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This is a source namespace page. It serves as a historical archive for official reference material frequently cited in the Legacy of Kain Wiki's articles.

In 2012, Legacy of Kain series art director Daniel Cabuco launched a new portfolio website, DCabDesign, with an accompanying forum inviting the fan community to ask questions about the games. His replies, and relevant posts from others, are mirrored at this site.

ProfileEdit

Welcome to my forumEdit

Hi and welcome to my forums. I created it to better communicate with fans of my work, the games I have worked on, and to help aspiring game artists get into the industry. I look forward to interacting with everyone and helping people learn more about games and games they love. Feel free to ask me questions, give feedback or just say hi.
―Daniel Cabuco, January 3, 2012, 06:50 p.m.[1]
Hi Mister Daniel,

I am an aspiring game artist (currently an art student in CA) and will be entering my senior year soon. I heard from my friends that you are one of the Art Directors who actually help and answer people's questions (ie. like me) so, ....If you don't mind, I have not just one but a couple of questions:

1. whats the best way to organize and show off my portfolio when I come into an interview?
2. do I need to bring in a physical portfolio or can I just leave what I have online?
3. Is digital better than hardcopy?
4. What kind of work should I show?

thank you so much!!
SeanDD

―ssdd1
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the question, its a good one! I'll answer them in order.

1. whats the best way to organize and show off my portfolio when I come into an interview?
Simplicity is best here. Best to use a portfolio with plastic inserts that allows you to show off your work easily. A lot of people get caught up in fancy presentation and do the whole tracing paper covering the image, mounted on black foamcore or cardstock. That just makes it harder to see your work and adds unnecessary fluff to your portfolio. It should be about your pieces and not just your presentation. A neat, clean presentation is best. You should organize your work with your best pieces in front and no bad pieces. Your work is judged against your best and worst piece. Be prepared to talk about your work and what it took to make it.

2 and 3 work are interconnected. Do I need to bring in a physical portfolio or can I just leave what I have online? Is digital better than hardcopy?
More and more artists are keeping their work online and using that as a portfolio. While it is more convenient to have work online, there are a lot of factors that can throw a monkey wrench into your online viewing. Studios are busy and dynamic places, and don't always have the resources to easily view your work to its best possible advantage. Sometimes their network goes offline, or you get shunted into a meeting room that doesn't have a net connection or large viewing screen. There are a million things that could go wrong at that end, best not to rely on someone else's facilities. You need to insure that your work is viewed in the best possible way. So even if your work is online, you should have a copy of it on a USB stick, a laptop or tablet. A physical portfolio isn't necessarily better, but you if you are going to go purely digital, make sure it can be presented in the best possible way.

4. What kind of work should I show?
Try to show work that is relevant to the position you are applying for. You should reshuffle your portfolio based on what you think will best match the job in style, genre, and type. Sometimes there is no perfect match, but showing versatility can also help people bridge the gap and take a chance on you. Artists are also problem solvers, so if you show a beautiful piece, it helps to show some of the techniques or stages you went through creating it. (ie One beautiful creature design should have roughs, studies, and variations.) You should also show anything that helped your get to the finished image, like a one-sheet of reference and design notes. This shows that you are familiar with a structured pipeline, typical of the one used in game companies. (ie if you do an alien landscape, have a sheet of reference images showing where you drew inspiration from and perhaps a few color studies) The more you can demonstrate that you are a structured visual problem solver, the more impressive your portfolio will be.

Good luck on your portfolio, and if you need help with it in any way, please don't hesitate to post your questions. :)

Best,

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, July 16, 2012, 06:06 a.m.[2]
Hello, Daniel :D

No questions yet, just wanted to say hello. This is Soap Lady. Looking forward to seeing more fabulous artwork.

―Soap Lady
Hi Soap Lady! Welcome! Thanks for dropping a line! :)
―Daniel Cabuco, August 14, 2012, 06:14 a.m.[3]

[...]

Hi to Daniel, and everyone else I recognise from Eidos LoK Board :)

My, looks like you need a spam zapper on the case asap - these ads are so... unsettling. . .

―Lexy
yeah I sure do. I spend all my time deleting these things and then have only time left to answer maybe 1 or 2 questions...
any suggestions welcome. Thanks
―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 03:26 a.m.[4]
Well if you want someone to delete them on sight I can do that... I'm chained to my desk most nights anyway.

Otherwise, I'm not savvy on how else to stop these bots/people registering and filling every topic. I can ask someone about it though, who writes his own forums and code. Maybe he knows, I'm sure he has this issue too at some points.

―Lexy
Thanks, Lexy. I may take you up on that if my new security features fail. Let me see how the next couple of days go...
―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 05:00 a.m.[5]

[...]

Actually all your suggestions are of great help. I think just making the registration question a little harder helps. I've also turned email verification and Admin approval on for now. Hopefully that helps without turning people off of registering on this board.

:) Thank you!

―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 08:59 p.m.[6]

Dumah's DesignEdit

Hi Daniel,

Just wanted to ask a question... what influenced Dumah's design? He seems to wear a half mask like Shao Khan from Mortal Kombat. Thanks!

―DumahLord
Hi,

Well Dumah was a conglomeration of different styles, the most prominent of which is Japanese Samurai. I modified it with our layer of Soul Reaver-esque flavor, adding carvings of faces, and the helmet flares. Dumah was supposed to be the most skilled of the warriors in physical combat, so I emphasized the armor and shapes that would make him feel deadly. The similarities to Shao Khan are just coincidental.

Thanks!

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, July 12, 2012, 09:59 a.m.[7]
Sorry to resurrect an old thread. This forum is simply astounding, especially for us fans, who've been waiting nigh-on a decade for a new installment or information. I've been with the series since a UK magazine featured a LoK game demo sometime in late '97 or early '98. The series is a fantastic culmination of design, sound, writing, etc. Anyway, in respect of this particular thread, I was wondering if there is any conceptual art of Dumah floating around. I've seen Melchiah and Zephon and Turel, but can't recall any (d)evolved Dumah making the rounds. He truly is a formidable looking guy. I have the big action figure at home. The design of his face underneath the mask is really tribal and fearsome; did you have anything to do with that? Thanks for the opportunity to pose such questions 8-)
―Valaquen
Hi Valaquen,

It's funny I was just going through an old folder of paper cleaning up some boxes, when I came across my initial designs for Dumah. I'll scan them in and post them here soon. I designed the face and armor for Dumah (and have yet to get the toy lol)I'm glad you like him.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, September 20, 2012, 10:35 p.m.[8]

Question about Raziel's DesignEdit

I received an email about Raziel's design from Haley Jo and am posting it here for anyone else who might be curious about his spines.

"Dear Mr. Cabuco,

Hello, I am a fan of the Legacy of Kain series and the art you used for the characters has both inspired and helped me in improving my own art. But one thing I have always been extremely curious about is Raziel’s character design after he becomes a wraith. I’m also extremely interested in anatomy, and I’ve noticed Raziel seems to always be depicted with two spinal columns. I’m wondering why he has two spinal columns. What was the rationale behind giving him two spines? I’ve been trying to puzzle this out off and on for years, but come up with nil, so I decided to just ask. Get it from the source, so to speak. Thank you very much for your time and for putting your character designs out there for other artists to learn from.

Sincerely,

Haley Jo"

My Reply:

Hi Haley,

Thanks for the email. :) That's a great question. We wanted to make Raziel a pretty unique character, and the dual spine helped show that he was evolving (or devolving) when he grew his wings. Remember that all of Kain's gifts were tainted, and if Vampire Raziel was left alone, he would have devolved into a bat or dragon like creature, similar to his bretheren. The dual spine was the very beginning of that, and was part of his central anatomy as a winged Vampire. I think I would have designed him as a dual winged, dual spined vampire.When he got turned into a wraith, it simply revealed his spine since his flesh was burned away.
I am glad that my artwork has helped inspire you and your artwork. :)

―Daniel Cabuco, July 12, 2012, 10:04 a.m.[9]
i too have another raziel ?

what exactly is on the back of raziels cowl??
I have a hard time making out what it is supposed to be?
:cry:

―majinkura
Ok this is a long story.

Before we did any cinematics, Raziel was already designed and running. What was supposed to happen was, Raziel falls into the Abyss, and his body melts and his clothing is all messed up. He was supposed to awaken, and in a series of quick shots, try to put on what clothing he had remaining. (wrapping his arms, carefully adding the cowl, assembling what was left of the boot guard)
The last shot was supposed to be him taking the leather shoulder guard and spreading it across the back of the cowl to hold it in place. (you can see it in the original concept turnaround for Raziel) Alas, the cinematic was very expensive to produce, and in the interest of time and money, he just dropped into the Elder God's chamber with the cowl magically falling on his shoulder, so all he had to do was throw it over his shoulder.
I preserved the design in SR2, because I thought it looked cooler.. and realized that it didn't really make all that much sense given that no one else had seen it put on properly. So we got rid of it in Defiance.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 27, 2012, 08:31 a.m.[10]

A few questions (Divine Shadow)Edit

Hello Daniel. I am a long-term Legacy of Kain fan whose love for these games started as soon as I played Soul Reaver. Your designs were unlike anything I'd seen in a game, and really stuck with me. A decade later, and I'm still writing about the series. Thanks.

I have a few questions:

(1) A touch I always adored in Kain's design was the presence of Vorador's signet ring from Blood Omen - used as an earring. Can I ask, what other influences from Blood Omen if any inspired the designs in the Soul Reaver games?

(2) Were there any characters that you designed that did not make it into the final games? As I'm sure you are aware, there has been a persistent interest in excised content, so if you could add any insight it would be much appreciated.

(3) Did you have any idea of the form that the Razielim, or Raziel's evolution would have taken? The same question could also be asked of Dumah's final form, before his impalement and suspended evolution.

(4) We know that Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy was a brief, cancelled project that took place after Defiance. If you are unable to comment on this question then I fully understand, but do you know if any of your designs were being used in this abandoned project, or were you given any insight into the direction the series was going to go after your fantastic work on Defiance?

(5) The Glyph Forges have always awed me, the statues, carvings, locations, all hint that each has its own untold backstory. The giant blacksmith statue (?) for example, and the murals of tentacled creatures hinted at some lost history. Did you invent any history for these locations, or in any of your other designs, that are not explicit in the final release?

(6) What differences were there between the design of Turel that would have appeared in Soul Reaver, and his imposing appearance in Defiance?

Many thanks for offering to answer these, its exciting to be able to ask!
―Divine Shadow
Hi Shadow!

Thank you so much for your interest in all thinks LOK and SR. It's great to see you're writing about the series. Wow there are a lot of questions here. I hope I can remember enough in one sitting to give you all the information you're asking for. (I might follow up this post with 'Oh yeah, I forgot..' or ' And one more thing..')

1) When I joined the SR team I was very keen on bringing as much over from Blood Omen that I could that would pay homage to the original, but raise the bar on it too. The way Kain originally died, via sword impalement, was something I wanted to keep (thus the giant scar on his chest). There was stained glass in the chapel that had Vorador with a sword on his head, too. I am sure there were more than a more things as well, but right now I can't think of it.. You saw the Armor design for William the conqueror (where I explained his red and black horned armor, which looked pretty evil in the original, was adjusted to look more like a rose and thorns).

2) The Priestess, several vampire Hunter types, Demon designs, and vampire variants were all thrown out due to time or just plain not liking the design. I even tried to make a modular demon design so we could swap in parts and make different mix-and-match demons. :P That idea didn't last long. I tried some Sluagh variants and Vampire Wraith designs too.. and some Spectral creatures that nested in and around the Elder God. I have them all on a hard drive or CD.. somewhere.

3) I get this question a lot, and given the wing design on Raziel, I always thought either a giant bat creature or dragon/bat creature would be his evolution. An artist on Deviant Art, named Emilee made a cool drawing: http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&q=lornemilee#/d4lnmmo That I found inspirational. I may try my own take on Raziel's devolved form just for kicks. So yeah.. bat dragon.. thingee. Dumah's would have been more Oni/Rhino/Juggernaught like. The armor would have been fused into his being and bony blades would have been popping out backwards from his wrists in a fan shape. I know there's an awesome drawing in there... let me thow on the headphones with 'Two Steps from Hell' and start sketching. LOL

4) Ritual did a great job trying to make Dark Prophecy into a Kain game. They flew myself, Richard Lemarchand, and Jen Fernandez in as consultants. I really liked working with these guys. Ultimately it's hard to know exactly why it didn't go forward.. politics, economics, or what have you. They did take the art style into a more 'heavy metal' direction, with I tried to steer them away from when it came to the original SR time. It was more City of Lost Children/Lost Steampunk kind of a look. Much of the game would have taken place in the Hylden Realm anyway, so their style worked really well for that.
5) The glyph forges were meant to be mysterious and give fans a lot to think about, and discuss in forums. I don't want to nail down that one particular thing meant, but I did want imagery that would spark the imagination and get people into the fiction of the world. Amy was explicit about the meaning of the murals, but left the rest to us. We all had a ball creating things like heart pulling spears, Boba straws of death, or soul devouring weapons. It all seemed to fit the technology of the Ancient Vampires.
6) Turel would have been more upright, like a huge version of the original Turelheim. Peeled back skin, merged into bone, part becoming exoskeletal armor or thick skin, other parts bony and malformed. He would have been Dumah sized, I think. But that's really speculation because we never got to his level. CD was like 'enough! get the game out the door already!' LOL
Thanks for the great questions.If anything more comes to mind I'll post it here. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 13, 2012, 10:28 p.m.[11]

[...]

PM's should be working fine now Divine Shadow. Sorry if they weren't earlier.. I am a noob at Forums. Please bear with me.

Dark Prophecy.. hmm.. where to begin. It dealt more with Kain going to the Hylen realm, and kicking the ever living sh*t out of them, the Hylden Lord and Janos. (Kinda like how Liam Neeson did it to France in 'Taken') That's the 'once sentence elevator pitch' for marketing. A proposal was brought out that Kain should be able to 'summon' Raziel out of the blade during certain key points of the game. That was a proposal shot down by the Crystal delegation. The basic news we brought was that Soul Reaver was Raziel's story, and it ended with Defiance. After that it was all Kain. So with that basic premise laid out, we looked for ways to create the Hylden realm look and architecture, their technology and sorcery type, and worked out how we could get Kain into the Hylden realm and why. Rich and Jen were instrumental in creating a more compelling story than just Kain kicking the hell out of the Hylden... Kyle (RIP) and I worked on base level mechanics and art direction.
There were good ideas in the whole thing, but ultimately it just didn't wash. So the Raz you see was part of the gameplay they initially proposed before CD sent us over to Ritual to do more direct collaboration.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 07:43 a.m.[12]

Submitting character design works?Edit

I have a ? about this,specifically when you are already working for a company and you do the character design sheets & preliminary sketches for your employer,do you have to submit the original hard copies of said works or can you submit copies of the work so as not to ruin the originals?
(dunno if this makes any sense to you,i hope it does.)

and also how do you feel when others handle your designs in the workplace? - i mean when others need to make 3D models,etc from the model sheets.(you know,because you spent so much time working on these pieces of art.)do you sometimes find flaws or things in the character that shouldn't be there?

―majinkura
Hi Majinkura,

Thanks for the great question. Generally, once the drawings are scanned in, we're allowed to keep them. Now make no mistake, the company has every right to ask for the hardcopies and store them, and also ask that you do not show the drawings under NDA. But generally once they have it digitally, usually they're pretty easy going about hard copies. It really depends on the company.

Well, I love it when 3D modellers handle my concepts or designs. There is always some different interpretation, and when I am able, I give feedback on what's important about making it better or more accurate. It's a collaborative effort. Sometimes 3D artists make your work even better and add wonderful details you didn't think of. And sometimes they have to resolve what you didn't in the 2D drawing. (stuff that doesn't align or look right between orthographic views) So I look at it as a partnership, one born of mutual respect and trust. That's why it's really important to work with the best 3D artists you can.

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, August 14, 2012, 06:14 a.m.[13]

Soul Reaver questionsEdit

Hey there, Daniel!

I have a few questions for you about my fav game of all time, Soul Reaver. If you can´t answer some of them, np :)

1. What do Rahabim actually fire at Raziel? Is it water or some kind of poison? Their projectiles look different than Turelim have.
2. What inspired the look of the vampire wraiths in the game?
3. Did you have several designs for the wraithblade´s appearance?
4. At which stage of the development where the remaining Reaver forges cut from the game and why? (stone, water, sunlight, sound). I read in many reviews before SR´s release that you could imbue the Reaver with several elements but was puzzled when there was only the fire forge in the game. Do you know where in the game could Raziel find those forges?
5.In the Sanctus Christus video, Raziel is seen attacking a Rahabim underwater with his claws. Why was this mechanic removed? http://thelostworlds.net/SR1/Images/02-Versions-07-KainDemo-03-RazielEarly-attack.JPG
6.The deleted audio suggests the enemies would sometimes talk to Raziel (Traitor! Heretic!, etc.) when he would approach them. Was this ever implemented in the game?
7. Why was the Sarafan Tomb interior chamber with the crypts redesigned? (On some screenshots, the decoration is on the caskets themselves https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HT6682vA3h0/THp_m6YcsHI/AAAAAAAAAnk/dIbv67NDRds/s800/tomb2.JPG, while in the final game, the caskets are blank and have decorative walls behind them).
8. Do you know which kind of puzzles were planned for Turel´s smokestack area or Undercity lair of the Priestess?

I hope it´s not too many :D Thanks again!

―Raina Audron
Hi Raina,

Nice to hear from you again.

1) The Rahabim fired kind of foul water bubble. It would be dangerous to everyone but other Rahabim.
2) The Vampire Wraiths are a funny story. Amy had given me the description for them one day and as I had just finished work on the Sluagh. I kept churning over in my head what those fettered souls would look like. I wanted to do something super detailed, but the PS1 level graphics were pretty limited. I was pouring through all my art books to get inspiration and get into the groove. I think I went through just about everything I had at the time, from Gundam to Dark Crystal. I have a belief that when you put good things in your head, great stuff comes out. I went to bed exhausted and just let it all sink in. I woke up at 4 in the morning, unable to sleep further.. something was rattling around in my noggin'. At the time I lived a few blocks from Crystal D, so I got dressed and sort of jogged to work. I got into my drawing table and just started drawing cool shapes. I realized that, actually, the less I showed of them, the better they would look, so I grabbed my book of mummified bodies and started riffing on the design from there. (yes, I have a book of mummified bodies.. doesn't everyone?!) Looking at death shrouds and wrappings,I then grabbed my old Frazetta book and looked up Death Dealer. Then that led me to look at Alan Lee's paintings of Nazgul. Before I knew it I had knocked out the design by 8 am and had turnarounds done by 9:30 when most people started coming in. I showed my design to the programmers, and was happy that I could come up with a design that didn't require a ton of bones for the legs. ( I felt like I had used my creativity to come up with a good design that not only looked good but solved a bone count issue with some of our enemies) Hoo that became a long story, lol.
3) We had a TON of designs for the wraith blade, and every incarnation of it. Even how Raziel held it was up for debate. I am not sure where those drawings ended up, but it was a lot of fun to think/discuss/argue about.
4) Ah yes, the remaining forges. Let me tell you, this game ate up a lot of weekends and late nights. Even with that extra time in, we didn't have enough days to finish the game the way it was imagined. There was just too much stuff. Designers had planned the forges and powers that went along with them. One day, we had a come to Jesus moment where we just had to look at the (extremely large) overhead map and just start Xing out areas, powers, and abilities. It was painful and difficult. Each forge was tied to an ability, and each ability was supposed to unlock a new area, AND new mechanics. So it was all interwoven. Each cut was not minor.. it literally tore apart pages of well thought out design. (It was like killing your baby.. but Game Devs are the only ones who cry over it.. and people who find out about it later LOL). It was cut about 2/3 into the game. I think all the remaining glyphs were cut at the same time.. sometimes having too many ways to kill a Vampire can be bad too.. we realized there was a lot of redundancy as well. It takes resources from every department (Character, Environment, Engineering, Audio, FX, UI, Design, and Production) to get a single feature realized, so we made cuts that helped as many departments as possible, and sharpened the overall experience. (This happens EVERY GAME, btw) The locations of most forges was adjacent to a boss room.
5)That mechanic was tied to the Stone Glyph which allowed Raziel to walk underwater and attack as normal. It was cut because we could never get the animations to line up properly between swimming and walking characters, and that ultimately... it was a pretty boring mechanic. Try swiping at something that can fly towards or away from you at double your speed. "Weaksauce!" As Cory Stockton would always say.
6) I believe all that audio was used by humans, but some cut because it was for the Vampire Worshippers (and the Priestess.. sigh) The Hunters definitely had some good lines... but the worshippers had the whole 'zealot' thing down.
7) Were they blank in the final game?! Argh.. I hadn't realized.. I painted each one of those damn casks too. :( I remember having a conversation with a producer saying that we needed to change them because of localization (translation into French, Italian, German and Spanish).. He went ahead and did it I guess. I wish he had told me not to make them BEFORE I had painted them.. woulda saved me a sleepless night. rasm frasm.
8) Turel's had a lot of sneaking past eggs, and great fire blasts you had to either time or turn off. The Undercity (which I loved.. LOVED) would have used a lot of pulley/chain puzzles to create walkways, portcullises, and drop stairwells.

Thanks for all the great questions, I hope I answered them well enough. (Don't be afraid to ask a lot. haha)

Best,

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, August 14, 2012, 06:01 a.m.[14]
Thanks so much for all those answers! Here are some more xD

1) Thanks! no more speculations about that one xD What is your favourite enemy in SR1 btw? I really like how each of the clan vampires were so diverse yet deadly in their own way. I would go with Turelim I think (do they really hear better than other enemies?), though Rahabim and Zephonim are pretty unique in their behaviour.
2) cool story, hehe :D had no idea that wraiths were so hard to design. lol book of mummified bodies? xD sure seems to come in handy in those situations! :D very clever legless design indeed, fits perfectly the floating aspect of souls.
3) I really like the final design you guys picked for the wraithblade in SR1. Did it work the best when it would be rendered as coming out of Raziel´s hand directly, as opposed to holding it as a regular sword? I was wondering also, why was the coiling point changed in SR2? Instead of coiling inward to his arm, it coils from his arm.
4) Wow, the forges were really so interconnected? that´s awesome at the same time too bad they got cut, because those images from those areas and few videos sure look tempting to explore :D hm, so they were adjacent to boss rooms, that´s very interesting, never found any indication in the game that they would be there... deleting all the clues in the game pointing to them was really successful xD
5) aha, I have no idea that it was tied together with the Stone Glyph but yeah, I get why attacking when swimming was cut. Though it kinda stayed in the game in some form as you can pick up vases which allow Raziel to walk in water and also attack in a way (my fav is to use the Fire Glyph underwater on Rahabim xD)
6) oh aha, so it was the worshippers then! now it makes sense.
7)Yeah, too bad the caskets were blank. sucks that you worked so hard on them (and the result is amazing) and it gets changed in the final game.. well, at least those designs are still seen on the walls :) http://thelostworlds.net/SR1/Images/03-Story-07-Tomb-SarafanTomb.JPG
8) wow, cool...:O so Turelim would have pupate themselves in a similar fashion as Zephonim? would their eggs would be inside the nests on the ground or somewhere else? would his area be something similar as to what Silenced Cathedral or the Lighthouse are inside(like a tower)?
man.. we haven´t really seen too many screenshots from the Undercity area.. so I always wondered what would you do there. Would Raziel need shift-at-will to pass through? is this picture of the Priestess or some other woman? https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uzagt95Kxks/TILASwbRfyI/AAAAAAAABYs/wWpsOVM05WA/s800/pil-tomb23.JPG
9) What was the inspiration for the boots design for Raziel, Lieutenants and Kain? It is pretty complicated for a ps1 game and very nicely looking too, took me some time to practice drawing them xD
10) Was Priestess´ model ever designed? When was her area cut out of the game? I have noticed there is an opening in city 9 (the big area with the switch which turns off the running water)and that city10 would be somehow connected to it, though I am not sure how. My guess it was this building (the opening on the left):
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-elmIZVSeDLc/TIaacpEVElI/AAAAAAAABw4/iVQk5cSWNao/s800/City7.JPG
11) This room in the Human Citadel, with a health upgrade piece, has a codename Morlock. Why was it attached to Citadel, if it technically belongs to Turel´s area?
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-VRu-Xp6l_X0/THmVsUZFC9I/AAAAAAAAAfw/4t-36DgZiJc/s800/city7.JPG
12) Why this siderooms in Zephon´s chamber cut? Also, seems that Zephon can also manifest in the spectral realm just like Melchiah.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yENzDhEbHfU/TIKezgbE2xI/AAAAAAAABVs/HOqZt_yQSsc/s800/cathedral49.JPG
13) By a total accident, I have found out that it is possible to fly in the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nkXNiqSq9g (that´s the best and useful glitch ever I think :) did it ever happen to you? :D (when Raziel jumps and glides and player holds the autoface button for a second).
14) By using the flying glitch, I managed to explore the upper areas of Nupraptor´s Retreat, Silenced Cathedral and Sarafan-Tomb (outside). I have noticed that there are some flat rocks on the top which Raziel can walk on, so that made me think there was supposedly something up there. Are those ledges just an unintended rock formation?
Example from Nupraptor´s Retreat: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4b2Tm1hAMnY/UCvwazlvTbI/AAAAAAAADEQ/LrXM2MSIsf0/s800/stone7.JPG
15) I have noticed that the entrance to the main area in Drowned Abbey was redesigned from being rocky and decayed, to a nicer hallway. Why was this changed? :)
http://thelostworlds.net/SR1/Images/04-Graphics-08-Drowned_Abbey-Image55.JPG
16) What was the original purpose of this area? I always wondered if it has some more significance than imbuing the Reaver on the bonfire.
http://thelostworlds.net/SR1/Images/04-Graphics-06-Silenced_Cathedral-Image30.JPG
17) is this a water dam? http://thelostworlds.net/SR1/Images/04-Graphics-08-Drowned_Abbey-Image49.JPG

thanks a lot for your time, Daniel! :)
―Raina Audron
1. Turelhim are my favorites with Zephonhim being a close second. Originally Turelhim were designed to be more near sighted and you could sneak behind them by crawling towards them. (Surprise impale mother effer!) I dunno if it really came across in the game, but yeah, they have those big ears for a reason. And that's also why Turel is blind and has to listen for you in Defiance. (see.. it DOES all tie together) :P

2. Thanks! I love the Wraiths too. I should draw them again.. they are fun.

3. There were no bones in Raziel's fingers, so we couldn't pose it being held like a normal sword and bend his wrist to hold it outwards without collapsing the forearm. In SR1 Raziel is all about devouring souls, in SR2 we used the reavers as keys and changed how Raziel used it (healing the original sword, etc.) thus the change in paradigm from Raziel drawing things in to sending them out. By Defiance we had the bone count we needed and since the Reaver was evolving, we decided to go for it and make it a more 'real' blade.

4. Yeah well it was almost as much work to cut stuff as add things. Armchair game designers don't realize how much work it takes to make real games. It can be demoralizing or just insanity causing. But we love what we do!

5. ;__; Tester fail.. or heck.. developer fail. We had 250+ bugs added to the database.. PER DAY for a good set of weeks. So in order to ship, we had to waive some. Fire Glyph underwater sounds like one of them. Heh but sometimes bugs become more like beloved features (like the three hit Fierce punch -->Uppercut in Street Fighter 2)

6. Yep. Had the dialoge and design.. just not the time and space to do it.

7. Oh wait.. I do remember moving them. It was for cinematic visibility on Raziel's monologue. Sorry, yeah I did change those. Also, because Malek's tomb is missing, you wouldn't have a clue who was there unless the name was behind the tomb. (Ah they say memory is the first thing to go)

8. Yep. Eggs like Zephon, which you would have to crawl by not to activate. I don't remember too much about Turel's area.. I'd need to see the images that have been floating around. Sorry it's been over a decade for me. (they say memory is the first thing to go.. wait did I say that already? CRUD!) You would need shift at will, passthrough, glide, wallcrawling, and water immunity for undercity I believe. That pic is just a generic woman, not exactly the priestess.. though that would make a certain amount of sense now that you mention it. Fanfic, make it so! LOL

9. If you look at Raziel's design, there are areas of almost cartoon like simplicity, accentuated by complex areas like the boots, back of the hood, and clip wraps on Raziel. The boots were meant be visually complex.. sorry but they were hard to draw for me too. LOL But I think they made Raziel much more interesting of a design, don't you think? They were inspired by spatterguards, clockwork, and Midieval greaves.

10. The priestess was never fully done in turnaround. All there was were some sketches, which I think you see on the credits at the end. That's a good guess there about the entrance.. but I believe that was for a secret or glyph that we cut. The original entrance to the Undercity was off the swimming path you took to get into the water tower.

11. Okay so this a more involved explanation: we had to do enemy design and AI before the bosses/lieutenants were named. So we had code names for them.
Turelhim = Morlocks
Zephonhim = Wall Crawlers
Dumahim = Ronin
Melchiahim = Skinners
Rahabim = ... ? Dangit I forget... I know I'll wake up screaming their name in the middle of the night..

Anyway, after the scripts and names are set in code, of which there must have been hundreds of instances, we named the Bosses, and subsequently the Vamp underlings. Riley Cooper and I used to have fun saying Dumahim 5 times fast. It was weird after calling them their code names for the better part of two years to suddenly switch gears. So anyway, we weren't about to do a search and replace for every instance of 'Morlock' and replace it with Turelhim. It would have a 100% chance to breaking the game across the board, and we'd have to hunt down every bug to get everything to work again.. and for what? So that a name that NO ONE sees could see consistency? With 250+ bugs being added per day, working 6-7 days at 10-15 hours a day ( I'd get to work at 9 and leave at 1 or 2 some days) it would have been the height of irresponsibility to add Months of work onto ourselves. So I hope people can see why sometimes old names make it into games. No one should be even seeing these names really. And the piece in question was moved once Turel's area was cut out and Turelhim were moved to the Oracle's cave area.

12. Simple: Gameplay. It sucked going into a different room to light the eggs then running in to throw them at Zephon. It messed with AI too. Play feedback was entirely negative.. so cut it and simplify.

13. Ah lovely bugs. Gotta love them. (see above on how they become features)

14. Any flat area like that was probably a secret area or pathway that got cut. Can't tell you much more than that..

15. that change was to reflect that humans had settled the area. It fit better with the story of the Drowned Abbey.

16. We had that thing set up as a puzzle and execution room, but it ended up being too much to do in one area. Memory was tight, and so was time. CUT! (Killing our babies.. again)

17. That's a kind of cistern/dam/water control area. Didn't have enough resource to put all the pipework we wanted.

I hope that helps answer your questions.. Wow you guys are great asking so many. I am happily surprised with all the attention this board has gotten and...

ALUKA!!! That's what Rahabim were called before. ALUUUUUUKAA! I got it! Bwahahaa. (I am a nerd, but the mind hasn't gone yet!)

―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 10:27 p.m.[15]
Sorry for a late answer :)

1. Cool, yeah, I like those long ears :D I really like Rahabim, how they really transformed into a fish like creature.
2. can´t wait, there are no high res drawings of wraith vampires from SR1 so it would be nice to see some new stuff :P
3. Oh, I see. it´s neat that you can still find workarounds, even if the hardware/software capabilities are limited.
4. Yeah, I agree. I always wanted to be a game designer, it´s a challenge and fun to do.
5. Lol, well, I have never considered it as a bug, as Raziel actually walks slowly underwater when holding a vase/rock and it´s cool that he can still use the glyphs because those Rahabim always want to bite Raziel´s butt xD
6. :D
7. ah, that makes sense. Though I still prefer the earlier design a bit more :)
8. :D damn, sounds like a cool area to explore. How big was it? Here are some pics: http://www.thelostworlds.net/SR1/The_Turelim_Clan_Territory.html
aha, heh, yeah, I always wondered who she was, because there appears to be woman depicted on the walls too.
9. yeah, that´s a great observation, I did not really think of that model in such terms, but all those elements blend so well together.
those boots are totally kickass :D However I kinda prefer that playstation1 model of Raziel over the Dreamcast one (in terms of face I mean), there is something charming about it´s complex simplicity:) really like the way you used the small amount of polygons to create such a well modeled and distinct character.
10. OOOH :D and I always always thinking that that was the entrance!!! that other pipe leading into the ground looked really suspicious and seemed you could swim in there.
11. haha, yeah, I was wondering why the areas and enemies were named like that, very interesting to find this kind of stuff :) heh, totally, once you get used to those names, it´s hard to switch around :D but really got used to those names too.
12. oh yeah, I agree too. tried it and it was kinda pointless to go in those rooms. though they look cool :D
As for the rest - thanks soooo much for all those answers and your time. sorry for asking such weird nerdy questions :D

―Raina Audron
My Pleasure, Raina. Haha I love these questions. :) Amy still remembered the names of all the SR enemies as they were originally laid out. We had a laugh over them when we were having dinner a couple of weeks ago.

Glad I could provide some answers :P

―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 08:57 p.m.[16]
Здравствуйте, Даниэль! Я хочу узнать , есть у вас ещё материалы по Turelim Clan Territory - видео, скриншоты и т.д.,мне интересно, что могло быть в Soul Reaver, чего нету в розничной версии! Я большой поклонник Soul Reaver из Russia! Спасибо!!!!)
―onil
Привет Onil!
Спасибо за вопрос. (И слава Богу Google Translate). У меня есть несколько рисунков на территорию клана Turelhim, но они заархивированы наряду со старыми чертежами где-то в хранении. Как только я получу их, я буду сканировать и размещать их.
Hi Onil!
Thank you for the question. (And thank God for Google Translate). I have some drawings on the Turelhim Clan territory, but they're archived along with old drawings somewhere in storage. Once I get them out I'll scan and post them. :)
For those that don't understand the question it was:
"Hello, Daniel! I want to know, do you have more material on Turelim Clan Territory - videos, screenshots, etc., I wonder what could be in Soul Reaver, which is not present in the retail version! I'm a big fan of Soul Reaver from Russia! Thank you!)"
―Daniel Cabuco, September 12, 2013, 11:03 p.m.[17]

Re: Spectraljin.comEdit

Hello Daniel - may I say thank you very much for opening this forum! We spoke a bit the other day on deviantART, and you know how much I appreciate your kindness and your work on the series already. :) It's really great to have the opportunity to ask you about it directly.

This is less of a question and more of a request, but:

Since spectraljin.com is being taken down, do you think it would be possible for us to externally archive the LoK material which won't be migrated over to dcabdesign? I have copies of many of the images, but not all of them, and after a search, I don't think there are any working online backups, so I think you are possibly the only one who has access to the full collection now. It would be a shame for them to become permanently unavailable - we love every piece you posted up and would be delighted to upload and preserve all of the departing ones at our fansite, even though it's entirely understandable that you prefer to showcase your best work at the new portfolio. (Obviously we'd give clear credit to you on all of them.)

Let me know, and thank you very much again!

―Dubiel
Hi Dubiel,

Sure, as long as I am properly credited, that sounds like a great idea. Send me a pm or email and we can work out the details.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 14, 2012, 06:03 a.m.[18]

Defiance questionEdit

Greetings, Mr. Cabuco.

It's a honor for me to talk with you. Thank you very much for your work on Legacy of Kain series.

I have a question about Defiance's deleted chapters. Since it's been a nearly ten years after the game release probably you can reveal something you know?

I am interested in deleted final chapter. Can you give any hint how Kain was supposed to take out the Elder God? Just a little hint.

Thank you.

P.S.: If you don't know anything, I would love to hear your opinion about how Kain should finish the monster.

―Liquid Yarullin
Hi Yarullin,

Thanks for your question. Hmmm.. I don't think there was anything deleted out of the end of Defiance. It wrapped up the way it was supposed to: Raziel's cycle was complete, Kain was given a chance at hope, and the Elder God, though defeated, was set up to be an adversary in the next game. Except.. there was no next game. LOL. If Kain were to ever defeat the Elder God, I am sure it would require the restoration of the pillars and somehow 'pinning him down' before finishing him off with some Epic use of the Soul Reaver. It could be a level or the intent of a whole game to beat him, involving multiple locations where you track him down and destroy key areas that he dwells in or uses as anchors to keep himself in our world. In any case it shouldn't be a single encounter or small thing to beat him...

Hope that answers your question.

Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 15, 2012, 07:27 a.m.[19]
Thank you for the answer, Mr. Cabuco!

[...]

According to the Lost Words, Defiance was supposed to have the final chapter, where Kain was suppoed to return in the SR era and restore the world.

Have and Amy you ever duscussed what is the Elder God? Does he really control the Wheel of Fate?

―Liquid Yarullin
Oh yeah, I totally forgot about Kain going back to SR1. I vaguely remember something about Kain going to the future SR1, using the blade to purify the pillars then going back to Pre-BO1 era time to leave the Soul Reaver at the base of the pillars. (For William the Just or Moebius to find) This was a very loose set of ideas, and we it wasn't so much deleted content as a rough idea we didn't have time to implement. By the time we got to the end of the game, we wanted to leave it open ended so it could help set up the next one. (See how that turned out.. )

Thanks for the question.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 06:20 a.m.[20]
Hm, so the blade was supposed to be used to restore the Pillars? This leads to another question...

At the end of Defiance Raziel says: "The two become one... both Soul Reavers - together". So, I want to ask you - if Kain was supposed to use the Soul Reaver to save the world, then Amy originally intended both the purified Wraith Blade and Raziel goind into the Reaver? I am asking because later Jen and Kyle said that the purified Wraith Blade never entered the sword, but was "dispersed" into Kain.

And what is the Elder God? Have Amy ever talked about? Or he (it?) was always supposed to be uneplained evil?
―Liquid Yarullin
The purification was of Kain, not the reaver. Remember that he was always flawed and therefor any vampire he created would also be flawed (hence the devolution). The pufified spirit of every balance guardian healed Kain of those flaws.
The Reaver, with all the embued elements is a conduit. Make no mistake though.. Raziel is in that sword.

The Elder God is a constant. A DemiUrge, or false god, that convinced the Vampires to worship him. I don't think we need to try and lay out his motivations.. that would just make him less epic of an enemy.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 01:50 a.m.[21]
[...]

I agree that any backstory will make him less epic. That's happened (at least, in my opinion) with the Smoke Monster in LOST when Season 6 revealed what it really was.

However, I was always curious about - what influence The Elder God truly has on Nosgoth? Isn't he a prisoner of fate too, as Kain and Raziel?
―Liquid Yarullin
[...]

The Elder God has a slow, constant pull on the material realm. He whispers in the ears of those who would listen. Over time, his influence and power spreads, as does his form across the Spectral Realm. I don't see him as a prisoner, but one of the puppet masters.  :twisted:

―Daniel Cabuco, August 27, 2012, 08:52 a.m.[22]

[...]

Hello, Mr. Cabuco

Like all the others I'd like to thank you for setting up this forum and answering fan's questions.

I have one that has bugged me for years. In Defiance in Vorador's Mansion in the Fountain Room there's a statue of Janos (or some other ancient). When Raziel visits the Residence for the first time, the stature's eyes are opened but on the second visit (after the Avernus chapters), the statue's eyes are closed? Could you elaborate on it a little bit?
―bug
Hi bug,

No problem! It's my pleasure to talk with you all. :)

I think I would need to see the picture of what you mean, but the Ancients in Vorador's mansion all were puzzle elements. The eyes were probably closed to symbolize that the puzzle was long since solved.

Hope that helps,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, September 6, 2012, 10:22 a.m.[23]
Hello again. I've finally managed to install Defiance and made the pics (a pain when you don't have space on your HDD).

1) So this is the fountain room
http://i50.tinypic.com/34nirg4.jpg

2) Across it is a statue of Janos or some Ancient
http://i46.tinypic.com/29wk7kn.jpg

3) The eyes are opened in chapter 8 (in Raziel's first visit in the Mansion)
http://i45.tinypic.com/j7st1h.jpg

4) And in chapter 13 (i think), after the Avernus chapters, the eyes are closed.
http://i45.tinypic.com/8y89d2.jpg

So what does it mean? It bugs me to this day. Or maybe it doesn't mean anything? It's just a game bug or something?

―bug

[...]

I never thought in a million years that anyone would catch that. It's one of those subtle things you put in and later realize "man, no one is ever going to catch it". Fans always amaze me! I wanted to have it morph into a different pose, but we ran out of time to do extra stuff like that.
After Vorador's death, and the puzzles were solved, the eyes indeed closed.
―Daniel Cabuco, March 5, 2012, 04:55 a.m.[24]

The portrait of Zephon and textureEdit

Hi!

I saw your painting on Deviantart: http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5ann4a Maybe you remember me? ^^

I had a question and I understand that you have a lot to do and want your questions all in one area, so I will ask here again: It looks like you used a marble texture on the portrait. I can see it on the background and the skin. Did you overpaint the other areas, so that there won't show any textures? Why did you use the texture? What was your intention?

In my own works I am using textures very rare to make certain materials look more realistic, but never thought about using textures to give the whole painting a certain effect or mood/ atmosphere. Maybe I should try it one time, but I don't really know when I should use textures for such purposes. But I guess it is all a question of experience and experiments.

―narrenzauber
Hi there, Narrenzauber. Of course I remember you, LOL.

First I created the whole painting, with the background on a separate layer. Then I used a texture overlay for the skin, and a separate one for the background. I adjusted opacity and laid it out over the skin, then used a simple layer mask to paint out what I didn't want to have the texture. The texture was an abstract form of cobwebbing that reveals the spiderlike nature of Zephon. The same is true with the background, but I didn't want it to be the same as his face or it would look a little too cut and paste. If this had been Rahab, I would have put in something reminiscent of eel or fish skin.

Photoshop opens a lot of doors in using textures and overlays. You should use it when you want to capture a certain look, and not have to painstakingly design every detail. BUT, a step like this should come almost last unless you're using it as an 'anchor' to paint over. Experiment and have fun with it. It can add extra punch to your drawing. Just don't turn it into a crutch that you put on everything, because then you'll lose the ability to paint properly and end up doing too much collage.

Hope that helps and thanks for the great question.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 02:02 p.m.[25]

Umah´s and Vorador´s role in DefianceEdit

Hey there :)
This is regarding Umah and Vorador´s appearance in Defiance.

What was Umah´s intended role in Defiance and where would she appear? Would she encounter Raziel or Kain?
Also, this concept which you drew of her:
http://thelostworlds.net/Defiance/Images/Umah-01-Concept-DC-Umah-01.JPG
Have you drawn her as a human or a vampire in that picture? Jake and I are wondering, because the colour of her eyes and her skin seems unnatural to a regular human and she seems to be wearing Voradors symbol. So we are thinking she is either a vampire worshipper or a vampire. Thanks a lot!

Did Vorador originally appear more times than in the final game? Was his resurrection (as he is in BO2) planned to be explained? If so, can you tell us who would resurrect him after his beheading by Moebius´ mob?
―Raina Audron
Hi Raina!

Umah was intended to be a vampire worshipper/consort to Vorador. As you correctly guessed, she was to play a similar role to the Vampire Priestess originally envisioned in Soul Reaver. Dangit, we could never get one in the game! LOL She was always meant to be 'special' and quite a powerful sorceress, hence the eyes. But the concept you have is meant for a human Umah, with lavender eyes. (she has too much of a tan to be a vampire)
She wears Vorador's symbol because she's meant to be part of his clan, soon to be transformed into a vampire. I think when Raziel visits Vorador after he is beheaded, your job is to go to the statute holding his head, retrieve it, and bring it to his body. Much the same as the way Janos was resurrected, Raz would help raise Vorador. Umah was the mission giver and as a reward would be turned into a vampire.
We had to do a lot of reconciliation with BO2... and had to cut it for time. (also, the fact that Raz would rez both Vorador AND Janos seemed.. redundant)

Hope that answers your question!

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, August 16, 2012, 08:28 a.m.[26]

[...]

It's important to remember one thing: Defiance was a part of the SR trilogy with Raziel as the hero. It wasn't about giving equal screen time to Kain.. He already stole a ton of spotlight with his few chapters.
I don't think BO2 Kain would have been good because then Vorador would 'owe Kain one' so to speak.
Kain did have a mission in Vorador's mansion but I think it was to meet living Vorador. We wanted to have Kain be able to summon him afterwards with the ring. Vorador seeing how powerful Kain had become would be distrustful.. And would pass that to his clan (ie Umah)
There was also the idea you could see Umah being turned

:)

―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 05:43 p.m.[27]
Keanu Reeves "Woah".
Okay, so the reason I think the young Kain should resurrect him as an alternative even if it causes Vorador to 'owe him one'
still makes sense as he was up against the Sarafan Lord right? Vorador probably returned this favor by building him an army.
So I guess it could have been rewritten to be either the old or the young Kain to end up doing it?

I really like that idea of using the signet ring, very cool guys.

―Jake Pawloski
Yeah it was actually more of a huge deal to see a Vampire being made, since that wasn't something that was ever shown. Traditional 'embrace' or some bizarre Necromancy?

Raziel had to resurrect Vorador to show that A) he had he power of 'jump starting' bodies with his power and B) needed something important from him to find Janos. It was all really to reconcile BO2. (and there was a lot of.. reconciling.. to do)

That said, elder Kain rezzing him would have been cool too. There'd be a cool smackdown talk there.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 10:35 p.m.[28]
True. lol. That would've been interesting to see.
Kain's necromancing type is the shit. I like the differences that set these vampires apart from others.
No sun sparkling occurs in THIS one xD. I love the fact that they can drink blood from afar through streams (although programming that was a bitch even for a fan game, because I had to decide between doing it as a model with moving transparent textures or to make it with only particle movement, in the end I went with a combination of both) I also like how Kain's vampirism is necromantic. No doubt Raziel and his brethren would have been skeletons by the time Kain raised them, so I'm guessing they would heal over and become whole.

That was pretty awesome the way BO2 was so well connected to the truth of Defiance.

―Jake Pawloski
Yeah.. in Defiance I had 2 different emitters whenever we did blood that wasn't streaming.. one from the target going outward from the center and disappearing and one centered on Kain/Blood Reaver, that spawned at a radius and went inwards.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 11:49 p.m.[29]
Woah. That's cool. Lot more goes into a quick effect when it comes to particles, what seems like a quick water or light show ends up being 2,3, even 4 emitters and triggers going off. Particles have always been one of those things I dread actually getting around to, but then I don't hate it so bad once I'm actually working on it. So did you guys use some kind of targeting temp in order for the blood flow to find Kain? That's how I'm doing the souls to find Raziel in Soul Revenant, although that's different since Souls have to bob/wave and draw toward in a circulating way. Yeesh, that must've been a trip for you guys. Although the particles I've seen in the games if I had to guess, I'd say the most complicated were in Soul Reaver 2 when Raziel succeeds in activating a forge, am I right? All those triggers going off and on like a light show at Disneyland.
Even the fire forge was impressive works when it came to particles.
―Jake Pawloski
Particles are made up of two things.. bitmaps and behaviors. Making a cool looking fireworks display is the easy part.. making it behave the way you want, in a convincing way (concussion, grounding, etc.) is hard. FX is one of the primary ways the player 'touches' the world. It makes the world tangible. (think about Virtua fighter, which has no hit sparks, versus Tekken or Soul Calibur, which do. Which one feels more impactful to you?)
There was a lot of custom stuff under the hood with the Reaver/Gex engine. Nowadays many new shaders exist to help out effects (Unreal's is amazing) with programmers only needing to create custom rules or behaviors.
The most labor intensive fx was Raziel at a forge.. but the one require the most programming was the blood or anything that connected two objects together. A different kind of difficulty.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 07:22 a.m.[30]

Soul RevenantEdit

Hey Daniel,
Thanks for creating these forums, and for answering these questions.
In Soul Revenant, graphics enhancement pipeline for Soul Reaver (similar to Blood Omnicide),
we have several areas which attempt to mimic or 'best imitate' the deleted areas of the original Soul Reaver game.
But one area which Ben Lincoln, Raina Audron and myself are highly interested in understanding more has been the Clan Territory of Turel.
We know that Turel's territory was originally going to be accessed by the northern "Oracle's" outdoor entrance location,
but was access to Turel's originally going to be by means of the nearby closed off cave with a bon fire in it,
or was it going to be accessed from above by jumping between pylons and platforms? Thanks a million.
Soul Revenant is a non-commercial enhancement which will require Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, PC versions in order to run.
Anyone can obtain Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and even Defiance as downloads from gog.com, which is an awesome.
You're awesome Daniel, my favorite Lok developer (and Amy of course, lol...and several others, you guys are awesome)

http://theancientsden.blogspot.com

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-htIww4VBk74/UAW3ggiIwII/AAAAAAAADBI/uVHYUYkZDSE/s1600/SoulRevenant_poster.png
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-y16Ebrle_mo/UAW3nIoektI/AAAAAAAADBQ/feUiVcqA4Z4/s1600/srshot1.png
―Jake Pawloski
Holy crap! You guys went through and redid the whole game with Next Gen technology? Whoa! That looks like the SR2 Raziel with normal maps on the second image. (too bad you couldn't use the Zbrush model of Raziel that recently made the rounds.. too demonic, but it looked awesome)
I remember the entrance to Turel's area, back when we were working on the Oracle's cave. I believe it was a cave with a Bonfire in it, and you had to use some newly acquired ability in order to enter and access it. (I forget which) It wasn't accessible in Spectral either. He was the last brother so whomever you killed last before going there was the ability you had to use. (I seem to remember getting the stone glyph nearby too)

Hope that helps.. I have to download that version of Soul Reaver.

Thanks!

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 06:29 a.m.[31]
Thanks!
That kicks ass. I had a feeling it was that cave...
Yeah the Soul Reaver enhancement is really coming along, that'd be pretty cool for you to play it.
All these areas have higher poly count and normal mapping. I've always liked the Soul Reaver 2 Raziel, especially his texture, so I was able to make normal maps for it,
and re-rigged/animated him. Some zbrush model would've been cool for sure. lol.
Hopefully I can get the Turel environments similar enough to the rare videos and magazines.
Any additional info you want to provide about the Undercity lair and Turel's for this Soul Reaver enhancement would be cool,
but that's up to you man.

