Time - All done for now! Thanks to everyone who had questions! I will check back for lingering questions and try my best to answer as time permits! Thanks again! It was great talking to you all!

NOTE: I'll try to get to all the questions over the next couple of days so please - if you still have questions - post them below and I'll try to get to them.

I'm Chuck Carter - over 20 years ago Robyn Miller and I created all the art for a game called Myst. I moved on to Westwood Studios and worked on the Command & Conquer series and worked for Vicarious Visions.

For the past two years I have been funding my own game studio in Central Maine with money I make doing illustrations for NASA. One week ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign to push our first game, ZED.

Ask me anything!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1368459285/zed

www.eagregames.com

Verification - http://i.imgur.com/hwUIXeB.jpg

Comments: 317 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

cyberpunking72 karma

Which is your favorite c&c game? Mine is RA2. Why do you think that RTS games have declined in popularity so much?

therealchuckcarter83 karma

RA 2 is my favorite and was my favorite to work on. As for why they aren't so popular - just a lot more games out there and these things cycle through the years... some day they will come back.

mikronaut26 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA! ZED looks like it will be really great, so my question is this: I love looking at all of these new and creative worlds you have designed. So where does the inspiration for these come from? And how well does a concept you have in your head translate when you actually put it in a tangible form, whether that be concept art, a game, or something else?

therealchuckcarter18 karma

Pretty well - I've been doing this for a while and know how to make that translation artistically. The technology like Unreal Engine help get these ideas into a an actual playable game. I have lots of outlets and ideas!

Tsindrim20 karma

Hi Chuck! Love Myst, huge fan of B5; great to see you here.

My question is, what prompted your interest in art, specifically that involving space or science fiction? I know people who create art and people who love science, but people who love to create art about science seem a bit rarer (written works excluded).

therealchuckcarter15 karma

As a kid in the 60s I wanted to be an astronaut! But that was never going to happen so I found being interested in science and then science fiction very rewarding. My art reflects both - the game and special effects stuff is one side of my personality - making worlds and impossible scenery... and then my work for NASA and National Geographic is the other. Right now I support the company with work from NASA and not being an astronaut - it's about as close as I could get.

One last thing - working on B5 was awesome - it was a dream come true as it was one of my Favorite science fiction shows at the time. And considering I always wanted to do stuff like that since I was a kid - it was even more rewarding.

M1KEH4NL0N20 karma

Maine's not exactly known for being a very high tech place. How are you finding the landscape as far as internet availability and does that play a big role?

therealchuckcarter29 karma

Internet plays a huge role in our ability to make and distribute our games. In most parts of Maine we would not be able to do what we do. There is no real bandwidth in most of Maine. Not the kind we need to upload and down load gigabytes worth of files. Our company is in a University based technology park designed for star-ups like us - with super fast fiberoptic. We moved from Downtown Bangor after months of trying to figure out with the local providers how to get even small files uploaded cleanly. I'm talking 25 Megabytes or smaller... which would stall and choke. It was frustrating. But the one positive note is that with some of the local and state wide political leaders Like Angus King and local officials in Bangor - there is a concerted effort to get past all of the hurdles put up by the large cable companies and try to get broadband into more and more locations. So things are slowly looking up.

Rumpojec11 karma

I worked in several school systems here in Maine, and one of the most frustrating things about living here is the lack of infrastructure even for more important stuff like education. We need to start pushing technology as a viable thing to spend money on or this state is going to shrivel up and die from lack of new blood and businesses. There's no reason why Bangor shouldn't have gigabit Internet available by now.

therealchuckcarter6 karma

I agree and they luckily know this and are working towards it. It will take time though but it's being worked on.

Riot20717 karma

Good day Chuck!

