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The Ardent Monthly Ledger - Issue 11
October 28, 2015

latest_news
Coming in November: Bevyn’s Coille!

In the very first edition of the Ledger, we gave you a sneak peek at the new content on the horizon, which, happily, is now not so very far away. So it’s time for a closer look at what lies ahead, but not too close!

As was mentioned before, we will be releasing a sequence of new zones, one at a time, over the course of the next six months, and are calling the entire series, ‘The Voyage Through the Blighted Isles.’ The first zone of the series, arriving in November, is called ‘Bevyn’s Coille.’

The above picture of the Coille will slowly be growing more into focus…

See more in next week’s edition of the Ledger!


interview

Name: Chris Fulkerson
Company: Mad Otter
Position: Art Director

chris

It is high time that you all met the dedicated Otter who has been working here since August 2012, and who has created SO MANY beautiful components to Villagers & Heroes. He is our Art Director, and one of the nicest, not to mention modest and intelligent guys around –and he’s also a lot of fun to hang out with over beers. Everyone, please meet Chris!

You are responsible for designing and creating many different aspects of the game – environments, outfits, new monsters, ads, to name just a few. Which aspect do you most enjoy working on, and why? New content! Either monsters, characters, or environments. I love thinking about and using lore when creating things. Story and world immersion are my two most favorite aspects of playing a game so they are definitely at the top of my list when it comes to working on games.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face when creating new art? Or, more specifically, are there any issues that occasionally pop up which tend to drive you nuts? Probably time. Usually with the work I do there aren’t many curve balls thrown since we have a specific art style and technical guidelines. The challenge comes from trying to get everything you want done within the time that you have. (Although, that said, program crashes drive me nuts!)

Do you consider yourself to be a gamer? If so, what are some other games that you enjoy and why? Absolutely. I look for story and world immersion when gaming so the games I’m into tend to be focus on that. My favorite genres are RPG and Adventure and some of my favorite series are Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda and Shenmue. I also enjoy some platformer series like Mario and Donkey Kong. It would be too long to list all the games that I like.

Additionally, the music in all these games is amazing and another strong motivator for playing them. I think music and sound design is near as important for the world as visual art.

What exactly does 3D Modeling entail? Can you please give us a brief idea of the process you go through? 3D modeling is a bit like sculpting. You often start with a basic geometrical object (cube, sphere, cylinder etc.) and start modifying it from there. You can think of it like a block of clay. A 3D object is made up of points called vertices with edges and faces drawn between them. As you go you’ll be adding more of these points and edges to allow you to make the object more complex. Probably the most challenging thing in learning 3D software is navigating through 3D space using a mouse and keyboard.

After creating the object you have to go through a process called unwrapping. This is important for mapping a texture to the object. You can think of this process kind of like paper crafting in reverse. You’re essentially unfolding a 3d object into a flat piece of paper. Every angle of the 3D object needs to be represented on a flat surface in order for you to be able to texture it.

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I know you are a Pixar and Disney fan. What are a few of your favorite films, and why? As for Disney, my favorites are the Lion King and Aladdin. For Pixar, I really like Up and Ratatouille! My main draw for loving animated movies is watching the beautifully crafted art and animation. But for Disney films from the late 80s through the 90s, I also really love the music. Lion King in both art and music really grabbed me as a kid so it’s been my favorite ever since. It might be weird for a 3D artist to say this, but I really miss the old hand drawn animated films. I love 3D animation but it would be nice to see 2D again.

Which feature would you most like to see added to Villagers & Heroes? Ah, there are a lot of things I’d like to see happen. House interiors in the village would be really cool.

For the benefit of a certain player out there, could you please tell us if bunny tails will be making an arrival in the near future? If so, what all is involved in implementing them? A bunny tail would be a relatively easy asset to make. So since there’s demand, I think it’s reasonable to expect to see it in the near future. It would most likely be attached to a new outfit or a hat.

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be an artist, and who have some of your biggest influences been over the years? ? I can’t remember the age. I’ve always drawn for as long as I can remember. I do remember I wanted to be a video game artist sometime in the mid-90s. I would probably have been 7 or 8 then. I drew up plans for a game and mailed them to Nintendo. Some of my biggest influences when I was younger were Japanese character artists such as Akira Toriyama, Tetsuya Nomura, and Yoshitaka Amano. In school I began to appreciate classical art as well as modern artists such as Picasso and Monet.

Do you enjoy dressing up for Halloween? If so, what are some favorite costumes that you have worn in the past? I do, but I haven’t done it often. Last year I was an undead groom and before that I was a zombie. My girlfriend and I will spend hours on our make-up and using liquid latex to create scars and gashes. It’s a lot of fun.