The main system is already programmed, so it's just the additional areas from here.
I'll post a download link once it's completed. Rock on, thanks.

―Jake Pawloski
Well the Undercity just didn't work technically. We split the streaming into two haves but didn't have time to reconcile the visibility limitations for playable space. We didn't have enough memory to do vistas either. It literally got the point where if you looked left you could see half the city and the other half disappeared, and if you looked right the opposite would occur. It is, of course, possible today, but you'd have to know how to add a level to the system. It was influenced by noted architect Lebbeus Woods. I also like the lighting and look of http://riversforgotten.com/ so it would fall along those lines.. some areas claustrophobic, and others vast and beautiful (and too much for a Playstation 1)

Hope that helps.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 09:09 p.m.[32]

Vampire's attire in NosgothEdit

ok,I was hesitant to ask...but I just gotta for the sake of asking.

what is up with kain and his sons wearing those low cut pants??
(are they supposed to be modeled after a real clothing style? or was it made up.)

and also why no shirts either?(not that im complaining...gotta love the eyecandy there.)
i ask because i was wondering if that's all they wore 24/7.....

also i'm curious as to their footwear,how do they get their feet in those things anyway?
don't they cut themselves since its metal?

―majinkura

[...]

Well the short answer is we wanted to make something sexy for the vampires. There's always been an undercurrent of S and M influences with vampirism. The two seem to go hand in hand. Even self mutilation is no big deal if you heal with a little blood (Ever see the bar scene in Blade 2 where the guy has his spine exposed?) The low cut pants were all part of this design. Living in SF/Silicon Valley, that kind of stuff is no big deal to see on the streets. (I once saw a biker in SF walking with tight tight tight leather chaps and ping pong paddles hanging off his belt) So we used this influence to make up a unique style that was appealing. (Seth also pushed us in this direction as well, he was big into goth culture)
As for the other questions, well of course they would have other clothing, but we only had the opening to show them off. I should hope that we could give them all more unique items and designs if given the chance to further illustrate their back story. They not having shirts was part of their vanity. (or percieved Vanity in the case of Melchiah) They were competitive and vain, yet united in their allegiance to Kain. Actually we wanted to design these really awesome helmets for them, and have them silhouetted around Kain in rafters around him (like this http://wardomatic.blogspot.com/2007/09/twice-upon-time-movie-that-time-forgot_27.html ) But Amy didn't want anyone above Kain, and we needed to see their faces for the intro.
Yes the Lieutenants had metal boots. Their skin wasn't as hard as Kain's (ever notice he no longer needs any of the Armor from BO1) so they had it laid into their skin and bolted in. (Again, a reference to S and M.. Vampires are ok with pain! Look at Melchiah!)
When Raziel dissolved, his skin and muscles in his feet melted away, which were the anchors for the shoes. Kain didnt need armor, just the what looked good in his eyes.

Hope that explains what you were looking for!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 08:18 a.m.[33]

[...]

In the next game I wanted to have Kain be able to look BO1 humanoid but as soon as his skin touched direct sunlight, it would harden into The SR era look. That way he could walk through uschtenheim or other human cities unaccosted. I did a drawing of it on my old website under Young and the Restless Kain. :P
―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 05:16 p.m.[34]
oh man, that´s awesome. So it would be similar to the Guise spell, man... somebody make DP! xD Would Kain also have his other forms back? like those drawings of dire wolf form you did and that beast form.
―Raina Audron

[...]

Yes, Beast and Wolf forms were supposed to make come backs. The Dire Wolf form was up for redesign, since my first pass felt too much like Raziel (skinny tummy) and Kain should feel more Burly. But they would have been fun to work on.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 10:58 p.m.[35]

[...]

i have yet another ?
the left shoulder guard that holds the lt's tabard with their symbols..does the guard also have the same symbol on it as well??
(i ask because i think i can see it on the lt raziel design.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dc/Raziel02.gif
also what is the little straps against raziels chest that go on the right side for?

―majinkura
That shoulder guard is it's own design, not the Vampire Symbol.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 27, 2012, 08:24 a.m.[36]

[...]

Back to the hands and feet quick...

I never once noticed in all th imes I've watched the SR1 opening did I notice Raz had his boots bolted on. Or even that they were actually boots, for that matter! I always thought that they were shin/ankle guards, and the feet were bare.

I always thought that (or compared) evolved vampire feet and fingers were made of (a pliable and super hard) keratin, like an animals hooves or horns.

So where does the flesh end, and the "claws" begin? Kain can stab his fingers into a rock wall to climb it, afterall.

―Strands of Night

[...]

This is something we had to figure out based solely on Vorador's appearance in BO for what 'elder Vampires' would look like. Imagine the fingers on your hand fusing together, and the nails falling off. Now imagine the tips of your fingers sharpening and hardening, nearly fusing with the skin at the tip. That's the sort of deadly natural weapon we designed for the vampires. It's pliable and very tough, but you could punch a bolt into it, esp with vampire strength. Make sense? It gets softer at the base of the fingers, and goes up the arm.
―Daniel Cabuco, September 16, 2012, 12:48 a.m.[37]

The Connection between the Lost City and the AbyssEdit

Amy Hennig confirmed to the fans that there was in fact a connection between the Lost City and Abyss, other than that they share the same location.
Do you know what this connection was?

My theory was that this connection had something to do with the Elder God and the Dark Prophecy being that the Elder had actually wanted Kain dead
due to Kain's destiny as the scion, among many other theories I've had. (Killing Kain's future self would not restore the world, Raziel got wise to this manipulation throughout the last 2 games)

In this video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMli6o9I9TM a secret was hidden in the Lost City, something which Kain had to discover, thus explaining its disappearance from the world, and the Elder God was actually responsible for much of the decay and downfall of Nosgoth. The Elder God had been attempting to use Raziel against Kain because Kain was the only one truly capable of destroying the Elder using the Soul Reaver and his freedom from corruption.
And that the vortex in the abyss was somehow a gateway to the spectral realm, with some sort of connection to either the past of the Elder or to the Ancient vampires from the Lost City.

Is this theory in any way close? Thanks Avenger Daniel!

―Jake Pawloski
Hi Jake! Great to see you here.
That was a fun video! Good job. :) You wrapped up the whole storyline. You were kind to resurrect Raziel. Hehe

As far as I can tell you, The Elder God was known for 'Pulling things down' . So the Lost City was pulled into the Abyss by the Elder God, as were many areas. (like the end citadel in Defiance) I don't really know what the direct connection was. The lost city probably had a backstory with the Elder God, allowing him purchase on that part of the world so he could pull it down into the depths of the world. So your theory and story have some merit!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 07:59 a.m.[38]

Various art and plot questionsEdit

Hi again Daniel, and thanks very much again for the opportunity.
I've come up with a few musings about the series and its art which you might be able to clear up:

1) Who is this character and what is her story (you once referred to her as "Vorador's mystery woman" :))? All we know is that her portrait appeared in BO1 and Defiance, she's not Umah, and she's "a character who is part of the backstory and not revealed in the games".

2) This is perhaps the most detail-oriented and nerdy question I could formulate - sorry about this. :P
In the intro cinematic to Blood Omen 1, we see several Pillar Guardians being murdered by Vorador in the Sarafan Stronghold. You later restylised these martyred Guardians for some awesome murals in the Sarafan Stronghold in SR2.
There are four Guardians seen in the BO1 intro (out of the total six who were killed), and it's easy enough to figure out who three of them were - the hooded man with a beard is Energy, the bald woman is Balance, and the other woman is Nature. But who is the other male Guardian who gets skewered? He could only be of these two fellows (Dimension and Mind), or this one (States). Which of the three murals was supposed to represent this guy?
I've leaned towards thinking he's the States Guardian, because States got his own mural like the other three, and has the closest resemblance, but it's debatable.
Also, if I may ask, what is the story behind the female Nature Guardian's deformed/bloodied right arm?

3) One more Vorador question. In Defiance, he is seen with a jagged sword in one scene. Was this supposed to be the same weapon he wielded throughout BO1, or a different one?

4) It's been conjectured a few times that the faces of a few of the characters were partially designed or re-designed to loosely resemble their voice actors (uh, well, the characters who have faces, that is). How true is this? I can definitely see it in Kain (Simon) and Vorador (Paul), but it would be really nice to have an official comment on it.

5) I would be very interested in hearing anything you have to say about designing the character of Janos Audron. I think there was speculation that Béla Lugosi's work in Dracula was a big influence, but I haven't seen any official commentary about it.
Also, in Blood Omen 1, Kain could come across a few frozen beings in the Oracle's Cave with horns and Janos-like wings; there were also statues of these beings in the rafters of Avernus Cathedral, and probably some more in a few other places. I nearly choked on my drink to discover them when replaying BO1 some time after finishing SR2; "this seemed an unlikely coincidence". :P Were you aware of these BO1 creatures when designing Janos and the ancients?

6) I've always wondered about one mural in SR1 which was never really elaborated on in the other games. It's this one from beneath the Tomb of the Sarafan, which shows an armoured human woman riding what appears to be a giant vulture... You barely get a chance to examine it in the game, because it's one of the windows Raziel has to smash just after receiving the telekinesis power.
Was that just a nice piece of art, or did it have any larger backstory or significance within Nosgoth? I would've loved to see Kain return to the Soul Reaver era wasteland only to have to contend with giant vulture enemies and bizarre things like that, heh.

7) Whether they were partially-produced or scrapped before any work was done on them, we know that there were at least three Elemental Forges cut from Soul Reaver 2: the Earth Forge, Water Forge and Spirit Forge.
These did appear later in Defiance, but not in the same "style" as the SR2 versions, which each had very clear and distinct architectural influences from the real world (Dark Forge is Mayan, Air Forge is Aztec, Light Forge seems Egyptian).
How do you think CD would have approached these three Forges if there had been time to create them in the SR2 "style"? How would you have interpreted them, and which culture would each one have been linked to?

8) Few questions about eyes. With only a few exceptions (such as Rahab), almost every single vampire seen throughout the series has yellow eyes. Is this deliberate? Is it perhaps a side-effect of the Hylden blood curse?
A couple of other characters also have unique eyes: Moebius and Turel both have washed-out, desaturated pupils - almost like cataracts - and Mortanius seems to have no pupils at all in Defiance. When Janos is possessed by the Hylden Lord in Defiance, his pupils also seem to disappear or fade. What is the reasoning behind these design elements?
Obviously Turel's could relate to his blindness, and Mortanius to his possession, but that still leaves Moebius. Somebody came up with an interesting theory that it has something to do with his knowledge of the future: Kain says in SR1 that "as a man, I could never have contained such forbidden truths". Well, Moebius is a man who has to contain them, and it's ruined his vision. :lol:

9) Regarding The Dark Prophecy, I'm particularly curious about one thing. When Divine Shadow first uncovered it, he came across this image, which was created by Ritual Entertainment, and seems to depict Kain transitioning into his SR1 emperor incarnation, probably some time not long after BO2. You had also painted a "Young Kain Proposal" in 2002, which was up at spectraljin.com.
As a result, we all started speculating that The Dark Prophecy might have been intended to follow the structure of Defiance, but with players alternating between young and old Kain instead of Kain and Raziel. That's an idea I think could've had enormous potential if done right, but was it ever seriously considered for TDP? If not, do you know if young Kain supposed to appear anyway?

10) On behalf on the entire LoK community, past and present, I'm begging you to draw your interpretation of Turelzevir and Frank.
(ok, just joking :P)

Thank you so much for your time, and all the amazing info you've revealed so far!

―Dubiel
Hi Dubiel,

Thanks for all the questions.. wow.. you guys have a lot! LOL Every little piece of artwork has been so heavily scrutinized.. this is why I love the fans.

[...]

Initially, we had the ability to create murals and pics in the game, then run them by Amy to make sure they were open ended enough for her to write in a back story if she wanted to include it. It's sort of like a 'hook' what Amy could write in if she wanted. Sometimes she asked for specific images (like William and Kain) and sometimes she let us riff a bit. This woman is one of those riffs. I created her to be someone he was fond of. In my mind she was a lost love, perhaps a powerful sorceress. It was always my hope that someone would write a good story for her after Defiance ended. Maybe one of the fans could? If it's engaging, I could draw an illustration for it. What do you think, would someone be up for it? (But it would have to be a good story.. no furries.. please.. God.. )

[...]

I love detailed questions.. and that people actually noticed all the detail we artists put into this game. I had to watch the intro to BO1 a few times to get all these people down. The Male Guardian had a hood, so I intended him to be the younger Dimension Guardian. Part of the Master/Apprentice duo. :P

[...]
Yes and no. The original Vorador weapon was way too close to the reaver, so we sort of retconned it with the sword you see him carrying. It made more sense since he's a blacksmith that he'd make a more signature looking weapon. It makes much more sense this way.. I think of BO1 as the TV version and Defiance as the Movie version in terms of interpretation.

[...]
Actually, its sheer coincidence. I hadn't seen Paul Lukather or Simon Templeman's faces prior to designing them. Maybe it's the magic of the voices that made them look alike.. something ephemeral about voices.. trying to picture what they look like. (though everytime I meet a voice actor he's never what I think they look like. ie Lion-o haha)

[...]
Janos was a specific design brought down by Amy. I wanted him to look all ancient and badass, like the owl from Secret of Nimh. But we wanted specific cues to make him seem holy and quietly powerful. I guess I'm more of an over-the-top kind of guy when it comes to initial concepts. We took influences from many different things: Actors, Priest vestments, even the types of wings from birds (Predatory wings are very different from glider wings) Ultimately he was the blueprint for all winged ancients. I'm pretty sure that if there is a connection between Avernus/Oracle's cave and the Ancients, that it's by and large coming from Amy. She is amazing at tying things together and explaining stuff that other people throw in because it looks pretty. Personally I didn't see those winged beings in BO1 and try to tie them into SR2.

[...]

Oh my god. I totally forgot about that piece.. it was one of the older paintings. I was out of time with the end Murals and put it on the Force Stained Glass. Not everything in Nosgoth 'existed' as such. There was a rich mythology of stories and heroes that the Humans and Vampires had. My thought was that this would fullfil that. Wow now I want to dig that one up or redraw it. I forgot how much I loved that piece. Valkyries on Giant Birds for the win!

[...]
Just to be a real nerd for a sec, the Dark Forge was actually Cambodian. Like Angor Wat. We would have used other elaborate temples like the ones in Turkey, Hindu, or even Malaysia. Just google 'ancient temple' and see all the wonderful influences available. This is part of the reference spike ALL artists have to do when working on a game. Absorb the influences, mix and match, and make it your own.

[...]

Yep, the washed out pupils help show whose 'side' they were on. Moebius had washed out eyes because he sees the time stream. His pupils were actually becoming hourglass shaped like the Elder Gods to show how in alignment he was with him. I seem to remember that when he played the doddering old soothsayer, that he also played either blind or nearsighted. It all played into that.
Vampires had yellow eyes, Rahab's changed because he was becoming water resistant.

[...]

Dark Prophecy would have been cool.. We had a version of Kain that linked BO2 with SR.. The thought was to either play Kain in this Era, or use it as part of his disguise, which would fade in direct sunlight. There was a lot of back and forth on the story but either one would have been cool. I loved this desingn for Kain too.. One thought was to have Elder Kain in the Hylden Realm, and Young Kain in the material realm, playing different chapters... Even having Kain 'help out' his other self from the shadows, taking out heavy foes that would have outmatched his younger self. (And get this.. getting caught in a Moebius time trap that put him on the field facing his younger self from BO1.. He'd have to 'throw the fight' and dissipate.. but it would have been cool to see.. and not before sending some hell Moebius' way before he left) We had things like summoning Vorador, or Jumping between Demon/Hylden realms too.

[...]

I officially deny the existence of the Doll Maker. :P He's the one thing that bugs the hell out of me and doesn't make sense.. if I *had* to do him.. I would have nuked the design and started completely over. That said, I would love to draw Frank the Sluagh.. he'd be all sexy with that grill. Turelzevir.. Gah! LOL it's funny.. but Elzevir just makes me cringe. (Hey I never said I loved 'everything' about the LOK series)

―Daniel Cabuco, August 18, 2012, 10:36 p.m.[39]

[...]

Daniel, I was always puzzled about Raziel's resurrection. Perhaps you can help me a little bit?

1) Did the Elder God played any role in his resurrection?

2) It was mentioned several times that Kain casted Raziel into the Abyss in order to fight against fate. However, wasn't Kain FATED to cast him into the Abyss? How Raziel became free-willed being from that?
―Liquid Yarullin

[...]

Daniel, I'd like to thank you for all this information.
You're an awesome guy. All the compliments are not enough.
Please know that this is very important for the Legacy of Kain community.
All the best for you.
―arthureloi

[...]

And in so changing history.. Elzevir never happened. :P At least in my mind. Ok if I had to redo him, like I said.. I'd nuke the design (from ORBIT) and completely redesign his look.. into something more badass. (But I'm happy to just to leave him Nuked too)
―Daniel Cabuco, August 26, 2012, 01:09 a.m.[40]
[...]

Thanks Arutheloi. It's very encouraging to see this great response from the fans of the series. I'm glad I made this board ^_^

―Daniel Cabuco, August 29, 2012, 07:59 a.m.[41]
[...]

The Elder God was a DemiUrge, a false god. When I was working on SR1, I always felt the EG had resurrected him. But after hearing Amy's explanation for SR2 and Defiance, I realized Raz would have risen anyway. The Elder God lied to Raziel and told him he resurrected him. It was believable because every soul Raziel 'ate' nourished him but also returned the soul to the Elder God (a parasite to the wheel, who bled every soul to grow larger and more powerful) So he convinced Raziel (who was pissed at Kain anyway) that he was a servant to the Elder God.. Worthy.


Kain did something different than he was supposed to: he threw Raziel into the Abyss. Now normally, the time stream would have corrected itself with a reciprocal action, but he banked on Raziel's unique resurrection . I equate it to a book where there are multiple branches: you're fated to complete the book, but say halfway through, instead of reading the chapter it says to go to, you roll a six sided die to go a different direction. Raziel is the die. Because Raziel is uniquely between life and death, he is outside the wheel. Because he exists both inside and outside the blade, he is a paradox. He can't be tracked by the Elder God (but the EG see's him when he is near.. it helps to have lots of eyes and be saturated in the Spectral Realm). Likewise Moebius and the Chronoplast only get glimpses of what could be when Raziel makes a decision. I hope that makes sense..
―Daniel Cabuco, August 29, 2012, 08:38 a.m.[42]
Bwhahaha! Do it! I would love to see it. Four, six, eight, twelve or twenty sided? :P (I think six would give you the most surface area to draw on.. haha)
―Daniel Cabuco[43]
Tim,

That's right. A Paradox is.. well a paradox. Two elements that exist because of each other, yet try to cancel each other out. It was both predestined and something he wasn't supposed to do.. It's sort of like entering a building from different entrances.. you gotta go in, but which door you take changes the outcome. Kain picked the one with the greatest chance of success.. and risk. He knew what it would mean to Raziel in spirit if not form (his remark at the end of Defiance upon seeing the EG shows us that).

I think of the Elder god as trying to take control of Raziel.. who would have risen any way, by getting his tentacles all wrapped up in his creation. (It's like you're about to put a sculpture in the oven, and someone writes his name on it with a stick just before you fire it in the kiln)

Great observations though. You get it! (and hopefully you won't explode.. cause that usually happens when people get it..)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[44]
Hi Laura,

well I was approached by the LOK wiki to post my old concept there, so I'll start sending that in at the end of the month. It should be a pretty complete repository. Though I think sites like Nosgothic Realm, and Ben Lincoln's site are pretty damn awesome already for showing it off.

And yeah, after seeing the actors, I see the resemblance too. It's just uncanny how it all worked out.. They're great guys too. I was really happy to have worked with them and gotten a chance to be part of such a great experience. BTW feel free to ask any questions, even if you feel they're silly. Sometimes I can answer, sometimes I can speculate based on what I know. It's fun to have a little fireside chat about it.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[45]

[To be added]

[...]

Brilliant observation! Poor guy must have his tentacles in a bunch!

―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 06:31 a.m.[46]
I'd like to add a question re: the old guardians, if that's all right. What exactly is Vorador doing to the Nature Guardian to make her arm go like that? I'd imagine it's quite painful, going by the look on her face. It's pretty much "D:" in mural form. :P
―featherine
I always imagined that he broke it or dislocated it at the shoulder. I couldn't draw him flaying her.. cause then you couldn't recognize her.. haha. And it wouldn't look like an homage to them.

Lol at D:

―Daniel Cabuco, October 17, 2012, 11:18 a.m.[47]

[...]

What a great place for fans of a bunch of great games. One question I have always been curious about. Why did the pillar guardians powers fizzel out when Vorador came to kill them? They seemed unable to defend themselves with their magic and were butchered pretty dang easy. Thanks for the time and answers Daniel.
―Spooky
You know, I always wondered that myself. I figured that they must've been out of mana (oom!) and were replenishing when Vorador hit them. Normally Malek would be watching over them at this time of regeneration, which is why I think they were calling out to him.
I never did get the official story (didn't work on Blood Omen)but I am pretty sure it was something along those lines.
When I was making the murals I always wanted to be as villifying of Vorador as possible..
Now as to why they were out of mana, that would be something for a wonderful fan fic to fill out. Perhaps they had hit a vampire lair earlier, or cast some great spell needing all their concentration. In any case, they got served.
Wouldn't it be fun to replay as Vorador and tear up the citadel of the guardians, then take them out? That's what I did in my head when I made the murals. :P
―Daniel Cabuco, October 19, 2012, 06:53 a.m.[48]
Hi Daniel just thought of a couple of things to ask :)
[...]

1)Can you clarify what the influences for the Fire Forge were? I've always thought Greek/Roman, but I've known people to swear its Gothic. Does the rest of Janos's retreat have any particular architectural inspiration?

2)How was the Soul Reaver 2 world map (http://nosgoth.net/sr2/map.htm) designed? Particularly comparing in game design/layout with maps I'm finding a number of interesting discrepancies, though I can see a few justifications in a some areas - do you know how the area designations were assigned?

thanks for the help

―Bazielim
Hi Bazl.

Do you mean the fire forge in SR1? That one is More Greco/Roman.
The Blood vomiting Fire Forge in SR2 was Gothic.
The one in Defiance was influenced by Gaudi.
All of the Ancient Vampyr architecture was either Arabic or Gaudi actually.
The initial map layout was taken from Blood Omen, then we did things like add more detail etc.
The overall locations were laid out on paper and I added symbolic (non scale) elements to signify areas like swamps, mountains, valleys, etc. It was pretty much done as the game descriptions came in for each area. I had to rectify the game areas with the Blood Omen map to try and preserve both. Wasn't easy when there was discrepancy, but hey, who's gonna sit there and look at every little detail, right? (Of course LoK fans would)
DC

―Daniel Cabuco, July 10, 2013, 04:35 a.m.[49]

Raziel and JanosEdit

One last Q, just involving the fate of Raziel and Janos.

Was Janos ever planned to escape the demon dimension, or was he written to be there permanently?
Was Raziel ever going to be returned to vampirism or a wraith, or did he fully dissipate into Kain at the end as the wraith blade?

―Jake Pawloski
Janos was left open to redemption or destruction. We hadn't planned on deciding his fate until next game. A lot of ideas were batted around, but we wanted to introduce new enemies. DP had to do with the Hylden realm so his escape might have been seen into that.

As I mentioned earlier, the SR trilogy wrapped up Raziel's story. As much as we all loved him, we wanted to either refocus on Kain, or some new hero. I think we had proved we could make compelling new characters. ;-)
We at CD were really happy to wrap up Raziel's story line and focus on someone new. :) Even after Amy left, we wanted to preserve that part ofthe legacy.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 17, 2012, 05:26 p.m.[50]

SR1 Title Screen mysteryEdit

This is another question regarding SR1 - who are the figures on the title screen? It seems to be representing Kain and Lieutenants but I am not sure who is who.
Could you comment on this screenshot of beta on the left and retail on the right? My guesses are below the picture :D
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_-j4kxNehf0/UC5vkBMVImI/AAAAAAAADF4/JbWNCpDbBuM/s800/titlesr1-3.png
1. Looks very much like Raziel in both beta and retail. After turning its head looks like the wraith Raziel, in TLB he looks like his vampire self instead. His eyes also don't glow blue in TLB and he appears to have black tears.
2. Seems like Kain, since he is in the middle. His face changed to more inhuman bit from beta to retail.
3. My guess would be Dumah, or maybe Turel. His face also seems more human in retail version.
4. This one really puzzled me - is it Rahab or maybe the Priestess? I was really thinking that after seeing in beta, the figure has no glowing eyes and looks pretty feminine. However, in retail, eyes are red. Do you know why? :)
5. My guess would be Zephon since figure´s hair seems to match it.
6. Now I have no idea who this might be, since the change from beta to retail is pretty significant. I would say that in beta it seems to be Rahab, but in retail I have no idea..
7. This is an alternative possibly to no. 6. In beta, figure seems to have hair while in retail, he is bald (seems like Melchiah)
8. The Bearded man is a mystery, possibly Dumah or Turel?

Could you explain if these are close to what they really are?

Thanks a bunch! (sorry for flooding you with so many questions xD they have been dwelling inside me for so long that I can´t stop them now xD)
―Raina Audron

[...]

I busted my ass on the 11th hour on this one. It was one of the last things we put in the game, and I championed it because I thought it made the game cooler. You know UI is the first thing you see in a game. I remember making the image and going "You know what would be cool.. if their faces turned to face you and they became all vampiric!" Cory Stockton was all "yeah that sounds great.. good luck with that one, dude."
I hadn't realized the crapload of work it would take to make that image work, I animated each head by hand, but wasn't happy with the animation aspect of it. So I had my friend Colin put in 3D heads that were camera mapped, had them turn over a few frames, rendered it in MAX, then HAND PAINTED head frame of each head on top. I had great support from the programmers to get this in too.. technically we put it in after the content lock deadline (shhhh!) but everyone thought it was cool so we kept it. Did you guys like it? Did it freak you out at first? I hope so..

Anway, Except for Raziel, they're all abstractions of Kain and the bretheren. Red eyes are for vamps, blue is for the Reaver. I generally thought of Kain representing the middle, and you're pretty much spot on for all the statues. I wanted them to be a 'shadow knows' kind of reveal (like spectral)

1. Raziel
2. Kain
3. Dumah (reminiscient of the dumahim shape)
4. Priestess (Even though she was cut.. it rounded out the image)
5. Zephon (Kind of made his representation look like a brat lol)
6.Rahab (shielding himself from the sun)
7. Melchiah (bald and hiding his percieved ugliness)
8. Turel
―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 07:03 a.m.[51]
Bazam! That's crazy. Can vampires grow beards?

I actually remember renting Soul Reaver before buying it when it first started hitting shelves, I can honestly say the reason I chose it is because it was the coolest looking game by far, and I'm sure everyone else felt the same way. I remember my first impression of the title screen and Menu, it was so gothic and cool the way they turned their faces to change. That was your idea, Holy Castlevania Batman! Awesome addition!

―Jake Pawloski

[...]

Heh.. well like I said, it's more symbolic with everyone but Raziel. Feel free to interpret it how you like. (None of them are Elzevir! That's non-negotiable)
―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 05:18 a.m.[52]

Soul Reaver 2 questionsEdit

Thanks for all your answers, Daniel! You have been very helpful in our better understanding of the story of LOK.

Time for SR2 now xD

1. Where the remaining three forges(water, earth, spirit) ever built for SR2? Do you know where in the world would Raziel find them? When it was decided they will be cut? What kind of puzzles would they have?
2. Is this an entrance to a Spirit Forge? (It also kinda reminds me of the opening that Raziel sees above him in first Underworld cutscene in Defiance)
http://thelostworlds.net/SR2/Images/Deleted_Forges-Spirit_Forge-01.JPG
3. Since there were three additional forges planned, would the ending differ from what ended up in the game?
4. Was there really an area with vampires in the rooftops of the swamp? what would Raziel uncover there or what would it be used for?
5. How far along was the Dreamcast version of SR2 before it got scrapped?
6. Was the idea of Pillar Glyphs ever implemented into the game? I have read they would affect the envinronment in certain ways.
7. Was there any alternatives paths on how to reach Uschtenheim? There seem to be many platforms which Raziel can´t reach on the path to Janos´ Retreat.
8. Was the young Kain supposed to make an appearance during the game?
9. What was the elder Kain doing when he teleported away after talking to Raziel during the game? Did he use the same time streaming device as Raziel to pursue him, or did he use the Chronoplast Chamber?
10. These early screenshots depict an area which looks awfully similar to Avernus (or maybe Uschtenheim). What was it supposed to be?
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gxS2EXNkYhE/UC6HGuZkE_I/AAAAAAAADGI/0-5K1u6sGWg/s640/Urban04.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vt2SRmWIHKw/UC6HJ898WAI/AAAAAAAADGQ/C-Zs4ftcw4w/s640/Urban05.jpg
―Raina Audron
1. We didn't build the forges beyond design bsp rooms. We cut them when we saw the schedule and our producer coming to kill us. They would have aligned to the element, just like fire was. Water would have a series of fountains and cisterns, Earth would have blocks moved and a massive platform (akin to Melchiah's level I think.. ) and Spirit was further along with needing to imbue the reaver and light certain areas (you needed them all) but we folded that gameplay into Raziel's final puzzle.
2. There was an entrance under the Vampire citadel, but it didn't last long. Teleporting was much better for our schedule.. and sanity.
3. No the ending was the same. Wrapping Raziel's storyline was the most important. We did want an easter egg stinger after the credits, where you see Kain return the Reaver to the base of the Pillars so William the Just could find it. Just didn't have time. sigh.
4.Yeah we wanted Vamps on Rooftops to show there was a lot of conflict with the hunters and that would deepen the story of the Culling. I even had a cinematic with a Vampire being hunted down and killed.
5. Wow this is a funny one. Dreamcast was a great machine, one of my personal faves. But once the PS2 specs were announced and dev kits delivered, DC was dead. It never got past the Air Forge (first level we made for the demo) I kept wanting to make a joke video where I pull SR2 out a dreamcast, run outside and go "Ok! We got the gold master, let's get this to manufact-" <FUMBLE> <Car runs over disk> "Oh.. well.. right then. PS2 only!"
6. I don't really remember much about the pillar glyphs. They were redundant with the Reaver abilities in many ways, so it got scrapped.
7. Yes, there were supposed to be these updrafts that Raziel could use to boost his glide. But we never got it working in a way that didn't cause horrible game breaking bugs.
8. Yes, and believe me I was broken hearted when we canceled that part. But it happened before I could put any art resources on it, so it wasn't as painful as cutting out finished characters or anything like that. Would have been fun though! I wanted to redesign BO1 Kain's armor..
9 It was presumed he was fighting different battles, similar to Defiance, but without allowing you to play them. I think he had a time streaming device of some kind, or he fought his way into the chronoplast in the past and jumped. Never really needed to think about that one..
10. Uschtenheim. You got it. Supposed to be a lot going on there.. and we cut it because our producer was walking behind us with a baseball bat screaming about teamwork... ;__;
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 10:53 p.m.[53]
Oh I see, thanks for the answers! Very interesting :) haha, damn, that producer (Rosaura Sandoval?) sure pushed you guys. but the result was sure amazing. How did you get lip sinc so well? Not many games had it so elaborate at that time as SR2 did.
lolz at the dreamcast joke xD haha. hm too bad though, ps2 totally KO´d it.
―Raina Audron
No, Rose was fine. I was really just joking about the producers screaming at us. It was just that we only had so much time to create everything, and had to make tough calls.
Lip sync's were pure animator love doing hand keys on a puppet skeleton. It was a good rig, and they did a lot with a few bones. I always felt we were ahead of the curve on that at the time.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 07:03 a.m.[54]

Ruins in NosgothEdit

Hey, I was wondering...

Which Race built the Lost City...was it a Vampire ruin or Hylden ruin? or neither? Thanks.

―Jake Pawloski
I never got the full skinny on it. I believe it was the Vampire race.. and it was abandoned. The Werewolves took over, but the whole time the Elder God was there, whispering and pulling it into the depths.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 10:56 p.m.[55]

Your favourite Tomb RaiderEdit

Hey Daniel,

I´d like to ask, which game do you prefer more as a gamer - Legend or Anniversary?
I really like how Legend brought TR back from the dead and that it breathed some fresh air into the franchise.
Anniversary got even better and is my favourite of the new ones. That´s a really well done remake of the original.
Never got to play Underworld though.. Did you work on that one as well?
What do you think about the classic Tomb Raider games? I still play them from time to time, there is something timeless about that level design and puzzles.

―Raina Audron
[...]

Well I worked longer and had a hand in design on Legend, so that would be my answer. I'm really proud of the team, and the way Lara turned out. I especially like the XBOX 360 version because I got to create a Lara with special maps for 'wet and dirty' mode that aren't even in the PC version. It was fun, stressful and amazing all at the same time. Creating a new Lara more difficult than working with a real actress. EVERYONE has an opinion on what she should look like. But moreover I got to have fun with the locations, characters, and mythology of Tomb Raider. That's something I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to explore. (I still would have preferred my favela opening more. hehe) I really got a chance to do it all: Lead a team, create a new character, try out new technology and make iconic posters (Lara over the waterfall is still my favorite)
Anniversary was great because we got to make the more uprezzed and realized versions of characters everyone loves. Even the controversial decisions (Pierre bald! OMG) were fun to execute and see. Plus I got a chance to collaborate with Paul Sullivan and Ben Shafer, two amazing concept artists and good friends. ANd I got a chance to make the iconic T-Rex Key Art image.
I LOVE Tomb Raider one. I still remember the first time I saw the T-Rex coming out of the fog, screamed and fumbled the controller. Poor Lara died a few times there. Mastering the roll to reverse ledge grab was amazing fun, and just having the first sense of freedom and exploration was amazing.
After that.. well I was disappointed in how stagnant it all became. The series didn't move forward with technology. It became all about Lara's boob size and how murderous she could be.
When we came out with Soul Reaver, we offered CORE the streaming technology and training opportunity with the Reaver Engine, which in my opinion was vastly superior and allowed for much more detailed textures. They turned us down flat, with a noted official saying to us 'Tomb Raider will sell more than Soul Reaver. We don't need your engine' Argh! So I watched in sadness as each subsequent TR became a quick off carbon copy of the previous.
They tried with Angel of Darkness.. but well I could tell you stories there too. It just wasn't coming together.. they had lost all stuff that made TR great. So our first goal at CD was to get that back.
I only did a few designs for Underworld before I left CD, primarily the NAGA (which got changed a lot) and the giant spiders.
There's an even bigger ARGH story there with not allowing Amy Hennig to lead a Tomb Raider team... So TR coming around to Uncharted's style of cinematic gameplay is.. oddly Karmic. Sometimes I feel like I'm only allowed to bear witness to such unfathomable events. (Like the Watcher in Marvel comics)
But overall I'm happy with the series. We'll see how the new reboot goes. I'm hoping Lara is more than a scared girl all the time and truly hardens into the badass we all know and love.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 09:47 p.m.[56]
Amy could've directed a Tomb Raider title but wasn't considered to lead the team? that's silly.
Did you know that Peter Jackson was rejected by Universal Studios for Lord of the Rings, and that Miramax Studios handed it over to New Line Cinema?
Man, talk about 17 academy award winning face palm. Universal executives were later probably like DOH!
The Uncharted Games are among the top 5 PS3 series, won a Game of the Year, Best Writer award, etc.
In fact, she's considered one of the 'top 10 game story tellers' and 'top 5 game directors today' according
to my friend Dan Shoe of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Well, some new games in a franchise are pretty good, I mean Street Fighter IV was actually not bad, but that honors a formula. Reboots are a little concerning I agree.
Yup, Lara gets smacked around a lot in this new Tomb Raider, definitely over reacting and emotional, so it will maybe redeem itself (I hope) if she actually wields some guns by the end and has a new outfit, entering a Tomb or something, because otherwise it's just Tomb Whiner. And I didn't even see a tomb, so it's just Whiner.
I'd be whining too if I had the crap kicked out of me by everything. :P

―Jake Pawloski

[...]

Heh. Probably. :)
―Daniel Cabuco, August 21, 2012, 06:15 a.m.[57]

SR2 Air Forge and Defiance ForgesEdit

Greetings, Mr. Cabuco :)

First of all, thank you for taking the time to make this site for us all to ask questions and to enjoy the camaraderie of being fans of such a great series of games. I see a lot of questions have already been asked. I am sure I'll have more down the line, but to start off with some regarding the forges:

The Air Forge of SR2 seemed to differ from the rest in a couple of ways. The puzzles involved returning "hearts" to mummified beings that seemed to be eternally writhing there on those alters. Those hearts then dematerialized the bodies and their respective souls would appear, only to be eaten by the stone statue faces that came to life. The statues had fangs like vampires, yet are devouring these souls. The beings each had a different color for their hearts and blood -- red/orange, green, and muted blue (much like Raziel's own goo/blood when he gets injured).

Were these beings supposed to be representing human/material world flesh beings for the red, green for the Hylden, and bue for Spectral entities? Or, simply what were these beings supposed to be?

Why did the stone statues devour these souls? Why would the vampires devise such a mechanism of using souls, and how would they know how to do this? (I'm sounding like Raziel when he pressed Janos for answers, lol) Along the same line: where did these devoured souls go to?

And onto the structure of the main chamber of this forge: why was it made to resemble a giant version of Moebius' staff, with the snake coiled around and opened mouth exactly shaped to grip a giant orb? And with that, was Moebius' staff and this forge similar in principle? Was there a connection to this weapon? If not, then why the visual connection?


Onto the Defiance's forges:

Why would the vampires design forges that seems to work on using their very vampire guardian souls to power them up, and also to power the wraith blade and not the physical reaver (or, how would they power the physical reaver, if they could?)? This is drawing into plot elements I am not sure if even after all of this time, you want to reveal. However, it's an oddity that begs to question just what were these forges originally designed to do, if not to help what has to be a soul-eating weapon/being? And from that, the ultimate question: what did the original Time Guardian actually know (if he knew more) that Janos misread in the prophecies? We see the Time Guardian, a deranged spirit supposedly like the rest, and he doesn't let on anything but that Raziel is supposedly an enemy that must make atonement, etc... However, without going further into what I'm getting at, just what was going on with those forges, if you can tell us anything? Much appreciated, if you can; if not, that's ok too :

―The Hylden
Yeah! ^ The Air Forge is where I live in Nosgoth. That's got to be the most  :twisted: location, or at least it has remained the most thought provoking. It's like one of those Lovecraft style mysteries that live on because it's too mysterious for us humans to solve or something.  :lol:

I'll keep my version of the same question more general, in case the specific points above can only be answered with, "We just made it as creepy as possible!"


So here's the catch-all version: is there any Air Forge backstory you guys had that would shed light on what the heck was really going on in that place?
(The basic gist of what was being accomplished or attempted there.)

Because using only Nosgoth's available clues to try and figure it out, the answer could be almost anything. (Some examples of the pondering that's gone on:)
-Were they prophets instructing the future vampire hero on how to transplant the heart of darkness?
-Were they running blood curse experiments there, perfecting the 'art' of heartless survival? (their work made all of the Janos<-->Kain heart-of-darkness stuff possible).
-Was this a place for defiant ancients who refused to give up (suicide) but instead chose to keep their culture alive while they endured their god's anger? (the stone soul devouring faces look like a foreboding Death, not a 'warm' life-cycle kind of death to be embraced). All the while, they'd have looked for some loophole in the curse. (a surgical cure).
-Was the entire forge a metaphor for their cursed condition? They were trapped in a meaningless immortal limbo by the curse, just like those poor little guys left squirming on the altars by a god who wouldn't move a finger to help them until they gave up the ghost.
-The forge was a gigantic Mobious Staff and funtioned the same way to keep them under control--by their own choice! They didn't want to lose themselves to animal blood thirst, so the forge structure would air-tazer any frothing vampire it detected. Then Moebius saw that this tech could be used for a different kind of population control.



See what I mean? Air Forge is too mysterious!

Thanks for an awesome fantasy world, by the way.

―Tim Controls Me
Hey guys,

great questions. The most I can really elaborate on (because damn, your postulations are pretty damn cool.. I was tempted to just type 'yes' and leave it at that) is to say that the Forges were made for the Reaver (physical or wraith) by Ancient Vampires. They worshipped the Elder God, who ate souls, not Blood. So the Vampires at the pinnacle of their 'technology' could tear a soul out of it's moorings with the use of great magics. They were working ways to make weapons or machines that could 'feed the wheel' so to speak.
Hylden, your color assessments are correct. All souls went to the Elder God. The whole place was designed for Sacrifice.. first of their enemies and later of themselves.
Both the Air Forge Snake and Moebius' staff disabled the hearts of Vampires.
Other than that, we made it pretty open ended, because we wanted to leave that 'hook' open for another game if we needed it.

Tim, I can only tell you that you and I can see the same thing and interpret it completely differently. Hence the Time Guardian's interpretation of events differing from both Janos and Moebius.

Hope that helps.. sorry I don't have point by point specific answers.

―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 07:17 a.m.[58]

The heart of darkness.Edit

Hey Daniel i have a ? about something in the series im a bit confused on.

in Defiance,when kain has his heart ripped out by Raziel,is it possible that he is still alive in the demon dimension because he still has HIS heart inside...i mean kain does say - "that disquieting stillness where my heart HAD been...the heart that belonged to janos all along."

but could it be that mortanious just shoved ol Janos heart on top of kains...and the STILLNESS is just kains dead heart not beating?

im so confused.. :?

―majinkura
Hi Majinkura,

No Kain's heart was replaced with Janos'. The only thing that can permanently kill Kain is the Reaver which pulls souls out of the body. Kain's much heartier than any Vampire. And he doesn't sparkle.
Heh

―Daniel Cabuco, August 19, 2012, 02:31 a.m.[59]

3 quick questionsEdit

Hey Daniel, I just have a few final questions.

1. What was the Elder God's origin, did he have one?
2. What outcome did Kain originally have in mind for Raziel? (He said 'now you are free to reclaim your true destiny' and 'to reach the outcome you and I both can live with')
3. Did Kain's return from the demon dimension without a heart, cause him to become free from the wheel of fate/was Kain free from the wheel at the end of Defiance?
(This might explain why neither the Elder God nor Moebius foresaw his return. Many fans argue that Moebius didn't foresee Kain's return because he lost his guardianship, but he could have seen into the future when he was guardian, likewise the Elder didn't seem to see coming, otherwise Raziel probably wouldn't have said 'you didn't foresee Kain's return' to the Elder. Since the path of a free creature cannot be seen, which is why Raziel's path was shrouded from the Elder and Moebius)

―Jake Pawloski

[...]

1. The Elder God's origins are shrouded in mystery. (Which is a fancy way of saying that we hadn't delved into it. It was something for DP to elaborate on) Have any theories of your own? I just thought of him as an ancient being in the world, native to this dimension.
2. Kain's objective, at a high level, was to give Raziel true freedom from the fate of going into the Reaver. You saw that Raziel could possess a dead body... my theory would be for him to find a vessel that could hold his form, and fuse with it. In essence restoring his body. But that last part is my theory..
3. Well remember at that moment, Raziel was entering the Reaver. At that precise moment, time is unbound as two Reavers exist at the same time. Kain may not have been completely unbound, but he was certainly decoupled from fate at that moment, giving him a chance to act within a 'blind spot' in time. I believe he was unbound from fate permanently when he was purified by Raziel (Two Reavers existing at the same time, Kain Purified fully). I hope that answer makes sense...
Imagine it this way.. you watch events in time on the Chronoplast TV.. you see 2 Reavers come together.. there's a blinding light that slowly fades, and when it does, you can check to see how time has changed. But for a while you couldn't see it because of the ripples of change that happened.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 23, 2012, 05:41 a.m.[60]

ModeratorsEdit

Hello,

With all of the Spam Bots attacking and various needs of this growing board (!), Raina Audron has been appointed as a Moderator. A big thank you goes out to her for her time, effort and attention.


Please send any information or questions to either Admin or the Moderators. Currently Daniel Cabuco and Raina Audron are the two. Any suggestions for the board can be posted on the Suggestions forum.

Thanks!

Admin
―Daniel Cabuco[61]

Blood Omen 2Edit

I'm not quite sure how to word these questions, so bear with me please. I'm aware that this particular game is rather divisive in some ways, and am very respectful that the team that made it clearly had their own sense of vision for the game. I am also aware that you were not part of the team that worked on it Daniel. I'm still hoping you may be able to offer some insight with these few questions:

1. How much say did the Soul Reaver team have with the Blood Omen 2 project - if any at all? There are many contradictions and clashes, in terms of plot, characterisation and tone that really set this entry apart from the rest of the franchise. Kain is quite simple, Vorador has somehow transitioned into a benevolent revolutionary, and an ancient race are portrayed as evil aliens. When replayed, it really does seem to stand out. The great themes of Blood Omen 1, Soul Reaver 1,2 and Defiance are wholly absent - oppression, corruption, acceptance and defiance of fate, betrayal, vengeance and overcoming rage, very little of this comes across.

2. Did anyone at Crystal Dynamics wince when, on the back of the Blood Omen 2 boxart, the phrase "PLAY AS KAIN - THE MOST EVIL CHARACTER TO EVER APPEAR IN A VIDEO GAME" was written at the top of the blurb in big red letters? Expanding on that, were there any marketing decisions made that you felt did not do the games justice?

3. When making Defiance and conceptualising The Dark Prophecy - was it considered a priority to address Blood Omen 2's contradictions? For example, was The Seer intended to reappear to address her ambiguous dialogue? Was what-happened-to-Vorador (he is still alive and he shouldn't be) after Blood Omen 2 going to be explained?

4. Following Blood Omen 2's portrayal of the Hylden as almost cartoon-evil villains, Defiance went some way into redeeming the race in a small way - showing that they were the victims of the Ancients' viscious war, and had spent some time buried in the primitive caves of Avernus while the Ancients occupied majestic temples and aeries. We even got to hear them in the Demon Dimension for a while, horribly tormented ("This realm will render you hideous") They were still seen as villainous though, mainly due to the Hylden General/possessed Janos/Mortanius scenes. Were any further efforts (either cut from Defiance or intended for The Dark Prophecy) going to further show us a better side to the Hylden civilisation?

5. One element I like about the series is that it avoids a genre cliche of over-sexualisation of the vampires. Sex simply not a factor for them - humans are "cattle", Kain and Raziel could have been straight or gay or entirely nonsexual and its not important. Blood Omen, Soul Reaver 1,2 and Defiance don't need to titillate the player with immature scantily-clad women like so many games do. Blood Omen 2 takes this in a different direction, with female designs like this and this and Kain's overt interest in Umah. Was this sexualisation of the vampires something the Soul Reaver/Defiance team intended to pursue in future games, or something best forgotten?

6. Did the Legacy of Kain team have any explanations for some of Blood Omen 2's unanswered questions that never made it into a game? Such as what the Nexus Stone was, or the Mass, or what happened to the surviving vampires at the end of the game?

7. Blood Omen 2 seems to portray the Hylden Realm as a green swirling energy storm whereas we get a brief moment in Defiance when Kain enters their realm and it is a dark-red mirror of the material realm, like a "deeper" layer of reality beyond the spectral realm. What in your mind, in the Hylden Realm exactly?

8. Was Blood Omen 2 meant to be an altered timeline from day one, or was this explanation created after-the-fact to help resolve some of the contradictions?

Many thanks Daniel. If you cannot answer some, any or all of these questions then no worries and thanks for your time.

―Divine Shadow
Hi Divine Shadow,

Well BO2 was a completely different team, and they had a lot of their own ideas about the direction they wanted to go. I had a few friends on that team, so I can only say that I wish we'd worked more closely together and collaborated. But even in the best environments, you'll have people who want to make their own statements and go their own way. There was a lot of people who didn't quite get Soul Reaver at Crystal and Eidos. The higher ups wanted more overtly sexual elements with a simpler story and I think that had a lot of influence on BO2. (Additionally Steve Ross had his own style and that had a heavy influence on BO2.) Marketing guys just wanted an easy, marketable design. (Like Doc Martens on Raziel.. *SHUDDER*) SR was a delicate balance of sensibilities, and it was difficult enough for our team to stay on task, so there was a lot of divergence.

1. SR didn't have any influence on BO2. They had creative autonomy. I did raise a few facts when talking to their artists and designers (Uh.. hey.. Vorador's dead you know.. why do you have him in the beginning of the game?) But by and large the most we could do was insure consistency with things like the Reaver. I think that the lack of collaboration between teams ultimately hurt us both, and is pretty evident in the final product(s).

2 We all winced. (see above for marketing decisions) Doc Martens on Raziel, the stupid commercials on TV (people dying darwin-esque deaths of incredible stupidity.. but at least 'they still have their soul' *facepalm*) Like I said, a lot of people didn't get the whole 'city of lost children/lost steampunk' vibe we were going for.. And they sure as heck didn't know what the path of a Gnostic hero was. So mainly it was 'Rawr blood and souls!' Though I do have to give it to them.. I liked Defiance's cover a lot. I wanted them to make a holographic cover for SR1 that would shift realms behind Raziel, you know the kind you rotate left and right to see different images.. But it was 'cost prohibitive'. Man if only they had made a collector's box. It was after my time at Crystal that I made it a personal mission to both involve and educate marketing in the games I worked on.

3. BO2's contradictions were thrown 'over the fence' for the SR team to figure out. It made a lot of our storyline stuff hard to reconcile. Personally I resented it, but damn if Amy didn't come through and tie it all together. The ending of SR2 with Kain's new memories, the Hylden, etc.. she just did an amazing job considering the huge amount of crap she had to resolve. Defiance was meant to resolve Umah and Vorador. I took it as a personal challenge to make Umah alluring and less.. endowed. Hence my original concept of her with the hoodie and mysterious eyes. (Vorador has a thing for mysterious eyes)

4. They would show that even the Hylden weren't as one dimensional as you think. They went through a lot of horrible pain and disfigurement in their dimension. That would be enough to drive the most noble soul mad. But they also committed their share of atrocities.. that's why there was a huge war. (And Murals! Propaganda is important) But in DP we were going to go to the Hylden realm and you could see how it affected them.. and how they were using their magic and glyph technology to keep the influences 'at bay'

5. No we never tried to go that direction. We made the males sexy to be sure, but wanted to also make cool designs over and above that. For me, sexy isn't about how much breast or thigh you show, but rather the beauty of the design and how it compliments what you have vs trying to reveal it. We also felt if we went there, we'd lose a lot of the intellectual and higher level story. And I think everyone can see if we were right when you compare the two games. They're really for two different tastes.