What are your thoughts on Moxie!?

therealchuckcarter11 karma

I like it! It's a good Maine drink, but I'm not drinking soda these days.

idiotwizard12 karma

Hello Chuck, big Myst fan here. The aesthetic you captured in Myst was a real inspiration for me in developing myself as an artist. What would you say were some of your biggest inspirations when working on that title? Or inspirations for you as an artist in general?

therealchuckcarter16 karma

Inspiration comes from lots of sources - children's books - Shaun tan is a current favorite - John Harris as an illustrator - walking on the beaches of Maine and climbing the rocks - going online and collecting some truly amazing art for my Pinterest page - so many things out there- urban explorations in old deserted buildings and structures, online photos of deserted or strange place - science - as for Myst - it was just anything I could dig up from my imagination.

dayz2gunz6 karma

Are you a Channelwood lad or a Selenitic man?

therealchuckcarter10 karma

Selenitic.... :0)

dayz2gunz11 karma

You filthy fucking mazerunner.

Edit: I just realized you -built- mazerunner. I want to buy you a beer, then punch you in the bowels as you are drinking it.

frauenarzZzt3 karma

That sounds a bit harsh. Why would you do that to a person.

dayz2gunz7 karma

Because I mapped the whole thing out. By hand. I was twelve. It took many hours. If there was an alternate ending where you fist out the pufferfish's port glass to wriggle and squeeze and tumble onto the track after your foot hits the red button with one final, flailing kick... that would be the ending I deserve.

therealchuckcarter8 karma

LOL! As I said earlier - I love to inflict pain! Lucky you didn't see the original design or you would have put a curse on all of my kids!

Agastopia6 karma

Thanks for doing this? May I ask how you got started in doing what you do?

therealchuckcarter11 karma

In 1985 my graphics editor at the old Rocky Mountain News put a Mac 512 in front of me and said make a map... the rest is history. (Actually working on Myst was my first real job in games - I just happened to be the only 3D artist in Spokane Washington and lived in the same city as Rand and Robyn Miller)... right place at the right time - lucky I was also doing tons of early 3D stuff for news organizations and my own 3d game projects at the time.

handshape5 karma

Thanks for all your work throughout the years!

Of all the projects you've worked on, which do you think left the largest impression on gaming as a whole?

therealchuckcarter18 karma

Myst would be the obvious answer - thought the C&C games spawned entire industries around RTS development - Westwood Studios deserves a lot of credit for that. As does Rand and Robyn Miller for the Myst franchise and opening the doors to a new level of graphic developments that are still with us today.

IndieHangover5 karma

Hello Again Chuck!

Have any funny stories about working as an Indie Developer, or any standout "You Know You're An Indie Game Dev When..." moments?

therealchuckcarter8 karma

You know you're an indie developer when you suddenly find you've been sleeping in your office for two weeks and people are begging you to take a shower! Funny stories - too many for this venue! But let me say a lot of them involve trying to come up with reasons why you're late with the rent or didn't come home last night when you're girlfriend asks where were you! :0)

cyberpunking5 karma

What do you feel are the biggest changes in the gaming industry/community over the time you've had to observe it?

therealchuckcarter7 karma

I'd say Technology. Back in the old days - you had pixel art or games like Myst which were basically a slide show of sequential images. There were no subscription based engines like there is now (Like Unreal Engine 4). Now entire communities are being built up around making games and with the off the shelf solutions - almost any one now can make a game.

cyberpunking5 karma

Do you see off the shelf solutions like this as empowerment or a harmful crutch for young creators?

therealchuckcarter10 karma

Empowering.

_Radiant4 karma

Formal Greetings Chuck! As a 30+ year old software/web developer with lots of games ideas, what language/animation engine should I start getting dirty in? And no not with smelly code.

therealchuckcarter7 karma

What /u/cyberpunkalpaca Said below! :0)

LemonLce3 karma

Hey there! Big fan of the games you've worked on (my mom LOVED Myst). I guess my question is, of all the games and pieces of work you've done, which one influenced you most to keep doing what you were doing and not switch to some other outlet for art rather than for video games?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Not so much a game per se... but my interest in just developing ideas that allow players to follow a story and play around in a unique world created by us is what drives me to stay in this genre. It's very satisfying. Tell your mom thank you!