If you could have dinner with one of the following characters, who would it be with and why? Walter White, Buster Bluth, Tyrion Lannister, or Elaine Benes? Tyrion Lannister. He would probably be the most interesting to have a conversation with.


With Patch 3.6.2 comes, not just the arrival of Spooky Town and the many accompanying delights of Halloween, but also a great many improvements were made to villages – like new projects, for example!

Perhaps one of the most exciting features is the addition of ‘The Empyrean Machine.’ Just what is it, exactly? It’s a new village project which allows every village to choose the sky around them to look like that of any of the seven realms in both daytime and nighttime. Every village is unique, and with this new customization option, players can select the mood and ambience they feel most reflects the identity of their village.

The golden hues of Halcyon, or perhaps the emerald skies of Greenhaven? Or maybe your village is better suited to the rosy pinks of Stormhold, or the glittering aqua skies of Sunkentooth? It is a wide palette to choose from, fourteen options in all, and now you can determine amongst yourselves how best to capture the particular flavor of your village.


We are very excited to have two new volunteer reporters for the Ledger! One of them is the always amusing Avenian of US 1, and the other is a player on US 2 who prefers to remain anonymous, and from here on out will be known only as, ‘The Sneaky Scribbler.’ Thank you, Avenian and Sneaky Scribbler!

I Hoard, Therefore I Am – By Avenian (US1)

 

Avenian

Back in the old days when I first started out as a young hunter, my main concern was completing the tutorial in Summer Hollow. Finally venturing into Ardent City and nearby lands, I found myself with a slight dilemma…where am I going to put all this stuff? Fangs, bristles, milk, gems, and other various rewards where filling my bags and my one vault.

Of course, there are solutions. Solution number one was to sell it all. Solution number two was to purchase a house to get an extra vault. I went with solution number two, and went off to collect more stuff to build a house (no free house from a quest in those days). That solution only lasted a week or so once I realized that I needed stuff to make stuff, and that stuff took a lot of stuff to make the stuff.

So off I went to create a couple alternate characters so that I could have a place house my growing collect of topaz and monster parts, while my little hunter packed the vault with fish, plants, rocks, bugs, green teeth, and whatever else was deemed valuable…which was pretty much everything. However, I was finding that I didn’t want to part with my preciouses…I mean…my items because they might come in handy later on down the line. Village projects, crafting gear, and skilling up skills were all important to me.

However, there comes a time when enough is enough. Like really, I have a vault full of milk. I don’t even know what milk is used for. I keep hoping that maybe that new Skinny Chai Latte recipe will roll out so I can use my milk supplies. And Zogs, I have collected them all and got the achievement but I still have two vaults full of them. Also, don’t get me started on outfits. I have a Fancy Lady’s Clothes…and I am a guy…it doesn’t even go lovely with my facial hair.

So, time to thin out the collection of stuff but the big question is where to start? Oh, just a second…the patch has loaded and I am logging in. Ok, let’s take a look at my vault…wait a minute…what are all these non-roman numeral numbers doing here? I can get more storage now? Shut the front door!!!
Excuse me for a moment…I think…I need to add to my Zog collection…maybe find some more milk.

From The Sneaky Scribbler (US2):

Ardent Animal Welfare was called to Haru’s house Wednesday morning, on allegations of cartoon animal cruelty. A full pen of livestock was found, looking happy but starved. Haru callously admits, “I haven’t fed them in months.”

sheep

BrinJee was observed buying thousands of primeval ants. His neighbors were seen calling exterminators.

Grover seemed to enjoy soloing Tobek, mummy issues there perhaps?

You said it:

On self-awareness:

“I’m rather devastated. I recently learned that I am actually the alt.” — Penny Cillin (US2)

On wrong chats:

“It’s a good thing i am a nice person and never talk bad about anyone or i would be toast.” — Anniemarie (US2)

On etiquette:

*covers one nostril and blows the booger at gp* — Rhev (US2)

On fashion:

“I will strap some dung beetle husks and earth worm intestines together and call it worm wear with attitude.” — Dracos Noros (US2)


contest
Halloween Dress-Up Event!

A fantastic Halloween contest is taking place right now on the forums, which will test your creativity, and perhaps your resolve, too, in every way! Puzzler (our resident contest-making wonder) tasks you with dressing up as a character from Villagers &Heroes, and supplying both a picture of yourself in the costume, as well as a picture from the game of the character or monster you are replicating.

Big prizes! The deadline for the contest is November 1, 2015. You can read more details here.

astro
Last Year’s Winner: Astro (US 1)


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New Year’s – 2017
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New Year’s – 2016
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