6. We had a ton of reconciliation to do. We were going to put a lot in DP.. but didn't get the chance. The Hylden Lord, having the Soul Reaver for a time, could change history if he could get it in proximity of another Reaver.. or Raziel. Think about that motivation for a second, and you'll see how powerful the Hylden Lord's ambition was. But we didn't get a chance to really explore it further.

7. The Hylden Realm is a demonic dimension that warps and distorts reality with chaotic energy. The Hyden tried and succeeded in carving out a niche that left a few of them unaltered. Using the Glyph network, they created order out of Chaos, even subjugating the native creatures there.. but it was very limited and at great cost. Eventually even their great magics would succumb to the demon dimension and warp. The Nexus stone and device were all part of their attempts to come over. The Demon Realm is not a mirror copy of the Material though, it just touches on it in certain 'weak points' like Avernus. It's not like the Spectral Realm.. it has its own areas, too and time passes differently there as well.

Hope that provides some enlightenment.

DC
―Daniel Cabuco, August 20, 2012, 07:01 a.m.[62]
WHAT THE EFF?! LOL aaaargh.. I never knew about that! Bloody hell. Europe got all the cool stuff. Man now I gotta hunt that down on ebay. Hehe That looks awesome and exactly what I was thinking.
―Daniel Cabuco[63]
/jealous lol
―Daniel Cabuco[64]

Return of the Mac... so to speakEdit

Ok, apologies for the title. Those who know me my titles are random but they do usually relate to the topic. And this one does.

I honestly wanted to know, in the world of hypothesis and what if's, should someone (I think Square own the rights now don't they, or something weird like that) go to continue the Lok series with Dark Prophecy or something else entirely (Crimson Sun or something was thrown around as a possible title I believe, maybe, I'm not sure) how many, if any, of the original team members, from any of the various teams there must have been (ignoring the BO2 lool), would return if given the chance?
Would you? Would any of the mates you've made return? r would ya'll be content to see a new team take it somewhere? Or would ya'll be happy to act as advisers so to say, with the new team coming to you with 'we were thinking of' sort of ideas and you reclining in a chair with a pipe next to the Hobbits named Proudfeet, smiling at memories of the past before going on to tell them your thoughts...

I, personally, both hope and doubt this will ever happen. Jeez I have dreams of becoming a Games Designer myself and trying to do just this one day with my own team, but dreams are just dreams usually. Well they are until they become more.

Also do you think a new team could carry on the torch successfully and would you or others aid them?

Biggest question in the world is do you think Amy would ever return to the series? lot of people believe any new game would be Lok without her, do you agree? Or do you think titles even as high as her's can be passed on to worthy successors?

Ok, loads of mildly pointless questions. Sorry.

I shall now away to the Dust fields of the Sands of Time.

Thank's if you do look upon this thread.

Lord Onatu (Daniel Jones)
―Lord Onatu
Hey Daniel (Lord Onatu),

Well if the circumstances were right anything can happen. That said, I'm really happy where I am at, working at Spark Unlimited on Lost Planet 3. While I can't speak for her, I'm sure Amy is quite happy with Naughty Dog and the unprecedented success of the Uncharted series.

I think, if another LOK came along, it would be different. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. If consulted, I could would certainly love to help, but sometimes it's good to let someone new take a shot. (Look how different Legend of Korra is from Avatar. Different but good.) LOK can exist and even thrive without Amy or I, but whomever takes over just needs to take account of the previous games.
I think it's all about if the creative team understood the spirit and fundamental feeling of the series. It's more subtle in it's themes than most games, and doesn't ever pander sexually. It's violent, but also intellectual. It challenges traditional notions of good and evil, as well as heroes and villains. It asks more from the player, and leaves more for the imagination.
I think the biggest mistake for game marketers and creators, is to believe all gamers are built the same. They're not.. It's not just between genres or types of games, but within those genres are multitudes of people who like deep story, strong motivations, and great gameplay.
If you dream of being a game designer, and are serious about it, then take the step towards your dream. Someone has to do it. I hope this generation of gamer and game designer asks for more out their game experience, not less. Maybe the person to do better, is you. :)
Either way, I do like to sit by the hearth and happily remember the work we did. :P
―Daniel Cabuco, August 21, 2012, 06:13 a.m.[65]

The Sanctuary ChamberEdit

ok here's another ? that's been bugging me...

http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/3661/402440-raziel2_super.jpg

is it me or is there some sunlight in the chamber??
or has kain invented artificial lighting in there?

please confirm this Daniel i'm dying to know whats up with this room.

―majinkura
It's not direct Sunlight. Remember that the great clouds cover most of Nosgoth at this time, spewed by the great charnel house. Also, Kain has stained glass to soften the light and bounce it in a very specific area. As long as it isn't direct sunbeams, it won't hurt them. (That's why Rahab's Drowned Abby didn't hurt him until Raziel broke the stained Glass. )
―Daniel Cabuco, August 23, 2012, 05:21 a.m.[66]

ShifterEdit

Daniel, Arnold Ayala's concept work for "Shifter" certainly got us thinking and does leave a lot of unanswered questions. At the moment, the fantastic Legacy of Kain wiki only understands the original characters as The Shifter and The Master.

I have a few questions (yet again!) if that's okay. If there is anything you can't answer, no worries:

(1) Can you give us any background on Shifter's transition into Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver? Was Shifter at a concept stage, or was the game being built when it was integrated into the wider Legacy of Kain lore? Was there a revelatory moment in which it occurred that Shifter would be a fantastic sequel to Blood Omen?

(2) Do you recall any substantial plot differences between Shifter and Soul Reaver? The characters' original names for example, or their species - were they always intended to be vampires? Were environments such as the Silenced Cathedral or Drowned Abbey (and other areas) originally part of the Shifter lore before being brought into Nosgoth?

(3) Are you allowed to discuss what happened with Silicon Knights and Shifter/Soul Reaver? We have so little information regarding this, its literally been a case of trying to assemble an idea of what happened based on Dyack's offhand statements. If this isn't something you can discuss, then no problem.

Thanks for this (and your answers so far)!

―Divine Shadow
Sorry, due to a legal settlement, I'm not at liberty to comment on this forum about details on Shifter or LOK. I wouldn't look too deep into Shifter, there really isn't as much there as you think.
Meet me at a bar sometime and I may tell you more someday.
―Daniel Cabuco, August 23, 2012, 05:28 a.m.[67]

Will Kain devolve like his lieutenants?Edit

Hello, nice to meet you. Thank you for this chance of talking to you about these stuff.

I want to know if Kain will eventually devolve, I'm still reading all the questions and answers in the forum but I remember you mentioned in another thread that Kain was tainted, hence the devolution of the lieutenants. Since in SR1, after Raziel's resurrection, everyone but Kain devolved I simply assumed he reached the end of his evolution and couldn't change physically anymore, but after reading that I wonder if he will eventually meet the same fate.

If so, when Raziel purified him by the end of Defiance, was Kain spared from that fate?
―Nicodemus
Hi Nicodemus,

Thanks! It's great to hear from fans of the series, and to know that there is still so much interest all these years. Great question, btw.

I like to think that Kain would eventually devolve as well, though he would take much longer. I think that's why he felt he had to try to set the events of SR in motion. He may have seen something in the Chronoplast, or just felt that the fate of his 'children' awaited him at some point.

And yes, being purified spared him that fate. Any Vampires he made from there on would be pure as well. ;)

―Daniel Cabuco, August 23, 2012, 05:45 a.m.[68]

A few questions (Paradoks)Edit

Paradoks wrote:

Hello Mr Cabuco.

First of all I would like to thank you for opening this forum and allowing us to ask all these weird and crazy questions. I really appreciate the time you spend to provide answers to us rabid fans  ;) . Second - I would like to apologise for a painfully generic thread title, but I thought it would be better to keep all my questions in one thread and not litter the forum with different threads for each of them.


You're very welcome, Paradoks. I'm glad that the community is still alive and it's fun to answer these questions. Don't worry about the thread title, I often spend more time on the title than I do on the content.. racking my brain trying to come up with something witty or attention getting. :P

Paradoks wrote: I would appreciate if you could answer some of these questions. I know that some of these may be about completely irrelevant tiny details but I would like to hear your answers nonetheless.

1) Balance Emblem At some point while browsing the textures in Defiance I noticed a little detail. The Emblem fragments' colours are also the same as the 'combat barriers' for the corresponding races. Is all this a huge coincidence or was there actually some sort of connection between the races and the Guardians?


I would love to tell you there is some secret story behind that, but it was just a technical requirement for associating the correct emblem with the appropriate demon guard. I forget exactly what it was at the time, but I know I was asked to tint them to match.

Paradoks wrote: 2) Real world textures I know that many textures in LoK do exist in real world. Like for example Avernus Cathedral in Defiance has Florence Baptistery doors, Notre Dame Paris Cathedral rose window, Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona fasade, Pere Lachaise cemetary figures and a couple of things that I missed. I managed to compile a relatively long list, but there are some things I think are there somewhere but I can't find them anywhere. I'm still having fun finding these images, so I'll just post the ones that took me a long time without any effect. I'm not even entirely sure they exist in real world but at least the first one seems too... specific. The one that is bugging me the most is this. Image I know it was made by Arnold Ayala but I also know that you used it in Sarafan Raziel's concept art as a part of his armour, so I'm hoping that you know where it originally comes from. Seems like it is a part of some triumphal arch (a figure on another texture near that area comes from the one in Paris). If you could give me a hint on where to look (or confirm hat it doesn't have real world counterpart) I would be really grateful.


Hmm.. yeah I remember that one, but don't remember exactly where it's from. You might try the Arc de Triomphe or the area nearby. I believe it's Parisian.. the nose does have the Greek/Roman ideal, though. Sorry, I didn't source the angel, so I don't know exactly where it's from. Good job locating source from the rest.

Paradoks wrote: Also - is there any significance in this detail? Image I'm asking because it's in SR1, SR2 and Defiance. I think that it is the only "unimportant" part that is in all these games.


Not really. We just liked using it. :P We did like to associate dragons with the Vampires because it was the strongest representation of them: Strong, winged, noble and dangerous. The vase between them reinforced the Amphora Jar theme we had as well. Paradoks wrote: Another question about these paintings (I hope the left one doesn't qualify as inappropriate). Image On the left it's definitely Lucretia's suicide, a very popular motif in painting, but again, I don't know where the exact picture comes from (looks like something between Tiepolo and Antolinez). I couldn't find anything on Pauline on the right though. Could you share some light where these images come from or is this independent work?


I believe one is from Lucretia's rape and the other from Lucretia's suicide. I forget the source, but it could be Rubens.. it doesn't look refined enough to be a Tiepolo. I didn't source it though.. sorry.

Paradoks wrote: 3) Differences in Vorador's Mansion There are some not so obvious differences in Vorador's Mansion before and after Raziel's departure to Avernus like those shown in the picture below. Image I don't think that Moebius' mercenaries were doing any renovations ;) so I have a question whether it is a case of someone not inserting these details into old mansion, or someone not removing them from the new one? Or was this intentional and there is a reason for these differences?

The one of the Ravens and Dragons was to clue the player into which brazier to light. My thinking was that they were always there, but were shrouded by a spell. I had it in Spectral, but was asked to take it out because it distracted the player into thinking there was a puzzle in Spectral.. which there wasn't. I always believed the changes in the glass were made shortly after Vorador's death by someone who revered him. (Umah perhaps) The tree was symbolic of the true Vampire nature before they became blood drinking. Whomever did it was driven off by the Vampire Hunters, and they didn't smash it because it wasn't inherently a Vampire Symbol (to them anyway)

Paradoks wrote: 4) Defiance nitpicking ;) Has any tester pointed out that Kain couldn't have possibly spotted Avernus from the Vampire Citadel?


Even if a tester pointed it out, I'd have waived the bug.We weren't about to spend another three months redesigning the area, rescripting it, remeshing it, lighting it, debugging the collision, setting the sound, events, enemy placement, and polishing it for something as trivial as that. It's something that happened because we cut down levels and moved things around. They're called 'D' level bugs and in a list of 2500 or so at the height of Alpha (10% of which are A level bugs that block progression), they usually get waived. I think only 1 in 1000 or so people would notice it.

Paradoks wrote: 5) Hidden Messages Do you know what is written on the right texture? Image Binky24 on Eidos forums deciphered the middle one, but the one on the right has too small resolution to read. And another example from Defiance: Image We know that the first word is Kain, but the rest is really hard to read.

All of the quotes in the mausoleum should relate to Kain, Kain's family crypt, etc. It should say something along those lines. The Elder God scripts should have a french or latin poem about the lost children of the Elder god. I forget the actual wording of it. It's a lament.

Paradoks wrote: 6) What happened to Raziel's clan? Last time this question was asked we got an enigmatic answer "This is currently unrevealed".

When I worked on Soul Reaver, I believed them all killed (with perhaps a survivor or two). If you look at the scheme, Raziel's clan was the most powerful and favored. The sudden loss of their leader, and favor with Kain meant that they were targets for destruction: The other clans would have gleefully torn them apart. Based on the original SR storyline, Kain couldn't risk any of them developing wings and showing that Kain's gifts were mutating and growing beyond the Master. Kain was always first with the gifts.. that's how he maintained power. By the time Defiance was made, I was wistfully thinking that perhaps a few of them survived, hiding throughout the realm. It's a sad thing though, because they would still be tainted and doomed to devolution. By the time Raziel saw them again, he probably wouldn't recognize them. Even if they did survive, I imagine Kain would have to put them down, perhaps activating the silenced cathedral so he could start over.. IF he went back to the original SR1 timeline. Paradoks wrote: 7) What was the architectural inspiration for Janos' Retreat? All I know for sure is that it has stained glass windows from Wells Cathedral ;).

Janos' retreat was an Aerie. We used a lot of Vaulted cathedrals as inspiration, because it had to feel like it was reaching upwards and gave winged vampires room to fly. Notre Dame, Wells and Coutances were references we used. Paradoks wrote: Thank you in advance for answers.


Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I'm actually surprised people hunted down sources. I hope in doing so, that you got a feel for just how involved the artists were in finding great reference, and that it helped you in some turn to learn more about art and architecture. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[69]

Kain's soul and the pillarsEdit

Hi Aranor,

Thanks for the great questions. We all loved working on the series.

1) This is probably a better question for Amy, but I'll answer it from my point of view. I believe that Raziel did reunite Kain's soul with this missing portions when Raziel purified him. 2)I would like to think Raziel passed all his gifts to Kain, like seeing the Elder God, shifting to Spectral, etc. But that would all really be contingent on the next game's needs. It's the hardest thing to have a character start in a sequel with all the abilities and upgrades of the previous game, then having to turn that off.

1) When Kain returns, he is still a Balance Guardian. They past united souls pass into him and elevate him to the true, purified, Scion of Balance.

2) Both answers are correct. There was massive stress on them and Hylden were counting on Kain's refusal to weaken the spell that kept them apart from the Material Realm. (And allow them to Possess Janos)
―Daniel Cabuco[70]
I'm having dinner with her tonight to catch up. I'll let her know this forum exists, then it's up to her and her own schedule to see if she drops in.
―Daniel Cabuco[71]
Had a great dinner with Amy tonight. We caught up on everything Uncharted, Tomb Raider and LOK. I told her about the forum, and she may drop by, but NO promises. She's super busy. We had good discussion about the series and waxed philisophical about the game industry. Reminisced a lot about SR, SR2 and Defiance. Just a lot of fun discussing what another Kain game might be like. She has never forgotten the fans of this series, btw. We both appreciate you guys a LOT.  :)
―Daniel Cabuco[72]
LOL I bet you all would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.. Well we talked about how if there was another one, the next team would have to handle the material in a way that was respectful to what went on before it. Our discussion didn't go deep, it was more high level.

Personally, I think it would be cool if Kain could 'see' into the Spectral realm and get clues from it. With today's technology it would be totally possible to have textures morph in realtime around Kain. (like Bioshock Infinite) I always felt that Spectral wasn't an evil place, but it recorded Trauma from events (which is why I had children's hand prints and skeletons on the stained glass on SR1). So imagine Kain walking into Vorador's mansion and being able to hear/see events that went on before. Walking through the Sarafan Keep and seeing shadows of what it used to be like, and seeing Vorador killing the guardians. Maybe walking into a room and seeing the Elder God's presence all around him in a radius as he moved.. except in one area that was 'curiously absent' of his presence.

Fun stuff to talk about.
―Daniel Cabuco[73]
Because history abhors a paradox. Firstly, killing Kain in the womb would have caused another guardian to be born, and most likely Nupraptor would have corrupted him as well. Once Kain was a vampire, remember the only thing that can kill him is the Soul Reaver, which meant Moebius or some champion of Elder God would have had to wield the Soul Reaver and beat him in physical combat. It was far easier to deal with a known quantity and manipulate it. Creating a whole new Guardian might have yielded someone even more of a wildcard than Kain. Whatever may have happened, a Guardian/scion of Balance was to be born and would have found a way to survive despite the best manipulations of those who see the time stream. Make sense?
―Daniel Cabuco[74]

Initial Soul Reaver plotEdit

Boltar wrote:

Hi Daniel, thank you for what you are doing for the LoK community, it's nice to see we haven't been forgotten. It's also very kind of you to provide answers that some of us have long waited for...  :D

I have a few questions related to the initial plot of Soul Reaver 1, before it was cut for time constraints. And a few on the Reaver blade in other games.


Hi Boltar, Thanks! It's my pleasure to answer questions for you. I think LOK fans are the best, they ask great questions!

Boltar wrote: 1) We've learned from deleted audio and other sources that in the initial SR1 conclusion, Raziel was to ultimately kill Kain and open the pipes of the Silenced Cathedral to kill all the vampires. No time travel apparently involved and this conclusion appeared quite final. I was wondering if the team had planned to adress the origin of the Soul Reaver one way or another in SR1 (or in an in a "different" SR2 ?). Had the Wraith Blade always been thought as being Raziel's soul, or did the idea come during SR2 ? If that was the case, was there a different explanation as to why the Soul Reaver broke when Kain used it on Raziel in SR1 ?

When the scene first played out, I asked Amy why it broke on Raziel. She explained that 'you can't reave your own soul'. That made sense to me. Somehow she had always planned for Raziel to be inside the reaver, and probably would have addressed it in the next game in some meaningful way. There wasn't a different explanation for the Soul Reaver as far as I know.


Boltar wrote: 2) Still about the original SR1 conclusion, Kain's motivations appear to differ from what we've seen in SR2 (originally, Kain seemed ready to die at Raziel's hand, apparently letting him kill all vampires with the sound pipes). Could you elaborate on Kain's original intentions before the ending was cut ?

Kain saw his empire as a failure after a milennia of trying to forge it. He witnessed the devolution of his children, and the loss of his empire. Ann Rice always had a nice theory about few people having the 'stamina for immortality'. Kain was much more tragic in the original ending, having forseen much in the Chronoplast.I think he saw the inevitablity of it all, and was ready to go. But he wanted to set Raziel on a path first...

Boltar wrote: 3) Now this is about BO1, so I will understand if you don't have an anwser for that, but... in BO1, when Kain traveled back through time, the only weapon that could kill William the Just was the Soul Reaver. Was it already planned by Sillicon Knights that 2 incarnations of the Reaver could create a paradox (and the idea was carried on in SR2) ?


No the Paradox was created to help explain some of the inconsistencies of BO2, and to create the ability to change fate. It was entirely Amy's creation: she found a way to use coincidences in BO as a way to explain the ability to change time. I thought it was a brilliant solution!

Boltar wrote: 4) Related to SR2: so in the ending cutscene, the Wraith Blade leaves Raziel's arm, then does it already go inside the Reaver, or is it just coiling on the Reaver (as it did with William's Reaver earlier in the game) and then it turns the blade against Raziel, so as to restore the empty blade to its "original" (in the Wraith Blade's "mind") state ? I never really understood how Raziel's soul is transfered inside the Reaver...


The weaving was to show that a tether existed, anchoring Raziel to the blade. It's a prison, made to house Raziel's soul and consciousness. The Anchor would set, preventing Raz from letting go to the blade, then draw him into itself. In that moment, when he is both inside and outside the blade (anchored and passing into it), a time paradox exists the same as when 2 Soul Reavers cross. The blade would absorb and house him into itself. From then on, whenever the blade struck an enemy as the Soul Reaver (as opposed to the Blood Reaver) it would devour the soul of whomever it killed.

Boltar wrote: Thank you again for the opportunity you gives us of having our most burning questions answered  ;) Also, don't get me wrong if I'm interested in SR1's original ending, I still think the actual ending was brilliant, and so was SR2 !


Thanks! There was a lot of unique challenges to making the SR series, but I think, despite all the changes, it turned out for the best. Necessity sometimes begets creative brilliance, and at every turn we strove to create a fun, intellectual experience that was coherent. I can't really imagine the series ending differently than it did.

Thanks for the great question, Boltar!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[75]
Nope. Raziel is just a ravenous, insane soul. He needs to feed and doesn't care who he hits. I don't believe he's fully conscious in the blade.. living and somewhat sentient. If Kain hit Janos with it, and killed him, Raziel would consume his soul.
―Daniel Cabuco[76]
Hi Davinci,

1)Well I don't know about the Kain Reaver, but I know that the powered up Ariel Reaver would have been pretty much one hit kills for most Vampires at the end. In the original SR, when Kain died, that was the end of the story, so there was no Kain Reaver to really use.

2) No Ariel is always bound at the Pillars (monumentally bored and slowly going mad.. you would too if you had to stay in the same field for years)

3) Kain's retreat was supposed to be as big as any other level.. probably about Melchiah's realm size. Kain would not have been an easy boss.. his ability to teleport and lighting blast you would have been tuned up, and we'd probably create some elaborate puzzle to beat him. We never got to plan out the battle though, we knew we had to shelve it before it got to any real detailed planning stages (Amy may have had it on paper, but never presented it to us)

4) The pipes was supposed to be the final cinematic.

5) Turel was supposed to be indestructible, but also near sighted. Sound would have played an element in defeating him. That's about as far as we got with it.

6)I think everything that was remotely developed for the game is known. There were a lot of great ideas... I wanted to have a huge Vampire, who was punished to serve as a living door. Slammed into a wall by Kain and imprisoned forever to be the gatekeeper, whose very doors were made out of his living body. Raziel would have had to position a series mirrors all the way down from a sunlit hole until he could get it on the Vamp and end his torment. I drew it on a napkin, but the designers were kinda 'meh' about it, so it never got made. (*I* thought it was good though)

And you're welcome, it's been really fun interacting with fans of the series. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[77]
Go for it. At least someone is using it. I may illustrate it in the future sometime too.
―Daniel Cabuco[78]
Thanks for the kind words, Razielim. As I stated in other threads.. I was just way into this series when I was working on it. Growing up I thought there was something wrong with me because I kept hearing epic music in my head and wanting to draw badass stuff with vampires, werewolves, amazing heroes, and cool weapons. So SR just scratched that itch for me.. big time.

1. That's a great question. Amy told me once that if the programmers knew how hard Spectral Realm was going to be to program, they never would have done it. Today's budgets come with a lot of constraints too. There's more pressure to 'get it right' the first time, which means we have a more structured process in place to make sure our ideas are achievable and good. I don't know if what we did in SR could be achieved again, scale wise. The level of detail needed now, and the expectations from this generation of gaming make it really difficut to create that much surface area of game in less than 2 years. (SR, if it were done today, at the level of detail that is Lost Planet 3, would take 5 years due to the amount of surface area that would need to be detailed) 2. I do believe the physical reaver would have been a great lock to use. I mean, who else would have it but Kain, and it would always be by his side. As for the imbued locks that Raziel opened in SR2, I imagine you could imbue the physical Soul Reaver as well (maybe even the Blood Reaver) and opened the forges. (Just don't scare the crows.. haha. Sorry it's a dev joke for the SR2 bug) 3. Yes the bird like sounds are all part of the AMAZING sound track made by Kurt Harland. When I first heard it my jaw dropped and I kept playing it on repeat in my headphones as I drew (I still do that today.. along with 'Two Steps from Hell') I never really gave a thought as to where the sound of the birds came from. They seemed pretty cool, and that's all I really cared about. Sometimes when you over-define something and state exactly where it comes from, it becomes less interesting. To me, I was happy to just let it be part of the soundtrack (just like hearing the choir in John Williams' Duel of the Fates, you don't try to say, who's singing that Latin, right?) That said, it is kind of interesting to think of those sounds coming from Raziel's clan. Hehe

And your English is fine, I was able to understand you well. :) Thanks for the great questions!
―Daniel Cabuco[79]
I am hopeful that as technology gets better, that we can focus on creating better games with epic storylines. But, as production gets more detailed, it follows and flows naturally into Hollywood style techniques. These are proven to save money and are a model for using actors and protecting intellectual property.

The more detailed an engine can be, the more detail that will be demanded. A room that took 3 days in PS1, took 5-6 on PS2 and now is taking more than a week with all of the collision, lighting, textures, scripting, animation spawns, interactivity, and testing that needs to happen on it. In some ways you can see the compromises taken: Shadow of the Colossus had no enemies other than the Colossusi. Again, the bigger the budget, the more we have to be right on with our bet for what the player will enjoy. It's a tough and fun fight, but also one that could bury smaller studios. (it's why every independent studio is going with mobile.. less pressure and money involved)

But, that said, there are some great games ahead, and we're all working hard as an industry to create some great content. The next generation is very exciting as well. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[80]
Yeah, I read that article earlier today. Amy said over dinner a couple of months ago that in many ways Soul Reaver is still the game she loved the most, and was the most proud of.

I was equally shocked (esp after Uncharted) but in agreement with her. :) It was nice that she could talk about the whole way SR came about from Shifter, too. I still steer clear of that whole thing due to the legal shenanigans. :P

I'm glad she was able to talk more about SR, and how it all went. That team photo was funny.. my hair was down past my shoulder blades at the time. lol
―Daniel Cabuco[81]
Hi Davinci,

The shape shifting in shifter was originally part of a body possession mechanic, whereas Raziel could only interact with the physical realm by possessing the bodies of other humans. We sort of did that with Defiance, but it wasn't like there was a beast form or wolf form for Raziel.

Razielim, we're allowed to speak about things we worked on in the past, just not anything they're working on now. We're not revealing any secrets or proprietary technology, just talking about the past development (and stuff that was cut from the game). Anything mentioned technology wise is 10 years old and any game dev worth his salt would know how to do that now.
―Daniel Cabuco[82]
Razielim wrote:

OK Daniel, thanks for the reply. I understand that NDA expire after the game has "aged". What it bothers me is lack of any kind of feedback from Square/Eidos - every major franchise owned by Eidos got some response in the late years. Is LoK to hardcore to be taken in to consideration?


Hmm.. have you ever considered that the lack of response might be a good thing? IF (and I say if.. cause I don't know) they were working on a new LOK game, they'd do everything to keep it hush hush until a big announce that would have the biggest impact. It could very well be that they're just ignoring fans and think that you're all a vocal minority among the gaming world.. but that would be a tremendous miscalculation.

But just throwing it out there that the lack of response.. might be a good thing...
―Daniel Cabuco[83]

The storyEdit

Thanks Jake! It takes a lot of creative flexibility to keep it all woven together. Amy left good hooks in to help herself out with each game. And I'm happy to be able to connect with BO, LOK and SR fans. Hopefully I'll have more time in the future to do some SR related art, too. -Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[84]
Hi Jake,

Game creation with a team is awesome. It's best when there is collaboration, and good synergy. It's worst when it's dictatorial and stiff. SR's team was very open ended, and allowed a lot of good ideas to get in. I totally bought into Amy's vision, and tried my best to always add to it, instead of trying to redirect or bully it. Thanks for your kind words about our production and art. It's a special thing when a project falls in your lap that you know you were born for.. that just wants to use your art sensibilities and style. When that happens, my god, take advantage of it. You couldn't imagine my enthusiasm for this project when I got it (esp after years of working on military combat sims.. which I liked but .. well.. it got stale) It would be like someone saying 'Hey Jake, we're making this cool Vampire game. Give us your best ideas and drawings, and we'll pay you for it!' It was like winning the lottery for me.

Soul Reaver had a huge production, but remember it was PS1, so it wasn't as expensive to produce. Every generation nearly doubles the previous budget. So if a game costs, for example, 5-7 Million for PS1, then for PS2 it's 10-14 million, and for PS3, it's 20-30 Million+ (These aren't SR's figures, just examples I am pulling out of thin air) So the decisions you make affect the budget a lot more, and need a lot more thought. With each generation, we also get the chance to use our hard won wisdom. So I can't say that SR had the biggest production.. it was just crazy ambitious for a group that had only made GEX before.

Amy is an amazing director. She's very intelligent (I like to think I have a good vocabulary, and she STILL blows me away when we talk), direct and forthright. Amy is brilliant in so many ways. She takes a lot of flak and blame as the Creative Director (this is true for every CD) and handles it all very well. The main problem is that great writing takes time, and it's not like a film. sometimes this stuff has to get going.. usually before she's done writing. As I grew from an artist/concept artist, to a Lead and eventually Art Director, I won Amy's trust and friendship. We worked hard together to get on the same page and build the kind of game we'd love to play. There was feedback from everyone, and my job as an AD was to take that and make sense of it... to create a structured framework for success, and present the ideas to Amy to make sure she buys off on it. I stated my thoughts plainly about ideas and sometimes we disagreed. I may have sulked for a day (or two) but whatever decision she made, I did my best to make it great! It required a lot of thought, research and creativity (from ideation to execution) So feedback was a daily occurance, and we remain good friends to this day.

Hope that answers your question. Thanks!
―Daniel Cabuco[85]
Oh and I forgot to add that Amy is humble, almost to a fault. She read every post you guys ever put up about SR, and fretted over it more than you guys can ever really know. She cared more than anyone about the SR fans, and didn't abandon the series. She just had to move on... and keep kicking ass!
―Daniel Cabuco[86]

Holy Morlocks Batman! H.G.Wells The Time Machine!Edit

Holy cow, Jake! Great questions! Hmm..

Well I didn't really know the Elder God's long term plans, but if I had to postulate on it, I would think the following: Killing Kain meant the ultimate collapse of the Pillars, bringing the Hylden back. That's an entire race to feed a very hungry parasite. The more death the Elder could create, the more souls he could leech off the wheel. his influence would be almost irrestistable and he would dominate the Spectral Realm. With the Hylden slaughtering the Vampires, or perhaps stalemating with some of the surviving Bosses (depending on when Kain died), he would have one fat war to feed on. Morlocks were underground dwellers, so the generic name just fit for the Turelhim. Aluka, Skinners, Ronin, and Wall-Crawlers didn't really mean anything either.. they just helped us differentiate them before they had their official name.

Well your explanation for Sluagh could very well work. I always thought of them as native souls to Spectral, waiting to devour the lost souls that wander there. I wanted to have a whole ecology of things that ate souls in that realm.. just didn't have time for it. Somehow just having them be human souls seems to lessen the idea that Spectral has its own dangers, that evolved using souls as a food source.

That's a funny observation. When I made the Sluagh I looked at a number of sources. The description I got was a 'swollen rictus of teeth, unkempt hair and large, lamplike eyes.' I was aware of the Morlock design from the original 'Time Machine' but didn't reference it directly. I thought of it more as a reptilian monstosity with Janis Joplin hair. :P I think I got more influence from the Rankin Bass animated version of Gollum, and Slythe from Thundercats. Looking at them now I can see the connection, but I didn't use them as a reference. Strange coincidence. Maybe Amy had them in mind when she gave me the description. (aha! Another question to ask her next time we go for dinner) As for the remake, that came out AFTER Soul Reaver. I was in the theater watching it going 'Ooh! Jeremy Irons would make a great Kain!' much the same way I did for Hellboy: Golden Army's Prince Nuada. I know, time machine, morlocks, etc.. seems like there was a lot of influence, but not much more than anything else. I mean, Raziel is parts Madman, and German Expressionist theater, plus many other influences. Kain has as much Devilman influence as the Time Machine (actually more for me.. love Nirasawa's Devilman) So the short answer is: it had some inlfluence. SOME. The Irony was that the remake seems to have taken some influence from us! LOL

Great insights on both the Agents and Pillars. I put it out there with visual clues that the Vampires were just beginning to experiment with soul weapons when the Pillars were erected. And yeah, the Guardians were a sort of advanced Vampire Wraith, with powerful abilities. But they were no match for Raziel.

The Pillars did have to do with that as well as hold the Hylden back. That's why there were guardians for States and Energy. The Elder being the wheel was a lie to me. After SR2 he became a parasite that trapped souls and fed on them to grow more powerful. Slowly draining the world of health and life. All Vibrance was being drained. (Hey a Parasite doesn't know when to stop.. Intestinal worms grow really long and big) so yeah, he wanted the Pillars down for that reason too. You could see how screwed up the world got in Spectral and Material over time. It was my favorite thing in SR2 to show how the Elder had grown under the Pillars over time. Slowly trying to pull them down and apart. (That jerk!)

Hope that helps answer your burning questions. Thanks for them, they're awesome!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[87]
Well the original go Nagai version is awesome too. But I prefer nirasawa's interpretation. It's what I mean when I say TV to Movie version. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[88]

how reaver history drifted away from the prophets' messiahEdit

Hi Tim,

As usual, some great observations here. Wow, where do I even start with this? :) Okay, so one thing to remember is that Raziel wasn't the full winged Vampire he was supposed to be. He was put through a wringer to unhinge himself from time. Yeah, everything got screwed up. I think in parallel timelines, there is one where the proper winged messiah appears to deliver the Vampire race from the Hylden. But also remember no one was ever completely a good guy or bad guy in the SR universe. The Winged Ancients weren't all wise.. they loved nature, sure, but they also committed a number of atrocities, as well as being zealots. I mean, why the hell were they developing Soul sucking, Blood Sucking and Heart pulling weapons during the Hylden war? (Combining the tech, so to speak, with the Soul Reaver, would have made it their ultimate weapon... next to the Pillars) So there may be some good Vamps and bad Vamps.. One thing is for sure, I don't think the Elder expected the Vamps or exercise their Nuclear Option: Raising the Pillars I think that the other forces were bent on keeping the Reaver harmless, and twist fate. For every move in chess, there is a counter.. it all depends on forethought and execution. I disagree that Kain dying would have made Raz a proper hero. He was tainted because Kain was tainted.. and Kain was tainted in the womb.. Raz would have ended up fighting the Hylden if the pillars collapsed, but he might not have gotten to even wield the Reaver. (and remember THAT Reaver has Raziel's soul in it.. and History Abhors a paradox) So if that all had to happen, the question for all players involved becomes how best to use this to my advantage. If Raz had used the Reaver against the Hylden at some point, I still think it would have tried to suck his soul into it. The Vampire champion, to me, was Kain. It's his destiny to smite the Hylden, and re-create the Vampire Race.. To try and go back and make the Winged Vamps the dominant species would only re-instate some awful people into power. (See what they did to the Humans) I think focusing on a new world order for the Vamps and Humans would be a better focus.

Just my .02.. but very astute observations about keeping the Reaver Harmless.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[89]
Good observations. Remember that Kain sees the 'order of the planets' as the very same ones that damn him to his fate, and Raziel's to his. Plunging the planets in to chaos, I believe, is his way of saying that he wants true freedom (and thus defy the tyrannous stars)
―Daniel Cabuco[90]
Wow Tim, you really gave this a lot of thought. Thanks for all that input. Yes, Kain would have to find the right move at the right time. A gambit of the highest level, and seemingly impossible to accomplish.. for a man.

One thing I love about Elder Kain was the development of his mind. He could gaze into the timestream and not go insane. Instead he'd understand it, and over time (a great deal of time) he'd be able to see a way to change things, the key to it all.

Man, writing that would be awesome fun, and a huge challenge.
―Daniel Cabuco[91]

Vampire ClansEdit

Hi Majinkura,

Great Questions. I always saw them this way:

Dumahim: Warriors, experts in weapon combat. Primary ground forces Zephonhim: Spies, alchemists, assassins Rahabim: Artisans, Explorers, Special Forces Turelhim: Warrior experts with Seige, Engineers, Distance attacks, and weaponless combat (Physically strongest) Melchiahim: Scientists, Necromancers, Blood manipulators Razielhim: Artisans, Philosophers, Spellbinders, Tacticians (death from above!), Blood Bankers, and manipulators.

Make sense? :) Let me know your thoughts too, everyone.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[92]
LOL! Maybe his ears got cold! Love the robot chicken.. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[93]

On recent spam attacks...Edit

Thanks for the suggestions. We're implementing a new system and hopefully that will curtail all the spam bots. We'll also rotate the questions periodically to see if we can keep the bots from getting in. We appreciate all the patience from everyone and apologize for the flood of Spam. Please know that we're doing our best to stay on top of it all. -Admin
―Daniel Cabuco[94]
Thanks Lexy. The CAPTCHA field is working, these were users who slipped through the ban before we implemented the new security measures. There hasn't been any new spammers since then. So I guess it's working! ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[95]

Weaponry and other questionsEdit

Hi Bazl,

No worries, feel free to ask me anything about LOK. The forum is made to give everyone answers, and some redundancy is ok (though I might refer a previously asked question to another post). I'm glad people still talk about it 10 years later.

1) The design process depends on where in production you are. In preproduction, our goal is to provide a hotbed of ideas for designers, and explore the various style elements we want to use for the game. Using a my standard concept pipeline, we arrive at a series of designs that help us define the weapons. For example, at the end of prepro, the artists should know what style Vampires vs. Vampire Hunters have. Vampires have curved, well crafted weapons, while hunters have more crude, sometimes homemade, weapons. Hopefully we have enough that designers can look at them and go 'yeah cool, I wanna use that one for the xxx enemy," or "that's so cool, I'll make it work!" In production, it's usually the other way around. Amy or some other designer will come up to me and say, "I need a weapon for xxx and it needs to do yyy. So the player needs to see that and understand it" At that time, we enter a mini concept phase similar to what we use for prepro, then build it. After the weapons are in the game, they're tested for collision, and how well they read to the player. We tweak and polish them throughout the dev cycle, trying to get it to 'done' as quickly as possible. We also need to coordinate with design to make sure it works well, or cut it before too much time goes into it. Otherwise.. well we all feel the pain of having a finished weapon cut. There's a lot more to it as well, but that's a high level summary of how it works.

2) Most of those enhancements were still on paper when they got cut. We brainstormed a lot of ideas, like being able to move an object that was in spectral, Kain being able to see in spectral, Mind control, and being able to attack Demons that were 'out of phase' with the world. Every feature takes months to implement, just to get to the 'is it fun' stage. So we balanced what we knew would take the longest, with the most questionable gameplay, and made the cuts. 3) The Shrine. Yeah we never officially said it, but I always thought that was where Ariel was murdered. I wanted to put up the decorations similar to Blood Omen's intro, but just didn't have time to implement it. The decor changes because different factions take up residence around it. The Vamp Hunters claim the area for Moebius, and execute vampires there. We had a cinematic along those lines, but we had to cut it for time. I think there's audio of it floating around somewhere in the internet.

4) The runes were mostly decorative. We took some things out of the Blood Omen script, Ancient writings, etc. There was one funny story where Jake Wendler put his name on an obelisk as 'Wendler's Monument' using Futhark. We were laughing about it, when Amy walks up behind us, takes one look and says 'Wendlor's Monument?! Very funny guys' Jake and I looked at each other... "YOU can read Futhark?! WTF?!" Have I mentioned that Amy is a very, very sharp cookie? Anyway, that particular set of symbols was decorative.

Hope that answers your questions! (If you have specific game pipeline questions, feel free to submit a question in the appropriate folder. Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[96]

Reaver's final purposeEdit

Hi Daniel,

Quick question. Is the final purpose for the Reaver - if any - to "reboot" the broken pillars or to kill the Elder God? Something else? :mrgreen:

Thanks for being here!
―Corpse
I would like to add to Corpse's question. In SR2 when Raziel meets Janos, Janos says, "The Binding must be secured, Raziel. The Pillars are the lock..." And Raziel finishes with, "and the Reaver is the key."

So my dumb question is what kind of key is it? Is it basically a padlock (or one way) key that can only "unlock" the Pillars? Or is it more like a door key that can unlock, AND lock the Pillars?

Bah! While typing the above I realized that Raziels role in Defiance answered this pretty well, referring to which champion he (and the reaver by extension) was, and which way the key turned. So i think the SR2 and Defiance teams did a good job answering that for me. :) But ill post it in case it helps clarify for someone else.

Thanks again for the board and for answering our burning questions, Mr. Cabuco!

(And man do burning questions get hot after years of just holding them!)
―Strands of Night
Hi Corpse,

The Reaver is the key by which, depending which way it is used, can seal or sunder the pillars. It can kill Kain, sundering the Pillars, or purify him, allowing the new guardians to be born. And as each guardian is born, so the corresponding pillar would be rebooted. (well either born or created in some way). The fact that it can kill the Elder God is just a wonderful perk.

―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 5:17 a.m.[97]
[...]

LOL Strands! It's great to be able to give fans more data. I used to be worried that I'd be killing good discussions about Soul Reaver (ie killing theories and ideas about the series). But I have found that sometimes a fan's theories are wonderfully worked out and would have been great to incorporate into the story, even if it wasn't how it was originally conceived. We changed a lot of what the 'original' conception was during the series' creation... so people digging into the original intended meaning of any aspect of the game, doesn't mean that's canon and the only explanation. A lot of times we left enough hooks and holes so that we wouldn't write ourselves into a corner.

I hope that makes sense.. lol

Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, September 9, 2012, 5:22 a.m.[98]

The Paradox ParadoxEdit

<BOOM> Yep. Makes your head explode.

Whenever time-travel is concerned, there is a paradox loop of some kind created. But where does an infinity symbol begin? I don't think I can say if there was a 'beginning' to the loop. There's the Soul Reaver and Raziel.. both intertwined ad infinitum.

Using the model you propose, a figure 8, imagine sever hundred figure 8's converging all at the center in three dimensions (like propeller blades around a string, just slightly differently angled. That's what Raziel creates whenever he's near the Soul Reaver. Everything can branch, and yet loops. I like to think Kain looked into the Chronoplast and over hundreds of years, poured through various outcomes, looking for the one that could save himself and Nosgoth. Unfortunately, every convergence of Time resulted in and from Raziel's 'death and rebirth' to create the convergence. So when he saw the wings.. he knew it was time to cast the die.. to change the direction of his empire, to sacrifice it all.. and await the outcome hundreds of years later. (or just jump ahead using the Chronoplast. hehe)
―Daniel Cabuco[99]
No Problem. I was in the shower today and thought, you know.. the time stream convergence looks a lot like this loofa. LOL It's a three dimensional set of loops with various arcs that converge on a single center. Time Loofa!
―Daniel Cabuco[100]
LOL! Well add yet another danger to thinking about time paradoxes.

I imagine Raziel and the reaver as the center of the loofah, while all the branches are what you can do around it (still trapped in loops or destiny). Now imagine every time Raz and the reaver get together, a whole new loofah branches off that moment fractally.

That's why it takes an advanced mind to look into the choronoplast. It can show you what you want to see if you know where to look.. but you have to sort through a LOT of data. Normal men would go mad... I think I'm going mad just contemplating it... Now I need a drink!
―Daniel Cabuco[101]

Draw me awesome!Edit

Hi Strands,

Great question. Okay, so I love Kain since he's my original design. Love the character, his characterization, and his anti-heroism. I like the Vampires for various reasons, but Kain always sticks with me. Raziel is a close second, because of his unique design and ability. The first time I saw him suck a soul I was horrified and intrigued! (And technically impressed.. never expected that level of rigging on a PS1) I REALLY love it when Kain slashes a body with the full fledged Soul Reaver. I wanted to make a people explode with a full skeleton flying out of the mess. Hehehe LOL I got your Louis reference btw, but thanks for spelling it out.

Oh and I know you didn't ask, but my two favorite moments in Defiance are when Kain works Moebius over. The first time, when he's telekenetically owning him, I did the effects with a HUGE smile on my face. I loved working on those effects.. I kept thanking Amy for writing that in.

And the second time, when he impales Moebius with the Blood Reaver... I got so excited I made HUGE FOUNTAINS OF BLOOD coming out of Moebius. Then Amy and Rose were like.." um, Daniel.. could you turn that down a little.. okay a LOT?" I was like "Huh? Oh yeah.. hehe I got carried away.. it was.. all for testing the system out.. yeah.. yeah.. thats the ticket. Just testing out the blood system" ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[102]

Critique some recent attempts for me. . .?Edit

Hi Lexh,

Thanks for putting yourself out there. Your attitude is fantastic. Based on that alone, I know you'll really go far. Comfort zones were made to be crushed! Okay, wow you're pretty good! First I want to say nice job on the atmosphere, setup and mood. Feels like poor Raziel is all alone. Good level of detail too. It does feel a little flat, and a little lacking in 'oomph'. I do see some issues with it (and speed painting is a great way to force yourself to go through the proper steps of a painting instead of noodling on a single area too long) But hey, don't fret, your painting just needs a few tweaks and some rules to remember that will make this WAY easier to tackle. Also, I want to give you some quick definitions so when I talk about art terms, you know what I am referring to (you probably already know this but I thought I'd throw it out there for people who might not know) Value: the brightness and darkness of the painting Hue: the actual color you are using (blue, red, etc) Saturation: the amount of color you use

The best way I can say to attack this is to take a step back to the thumbnail stage. Ask yourself some questions. What do I want the viewer to see first? Raziel? the ruins? I assume Raziel first to give context to the meaning of the ruins. So Rule #1: People see contrast before they see color: If you want to direct the eye, you have to create the point of highest contrast. Bully the viewer's eye to exactly where you want it to go. I see you used color contrast to isolate Raziel and make him the first read. It's not really working because his value contrast is about even with everything else Rule #2: Scale: keep the scale elements throughout the piece to retain believability: the wall to the right has large obelisk like stones, but they need some relief work at human scale to make them feel epic Rule #3: Spacing and form: You have a lot of 2's in your image. 2 archways, 2 pillars, and 2 u-shapes between the pillars. Likewise the 2 pillars have coincidentally broken in the same shape and place. 2's make things feel very ordered and stable. To create instability, you have to create variations so they're not exactly the same, or do things in 3's and 5's. Similar forms make for a very ordered (and boring) layout. Example: a picket fence is made up of the same shape repeated many times. Very stable. So you have to attack that, to keep working space and form to avoid boring and flattening repitition.

Next I am going to upload your image with some crit and redpen. This should illustrate what I mean.
―Daniel Cabuco[103]
Okay let's attack this in order. :)

A) Raziel should be the point of highest contrast. And while he is blue, he also reflects the light around him, meaning you made the shadows too blue. Nothing else in the scene matches that shade, even the snow is warm, so you should keep everything in the same temperature range. (blue and brown mix wonderfully, and don't worry, he'll still look blue) Punch up the contrast and value, and reduce the saturation of blue.. mix a little brown into it too.

B) The second arch needs more border structure. It doesn't make sense that the floor level entrance has a border, but the upper arch was just cut into the bare stonework. Think of an entrance as needing what I call a 'celebrated' edge. It needs to be given detail or filigree in order make it look like properly addressed form. It adds believeablity to your work and grounds it properly. It's like a sort of 'socket' that you plug a doorway into. Grab reference and look at it. The little details mean a lot when they're in the right place.

C) the silhouettes in the background are a missed opportunity. Add some cool silhouettes with your atmospheric perspective (fog) to keep them sufficiently undetailed. It should be an impression.. you need to push the background back, and pull some foreground forward. Making shapes in the background accomplishes the former.

D) Pillars are broken in exactly the same place and shape. Bring up more of the edge on the left pillar, so that the break doesn't begin until 4 feet above the flag pole.

E) Add filigree at the human height level of the wall. This creates scale near Raziel, and makes the walls more epic. It also stands out from afar and creates more visual interest. Also add more detail to the bent railing to make it more interesting. It needs a few crossbars and debris near Raziel.

F) Tear holes in the flags, it creates breaks in other wise overly solid form

G) This one is important: (see greyscale) Your darkest darks shouldn't be only on the wall, and they're too dark. lighten them to what you have on Raziel (after you adjust Raziel). I see this a lot in paintings. People don't match up their darkest values, creating importance in places they don't intend. Raziel is about even with the pillars, yet is lighter. Why? Having him lighter pushes him back and pulls your pillars out, making them the most important, highest contrast area. Sample off Raziel, adjust the hue to your pillars, and touch up the dark areas of the wall to be lighter.

H) Add some foreground mist. (accomplishes the latter part of C) I have enclosed thumbnails for comparison on the right. The top is yours, un-touched, the middle is a value study of your image, and the bottom is a quick retouching using all the suggestions I gave you. Notice how Raziel stands out first, and the rest of the image creates deeper mystery.

So there you have it Lexy, that's a crit I would have given any of my artists. I hope you understand that my feedback is meant to show that you're already there; you just need to tweak it a little to get it over the top.

Please let me know if you have questions!

best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[104]
Hi Lexy,

Great! I find that once an artist knows the rules, and can see them, then their art improves tremendously. I can feel your pain, even after years of art school, I felt that color was one of those things that was hard to grasp. (I don't think I had a good color teacher in college) It was through a lot of painting that I eventually figured out my palette (and reading books, talking to other artists, experimentation, etc.) But I can now tell you an easy way to make yourself aware of COLOR RELATIVITY. This one blew my mind. First a couple of definitions, so that everyone knows what I am talking about.

