release! The Powerpoint itself was only about 10 pages, the rest was life program demos in XSI, similar to what I did in 05. Last year I compensated by recording videos of what I did, but that won’t be possible this year. I’ll look into what can be arranged, but in the end the demo was one of those unfortunate “had to be there” affairs, I’m afraid. Sorry!
March 16, 2006
Softimage have published their GDC 2006 plans, among them the Visual Arts talk by yours truly:
FrankenDragon Flies Again! Creating Playstation 3 Art for Lair
Special Guest: Factor 5.
Location: Room C4
Presenter: Matthias Worch
A big part of the industry now knows what it means to create “next-generation content”, but many lessons that come with the new workflow are still learned the hard way. In this presentation, Matthias Worch from Factor 5 looks at the highly detailed creatures and environments of Lair, Factor 5′s upcoming Playstation 3 title, and how Factor 5 used SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 to solve various problems that cropped up during development.
About Factor 5:
Based in San Rafael, California, originally founded in Germany in 1987 and privately held, Factor 5 LLC is a leading developer of interactive entertainment software and technology for a variety of console and computer platforms. Among the company’s many successful titles is the multi-million selling Star Wars®: Rogue Squadron™ line of games for LucasArts Entertainment Company and the classic Turrican® series.
With the imminent arrival of the next generation of console and handheld technology Factor 5 has multiple game and technology projects in production for major console manufacturers.
For more information, visit www.factor5.com
Hope to see you there. The GDC page should be updated soon, as well.
September 16, 2005
Sony has released some high-resolution screenshots of our Lair trailer! A thumbnail is above, click it to go to a bigger version on IGN’s PS3 page. Keep in mind that the assets in this footage are already several months old
Update: Gametrailers has high-res footage of trailer shown in the TGS theater.
July 21, 2005
Factor 5′s Playstation 3 project, Lair, has been shown at the Playstation Meeting in Tokyo! Check out IGN’s writeup of what they saw. I’ve been working on these dragons for quite some time. Needless to say, the game looks a lot better in high-def, but since I’m not allowed to post anything about the game that’s not public domain, so a blurry screenshot off the IGN video will have to suffice for now.