Matt81763 karma

You worked on Myst!? I loved that game! What college did you go to?!

therealchuckcarter5 karma

I'm totally self-taught. No real college other than some random classes back in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

crabapplesteam3 karma

Need a composer? I've been working on films for years and always wanted to get into writing for games.

If not - how does one get into writing music for games?

therealchuckcarter5 karma

We're all set here - but to get into the industry - do a search of all the major game companies, though the smaller Indie Game companies might be more receptive to using a contract artist - and send links to your samples. It's the best way to do it.

Redshadow863 karma

Do you have any idea what happened to tiberium?

therealchuckcarter6 karma

No clue - they fired all of us after EA bought out Westwood.

Buzzooo23 karma

What are your thoughts on The Witness' art style and the inspirations it took from Myst?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

I like it - island based - much more colorful, the puzzles are... interesting. But I really love the art style - they went away from the more textural look of Myst and let the geometry define the look and feel with color and light. It's it's own beast. I've played about half way through and really enjoy the feel and atmosphere of the game.

BrokenHandlebar3 karma

Hey Chuck Carter!! I met you a long time ago when my uncle used to work at Cyan! Do you ever talk to Rand or Robyn anymore?

therealchuckcarter4 karma

Yes - we talk on occasion and have reconnected recently with the advent of Obduction (Awesome game btw!!) and ZED. They are really very cool and I'm glad we've keep in contact all these years. Who was your uncle?

Thats_absrd3 karma

Oh you worked on Myst? Well then my questions for you:

Why do you enjoy inflicting pain?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Yes - I have this collection of whips and chains in my office... wanna see?! :0) As for why? Well - my father....

billbapapa3 karma

Hi Chuck - I love/d Myst with all my heart.

What was your favourite Age?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Thanks for playing Myst! Selentic... lots of things in there I had fun doing. Even won a bet with Rand Miller on the underground portion of it about being able to do it in under 2 weeks - took 10 days. And then we discovered once it was built (Originally it was a walking these paths kind of world...) it would have taken 2 years to render with the technology of the time. So I came up with the rail system and the blowfish car... and the rest is history!

billbapapa1 karma

Haha. Many thanks for that. I love the "2 years to render problem' and a genius solution - best of luck with your new company!

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Thanks Bill!

samwise09123 karma

On a personal level, what is your favorite movie of all time?

therealchuckcarter8 karma

Dark City

Pun_In_Ten_Did3 karma

Hi Chuck!

Wow, so you are the one responsible for so much Myst and Command & Conquer gaming love in my life. Never thought I'd randomly be able to say 'thank you' for all of that. What a wonderful time to be alive!

Question: WHERE CAN I GET THAT SWEET WALLPAPER YOU ARE ROCKING?

So long and thanks for all the games!

therealchuckcarter2 karma

Thanks! The wallpaper is from the movie the Martian - I think. As for Myst and C&C - I was a part of some awesome teams that made those games and lucky to have been a part of that aspect of gaming. I was lucky to be involved back then!

Pun_In_Ten_Did1 karma

Cool - thanks! I was getting a 'Martian' vibe but didn't want to presume.

Good teams, good games -- congrats on living the dream.

Cheers!

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Thanks Pun! :0)

Beastrik3 karma

Hello Chuck Carter

Did you know the PC game "Lighthouse" is a complete rip-off of "Myst"?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Never saw it - now I'll have to look it up! :0)

tombot183 karma

Hi Chuck!

What's the piece of work you're most proud of yourself? Could be an individual item or an entire game.

therealchuckcarter4 karma

My work on Babylon5, Red Alert 2, my first piece on Dinosaurs for National Geographic, Dune Emperor, Myst obviously... they're all part of my work history - and I really just enjoyed working on such a wide variety of things it can be hard to pick a favorite. ZED now is growing into my true favorite because most of it is all mine for once.