Local Color: the hue of the object (blue ball, red firetruck, green melon) Reflected Color: the hue of the Light (bright day, sunset, red emergency lights)

So Color relativity states that colors exist only in relation to light, and the contrast with each other. What does that mean? When you're making a painting as a child of say, a seaside landscape. You paint the sky baby blue, the water deep blue, and the grass as green as you can make it. But that's a representation in your mind without lighting. Now when you paint, you consider atmospheric perspective (distance fog color) and light's relative play on local color. If I wear a bright red shirt and walk into a room with only blue lights, my shirt won't look bright red anymore, but it will look warmer than the other tones in the room (unless they were bright blue, too)

Raziel, as we know, is blue skinned. (what a pain! lol) But in your scene, you don't just pick a blue color and start painting Raziel that absolute, local color. No no, the reflected light makes a difference here, and you've made most of it warm. SO, Raziel doesn't have to be deep, saturated blue.. he only needs to be blue-er (cooler) than the area around him. That's color relativity in a layman nutshell. To further elaborate on this, I've enclosed the example that blows every artist's mind who sees it.

In the enclosed example, I've made a gradient from Warm to Cool (Orange to Blue). Now I sampled a color from the center and filled a small section in the middle with it. Note, it's the exact same color throughout. Notice how this color looks cooler on the left, and warmer on the right? How can this be?! It's the same color! Why is it changing to the left and right?! Well, due to the colors AROUND it, it becomes cooler or warmer. You could say that it's only cooler or warmer relative to the colors around it! That's color relativity. (you can try this trick in photoshop with any two colors, one warm and one cool)

So when you choose colors, don't jump to a super saturated color immediately unless you're going for a graphic look. Be subtle, and make things warmer or cooler relative to the initial colors around them.

And yes, cooler colors generally recede, and warmer colors jump forward, but that rule isn't hard and fast.. it's a generality based on the relative nature of the colors in the scene. You could push the background behind the wall cooler if you wanted to, but I think this scene has a certain mood you were going for. Try it in a thumbnail and see how you like it. That's a great way of experimenting and seeing if you like how it's turning out.

One of my favorite teachers, Gary Meyer, said that if it doesn't pop in a thumbnail, it's not gonna pop when you paint it big.

Hope that helps with your color education and I look forward to seeing what you do with it. Rock on, Lexy!
―Daniel Cabuco[105]
Hi Lexy,


Yeah it's looking much better. The depth reads much more clearly and silhouettes look great! Way to make it pop! Are you happy with it?

I did read what you painted as snow... and I did always see Dumah's area as covered in ash. One reason it reads as snow is that ash has a tendency to fill but not clump up the way snow does. It' wouldn't have collected as much on the fence. It also doesn't hang down the way it does on the wall section, which looks like it's forming icicles. Ash is also less consistent and dirtier... look up 'ash covered village' on google image search to help give you reference. It only clumps up when it's wet.

As for the Dumah flag legibility, I would say that's up to you, and how much you want people to know this is Dumah's area too. This is more subtle, but some people might not know it's his area based on the architecture. Just some food for thought.


Hope this helps! Great job on the piece!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[106]
That's great to hear, Lexy! A lot of times, formal art education can get caught up teaching things that don't cater well to what you want to learn. But resources exist to further your education past that. It's just too bad that some 'basics' get lost in the formal art process, because they make illustration so much easier! I'm glad I could lend some experience and help you better your work. Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

I see you cropped it as well, very nice. It keeps the focus more on Raziel. Another trick you can do is squint at it. That removes detail and makes sure your values are reading properly. Next time you can kick even more dust up in front of the walls to make it appear as a midground element and giving the wall more dimensionality. (some of it would be obscured and some of it would be clearer)

I have a great technique for creating ash/snow inside of crevices, which I can share in the techniques section later. ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[107]
Hey Lexy,

Wonderful stuff as always. I think with the Raziel one, you're getting a little flat because your values are arguing what distance they are from the viewer's eye. Generally brighter things are closer and darker things are further back. (This can be flipped, but it's consistent one way or the other)

1. Establish dimension in your background by having the top be a little darker and the foreground (bottom) be a little lighter. 2. Establish planes of value. Imagine a rectangular plane slicing Raziel vertically parallel to the viewer's eye. This helps you establish what's closer and further away, and also makes your image pop more. Using this method we can see a few things: A) Raziel's wings are too bright. They push forward with every bit as much importance as his eyes, and feel closer to the viewer. Push them back a little with overlay B) Raziel's left leg is on the exact plane as his right with the way you rendered his shadow. I think you have a dynamic pose here, but it is getting flattened. It makes Raziel look like he's just bent forward as opposed to crouched. In my p paintover on the right I too the shadow and extended it over, pushing his hip and leg back a bit, also toning down the contrast between his legs. C) His left arm has the same level of lighting from elbow to finger.. by throwing a little shadow over his forearm and elbow, it gets pushed back and pulls hand forward more dynamically. 3. Don't have Raziel's legs just end in the mist. Use a little shadow to give the illusion that his legs go further into the mist. 4. Pull his hairline down a little and give his forearm more form/weight. 5. For the cowl color, try using overlays to push the color towards a slightly warmer tone. Just a little will make it pop more.

Hope this helps! Keep up the fantastic work!
―Daniel Cabuco[108]
Hi Lexy,

Wow the Lake of the dead looks like a very cool image. I think though, you're going too red with the sunset. In actuality sunset is called the 'Magic Hour' because the light turns orange/red but the shadows turn purple blue. Maxfield Parrish turned this up to 11, but you can get a real feel for it by just looking at the world right at sunset or getting images of it. I've enclosed one here. I tried to modify yours to have the blue shadows, but there's a lot going on.. I think you're going too dark too fast in some of your values. Anyway, once you change the shadow color and value to a blue/purple hue, you'll have mastered sunsets. (Sunrises tend to have more blue, Sunsets have more oranges in general)

Love the cloud detail.. it's seriously amazing. Just remember to bully the viewer's eye to what you want them to look at, and tone back the rest in contrast so it's a second or tertiary read.

Keep painting! You're improving with each one!


Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[109]

Questions about EG & miscEdit

I don't see the EG as Omniscient, but since his eyes grow friggin everywhere, he's able to see many places and times at once. That's how his influence grows.. with his body. Again, every time Raziel and the Reaver converged, it creates a blind spot as time itself is reconfigured.. they can only see the ripples of his actions.. those significantly ahead or behind the event.

2. The Hylden aren't immortal, they just live in a dimension where time is warped and they age differently in relation to the material realm. Remember that Vampires weren't immortal until the Hylden cursed them so. How much they know and cooperate with the Elder God was still a mystery.

3. Nope. I would love to though. I smile whenever I see a SR tattoo, so I imagine I would geek out if someone started quoting the 'tyrannous stars' or says something wonderfully Kain cryptic. I always teased Richard Lemarchand for using 'Scabrous Wretches' in describing Dumahim. I still try to work it into a sentence when I talk to him. "Hey Rich, Look at that litterbug.. What a Scrabrous Wretch!" 4. I think you'd have to ask the audio crew about that one. I think Kurt used whatever was around to his advantage.

Excellent! I'm glad the Sluagh did their job. They were fun to design and Amy always said they were pretty scary looking too. I can't feel that way about them because they came out of my imagination, but I certainly appreciate how you must have felt. One of my early reactions was to Resident Evil when the doberman jumps through the window. I dropped the controller and hollered!

The Frogs were funny to me too. But in Spectral they turn into Sluagh!!


ok I am just kidding. Yeah somehow they just stuck out because they kept running into the cutscenes. Weren't as bad as the Ravens though.. LOL. They were the bane of SR2!
―Daniel Cabuco[110]
"this orb disables out vampire enemies,"

Not to be nitpicky, but the line is 'this orb disables OUR vampire enemies.'

I know these lines by heart because I had to watch every one of them hundreds of times to get the timing for the FX down. It's true with every game, we see the cutscenes the first time and are like 'Cool! Nice cutscene' by the end, we're so sick of the cutscene that we mouth the words or are playing on a gameboy/psp until the cut we wanted to check comes up. Woe to the times when you miss it.. cause then you have to start.. all..over.. again..
―Daniel Cabuco[111]

Trying out new lookEdit

Hi all,

I'm trying out a new look for the board. Finally figured out how to do some things with phpbb. I may end up changing it again, or going through the themes and making specific images for each one. Then you can choose if you want a Kain theme, Raz theme, Lara Theme, LP3 Theme, or Buffy theme. We've also implemented a new security system, so hopefully there won't be anymore spam. Didn't see any today, so Woohoo! Send me your feedback, too. I want to make this board as cool as can be!

Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[112]
Hi Lexy, Whoa I didn't realize it was missing, since my mod panel always shows the edit button next to your name. I'll do a quick search to resolve the situation, and see if I can get the button to show up. (Could easily be user error on my part.. easily. D'oh!)
―Daniel Cabuco[113]
D'oh! Thanks Lexy.. I was wondering why I could see it on mine.
―Daniel Cabuco[114]

Some questions about SR2 SarafanEdit

Rahab was there.. but we ran into a performance issue with having Raziel, Janos, human Raz, and all the lieutenants on screen at the same time. So we had to cut one.. We picked Rahab at random.

Raziel was the youngest, most ambitious, and most cruel of the group. Hit talent and drive took him to the top as high inquisitor. (He was good at pulling hearts out) Since he was raised first, he would have been technically the 'oldest' of the sons of Kain.

Majinkura, that list looks pretty good. I didn't have a description sheet like that to work off of. However I did make Turel the oldest of the group. I'd put him in his mid 30's at time of death. Everyone else is pretty close to what I was thinking.
―Daniel Cabuco[115]
Lol keep 'em coming. :P Yeah I think Rahab was guarding the door.. yeah that's it.. guarding the door.
―Daniel Cabuco[116]
Hi Scarlet, and welcome. :) Sure, the fact that they were warrior-priests probably meant they were chaste. We didn't get much chance on what their religion allowed. They would have used the vampire menace as a means to enlist men into their ranks. Who knows how corrupt the Sarafan really were? They way I would have split them up would be to say there were the zealots (like Human Raziel) who were fanatically dedicated to the cause, and those who used their power to 'wretched excess': keeping affairs secretly, while using their influence to reap personal gain.

It would have been interesting to take an even closer look at this enemy in a new game. The women would be chaste as well.. and had to shave off all their hair (perhaps as a way to make them less tempting to men). So yeah.. chaste.

I always wanted to make an MMO out of LOK, with the Sarafan as a playable race/class, the vampires on the other, the Hylden as a third faction. I had it all thought out, too. Hehe
―Daniel Cabuco[117]
Sarafan were generally between 5'10" and 6'2". (for the purposes of gameplay we used the same sized skeleton to save memory, which was roughly 6') Kain was proportioned as an Adonis, which meant he was 8 heads high. Wraith Raz was 5'10" but always crouched down, so he didn't seem higher than 5'6"
―Daniel Cabuco[118]
Wow guys! Great discussion. I love hearing about the Sarafan's point of view. Yes, I think they would have been more complex than we thought, and I would have loved to explore their world more. They would range from the true fanatics to the vengeful to the corrupted power mad. As always, no enemy is one dimensional in LOK. :)

The Sarafan look was evolved over time and I had to make decisions on how to change their look between SR2 and Defiance. It was difficult to put a real sheen on the PS2 for chainmail. Anytime something flexible had a sheen, it looked like plastic or glass, since we didn't have specular masks like we do today. The Aikido influenced pants and cloth helped in that regard, as well as showing a difference in time between the sarafan designs. I think the priestesses would have bald heads to show their devotion and fanatacism.

Want to know a fun and random fact? In the stained glass I painted of Janos attacking the innocents, the three guys panicking in the front were engineers for Soul Reaver, SR2 and Defiance! That's Hong Park, Scott Krotz and Jason Bell. :) They all got a big kick out of it when they saw it and we had a good laugh at this inside joke.
―Daniel Cabuco[119]

tutorials?Edit

Sure, I'd love to. I'm sort of swamped now with Tokyo Game Show needs, but as soon as that clears, I'll do some portrait and skin tutorials. As a primer people should read the 'color relativity' post I did to help people understand that like everything else, skintones are relative. :) viewtopic.php?f=2&t=219#p623
―Daniel Cabuco[120]

Kain's powers / vamp design for SR series questionsEdit

Kain had lightning and a teleportation ability, which for gameplay purposes in Defiance, we turned into the mist form. Kain had a whole host of spells from Blood Omen that I wanted to kind of re-do for the next game (flay for example). It's thought that he didn't really need many of the spells though, since he was so tough (and had the Soul Reaver) For Dark Prophecy, I wanted him to come back with his beast and wolf forms, as well as mind control, and the ability to look human. (His skin would reveal it's elder look in direct sunlight)

The lieutenants would have their appropriate properties, but just futher developed and refined (not as brutish as they ended up in the SR time) Standard abilities included TK blood drain, Bite, heal over time, immortality, glide/feather fall, limited telekenesis, and I think mist form. (though I am not entirely sure about the last one)

And Yay for being able to find answers to questions on this board. It's totally working the way I wanted it to: informing everyone with common questions! ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[121]
Erm, I meant TK Blood Drain.. the ability to drain blood at a distance with telekinesis. And yeah, the I think the lieutenants would have that and a smaller level of their inherent abilities. (Wall crawling, water resistance, etc.)
―Daniel Cabuco[122]
Hi Razielim. Welcome! Hmm.. well I would have imagined 'poor old Vampire Kain' would have still looked pretty badass in his human form. (And attractive haha) It would have been good to have him walking around Ustchenheim, having to avoid direct sunlight in order to not get attacked (and subsequently cause a mass murder of humans). I had a storyboard I wanted to do where in a cutscene he's walking forward talking to a terrified priest as he steps into and out of shafts light from various windows changing from Human to Elder Vampire with each passing. I should still just do it.. it could be so badass.
―Daniel Cabuco[123]

A section for writiers?Edit

Hmm interesting take. Well if enough people were interested in getting their writing critiqued, I'd be happy to read their fanfics and see what I could do to help. However, I wasn't the series writer (that was Amy), so I don't feel like this is an area of 'expertise'. However if there was a good enough fan fic, I might also draw your LOK character. Could be fun, right?
―Daniel Cabuco[124]
Excellent, then I'll set up a writer/fanfic section too. :)

Wow thank you for the kind words. It always amazes me to see that I had that kind of influence, and it always humbles me.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[125]

Original storyline/design for Tomb Raider LegendEdit

Hi Ceamonks890,

Well we had a long preproduction cycle in Tomb Raider: Legend. There were a lot of questions to answer, gameplay to try/test/cull, and areas to address. The original story for Legend was pretty close to what we ended up with, and it was always meant to be a separation from Angel of Darkness, continuity wise. Mostly the differences were in the execution: the pony tail was ditched because we wanted to set a new look/precedent for Lara, and felt that the pony tail helped on that regard. Various moves were kept or cut based on gameplay feedback. Areas were shifted around. Kuala Lumpur became Tokyo, etc. We were asked to put a trailer together to announce the CD reboot before we really had everything nailed down (this is actually common in the gaming industry)so a lot of test areas were used as filler for shots. Lol, I'm not sure why there are untextured AoD Lara's under the Peru flashback. Maybe as texture/mesh memory placeholders, used for scale in modeling, or something similar. Someone just forgot to delete them I suppose... usually if it's not on the player path, it's not considered higher than a D bug, and we regularly wrote those off in the interest of preserving schedule.

Hope that clears some things up for you. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[126]

Asking for critiqueEdit

Hi Narrenzauber,

Wow some good stuff here. I'll be giving it a full crit by this weekend. Sorry, I've been very busy with Tokyo Game Show and am only now getting a chance to breathe.

Hang tight..!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[127]
Narrenzauber,

Apologies for taking so long to respond to this. I've been under a tight deadline and have had little sleep. Do remember that we are all learning, and growing. Asking for critiques isn't easy, but I find the greatest artists are the ones who ask for it often and learn. One thing I like to tell everyone is that if you're asked to draw a circle and you draw a square, the feedback of 'well there shouldn't be any corners.. it should be rounder' is not a reflection of your personal worth or ability to draw, it's just feedback to help you draw a circle. :)

Ok that all said, let's get to your first piece. It's ephemeral and spooky with the lighting which I love. It passes the basic 'squint test' for first read (see upper left corner) and has solid rendering, color, and value. However, I think the you're diminishing the power of your piece by not pushing a few simple things. I included reference and did a small paintover on the upper right to help show you what I mean. ( I also pushed the values a little more to help blow out the light and push back the shadows)

A) Hand pose, this one is tricky because it goes back to anatomy class. Hands are extremely expressive and if you don't get them right, they can make or break your piece. Because her face is covered, only her gestures can indicate what she's doing and who she is. So the hands become even more important. One way to set yourself up for success is to use your camera and take a pic of the hand you want in the pose you're thinking. I used my own hand here and a pocket watch on a chain to show how to set up your reference. (note the dimensions of the wrist as well, yours is a tad too thick and lacking dimension. It's right next to your focal point, so again the wrist/hand is super important to this piece. Adding a little glitter to the wrists can also help, not crazy over the top, but just a little bracelet to help distribute the gold across her form and catch the light nicely.

B) The headdress and veil seem a little static. I expect that you meant this piece to be under water since you are using eel like creatures and Rahabim. One thing you should do is, from a design standpoint, link all the creatures you have in the image together (this also bleeds over to D). I based the headdress on a Moray Eel skull to give it a more dynamic appearance and natural design. (Nothing beats nature in terms of badass shapes). I put an image of an Eel skull on the page to illustrate my reference for the headdress. The veil, being underwater, is a missed opportunity. Underwater photography is amazing and works as a great reference (the lady in orange being one example) If you have the veil floating a little, it adds to the ephemeral nature of the piece. (deep sea photography is terrifying.. there are no bubbles.. only a floating darkness all around you) So if her veil and skirt are floating, then you have these neat shapes and the sense of it being under water without bubbles or anything obvious.

C) Push her abs and chest a little more, it adds the the dynamism of the pose and helps it feel less static. Pushing the stomach in a tad, arching the back, and pushing the chest/ribcage slightly give her a sense of strength. For fun I added gills to her ribs and webbing to her armpits. It helps show she's a Rahabim without using the clan symbols. (That part is totally up to you, I just wanted to illustrate what's possible with them)

D) The eels seem totally different from each other, and lack a little on the design side. You want to make them resonate with our primitive primate brain when it comes to shapes that automatically make us feel apprehensive. (ie dangerous shapes in nature) One shape that I love is the Moray Eel. (Reference on the lower right) You could just have easily used a snapping turtle, or other dangerous creature. But the important thing is to tie them together (even making it part of the headdress). Notice too how their eyes shine in reflected light.. use that to your advantage. (I put it in the paintover in the upper right) Also watch out for the neck of the eel in the lower right, his head doesn't quite match up to the neck angle. Add more S curve to the neck. Without good design here, we can't really tell what's going on is she charming them? Keeping them back? Drawing them in? Some ambiguity is good, but if it doesn't serve the idea you're going for, you have to bully the viewer into seeing what you want them to (and feel what you want them to)

E) Same deal with the skirt as the veil. Having it floating makes it seem ethereal. Push the shapes of the eels to be rounder and stronger, make the shape defined and strong. Placement is good, just punch the dynamism of each eel body.


So in short, use reference! It makes your job way easier, and insures there is nothing taking away from your piece. You have solid painting skills, and just need to work on the design of your creatures and shapes more. Underwater photography is powerful, as is deep sea photography. This piece can be freaking incredible if you work on those two elements (reference and design) Hope this helps!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[128]
This next one is really about fundamental questions. When I look at it, I really don't get a sense of what it is about. No real emphasis on any one part. On the squint test, the point of highest contrast is the big black negative bar between the beams of moonlight. Ask yourself what you're trying to say with this piece and what you are getting across. It seems melancholy and lonely, but the color scheme and emphasis doesn't reinforce it, it only seems to be more of an exercise in detail (which you are really good at) and silhouette.

A) You have two fundamental lighting issues fighting against each other: Natural moonlight coming in and a fiery brazier near the center of the image. Unless that fire is made of bronze and is symbolic, you're not giving it any real influence on the scene other than color. I know you don't like working in black and white, but your color scheme is fighting itself. The local color of the vampire's waist is way too saturated and seems unaffected by the light. The brazier is lit but casts no real light. The ice on the the fountain looks more like poofy snow and is too saturated. You need to make a decision about the light and how you want the scene to play out. Going halfway is absolutely killing your piece. I did two small studies for lighting (a lot of artists do this to explore mood) which work both sides of the coin.

1) Using the brazier as a lightsource and the point of highest contrast, I set it up to be the first read and then go to the vampire and font. The eye here goes to the vampire and how he feels standing in the glow of the warm light (so similar to sunlight, which he will never feel again) I nixed the moonbeams and let it be about the warmth of the brazier vs the cold shadows. (perhaps a metaphor for vampires' existence)


2) On this one, I snuffed the brazier, and let the moonlight in, pushing the definition of the beams and letting it sift through the hanging silhouette, which creates more dimension for them (going in front and behind the hanging leaves) Emphasis was put on the font, creating a mirror like surface to catch the moonlight in it's frozen surface. I moved the vampires hand to the fountain, touching it and drawing a shadow on the font from his hand. This is basically an arrow from the vampire pointing at the font. Deepening the shadows on his face, making it more anonymous, it becomes about the font. Perhaps a forgotten memory, or something that he sees in its magical surface.

In both I sharpened the ice, and softened the floor (which was overly detailed and distracting from the strength of your image). With these both I only really used two colors, one warm(er) and cold shadows. Everything else should be subsurvient, color wise, to these two colors. Local colors (patterns in the walls, floor, colors of skin and clothing) should be relative to these colors. (see the color gradation chart I set up for Lexy)

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[129]
Great Narrenzauber! I believe you, my friend. My goal is just to state (or overstate) the obvious for the sake of people reading the crits. :) Reference is critical for good work, and you'll find that every good artist uses it (there are probably rare exceptions.. but they're probably savants)
―Daniel Cabuco[130]

Question on NosgothEdit

Hey Daniel,

Me again!

There is an oldish thread on the Eidos forums Here questioning if Nosgoth is the world, or a country. (With arguements for each.)

Do you have an idea if Nosgoth is here or there (or even both)?

―Strands of Night

[...]

We purposely kept it pretty vague since it wasn't a question we *had* to answer at the time. Personally I always thought of it as both the world and continent, with other countries yet to explore. (Kinda like New York, New York)
―Daniel Cabuco, September 24, 2012, 6:34 a.m.[131]

Influences on Zephon's DesignEdit

Yes, the Alien Queen did have a lot of influence on the form factors. (Towering size, spidery silhouette) But we also wanted to have something surprising to show that he's not just an ordinary enemy. We had quite a few concepts of creatures whose heads 'opened up' (mind you, this was before Blade 2) and were happy that this one actually got in. It came from the ideas of trapdoor spiders, whose environments seem innocent enough until they spring out and kill their prey. Lots of fun in that design!
―Daniel Cabuco[132]
Wow that's great to hear, Strands. We loved making these guys. I remember thinking, "oh I'll never be scared of these guys, I mean, I designed a lot of them." Then the first time I got jumped by a Sluagh, Vampire Wraith, or Zephonhim I was like 'Waah! <fumble controller>' :D I'm glad SR's enemies had a striking effect on you and others. Zephon himself was such a nasty piece of work, wasn't he?
―Daniel Cabuco[133]
Zephon's necromancy is perhaps the worst.. hey would coccoon humans, turning some into food and others into soldiers. He'd sample their souls before killing them, then give them a small portion of his soul.. too small for them to rise as vampires immediately, but instead having to gestate until they emerged as twisted as any demon or hylden. His style was particularly insidious.
―Daniel Cabuco[134]

Questions of image editor programsEdit

Hi Lexy,

I use Photoshop CS5 and Painter 6. I've tried to use every version of painter after 6, but they don't have the same digital watercolor and brush accuracy that I like. For Painter: I use digital watercolor: simple water Dry Media: soft charcoal Liquid: Smudge Eraser: Eraser That's pretty much all I used when painting Soul Reaver. I like Painter's Munsell color tree, which is always up and makes for quick palette adjustments, and the feel of the brushes. It's fast, direct and gets the job done.

For Photoshop I use a number of shaped brushes, some with sharp edges, some with soft, some square, some fairly random. I have a chain link brush for armor or tire treads, and a dual brush which looks like two balls with a thin line connecting them for smoke and chiffon. I have cloud brushes, fire brushes, and splatter brushes as well. All of these you can custom create for making more natural designs and for saving time.

Painter tends to be where I work more watercolor or marker like, going from light to dark in a more transparent fashion. Photoshop tends to be more of an opaque guache/oil/acrylic solution for me where I work more directly. I use both of these programs pretty interchangeably. I take paintings from one program to the other. Photoshop is unquestionably the best for resizing or adjusting exposure/saturation, etc. No one, not even Corel in subsequent versions, has matched the digital watercolor of Painter 6.

I'm enclosing an image that shows how I use it, which is actually more akin to copic marker.
―Daniel Cabuco[135]
I've never used SAI.. Photoshop and Painter were always the best tools I've used. Even today's iPad centric paint programs pale in comparison/power.

Also, Painter 12 has good digital watercolor.. I've been working on how to get it to imitate Painter 6's method of not stacking color until you 'dry' the layer. But so far no luck.. it is about the best approximation of Painter 6's digital watercolor (which is more like marker than watercolor)

Copics are amazing. Any marker offers control beyond what you can do with watercolor (and doesn't soak the page too much) I love watercolor but that's a medium I prefer to paint and not color drawings with. Copics are exceptional for color depth, control, layering of the ink, and reusability. Adam Hughes uses them to great effect. Brushes, like anything else, are just time savers and helpers to achieve an effect. If you want something done quickly, try to creat a brush for it first. Making fire? Make a fire shape and experiment with randomization elements. Same with clouds, smoke, armor, tire treads, scales, dinosaur skin, etc. You might be able to grab the same brushes I do, but it might not help you on what you are trying to accomplish. I recommend grabbing brushes off of sites and experimenting until you can figure out what each one does. I'm happy to share my brushes if you like. Oh and if you are a student, Painter 12 does come much cheaper than retail.

If you have to use just one, I recommend Photoshop, since it covers most styles and the digital watercolor is a different, specific look (That I love and used on just about every concept you've ever seen from me)
―Daniel Cabuco[136]

About Kain's EmpireEdit

Hi Mr. Cabuco and thank you for the time you're taking to answer our too (many) questions about this rich universe called Nosgoth. Here's a tough one (in fact, many) and I hope you will remember enough to provide an answer (even if it's short it would be nice  :D ).

Here it is.

The only game where we see Kain's Empire is Soul Reaver, but we can only see a fraction of it. We can observe the ruined and abandonned era, but nothing for the golden age and the conquests... And that is precisely what we players, I think, want to discover. Can you tell us what you know about the structure of the Empire, the society inside the clans and between them, their roles? And about the culture, the religion, the relation with the human survivors (slaves, pantry, etc.), what were the vampires doing in their free time? Were they many or simply a thousand of souls per clans or even in the entire Empire?

I could ask many, but I think you understand what I desire :) Tell us everything you know about the Empire  :D

P.S. : Sorry if my english is a little weird sometimes, it's not my first language  ;)
―Cradlis
Hi Cradlis,

Wow this question is beyond epic. I've been trying to set aside the proper time to answer this question.
Firstly, know that we left many parts in hints and ambiguity to let the player's imagination fill in the blanks. In a way, if we were to overstate it all, I think it might diminish what people think the empire was like.
That said, I think I can shed a little light on this based on my own personal thoughts having worked on the series. Mind you, these are my opinions, we never had a real breakdown for the empire because it wasn't necessary to make Soul Reaver.
I believe the empire started out as a group of elite vampires that Kain raised to topple a corrupt human world. As they gained power, each lieutenant began to create their own vampires, and once they conquered Nosgoth's major armies, began to vie for favor or majority with Kain. Lust for power, hubris, greed and jealousy would cause them to begin plotting against each other. (Similar to what happened to the Romans) Alliances and agreements would be formed, broken and reformed with only Kain to bring them to heel. And they would all be jealous of Raziel's place as Kain's most favored.
I stated in a previous post to Majinkura* what the various roles of each of the clans would be, but to further elaborate on that, each would have their own 'amusements' with the humans. Melchiah would keep them as slaves for his hellish experimentation, Zephon would have them fed to his brood (or webbed in stasis for storage, etc. After defeating the major armies of the humans, they would take to destroying smaller strongholds, monastaries, forts, or cities that the humans would use to create organized resistance. Sarafan spellcraft or weapon creation would be outlawed, and any society deemed to use these would be put to the sword (or the fang as it were).
Again this would have been neat to explore in an MMO situation. <grin>
I don't believe the vampires had a religion though some may have heard the whispers of the Elder God.
As for spare time, Rahabim would have been trying to overcome their weakness to water by trying to improve the time they could spend in contact with it. Perhaps drinking blood at the same time the water burned them so their systems could heal and slowly, painfully adapt. Melchiahim would be working to 'fix' their slowly rotting bodies, Zephonim would be learning the ways of wall crawling, Dumahim would be perfecting their weapon talents, and Turelhim would would be learning how to hone their Telekenesis on poor captured souls. Razielim would use their spellcraft to spy on other clans, and manipulate them with a wry hand.
I didn't have a count for the number of vampires in a clan, but there were hundreds, and they were not even in number. Melchaihim would outnumber Turelheim 3 to 1, but as far as abilities go, that would make them even.

Towards the end of the empire, humans and their blood would be used as trade and currency since the supply was rapidly dwindling. Fights would ensue over supply (Turelim would kill off Melchiahim because their number was thinning the human cattle too quickly).
As the empire fell apart, outright war would occur between clans, and Kain would simply wash his hands of them all, killing any who dared challenge him, visiting the lieutenants and speaking to them at length when he was bored. Any delusions of power by the clans would be quickly ended at the end of a screaming Soul Reaver flaying an enemy where he stood.
I really think of it like the Roman Empire, with Kain as a Caesar. As long as they had a unified enemy, they acted together. Once that threat ceased, they fell upon each other in a mad grab for power.
Hope that helps answer your questions.

Daniel

*Dumahim: Warriors, experts in weapon combat. Primary ground forces
Zephonhim: Spies, alchemists, assassins
Rahabim: Artisans, Explorers, Special Forces
Turelhim: Warrior experts with Seige, Engineers, Distance attacks, and weaponless combat (Physically strongest)
Melchiahim: Scientists, Necromancers, Blood manipulators
Razielhim: Artisans, Philosophers, Spellbinders, Tacticians (death from above!), Blood Bankers, and manipulators.
―Daniel Cabuco, September 25, 2012, 9:44 a.m.[137]
Hi Daniel.

Thanks a lot for your answers, it made it more clear! I see that we have different point of view about the structure of the Empire. Personnaly, I view it more like a feudal state where Kain, as the Emperor-God, would rule every major aspects of his empire, but leave the decisions about the clans structures to his lieutenants. What is making me think of that is that we can only find Kain's banner at the sanctuary, as if he had no sovereignty on the clans territory. To me, Raziel and his brothers really looks like vassals called Princes.

For the religion, I was viewing Kain as the Emperor-God, as the one you worship and the center of every cult within the Empire, like the priestess case in SR1.

What do you think of this?

―Cradlis

[...]

[...]

I don't think our views differ at all actually. What you say is true, but at some point Kain is the supreme ruler of a crumbling empire that falls upon itself.
Making himself an emporer god would preserve the power base for as long as Kain enforced it. We didn't add Kain's symbol over every other clan symbol because it would have confused players about whose territory they were in; it's understood that all the clans serve Kain. However, if Kain walked through Melchiah's realm for example, he would either be surrounded by the other Lieutenants and show his domination, or in the case of the SR1 timeline, just avoid/flay anyone who got in his way. He only needed to enforce his rule when he had an objective. Once all resistance was destroyed, what's the point of commanding an army or region? Too much to manage, and really no point to Kain (who has seen the future of his empire and whose goal was to change it)

―Daniel Cabuco, September 26, 2012, 11:14 a.m.[138]

[...]

I have always wondered if the members of the different clans were enemies, or if there have been at least some positive relationships.
That question actually caused a fight between me and two former friends of mine. We played an RPG together, and my Rahabim Sultana was close friends with a Melchiahim, Scarlet. My former friends always said that this was illogical, they never wanted to tell me why, though. The clans can't have hated eachother, can they? If they had, Kain's empire wouldn't have lasted for more than 1000 years. I really don't think it's impossible that there have been some vampires who had friends or even lovers from another clan.
―Memento Mori
There was competition and jealousy among the clans. Complex alliances would form and dissolve over the years as the lieutenants battled for power.
That said, it's perfectly reasonable for two rival clans' members to be allied for personal reasons. They may have been allied in a former century or decade. Additionally this is Legacy of Kain. Nothing is black and white. Complex relationships are the norm.
Has anyone heard of Romeo and Juliet? Lol
Also, it was your RPG, who's to say what was or wasn't possible. Melchahim and Rahabim have distinct strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other. So strategically it makes sense to be allied at some point.
The rivalry wasn't outright war either. Vampires still had laws against murder unless it was approved in a duel or challenge, or if the clans were in direct challenge over a dispute. Getting around that set of laws is where some of the scheming came in. ;-)
Make sense? Hope it clarifies things for you.
DC
―Daniel Cabuco, November 23, 2012, 9:47 p.m.[139]

[...]

Daniel, you mentioned similarities between Kain's empire and the Roman empire. I recently looked up some things recently for comparing armor with rank in the Roman empire because of a discussion I was having about the Lieutenant's uniforms and it got me wondering about how the ranking in Kain's empire works.

In the roman empire, Legate translates to Lieutenant according to this page:
http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-army/roman-army-ranks.htm

Then according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_legion#Senior_officers, there were Imperial Legate that were second only to the emperor, were governors of a province and commanded multiple leigions, and then Legion Legate that, if I've understood it correctly, were beneath the Imperial Legate and were in charge of one individual legion. So kind of like a sub-lieutenant.

Do you think Kain's empire would be anything like that? It could also mean there were different specialties within each clan and also gives us an idea of their numbers.

―Vampmaster
Hi Vamp,

Yeah there were sub lieutenants. We didn't define exact numbers, only relative scales. (More Melchaihim than Turelim, etc.) Kain's army wasn't just rabble with a few leaders. They were well organized with specialties and heirarchy.

-Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, June 6, 2014, 11:47 p.m.[140]

Nosgoth ArchitectureEdit

Pure curiosity, but I've been wondering about some of the architecture designs in SR2 and Defiance, and what inspired them.

Many of the forges seem influenced by the architecture of existing (but dead) civilizations... fits nice for the idea of the extinct ancients, having used ancient technology, ancient ideas, etc. to build; but I'm wondering about the designs for Avernus and areas of the Sarafan Stronghold/Cathedral, and whether any specific European buildings/towns/locations inspired some of these interiors especially. (I really love churches and Gothic architecture, so I do wonder if so to keep a look out for anything like them next time I'm wandering). Or perhaps they were inspired by many locations and stripped down to a more generic visualisation? Avernus does remind me strongly of Italian church architecture though (I must have gone into every church possible in Venice, I think I saw a couple there it reminds me of with the window alcove-organ-altar arrangement...)

The Stronghold's outer and inner architecture looks more English or French to me though. I've seen a few abbeys and cathedrals here in the UK looking a lot like the outer areas of the Stronghold. Not sure about the chapter house though? Some parts look like an amalgam of various styles, (but all very Western European).

Anyway, I'd love to hear about any influences on it or on their design, or if any particular buildings were major cues for them.  :)

―Lexy

[...]

Hi Lexy,
I discussed some of the architecture in a previous post with Paradoks. http://www.dcabdesign.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=149
As a general rule, ancient Vampire and Kain's architecture followed Arabic designs, while human areas followed more European designs. Sarafan took from French architecture, while Averness took from a combination of areas (like Notre Dame, or Florence cathedrals). We took some influence from spanish gravesites as well. Venician influences touched the the true vampire burial sites in terms of material (the variety of marbles used) and the dead vampires themselves (influenced by carnivale masks).

We mixed and matched within styles mercilessly. ;)

―Daniel Cabuco, September 25, 2012, 10:00 a.m.[141]
Ah, I see the influence of Coutances, what a beautiful cathedral.

That's very helpful. Thanks :D

Were the indoor areas of Defiance's cemetery inspired by Spanish sites? I did a search on those and found 'walls' of many graves as well as regular cemeteries... although that area also reminds me of Rome's catacombs.
―Lexy
Yep, Roman catacombs and Spanish graves were all used. The Catacombs under France with all the skulls was used for the under area of Avernus.
Search with the term 'French catacombs under Paris' and you'll
A) Freak out what's under Paris and
B) see some cool reference we used. ..
and if you're like me
C) Re-freak out when you see what's under Paris.
―Daniel Cabuco, October 3, 2012, 10:39 a.m.[142]

savior or destoyer, depictions in defianceEdit

I have question, im not sure if its been address yet so bear with me, throughout soulreaver 2 and defiance there are depiction of a savior and a bringer of demise who was which? kain or raziel? and the pictures in defiance its said that one of these people was meant to win? what was the point to all this?
―raziel223

[...]

Lol, you guys beat me to it. Great article and interview. So many great questions in that one. :)
―Daniel Cabuco, September 26, 2012, 9:48 a.m.[143]

The Hylden's plan ...Edit

... somewhat confuses me. Lemme explain.

They possess Mortanius and murder Ariel in order to destroy the Pillars, which serve as the lock to the demon dimension where they are trapped. At the end of Blood Omen, this is achieved: Kain destroys the Pillars, they topple, and the world tumbles into an irrevocable state of collapse. So, in the unaltered history of Nosgoth that we experience in Soul Reaver and during the post-collapse segment of Soul Reaver 2 (which Raziel points out to Moebius is unaffected by his decision to spare Kain in the Sarafan cloister, and so follows history as we know it in Soul Reaver) - where are the Hylden?

Now, because demons manage to appear after the death of Janos at SR2's climax, I wouldn't think that their appearance in the post-collapse Nosgoth segment in the aforementioned game is entirely out of the ordinary; though perhaps their numbers have multiplied due to a weaker dimensional barrier. Or maybe their appearance at the end of SR2 was just a special event, and the limit of their powers at that time (it's more of a dimensional intrusion than invasion).

My overarching, rambling point is: the destruction of the Pillars seems to allow, for a brief period of time, merely an increase in demon numbers, but not the release of the Hylden. For a millenia after the conclusion of their plan, the Hylden have yet to enter the world. I sort of wonder what their point was. Going by Raziel's complete ignorance of them, the Hylden have or had no influence in the post Blood Omen world at all, until after all the twists and turns of Soul Reaver 2.

It seems to me that the Hylden needed to fulfill two criteria to ecape: the destruction of the Pillars, and the host body of an Ancient Vampire ("we've fallen right into their trap!") Whilst possessing Mortanius and murdering Ariel to collapse the Pillars seems sensible enough, relying on Kain and Raziel to change history at two junctures all in order to raise Janos seems... well, Kain makes clear that it's one long game of coin toss, and it pushes the Hylden's influence in the game to the backbenches for a massive portion of history (SR1). It also confuses me why the demons would attack, mock, and impede Raziel when he is striving to resurrect Janos - the one goal they apparently need fulfilled.

It was a rambling post, and I've probably forgotten details that would illuminate me further, but if anyone can help me recollect or set straight the Hylden's narrative here...  :)

―Valaquen

[...]

Wow great observations here guys. One thing to remember, the Pillars aren't completely destroyed as long as a single guardian exists (thus the binding holds). And Kain can't be killed except by the Reaver. (one of the reasons the Reaver is the Key) So until Kain falls by the Reaver, the Hylden remained trapped in their little slice of hell. Possessing Janos is part of their plan to find ways into the Material Realm, and Raziel is key to defeating Kain. I think their manipulations would have been to make sure Raz became the Hylden champion (prophesy can be rather vague sometimes) and not the Vampire Champion. (Free will is such a monkey wrench)
I think the Hylden Lord had figured he didn't need to use the Reaver to kill Kain since he was opening the gateway anyway. (He may have even thought that killing Kain didn't work, since he thought he killed him in BO2)
Whew... I hope that makes sense. Great deductions all the way around, everyone. Kudos!
―Daniel Cabuco, September 26, 2012, 10:16 a.m.[144]

The Vampires Of LOKEdit

Hi all. Let me sort through these questions in chronological order. Each one of these could have been their own topic! LOL!

Dumah was staked through the heart, but as a partially devolved Lieutenant, didn't dissolve when staked. Thus he was able to revive once the spears were pulled out. (Thanks little brother! High five! NOW DIE!.. psh.. ingrate) Raziel had to use the cowl to drain their souls, since each one went to feed both him and the Elder God. The Resonant Pitch used to kill a vampire was specific, I don't think Rock and Roll would have done it. Raziel refers to god as a metaphor for a creationist all powerful entity, not a specific god in question. "Damn you Kain, you are not an omniscient, omnipotent entity" would not have sounded as nice in dialogue. As I understand the necromancy, a portion of the Vampire's soul is needed to 'call back' the soul of the departed, then bound together to form a new vampire. The amount of soul spent it significant, thus only really old vampires can do it. (Why Vorador was needed in BO2, and why Kain could sire the Lieutenants only as an Elder) Raising a vampire drains the siring lord significantly, but they can heal and recover from it. Thus it's not a matter of how much you take of it total, but how much you take of it at a time.

Raz is technically older than Kain, but he spent most of that time rotting in a coffin.

Vampires mimic things they did in life as part of their undeath. Their hearts beat and they breathe, but they can die from either one stopping... but they'll just come back to life if given the opportunity.
―Daniel Cabuco[145]
They lieutenants would have each of Kain's basic abilities, but each would be stronger in one than the other, until it surfaced into their primary ability. Rahab's eyes are blue because of his ongoing desire to develop waterbreathing. (also why he has gills)
―Daniel Cabuco[146]
Basic Design theory: find the underlying symbology representing each character trait, then abstract it. Kain's is a crown and representation of his hubris, Raziel's begins as wings then becomes tears when turned upside down, etc. There were so many rich elements to draw from, creating interlocking designs for the balance emblem became easy. Once you know things like how to manipulate numbers or come up with the design using a silhouette system, it's actually rather academic. After that, you rely on your aesthetic, which hopefully is honed to be in alignment with the game you are making. I can do a tutorial on clan design if you wish. I am so humbled when I see tattoos of the clan symbols, it makes me happy that I/we put so much time into making them.
―Daniel Cabuco[147]
As I understood it in our world, a portion of the soul had to be transported into the vessel to call back the original soul and curse it, fusing it with undead life. Traditional vampire creation theories usually have living willing victims. The Sarafan that Kain raised were clearly dead a very long time, and therefore would need blood and soul transferrance. This is a form of necromancy (not the kind Mortanius used) using vampiric resurrection and blood gift. And the younger vamps can't do it.

Also,I didn't mean to imply that Vorador used necromancy, but that he had to be an Elder in order to raise vampires.

If I was going to do a level in LOK where you raise the Sarafan Lieutenants, I'd make sure there were quests to bring back things to the corpse, and maybe an amphora jar with blood in it for Kain to recover after raising a corpse.
―Daniel Cabuco[148]
Hi Azura,

There were many influences on the design. Raziel had influences from Madman comics, German Expressionist film (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), with a touch of Nightcrawler and Spiderman thrown in for good measure.

The other vampires had influences from Frankenstein, S and M, Interview with the Vampire, comic influences from Hellboy, The Dark Crystal, Nirasawa's Devilman and Creature Core, Rankin Bass' The Hobbit/Return of the King, Japanese Samurai Armor, and Dracula (Bram Stoker's).

) Do you see all the influences?
―Daniel Cabuco[149]
Lol, yeah I'm a big fan of Brian Froud. Remember that Raziel's journey is the Gnostic Hero's journey (same as Neo's in the Matrix) so you might see parallels in other stories that use it too. And yeah... LOVE the Dark Crystal!
―Daniel Cabuco[150]
Whisper is a one on one Vampire for the most part. Generally the older and more powerful the vampire, the more vampires he could communicate with at a time. But it's difficult for anything other than broadcasting (imagine having 3 different conversations at the same time)
―Daniel Cabuco[151]
Raziel had strong magical affinity. I believe we discussed his innate 'charm' and 'possession' abilities. I wanted to give him the ability to temporarily copy Vampire gifts (maybe similar to Sasuke's Sharingan from Naruto)
―Daniel Cabuco[152]
Hi guys,

well that was one of 'those' details that we glossed over since it wasn't necessary for the game. I always thought they could use oils and other things of that nature. Or heck, maybe Vampires in Nosgoth don't get dirty or smell bad. I mean.. can you imagine what Melchiah smelled like? Good thing he didn't have a nose at the end. :P But your ideas are good ones too..powders, oils, or small amounts of water for the masochistic vamps.

Have you ever thought about this: imagine you have a servant who heals from just about anything. You could smack him around pretty badly and he'd be just fine the next day or so. I think you could end up being pretty abusive to him.. it's kind of the relationship I think could develop for the crueler clan leaders.
―Daniel Cabuco[153]
In order of cruelty to their slaves/food? Hmm.. to me that seems like (most cruel to least):

Melchiah - would cut off parts and flay skin as needed. Zephon - would use them as food for pupating Zephonhim Rahab - would probably hang them upside down over the water as sport Dumah - Would pit his clan against them in gladiatorial combat Turel - would set them free in a maze for hunting Raziel - would use them as experiments for magic Kain - would tie them to the wall for mass feeding

What do you all think? How would you rank them? :)
―Daniel Cabuco[154]
Well as you said, it's more about affinity as opposed to casting spells. Their nature is to have at-will powers that are magical in nature (mind control, charm, pain, etc.) Raziel demonstrated the ability with glyphs, but also with his natural mastery over magical abilities and ability to absorb them as well as the soul of his bretheren. If you take each of Kain's abilities, and split them among the bretheren as a speciality, it makes more sense. I'm working on the Dumah painting now, but will post the Raziel stuff later on. Also been busy getting Lost Planet 3 out the door. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[155]
Hi Azura,

Wow cool! I like those designs. Seems similar to the Elder stonework designs. I enjoyed actually putting the spiral carvings into the world as evidence on the Material plane of the Elder in the Spectral.

Sorry, I got really busy and didn't get a chance to answer your questions regarding the Vampire Evolution. Bazl is pretty much on the money about any official answers. What I can tell you is what guided my visual designs for them. When I first got the assignment to design Kain (and holy shit, holy shit was I excited. I was relatively to new to Crystal at the time and they gave me *that* assignment!) I had to look at Blood Omen and reconcile some very different designs. (WTH was Vorador?!) So the thought that vampires 'evolve' was a great way to tie them together. Eventually their fingers meld together after a long time (this isn't spelled out, and as far as I'm concerned, doesn't really need to be). I set it up so that Kain was able to influence his own evolution through sheer arrogant willpower and the evolution of his abilities. The Bretheren all evolved at different rates, depending on their physiology, willpower, and abilities. That's why it was a competition among them, and a way to gain favor with Kain. Their devolution didn't happen until a milennia later and that was also based on their practices (Melchiah) and abilities (Rahab).

Hope that sheds more light on your questions. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[156]
It depends on how long they were dead. Kain remembered a lot of his old life, including who to exact revenge on for his situation.. :) The bretheren were dead.. a LONG time. Raziel killed them after Janos first died.
―Daniel Cabuco[157]
Hi Azura,

Hmm, well it's a little hard to describe a single level of their personality, since over the centuries they changed. Turel was militant and fierce, growing into arrogance and seeing things on a large scale. His personality was direct and powerful. He believed nothing was more powerful than the vampire race.

Dumah was tactical and precise, always looking for advantage and a way to increase his skills. He loved pitting his abilities up against strong adversaries and taking them apart (body and morale) before finally killing them. There was no sport in killing a helpless opponent, so he preferred meeting on a battlefield or combat operation. He loved battle and any opportunity to show off his skill.

Zephon was scheming and suspicious, always sending spies out and seeking information to exploit a weakness. He preferred the art of the ambush, attacking indirectly. He saw the value in planning for the future, and had the greatest stock of blood in storage, sometimes using it to barter.

Rahab was daring and driven, almost to a point of obsession, pushing his body and clan to develop their resistance to water. He preferred attacking from the water, where humans thought they were safe, and to show how his clan was unique. He enjoyed dangerous situations and would often act as a scout.

Melchiah was cruel and methodical. He'd torture and experiment on humans to augment his own ability to graft their bodies onto him. He would eventually become prone to bursts of rage if any below him questioned his will or methodology.

Raziel was passionate and charming. He'd be very persuasive with his words but just as quickly slide a knife between your ribs without breaking pace. He grew to enjoy the game of twisting relationships to his advantage. He became arrogant and loved to show off his status. He also enjoyed combat, especially sparring with Dumah as it frustrated his brother to be unable to beat him.
―Daniel Cabuco[158]
The claws were usually covered with the gloves and underneath their hands were colored the same as the skin (albeit much paler because skin and bone are fused)
―Daniel Cabuco[159]
Kain is 7 feet tall. 7 heads high (Adonis) Raziel is around 6 as a and crouches a lot in wraith form. He's little because he lost body mass and also seen as a pawn to the Hylden and Elder God.
―Daniel Cabuco[160]

The Hylden and DemonsEdit

I am not sure if anybody had asked this question before so here goes :)

What is the relationship between the Hylden and the Demons? Since Demons are native to Demon Dimension, how did they adapt to the Hylden suddenly appearing there? Did the Hylden enslave them overtime or do they co-exist toegether? In SR2, Demons seem to know about Raziel being the saviour and seem to asssist the Hylden, while in Defiance they do not speak to neither Kain or Raziel.

―Raina Audron
To me it goes like this:
The Hylden appear in the demon dimension, obviously intruders to that realm, which causes immediate conflict. For the Hylden it would have been like being damned to hell: they fought and carved out their place in the world. Preserving what civilization and technology they could. The more damning realization came later when they realized the entire dimension was warping and twisting them. They used their sorcery and Rune technology to create bubbles that kept them safe until those too started to twist and fail. Further still they realized that they could not die from old age, essentially freezing them in time and space (I think unable to raise children as well. Realizing their eventual fall was due, they reached out to their old enemies and forged alliances, finding ways to breach the thinner passages to the Material Realm of Nosgoth. (Entropy has a way of making strange bedfellows) Lesser demons would have been enslaved, greater demons would have been in an uneasy alliance with the Hylden. They Hylden would have used their possession abilites to reach through the jail of the pillars and even possess demons who came through the other side (thus their knowledge of Kain and Raziel). In Defiance we decided to use the 'green glowing eyes' to show possession or influence. I also believe they focused on possessing more pliable vessels. (Also, I thin the demons were pissed off about the whole possession thing) Make sense?
―Daniel Cabuco, September 26, 2012, 10:01 a.m.[161]

[...]

So, are the demons are intelligent? I though that they were more mindless beasts.
―Liquid Yarullin
Intelligent enough to have territory. We never really showed a Boss Demon.. hehe
―Daniel Cabuco, October 3, 2012, 10:41 a.m.[162]

Moebius's staffEdit

The Staff of Moebius was created during the time of the Ancient Vampires, when they were experimenting with Necromancy and Soul Stealing. The Orb itself was created within the forges of their Weaponsmiths and Necromancers (partially driven mad by the whispering Elder God) and imbued with the ability to possess the hearts of other Vampires. It's forged out of a giant Pearl, the only one in existence, and imbued with magics that made it crystal clear with a pearlescent blue finish. The snake represents the snuffing of the their hearts, as if paralyzed by venom, then slowly crushed and devoured. This is the pain Kain felt in his chest when he first encountered it, and why he was unable to even move despite being one of the strongest vampires to ever exist.

Whichever Vampire held this could manipulate, perhaps even rule over others. Moebius was given the knowledge of this weapon by the Elder. Once he had it, starting the uprising against the Vampires became much easier. (I imagine it took him much time to find a way to get close enough to it to seize possession)

Hope that sheds light on the subject. If you have further questions about it, please feel free to ask. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[163]
Yep. a sort of Staff of Pain/Domination if I were a D and D geek. Which I'm not. (whistles) Aranor: Yeah, like a spear that rips out hearts, a soul devouring spear, or a spear that causes uncontrollable blood letting. Crazy stuff like that, hehe
―Daniel Cabuco[164]

So um...Edit

Yes, pleasures of the flesh would be open to the vampires. But imagine if you will.. immortality. Every pleasure open to you for as long as you like. How long before you get bored of a particular flavor or sensation? How long before sexual pleasure lacks any real gratification (doesn't sate hunger, doesn't lead to children, and even the longest orgasm isn't as satisfying as the fulfilling feeling of draining every last drop from a victim) How long.. maybe 100-200 years.. what then.. the next 800 years would be spent trying to find new pleasures or exploring every last perversion?

Ann Rice said it best in Interview with the Vampire, when she mentioned few lack the stamina for immortality. For sex to have meaning after so many years, the passion would have to be so powerful that it would overcome hundreds of years of boredom and flower into something new, or something so powerful it was undeniable.

(Vampires are sterile.. they procreate with the embrace/necromancy... they don't have kids.. or f*&%$#g sparkle either! That's Faerie, not Vampire)
―Daniel Cabuco[165]

Thank youEdit

Hey all,

I just wanted to throw out a very heartfelt thank you for all the wonderful responses to this board. It's been amazing to see the amount of support you gave me, and all the great questions you all have.
I really wasn't sure what to expect starting this, but now I'm really glad I did it. Thank you for all the patience, enthusiasm, and positive energy you've all shown me. I'm truly blown away.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, September 26, 2012, 9:42 a.m.[166]

Janos and Vorador + little detailsEdit

Hey Hey Scarlet,

You're very welcome. It was a lot of hard work from the whole team and a labor of love. Kind of like this forum. But, like a game, it only works with both the creators and fans come together. So high five for asking great questions. :)

Janos, as I understand it, had made more amicable relationships with humans than others did (unlike the Painted Skull Vampire, she was a nasty piece of work) Vorador was brought in as an apprentice (we didn't get too far in details as to the motivation.. but hey that's what fanfics are for) and taught the secrets of fusing magic and metal. It's wasn't familial as far as I remember.. more of wanting to pass on skills and Vorador seeking the power of immortality. (He was also quite arrogant as a human as well) Vorador's masterpiece was, of course, the Blood Reaver. Fused with the newest technologies of the Vampires, it could drain the life essence from those it vanquished. (He didn't know it would eventually become the Soul Reaver) Vorador's past has been hinted at, and kept purposely ambiguous so that we could write more detail for him if needed. I believe he had one great love in his life, and when that was bitterly resolved (along with Janos' death) he became quite a hedonist, taking on many wives and killing humans like cattle.

Hope that sheds some light on them both for you. I wish I had more info, but that's about as far as we took it.
―Daniel Cabuco[167]
Scarlet wrote:

Thank you, this is very interesting! :D

If I remember correctly, there was a mysterious painting in Vorador's Mansion. That woman was his beloved, right? =D Was she a vampire who Vorador loved dearly before she was killed probably by Moebius and his rebels/Sarafan? Or was she a girl of Vorador's human life who died somehow (and Janos' death centuries later was the final straw that changed "dramatically" him)?

Sorry if this question requires too much detailed info. ;w; Legacy of Kain is a big world full of deep characters and stories and the curiosity is strong!

Thank you very much for the answer!


I always thought of her as a human who was a powerful sorceress.. Maybe when he was human himself. I didn't spell out the tragedy that befell her, but did want it to reflect on the reason Vorador is a little more cynical and hedonistic.

It speaks volumes about him without spelling everything out... which is part of the charm of this whole game series. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[168]
We tried a lot of different looks for Janos, from a more traditional Lagosi style to a cracked and worn look inspired by the ancient owl from the 'Secret of Nimh'.

We looked at very different styles and inspirations from sky clad to Venician Carnivale. So you'll see concepts exploring this gamut. In the end we wanted him to be very different from the traditional descriptions of him, more sympathetic and fatherly, to truly anger the player when human Raz takes his heart. It was all about how to direct the player to sympathy. We looked at priest robes and a more fatherly and wizened look at the end.

And while I didn't originate Vorador there was a lot to reconcile between BO1 and SR2's versions. Hair or scales? Wolf or bat as an influence? Dragon? So in the end I fused hair into horns like rhinos, and gave him a mixture of influences (his nose and mouth area is reminiscent of a lion actually)
―Daniel Cabuco[169]
We tried a lot of different looks for Janos, from a more traditional Lagosi style to a cracked and worn look inspired by the ancient owl from the 'Secret of Nimh'.

We looked at very different styles and inspirations from sky clad to Venician Carnivale. So you'll see concepts exploring this gamut. In the end we wanted him to be very different from the traditional descriptions of him, more sympathetic and fatherly, to truly anger the player when human Raz takes his heart. It was all about how to direct the player to sympathy. We looked at priest robes and a more fatherly and wizened look at the end.

And while I didn't originate Vorador there was a lot to reconcile between BO1 and SR2's versions. Hair or scales? Wolf or bat as an influence? Dragon? So in the end I fused hair into horns like rhinos, and gave him a mixture of influences (his nose and mouth area is reminiscent of a lion actually)
―Daniel Cabuco[170]
If I was going to revise him today, I'd put even more detail into the materials. And I'd love to see how we could morph him into a wolf too. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[171]

The Human CitadelEdit

Hi there, me again! I hope I'm not overloading you with this new question. We have so much to learn and only one person that can indulge us :)

***

The question is pretty short in fact. If you remember the Human Citadel from Soul Reaver, you can see that it is carved in mountains (or on the top of it), surrounded by water and giant walls. My question is... How the population of the Human Citadel survives? XD

If you think of it, the Furnace is blocking the sun's light, so agriculture is not possible. Without vegetation, it is nearly impossible to hunt something decent (and even less to feed an entire city) or produce livestock. The only option left is fishing, but I'm not sure if there's still one fish alive in these contaminated waters... And there's always the vampire menace outside of the walls and in water...

For my part, I think they're using magic to survive, something like the light spell of Kain in Blood Omen to feed the crops that could be located inside the city (like a greenhouse) or even inside the mountain near an underground river... But I would like your opinion on this :)
―Cradlis

[...]

Hi again,

Well, the citadel was meant to be in it's twilight years, with the few humans left scraping by. In it's hey day, it would have had crops, and flourishing trade.
By the time of SR, I imagine there would have been small underground vaults with crops being sustained by magic. (imagine light spells or such to help keep the crops alive)
The more insidious side of me would have had a machine powered by the life force of several vampires held captive, powering a lighting system through perverse magics. (Hylden Glyph anyone?)
Water would be both defense and survival. No doubt by the time they got to SR's stage they would have been bartering what little things they had. We didn't get to make them, but I always wanted there to be somewhat of a high council or leadership group that led the humans. They'd ration everything and have strict rules on how to deal with suspected vampires for the good of the citadel.
I would have loved to make a small water garden as well for their inner sanctum.

―Daniel Cabuco, October 3, 2012, 10:01 a.m.[172]

Designing a game.Edit

Hi Aranor, and welcome.

Well your question would have far reaching and encompassing needs if it was just 'game' but since you put it in the context of a pen and paper RPG, I'll tackle it from that angle. Your points are good, though in some ways, needing further definition. What you listed is what any RPG needs to be defined as an RPG, not necessarily a SUCESSFUL RPG.

For example #1-3) the world in the game takes place outlined. You need a RICH world and Colorful Characters in which to weave your backstory, with some element that catches people's attention/imagination. (D and D got way more interesting when you added Forgotten Realms, or World of Greyhawk)

  1. 4) Combat System: This should be a very carefully balanced and thought out system. Challenging, easy to learn, and fun to augment. Tested for exploits as well(Mechwarrior had a huge flaw in that 2 medium lasers= 1 Particle Projection Cannon with 2/3 the heat)

You want to get people to buy into your fiction, to want to engage in the elements that engage people's fantasy desires. (Secret World, the video game, has a pretty cool fiction layered over our reality, while Warcraft is its own spin on Midieval worlds)

So I would add the words Rich and Engaging to pretty much every section. The trick and hard part is how to make 'rich and engaging' work. And I think that's really the heart of your question, no? Daniel Cabuco

Posts: 455 Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:24 am

―Daniel Cabuco[173]
You'd also need to figure out if it was action/RPG (Oblivion), RPG (Final Fantasy), tactical, etc. This is important because your skill tree would have to be customized around what you could do with the engine. Action RPG is the most difficult because it has all the problems of action games with all the complexity of the RPG system.

How to balance the combat system is imortant, as well as the leveling system. Which skills are important? Which can yield unexpected results? How strict do you want to be in focusing the player experience (open world or linear story?)

These things have to be set up first.. and your target system (PC, console, mobile?)
―Daniel Cabuco[174]

Working Under PressureEdit

Hi Lexy,

Great question and quite pertinent at the moment since I'm in extra hours mode right now. Ok so, pressure. (under pressure.. dum dum dum, da da dum dum) First, you have to remember one thing: you're capable of greatness IF you trust in your brain. Not easy, 'cause you're always second guessing yourself. Take a deep breath, relax and say to yourself 'I'm an artist. I can do this' Funny but I couldn't even admit I was an artist until I was nearly done with Art School. Admitting that to yourself is the first step at unlocking your most powerful tool: creativity. It's the inner genius that not only works on art, but on PROBLEM SOLVING. If you are a creative problem solver, you can do anything. Literally, right after draftsmanship/craftsmanship/rendering, it's the thing I value the most in my artists and myself. Your brain is a huge databank of references. Put good things in and great stuff will come out. Always have your references (websites, books, etc) and fav artists on hand. Look through them often. Delight in the creativity. Load up the brain constantly. Right before you start a project (even if you put it off and are in red alert mode), take a deep breath and ask your brain some questions. Ask good ones, or you'll get lousy answers. For example, asking 'why can't I get this done?' will yield 'because you're a proctrastinating hack and a turkey!' Asking 'HOW can I get this job done with amazing results?' will yield 'Hurm.. well remember the colors used by that deviant artist you love, and the design elements of Claire Wendling.. oh and the awesome layout of Brian Froud?! What if we combined that together.." You can see how this goes. Trust brain, and give it room to be a good problem solver. That means 'setting the table' for your creativity. Take 20 mins to listen to your favorite drawing music (I like epic soundtracks with latin choir.. Two steps from Hell.. One Winged Angel by Nobuo Umatsu) Relax but get in your zone. You know, the one that gets you pumped to draw/paint/take on the world. Go through some badass art(and I mean the stuff you love) and get EXCITED. Once you get excited, the pressure of the deadline and whats due fades into "F-Yeah! I get to draw for a living and make all kinds of great stuff!" Just like a great athlete, you focus on the goal of making something great, not on the deadline. Trust your brain. It will automagically start balancing what you can and can't do in time and look for shortcuts as you work. Do this often enough, and pressure becomes 'Meh, I can DO this. Wait til you see what I do next' Make sense? All that was to focus you into a simple answer. Creative Excitement > deadline pressure (That said.. don't wait too long to start.. excitement will get you started and done earlier)

Let me know if you have questions and sorry for the long, drawn out response
―Daniel Cabuco[175]
Hey Lexy,

I was reading over your post again about calling yourself an artist and wanted to offer this perspective: Every artist is good at the one thing they do, with the ability to branch in one or two different things. Hey I'd love to be able to draw like Claire Wendling AND Adam Hughes AND Arthur Adams AND James Gurney while painting like Sean Cheetham, and figure drawing like Richard Morris.. but those styles are all very different and define the artists themselves. Your signature is your signature. Work on perfecting your passion. Ever see Iron Chef? Notice how the master chefs are categorized into Chinese, French, Italian, Californian, etc.? They specialize and are known for their style, and call themselves Chefs. So I encourage and invite you to call yourself an artist now, instead of waiting for that nebulous time when you will master all techniques. (Some artists are good portrait painters, some are good designers, others make great environments.. all are artists). And smile when you say it because you're living your dream and doing what you love (which is more than just about anyone else)

-DC
―Daniel Cabuco[176]
It really depends.. signature style is something you develop as a working artist since you're always under pressure to get art done. Since I've been working more as an Art Director, and don't have as much time for personal projects, I find myself doing more stylistic exploration based on what I find fascinating. Currently I'm liking a more opaque painted style, similar to oil. In the past I liked the charcoal and watercolor look.

I can tell your style though, by looking at your work. (ps love your sculpts!)

Just remember to breathe in, relax, and say, "I'm an artist of course I can <insert verb here>". I like to say it when I'm buying art supplies. :D
―Daniel Cabuco[177]
Hi Lexy,

I've done some sculpting with Super Sculpey, and enjoy it tremendously. I took a great class with Jordu Schell a few years ago and learned a lot. This one artist in class did a Frankenstein's Monster bust, and used glass beads for the eyeballs. He painted the BACK of them with glow in the dark paint, so after they were set into the sculpt, you could take a flashlight and 'charge' up the eyes to glow from within.

What medium do you prefer to sculpt in?
―Daniel Cabuco[178]

Soul Reaver CoversEdit

Every company has it's own way of dealing with international distribution. There are often local offices that are created to that region to best create distribution. It's smart, and it works. However, each region can also be somewhat.. territorial. That's human nature.

So the UK Headquarters of Eidos wanted to have their own cover for Europe, because.. well they didn't want to just copy the Americans. (much less take their suggestions.. for.. a.. holographic.. cover.. argh) Anyway, Marketing can also be territorial from development, wanting to create their own spin on how to sell a game. Like those.. (cough) awesome darwin commercials for TV (At least they got to keep their souls!) First time our team saw those we almost took up pitchforks and torches and stormed the marketing HQ. Likewise they can choose to make their own covers.. add Doc Martens to Raziel (SO HEAVILY PROTESTED BY ME. ARGH) Seriously.. they said the general public didn't understand Raziel because of his boots. There's still a mark on the floor where my jaw hit.

So I hope that answers your questions. They interpret what they want and just go ahead and do it. Sometimes with development's blessing.. often without. Yay(?)
―Daniel Cabuco[179]

Vampire WarfareEdit

I hadn't done much thinking about how Kain's vampires (from his era specifically) might wage wars on one another before, but I think I recall in SR1's instructions/guide that lesser vampire clans did war with one another in Kain's empire, and that Kain/Kain's sons would sometimes nudge to start these wars, and then bet on who would win.

My questions about vamp warfare are - would these wars be open wars on a battlefield - rather than, say, assassinations or mobs (I imagined they were all-out wars with two sides meeting in a specific place with the intent on fully destroying one another). And, if so, what kinds of weapons would the imperial Nosgothic vampires use in a situation like that?

The more I think about it, the more I imagine my idea of it being slightly similar to conventional medieval warfare needs to go out of the window. I got thinking about it when I made this: http://lexehh.deviantart.com/art/Razielim-Turelim-War-329495188 which was a 'time challenge' for me, so I just drew in whatever weapons I thought of at the time quickly - mostly pikes and halberds and things with stabbing points, or stabbing projectiles. But after I did this, I started wondering even more about the logical application of stuff like that in a battle against really powerful adapted vamps. I mean... impalement or setting them on fire is the main way we immobilize/kill them in SR1, so they are still quite vulnerable to that, but regular swords and arrows would be pretty useless, right? You could be on the battlefield stabbing Turelim left and right and they would only get up again a moment later, unless you left the weapons buried in them; and even then, one of their pals could come along and pull out your skewer and reanimate them. What a pain  :P

So would things like boiling oil or incendiaries or fire arrows be far more crucial to a vampire army when facing another? Something that would utterly destroy the body? Would maybe there be one rank that goes forward and does the stabbing and another behind who finishes them off with fire or beheading? Would there be more magic user in battles instead, with water and fire and sound used to cripple the enemy first? The thought does make me think vampire strategies would be very different from ours, and therefore the weapons and armor they would use would also be radically different.

I get the feeling vampires would prefer not to wage all-out wars, and would rather do things cloak-and-dagger or by assassination, but it's a fun subject to think about, especially when trying to design weapons that would better deal with a vampire enemy than a human. Just thinking about crossbows while I was eating dinner, and imagining maybe if vampires *did* use them, they might create articulated bolts that opened out once they hit something so they would be difficult to remove, or had some kind of explosive/magic on them, etc.

Did you guys design any warfare weapons or think about them during the course of making the games...? How would you imagine a clan war would be waged?

―Lexy

[...]

Lexy! Wow nice job with the war drawing! Hehe I hadn't imagined Raziel in a half devolved state before. Some interesting influences there on his design.
Open conflict between the clans wouldn't have broken out until later, when they were more established and vying for resources. Kain would have policed any internal strife at the beginning of the empire. However.. after they basically won, and Kain gave up on the clans..
First, I would think there would be 'skirmishes' for power. Two clans have a disagreement and clash, impaling and fighting each other. At the end of the day, many fledglings would be destroyed, but the stronger vampires would simply have their impaled bodies brought back when they pulled the spears out. Sort of like getting a bloody nose and calling it a day. The losing clan would give up territory, feeding rights, or whatever they were vying for.
The second form would be all out war, I think. Bodies would be burned, elder vamps destroyed, and a real attempt to wipe out an army would occur. Provided the damage was bad enough, a Lieutenant might even get involved.
Swords would work for beheading, and some horrible fates could occur like impaling a vampire through his limbs to await the dawn...
Each Clan would have their specialty, with the Dumahim being the best at handheld weaponry.
There would be a lot of manipulation, assassination, etc around any big conflict.

We never really tackled vampires bleeding vampires, so there's a lot of room for interpretation there (though I like to think they can't/won't do it since it makes humans less of a resource)
Great discussion. :) I imagine that if any of them got their hands on ancient vampire weapons, there'd be some domination by that clan... (Heart Puller, Blood Gouger or the Soul Spear) Though none could compare to the Soul Reaver and an angry Kain...

―Daniel Cabuco, October 10, 2012, 10:33 a.m.[180]

Soul Reaver 2 ParadoxEdit

Hello Daniel,

I got a question you might be able to answer. To make it clear I first need to recall the ending of Defiance: iirc Raziel placed his claw on Kain's chest as he was about to be devoured by the blade itself, healing him from the corruption caused by Nupraptor. Thus the wraith blade on Raziel's hand faded. This was necessary, because if you think of it: Raziel would have been sucked into the blade twice - one time the soul from his body and the soul from the wraith blade. But would have happend if Raziel would have gone into the blade at the end of Soul Reaver 2? What would have happend to the spirit inside the wraith blade?

I hope you can provide an answer :)

P.S: I really love the series, its a real shame there was never another game. You all at Crystal did a awesome job :)

―peanut_lord
Greetings Peanut_Lord and welcome!

Raziel is a living Paradox outside the blade. I always thought of the Wraith blade on his arm as an extension of his soul, not exactly a separate entity or second Raziel. It's like he was reunited with what was left of his being after an eternity as a twisted half state within the sword.
If he had been drawn into the blade, his fate would be sealed as before: to become a ravenous soul devouring entity and make the Blood Reaver into the Soul Reaver.

Does that make sense? At least, this is my understanding of it. :)

DC

―Daniel Cabuco, October 8, 2012, 9:25 a.m.[181]

Concept questionEdit

Hi Strands,

Yeah I'm a big fan of Lovecraft as well. The Elder God was described to me as a series of eyes and tentacles, so I did some research to look for themes to tie together. Spirals were a big part of the game, so I decided to make a series of spirals with eyes at their center that grew and overlapped each other. Crinoid fossils were also a big influence. Basically I just had fun making eyes and finding ways to tie them together with spiral tentacles, octopus suckers, and benthic fossil records. Lovecraft's descriptions, I think, come out of the imagination and lurk around becoming both a smaller and larger part of your fears. Sometimes it's best not to overly define them. Tolkien said of Helm's Deep, that a 'great battle ensued.' That wasn't much detail, but was open enough to give the film makers creative freedom. That's how we approached the written descriptions. I love doing research, and this game just tickled my artistic fancy for macabre, dark things. How often do you get a chance to exercise your creativity and get paid to draw the things you love to create? (not often) So when you do, you take it as far as you can!

I had so much fun with the Elder, that I didn't want to stop. You know, he was one of the last things I made for the game, yet one of the first things everyone sees. :) We hit a great stride at that time and were really cooking on the game.. then were told to stop. Haha
―Daniel Cabuco[182]

Design Question - Coolness vs. CredibilityEdit

That's a great question.

Well what you are talking about is an age old question. It's one we have to tackle every single time we do a game or story that isn't historical. It's more about the world that character inhabits. In high fantasy, I can buy that a girl in chainmail, huge boots and a sword twice as big as her could exist. (or could use a hula hoop with razor blades) So really it's all about context. The trap is to apply full grounded realism to every drawing and say that it's unbelievable. Sure it couldn't exist in real life, but if you are applying that notion, then you are limiting yourself to a very narrow band of fiction. Hard Sci Fi (and I mean hard.. like boring looking Aibos instead of badass cyborgs), films set in current day, and spy movies all fall safely into this range. Go one step out and you're pushing it. Balance is about the world you create. In Lost Planet, we're balancing a grounded reality with some pretty fantastic designs. This is the Art Director's job in preproduction: to find the kind of rules to derive from a massive concept push. You can create credibility by adding known quanitites to a design (Cool silhouette, realistic details). In art terms we refer to it as our Grounding Level, and it affects everything from how realistic the materials are to the way we even render the faces of the character. In the end, it's up to you to put a stake into the ground and find out how to make a design credible with your world rules. Let's take the bikini chainmail example. Sure, under normal rules, it doesn't protect much. But guess what, if you picked up a longsword in full plate and went up against a female Kali or Longsword master wearing a chainmail bikini, I guarantee you'd be disarmed, on the floor, and either concussed or bleeding from every weakpoint in the armor. What did the chainmail bikini do in that case? It declared, "I'm a badass and I'm so good I can whip you even wearing this" I know of girls who wear bikini's playing paintball, so it's not that far of a stretch. So again, it's not that it isn't feasible, just impractical based on a set of world rules. (It's also interesting to note that according to western martial view, the more skilled you are, the more armor you would wear, and in eastern martial view, the less armor you wear, the better you are)

So finding balance is about context, which you create. Metal Gear is a great example of finding grounded design with some straight up high sci fi concepts. (Raiden?!) If it's a one off illustration, then the context has to be created in the illustration or else it loses it's own ability to sell you on the idea. If it's a game/comic/movie world, then you establish the context over the course of the introduction. There is no hard and fast rule for this, only that it's all relative and sliding, so you have to put the stake in the ground and establish where to go from there. Does that make sense?

The way I approach it on an individual level is to draw what I think looks cool, then establish outwards from there.

The way I approach it from a game perspective is to discuss the realism levels with a core team, then get concepts to establish rulesets for the look of the game.
―Daniel Cabuco[183]

Any hopes for the franchises future?Edit

Hi Void,

Thanks for the kind words. I was really touched by all the great responses here on this forum, which started as just a little project to give back to the wonderful fans. I had no idea it would grow so well, and for that, I thank you right back. The fans of this series are great.

So Crystal, and through extension, Square Enix, own the Soul Reaver License. They'd be the ones you have to convince to remake the game. I think a complete HD remake would be rather prohibitive from a cost standpoint at this time, due to the sheer size of the game. But I think a follow up game could be something that they would do. If you read Amy Hennig's recent article http://blog.us.playstation.com/2012/10/ ... r-secrets/ you can see that, even though we didn't get everything in, we were really *happy* with the game. I've worked on games for many years, and there's never been one where we got everything in that we wanted. Usually there are massive cuts and we pare down to the core of the game experience that makes it great. So don't weep too much over the things we didn't get into the game (we always say, 'save it for the next game') Would I like to see an HD version of SR? You betcha! There is even a PC version that uses higher res versions from SR2 and Defiance to help 'uprez' the original. But I think a new LOK game would be great too. With today's technologies, we could do world AND character morphing, as well as many new tricks with the design. If Crystal really wanted to remake SR, and Eidos didn't back it, then I guess they could go the kickstarter route. But again, the only thing stopping them is their own administration.

I hope they do start something new with a great writer and some creative artists who fall in love with the game as much as we all did back in the day. In the end, it's passion that really made SR great. Passion for creativity, craftsmanship, and design. If Crystal gets that same level of passion for another LOK game, then I think it would be well on it's way to success.
―Daniel Cabuco[184]
Well to answer the first question, yes, I have left Crystal Dynamics and am now the Art Director at Spark Unlimited working on Lost Planet 3. :)

Today's games take many, many times longer to create even a single asset than they did in the past. On Ps1 I could model and texture a character in 3-5 days.. today, with Zbrush, the whole process takes 4-6 Weeks. For the amount of effort it would take (you can't uprez it.. you'd have to sculpt it from scratch.. even if you had the Glyphx models) would be the same as a full 2-3 year game cycle. The return on that investment means that it would have to sell more than a few million copies, which puts it in AAA category. That, by definition requires millions to market, and a very copetitive market at the highest tier of gaming. Now I'm not saying this to discourage you or anyone else from screaming 'we want an HD Kain game!' but I'm just giving you perspective on motivations. The sheer volume of the original SR was astounding, so for the amount of work it would take, you'd have to sort of truncate the world into smaller areas. (haha maybe less block puzzles would be a good thing anyway) Adding the morphing technology we wanted would facilitate having a new design added over the original, which again, puts this baby in a totally new game over an HD remake, budget wise. The idea could definitely be pitched, but it would have to be cost controlled in a way that might not please everyone.

As fans, I think you've all done a great job of letting Eidos know you want a remake. Honestly, they hear you and it is just a matter of the right people and circumstances working out. Pitches are made all the time, and even internally, there is a greenlight process. I know of several games that didn't make it through Eidos' greenlight process. It's no small thing to commit millions of dollars, which could go to other endeavors, for an idea. Most of the time there is at least a prototype created. If someone at Crystal wanted to make a prototype pitch game using kickstarter, that would be more feasible.

I hate to say it, but unless your pitch or script is really well thought through and great, it'll get so many holes punched into it that the person submitting it might get reprimanded for it. Game pitches at this level usually have the P&L, prototype, and marketing approval before they go before the higher ups too. I really understand the grassroots feelings here, and I'm not shooting down anyone who wants to try. But remember that there is a reality to making games profitable, and once you cross over from player/fan to game creator, you buy into all the rules that go with it.. including a change in mindset. You might think there's too much bureaucracy, but if the game doesn't sell, shareholders or owners like to fire people and make budget cuts. That's why a lot of game devs on the more independent side go iOS and XBL.. less hoops to jump through (but also less money for development and marketing).

In order for Crystal, a wholly owned subsidary, to want to kickstart an HD remake, they'd need to get to the point with Eidos of saying, "ok we have a small team of die hard creators who want to make this.. I know you won't fund a full HD remake, but what if we got it kickstarted.. then there's no risk to you AND we could see if there's enough mainstream market interest in LOK." IF Eidos said yes to that, then you'd see a kickstarter page.. but again you'd need someone championing that within Crystal. And hey you guys never know.. they could be working on another one already. As fans, keep showing your support when you get the chance, and that way when someone does pitch, they can use you all as proof to back up their pitch. Go ahead and pitch scripts or ways to get it done.. just realize that if you do pitch a script, it better be presentable (no minor errors) and compelling because you're competing at the same level as other game devs who want their games made.

At some point Eidos/Square could be like, "ok we have so xxx millions for making TR and one other game this year.. so.. Thief, Hitman, or Soul Reaver." And they'll look to their greenlight process to get submissions.. if yours happened to already by in Crystal D's hand and could be polished up to presentation level, then anything could happen.
―Daniel Cabuco[185]
Hey, I'm sorry to hear you feel the series is a dead horse, but I am happy and proud of the work we're doing on Lost Planet.

We were tasked with creating a new and fresh perspective on the game, a challenge I took very seriously and with a lot of enthusiasm. People tend to write off things as dead, when in fact all it needs is a boost of creativity. The Vital Suit work we're doing on it now is different than anything that's been done with the game, and I'd encourage you to take a second look, and if you get a chance to go to a convention this year, take the game for a spin. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the result. Please don't let a preconceived notion about what the game is or was color your decision to see the game for what it is.

Sorry that this is completely OT, but I feel very strongly about this game and want people to just give it (and Spark) a chance.
―Daniel Cabuco[186]
Ah, gotcha. I didn't take what you said as offense or disrespect, just a point of view. I have to deal with feedback on a daily basis, and always do my best to present our work in a positive light. Some people don't or won't give a game much of a chance based on a lot of pre-concieved notions.. but at NY Comic Con, SD Comic Con, Tokyo Game Show and E3, we got great feedback from people actually getting their hands on the game.

I see what you are saying about restrictions, but you know, I've always believed that designers work better with a box to work in, rather than total freedom, because they can create things that take a long time to get in the game and test. That's not to say you should clip their creative wings, but rather use the restrictions as a framework for creativity. I guess all I ever see is the potential for creating great stuff.  :) But in either case, I always welcome your or anyone else's feedback about games I've worked on or am creating now. I'm not the type to be dismissive, and always look for feedback from any source that I can get.

Your question about organic weaponry is great, and we did consider it, but for now we're working hard on polishing the mechanics we have.
―Daniel Cabuco[187]
TheWatchingOne wrote:

Are there any details you can share on past, failed pitches for LoK revivals? I understand it's a shot in the dark, I just thought I'd be remiss if I didn't ask just in case it's fruitful.


They weren't LOK pitches that failed (other than Dark Prophecy). They were other types of games, ranging from action/adventure to simulations.. even free running.
―Daniel Cabuco[188]
lol those characters already got into Defiance. No they were pitches from teams for other games, nothing to do with LOK.
―Daniel Cabuco[189]

What happens to Janos after BO2?Edit

Hi Issa,

We had left the option open with Janos for another game. In Dark Prophecy we wanted to go into the Hylden/Demon realm, and in some way encounter Janos. I'm sorry I don't really have much more detail than that, since it got cancelled at a very early stage. I always wanted him to be a tragic figure, and somehow have to sacrifice himself to help/save Kain while he's in the demon realm. But, I guess that's what fanfics are for. :)

What do you think would have happened to poor Janos?
―Daniel Cabuco[190]
Yeah, I liked Janos a lot too. I think there's a lot you could do with him. Remember that the Hylden dimension is warping, so if he was outside the Glyph areas, he'd start to warp as well. That gives a nice context and pressure to his story. :) I think he might even carve a little piece of reality for himself there.. and maybe his motivations wouldn't line up exactly with Kain's once they meet.. who knows but it's fun to think about. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[191]

A digital distribution new LoK is the answer?Edit

Hi Razielim,

Yeah we've been looking at digital distribution more and more. Steam, XBLA, etc are all great ways to get more money in the hands of the creators and the game more quickly to the consumer. As a child of the 80's as well, I do like being able to hold a disc.. but after 15 years.. I have too many things eating up space game-wise. One thing that's cool is that when my computer crashed last year, I was able to reload all my digitally distributed games and restore them easily. I didn't have to hunt for a disk.. I know well of Lorne Lanning, and love his talk. Truth is, I really want digital distribution to succeed. BUT, some of the costs to marketing still exist because of the virtual store's massive inventory, and our inability to sort through it all well. Take for example, iTunes app games. Have you ever tried to sort through them.. to browse for games. I tried and hated the experience. I had no idea what was really good or bad. Stars and reviews were based on casual gamers or people who like certain types of games over others. To get your game to show up more, you have to pay money to have it pushed to the top. In Walmart or Frys, we would pay extra to have our games on endcaps (at the end of the row) which would have a direct effect on sales. Now we have to compete for digital endcaps and pay top dollar for it because the competition is massive. Marketing still has to be spent to get the word out and in people's hearts and minds. Luckily, Lorne owns Oddworld outright, and as a digital author, can work to keep the franchise moving. It's slightly more complex with a title owned by Crystal/Eidos/Square. Again you need someone to champion this cause within the company the way Lorne did with Oddworld (hah needs a Scion of Gaming). Crystal can't unilaterally say "hey we wanna make LOK with or without you Eidos" because they don't own the franchise 100%, Eidos does (they own Tomb Raider too, which is why it got passed over to Crystal D). Kickstarter and digital distribution are great ways to get a game to market. The real obstacle is the administrative political structure of the company.

Look if I was still in Crystal D, I'd want to champion this cause too. But, maybe if you can find someone good within Crystal to rally behind, you can get the franchise going.

As for Kojima, I have great respect for the man. Any Japanese story is going to have its quirks, but the franchise he created was amazing. The first Metal Gear on Playstation was mind blowing. I think he puts it to bed going, 'ah.. it's complete' then a million fans put pressure on him to make another one and he's like 'hm.. I guess I could.."

I think he just got tired of the series and wanted to make something new... then after some time and new technology, he's able to find something to bring to the table with Metal Gear in some new way and gets pulled back into it. :P
―Daniel Cabuco[192]
Yep, good stuff.

Amy and I talked episodic content shortly before Defiance ended. The internet wasn't ready to support it yet.. and it had its own risks.

DL content is better now, than episodic, because it entails less risk.. but I think it would have been fun to do a shorter series of works that came out biannually.Digital Distribution would have been key to that.
―Daniel Cabuco[193]

Changes in the Scion of BalanceEdit

Hi Featherine,

Welcome and thanks for the great question. Well Kain's purification means he's not going to devolve, and any further vampires he creates won't be doomed to a monsterous state. But more importantly, it means he can rebuild the Guardians of the Pillars again. (possibly make them into vampires) I would love to see Kain possibly get a set of wings and evolve to an even higher state. Sort of working his way towards the ancient vampires..(Now I want to draw that!) I don't see his mental state really reverting, except for a newfound sense of hope when he looks to the future (figuratively and literally with the Chronoplast). I don't think Kain would be as interesting if he suddenly became all nice and altruistic. IF he hadn't been corrupted, he would have turned into Ariel's replacement and become a long lived human. Perhaps even brought in at an early age to be trained as a Guardian of Balance. He probably wouldn't have been as fatalistic or grim.

Hope that answers your question!
―Daniel Cabuco[194]
Glad you see him the same way I do Featherine and Tim!

One thing we know about Kain, is that history is not written in stone. Creating new guardians would heal the pillars and seal the Hylden.. so I imagine he'd have his hands full with that. Also, Kain would do things differently.. maybe he'd know about the corrupting influence of the Hylden, so he'd go to their dimension to insure they didn't trifle with his plans. Kain, as a shapeshifter, could have the winged version as a 'devilmode' when he powers up in combat.. and even look more human when he wants to (unless in direct sunlight).

Fun ideas all around.. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[195]
Wow, thank you for the vote of confidence, Razielim. I would love to tackle that someday. ;)

I would love to see how Kain would evolve while still retaining the best parts about him.

And I would love to see Nosgoth brought into the next gen of gaming. How epic would that be? hehe
―Daniel Cabuco[196]

Avatar Size change requestEdit

Hi Majinkura,

Since you didn't specify a size you'd like, I had it set up to be 128x128 instead of 90 x 90. I hope this facilitates what you needed. If doesn't and you need a specific size, let me know.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[197]

The role of the Hylden moving forwardEdit

Hi Watching One, great question.

Well, I didn't really get to do anything with BO2, but with DP I was able to add to the Hydlen mythos. Imagine a race that was able to fight the ancient vampires toe to toe to a standstill. They've been warped, weakened, and drained through their experience in the Demon Realm, but those that preserved their pure state in the center of their Glyph cities are every bit as strong as before. Now I put an idea out there that the Hylden Lord wasn't the absolute ruler of the Hylden, just one of their Seven Guild Leaders (like the Lieutenants) and there were more of the Lords out there, with a supreme Queen who is extremely powerful and literally holding the demon realm at bay with her powers, so she's hampered... but if they come back to Nosgoth, it would press the Elder Kain to the very limits of his abilities. Glyphs are the Hylden's ways of pushing the odds in their favor, they bend reality and draw power from them. Give them a foothold and they'd transform Nosgoth into a completely different looking world. Sort of terraforming it, with huge Glyph shrines and one eventually as big as the the great sounding pipe.

Hope that at least shows how scary they could have been.
―Daniel Cabuco[198]
Great explorations, everyone. Yes, when I thought of terraforming.. it was more Terror-forming as their version of life would be in opposition to the nature loving winged Vamps. But it would be interesting to see how they pull the wool over the human's eyes to gain allies with the strong, worshippers/slaves of the weak, etc. (Perhaps possessing humans at the highest levels until they could cross over to the Material Plane)

Would the Hylden and Vampires join forces? Hmm. I think there could be alliances between factions at some point, but their blood feud runs deep. Like any intelligent species, the Hylden have their own hierarchy, conflicts and insurrections. The demon realm would have necessitated a certain unity though, for the sake of survival. I do like to think that there would be have and have-nots, with lesser clans left to the warping as their abilities faded first. Remember that nothing and no-one in Nosgoth is one dimensional. If we had the time, we would have woven a lot of dimensions into everything.

I see the Hylden as a vast untapped world of enemies just waiting for some juicy intrigue.
―Daniel Cabuco[199]

Raz and SayaEdit

Hey gang,

I was going through my wall of sketchbooks and found some fun stuff that I thought I could post here and later have archived for the LOK Wiki.

The first is an image I gave when I met one of my favorite artists, Katsuya Terada. He's a big Painter fan like me, so I made a gift for him when he visited America. (F' yeah!)

Interestingly, quite a few great Japanese artists played Soul Reaver and when they find out I worked on it.. we mutually freak out. Which is awesome.


So since Saya from Blood: the Last Vampire was one of his big creations, I put Raziel and Saya together and gave it to him. (I found out later he put it on his wall in his studio!)

So I'll start scanning more stuff as I find it and show it here.. some of it is pretty rough though. :P

Sorry it's obnoxiously big.. click on it to see the whole thing.
―Daniel Cabuco[200]
Yeah I remember seeing Joe Mad's version of Raziel when that magazine came out. I was pretty excited since I've been a fan of his work since he did X-men in the 90's. It's fun to be in the games industry! :D
―Daniel Cabuco[201]
Hi Dubiel,

Wow I don't think I did get that PM. Could you resend it? I apologize for not responding and for the NOOBISH beginning of this board.

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[202]
No I ambushed him with the pic at his gallery showing in the U.S. up in Oregon. He was being hosted by Dark Horse. Hehe.
―Daniel Cabuco[203]
Haven't posted it yet. Found it in some old sketchbooks a while back and put it in a pile of other old sketchbooks. Have to sort through them. I've been under a heavy deadline and haven't gotten to it yet. The Raz pic came up while I was going through yet another old sketchbook. (I have a lot of sketchbooks lol) I'll post it as soon as I find it again. DC
―Daniel Cabuco[204]

So many questionsEdit

Hi Luke, and welcome! Whoa, lots of questions here. I'll answer as best I can.

1) The Elder God is a demiurge, a false god. The wheel is a form of soul recycling that occurs on Nosgoth, and he is a parasitic element to it. Claiming to be the wheel itself when in fact he siphons souls out of the wheel growing more powerful with each passing age. That's why you see him growing more or less when we bounce around Nosgoth's time periods. (like the area under the Pillars.. that was a lot of fun to set up) 2. The Seer's role was to pass on prophecy and warn Kings and Men of Power what was to befall if action was not taken. She is a mysterious and powerful Hylden. We didn't really define her past with Vorador, but she's far older than he is. We had kept a vague assumption that she 'owed him one' for saving her at some point. Think about this: No Hylden escaped the binding. The Seer doesn't look like a pure Hylden, does she? :) 3) I always thought of the Nexus Stone as a Hylden artifact. Perhaps not made by them, but certainly found and manipulated by them. It's one of the few objects that can manipulate states and dimension. 4)I assume you mean the Scion of Balance as opposed to the Balance Guardian? We know that the Balance Guardian has the responsibility of pruning the corrupted forces of the Circle (And thanks to Nupraptor, no further ones were born.. so catch 22 there) The Scion of Balance balances on a greater scale, balancing the world's entities and the Pillar's place in it. Purified and empowered with the Soul Reaver, he can use the powers of all the guardians to accomplish this goal, though to a lesser extent than the pure circle members. (Including pruning the Elder God's influence.. one sliced tentacle at a time if need be). DP would have expounded on these gifts, but we didn't enter preproduction long enough to get a solid list. 5. Ariel's binding the Pillars allowed her to witness and feel the changes going on in Nosgoth (not with absolute clarity).. and unable to do a thing about it. Pure torture for a Balance Guardian and enough to make her go mad by the time of Soul Reaver. 6. We always felt Vorador was NOT alive at the time of SR. We didn't spell it out but the underlying architecture of their.. differing opinions, led me to want to push it in that direction. I know Amy and I didn't really want to tackle it until we had to. (lol sort of how we felt about BO2 non-continuity issues in general) What do you think the answers are? I'm sure you all have put more thought to it in the ensuing years than I have. ;)

Hope that answers your questions!
―Daniel Cabuco[205]
Hehe this thread is expanding...

The Hylden look pretty sleek in comparison to the Seer. In Dark Prophecy we were working out why a single Hylden would not have been banished.. and I thought it would be a nice loophole if she were a hybrid between the two races. ("Abomination!" to quote Viktor from Underworld) I imagine her life would be pretty awful, but the power she might inherit could be significant. Prescience could be seen as a gift or a curse, depending on what you end up seeing. As for the Elder God, well he did and he didn't create Raziel. Imagine a parasite that is powerful enough to hook itself up to the wheel of time/universe and manipulate its energies. The Elder basically siphons off the lives that should be recycled back into Nosgoth, and plugged himself into Raziel as he was being unmade/remade. So like a sleazy agent, he takes a percentage off the top for every soul Raziel eats. The EG manipulates the wheel by effectively siphoning off of it. Remember that parasites aren't beneficial to their host (that would be a symbiotic relationship, not parasitic) so his taking of souls is not good for Nosgoth at all.

I always saw the Balance Guardian as being able to draw upon the other's abilities (or build up his/her own) in order to kill off any other guardian should they go astray. The Scion of Balance balances the entire world/universe and therefor is able to attack/hurt the Elder God.
―Daniel Cabuco[206]
Thanks Luke, I'm falling in love with it all over again answering questions. LOL

I mentioned this in another post, but my view was always that the circle had spent its powers destroying a powerful vampire and was sort of OOM (out of mana) waiting to rebuild it's powers when Vorador caught them with their pants down. (OMFG Vampire Drops on Main Base) We see in the opening that a few of them attempt to use their abilites but they fizzle out... I don't think Vorador was dampening them, he just knew they were vulnerable. (And Malek, the lazy slout, was slow with the protection..thanks to Moebius) I see their powers as being able to cast various spells that would give them control over their pillars influence. States = Ability to transition between states like solid, gaseous and liquid. Can warp the states to make them different (Earth to liquid becomes lava, etc.) Dimension = Ability to see/transfer between dimensions like Spectral and Demon realms.(Though you don't want to spend too much time in the demon dimension because it warps and corrupts your physical body over time) Conflict = Ability to incite or resolve war/battle/arguments. Draws energy from battle. Nature = Ability to commune and influence Nature, summon natural phenomenon for combat. Can warp creatures growth and abilities. Energy = Ability to draw energy and manipulate it to power objects/devices.

And you know the others well enough.. Hope that helps. If you need me to spell out the others, I can. (see what I did there)
―Daniel Cabuco[207]
Well first of all, the Sarafan were wrong about the vampires all dying when Janos died. Because if they were then Vorador would've died when Janos did. And yes, even if they were right, Kain was made from Necromancy. If the rule of killing sire = killing fledgeling then killing the bosses in SR would have meant the entire clan died.
―Daniel Cabuco[208]

The importance of 2DEdit

First of all I just want to say hi and Soul Reaver was a staple of my childhood.

Now to my question. I would really like to get into the industry as a 3D artist, and I am happy with my 3D abilities. However, I am not sure whether my 2D art is up to the standard of a lot of what I see coming out of the industry. So I was wondering how important 2D artistic ability is, and whether I would still be employable while not being the greatest at it?

Thanks for your time  :)
―urban_elf
Hi Urban_elf,

Welcome! Ok, so I first have to ask which kind of department you would want to work in? Character? Environment?
For 3D work, 2D isn't as important, except that it helps with your texturing, materials, aesthetic, and to help establish your visual quality level. Strictly speaking, if your portfolio is good enough, you don't need to have good 2D work at all.
HOWEVER, if you decide to put it in your portfolio, you're asking the reviewer to consider that as part of your submission for work. If its bad (if anything in your portfolio is sub-par) DON'T SUBMIT IT. Editing your portfolio is very important. I go through hundreds of portfolios when I am in a hiring phase and I have three piles: Yes, No and Maybe. If you show a bad piece, it goes in the Maybe pile. If I have three open slots, for example, and your portfolio goes in the Maybe slot, the Yes pile may fill up and as soon as it does, I turn down all the maybes or keep them in the 'keep for later' pile.
Now if you are applying for concept art, 2D is uber important, but for other departments, I would say keep it off the portfolio, but practice it.
Artists with 2D expertise often become much better at 3D. Traditional training also trains the eye, and makes you that much better when applying art rules to your portfolio.
If you would like, I can review your portfolio and give you feedback.

Thanks!

DC

―Daniel Cabuco, November 3, 2012, 6:58 a.m.[209]

Several Kain-related questions:Edit

Hi Count_D,

I designed Kain to be the embodiment of his own hubris. He saw himself as a god, so I gave his skin a golden tint, and a crown of bone forged from his own will. At the time, I thought of him as an antagonist, but one with a lot of depth and dimension. Not just a typical bad-guy, but someone who had a particular point of view that went far beyond what anyone else could imagine. It didn't feel weird at all to have him 'revert' to his anti-heroic roots, because I don't think we changed him drastically. Rather, we revealed his grand plan, and showed that while his actions may have seemed villainous from a certain point of view, they were part of a grand scheme. I think he evolved nicely into someone I really enjoyed and could relate to. I did Kain's textures for Defiance, built off the original GlyphX textures as a base, then painting them to work for the PS2 needs. I did approve them as the Art Director. The repaints are nice.. a bit saturated and high contrast on the linework. I'm assuming these are all on the PC? One thing to note is that the textures for defiance were optimized for the PS2 on TV sets, not monitors. If you put those textures on a TV set, they'd probably get a lot more saturated than they look on PC. (Reds are especially notorious for bleeding and blowing out) All of the ways the textures were painted for Defiance were done in response to the PS2's needs... I think some of the lines on the faces should be less thick and dark.. they tend to make the face more about the lines and less about the form when they are too apparent. Good stuff though, they balanced some of the textures out on PC very nicely. I think some things are way better, and some parts of it are different from my taste/art direction. With normal, spec and diffuse maps today, I'm really into materials and lighting. I regularly speak to my artists about the importance of materials and having them feel different from each other. On the PS2 we had glass and chalk, but on 360 and PS3, we can do so much more with materials than ever before.. subtle differences between nylon, leather, brass, aluminum, plastic, vinyl, and skin are all possible. So I am in a very different place when it comes to materials now than I was for PS2 (probably will be when Orbis and Durango are out too) So I think when I look at these maps now, I keep thinking of how to convey what something is made out of. I like Steve Ross' work. It reminds me of Brom, whom I was a a big fan of in the 90's. I think he was well suited for BO2.

I would have loved to have worked on BO2 if I wasn't already working on SR2/Defiance at the time. But I think I would have made a lot of things look completely different, so it's probably best that Steve had BO2.
―Daniel Cabuco[210]
When we first made the shift gates, we wanted to say an ancient race that worshipped the Elder God made them. They were controlled by him and once Raz turned on the EG he turned them off. The ones in water were flooded after they were built. We liked to say the Elder exists in the deep places, and slowly floods places with water where his influence is greatest. Thinking on it now, it would probably have been created by ancient vampires (when we were making it in SR I was thinking primitive human.. stone henge and such)

The Eternal Prison is Northeast of Meridian. Take a look at these maps: http://nosgoth.net/BO2/map.htm You can reconcile them if you move the Meridian in the first map down to the tip of the Peninsula (Say the city was huge and extended down that far.. and that's where Kain's adventure took place)

Hope that answers your questions, Count D.
―Daniel Cabuco[211]

About the Sarafan Troop Breakdown in DefianceEdit

Hi Hylden, Hmm.. I didn't really have a correlation between the brothers and the troopers.. so I think your breakdown is fine. One thing that I would do if I could do it over again is desaturate the colors 50% to make it more realistic and subtle. I know that makes oranges into browns, so you could punch those up a little more, but I think the colors were just way too saturated before. They will work better with lighting as well.
―Daniel Cabuco[212]
It's always fun to be able to spend a lot of time adjusting textures and materials. Did you learn a lot in the course of modifying Defiance's textures? Are you aiming to be able to make your own models, or perhaps get into the game industry? You have a lot of passion for your mods. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[213]
Thanks for the coold Link, Hylden. Wow you went to a lot of trouble to make all that art!