JasonsBoredAgain3 karma

Hey Chuck, Welcome! I'm currently trying to break in to the animation industry, and as far as I can tell, that has to start in gaming. Everyone wants experience, but nobody wants to GIVE said experience. Any tips on a good break-in tactic?

therealchuckcarter8 karma

My best advice? As an art director when I had a ton of reels to go through for a new opening I always looked at them all... but if your work did not grab me in the first 10 seconds, then I went to the next one. So if you're sending your work (or showing it online) put the most compelling piece up front and don't worry about titles or anything else - just show your best work first and be sure it is something that catches the attention of whom ever is seeing it for the first time. you're competing with a lot of people and boring is not good. You need to grab the art director by the throat and shake them till they hire you!

JasonsBoredAgain1 karma

Awesome. I've definitely got some tweaking to do on the reel. And if you could settle a question that I've heard evidence for on both sides...should a reel have sound or not? College they said no, other artists have said yes...

Also, any chance you'd check out my reel if I linked it on here?

JasonsBoredAgain1 karma

Just in case you're willing and I'm away from my computer, here my most recent reel(no sound). Starts with space stuff! hehe

therealchuckcarter5 karma

I'll check it out when I have a moment! Thanks!

frauenarzZzt3 karma

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for visiting - I'm a fan! What was it that made you want to leave your jobs in AAA gaming and start your own studio?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Thanks for being a fan! I left the big AAA gaming companies because I felt it was time for me to do my own projects. I've been working for others for so long that at some point you want to start exploring your own ideas. It just made sense - but it's not for the faint hearted!

ItsMaxTheMagnificent2 karma

As a follow on to samwise0192's question "what is your favorite movie of all time?" What story would you most like to see (a) turned into a movie and (b) turned into a 3D/VR game (my answer to both would be Eon by Greg Bear)?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Snowcrash or Olaf Stapledon's Starmaker.

BirdSizedMosquito2 karma

As an artist what are your thought on the increase of VR and its effect on game design?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

That's a million dollar question. No doubt playing in a VR world is pretty amazing. Playing in ZED on an Oculus is something totally different than playing on a 2D screen. The first time we put on the headset and looked around - it was breath taking. You are in the world - and it behaves like a real world experience at least visually - so I think it may finally have staying power and honestly who knows where this tech will be just a few years from now. It presents a whole new set of challenges from a gaming perspective. when all your controls are now in 3D for the most part - you interact with them differently. And the game designs will have to take those enhancements seriously. 2D limits you - 3D challenges you to come up with all kinds of new ways to interact with your surroundings. I could go on about this...

frauenarzZzt2 karma

Thoughts/opinions on feet in general?

therealchuckcarter8 karma

They come in handy for getting around.

Hayseus2 karma

Are ya hiring?

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Not right now sorry... :0)

Hayseus1 karma

Well let me know. If you need a Mr. French, I'll grow a mustache.

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Je vais le faire et vous faire savoir le plus tôt possible !

frauenarzZzt2 karma

As an artist it seems like you've been given diverse opportunities to work on an array of games. However, ZED is in some ways drawing genuine comparisons to Myst although it's obviously also very unique and original in its own. Are you going back to this sort of style of game because it's the type of game you like to play, because it's the sort of story you'd like to tell? What is inspiring you to do this? What games do you prefer to play?

therealchuckcarter5 karma

Ok - where to start. ZED is based on some old ideas that actually predate MYST. I've seen the comparisons to MYST and am very flattered to be compared favorably to my earlier work on it. I'm not consciously trying to recreate it so to speak - but I just think my own artistic sensibilities are coming through in the design and art I'm making for ZED. If I was doing Myst now it would look something like ZED I'm sure. I think some of my stylistic choices back then and now are still evident.

As for the reasons I'm doing ZED - Yes. I like that style of game - but only because it is a way to get my personal vision out there. I'm in a position to share this idea with others and let them play a game world I want to play in. And the story is very personal... and now with the game engines like Unreal being available to anyone who wants to make a game - we are seeing a new art form emerge that lets everyone tell a story - not just people like me who've been doing this stuff for such a long time. I think with VR too - we will see something new emerge in the game industry as non-gamers starter discovering the technology and perhaps a new art form will emerge - it's exciting.