Great looking stuff, it looks like what we did with Tomb Raider Legend for the Xbox360 (uprez, normal map, add some material properties) Its nice to see it in high res on the PC, since it was all made for CRTV's on the PS2 back in the day. (which is what we color balanced for..and why you might have felt the PC version was not as strong) One thing I would do would be to reduce Kain's linework.. it's confusing the anatomical structure with an almost camouflage like effect similar to a bengal tiger. The leather highlights are doing the same thing. In PS3/360, it's more important to try and use the material properties to describe light and form. For the leather, let the specular map create the highlights and keep the diffuse neutral. Otherwise the entire character looks rather painted, and it loses the effect of all the cool materials. (The same goes for Raziel's leg anatomy, each muscle fiber is almost too defined.. let the eye blend some of the larger groups together) Are you able to make the gold on the Sarafan with material properties similar to what Unreal uses? A reflection map and slight oranging up of the gold would go a long way. (Similar to what you did on Kain's boots) One of the things I often say to outsourcing groups and freshly recruited artists is that gold isn't yellow metal. It has a lot of deep orange and red in it (look at the Oscar statue to see what I mean) I like the detail you added to the bows of the Sarafan as well.

  • note: Ariel was half rotted and blighted to show that she's a balance guardian, half good and evil, half alive and dead. Be careful about making her pupils too big, they can come across as rather anime.

Interesting choice on the red color. I chose white to reflect the unified, purified essence of all the balance guardians. :)

Really cool stuff. What tools did you use to remake all of the art (besides photoshop)?
―Daniel Cabuco[214]
Hi Hylden,

No offense taken at all. Painting textures by hand was the way we did it back in the PS2 days. Usually what I did was render the wireframe of the character and paint it as best as I could, then cut and paste the chest, arms, leg, head, etc into the UV coordinates provided by Maya. Then I'd work to paint in the rest of the textures to make sure they matched. Since you don't have an ambient occlusion mask like today's technology, you have to paint in the form right on the texture itself. Try to stablish the lighting as if it was generally in front and high, so you get some good form shadows and almost no cast shadows on it. That should leave it in an ambient occlusion state. Let me know if what I said doesn't make sense and I'll elaborate on it. As for 'speeding it up', sometimes I'd add an overlay of texture once I had the general form painted, to help my painting look more realistic, texture-wise. There's no real substitution for the elbow grease though. That's why making games takes so long. ^_^ If nothing else, I think when people mod textures, they gain an appreciation for the amount of work required to get a single character to the screen. Good luck and let me know if you have questions on anything.

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[215]
Hi Hylden,

wow nice job. That's a lot of work.. do be careful though about making the linework too strong for both Kain and Turel. It combats the overall form, and you end up looking at the pattern instead of seeing the form of the face/body. I'd say knock back the intensity of the lines on kain's face, and vary the line quality (thick/thinness) to give it depth and variation. If you leave it all the same it will look painted and not natural.

But holy cow are you undergoing a lot of work! Keep at it, it's coming along nicely!
―Daniel Cabuco[216]

Elder Kain, Design and AppearanceEdit

Hi Kain_Fan!

Welcome and thank you for the great question. Kain's skin is hardened to an armor (more flexible in some areas than others) which serves to protect him from sunlight and weapon damage. This replaced his need to have traditional forms of armor, and shows off his power. (and Hubris to some extent) The color is somewhat golden/skin colored, but not high metallic. His skin is not made up of scales. Chitinous refers to the exoskeletal nature of his skin.The scaly part was in reference to the actual texture of his skin not what it's made up of. (ie if you ran your hands over it, it would be tough but smooth, with little aberrations on it) Really I haven't thought that deeply on how Kain would evolve, because we didn't get into preproduction for it (where I or some other artist would spend a lot of time going over this look design) Perhaps like his Scion image... I wanted to have Kain looking more human in indoor lighting and when he steps into the sunlight, have his armored evolved form appear. (A good dev could do that with the Durango and Orbis when they come out) When I mentioned retaining the best parts of Kain, it was more figurative.. that he'd still be an anti-hero who follows his own rules about right and wrong. Not perfect, or altruistic, but rather driven to see his version of reality come to light (and being able to make hard choices to get it done). That's what I love about Kain as a character, and what I tried to embody with his physical design. He even influenced his own evolution through sheer force of will.

It's great that you're a big fan. I'm always humbled to hear from longtime fans of the series, even a decade after we made it. :)

Hope this all answered your questions.. We could always discuss/draw/ speculate on Kain's evolution. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[217]
1. For Dark Prophecy we discussed his beast, wolf, and human forms. But we didn't get a chance to talk about evolution for him. The game was pulled before we got that opportunity.

2. I never really felt the need to modify Kain's elder appearance further, unless it reinforced the storyline. But I would love to have refined it further using today's graphic engines. There was some discussion about him having black wings eventually, but that was only to match the Scion of Balance Emblem. (perhaps like a temporary powered up mode.. similar to Dante's Devil Mode) 3. I don't think Kain has that much control over his evolution.. though I think he did slow down any devolution and guide it into his elder form. And I wanted him to be able to appear human as we discussed before... 4. I get your question and the way I see it, Kain and his 'sons' all evolved up to a 'peak' then began to devolve. The ability to resist devolution became weaker with each subsequent son created. So Melchiah, being the last, was the first to devolve (heck he even got the poorest gift.. poor guy)

Hope that answers your questions!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[218]
1. I would say Kain hasn't started devolving yet. However the cracks in his skin do show the impurities in him. (As well as the rather large scar on his chest, which was healed when Raz purified him) Nupraptor's curse was a form of madness, which effected each person differently. For Kain, it influenced his physical evolution (because its influenced by the mind and personality). Think of it as a sort of genetic disorder that hampers the mind, simplifying it into its more base needs. Kain's willpower and mind were significant, but his son's were passed the tainted gifts, and were less well equipped to deal with it.

2. Kain sees Vorador as a sort of Mentor, to be both learned from, and used as a cautionary example of hedonism gone rampant. It's his link to the vampire heritage, as well as a reminder of his adventure against the circle. In DP, we thought it could either be a trophy for defeating Vorador, or a means of summoning him in the BO/BO2 era. We were still throwing around what his relationship to V would be post BO2..

I was happy that so many people caught that little design when it came out. I wasn't sure if anyone would notice it.
―Daniel Cabuco[219]
1. I would say Kain hasn't started devolving yet. However the cracks in his skin do show the impurities in him. (As well as the rather large scar on his chest, which was healed when Raz purified him) Nupraptor's curse was a form of madness, which effected each person differently. For Kain, it influenced his physical evolution (because its influenced by the mind and personality). Think of it as a sort of genetic disorder that hampers the mind, simplifying it into its more base needs. Kain's willpower and mind were significant, but his son's were passed the tainted gifts, and were less well equipped to deal with it.

2. Kain sees Vorador as a sort of Mentor, to be both learned from, and used as a cautionary example of hedonism gone rampant. It's his link to the vampire heritage, as well as a reminder of his adventure against the circle. In DP, we thought it could either be a trophy for defeating Vorador, or a means of summoning him in the BO/BO2 era. We were still throwing around what his relationship to V would be post BO2..

I was happy that so many people caught that little design when it came out. I wasn't sure if anyone would notice it.
―Daniel Cabuco[220]

A hello thread?Edit

That sounds great. I'll have it set up. :) Thanks for the suggestion!
―Daniel Cabuco[221]

Archons in the Spirit WorldEdit

Here's a Defiance concept that never made it to production. These Archons were supposed to be camouflaged as weird looking rocks or tentacles that came to life and attacked Raz to drain him of Soul Energy.
―Daniel Cabuco[222]
Here's a brain Archon.. more Jellyfish like and hits hard though easier to hit and kill
―Daniel Cabuco[223]

Random SketchesEdit

I posted this one before on my old site, but I thought I'd bring it back just for kicks. This is the stuff I draw during meetings. Surprisingly I listen better when I draw (unless I have direct input into the meeting, then I'm usually talking and taking notes too)
―Daniel Cabuco[224]
Hi Sevinkei and welcome! :)

Yeah it's true. Something about the way we're wired allows us to make connections while we draw. It's this weird focused state.. perhaps it's something to do with being a kinesthetic learner. I think you know how you learn, and it's best to always play to your strengths. I always thought it odd that people think I'm not listening when I draw, but when they call me on it I simply repeat what they were saying.

That's what I like about this forum.. making connections with people about shared experiences. (I also learned that in pre-calc that while I could do it.. math just wasn't for me) One thing I love about the game industry is that I've met more people with like interests and mindset than in any other situation. So next time you feel alone in a certain respect of your life, just remember that you're not.. and that you probably have a lot more in common with like-minded people than you think. (Must be some reason you like my art, right? :P)
―Daniel Cabuco[225]
Rawr! We're a strange but wonderful bunch, are we not? :)
―Daniel Cabuco[226]

Some more questionsEdit

Sarafan Priestess DesignEdit

Here's a Sarafan Priestess design I created for Defiance. She never saw the light of day, since the women were more spell caster like by design. I thought she could swipe attack and be very acrobatic. (The female vampire worshiper ended up filling that need) She does sport visible chain mail too. ;)
―Daniel Cabuco[227]
I thought of them as mostly bald with a small band of hair pulled through the top as a topknot.
―Daniel Cabuco[228]

Hair and FeathersEdit

Yes, as corrected, hairs came from Vampires.

Feathers could also have come from ancient Vampire remains, tombs, eyries, or what have you.

I'm not above thinking there could be larger birds in Nosgoth, as well.
―Daniel Cabuco[229]

Early Tomb Raider Legend QuestionsEdit

1) I recall seeing an untextured model screenshot that looked like Hatfield House. Were there plans to make the exterior of the manor playable? If so why was this not executed and do you have any pictures?


We had originally built the exterior of the Mansion to create a setting for the story (sort of setting the table if you will) but it wasn't ever playable. I'm sorry but I don't have any photos of it. It didn't get very far before we decided it wasn't really necessary to the story.

2) I hypothesized about what the story would be like if it took place in the original Lara's timeline/backstory. Pretty much the same but without her mother being part of the plot and the focus being on Lara and Amanda's rivalry. Was there ever a version of this? If so why the change?


There was never any plan to continue the series as part of the 'Angel of Darkness' trilogy. There was only an opportunity to fail in that regard. The story/reboot Crystal wanted to make would only have been shackled by the constraints of the old storyline, and those people who were fans of Angel of Darkness would not have been satisfied by anything Crystal would have made. It was a lose/lose situation, so we deemed it better to just give it a clean slate.

3) Many things were changed over the course of Tomb Raider: Legend. Whole locations changed as the story emerged. Preproduction was a matter of exploration and testing technology: to Kuala Lumpur was a test for highrise/buildings with LODs, which served as the testing ground for Tokyo. The original bike jump was supposed to be one of two ways across the buildings, but it was deemed too much of a shortcut since we wanted more outdoor traversal. We even wanted to have a sniper taking potshots at Lara as she traversed, but it was deemed too punishing. The original spokeless magneto-bike was replaced with a Ducati Monster when the licensing came through for it. Honestly there is a ton of storyboards, concept art, test maps, etc that never made it into the full game. 4) Sure do. That was my website and storyboards. I figured people had mined it all anyway, and had archived it all. I can put it back up on my website...

5) We didn't plan on bringing Natla back at the start of TR:L. We wanted to to have some easter eggs that hearken back to original TR. Um, just to set the record straight, TRAE was made by Crystal Dynamics. Once Core let go of Tomb Raider, they washed their hands of it. They were never in development for TRAE once Crystal had the franchise.

6) As previously mentioned, Core was done with TR once they handed it over to Eidos (who gave it to Crystal Dynamics. At the end of Angel of Darkness, I think they were really, really burned out on Tomb Raider and wanted to do something different. I heard that they were just tired of working on it. Once we made Tomb Raider: Legend, there was a plan in place to create Underworld and Anniversary at the same time, with Anniversary coming out sooner since it was only for PS2. (Which it did to coincide with the Anniversary of Tomb Raider)

7. Sorry, even if I did have it, I wouldn't give it to anyone. That would be a distinct breach of contract, since that model was created at Crystal Dynamics for Eidos. Any material done in such a manner belongs exclusively to them, and cannot be distributed.

Thanks for all the great questions!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[230]
Sure that can be arranged. I'm looking for my original opening storyboards that had my idea for an opening as well. I'll upload them soon.
―Daniel Cabuco[231]

Kain's next moveEdit

Kain_Fan wrote:

Hi Daniel, hope you're doing well. I've come up with some questions for you. Anyone else want to jump in feel free. 1. How will Kain return the Pillars to Vampire guardianship? I know the pillars usually select a guardian at birth but as The Scion of balance can Kain select and appoint guardians himself? If so where will he find these future guardians? Will he sire them himself or maybe pluck them from different points of Nosgoths past? 2. I was also wondering what you thought a final battle with the EG might be like. I've always got the feeling that their was more to EG than we have seen so far and that maybe we haven't seen his true form yet. It would be cool to face him at the very core of Nosgoth where he truly resides. He would be something monstrous something horrid something lethal. 3. I know in DP Kain was going to go up against the Hylden in the demon realm but I was wondering could it be possible for Kain to break the Hylden curse curing the vampires of their terrible blood thirst. 4. Kain and Vorador seem to think of humans as little more than cattle and tasty treats but how did the Ancient Vampires think of humans? before they were cursed with the thirst I mean. 5. At the end of defiance when Raziel surrenders himself to the Reaver Kain says Raziel no this can't be the way. Did Kain actually have another way planned out or was he just sorta winging it? 6. After his resurrection as a wraith did Raziel retain the vampire ability to whisper to other Vampires and if so is it possible for him to still whisper to Kain from within the Reaver? I don't mean for them to have long conversations or to just shoot the breeze or anything I just thought it might be a cool way to bring Raz into another game without letting him out of the reaver. Maybe he could offer the player insight or tips at certain parts of the game. Well that's all for now I look forward to your thoughts and thanks again for entertaining the minds of us LOK fans!

Hi Kain_Fan,

Wow that's a lotta questions! :)

1) Well I think that would be part of the fun of a new game, to find the new guardians. As he does he would have to find a way to get them to take up the mantle of their roles, perhaps without yet revealing that he intends to turn them into Vampires. (Cause c'mon, Kain never does it the nice way) So it would be one thing to discover them, quite another to get them to fall into line. 2) Hmm well that would be more than a few weeks of conceptual brainstorming. I think he'd definitely have stronger and larger Archons he'd directly control. I still see him as being more of a pervasive world entity than being a single creature (like Cthulhu or Shub-Niggorath). Like what Tim postulated, there could be some world balancing effect that Kain could set into motion, but only at great cost. Purifying the wheel would take some cool cataclysmic event. I always thought purifying the Pillars would be a great start to it. It would be a lot of fun to make some Epic Archon forms. :) 3) The curse of the Hylden is tied to the Pillars. He'd pretty much have to commit genocide and kill every Hylden, then smash the pillars. Honestly I don't think Kain would want to cure the world of Vampirism. He doesn't see it as a curse the way the original ones did. He sees it as a dark gift. :) 4)The Ancient Vampires saw the humans as beneath them (literally and figuratively). The abducted guardians we raised as children to help 'enlighten' this primitive species. Eventually the blood lust would have driven them to feed on Humans as well, furthering their arrogant disdain for lowly humans. This is a generalization, of course, some would be militant and some would be bleeding heart types. But for the most part, even the most liberal ones would still see themselves as vastly superior to humans. 5) Kain was looking for a way to purify himself as the scion of Balance, and at the same time, keep Raziel from becoming the SR. Some way to use the sword to purify himself, while keeping Raziel independent. 7) I tend to agree that a whispering sword could get very cheezy quickly. But a sentient sword relationship could occur before Raziel goes mad... not unlike Elric's relationship with Stormbringer. Kain could get empathic urgings to things only Raziel knows and wants to communicate. Again, it would be more subtle, but very intriguing.

Bazl correctly related how the Chibi versions of Kain and Raziel came about. Just paying something back to the great fans of the series. :)

And as for the new guardian's being born, it was Nuprator's curse that caused no new guardians to be born.
―Daniel Cabuco[232]

Random musingsEdit

Hi Azura!

Yeah maybe there are some passing similarities but the statues I saw of hermaeus didn't look much like the Elder. The pupil description does sound really close, which makes me think that LOK might have been an influence and if so, then I'd be really flattered.

Skyrim would be a great crossover series with LOK. Their worlds have much in common. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[233]
Hi Azura! Hmm I think Janos didn't cast a reflection being a true Vampire.. if I remember correctly..
―Daniel Cabuco[234]

Location LocationEdit

Okay, where to start with this one. The competition is tough for anyone wanting to get into any industry nowadays - let alone the game industry. Plus, there isn't much going on in the state I live in (Ohio) as far as the gaming (or almost any) industry is concerned, so what would someone have to do if they wanted to stay close to family but still work as an artist for a game company? Can it be done? If so, how?

How do you know where the best place for you to work within a company is (x,y,z concept artist/designer/ animator/etc)?

How much overlapping of jobs is there (don't concept artists also do story boarding which is also part of animation..or something like that? type of deal)

What if you're best artwork is usually with animals/ creatures over people (I basically need a straight on model for people - but I didn't get far into my second credit year of art school before I switched to the medical field either).

What type of media do companies consider as the most important? (kind of redundant, sorry)

Thanks for any input/advice and sorry about all the questions!

―LittleShadow
Hey little Shadow,

Sorry about the delay in response, but I've been in crunch getting Lost Planet 3 out the door.

Ok, so to be honest, you have to realize that the closer you are to a company, the easier getting job will be. There are a lot of advantages being local. Competition is fierce for long distance freelance and unless you have an outstanding portfolio or a pre existing relationship with the company you want to work with, being further away really hurts.

Think about it from the company's point of view: what advantages do they have with working with you over an artist who is local to them?

You'd have to have a lot going for you, otherwise it's an uphill battle. I grew up in a smaller town, but wanted to compete at a higher level, so I moved to Los Angeles to fully commit to my craft.

You could move to work locally to a game company (maybe working in house) for a year or two and if you form great rappor, move back to Ohio and set up your freelance relationship.

Concept artists all have different specialities like mech design, character, creature or storyboard. If you demonstrate competence in that field, you can usually get the work in that field esp if you are in-house.

The most important media for game companies is the computer for ease of transfer. Pencil, charcoal, oil, watercolor, etc, is irrelevant as long as your design sensibilities and rendering are good.

Hope that helps answer your questions. Feel free to ask me more if you need clarity.
―Daniel Cabuco, December 25, 2012, 11:54 a.m.[235]

Happy New Year!Edit

Hi all,

Happy 2013! Just resurfaced from a well needed vacation to say hi to everyone. In 2013, one of my resolutions would be to contribute even more to this board, by showing more art, and having even more great discussions.

Hope you are all happy, healthy, and achieve your dreams in 2013!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[236]

Introduce yourself :)Edit

Hi I'm Daniel Cabuco,

creator of this forum and your host here. I love video games (duh!), art, talking with people about video game art, Toyota Supras, designing demons from the 10th level of hell, Anime, Movie soundtracks, and all things sharp and pointy. I have a reverence for good craftsmanship, especially in leather working, Jewelry design and black smithing. When you have a moment, come say hi, and some of the things you want to say about yourself (passions, favorites, etc) I'd love to know more about the LOK/TR fans who come to visit.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[237]

Early Kain ConceptsEdit

Fresh from a 'lost' sketchbook, I give you some of the early Kain sketches. I was trying to convey Kain as the villain, and how his arrogance might have manifested on him over a millennia of evolution. Some basic words I was given as guidance: Ancient, Arrogant, Powerful.

I wasn't sure yet how the costume or look of Kain would be yet, but I did know in my first stab that I wanted him to manifest a crown in some way (some more subtle, some more overt). Enjoy! (click on the image to see full size with no scroll bars)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[238]
Head and crown studies.
―Daniel Cabuco[239]
This was the shot that had Amy saying 'That's Kain!' I had been sketching versions of him for a while and was thrilled that we finally homed in on what would be his final version. (Also, I didn't know what Vorador's ring looked like, so the initial sketch was just my idea for having the ring on his ear)
―Daniel Cabuco[240]

Hoo wa! Suagh!Edit

Scanning in some early Sluagh concepts as well. :) More to come soon.
―Daniel Cabuco[241]
A solid pass at the Sluagh. Some words I was given as a description: Lamp-Eyes, Hyena,Rictus of Teeth, Wretched, Clown

Amy liked the design but wanted them more wretched and less simian. So I later I made their hair more apparent, worn down, and reduced the limbs by 50%. I made it all about their heads and the large eyes and teeth. Spookier less terrestrial proportions were called for. But I still liked the initial drawing :)

Click on the image to see full size with no scroll bars
―Daniel Cabuco[242]
Yes they are being weakened, and disrupted enough so that they can be drawn in by the vortex of Raziel's soul sucking.

Otherwise they're corporeal and strong enough to stop it from affecting them.

I'm really glad you like their designs and get the themes we put out there. Whenever I trust the audience to get what we're trying to put across, it works out really well. It works so much better than spelling everything out in the game literally. (its an old rule, show, don't tell)
―Daniel Cabuco[243]

My introductionEdit

Welcome Majinkura!

Thanks for all your support. :) Just added you on Steam too.  :D

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[244]
*sigh* I wish I could sew plushies. Lol I would love to see a Sluagh Plushie! :)
―Daniel Cabuco[245]

Which Lieutenant should I draw next?Edit

Hey gang,

I was thinking of adding to the list of Prefallen Lieutenant(s) that I've drawn, similar to what I did for Zephon. http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/#/d5ann4a

I thought I'd open it up for voting and see who you'd like to see next on the list. ^_^ I'll run this poll through the end of the month and whomever comes out on top gets a nice drawing next. Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[246]
Whoa, didn't expect all this Prefallen Dumah love. ;) Interesting how the voting is turning out so far.
―Daniel Cabuco[247]
Thru the end of January. That way I feel like I gave people enough time to get a vote in. :) (and time to recruit friends to vote for someone else if they want) haha
―Daniel Cabuco[248]
Heh well I didn't say I wouldn't draw the others at some point.. just asking which one you'd like to see next. :D
―Daniel Cabuco[249]

Mortanius And the Elder God...Edit

Hi Vae,

No, Mortanius was revealed to have been possessed by the Hylden in LOK: Defiance towards the end of the game. (which played out the same time as when Legacy of Kain's ending was occuring) To help clarify this, we used different voice actors for the Elder God (Tony Jay) and Mortanius (Alastair Duncan) in Defiance as well. They Hylden possess certain 'vehicles' (read: weakened souls) until they burn them out. In the case of Mortanius, burning him out allowed him to become fully transmuted into a demon from the realm the Hylden are trapped in. Hope that clarified it for you. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[250]

Digital piece critiqueEdit

Hi AofSpades,

Sure. Good job on the painting, you have an interesting piece there. It's well composed and mysterious. The skin is a combination of tones, usually made up of two factors: the light reflecting off of it, and the amount of blood/type of tissue under it. Knowing these factors help you adjust the local color (color of the object itself) and how it relates to the light around it. You have a couple of options with this piece depending on how you light it. Skin is generally more translucent where it is thinnest, so in the case of the ear, the thinnest flap (the center) would show the most light through it, but because of your angle, it's more likely to show the thicker area. Now if it's cold, the ears will become redder too. There are general 'zones' for the skin to color, especially on men. The forehead is yellower, the cheek and nose area is redder, and the chin zone is bluer (again this is relative to the light bouncing off of it) So depending on if there is one near the surface, muscle, or a hollow, skin can be many different tones. You can push and pull these tones to service your needs for the piece. That's why there's no hard and fast rule about skin tone colors other than 'it depends'. Know the general guidelines then play with complimentary colors and zones to bring your skintones in line with the rest of your painting colors.

I've given you a couple of options to think about. Right now it's reading as way more flat than I bet you would like, and the local colors are so dominant that the lighting itself doesn't feel like it has an influence. (which is ok if you want to do a more graphic piece) If you want it to read more realistically, throw a spotlight filter over it in photoshop to unite the lighting and pick where you want the light to be coming from. In Option 1, I show how you can use tension to create realistic folds (folds are a study in and of themselves. Look up Bridgman's book on folds: http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Draped-Fi ... gman+folds because it categorizes them all. Hogarth also has a good book on it, Dynamic wrinkes and drapery) Basically wrinkles come out of tension and they're rarely evenly sized. Work on keeping the folds balanced by making them smaller, larger, uneven and complimentary. As an example, I put tension in his hand, pulling the curtain to give it more energy (but you can also see how it changes the piece from mysterious to a little more sinister) In Option 2 I choose to underlight the character and keep the curtain wispy. Tension here comes from the top, where it is anchored. Everything else flares out from there. I did a small paintover to quickly demonstrate. I put a small highlight on the ear, added a dropshadow from the hat, and put in a quick tension foldset to show his hand pulling at the curtain. I united the lighting with a spotlight, and added a secondary rim light to bring out the top hat. I also brought the color of the ribbon and curtain into the blacks to help them feel like they were part of the same world. (Even if you get more graphic, ala Patrick Nagel, you want to unite the colors more) I hope this answers your questions. Both folds and skintones are really longer discussions and we can go in-depth on them if you like. Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[251]
Sure thing. The piece is much improved. A trick that really helps in photoshop is to make a layer that has 'Linear Dodge(Add)' and then fill it with black. As you paint highlights, the falloff from your brush will have a bit of color to it, which makes your light seem richer. (be careful though, because if you go too white too fast it can make your materials look metallic.. oddly what many people strive for but get wrong) give it a try!

Lexy, in regards to fabric, yes you're totally right. Silk, canvas, nylon, etc all behave differently and wrinkle in different ways. That's why it's best to gather as much reference as possible, esp if you know what kind of fabric you're trying to emulate. Fashion designers wrestle with this daily, so I suggest grabbing images from fashion. Alexander McQueen's book, Savage Beauty, is a must own for reference. It's inspiring and makes you want to paint. A real exercise would be to paint a costume with the same pattern/color but made out of different fabrics.

) Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[252]

Hello from Sweden.Edit

Welcome Shora!

Wow it's great to meet fans from different countries. I hope to read your fan fictions here, and hey maybe I can illustrate an image from it. I love Tokyo as well, and found the English subway map to be my Rosetta stone to the city. Did you visit the Ghibli Museum? Which part is your favorite? Shinjuku? Shibuya? Harajuku?

Thanks for signing up and introducing yourself!
―Daniel Cabuco[253]

Dumah PaintedEdit

Here's the painting of Vampiric Pre-Devolved Dumah. (try saying it three times fast)

Thanks to everyone who voted! Click on the image to see it without the scroll bars. ^_^

Daniel

PS It's also on my Deviant Art site: http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/art/Dumah-358141444
―Daniel Cabuco[254]
Thanks, Shora! Of course you can use it for your wallpaper. I'm honored. I'm really hoping to expand what people think of with the pre-devolved lieutenants. They're more dimensional and each had their doubts, fears, and vices. (Fanfics welcome haha)
―Daniel Cabuco[255]

My IntroEdit

Lexy!

Wow what wonderful sculptures! I didn't know you were so multidimensional! Do you sculpt in fimo, super sculpey or the like? I love how you do the fur (and <3 for Fenris and Okami!) I love swords too. I'm in the middle of redoing my place and thinking of a way to display my swords Highlander style. (I'm also steampunking it up a little)

Thanks for being such a great fan. /highfive!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[256]

art suggestionEdit

Oh sure, no problem. It's skin over a thicker bone that evolved out of the fingers fusing together. I'll work up a drawing and post it on this forum for you all.  ;)
―Daniel Cabuco[257]

Vorador's name.Edit

That's a neat connection, Nomad. Sorry but I wasn't around when BO1 was made, but next time I have dinner with Amy I'll ask her. She might know. (Though I suspect it just came about because the name sounded cool!)
―Daniel Cabuco[258]

to work with lokEdit

Hi Murial,

Well Soul Reaver was a perfect storm for me. All of my passions and ideas seemed to fit perfectly into the tone of the series so I found a way to put them in. My passions run from a long line of loves stemming from movies, art, comics, anime, and fantasy books. Creativity is a wonderful thing to nurture. If you put good stuff in your brain, good stuff will come out. I have a library of art books I love to look through, and do my best to always mentally 'live' in realms of fantasy. It's just a part of my being. (And I got to channel all this into my games) We set up a framework to fill our ideas with on SR. For example, Amy Hennig gave us the ideas of the bretheren, each with one of Kain's gifts as a primary ability. While designers chose which ones to fill them with, artists like myself would draw out our wildest fantasies, as well as what the eventual design would be. We mixed and matched ideas until the 'awesome' was pouring out.

Depending on what time period you see Nosgoth, it's a midieval fantasy kind of land, and later during the SR1 time period, a land of lost civilization (think City of Lost Children). It has vast canyons, deep ravines, and beautiful mountains.

As for the vampires, well we wanted to make them look sexy, painful, and dangerous. Influenced by S and M, bondage and other naughty things, we wanted to make men sexy for once. (Usually it's women in sexy outfits, we challenged ourselves to make men sexy too) Leather, gold, brass, and copper all were great materials to bring out the craftsmanship of immortality. They were all part of not only looking, but feeling sexy/deadly. Hope that answers your questions!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[259]
LOL not at all. We made a lot of conscious decisions to tie things together in certain ways. I never really knew if anyone would notice some of it, but we put it in there anyway because it creates structured ideas. This made it easier to wrap visual design around.
―Daniel Cabuco[260]

Greetings from Gotland!Edit

Hi Miriam,

Warmest Welcome. Wow, Gotland! It sounds like a very interesting place. When I started drawing I doodled on everything I could get my hands on. If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I welcome your thoughts, feedback and ideas. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[261]

SalutationsEdit

Hi Ace!

Welcome! Where are you studying game design? Glad to hear you're a fan of the series. Here on my forum you'll be able to exchange creative thoughts, ideas and collaborate with other artists/fans. If ever I can help you with feedback or information, just ask. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[262]
Oh wow we must've met then at my lecture? Were you able to attend?
―Daniel Cabuco[263]
Great! I may be coming back to the Academy at the end of May to speak again. Hopefully with an even bigger crowd. Hehe
―Daniel Cabuco[264]

Untitled fanfiction - introduction.Edit

Hi Shora,

Hey this was a great read. I really enjoyed the mental picture you painted. And I agree with Lexy, your English is fine. I too wish I had a better grasp of other languages rather than the smidgeon I use to get around. You added interesting depth to the characters, and I hope to read more from you. Thanks so much for the submission!

Daniel

PS If and when I get time I'll draw a scene for your fanfic!
―Daniel Cabuco[265]

MalekEdit

Bwhahahaha! That's hilarious! Ah poor Malek sure got the raw end of the stick. Hmm maybe I could paint a closeup of him too.. I always wanted to design what he looked like before he was empty armor. :P
―Daniel Cabuco[266]

A question about character design.Edit

Hi Lexy,

Well the time alotted varies, and depending on the team dynamic, budget and style of the game, it can happen rather late in the prepro cycle. The important thing I've come to realize is that you need a framework in order to illustrate and flesh out a character. The analogy I use is that you can't build a beautiful spiderweb without a frame to support it. Framework for characters is setting, technology, attitude, style, time period, and genre. Each of these questions is something you can wrap your head around and use creativity for. (Another big thing I talk about in my lectures). Basically, as we talked about before, you need to break a big problem down into little ones, so that you can apply creativity to it. I could do a case study for you if you like in a separate thread. Also, when it comes to ideas we go general-->specific. I have three phases for a character: 1. Wide- Thumbnail ideas, quick and dirty. Make lots of them, and don't censor yourself. Look at the silhouette and attitude you are getting for each design. Aim for variety!

2. Deep- Here we pick 1-3 of these designs (or hybridize them ) and explore color, and some more fully fleshed out details. Going deep explores the important factors like their level of wear, color ideation, and a better idea of what their weapons are like. Basically deepening your understanding of what ever element needs to be explored.

Final - This is usually a 3/4 drawing of the final idea. It needs to have enough information for a someone to understand your character visually. By now there shouldn't be any major changes.

This is a really rough overview of how the process works. But generally, using this, you can work with a client or artist to get to final idea quickly.

Hope this all made sense. :) Any questions?

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[267]

Hello ^^Edit

Hi Katarzyna!

Welcome to the forum.  :D Please feel free to post your thoughts, drawings, or poems here anytime. I like to think of the forum as a creative space, and love to see what people come up with. I am always so humbled and thankful to hear from fans of Soul Reaver. It felt very special making that game, and I'm happy that people enjoyed it.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[268]

Fan arts board, maybeh...?Edit

Wow Lexy, great idea! I'll set up a section for it. I love the fan art for LOK. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[269]

Screens!Edit

Hi Murial,

Yikes that's not much time. Sorry I'm just getting to this now. I've been getting geared up to speak at the Academy of Art in SF next Friday.

So specifically I guess you're asking for... a style guide? How to build one? Well one thing to do is 'find' your style. One way to do that is with quick b/w thumbnails of varuous parts of your game, finding layouts and shapes that appeal to your sensibilities. Balance your art to have the greatest legibility first, then focus on filigree and design. Once you have a few screens you like, you can derive design rules you want to keep out of it and make your guides.

If you feel creatively dry, take a break, drink you favorite beverage and look through some cool designs for inspiration. For UI I look to movies like Avengers or Total Recall. Check out Ash Thorpe http://motionographer.com/2012/08/06/to ... ash-thorp/ and Jayse: http://cargocollective.com/jayse/Avengers

They're badass.

Remember to keep legibility at the forefront. Equal line brightness and strength isn't necessary.. the player should be able to understand the information needed first. Look through the eyes of a player as your initial guide. All else will follow.

This is really part of an approach discussion, about how to reach a design through structured decision making. But since you have to shoot from the hip with the time given, that's my basic guide. Is this enough? Did you need a thumbnail or paintover? Redpen?
―Daniel Cabuco[270]
Hi Murial,

I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking at with that attachment. What is it used for?

Layer FX in photoshop is simply a tool that should be used whenever needed. There's no hard and fast rule for yea or nay. Using it wrong will make your work look cheesy, but properly applied it can be a real time-saver.
―Daniel Cabuco[271]

Amature in search of AdviceEdit

Hi Rebus,

Welcome! So no worries. If you want to know an important secret, for 3D we don't use 3/4 in the Model Sheet. That's only important for 2D animation like Avatar: Legend of Korra. We do make a 3/4 posed and colored drawing for the material sheet, and to get the final quality of the character, but that's all done BEFORE we get to the turn around. I have a specific process for deriving a character, which I can provide to you if you want to know.

But if you did want to set up a good 3/4 just remember to think in volumes and to use measuring lines to keep things consistent. Once you have a good 3/4 turn from the front, copy the layer, paste it next to the other one, flip it, turn it to 50% and draw the reciprocal side over it in a new layer. Use the silhouette of the reversed front as a guide for the back. On the one you have below for the vampire male, watch out where the upper and lower back meet on the rear view. It's a little too sunken in. Also the left hand feels a bit odd in its pose compared to the other ones. I know LoK vamps are a little stylized, but also do remember to use the belly button as a basic measurement for where the inner elbow will fall.

If you use the Bridgeman method of building the form, you can attack any shape and get a better 3/4 view.

Was this specific enough for you? Do you have more questions?

Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[272]

About murals in SR2Edit

Hi Lexy,

Great question. Raziel was never meant to be a mural, always a statue. I think we used just about every mural we designed. In fact there were requests for more but we just didn't have time to make them all.

I have unweathered versions of all the murals though. I was really proud of the three Vampire weapons in Vorador's Hall. The Blood, Heart and Soul pullers. They're my favorites.
―Daniel Cabuco[273]

Ello!Edit

Hi Rebus!

Wow a superfan! Awesome! Welcome to my humble forum. It would be my pleasure to lend you any advice or insight that I can. There are a lot of great artists here who can help you as well. :) What's your favorite piece of merch?

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[274]

Weapon stylesEdit

Kain and Raziel are both right handed.

This is important to know for the animators as you have thousands of animations that exist wrapped around how your character handles or wields items. Presonality doesn't really go into determining it.. usually there are more practical considerations. If characters share a rig and animations, they have to be identical to save memory or else what's the point?

From an idea standpoint it doesn't matter which hand they are, but once you pick one you cannot go back and change it. So consider carefully. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[275]

Art contest/theme related artEdit

Me too! When I get back into town (in SF now) I'll do some research and set it up. We could do themes on the Bretheren, lost weapons, other secondary characters, the clans, and even enemies!

I could offer original art from my sketchbooks as prizes. ^_^ What do you all think? Is there a theme you'd like to see explored as a contest?

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[276]

Heya!Edit

Hi Ashtear!

Welcome! Please post your fanfic here after you write it. I'll even illustrate a scene for you. Hopefully that's some incentive to finish it. :) I like horseback riding as well! Once I figured out how to exert proper control, I really started having fun with horses. (I found out you can make friends with them by scratching places they can't reach, like their chest) You know, if you get a controller for your PC, you can still play Soul Reaver, esp now that they're all on sale on Steam. I love AC and Darksiders as well. So much good gaming there! Warmest welcome, please make yourself at home here!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[277]

Line artistEdit

Hi Murial,

Well a good line artist, who can do both character and environment is really appreciated because they spell out visual design elements without being ambiguous (as some paintings can be) There's a place for them, but it's rather narrow without the ability to color it. I guess it depends on how good your line drawings are. I value high quality drawings whether they have shading or not. If they solve a visual design then I'll use that person over and over again. That said, being able to establish light, mood and color makes them even more valuable (Often times I'll ask for line art, color paintings, or mood pieces from the same artist) It just speaks to how often you'll get used as a freelancer.

But if you want to learn color, this is the place to ask me questions on technique(s). :)
―Daniel Cabuco[278]

Defiance Deleted ReaversEdit

Hi Raina, I assume you mean the reaver in Defiance (vs SR2 or SR1)? The Red Kain Reaver in SR1 was meant to be a black and red reaver used after striking down Ariel to absorb her and kill Kain, as seen in the Chronoplast. We had a thought in Defiance to match that shot and style for the Spirit Reaver Purification scene, and use the black/red to show that what you saw in SR1 wasn't exactly what you thought it was. However the black and red didn't match the look we wanted for the Purified Spirit Reaver and was redesigned. We hung on to the old one for comparison when showing to Amy.
―Daniel Cabuco[279]
Hahaha oh yeah that's right! It was the same problem twice over. In SR1 we used the black and red, then went with the yellow/white purified reaver, then in Defiance we did the black and red again, then I think Amy reminded us it was yellow/white. I really wish we could have used the red/black one, I really liked it.
―Daniel Cabuco[280]

I'm speaking at Academy of Art in SF on Fri 3/29/13Edit

The talk went really well. It was supposed to be only 1 hour long with 15 mins of Q and A, but ended up being nearly 2 hours thanks to the great questions I received. I'm not sure if anyone from the forum was there, but it was good to meet aspiring artists and give guidance to them.
―Daniel Cabuco[281]

Rahab's VAEdit

Yeah I think you all have a handle on who did what voice. ;-)

I had a nerdgasm back in the day when Gregg Berger and Michael Bell were in the same room and started doing Grimlock and Swoop (Dinobots from Transformers) having a conversation. I grew up listening to a lot of these talented actors' voices.. it was insane. We recorded the conversation but couldn't publish it on the disk because of legal issues.

BJ Ward did the same with with Michael when she went into Casey Kelp (from Snorks) and said 'Hey Allstar!' I was like 'OH YEAH, He was Allstar too!'

Dream come true for me to meet Michael. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[282]
Haha awesome! I did draw Fallen Raziel with leather pants and a big package for Micheal one day at his request. :P Hey Lexy! Wow you remember Zoids? I have the triceratops! My cousin had the Trex. They were so awesome! Glad someone else remembers them!
―Daniel Cabuco[283]
Oh I wish I did. I sketched it out really fast for him and just handed it off. Haha He was so happy to see it. "Now THAT'S Raziel. My character has to have a big package!"
―Daniel Cabuco[284]

Hello from San Francisco!Edit

Hi Luke,

Yes I remember you. Thanks so much for the feedback and kind words. Welcome. :)

It's a small industry, I'm sure our paths will cross again soon.

In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions here and I'd be happy to answer them.

I'll send you some feedback on your website soon.

best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[285]

When working with computers a lot...Edit

Hi Lexy,

Wow great question! I've been working on computers for over 17 years professionally and much more before that as a teenager. The first thing is the make sure the ergonomics of your keyboard, chair and mouse are all comfortable. Being just a little bit off can hurt a lot. One wonderful thing to know is that using a wacom stylus doesn't lead to carpal tunnel the way using a mouse does. Use keyboard and mouse wrist pads whenever possible and try to keep your monitor at a relatively straight eye level. Try to take a break every 10-20 minutes, and get a cup of water/juice and stretch a little. Exercise your eyes by looking at far off items and if you feel a little blurred take a longer break to 'rest your eyes'. (If you have trouble focusing, or feel a pulsating throb in your eyelids, it's definitely time to take a break) Having hobbies that use your eyes at a far distance is good too. (Archery is pretty good, and you get a badass skill as well) When you take a break, rotate your neck/head, stretch out and relax your mind too. I found working out and swimming to be amazing ways to balance your working habits with a healthy practice. I've been pretty lucky (knock on wood) to be able to have worked for so long without any real ailments, and I attribute that to all of the above.

Oh! And make sure your monitor is broadcasting way above 60hz.. preferably 75-80hz if it supports it.
―Daniel Cabuco[286]
Hi Raina.

I sit straight up if I am drawing, painting or using the keyboard. The only time I prop up my legs is when I am watching a show (or anything passive)

The only time I work and prop my leg is if I am trying to stretch my hamstrings. ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[287]

The most difficult designEdit

Hi Scarlet!

Wow the most difficult design? Hmm in terms of legacy (no pun intended) Elder Kain was tough. I had to make Kain older but also an Adonis of Power. Since he had a history, I had to tie it together with original Blood Omen. Dumah's armor was fun, but also tough. Lot's of complexities on the head and shoulder armor. Kain's boots and clothing were a pain too..(As Simon Templeman said F**K my old boots!) Raziel's wings were also tough, because of how they had to fold up.

The most frustrating area for me was Moebius' area, since I wanted it to be a clock tower that was turned upside down and slammed into the ground. I tried to make it look upside down, but just didn't have the memory on PS1 to do it. I don't think anyone got that it was an upside down tower.. But if I ever did something like that again, I think I could do it better.
―Daniel Cabuco[288]

The Demons. Mining them for gold. What could they give us?Edit

Hi Tim,

I believe when the body of a possessed character gets 'burned out' that's when they mutate and eventually just die. So I think Mort was dead the instant he transformed. (That's why they like possessing Vampires, they don't burn out) I would love to explore the demons more. The gray and red demons were my favorite.

When the demons talked with Raziel in SR2 I always thought it was the Hylden speaking through them. So in my mind the demons were a native species to the realm the Hylden were banished to, and most were animalistic. But I also thought there would be a heirarchy to them, and that there would be other, more intelligent demons out there we haven't seen yet. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[289]
Yeah, boss demon guy! I'd love to spend a few weeks working on his design. Rowr!
―Daniel Cabuco[290]

Lt. Rahab PaintingEdit

Hi all! I worked on a Rahab painting this weekend. This one is a depiction of the moment he formed his gills. I call it 'A Weakness Overcome'
―Daniel Cabuco[291]
Sweet, I'm glad you like it. And yes, please ask any questions you have. If I need to I can move them to other sections, but never be shy about asking questions here.

You know, you wouldn't be wrong to think of 'cocoons' because the Turelheim popped out of them in SR. At first I thought all the Bretheren would be in cocoons, them mutate and emerge. But then, thinking about it.. I thought, "how boring!" So I called an audible, and decided to create this for Rahab. I imagine it would have started with him being burned by water, and drinking blood to heal. Being in a land with a lot of water, I'm sure he'd be somewhat bitter over the "land" he was given. Perhaps the humans who lived in the area found security by creating great waterfalls and moats, making him even more angry at their impudence. (They feel safe in MY LANDS, those cattle!) So I imagine he'd start draining blood while exposing himself to water more and more. Casting Kain's water breathing and protection spells so often that they'd weave themselves into his being. Taking one of Kain's gifts and turning it into his entire being.. Kain could only resist water temporarily.. but what if Rahab could actually ADAPT to it! He'd be so powerful and valuable.. he and his kind could go places others never could.. not even Raziel! That kind of motivation and jealousy strikes true with me. So he'd burn and heal, drink blood and immerse.. perhaps doing so at the same time (Telekinetically drinking) until the image I painted happened: The gills.. the GILLS! They symbolize his newfound power, one that he would present to Kain in court, to drive the others into jealousy and supplication to him. He'd move up the chain of value.. become Kain's favored for that decade.. maybe that century! The pain didn't matter.. only success..

Man, someone write a fanfic! LOL
―Daniel Cabuco[292]
Shora A. wrote:

I love it, Daniel! I've already commented on deviantART but I felt like writing some more here. The style that you've used for painting Rahab is intruiging. There's details everywhere that I didn't see at first, but after looking at it several times, I seem to notice more and more details that just pulls me into the painting.

Thanks, more and more ideas came about as I painted it. I just felt like this one took on a life of it's own, and I really got into it. Shora A. wrote: The level of detail on the water is amazing. It must have been really difficult to paint it. How long did it take from start to finish to do this painting?

The water was a mother effin pain. Next time I decide to paint splashy water I'm going to hit myself with a hammer until I come to my senses (because it would be less painful) You have to use a lot of different brushes, taking your time to create mass, then push them back and forward, then paint the last splashy details at the front. (sort of the way Furiae paints hair) This painting was about 3 days of work (1 day of water) Shora A. wrote: Rahab's expression is breathtaking and speaks so many words. It's like he experiences tremendous amounts of pain (blood flowing from the gills) and yet, there's a hint of ecstasy involved too, some sort of pleasure. I really like how the eyelashes are visible, too.

I am so glad that came across. That was actually more important to me than the water splashy detail. Showing pain and pleasure isn't easy.. but if you can get in a certain range, then other details, like the bloody gills, help make it easier to convey. [ Shora A. wrote: To me, art is about the emotions as well as the little details, and I see all of it in this painting. It's just beautiful beyond words. I would have loved to have this one on my wall in my apartment!

That could be arranged :) I painted this at 5k, so what you see online are much smaller than what the originals are. (Man I better burn all these to dvd backups lol)

And yes thank you for all your feedback both here and on Deviant Art. I really appreciate your feedback and thoughts. I am glad that this one had emotional complexity.. it's what I have been striving for of late.
―Daniel Cabuco[293]
Hi Azura,

Hmm.. well I always thought that Raziel had entered the cocoon state and emerged with them painfully. As soon as he was ready, he headed to court to show them off.. and we all know how that turned out. In his case, I don't think Raziel was trying to fly, but maybe his featherfall was innate so he found himself gliding further and further with it until he went into a cocoon state and emerged with the wings.

It's something I'd love to explore in a fanfic or see written about. We never really examined the states of change, so I don't want to limit exactly how it happened. When I talk about it, I simply state what my thoughts are on it, not to go "This is officially the way it happened!" (echo, echo) I would welcome anyone else's thoughts or theories about it for discussion.
―Daniel Cabuco[294]
Hm, I hadn't planned on it. This was my submission for Rahab. I feel bored just painting the same exact view of the bretheren. That said, if I got enough requests, I could do one like Zephon's...
―Daniel Cabuco[295]
Hi Vampmaster and Tim. :)

Awakening in pain sounds so wonderfully morbid. I like it.

I heard of War of Nosgoth, and I hope its a good addition to the franchise. I think they had some good reasons for sidestepping the epic and complex story of Kain and Raziel. I want to keep an open mind about it and see what develops out of it. It could lead to another full fledged action/rpg/adventure type game on the Next Gen consoles. (PS4 and XBone)
―Daniel Cabuco[296]

Indie game development?Edit

I love the indie game scene. Because of it we get some amazing games, like Braid, and Journey. Sony is really embracing the Indie developer scene. AAA development is getting really expensive, so smaller, quicker games are really gathering steam. (Especially for their return on investment or ROI).

I'm not saying it's easy (cause then everyone would be doing it) but for experienced developers, the hardest part is getting the money together to make it. For inexperienced developers, they go through the same school of hard knocks that experienced developers go through (sometimes driving off a cliff). I wish I could advise and support more indie projects to at least help with some knowledge (Dear god, don't do that, you'll blow up your memory!)

I hope indie development grows even further as new consoles come to market!
―Daniel Cabuco[297]
Certainly. I do hope it grows and becomes more the norm though. Even independent AAA game companies can do so much more, esp when unshackled by publishers.
―Daniel Cabuco[298]

Time Streamer - A Post-Defiance NovelEdit

An interesting read! I like your descriptions and the way you kept the tensions up between the characters.

I would say that Kain saying 'Fire away, I am all ears' is a little out of character for the way they speak in the game. They always found a more.. verbose way of saying the same thing. The overall storyline is fascinating. I really like the way you put together the various elements. You also conveyed their emotions, thoughts and intent very well. Keep up the great work!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[299]

Hello people!Edit

Welcome! Wow I'm always humbled and happy to hear that Soul Reaver influenced people's lives in a positive way. Your sparkling Raziel is hilarious (Glad I wasn't drinking anything when I saw it)

You have fine tastes, and I can't wait to read your work.

Take a look around, and feel free to ask any questions that come to mind!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[300]

A Corpse Takes a ShowerEdit

Wow that was great! I really like your writing style. It has a clear, descriptive quality, without getting tiring.

It did a great job of pulling your forward, and not getting caught up in itself. I enjoyed the journey and could easily see each part of the scene. I was amused hearing Raziel's thoughts, and how the scene turned out.