I like Dear Esther, Doom, The Stanley Parable, Antichamber among others...

damianted2 karma

Whoa! Myst is old school! I loved that game! Which C&C game was it where youre controlling a lone commando? I remember playing it but was too young to catch the name

therealchuckcarter6 karma

I think you're talking about C&C Renegade.

billman1192 karma

Do you have any idea why C and C Tiberium Sun took so long to come out? I feel like most of my childhood was spend waiting for that game to come out.

therealchuckcarter3 karma

It was my second game at Westwood Studios - they wanted to do it right. Sometimes these things take a while.

thenaughtyknitter2 karma

What are the requirements to be an artist for games? I personally love drawing and would definitely love to have this job later

therealchuckcarter2 karma

A good portfolio showing a solid drawing ability, digital painting if you're a concept artist, 3d art for environments or characters or props if you want to get into level building and a decent working knowledge of a game engine. Go online and search for game artists portfolios and see what others are doing and find a good 3D program you like and start making stuff. Always be objective and let others critique your work and trust them.

frauenarzZzt2 karma

I've donated to your Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1368459285/zed/

Can you tell me why you've chosen Kickstarter? You said you were funding your project with NASA money. Do they not pay well anymore, or what happens next?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Well a game requires a lot of things and most things cost money. NASA pays all the basic bills and my living expenses. Kickstarter will help us with raising money for adding some levels of optimization and more content. We chose KS because we felt we had the best chance to achieve our goals with it.

suaveitguy2 karma

Do you sell any of your original video game design art anywhere?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

What do you want? :0)

suaveitguy1 karma

Some MYST design? I don't know what you designed on paper vs digitally.

therealchuckcarter5 karma

Anything I worked on for Myst would belong to Cyan.

vertigo882 karma

Were C&C games every made to be played in a competitive environment like SC2?

therealchuckcarter5 karma

I don't think they were designed to be professionally competitive like games are today - but honestly you'll need to ask the actual designers of the games. But my answer would be no.

desantoos2 karma

In your Kickstarter FAQ you say that the game will be released in Q1 2017. That seems like an impossibly short amount of time. It gives you less than a year to do a substantial amount of work, from programming to debugging. Your old employer Cyan recently ran a Kickstarter for Obduction and they had to delay their game by a substantial amount of time. As a backer of that game, I don't mind the delay, but I am worried that the game will be rushed. Kickstarter projects often have very demanding customers who try their best to get products rushed to their doorstep.

So my question is this: Is early 2017--less than a year from now--truly a reasonable timeframe for this project ending? I ask because I wouldn't mind backing someone with such an interesting aesthetic, but seeing such naive claims makes me feel you are somehow still inexperienced in the managerial aspects of game development, something that frequently plagues the Kickstarter community.

I enjoyed your surrealist artistic taste in Myst. They went away from that in sequels, perhaps for good reason, but I certainly wouldn't mind a return to that sort of world.

therealchuckcarter3 karma

That's a great question. At this point we've done an incredible amount of work on ZED, and we feel comfortable giving a 3-month time window for release. As you know, a lot of games do have their release schedules pushed back, and I have worked on numerous games where that has been the case for innumerable reasons. I've been on this road a long time.

At Eagre we want to create the ​_best_​ game possible and provide you with as much value as possible, ​and​ release on time. This may seem lofty, but we've been setting the framework for this for a long time.

Bug testing is being done with agile development - like cooking a huge meal - as you complete each dish you stop for a second and clean up as you go a long. This saves tons of time downstream in that anything that could be a legacy issue is nipped in the bud while it's fresh and at the end of development, debugging goes very fast.

We are also using a mature game engine in Unreal Engine 4. Programming is something that is much easier when working with their nodal editor - Blueprints.

With full Kickstarter funding we can help focus from getting the bills paid through my NASA work to working full time on ZED and still have enough time to do proper programming and debugging. My team has a lot of experience in game design and development as well and we have a road map which we are comfortable with and confident in.