Well done!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[301]

What would you want in another LOK Game?Edit

Hi all,

Ok it's been the elephant in the room for a long time, so I thought I'd ask about it. What would you, the fans, like to see in a new LOK game? That's a huge question so let me create specific framework questions for you to answer:

1) What genre of game style do you see it being? (The more specific the better) Action (Devil May Cry, God of War), action/RPG (Soul Reaver, Dark Souls, Darksiders <---> Skyrim, Witcher), RPG (Final Fantasy, Original LOK)?

2) Which Setting/Time would you want to see it in? E.g. Post SR 1 era, Demon/Hylden Realm, Golden Age of the Bretheren, or a totally new area.

3) Who'd you like to play as? E.g. Elder Kain, Young Kain, one of the Vampire Bretheren, a Hylden or Sarafan?

4) What do you think of Episodic content like Walking Dead? Would you want a huge RPG, MMO, 6-12 hour action game, or 3-4 hour long episodic content?

And of course feel free to add any details you'd like to it. I'm just asking for fun, since I hear a lot of "I want a new LOK game!" but I have yet to hear specific details on what people would like to see/play. As a game developer, I wanted to enter a discussion and help answer any thoughts or questions you might have also. (I have my own thoughts as well.. can you get me to talk about them? Ask me good questions and you will.)
―Daniel Cabuco[302]
Holy Wow, what great responses. This is all amazing food for thought, and really brings up what you as fans are looking for in your next level of gaming.

Of course you can't make an Action/Stealth/RPG/Puzzle/MMO game that would have any semblance of a cohesive gameplay experience. So whenever that next game gets made, critical decisions would need to be put forth about the kind of game it would be. Blended for sure, but not every single type of game known to man. :P Here are some of my thoughts based on what I know about the industry, today's trends, and my knowledge of the LOK franchise (God I hate the word franchise when applied to gaming. Sounds like a fast food restaurant) 1. MMOs: MMO's fall into two categories business-wise: WoW and everything else. If Star Wars can't make it as an MMO, I doubt anybody else's can. That said I did once think up an MMO version of LOK that had three factions: The Vampires, The Humans and the Hylden. It was fun to think up, but as a very striking reality, MMO's are THE most expensive kind of game to build, AND carries the greatest chance of failure. (Look what happened with 38 studios)

2. Camera Perspective: I love the idea of a closer in camera on the main character and a slightly less frantic pace from Defiance (esp since taken to the nth degree you have God of War or Devil May Cry) Bringing the camera in closer is more intimate, and gives you a chance to see some brutal kills up close. The tradeoff is loss of battlefield sight/maneuverability. But the sword fighting could be quite intense, and the Shadowmeld/Passthru assassinations would feel really visceral. Adding a Mass Effect style system would be cool as well, where you could imbue the Reaver for certain kinds of enemies who were resistant to magic, fire, physical damage, etc.

3. Overpowered Hero: We had this problem with Raziel at the end of SR1 and 2: *If* you were to play as Elder Kain, how do you depower the guy enough so there's still growth? He's basically a nuke at the end of SR1 with the freakin' full powered Soul Reaver (not the Blood Reaver). While I would LOVE to make the effect of basically flaying an enemies skin off his bones with every hit, it gets old fast. I know in Arkham City, Batman got to keep all his upgrades from Arkham Asylum, but it still takes him a while to take down enemies. :P The easy answer, of course, is to limit your time as Kain and instead...

4. Play as different people: I was surprised and delighted to hear that you'd like to play as Sarafan, or even Hylden as well as Vamps. It really gives you a chance to see the world of Nosgoth through different eyes and with different allegiances. (Game of Thrones does this so well) I was thinking playing as one of the bretheren during the golden age would be fun, too. (Esp if you did episodic content) I've been drawing them again lately and finding it a lot of fun to explore.

4a. Enemies: For me, the most creative/fun enemies were Vampires, because you could kill them in so many fun ways. (Eat sunlight/fire/water/impalement/Reaver mothereffer!) None of the other enemies, not even the demons, were as varied in their ways to die. I'd want to find ways to power up the enemies so they aren't just 3-5 shot kills. When I was working on Soul Reaver, we had the impale mechanics done before the Reaver, and it was so much fun to toss guys into spikes or try to hide the spears into the environment so Raziel could finish off a vamp.(I carried this sensibility with me when I worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Xbox) When we finally had the Soul Reaver attached to Raz's arm, I felt a little disappointed, because it got to be a little to easy to kill enemies.


5. I totally hear all of you on some very basic pillars: Story has got to be amazing, both in script and in form. The idea of doing it well or not doing it at all is probably one reason (thankfully) you didn't get a new SR/LOK game for ten years. Story complexity and the blurring of good/evil distinctions is another great aspect of the game. I really enjoyed seeing Raziel's perspective flip flop between extremes, all the while believing he's the most righteous guy at the time. So playing as a Sarafan who has to earn a name for himself then gets turned into a vampire might be an interesting story arc (especially if he has some significance to the SR/LOK world)

6. My favorite era is the SR era, because the world is more like City of Lost Children or Dishonored (with less technology). You have more creative freedom with that time and less restrictions on a medieval time. (which, let's face it, is done to death in games). I think jumping into the Hydlen/demon realm or jumping back in time is fun too. At the end of Defiance, one idea I was playing with for the 'next game' (At the time I didn't know Tomb Raider was on the horizon) was to have Kain holding the Spirit Reaver and having that Reveal the Elder God's influence in the world in a radius around him. Interconnected levels with no loading is a huge challenge with the newer systems. Even with the best planning, I've run up against huge technical hurdles streaming areas together. (Like bad garbage collection when an area is dumped) There were a lot of things in Soul Reaver that were so hard, that if the engineers knew how difficult it would be, they never would have done it. But with 4 meg of Ram to play with, it was a lot less to keep track of than today's system where you're pushing 90-120 megs of environment data around.

7. I'd want better puzzles, or metroid style unlocking of the world like we did in SR1. There is a balance between making an action/puzzle game, and an action RPG game though. As you can all see by the varied responses, it would be difficult to satisfy everyone. However, I think if there were ways to make the player feel clever, even in the way they set up combat to their advantage, then that would be a win. Like if you have trap/stun/death glyphs you could set up ahead of a known encounter as an option. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to configure your weapon, defenses, spells and traps to maximize your damage and even crowd control.

8. Stealth: There are few games where you really get the chance to get the drop on someone else. Some action games have it (Batman) and real stealth games rely on it for the majority of their gameplay (Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear) I'd love to be able to Shadow Meld for assassinations (I hope the new Thief does this well), charm/possess/illusion to be able to walk through a city undetected, Mist/Passthru to be able to mitigate crowd control, and even stalk over enemies. That said, I wouldn't want to make an open world game myself.. it's really painful to make those kinds of games. :P More like Arkham Asylum and less like Assassin's creed in terms of world design.

So a new question I have would be, would you play a blended Action/Stealth/RPG-lite game as one of the bretheren in the SR1 Golden/Dark age? Perhaps jumping to another character type (Sarafan or Hylden) to give you a more fully rounded view of the world?

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[303]
Great feedback, everyone. Yeah I feel the same way about a lot of the combat issues in defiance. We had some cool combo starters but it got a little repetitive for me. Like I said before, my favorite combat style was more like SR1 before Raz gets the Reaver because he pulls weapons out of the ground and we had to be creative about where to place spears. I like slower pacing and the ability to throw guys onto spikes. Telekinesis made it a little too easy.

Ben Skywalker, I'd love to see the era where the brethren were newly made, and Kain has some grand machination to manipulate events in a new way. Maybe even going to a time when his younger self was in hibernation and using a spell to make himself look younger to change events and orders.

And swapping between different bretheren with their growing abilities would be fun, just like Calypso694 suggested. I would love to see the Hylden realm. As I said before, it would be cool to see this vast glyph powered city, with its edges being warped by the demon dimension. The glyphs would keep the warping at bay, but they would eventually fail and a whole section would fall to the demon dimension's twisting. It would set up tension within the city, intense resentment, and conflict for resources. I'd really like to add dimension to the Hylden. And while I LOVE LOVE LOVE Raziel, I just don't see him in his blue form reappearing in a future game. It would seem cheesy to bring him back and I think weaken the sacrifice made at the end of Defiance. Now being able to play the vampire brethren version.. that could be interesting, right?

As for Kain, I'd want to hybridize RPG and action elements. Like having slots for embuing elements or glyphs into certain kinds of attacks or setting up a spell menu for quick casting.

And of course, I'd love to see some fight with the Hylden or Elder being grand and epic. (Listen to Lacrimosa Dominae by Immediate on Trailerhead to get what kind of feeling I'd want)
―Daniel Cabuco[304]
We can start a new thread for "Nosgoth".

But don't you wanna just see a game with this guy in it? :P

(The things I speedpaint when I listen to the Man of Steel soundtrack.. haha)
―Daniel Cabuco[305]
Thank you Tanaya and Scion for your detailed responses. Great thoughts and design ideas! The scale though, sounds huge! Something like that would be on the level of Elder Scrolls. Open world RPG plus incredible story is one of the most amazing goals a game can achieve. What would you think of something that was more like the Witcher in terms of camera and scale, with a multiplayer element that allowed for customizable vampire creation (and army development)?

I've just started playing Witcher 2, and see a lot of interesting action/RPG elements in it.

I think we can all agree that the story, voice acting, gothic look, and better camera are must-have elements. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[306]

New Fan Art section openEdit

Hi all,

I opened up a fan art section Feel free to post your images there. I'd love to see what you're passionate about!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[307]

Oh Boy, I'm really asking for a Critice...Edit

Daniel Cabuco[308]

Lexy's StuffEdit

Lexy!

Woo, some really great stuff here. I love the light on Inquisition. Have you ever used the Epic tool called Carapace for perspective? http://epicgames.com/community/2012/11/ ... ic-friday/

I love that you grow and get better with each piece. It's because you practice with thought and the goal of getting better that you're growing exponentially. It has been great to watch your evolution as an artist and I am happy that I helped you in some small measure. (Heck where were you when I was buried under a mountain of mural requests on SR2 and Defiance?) I commented on DA on the Tomb, and will on the others later as well. The Sluagh is great, I can already tell from the pose that you have the essence there. I can't wait to see it finished. Love what you did with the eyes. you *did* take my offhanded suggestion about how to make the eyes glow, didn't you. :)

I look forward to even more of your work.
―Daniel Cabuco[309]

Ciao a tutti ( Hello everyone )Edit

Seconding what Raina said. :)

Benvenuto! Yes post a link to your cosplay on Deviant Art! Feel free to post your fan art here as well. :) Thanks for joining my forum (Graci!)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[310]

InfluencesEdit

Hi Majinkura,

That's a great question! (or set of questions really)

I responded to an ad for a game artist on my college job board at Art Center in Pasadena. I got really lucky that there was a company just starting up who was looking for good art talent (that wasn't too expensive haha)I actually started as an Art Director, but wasn't experienced enough at the time to really pull it off properly. That first job did lead to another job at NovaLogic as a general modeller and texture artist. I did both environments and 3D models. The company I really worked my way up through was Crystal Dynamics (started as an environment texture artist and then got Character lead, then general Art Lead then Art Director)

My motivation was that I did a bunch of other crappy jobs and HATED THE EVER LOVING HELL OUT OF THEM. I delivered pizzas, laser toners, and silk/dry flowers. I worked in a library, a call center, an inventory control company, and as a computer technician building PCs (that job I liked more..) All the while drawing in my sketchbook going 'GOD, just give me a chance and I swear I'll take it as far as I can go.' Man, I was hungry! lol So I finally said, "EFF this, I'm going to art school" and when I finished, the game industry was just starting on the 16bit Nintendo/Sega Genesis war. (I guess this dates me a bit) And when I worked on games.. I found out that I loved it! Loved it waaay more than any other job. Loved it so much I worked til 10 pm regularly, because it was great AND I could get ahead. It wasn't about pay (though being paid to make what you love is freaking the best) but about day to day happiness. As soon as a job makes me miserable I look elsewhere. There have been game companies that I didn't have any fun working for, and that motivated me to to swap out for greener pastures. As an artist, I found a fundamental lack of art leadership from my superiors. So naturally I just became that guy who wanted to push the art to be great and to attack it with boundless enthusiasm. I also said, "If I ever get to be a leader, I want to be the kind of leader I wished I'd had." So as I became a lead and Director, I became intensely interested in getting good at doing it (which is why I wasn't ready for the AD role right out of school) People confuse leadership roles with power a lot. It's not for power in itself that I seek positions of leadership, but to best guide the game artists, while having a great time doing it. I see Art Direction as a service oriented role. One that I'm still working at every day.

Hope that answered your question, Majinkura. Thanks for letting me talk a little about myself. :P
―Daniel Cabuco[311]
Yeah I have had a fair share of jobs. It galvanizes what you want to do in life. :)

From my perspective the games industry has changed. There's been so many shifts from formats, pay schemes, and technology that the industry has sort of polarized between the cheap low budget mobile games to the high end AAA 100 million+ games. It was the games in between those that yielded the most mid-end jobs. On the mobile or free to play side, budgets are low so they either can't hire as many artists or can't pay them a ton of money. The good thing about it is that when they hit big they make tons of money. So there are a lot of mobile/ftp game companies cropping up trying the shotgun effect to find a hit. The flip side is that this creates a huge glut that requires a sort of viral attention to get anywhere (see the Flappy Birds phenomenon) Right now, mobile is trying to get into the same technology as AAA with Unreal and Unity. Unfortunately I see them making a lot of expensive mistakes that hounded the PS1-3 generation of games:bad production planning, overscoping, feature creep, lack of understanding of efficient game creation, lack of craftsmanship from artists. So there's a lot of waste and growing pains there as they drive their trains off a cliff. But like it or not, the technology for mobile is growing, so the tools and production values have to rise (similar to the way consoles jumped, but it's almost skipping a generation going from PS1/2 to 3 power... on our phones and tablets!) This gives them the same challenges as AAA gaming..

AAA gaming is ultra high budget and cost now. I'm seeing ridiculous amounts of money needing to be spent to 'keep up with the Joneses.' This brings up a lot of outsourcing and makes development for such prohibitive for smaller companies without publishing backing. Hence the reason FTP, mobile and indy gaming has surged so much: it represents a series of smaller investments, any of which could 'hit it big'. AAA dev can't afford not to be successful, so we see tons invested in technology, craftsmanship, acting, audio, story, and marketing. Did you know that the marketing budget for a AAA game can be as much as the game itself?

All of this doesn't mean you can't get a job in the game industry, but it does mean there are fewer jobs for the casually committed. There will always be places for standout artists, but for those who sit in the middle, they'll find challenges competing with outsourcing for pure asset creation. The good news is that artists don't have to go to school anymore to get good. They just have to watch videos and practice sharpening their eye and hand until they achieve an outstanding portfolio for what they want to do. But that kind of self motivation is tough, you have to really want it. There are so many distractions out there that you can easily be derailed. Being focused takes discipline and fire in your gut.

Sorry for the long winded response, but you did ask. ;)
―Daniel Cabuco[312]

Hails!Edit

Powitanie, Damian!

Wow another fan from Poland! Very cool. Hope you enjoy your stay here. Feel free to look around, interact with the other great fans here and to ask me any questions.

You can post your own drawings and fan fictions here as well.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[313]

VampiresEdit

Hi Luke27,

Janos was the keeper of the Reaver, the key to the Pillars. He commissioned its creation from Vorador, and only a very high ranking Vampyre could do that. It was he and 8 others who helped weave the Pillars into existence. The Ancients were religious zealots, so their heirarchy was attached to a priesthood of sorts. (one influence on his clothing was a catholic priest's stole, the long scarf like vestment)So I would say that Janos was one of the elite circle that ruled the others. Hmm.. I guess how you rank power is more subjective. I always thought Elder Kain was the oldest and strongest of the non-ancients. Vorador was very old, but age isn't the only measure of power. His evolution/devolution took a different route than Kain's. Remember he more of a creator before he turned down the road of vengeance. His wolf form was quite formidable, but I've never really sat down and laid out who could beat whom in a fight.

I'm not sure I understand your question about reanimated vampires in the SR era. All of them had devolved into feral versions of their former selves. By the time the SR era unfolded, Kain's empire was a pretty bad joke, and it's unlikely he did more than slap around the bretheren to keep them fighting each other in a bizarre balance of power.
―Daniel Cabuco[314]

Fan ArtEdit

Fun piece! I like the angle as well. Quite a challenge. :) I feel like I'd be where Raziel (Wraith) would be standing watching the scene immediately after Janos got his heart torn out. I like that you got every bretheren's armor correct as well. Which one is your favorite?
―Daniel Cabuco[315]

Hello from RainaEdit

Raina!

Wow that was an amazing introduction to read. I loved learning about how you got into Soul Reaver. Yes, there was only 4 way interaction because of the animation tree at the time. As we smoothed out the gameplay and added diagonals, the control only improved. Your passion for the series is well known, and I've always had a deep respect for you as an admin for the other Forums. Again I wanted to thank you for all your help with this one. :D I remember when Richard wrote the line of dialogue with the term "scabrous wretches" and had to look up scabrous. :P I'm glad you're here, Raina. Thanks for posting your artwork and story!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[316]

Fanart by RainaEdit

Aw I should do a how to draw Kain's head tutorial. :P Great stuff Raina, I've always liked the graphic look of your work.
―Daniel Cabuco[317]

Ash Village/Ruined City questionsEdit

Hi Raina, Well that wasn't a level I directly worked on, other than Dumah. It was always left pretty ambiguous. *I* thought it was snow with the buildings long burned to ashes, but I can see the case for it being pure ash. In fact I like it better when I think of it as a city of eternal ash.
―Daniel Cabuco[318]

HelloEdit

Hi Huka!

Let me second Raina's welcome. :) I look forward to reading your stories.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[319]

ResurfacingEdit

Hi All,

Sorry I've been absent from the board for a bit. I've been super busy with work and am just now catching up on all my other projects. (resurfaces from ocean gasping)
Lost Planet 3 is wrapping up for me and I've been working hard on setting up new projects for my current company, Spark Unlimited.
I got a chance to go to Japan for a week (Free trips are da best!) and had a couple of days to myself to explore the city of Tokyo. If you guys get a chance to visit there, I highly recommend it.
I'm going to go thru the board today and answer as much as I can, so thank you for bearing with me. I promise there will be more treats here soon. Hehe.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco, Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:24 am[320]
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm decompressing after finishing Lost Planet 3. Woohoo! I recently had a birthday (woohoo2!) and got myself a wonderful little addition: A Welsh Corgi named Neji!
He's fun, sweet and loving. At 17 weeks, he's the perfect puppy pal for me. (And yes, I named him after my favorite Naruto character. Raziel seemed to dour for him, and Kain is for big dogs.)
He's also ridiculously photogenic.
But I'm back online to answer any and all questions. So fire away!
DC

http://www.dcabdesign.com/forum/download/file.php?id=46
―Daniel Cabuco, Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:18 pm[321]

Raziel's shield and the Balance EmblemEdit

Hi Riael! Welcome and thank you for the kind words. :) I hope people are liking this forum.

Raziel's shield in Defiance didn't make it past the design stage. It would have fundamentally changed the combat system from dodge/slash based to block/dodge/slash based. This meant you'd have to design block breakers into every character to stop people from turtling, compensate for collision (either Raz gets moved back or the enemy has to 'bounce' off him) Fundamentally this would have changed Raziel. (imagine going from Nightcrawler to Captain America, combat wise) The Balance Emblem was a key for enabling Kain to fulfill his destiny as the Scion of Balance. Notice it has eight circular cuts around the outside edge, which slots each of the other 8 Pillars (the key itself representing Balance). Kain only had to keep it on himself to unlock his abilities. It didn't interact physically with the Reaver, it was meant for the Scion of Balance.

Moebius didn't care if Kain had it, since seeking it out kept him busy and out of his 'hair' so to speak. It mattered little to him, he figured he'd have the last laugh when he maneuvered Kain and Raziel into killing each other in Averness. Sometimes you sacrifice advantages to keep your opponent occupied and looking the wrong direction.
―Daniel Cabuco[322]

The Lost City, the Abyss and H.P LovecraftEdit

Hi Dangm16,

Hmm.. I don't know that it will every be revealed, but that's certainly good stuff to explore in another game! Of course Lovecraft has been an influence on LOK, and to a certain extent his ideas have been sort of the template for pan-dimensional madness. (He was an influence on Hellboy, Eternal Darkness, and many other occult style fictions)I didn't work on the original LOK, so I can't speak to how directly Hash was supposed to be a Lovecraftian god, but I do know that Amy's interpretation of him, to me, was genius.

I would love to explore the Abyss and the bonus city more. ^_^
―Daniel Cabuco[323]

Nosgoth/War for NosgothEdit

Sounds like it would have been pretty cool. I can see why they steered clear of Kain.. It's like untangling a box of cords.

Very interesting article! However: "Crystal Dynamics artist Daniel Dacubo confirmed in 2012 that the PS1 environment shown above was meant to be a village called Uschtenheim." Hahaha slaughtered my last name. (She gets it right later in the article. I assume its just a typo)

Well, as I said on facebook's thread, keep an open mind. If it does well then maybe they will make another action adventure Kain game.
―Daniel Cabuco[324]

The Hylden and the Razielim...Edit

Hmm interesting. I hadn't consciously thought of them as bats.. spindly yes.. unusual certainly. What you say makes.. a lot of sense. Even if they weren't truly bats, their similarities to Raziel were pretty pronounced. Hmm.. the glyphs were spells Raziel used.. but the Hylden use Glyphs almost exclusively for their technology. Nice correlation there. I love it! There's so much that could weave together. The Hylden and the Vampires could have been intertwined because of the curse somehow.. ooh. Such juicy things to think about! Great ideas and observations Zyrol!
―Daniel Cabuco[325]
Great analysis, Tim. Yeah I never thought that the Hylden were Razelim per se, but if they were influenced by bats, then they'd see a kindred spirit (or at least a shape) in Raziel. Great stuff about the Vampyres forcing the Hylden from the skies. I like that theory!
―Daniel Cabuco[326]

IntroductionEdit

Hi Lamda and welcome. :)

Did you see the Rahab painting I did on Deviant art? Seems like a popular one for Rahab fans. Please make yourself at home and have fun. Ask me anything (except math questions.. I hate differentials)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[327]

SR2 Dreamcast versionEdit

Hi Raina,

I get that question a lot, haha. Well we had done the air forge and were starting the dark forge when the PS2 came out. At the time, the Dreamcast had the best specs and crushed the PS1.. then the PS2 came out and crushed the Dreamcast. So as developers it was a no brainer. I wanted to do a joke video where I hold up the gold master for the Dreamcast version, am walking out the door to deliver it and someone bumps me, making me drop the copy into the street where someone runs over it with their car.

[Darth Vader]: Nooooooooooooooooooeeeeaaaaauuuuuu!!!
―Daniel Cabuco[328]
*Holds up all the Gold Master versions of Soul Reaver 2*

"Three! Three Versions of Soul Reaver 2-"

  • drops one and it shatters*
"Two! Two versions of Soul Reaver 2! We're done!"
―Daniel Cabuco[329]
Yeah actually.. we could make the levels a lot bigger and more detailed. The Dreamcast had less than half the power of the PS2, so it meant we could up poly counts, which meant we could make bigger worlds. It wasn't a port straight away, just a retooling of areas we already had done. (Dark and Air Forge)
―Daniel Cabuco[330]

New piece up on Deviant ArtEdit

http://spectraljin.deviantart.com/art/I ... -384569780 Fresh off the presses. Or at least my Intuos. Felt like painting a Kain piece. Hehehe
―Daniel Cabuco[331]

Lieutenants and their relationshipEdit

Their interaction was rich and complex. Similar to the Senators of the Roman Empire, they'd be vying for power, creating allegiances and schemes just like everyone else. I didn't have a 'friendster' chart for them though since we didn't explore it in SR1. I do agree with Davinci's observation about Raziel. He grew up a lot over the course of the games.

I think Lt. Raziel would have been close to some bretheren, more distant to others.. but I won't define their relationship more than that because it was meant to be explored and written (either in fanfics or later by Amy/other devs)

Their initial brotherhood would have been like a special forces team, where they all are badass in their teamwork. Once they became clan leaders, though.. well centuries can really change relationships and people. (Think about your own friendships and how they changed over say, a decade)
―Daniel Cabuco[332]

well this is my questionEdit

Hi Kevin,

All of the written dialogue is sent to localization so that we have the source material ready for EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish). Since we only have the voice actors for a limited time, it's a logistical issue to get as much written and recorded as possible, then edit later. VO is largely recorded about 1/3 to 2/3 into the process sound needs time to process the data and get it into the game for memory allocation and balancing. So when it comes to voice over, the old adage holds true: Better to have it and not need it then vice versa.

Hope that answers your questions!
―Daniel Cabuco[333]

Something cute I thought you guys might likeEdit

Hehe cool! I wouldn't mind having that on my desk. Maybe if it goes through a maker-bot (3D printer). Good job, Rebus.
―Daniel Cabuco[334]

The Elder God, Moebius and Kain questions!Edit

Wow, lots of great questions here. Thanks for asking. Since it's so long I'll have to answer in stages. Elder God first.

"1- What does the Elder God see, or how does he see? Do his spectral eyes allow him to peer into the material world? Can he see further than your average mortal entity, can his gaze pierce earth and rock, e.g. can he watch Moebius' travels and the travels of his minions beyond the terrain?" The Elder God sees everything in Spectral and Material that he has grown into. He's nothing but eyes and tentacles, so he represents the omniscience of a Demiurge- a false god. He has tied himself to Raziel and can see what he sees, too. If you notice in SR2, the Elder God is not as pervasive as he is in the later eras in Spectral.

"2- I also wonder, does the Elder God also see the timestream? OR is he omnipresent? For example when Raziel goes back in time in Soul Reaver 2 the Elder God knows him well, even though they had not met chronologically yet the Elder God speaks to him as if he has a constantly present consciousness and perceives time differently." Yes he can see into the time stream, but he can't directly manipulate the future or past. That's why he has servants doing his bidding. Being a spectral entity, he definitely perceives time differently. (Remember that time doesn't seem to move in the Spectral world)

"3-Could the Elder God manipulate the physical world? I know he broke some things and nearly buried Kain in Defiance but could he cause Earthquakes if he so desired? "

He could manipulate it by invading the space in spectral and cause things to rot, decay or fall apart. But only after he fully infested an area in Spectral.

"4- What is the Elder Gods size exactly? You see parts of him across Nosgoth, does he fill the entire worlds "underground" layer? Or just resides under the country/continent/tectonic plate that the main world of Nosgoth resides on?"

It depends on the era, but primarily he inhabited the deep areas of the world. Slowly, he began to pervade upwards always bending and pulling at the material world. So he's more pervasive than just a continent.

"5-What powers does the Elder God have, I have read that he was just at the right place at the right time concerning Raziels "resurrection" and so was not necessarily responsible, but does he actually spin souls in the wheel of fate or does he just eat them up? Does life and death continue as he claims under his will? "

My understanding of the EG is that he's a Demiurge who attached himself parasitically to the wheel of life. (Or perhaps sprung from it) He interrupts the normal flow of souls' reincarnation and feeds on the life energy of the world to grow. He releases some of it back into the world, but like a fat farmer who eats too much of his own stock, the EG bloats himself on the souls of the dead. He bound Raziel to himself in order to be able to feed off the Souls Raziel eats. We've only just scratched the surface of things he could do... hopefully if there are future games, they'll touch back on him as well.

More answers soon!
―Daniel Cabuco[335]
Hi I'm back to answer your questions.

Questions concerning Moebius

1- Does moebius literally see the time stream? e.g.the "paths" of the past, present and future? I wonder if most of his power comes from the Elder Gods "vision" and not simply his own natural power or is it all his own gift?

Moebius sees the time stream the same way Kain does: through the Chronoplast. He's the Guardian of the Time Pillar so his ability is separate from the Elder God's. Before you think,"Well that's not such a great thing then. Not a reall 'power' per se." Think about this: When he looks into the Chronoplast, he sees the various weavings of time, wrapping, unfolding and refolding, and is able to take it in without going mad. Only Kain, as an immortal vampire, had the time to sort out what he sees in the Chronoplast, and it took the better part of a century.

2- Concerning Moebius' Staff I had the impression that based on the fact Vampires are weakened by it, but at the same time it also disabeled the Wraith blade, maybe it weakens the connection between a vampires immortal soul and the host body it resides in? For example when Kain lost the heart of darkness, which was the Necromantic "bond" between his soul and his "body" that Mortanius set up Moebius' staff could no longer effect him. Due to their hearts often being a weakness (through impalement?) I imagine the heart, even if not as special as the Heart of Darkness is one of the most important organs in a Vampires body and may act as the link between soul and flesh?

That's a great interpretation of what importance the heart is to a Vampire. We hadn't really defined it down to that level, but that explanation sounds as good as any. :) Kain, as the embodiment of the Scion of Balance can only be killed by the Soul Reaver, which would pull his soul out with or without a link. (Thank goodness Raziel used a claw instead of his wraith blade)
―Daniel Cabuco[336]
Daniel Cabuco[337]
Scion of Clumsiness wrote:

Kain I have a few questions on Kain, I admit I have not read all questions already asked, just a number of them on the first page or so, forgive me if you've answered some of these already.

1-- When Kain is "killed" by Raziel, I have read that Amy Herring states that his essence as the "scion of balance" allows him to survive, do you know specifically what this means? Can Kain not be killed by any means I wonder? I wonder if his essence as the Scion of balance would have saved him from being buried by the tons of rock from the Elder God had Kain failed to defeat him in time, or if a lucky Sarafan "had" got a clean slash and beheaded Kain, would he still have somehow returned to life?

Kain, as the Scion of Balance, tied to the pillars, could only be killed by the Soul Reaver. (Pillars are the lock, the Reaver is the key) Kain's death by the Soul Reaver would have shattered the last remaining pillar, thus unleashing the Hylden. He was just damn lucky Raziel wanted the Heart of Darkness and grabbed it with his claw instead of stabbing him with the Soul Reaver. Kain can suffer, be damaged, incapacitated, contained and forced to decompose to bats, but not killed. Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 2-- Somewhat connected to some of the above questions, when Kain lost his heart and had died, both Moebius and the Elder God, despite their vast sight and knowledge over Nosgoth and its time streams could not "see" him returning, they did not know despite knowing so much. Did Kain gain some form of free will from the wheel of time and fate? Kind of like how Raziel could not be seen by Moebius?

Kain didn't 'die' per se, but when the heart was pulled, he was thrown into a pocket demon dimension, a place neither the Elder or Moebius could see into. Since he blipped off their radar, they assumed he was dead and didn't look for him. They had a hard time keeping track of him in the first place. Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 3-- What powers did Kain have as an Elder? It seemed strange that he lost his spells he gained in Blood omen 1, and he could not use all powers from BLood omen 2 in Defiance either. I wonder, does Kain still have the knowledge to cast "flay", "Slow time", "Blood shower" etc, can he still perform "Charm" and "mind control" powers, can he still summon lightning from the heavens?

As a being thousands of years into evolution and perhaps the Eldest of the vampires of the Soul reaver era, what gifts did Kain "mutate" that may not have been obvious?

To add further, I read in another thread you said Kain would have, as the Scion of balance powers from all the pillars, what specifically would you suggest he could do with those powers?

Great questions. Kain, in his hundreds of years of evolution, didn't feel he needed subtle spells anymore. Who needs flay when you have a Soul Reaver that can blast their skeleton out of their body, then efficiently consume their blood and souls. He hasn't had a need to sneak into a place for a hundreds of years. (He had lieutenants for that kind of grunt work if needed) Think about all that you learned 10 years ago that you don't use because you basically grew past needing it. Now multiply that by 100 (ie 1000 years). His arrogance also grew as he easily defeated armies of foes. Slow time? Psh.. Didn't even need it anymore. With his lieutenants and clans, his army, what was there to fear? Lone assassin.. good luck. Renegade vampires? (see Soul Reaver) He didn't even need armor anymore. He just grew his skin into hard plates. Remember at the end of SR1, there wasn't anyone to challenge him. He appeared alone in his throne room, probably bored. That said, I really wanted to force him to use some of the old spells on the game after Defiance, where he'd have to create a disguise that faded in sunlight as his skin went back to armor to protect him from its rays. Sigh.. just never happened. I should list all the things I wanted to do with him.. maybe people would think it was cool. Scion of Clumsiness wrote:

4-- This question concerns both Kain and a bit of the Soul reaver, when Raziel wielded the Reaver in Soul reaver 2, it made him almost invincible and his wounds healed instantly. Yet when Kain carries it in Defiance, he does not heal, I also am curious, concerning natural Vampire regeneration as described by Raziel in the original Soul reaver, why didn't Kain heal from his wounds at the hands of Raziel in their fight in Defiance? He did not seem to naturally heal the scar on his chest after awakening in the Demon dimension and the loss of his heart. Did Kain not have natural regeneration, and did he not have any regeneration from the Blood reaver or were these simply balance reasons in the gameplay? (Considering the end of Soul reaver 2 was quite easy considering you were invincible) that in reality Kain did have these healing capabilities?


Kain healed by drinking blood. As did all vampires. Raziel at the end of SR2 was attuned to the Blood Reaver (As it prepared to entrap him)In such a state he was invulnerable.. but was about to be stuck in a Reaver forever. Not a great tradeoff. Kain's original scar was from his impalement and a symbol of his curse from Nupraptor. Getting your heart torn out tends to leave an impression, since it was considered a major part of his being that was torn out, it was healing slower than normal. Once Raziel purified Kain, destroying the curse of Nupraptor, both the hole in his chest and the ancient scar were removed, symbolizing Kain as the purified Scion of Balance. Kain's primary ability as the Scion of Balance was to create new pillar guardians. (which he couldn't do before because of the curse. Everything he created would be subverted.. like the lieutenants) His ability was to also kill the guardians if needed, and to purify others. Again, I think I should post my thoughts for what I wanted to do Post Defiance.

Hope this answers your questions so far! Thanks for this awesome post.
―Daniel Cabuco[338]
Hey Scion,

Yeah I hadn't thought about it much, but I guess his heart would have grown back. He's complete and whole again, so that follows. Yeah Kain wouldn't die to the Blood Reaver, only the Soul Reaver (sword with Raziel in it) or Raziel's Wraith Blade (Raziel x Raziel)


Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[339]
I'm.. I'm slowly getting to the bottom of the question list! Haha (laughs maniacally) Sorry I had to keep breaking it up, but each question is so good, that it takes me a long time to think about the answers and write them down properly.

Scion of Clumsiness wrote: The Soul reaver

1-- Does the Soul reaver with Raziel within block the other powers of the Reaver, like aforementioned healing and blood drinking? Do the "emblems" Kain collected that power the reaver become inactive with the Blade becoming the soul reaver?

How much more powerful do you want the Reaver be? Lol! You kill someone with it and their skeleton flies out of their skin, and their soul gets devoured. It stopped being a blood devouring weapon once Raziel entered it. However, I imagine it would still retain Raziel's ability to become imbued with certain elements or aspects temporarily. The Emblems were a means for Kain to imbue the Reaver and (I feel) are redundant and unnecessary now that Raziel's soul resides within.

Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 2-- Is the Soul reaver indestructible aside from the Paradox? Could it not have broken through extended use or someone strong like Kain, Dumah or the Elder God trying to break it with all their strength?

Yep. The only thing that can break a Reaver is another Reaver (Kain vs William, or Kain hitting Blue Raz) The weapon is forged not just of metal, but with the energies tied to the Pillars. Just as the Pillars are physically indestructible until their guardian dies (despite the Elder tugging on them for centuries), the Reaver is similarly invulnderable.

Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 3-- When the Soul reaver wielded by William hit Kain, Kain says he drank blood to regain the life the sword took from him or something to that effect, yet when regular people are hit with the soul reaver they exploded. Is there a special reason why Kain himself did not explode and only had lesser wounds?


Kain is the Scion of Balance and a lot tougher than normal people. I don't believe any of the Guardians went down to a single hit from the Reaver. Now if Kain had been killed by William (ie run thru the Heart of Darkness and killed) then he would have permanently died.

Hope that helps answer your questions about the Soul Reaver. Send me more when you think of them. :P
―Daniel Cabuco[340]
Scion of Clumsiness wrote:

The Soul reaver

1-- Does the Soul reaver with Raziel within block the other powers of the Reaver, like aforementioned healing and blood drinking? Do the "emblems" Kain collected that power the reaver become inactive with the Blade becoming the soul reaver?


The Soul Reaver is the Blood Reaver transformed. It no longer acts as a blood drinking weapon but instead drains their souls. Kain's emblems were for the Scion of Balance, not really for the Reaver per se. While the Soul Reaver could be temporarily embued, I don't think it would retain any of the old abilities from the emblems.

Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 2-- Is the Soul reaver indestructible aside from the Paradox? Could it not have broken through extended use or someone strong like Kain, Dumah or the Elder God trying to break it with all their strength?

Yep. It's the key to the Pillars and as indestructible as they are. You could balance Dumah, Melchiah and Turel on the blade and have them hopping on it with all their might and it wouldn't snap. Only the paradox of trying to reave your own soul broke it.

Scion of Clumsiness wrote: 3-- When the Soul reaver wielded by William hit Kain, Kain says he drank blood to regain the life the sword took from him or something to that effect, yet when regular people are hit with the soul reaver they exploded. Is there a special reason why Kain himself did not explode and only had lesser wounds?


Kain was unusually resistant to the blade's effects because of his tie to the Pillar of Balance, and the fact that he was created with the Heart of Darkness inside him. It was only able to cut him and drain life energy from him through various nicks and scratches. Even these did massive damage to him. If the sword had driven through the Heart of Darkness, Kain would have died, and the Pillars shattered. Thus the Reaver is the Key, Kain is the Lock.
―Daniel Cabuco[341]
Hmm.. I don't personally like end games that wrap things up so nicely. Probably if the Elder dies, there'll be a great release of souls (I used to think there was one for every eye he had) and the world would enter a new era of growth from that moment on.
―Daniel Cabuco[342]

'ello :)Edit

Hi Little Shadow!

Welcome welcome! I'm so happy you got a chance to play SR and enjoyed it at such a young age. Wait was that too young for the ESRB.. whatevs.. I played D and D before the 'suggested' age of 11.

Some people mature in their tastes faster than others, and I think young teens get the short end of the stick in terms of what they can really absorb and imagine.

Congrats on getting accepted to the Surgical Technology Program! That's so awesome! (High Five) I learned German in high school (Wie gehts?) and also just enough Japanese to be dangerous in Tokyo. (Zakkenayo!) Before I went into art full time as a career, I did consider becoming a marine biologist, because I love dolphins and marine life. All those games you mentioned are high on my list. Right now I'm playing Dragon's Crown a lot, because I love side scrolling brawlers.. with friends! I find that going through my books and websites of my favorite artists inspires me to draw a lot. (And throwing good music like Two Steps from Hell on) Keep a little sketchbook on you and draw stuff that amuses you. You'll find it a handy way to relieve stress and enjoy yourself more. Thank you for being a member of my little forum. It grew a lot bigger than I would have imagined and I'm happy that people like it. Feel free to fire any questions you have at me. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[343]

Lost Planet 3 is out now!Edit

Hey guys,

After 3 years of hard work, the game I recently art directed, Lost Planet 3, is finally out. It's not like previous versions, it's more story and character based than mindless over the top shooter. It was right up my alley in terms of game style. (Uncharted and Soul Reaverish in terms of story telling) I hope you all give it a try. So far people who've given it a chance have been loving it (4.5 stars on Xbox 360's channel. About 3,600 reviews) Thanks for all your support in the forum and of my work. I'll continue to ramp up this forum and will be updating everyone on my life/goings on. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[344]

NOSGOTHEdit

So today was the big announcement for the new game, Nosgoth.

(Previously war of Nosgoth) http://www.vg247.com/2013/09/25/nosgoth ... nt-page-1/

What do you all think of the designs and gameplay? Anything stand out to you so far?

I think it was smart to put this game in the era that it is. It circumvent all the story issues. Lets discuss. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[345]
Well, I think this is a very different kind of game. It's not history defining for the main LOK Plot, but I think it's a fertile ground for learning more about how the clans interact, and the period of chaos before Nosgoth became a burned out husk that Raziel ends up adventuring through.

Let's look at it this way: It might not be the game you want, but it's a step in the right direction for keeping the franchise alive. That could lead to the type of LOK game that you *do* want being made. The developers need critical feedback (More than, 'this sucks!') Imagine if there was a way for them to fold interesting story bits into the war. Since it's free to play, that means there's a lot of content they can add to it as they develop. This is a golden opportunity to help them make better story based decisions. Personally I've always wanted to tell the story of the Razielhim, or how the Dumahim interact with Turelhim. Animosity? Suspicion? Dominance?

They're also trying to expand the fan base, to get people who've never heard of Nosgoth or Legacy of Kain, to check it out. It's a shock to go from careful story based gameplay to twich factor PVP, but try to keep an open mind until you try it. As a free to play game, there's nothing to lose really.
―Daniel Cabuco[346]
Yeah I'm hoping to get in to the open beta as well. Maybe we'll cross swords/claws or get a chance to do a raid together. That'd be interesting!

I'm curious to art styles and choices, and hope they can recapture the feel of that era of time, when the tide of humanity rose up in opposition to Kain's doomed empire.

The clan's begin their devolution, twisting under the curse of Nupraptor's spell, which forever damned Kain's creations to eventual monstrosity. Noting the number of fingers they have, it looks like they're devolving before they even reach an advanced state.
―Daniel Cabuco[347]
Daniel Cabuco[348]
And in the end, that's still a win in my book. If it leads to a story based game set in the SR world, then let's support it! :)
―Daniel Cabuco[349]
Hey Vampmaster,

Yeah, Kain was was a tactician and strategist. Everything he said had a purpose, and some of it not interpreted literally. We did want to leave the part open in case we revisited it. It was also a bit of bravado; Kain was putting Raziel in his place. The Vampires, all of them, were his to do with as he pleased.

It certainly started the fight off on a good, angry footing.
―Daniel Cabuco[350]
Thanks for clarifying it for me, Raina. I always thought that since Raziel had developed the wings, his prodigy weren't far behind in their evolution. It makes sense that the surviving Razielhim have wings. It's still a gift.. one I think that's not necessarily a devolution trait.
―Daniel Cabuco[351]
Well I think people were holding out hope that some few un-devolved Razielhim might have escaped the purge. I think they were upset about the fact that this could have been a cool angle and reveal. Seeing them devolved and enslaved kind of took the wind out of that idea (though that's the fate that befell SOME of them, there's a lot of room to make new ideas and stories about the survivors of the massacre)
―Daniel Cabuco[352]
Haha totally. I am sure they will be around in some way eventually. They're just tackling the ground based guys first (well air based too if you include the Razielim)
―Daniel Cabuco[353]
I like playing both. I am gonna jump in and play it, as well. :) Maybe I'll see you online.
―Daniel Cabuco[354]
Yeah multiplayer games, unfortunately, have a tendency to create this name calling culture. I hate it too.. maybe we could form a private gaming club and then we could role play. Closed sessions with friends from that club would work a lot better than screaming kids putting you down for dying. (I don't play GTA online anymore unless it's closed sessions) We could even have prizes for the top players.. I could draw their favorite character or their own character as a clan member and give it them the original signed sketch. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[355]
Done!! See the new thread! :)
―Daniel Cabuco[356]

HewoEdit

Hehe I like your take on 2001 with the Frank Miller /Sin City approach. Very cool! I hope you've been enjoying your time here on the forum! DC
―Daniel Cabuco[357]

SR1 Development, SR2 Airforge Mural, Defiance Whale ArchonsEdit

Hi Craftmused,

Thanks for all the great questions. I like reading your feedback and stories leading up to the question.

Craftmused Audron wrote: SR1. So, in this game a lot of the gameplay aspects are different from the rest. the level of attention for the atmosphere is on a wholly diferent level, that spiral shaped health bar is all kinds of genius in GUI simplicity, great balance between no gui and informative display by making it a simple symbol. The way you kill the enemies is just completely unique, it was only watered down from then on. The designs of the creatures is just so unique, there's something about the idea that personal decisions of each LT drove the evolutions of his clan and took them in separate paths. Nothing like that was ever seen in LOK again, I liked single designs like the Electric Demons and Nupuraptor, but I always missed the idea of branching evolutions born from decisions, that idea was just enthralling to me.

SR1 Question: I noticed that this guy Seth Carus is credited with story in SR1 and no other LOK game, did he have anything to do with the differences of gameplay or setting, or the mood in SR1 as compared to SR2/Defiance?

Seth was indeed a great influence on Soul Reaver. He wasn't wholly responsible for the gameplay differences you site; the gameplay and setting were intertwined. Once we changed the setting to pre LOK, it changed a lot of the gameplay from the original SR. You had different types of enemies and killed them in different ways. I always wanted to go back to the time of the bretheren or SR, it was more industrial/city of lost children like. I can't tell you what percentage what Seth's contribution, but he did live a goth lifestyle and I'm sure that helped push the feel of the game in that direction. Craftmused Audron wrote: SR2 The cutscenes of SR2 were the first that had the character monologuing while analyzing murals, all the things the characters would find in them and how they changed their minds about the world semed to suggest "look at every mural in our games! they all have codified information and if you just pay attention to symbology in them and correlate to what we say in the story, you'll find secrets just like Raziel does" I did. I looked at the Air forge in specific. it was always very creepy to me because of all the Ancient sacrifice imagery. Then it hit me. There is all these images of Ancients ripping hearts out of other Ancients. Then here you have these decomposing bodies...what if these bodies are ancients that got their wings clipped and have been deprived of their hearts for so long their bodies decomposed? Maybe Janos was not the last Ancient, it was these sacrifice guys from the Air Fogre puzzle. Who knows how important they were! For that matter who do the giant faces in the forge serve??? who knows what great god has consumed these souls and for what purpose! They are probably as important as Janos if not more! I really thought this would be a key plot point later on, as important as the reaver being broken, Kain saving raziel from the Soul Reaver or Raziel chosing NOT to slay Kain.

I remember asking Ben Lincoln and he just said something like nope, I asked one of the guys who works at CD and it's just a tip for a puzzle, but that's a good idea for a fanfic!

The feedback wasnt negative at all, but I was very disillusioned back then, I felt I had been implied a message in-game but when I acted on it...there was nothing, it was just a prop to get me to move to the next room. I realized that Amy was not a machiavellic genius that knew the meaning of everything that went into the game, instead she was more about making unsuspected relationships between things that other people did, sort of explaining backwards. I'm not saying she's bad at it, she's still genius and I loved the way she threaded all the continuity of the series, surprised us fans with every new LOK and managed to fit even BO2 into the plot, but still knowing she was not infallible crushed me as a fan back then. I had you Amy and Kurt in god levels in my head, but now you were human again :p it also had that crazed fan element of "I want this in the game so YOU MUST DO IT!!" where the fans thinks himself the boss. I remember my brother saying to me I treated these games like religion, and thinking of how much importance I gave to these murals I guess he had a point, I expected some kind of spiritual revelation on top of plot points!

SR2 Question: Do you have any extra information about the airforge murals where they sacrifice Ancients? :p I read A LOT into them, I'd like to know any dev-thoughts about them.

LOL I have some funny stories about the Air Forge. But first, I want to tell you that while we didn't have it 'all worked out' for the Air Forge, we wanted to tell enough of a story that we could expound on it later if need be. (or any of the forges for that matter) One thing you'll learn in the course of story creation is to leave yourself open doors, places to explore later if need be. We wanted to show a more sinister nature to the original Vampires, and how they may have interpreted the voices they heard. I'm glad you read so much into it and would have loved to create more using it as a launching point. Things like factions inside the Vampire society (hinted at the differences between the forges, and the murals in Vorador's mansion in Defiance)

Craftmused Audron wrote: Defiance. Before Defiance was released, an image was teased of a big whale-like creature (cant really find it at dark chronicle =/), they told us it was an Archon, a minion of the elder god. I looked at it, and I saw some parallels with Raziel, the clawed arms were kind of like the arms/flippers of the whale, and the jaws were kind of like Raz's ribcage so I made a connection: these are the OFFSPRING of Wraith Raziel, these wraiths are what he'll literally devolve to, wether he achieves freedom from the Soul Reaver or not!

I remember I was so into the idea I thought of a half Archon devolved Raziel, who had grouwths from his ribcage kinda like the claws of a Shrimp mantis or the mask "claws" of a Dragonfly Nymph instead of the cowl. His lack of cowl symbolized he accepted he WAS the ravenous WraithBlade so now he could project it from wherever in his body and change it's shape. I remember imagining him opening his jaw/ribcage, projecting a really powerful wraithblade from his chesthole, ripping the soul out of the enemy, then the wraithblade morphed into the usual vortex that sucked the soul in. =) I knew that wasnt gonna happen by then but I had fun thinking out MY way to make a kill that removed the soul (defiance's new feature if you remember).

Defiance Question: Do you remember anything about the creation of that whale-like Archon picture? was a visual connection to raziel's body intented? How DO the Archons come to be, where do they come from? does the EG just spew out some eggs or something?

Archons are soul eaters that came to spawn out of the Spectral World. Parasites that mysteriously came into being out of the Elder God's gluttonous growth. The original design was to have them camouflaged in the world and ready to pounce on poor Raziel, stealing souls from him, devouring Sluagh and even wraiths. I've enclosed the original design. I'm not sure if this is what you saw before or if it was something else.

Thanks for your feedback, it's awesome to hear from such a great fan, even after all these years.
―Daniel Cabuco[358]
Ah yeah, that was Jake Wendler's concept painting. Yea they were always supposed to have some resemblance to Raziel or soul eaters in general.
―Daniel Cabuco[359]

Turel's SR1 character modelEdit

Nice one Raina!