As for the surrealistic aspects of my Myst work, I believe ZED will continue with an even more refined aesthetic. After Myst I was no longer with the company and they took a different artistic approach to the game. ZED is all mine visually.

Again, thanks for a good question. I hope you'll support us and we will return you to a unique world that is as rich and new as Myst was at the time.

ThatsMyHoverboard2 karma

Did you yourself put any easter eggs into the games or projects you worked on?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

Perhaps - :0)

TheDalekKid2 karma

Do you let people visit the studio? I'm also a Mainer, and the games you're working on look amazing- it would be really cool to check out your working environment.

therealchuckcarter4 karma

We are in Orono - 20 Godfrey Drive - you can contact us through our website by signing up on our subscription page and putting the details in the message box... that way I'll know who you are and such. So feel free to visit.

sealfoss2 karma

Do you know /u/qarl? He worked on Riven. :D

therealchuckcarter2 karma

No.

Firecrotch20141 karma

Thats awesome! My bf used to work as a special effects artist for a small SF based studio called Cinematico. He worked on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 as well as some tv shows for Adult Swim called Xavier: Renegade Angel.

What's your favorite genre of video game to play personally? Whats your favorite game to play in that genre?

therealchuckcarter1 karma

My favorite genre varies with the mood on any particular day... Doom one day, Antichamber the next, Lifeless Planet or Star Wars Battlefront or Castle Wolfenstein... stress levels dictate more what I play and when! Looking into Fallout now... It's got Maine!

juhuharrid1 karma

Where do I start when wanting to work with videogames?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

Well - you need to decide - do I want to be an artist? Or designer? Or Programmer? Then you need to figure out what skills you have and if they are good enough to possibly go to school and try to get a job in the industry... so figure that part out first and start there.

mikronaut1 karma

Do you listen to much music? If so, which is your all time favorite song? (Or otherwise, what is one song which you really enjoy?)

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Well - Steely Dan Aja is possibly one of my favorites... Roundabout from Yes and now more into a lot of current industrial and ambient music... I'm going to be 60 next year so it's showing in my musical choices I'm afraid!

Sparkysnail3211 karma

My uncle is a huge fan of Myst. Did you work on any of the other games in the series?

therealchuckcarter1 karma

No- I left Cyan after Myst was completed.

suaveitguy1 karma

Did you use the Video Toaster? What did you think of it at the time?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

I never really played with the Video Toaster... I was never involved with that end of the process. I would use After Effects or Premier when dealing with video. But I remember the Toaster well - a game changer for sure!

katsuyatsu1 karma

Hi Chuck! What tools do you use right now? What are your favs? Do you use anything from the Adobe?

therealchuckcarter3 karma

MODO is my primary modeler... it's easy, deep and has a new set of tools designed for output to game engines built in... ZBrush for organic models but it has new tools for box modeling that are very cool. Photoshop, After Effects (love AFX!), Illustrator - UNreal Engine for building our games... and a ton of others like Light Wave and Substance painter and speed tree... what ever it takes.

ItsMaxTheMagnificent1 karma

Hi Chuck -- Max here -- so what are the chances of your adding a small multiplayer online capability to ZED in a downstream release -- just 2 or 3 close friends exploring the ZED universe together all with VR headsets?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

Hmmmm...

ItsMaxTheMagnificent1 karma

I'll take that as a yes (Happy Dance :-) LOL

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Hush now! :0)

Lolepeno1 karma

Have you ever had a problem with being too protective or precious about a game/project?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

No.

George_mov1 karma

Hey there! I absolutely adored Myst in my Childhood. I would like to know who inspired you to do video game art and what are your favorite video game of all time? (P.s. Zed looks really good, already backed $23)

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Thanks very much for being a backer!! Sincerely appreciated! I was inspired while working in greeting cards by the old arcade machines - Like Star Wars X-Wing Fighter, Dragons Lair - Burger Time... so many! And then Cyan came out with the Manhole and I found that wandering through the halls and worlds of that little game sparked a real interest in building worlds that when Cyan asked me to join the team on Myst - I jumped at the chance. Thats where it all began. Favorite Video Game? Hmmm... Hard to pick a favorite... I even loved this little game called Lifeless Planet - simple graphics and game play but compelling... Not sure I have a favorite.

TeeGeeArr1 karma

[deleted]

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Get involved in the Indie game community - You need to apply what you've learned in your current job and see what you can work into game engines. See what small game companies can use for their games. Write some tools in Unreal or Unity for them - put them up in the Market place. getting in the indie community will give you exposure and if you start helping them - you can build up a resume and then you'll be able to start looking higher up the chain so to speak.

Agent_245G1 karma

Hello. I was wondering: are straight-up point & click Riven-like games still worth creating? Because I want to make one myself based on drawings I create. You should see them, I'm so good at perspective I can draw a scene that looks like what an in-game render would be.

therealchuckcarter2 karma

Awesome! As for viability of the genre - I think it's still viable - but you need to add a new wrinkle into it. As for your idea - take a look at what you want to do and look at it objectively and see if it stands up to whats being done - find other people who can be objective about your work and ideas and do the same thing. Hope that helps.

mikronaut1 karma

Also, I see that you're using Unreal Engine 4 for ZED. This seems to be growing more common these days, with games like Obduction, Xing, and a few others also using it. So how do you plan to set ZED apart from the others, both in terms of concept, and also potentially in terms of visuals and gameplay? (Edit: I definitely don't think the use of UE4 is at all a bad thing, I just realized i might have accidentally implied that. It is a quality engine, and would most likely be my choice if I wanted to create a game, which is definitely a dream of mine.)

therealchuckcarter3 karma

We chose Unreal because it's, in my opinion, the best tool set out there for making games. ZED will stand apart for numerous reasons - art style, game and puzzle interactions and some things we really can't talk about right now. The story is going to be compelling and not intrude into the game play in a way that takes away from the immersion. The visuals are inspired from numerous sources including my own dreams and we all have a pretty unique set of dream worlds that are very personal. I'm just able to share mine in a very public way. Gameplay is not Myst like in the least - but involves helping the dreamer even though he isn't aware you're necessarily helping him. I'm bring 25 years of working on games into ZED - so it's going to be at the very least - unique. And Mikronaut go and make a game! Just do it as they say!

vxevxb1 karma

Hello, thanks for doing this AMA. My question is how do you interpret NASA's data into illustrations? and how closely can we compare this illustration to reality?

therealchuckcarter1 karma

Hmmm... Well lots of discussions with what team I'm working with at the time, going over tons reference and seeing what others have done in the past, bringing my own take to things. As for reality - more representative if anything. I try to make the art as close to reality as possible but sometimes reality won't work like making planets around a star - in reality they would be so small in comparison that reality means you don't see much - so I change things so the concept and ideas read and put everything closer.

Mekanis1 karma

Myst and C&C both are a important part of my childhood, and I didn't even knew they were people who worked on both. So, thank you for the amazing job you did.

As Myst was utterly revolutionary at the time, did you had to face a lot of technical pressurs on the project, or was it more "Hey, this CD thing is neat, let's test it" ?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

This CD thing is cool - well more than cool - it's the only thing around! Technical limitations were trying to fit a couple thousand images on CDs. The computers too were damn slow... images could take a couple days or more to render. by comparison to today - in Unreal I can run the game at thousands of times the level of detail that we did in MYST - and in real time. But we adapted to the tech and here we are now. :0)

juhuharrid1 karma

Hmmm ok also what was your favorite game to work on and what's your opinion on the gaming industry and where it's head as far as VR?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

Myst and Red Alert 2 and Dune Emperor... as for VR - not really sure but it's exciting! And we'll be there every step of the way!

CynicalSoup1 karma

Have you ever played Mega man Legends?

therealchuckcarter2 karma

I have not but I like the art style!