Ok, so no, Turel wasn't going to be literally chained. The concept has a shadow but not a hole in his neck. I think you're referencing two different concepts. One was for the Turelheim, which had large leather and metal collars on their necks, and one is the original texture painting for Turel. (Complete with blood pouring down his face and neck)

It's an interesting thought. I don't think that Turel would have devolved quite that much by the time of Nosgoth's War. (I would give him that cool corset belt that's bolted into his skin.. )
―Daniel Cabuco[360]
I think the proportions would be a little different. The way the old model was shaping up, he was going to have a greater haunch back, and be about about the same size as Dumah/Melchiah.

From what I remember, Turel's fight involved his force blasts and tricking him into destroying the pillars or walls holding back a volume of water. His area was a cistern maze that had been walled off in certain areas with wood that had started to rot in areas.

When we decided that Turel wasn't going to to be in the game, we changed it to Morlock. Since we had the dialogue written, it made sense to leverage what we already had. Incidentally before any of the vampires had clan names, they were give code words to identify them.

Turelhim = Morlocks Melchiahim = Skinners Rahabim = Aluka Dumahim = Ronin Zephonhim = WallCrawlers

So if you ever see the readouts during gameplay, this is how they were referenced by engineers. You may see their ai, or an error message referencing these names if you turn on the stat cheats that show what the game is 'thinking' about at any given time.
―Daniel Cabuco[361]

Hey Dan, dont you think Hyper Light Drifter is awesome?Edit

Dude, this kicks ass! Love the atmosphere. I didn't even know about it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'll definitely check it out! (Maybe do some fan art too!)

You know I am always amazed and humbled to hear that so many people like Soul Reaver. It means that the work and aesthetic we had resonated with people. Pretty amazing!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[362]

Conceptart tasks simulation?Edit

That's a great suggestion Craftmused. Let me think about how best to set that up. I could offer drawings and sketches as prizes (or even custom LOK artwork like I did for the Lieutenants)...
―Daniel Cabuco[363]

The Bloodletting of the FledglingsEdit

Wow that was great, Huka. I love your descriptive prose and they sumptuous way you relayed the battle. It reminded me for R.A. Salvatore's writing fro Drizzt. I could clearly see the combat in my mind's eye so clearly I could storyboard it.

Thank you for that wonderful story! (Please write more)


Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[364]

Saying HiEdit

Here's the higher res image of the 'saying hi' graphic on the forum introduction section. It was from my Turel concept for Defiance showing scale between Raziel and Turel.
―Daniel Cabuco[365]
No this is a forum exclusive! Hehe
―Daniel Cabuco[366]

Original Stained Glass Sketch from SR2Edit

Here's one from my sketchbooks:

The original sketch used for the Stained Glass inside the Sarafan Stronghold of SR2. I was asked to depict Janos as a monster, and the pulling of the Heart of Darkness as a holy event.

Everything was kept fairly realistic except the heart, which I wanted to keep symbolic.

Growing up in a Catholic School, I saw a lot of stained glass on a daily basis. While some of it could be downright grisly, it never bothered me. Instead, there were proportion, scale, and perspective issues that bugged the crap out of me, even as an eleven year old. Some angels had only one wing, or missing symmetrical feather counts... oooh that got to me.

Anyway, I'll be posting more sketches as I find them. Enjoy!

-Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[367]

More Soul Reaver QuestionsEdit

redeemer6666 wrote:

Hi Daniel im a huge fan of the legacy of kain games and i'd just like say thanks for all your hard work and contributions to the series, and for taking the time to answer all our geekish questions  :D


Hi Redeemer and welcome! (echo echo echo) I'm here to answer all questions, just like an Oracle! (But less hot and slow motion-y)

redeemer6666 wrote: That being said i'd like to ask a few questions about Soul Reaver (my fav of the series)

1. There's a couple of locations from the original blood omen in soul reaver e.g. Nuprator's retreat Oracle's cave, was there ever plans to include any of the places say like Maleks bastion or Dark eden?


We did plan Malek's Bastion, but I don't think it got past the planning stage. Pretty much all the nods to Blood Omen were set up and executed that we wanted.

redeemer6666 wrote: 2. Was there ever any other main characters/bosses cut than the priestess, Turel and final Kain?

No, that was the sum total of the bosses we had cut out. Each boss was tied to a mechanic, so as we removed a boss, we removed their area, and their mechanic. Then design had to play balance what was cut to how enemies interacted, ai, and abilities. So on the one hand cutting a boss saved us time (yay), but it was like tearing out a whole system and mending it (Imagine removing your endocrine system, for example. It was all pretty integrated)


redeemer6666 wrote: 3. In the original ending raziel faces kain at his mountain retreat. What would this level of been like, would kain have had any guards or traps protecting him, or would it have been solely used for the final battle rather than a full level? Also the design of the level intrigues me, would it have contained any nods to blood omen such as relics or trophies on display e.g. Kain's armors or weapons?

Kain's final boss level would have had more puzzles than anything else. There might have been elite versions of enemies you already faced, but we didn't get too far into it before it got moved to the Chronoplast. I think we'd have loved to put a hall of armor and weapons from BO1 for the retreat, as well as trophies of kills. (Malek's helmet was one I kept trying to put in the game.. there just wasn't a good place for it) Basically a great spot for BO fans to see what Kain did in the centuries following. (I would have added mystery armor and weapons as well) Imagine a long hallway with Iron, Bone, Chaos, Flesh, and Wraith armor next to some pillars.. I wanted to have Raziel strike down Ariel in order to imbue the Reaver with the ability to Kill Kain, and Amy liked the idea, so we put a version of that in the Chronoplast.. which came true, but in a different way.


redeemer6666 wrote: 4. How would this final battle of played out? Was it ever planned in full and how would it have played? Would kain have simply teleported about shooting lightning like the chronoplast battle or would he have used some of his toys and tricks from blood omen? (HAVOK and MALICE anyone???) :twisted:


I'd imagine we'd take his spells from BO and integrate them for his use depending on what the puzzle was to beating him. (Similar to how Blood Gout or shower are at-will powers for him now)FLAY would have been a cool spell too. Havok and Malice would have been cool to up-design and put on the wall.. hehe.

redeemer6666 wrote: 5. Pretty much the same question as above but about the priestess, How would that have played? My guess is she called in minion's with her groovy mind powers  :D

Ok so the Priestess was tied to the Undercity, which was gorgeous.. man I was sad we couldn't get that on PS1. It was a nod to Lebbeus Woods, the famous architect. The Priestess was a mind/spirit controller, so Raz would enter this arena with several doors around him. There would be several gladatorial waves of controlled enemies (humans, worshippers, Dumahim, Melchiahim, etc.)and she would be on this couch at the top. Raz would have to mop up the crew and glide to hit her a few times before he'd be forced back down to deal with the next wave. So yeah, groovy mind powers.

redeemer6666 wrote: 6. Same question again lol but for turel this time? I checked out the cut dialog, something to do with drowning him right? But how, Coolant system to the smokestack perhaps?

Man, Turel's was a TK battle if I remember it right. I think we still wanted him blind with the big ears, but it would have been in a giant room with various pillars. You'd have to 'Matador' him into smashing into them. Each one he knocked down would cause the room to flood and yeah, drowning him. I forget where the water was supposed to be from...

redeemer6666 wrote: 7. Ariel's soul is stuck at the pillars as per the curse. How would she have appeared in kains retreat for her binding to the reaver?


Ariel was freed from her curse when Raziel created the Purified Spirit Reaver. She and the spirits of ALL the Balance Guardians were recalled into a single entity and bound to the Reaver. So it didn't matter where they were in space or time, they got called to Raz.

redeemer6666 wrote: 8. In the original ending raziel opens the sound pipes and kills all the vampires in nosgoth, would there have been a final boss here or after?

No that was the cutscene AFTER Raziel kills Kain. It would have been amazing.. and expensive.. and amazing!!!!! But Kain was always meant to be the final boss

redeemer6666 wrote: 9. Not so much a question but i'd like your opinion, In soul reaver when raziel breaches the human citadel he remarks about how the human architects hadn't planned for a winged assault. In this new Nosgoth game (i try to not be skeptical)  :lol: Razielim are shown alive and well flying about snatching up humans left and right, In my opinion the statement above coupled with the decimation of raziels clan headquarters points to them never even evolving wings before their extinction by the other clans. I know its just a multiplayer PvP and flying around would be fun, but i cant help thinking it harms the world lore-wise. In short the developers excuses for their inclusion just dont fly right,and neither should the razielm  :lol: I know you guys left it deliberately vague, but what fate do you believe befell them?

Well you're talking about centuries between Nosgoth (the game) and Soul Reaver. People get complacent pretty quickly. I wanted to have one city that had waterfalls and moats because it kept the vampires out, only to have the Rahabim leap out of there to decimate them. Not every human city would have fought every clan equally. As for the Razielhim, well, I have a whole theory about it- I believe some were persecuted and killed, others may have fled and hidden as a forsaken breed. I have a whole story I wanted to write up about it.

redeemer6666 wrote: Hope you can help answer my questions and i'd like to thank you one last time for making one of the best games to ever grace a disk.


Thank you! That means so much to me (and to all the artists, engineers, designers, sound, and animation crew) Every so often in your career you're allowed to make something that just fits you perfectly. Soul Reaver was that game for me. It seems to have resonated with other people's sensibilities, and was pretty unique for when it was made. (Amy told me once me how, if the engineers knew how hard it would be to program Spectral, they wouldn't have done it.) So against all odds, we were allowed to make something that was just.. badass. >:)

-Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[368]

The Dark Prophecy and the characters' fatesEdit

Hi Featherine,

I have covered this previously in other posts, but can give you a quick run down. Dark Prophecy would have concerned the Hylden, the Demon Realm, and Hylden King. Kain, meeting with a Seer who was descended from both Hylden and Vampire bloodlines (Therefore not banished, but very much shunned by others) would travel to the Demon Realm to see the Hylden city, slowly being warped and transformed. Their Glyph magic being the only thing that holds off the damning effects of the Demon Realm. Raziel was a non issue, his story was finished in Soul Reaver and indeed he would slowly become the mad, ravenous entity that the sword is destined to be. Vorador was due to come to a come to an end, possibly at Kain's hands (we hadn't worked it out yet) but felt he was a competing force with Kain's. It might have changed the meaning of Kain's earring from homage to victory trophy.. but we were still sassing that out. Janos would be inside the demon realm, himself warped and almost unrecognizable. We were playing with Kain learning something important about the pillars and either mercy killing him or battling him as a deranged boss. Again there were many ideas and storylines we were still playing with and figuring out. What I told you here was as far as we got before Eidos pulled the plug on it. Did this answer your questions? I can illuminate any of these points further, and again, they weren't set in stone, but rather a framework of ideas we could change if needed.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[369]
Hi Tim,

Nice thoughts! Hmm.. I think there's a lot you can still get out of Vorador, too. But I feel like we shouldn't be trying to squeeze every last ounce of usability out of them just for the sake of it. New characters can be introduced, and should serve as catalysts for the storyline. I like how you give Kain a choice in how he deals with the Hylden and Vorador. Incidentally, back when we were on Defiance, one of the missions was to take Vorador's severed head off the Moebius statue and bring it back to his body, thus reviving him. Unfortunately we ran out of time to complete the mission, and had to leave it on the chopping block (forgive my pun haha). How the relationship between Vorador and Kain would have worked is an interesting question. I also postulated that Kain had the ring to summon a banished or self-banished Vorador. Not counting his period of death, he'd be older than Kain.. which is a fun prospect to concept out. (read: make him even more badass) There are just so many great ways to go with the storyline. :) Reviving the Ancient's bloodline could be neat..! Kain's new role as the Scion of Balance means that his new creations wouldn't be destined to devolve. Personally I think he'd be out to restore the Pillar Guardians and turn them into Vampires. But that's a lot of missions!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[370]
We were playing with 'defeat' rather than slay. The Elder God is a powerful entity that exists just about everywhere, so killing him is no simple task. Besides, he makes a great antagonist, and we were hoping to use him for future games.
―Daniel Cabuco[371]
Hey Yarullin,

No it wasn't meant to be the final game, just a proving ground for further games. When it died, so did prospects for moving forward with the franchise. (Personally I wanted a new trilogy hehe) Um.. one of the real hard and fast rules is that you can't reave your own soul. That's why the sword shattered on Raziel when Kain hit him with it.

If the same was true for the EG, the SR would shatter. Besides, I don't think the EG has a single soul, per se. He is an amalgamation of lost and devoured souls. An atrocity and abomination.
―Daniel Cabuco[372]
Well Defiance ended Raziel's story. To simply end Kain's with a single game would be really difficult. You'd have to wrap up an awful lot. Ultimately there are a lot of hopes that go into any game made from a publisher and studio side.
―Daniel Cabuco[373]

Anybody can help me??Edit

You can address any concerns or questions to me. Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[374]

Own an original art piece by Daniel CabucoEdit

Hi!

Ever wanted to own an original art piece by me? Now's your chance, I have an original, signed, hand drawn piece of artwork called Rain of Fire up on Ebay. The proceeds benefit my friend's daughter's school, to whom I donated the piece. (It turned out great actually.. I didn't want to give it to him after I was done! lol) See it here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Art-Da ... 4616066844

It's 16 x 20 on illustration board and ready to be matted or framed.

This is original, one of a kind. No print or copy will be made of it.

Thanks everyone!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[375]
Here's a snapshot of me holding 'Rain of Fire' for auction. It gives a good idea of the scale of the piece.
―Daniel Cabuco[376]

Hey there!Edit

Hi Memento and welcome! Wie Gehts? Thanks for joining us and please don't hesitate to fire off questions! :)
―Daniel Cabuco[377]

An attack on the forumsEdit

Thank you, Raina for your diligent help as well.

For now all new users have to be approved by admin. This kind of stuff happens annually, and unfortunately takes a little time to clear out. Hopefully this will keep the board spam free for the immediate future. Thanks for your patience everyone.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[378]
Works for me. :) DC
―Daniel Cabuco[379]

Defiance storyboardEdit

I recently uncovered an old storyboard from Defiance, where Raziel first meets an Archon. It didn't come out exactly like this in the game, but the jist of it carried through. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[380]

SR2 Crew Tshirt designEdit

Back when we were working on SR2, I was talking with our producers about making a limited run Team Shirt that we could wear to E3. I didn't want to have something garish or obvious on the front, so I settled on the Soul Reaver symbol. In the end, we didn't have the colors to produce the SR2 symbol as pictured.. so I told them to make it white (which was a good call.. it actually shows up better) Here's the original drawing, the inking I did for it, and the final design we submitted.
―Daniel Cabuco[381]
Inked drawing
―Daniel Cabuco[382]
Colored Raziel symbol (was turned white for the final design)
―Daniel Cabuco[383]
Design for the back. We had to shrink it a little for the printer since they couldn't go that far to the edge.

We each only got one because it was such a limited production run. If anyone has one of these, consider yourself lucky! They were a hot commodity when they came out, lol. It was a hit at E3... but not everyone was able to go because we were in the middle of a deadline. I do get stopped whenever I wear it and people ask what I did on the game.. so mission accomplished with it!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[384]

Legacy of Kain in general.Edit

Hi Melissa,

Well, as I said before, it may not be the game you wanted, but supporting it helps build a future for the game you do want. Picking a time between Raziel's fall and resurrection gives a lot of leeway for the aesthetics to be different. I think there's room for it, and that it deserves a chance to be played and seen. Some people liked Blood Omen better, some people liked Soul Reaver better (both were very different aesthetically) When the time comes for a single player game, I am sure there will be a great story in place. I like that because they felt the single player game wasn't up to par, they didn't push it through. It's a step in the right direction, even if you don't like it exactly.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[385]

What to paint next? Take a vote!Edit

Hey Party People,

With the holidays coming up I have a little time to do a painting (not much lol) So I want to ask, what should I paint next?

Melchiah as a portrait (like Zephon and Dumah)? The Razielim at a time before Raz gets the Abyss treatment? Turel as a portrait?

Now this is what you want to see next, and doesn't mean I won't ever paint the others. :) Let me know your thoughts. You can also change your vote whenever you like, but I plan on doing this over the Xmas break, so try to get your vote in before the 25th. Graci!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[386]
Thanks for voting everyone. So right now it looks like Elzevir the dollmaker is in the lead...

NOT.

Bwahahaha! Seriously folks thanks for taking the time to let me know what you want. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[387]
If I ever get the time, sure. Lol
―Daniel Cabuco[388]

A grant hello for everyoneEdit

Hi Patrick,

Welcome! Wow you played it when you were seven?! I thought my sister was young to have tested it at 14.. haha. Thanks for your kind words. If you have any questions about technique, let me know.

Best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[389]

Kain's journeyEdit

Hey there,

The forges were ways to grant the Reaver abilities and attributes. To say the Purified Soul Reaver couldn't take on other abilities for a short time would be very limiting. By his very nature, Raziel can absorb abilities from forges and souls, so having him in the Reaver, it makes sense you can still embue it with abilities or elements. The hardest aspect we had with the design was that the Soul Reaver is pretty much a 1 hit kill weapon, so we were looking for ways to balance it in combat. It was a long afternoon.. lol. Basically the story part would be that the Reaver could absorb elements temporarily to activate Vampire technologies like doors or locations. There were places where the Elder God's voice came through more loudly, but he's pervasive to Nosgoth, and just is more 'grown in' in some areas. (See SR2 to see where he grows under the Pillars)

I mentioned this before, but I imagined Kain going into the Demon/Hylden realm, travelling to new places in Nosgoth, and travelling in time to other locations in the SR era. Creating or discovering new Pillar Guardians would have been his mission.

I didn't see Kain defeating the Elder God definitively, and if we wanted to continue past DP we'd have to either use the Hylden or EG as antagonists.
―Daniel Cabuco[390]

Camera SystemEdit

Hi!

Great question. While I can't get into the technical nitty gritty I can give you a high level lay person's understanding of it.

Imagine the camera is bound to a spline in the world, with it's target always on Raziel. We would, by hand, set up splines to best encapsulate the action, and the engineers would give the 'look target' a soft bubble to move in before it adjusted the camera forward or backward to it's next keyframe. That way the camera wasn't constantly moving or jagging back and forth if you ran a little forward then turned around. This was primarily to make combat legible. When we wanted the camera to jump we'd make a trigger polygon in a doorway or hall that would make the camera jump to the next location. Now these were single sided and usually offset in a way that if Raziel were to wiggle back and forth in a portal he wouldn't jump between splines too quickly. (ie the triggers weren't set up back to back) Each spline and target mass had to be tested to make sure that Raziel didn't disappear out of view and that it didn't go directly under the camera. This would result in gimbal lock and have the camera spinning on it's axis, thereby flipping it's reference points until it was unable to follow raziel on one or more of it's axes (plural axis). You may have encountered this kind of gimbal lock on old Grand Theft Autos.

Hope this answers your question. :)

Best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[391]
Merry Christmas to you as well, Patrick.

BTW I don't think technical nitty gritty would have done you much good unless you are operating on the old Soul Reaver Engine. The basics of what I told you though should translate over to either Unreal or Unity, which are engines you would have access to. If you get a chance, you should disassemble a game that exists already and take a look at the camera code. There should be some out there for you to look at and see how they were programmed.

Best of luck on your endeavor!
―Daniel Cabuco[392]

SR2 Mural InterpretationsEdit

Hi Bazl,

Wow great set if questions. This could take a few responses given the time I have but I'll handle it one at a time: 1)Texture-Mural-Pillars-WarMuralA.png - From Subterranean Pillars Chamber, first one in master mural, I believe the explanation was the Ancient Vampires-Hylden war. Was the blade directly present during the war or forged later as suggested by other sources (or how is the blade present when it's suggested to have been forged later)? Is this some kind of idealized depiction or prophetic vision by the Ancients, like the vampire hero? Is there any significance to the red aura of the Reaver (which is yellow and in different hands a few panels on). Is that spear a pre-cursor to the Defiance spears/associated heroes (for that matter is the rest of the mural)?

One thing to remember is that half the murals were a story and the other half a prophecy. The Reaver, the one intended for use by the prophesied hero, was made by Vorador. How did Vorador know what the sword would have looked like? Well he followed the murals which mixed history and prophecy. The Spear was typical of the types of weapons used by the ancients. The red around the Reaver would be to show it embodies magic, which could have been blood or elementally embued fire. Remember that they were already experimenting with blood gougers, heart pullers and soul stealing weapons at this time. 2)Texture-Mural-Pillars-WarMuralB.png - Sub-Pillars mural 2; "the creation of the pillars" - A similar, almost identical mural is seen in the Light Forge(#10). Is the spacing/design the reason for showing only five of the guardians or is there a deeper reason? Does the central figure have a defined identity? (reappears in #10), clothing seems similar to Janos but hairstyle is not. What is the role of this person with in relation to the pillars - Original Balance guardian or Reaver guardian or something else?

Think about the point of the mural rather than the literal "it says this and means that" one to one interpretation. It depicts the creation of the Murals by Vampires, not exactly who. You can surmise that there were many vampires who raised the pillars, and that there was an important leader who wasn't Janos. Vestments were typical of rank. He could have been a Balance Guardian, but we did NOT want to spell it all out because we wanted to leave some parts to interpretation. 3)Texture-Mural-Pillars-WarMuralD.png – Sub Pillars mural 4; “the creation of the Reaver” - another figure with the Reaver, this time apparently shortly after its creation at the end of the war. Again the figure has clothes similar to (#1) but different hair and retrospectively doesn't look much like Vorador (who definitely forged the Reaver in the fourth timeline, but there are 'official' timelines which suggest he wasn't born until after the reaver was forged in the second timeline). Does that figure have any significant identity? Again, is it a prophetic depiction? Does the yellow aura mean anything?


That's not Janos or Vorador, it's the prophesied Reaver Champion. Remember that with prophecy, you don't get everything spelled out. There's interpretation. None of the Vampires suspected that the Reaver Hero would look like Kain or Raziel. The ancients thought their hero would look like them (naturally) so they painted their hero in a racially ideal form. The yellow/white depicts the purity of the hero.

More answers to the other questions soon.
―Daniel Cabuco[393]
4)SR2-Texture-DF-StrangeMural.png – Dark Forge, Sun Disk Room mural. (Interestingly I think this one might been mentioned before as someone asking about a “Strange mural”, referencing the filename I gave it, but they could only think of “strange mural” and couldn't find the file). Anyway, two figures with clubs, apparently in conflict. You could make a guess that the two figures represent Vamps and Hylden (possibly with their architecture in the background) beneath an Eclipse? (very interesting given recent material).

yes these are all interpretations of the Vampire Hylden war depicted throughout the ages and in different art styles based on the temple's architectural styling. 5)SR2-Texture-DF-Sun-Symbol.png – Dark forge, Sundial Room. A strange shape-orientated diagram which sticks out from the others and seems a little reminiscent (though very different) of the similar mural in the Lighthouse/Sunlight glyph altar. Maybe a little astronomical, really unsure of this one, but definitely flanked by two squid-things

Yes, conjunctions and astrology were important aspects of the Vampire lore. The squid like representations were the subconscious decorations resulting from the Elder God whispering into the Vampire's ears for many, many years. 6)SR2-Texture-DarkForge-FireShrineSymbol.png – Dark Forge, Sundial Room. A mural of a human or vampire, notable if for no other reason than it appears to be a reuse from SR1's Fire Glyph Shrine.

Those Vampires get around, don't they. No one can accuse them of humility. Hubris is one of their defining traits.
―Daniel Cabuco[394]

SR1 Level design questionsEdit

Hi Raina,

Yeah since, on the PS1, only adjacent streaming units are loaded, we could make some interior areas larger if we needed to. This wasn't always as planned since we tweaked distances for gameplay ease and intuition. Remember that back then we were not even using 3DS Max yet.. we were using R4! So aligning portals became a matter of writing down x,y,z coordinates and/or exporting the streaming trigger to another file. If this got moved it was a very tedious process to correct.

All these new fangled machines make it so easy. Haha Today's smart phones has so much more power than a PS1.
―Daniel Cabuco[395]
hi Raina,

Hmm I remember that the path to the smokestack was outside the Oracle's cave and we ended up cutting it off. And there was another path from the ruined city to it, so if I recall correctly it's between the Oracle's Cave and the Ruined City. It wasn't my map, so I'm just remembering the streaming portals. (Oracle's cave was my area to texture) The retreat would have been a few room areas, I think it was the size of the drowned Abbey. I know we all breathed a sigh of relief when it was cut.. we were out of time and it hadn't even been fully laid out yet. Lava, I imagine would have killed Raziel and acted as a passable in Spectral. Specifically for gameplay reasons: if he got killed sinking into Lava, then the player would be stuck in Spectral. That'd be no fun at all. Pretty much the same rules as water..

Hope that answers your questions!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[396]
The fire glyph was originally in/near Turel's area and was moved when we deleted his area. We had to move a lot of stuff around during editing/cutting. Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[397]
Hi Kevin,

Hmm I don't remember the exact layout of Turel's level, and what you see is all filled in with temp brick texture. I believe it starts at the surface level at the smokestack, which is powered by a volcanic forces. If I remember right, it was built into the side of a volcano. You would fight down into the underground, through lava pouring from the walls and across the floor. You would have to use Possession (from the Priestess) to control Turelim and open the gates or bridges until you got near a cistern or dam area where you would fight Turel. Killing him would require a breaking of the dam or cistern, either breaking supports or pipes. The resulting rush of water would burn Turel and tear him apart.

Hope that helps!

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[398]

Razielim First-Born QuestionEdit

Hi Razaiim,

Thank you for that great question. Lets look at it this way, imagine Kain's most used vampiric spells eventually became a part of his being. Blending and crafting into his unique vampiric DNA. Now each of the bretheren, as you go down the line, got different gifts, but it's not intrinsically that one is better than another. The difference was that the latter bretheren had to make bigger trade-offs to develop their powers. It was part of the devolution, part of the curse that ALL of Kain's gifts were doomed. The later lieutenants had their devolution happen sooner and their 'children' had it happen even more quickly.

Raziel's clan had innate gifts of charm, domination, and magic. They weren't the physically strongest, but imagine the power they would wield being able to mentally dominate their enemies. They would have woven their influence into each of the clans, being able to create illusions, alter their appearance, charm and cast various spells of destruction if needed.

I am not sure why you think that Raziel lacked innate skill with magic or telekinesis. There was never a definitive layout for Lt. Raziel's abilities, but one had to imagine that he had some formidable skills. I would say that magical abilities would be a large part of his arsenal. Note that in Soul Reaver, Wraith Raziel was able to quickly adapt to any of the glyphs he absorbed, as well as the abilities of his bretheren. By the time Defiance comes about, he has telekenesis. He has an innate responsiveness to magic and magical abilities on top of the Reaver and his soul draining abilities.

What are your thoughts?
―Daniel Cabuco[399]
Yes that's right. He was, in a way, reset back to zero in terms of abilities other than strength and gliding. BUT he had the ability to quickly absorb and use magical abilities, mastering them easily.
―Daniel Cabuco[400]

NOSGOTH Roleplay GroupEdit

Hey guys,

So I went ahead and created the NOSGOTH Roleplay Group for people who want to play with and against me in a light, fun way. No heavy trash talking or humiliation allowed. :) The group number is 5677872 and I have it as invite only. My Steam Name is Kre8v1

The group ID number is 5677872

NosgothRP is the abbreviation.

For the first couple of weeks I am going to leave it open to anyone who wants to join. After that I will turn it into invite only (but anyone who is already a member can invite new members).

We'll try it this way for now and if things need to change I'll make adjustments. Let me know what you think and if you have any feedback for me. It's my first group on Steam so please share your wisdom and bear with me.

Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[401]
So I was thinking once we get going, that I want to set up a tournament. Some of my thoughts on prizes:

1. An original sketch of whichever LOK/SR character you want (including one of your own design/clan)

2. Original SR, SR2 or Defiance production art from my sketchbook, signed for you.

Any other thoughts on things you'd want? :)
―Daniel Cabuco[402]

My collaboration with SE and Psyonix on NosgothEdit

Hi all,

By now you've all probably heard the announcement that I am collaborating with Psyonix/SE on Nosgoth.

)

And if you haven't.. Surprise! So what's the story? Well basically, it's because of amazing fans like you that they (SE/Psy) sought me out to help consult with them on how to add the original Soul Reaver-ish spin on the work they had done. They really do listen to you all. Like you, I had my guarded reservations, but after talking to them and seeing what they're all about I can tell you that they do really care about the franchise.

Their passion and commitment is very strong, and they're fighting to do more with the license. Some of you might complain that it's not a true epic saga in the traditional vein of Soul Reaver. True, it's a different game. But since day 1 I have said make sure you at least support this game because it allows the franchise to exist and grow, which can lead to the game you *do* want being made. Look at the evidence now: because there is a Nosgoth game, I am once again collaborating with Eidos. It's a giant step in the right direction and showing Square/Enix/Eidos that the series has legs and support. It's all about creating opportunity, and your voices are so critical to the success of the game series. And it's because you demanded more from your series, not less, that I get to help steer Psyonix and Eidos in the right direction. Thank you for all the positive feedback on the announcement!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[403]

Dumah devolution, razielim etcEdit

Hi Denaros,

Thank you for the questions.

Yes the fully devolved form of Dumah and Raziel would be a fun exploration. When I have more time I'll do some sketches or paintings of them. Ok, so Nupraptor's Curse was all inclusive: All of Kain's gifts were cursed and would devolve. Every vampire that came from him would be cursed to devolve. The Lieutenants, having strong souls and direct portions of Kain's Soul, devolved into powerful monstrosities. The didn't mind their forms, they reveled in them. Even Melchiah, poor tortured soul that he was, knew he was incredibly powerful. The vampires they sired were less powerful, and thus devolved earlier.. I like to look at it like this: they become more powerful as vampires evolving until they hit a certain point, then they start devolving. The children of the clans devolved earlier in their development, but more importantly their minds went feral.. animalistic. They may have retained more of a humanoid appearance, but they lost their minds... not a great trade-off. Since vampirism on Kain's line comes from necromancy and soul splitting, all of the children come from their clan leader. (Thus limiting the number of children that can be created, and making it a painful loss to the clan leader when one is killed)

Hope that answers your questions. Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[404]
Hi Denaros,

The Evolved characters in Nosgoth are not the fully devolved versions that you see in SR1. They're simply 'on their way there'

All Vampires evolve to have three fingered claws at a certain point. This is regardless of the curse of Nupraptor. Janos and the original vampires are slightly different but not too far removed. imagine fusing your fingers together with the tips forming a rhino like bone at the end.

Fallen Raziel's is a fusion of skin, sinew, and bone.
―Daniel Cabuco[405]

Mortanius the NecromancerEdit

Hi Kain-Umah,

Thanks for the questions. Let's see.. I think Mortanius would be very proud of Kain. Though probably a little confused about the way he went about it. Creating Kain as a vampire, he must have felt that the Scion of Balance would appear.. sooner. (Which of course he does and he doesn't, travelling through time as the Elder version). Kain's revelations in Defiance were also the players. Being able to tie Defiance into Blood Omen 1 was one of the most fun and entertaining things we got to do as game creators. As the guardian of Death, I imagine he could be in the Spectral realm, bound to the world similarly to Ariel (who was murdered and bound to the pillars) and the other Vampire Pillar Guardians. Mortanius and Moebius did help the guardians, but had no hand in choosing them. They're selected at conception (Kain was in the womb when he his predecessor Ariel died, and Nuptraptor's curse hit him)but need schooling in the arts to utilize their abilities. Moebius and Mortanius would have been elders and leaders to the circle, given deference as the first human guardians. (one reason Malek obeys Moebius more than the others)

Thanks for the great questions. Please don't hesitate to ask more!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[406]
You're welcome. Amy came up with the idea for his face being a death-mask. I came up with him being able to magically bring it on and off.

Kory Heinzen did the concept art.

Kam Yu painted the textures and model for his in-game art.
―Daniel Cabuco[407]

normal grunt vampire creationEdit

The clan leaders sire their clan members in general. They could have given the ability to key sub lieutenants, but since it involves necromancy its not something every vampire can do.

Some clan leaders went for fewer numbers with greater power (Turelim) while others went for vast numbers with weaker power (Melchiaim)

Thanks for the question.

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[408]

Raziel's PersonalityEdit

Hi Tube,

Heh love the pic. Yes Raziel's personality was very arrogant, and more defining was his zealotry. He always believed with absolute certainty in what he was doing, which built up his arrogance. As a human, he was driven, callous, and enjoyed using his power to cause pain (sadistic). He had a contempt for not only vampires, but anyone he viewed as weak in spirit or mind. He saw himself as being above his brothers, even Malek. With wicked glee he enjoyed seeing vampires suffer, die and become his trophies on pikes. His personality absolutely defined his look. The armor he wore was based on the male lion, the head of the pride, and most regal of beasts. It also had the eagle, a powerful predator who soars far above the others. Everything in his design was created to reflect his arrogance and zealotry. As a vampire, he was more subtle. He still believed in his absolute authority and right to power, and the centuries of victories has only bolstered that belief. He was sadistic in a different way as a vampire. He enjoyed manipulating his bretheren and seeing them suffer out of their own crude responses to his designs.

Hope that answers your questions. Thanks for asking!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[409]

Pillars of Nosgoth areasEdit

Wow this is a more sleek question, Baz! Lol.

No apologies for the previous questions needed, it was fun to go through. Ok so in general, when I was Art Director on the LOK series, I'd basically look at what was done before as a 'TV version' and then apply rules for our game as if it were the 'Movie version' A great way to think about is to compare the original Star Trek TV shows to the Movie versions. Material detail are increased, designs are more fully realized, and more craftsmanship is allowed with bigger time and money budgets. BO1 was the absolute template for SR2 and Defiance's world creation. It had to be a 3D version of the world, and fully realized. As we went through it, we looked at each problem as part of a whole. For example, King William the Just, the good king who became the Nemesis, was wearing Black and Red armor with black spikes on it. What the eff It was a very evil color and design. Reconciling it took a lot of thought. But I was able to come up with an 'aha' moment when I thought of his armor as a Rose. They're red, and have spikes (thorns) that I could incorporate into the armor. So I took that as inspiration and redesigned the plate mail he wears in his stained glass mural with Kain. Adding rose designs, and softening the horns to look less cliché and more thorn-like. We would go through the exact same process for today's console graphics if we were to, say, redo Soul Reaver. The Pillars were lower resolution in Defiance because there was more playable area in that section. Having Ariel, enemies, Spectral, and a larger streamable playing area meant that something had to give. The pillar symbols aren't easily viewable close up, so it was an easy judgement call. Add resolution to where the player will be looking. If we made the symbols super high res, but the floor, or characters were low resolution, it would have been a poor decision. Ideally all texel resolution is the same (texture area per pixel of rendered space) but alas, that's an ideal state and not thinking that will help you in the real world of game creation. They symbol designs themselves from Blood Omen 1 were pretty craptastic wallpapers. I don't believe they served the intention of making the pillars look serious and powerful. So we designed symbols, just like we did for the clans, the runes, and everything else that was important. There's not that much of a story other than all of us looking at each other as we went over the original designs and saying 'Seriously?! We can't move forward with these as originals.. no way!'

Anyway, I hope it isn't too boring of an answer, but design doesn't always have a cool story.. sometimes it just screams out to be done.

Thanks again for the great question!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[410]

Vorador's symbolEdit

Vorador had 2 symbols, the dragon and the crow. The crow was used as a secondary symbol for allies and followers. The dragon was a longer symbol, seen all over his mansion.
―Daniel Cabuco[411]

About the Guardians...Edit

Hi Ygdrasel (The World Tree?)

Well Nupraptor's curse affected everyone in different ways. Kain, tainted in the womb, was cursed to never be able to become the Balance Scion as he and all his children would eventually devolve. Mortanius was made vulnerable to posession by the Hylden more than anything else, and had to struggle to maintain his sanity. His creation of Kain with the Heart of Darkness was a strained attempt to resisting the dark hand that fate had dealt. I talked with Amy after she left ND. Much as she loves the LOK series, she wasn't in a hurry and was going to take a year off to just relax. As you know by now, EA made her an incredible offer that she just couldn't pass up. I was looking forward to working with her on Uncharted 3 (I work at Sony's Visual Art Specialty Group now, which services all the other studios) but alas fate dealt another cruel hand. Ah well. I do try to get together with her every couple of months to talk over lunch or dinner. Always good conversations. Thanks for the great questions!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[412]

The Clan LeadersEdit

Hi Onatu,

Well from a basic standpoint I agree with you on characterizations. But let me go in reverse order to see if I can add some depth to your analysis. Melchiah is not depressed or downtrodden, while he originally felt that he had a poor gift: his body falling apart, he realized that he gained another. The ability to add other parts to his own, to reformulate his body as he sees fit, even being able to pass through gates and grates. With this revelation, he began a deranged journey of experimentation to prove he and his clan could become the most powerful and numerous of all.

Zephon is less about proving himself and more about letting the others fight and kill each other as he built up a massive defense with many traps to ensnare the others. All the Bretheren were jealous of Raziel, and Zephon was the only one who was as manipulative as Raziel. He had spies everywhere, and knowing the relative strength of his clan better than anyone, he was content to stay out of big conflicts and play all sides against each other. His spies at some point tell him about a human weapon developed to kill all the vampires at the great cathedral where he decides to investigate...

Rahab was a confidant, and knowing his clan's territory was secure, he likewise knew that he could not hold any territory away from water. He held back as well, letting the main conflict with the Turelim and Dumahim play out, as well as keeping a healthy eye on the Melchiahim. The secrets he holds proving useful for his Rahabim ambushers. He also sought to expand his territory by flooding areas with dams, lockes, and destroying dikes. You're by and large accurate on Turel and Dumah. Just remember that no one was one dimensional. There were no absolute good and evils: just differing points of view and how they achieve their goals. Atrocities are unfortunately all too common in war. Good luck with the comic! Sounds exciting! Best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[413]
Hi gang,

yes those are Turelim designs in the Abbey. We had implied that there were 'turf wars' between clans where areas claimed by one group were invaded/supplanted by another. In this case the Rahabim flooded areas they wanted to claim, and forced Turelim out of the area. The Turelim took the area from the humans who designed the chapel of light, and in turn the Rahabim took it from them. Look for signs of clans exchanging hands. :) We left the boat an ambiguous area and hand't really worked out if it was human or Rahabim. The relationship of the clan leaders was complex, with each vying for favor with Kain, dominance over the others, and using alliances where necessary to strengthen position. Zephon and Rahab could very well have been allies, with Zephon constantly scheming and creating webs of lies, and Rahab seeing through some of it, yet knowing he was better off playing along as an ally until he didn't need Zephon. Remember the bretheren were allies for many many decades, so their relationship was always in flux, ebbing and flowing in power over time.

Thanks for the great questions!
―Daniel Cabuco[414]

Evolved skins and... HumansEdit

Hi Onatu,

Thanks for the kind words. Well that's something great to bring up to the guys at Nosgoth. They're pretty open to new ideas, so you should throw it by them. Currently I am consulting with them to give them knowledge about the original series, so I can't make decisions about skin types. It would be cool to see some of the Hunter or even Sarafan designs make it into the game. I'll mention it to them as well. No promises though. I don't have insight into the skins plan. Thank you though, for being a great fan and having some cool ideas to input!

Best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[415]

About DestinyEdit

When two incarnations of the Soul Reaver meet, Time can be altered. Raziel is the one being unchained from time as he is a walking paradox (he has his own soul wrapped both forward and backward in time)

Kain introduced the Paradox by talking Raziel into not killing him. He probably watched over 100 instances of that meeting in Moebius chamber, seeing the different things he said which failed, but also seeing that he could *not* accurately see Raziel in it. Realizing Raziel was unbound he carefully sought a strategy to bring 2 Reavers together and cause an event that allowed time to be altered. Yeah, if Raziel killed Kain, he'd still be seeking answers, so he'd go back in time and still cause Janos' death. He'd be manipulated back into the Blood Reaver with no chance of escaping the blade. Since he would have killed Kain, he wouldn't have Kain's help to pull the blade out of his chest at the end of SR2. The Elder God can't force Raziel to follow his will; no one can. This is why everyone seeks to fool, trick and manipulate Raziel. As the one unbound piece that neither Moebius or the EG can track, he represents the only thing that can kill Kain or purify him. Thus redeemer and destroyer. Hope that answers your question. Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[416]
As I mentioned before, The Wheel of Fate isn't a moment to moment, second by second kind of thing.

Let's say you're destined to kill an intruder at some point in the next 3 months. It doesn't matter if he climbs through a window, kicks a door in, tricks his way in, etc. At some point you'll recognize the intruder and act. Unless how you kill him is prophesized you could strangle him, knife him, electrocute him etc.

The wheel marks major points, and up until that point, you're free to do whatever you like. Let's say you try to break from it. You move away and become a hermit with no technical home. Problem solved, right? Well let's say you get hungry not having a job or home and someone invites you into their home for a meal. At that instant someone breaks in, attacks the nice people who took you in and you kill him. Technically you killed an intruder. Interpreting 'intruder' as your home was a mistake. Let's say you have a stun gun. This way he won't die! You shock him and it turns out he has a weak heart, really bad cholesterol, has a massive coronary and dies. (D'oh!) Or he collapses into the kitchen knives (D'oh!) or he falls neck first into the cutting board and breaks his neck on the way down. (D'oh!) The Wheel of fate also has to do with your personality and beliefs. Let's say you commit to doing nothing when the nice family is attacked. They're all brually killed in front of you (including children) and you're massively injured and left for dead. Well what benefit was denying fate at this point? You might get so angry as you heal up in the hospital that you commit to taking action, as much as necessary to protect those you care about, Wheel be damned. Then that same guy comes into your hospital room late at night to finish off the last witness. Are you gonna lay back and let him kill you? Your fate is tied to your personality and intellect, your ability to act and your beliefs in that action.

It was all of these permutations that Kain saw when he looked into Moebius time streams. As a man, he would have no chance of understanding it all, of finding the correct series of permutations that would lead to the resolution of Defiance. But as a vampire, he had time, endurance, and the mental fortitude to sort through the time streams.

Killing Raziel to the point of destiny was his shot at having the coin land on its edge. It created the most 'blank spots' in the time stream. And he knew he could act in those blank spots.

Hope that helps you understand how it works.

Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[417]

Drop a Stone rewrite 2011 Janos reclaims his home.Edit

Interesting story. :) I like how you describe Janos. Lots of fun to be had with this. Thanks for sharing. Are you going to write more? Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[418]

No one introduces themselvesEdit

Janos knows Raziel because he was expecting the prophesied warrior to appear. He's the only one who could have opened the doors to the Aerie. .. he was actually surprised to see Raziel's form.

Vorador has seen a lot of crazy things, and nothing really surprises him anymore. He watched Raziel since he emerged from the Pillars so their meeting wasn't a surprise. He knew what road Raziel was travelling, and was giving in to despair, so to him names weren't important.

I can't vouch for anything in BO2. :P Raziel knows Mortanius from Kain's stories (the same way he know Moebius). When you have a milennia together, stories do get shared. And Kain would have warned his clan about Moebius because a time streamer has a bad habit of showing up even when you think he's long dead. I hope that helps explain things. :) Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[419]

whiteboard optionEdit

I'm in.. but is there a whiteboard for forum use? I'm afraid I don't know much about those.. sorry.

If you find one let me know! Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[420]

Cloven handsEdit

The claws are blended sinew and bone. The whole thing isn't bone. The only part that is pure bone is the tip past the last joint.
―Daniel Cabuco[421]
We had to move forward with the vampire evolution based on what we could see with Vorador. Since he was established as a somewhat evolved Vampire, we agreed to keep the evolutionary traits as a consistency. It also allowed us to make a more expressive hand which would be easily viewable from a far distance, with fewer bones, on the Playstation one. So it fulfilled the consistency and made for better game performance, which I considered a win/win.
―Daniel Cabuco[422]

Hyden KingEdit

Hi Kain-Umah,

Great questions. Hmm. Well we had set up a seer in Nosgoth who was considered an abomination: a Hylden Vampyre hybrid from the old days. She wasn't banished to the Demon Realm, but was afflicted by the curse of the Hylden. It's her dark prophecy that drove Kain to the Demon Realm to confront the dangers there and seek out Janos. There was to be a Royal family of bosses, along with a strong demon bosses as well. We didn't work out the Queen having sisters per se, but she was to have a lot of relatives (daughters, sons, brothers or sisters). The King was physically more powerful while the Queen was more gifted in spellcraft. It's this powerful duo that would push Kain to his limits. We hadn't worked out a lot of things yet, like the final battle, etc. We wanted to have you play as both a young and old Kain (perhaps old Kain disguised as young Kain) The Hylden city is composed primarily of Hylden, with demon pets or slaves. Outside the city where 'The Warp' ravages the demon realm, Kain would encounter stronger, sentient demons. The Hylden were trapped in the demon realm and enslaved/possessed the lesser while driving the stronger ones back. Their city was slowly dying, being eaten away by the demon realm, making them increasingly desperate as their engines began to fail, losing the outer sections of the city a sector at a time. We were still playing with designs for the city, including a multi-tiered walled city (like Minas Tirith) or a maze-like version. Either way we wanted to portray the Hylden with much more dimension than previously shown. Their visual design wasn't yet approved. I think the company that was hired to make it didn't quite understand that the Hylden and Vampires were different races and ended up making them look more alike that not. They looked cool but it unfortunately confused the visuals a lot. I was going to go through and help clean a lot of that up but the game was cancelled before I could do that. Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[423]

Key registration on NosgothEdit

Hi Kain-Umah,

Yeah I don't have a registration key unfortunately. But it is free to play, so it's not really a risk to play since you only spend money on upgrades. Sanguise correctly explained every aspect of the game. :) (Thanks btw!) Best,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[424]

Blood Omen 1 and Dracula CoppolaEdit

Hi Daniel and every fan of LOK! I watch Dracula of Coppola yesterday and because I'm french it's the first time I put English version subtitles. And so I want to ask if someone noticed that the cries we could listen in the movie is the same when Kain dies in BO1.
Vorador symbol is the dragon, he is the first human to be turn into a vampire just like Dracula. He has brides like Dracula.
The opening of BO1 with a red sky and vampire dead, like with Dracula who fight against his ennemis, and kill them just like Malek with vampire.
After I noticed one of the jacket of BO1, represents Kain eyes with blue colors like in Dracula movie when Jonathan Harker is on a train, there is Dracula's face in sky and it's just look like this picture of Kain.
I know that you didn't work on BO1 but perhaps Amy Hennig talk about this.
―Kain-Umah
Hi Kain-Umah,

Well what you are talking about now are considered Vampire tropes: common themes examined in traditional vampire lore. Back in 1996, there weren't many vampire video games, so I don't think it was cliche or unusual to borrow from those tropes. Coppola's Dracula was iconic and powerful. Even the blood red armor of Vlad the impaler seems to remind me of the designs used in Legacy of Kain. So I can see the influences. Good observations. :)
I had to sort of re-imagine a lot of Blood Omen stuff when I worked on SR2 and Defiance, since I had to push away from what I thought were either boring designs or designs too heavily influenced by Dracula.
I hope I answered your questions.
Thanks,
Daniel

―Daniel Cabuco, Thu May 01, 2014 7:48 am[425]

Soul reaver 1 QuestionsEdit

That's an easy one: There was an old entrance here that was gated by wall-crawl. When we gutted the section we took out all the wall crawl sections. Now remember back in 1998, we couldn't see our models in real-time. We only had untextured wireframes we had to select A TRIANGLE AT A TIME to texture and then had to cook onto a PS1 emulator (a process taking anywhere from 1-20 minutes depending on the size of the level) So that texture was just a triangle the environment artist missed. (The waterfalls took even longer because of animation, and we had to initially guess which direction they were flowing in through trial and error, then submit the rest the same way. UV's were hard coded into the polygons and had to be manually adjusted with a tool on the PC.)

Each forge had the element needed to activate it. Sunlight would come through a glass you break, Sound through a bell or gong, and Stone through striking unique Onyx obelisks. Hope that answers your questions. Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[426]

Drag Reaver AKA When Boredom StrikesEdit

Bwhahahaha!

They're all oh-so pretty aren't they? Lol Thanks for this, it was a good laugh and funny image to think about. Maybe it'll become a sketch along with Dance Dance Raziel, Vehiculum, or the Valentines Day Human Raziel. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[427]

Malek vs Raziel oddnessEdit

The scene title is "Cornered in the Stronghold" and Moebius actually calls Raziel by name a few times.

Is it common to meet someone that has the same name as someone that you know?

I can't much imagine that Malek isn't at least on speaking terms with the high-ranking Sarafan, if not somewhat friendly.
―majinkura
It's rare but not unheard of to have the same name. I doubt Malek would have the capacity to process the blue demon in front of him as being the same as the fanatical High Inquisitor his 'brother' was.
He probably chalked it up to coincidence.
―Daniel Cabuco, Mon May 12, 2014 9:28 am[428]

Yet another questions about Soul Reaver 1Edit

Hi Dant.

Wow, lot of great questions here. I'll answer them in stages since I don't have enough time in one sitting to answer them all at once (PS if you post any of my answers on NeoGaf or other forums, please put a link to my forum as a source. Thanks): "1) Here, in the Beneath the Citadel section, there are several artworks, which according to Divine Shadow represent "the network of tunnels, sewers and pipes that descend beneath the Citadel." Is he correct in his supposition, or these artworks were meant for other locations/early ideas that never materialized? If the former is the case, could you describe the area a bit? How it was meant to look/play and so on?"

There was a lot of look/feel development in Soul Reaver. Not every place was worked out in preproduction. Some of the drawings were made to establish the level of technology, the atmosphere of the game, etc. You don't have to label every single piece of concept art as belonging to a specific place. Some areas never made it past the idea stage, others were repurposed as areas were cut or combined.

The area known as Beneath the Citadel was cut pretty early in development. Could these concepts be used for it? Sure. But they could have just as easily been used for other areas. There were a ton of areas brainstormed for Soul Reaver. Most never made it to a highly developed state.
―Daniel Cabuco[429]
The City was meant to have sewer areas you could swim into. The artists kept drawing and designing areas for as deep and detailed as the designers wanted to get. The second image was probably an extension of the drowned abbey. Concept artists are constantly asked to draw as much as possible, because thoughts and ideas exchanged on paper are a lot cheaper than those done in 3D. It's a mistake to think every piece of concept art was meant to be created. We'll make a LOT of concept art knowing that a good chunk won't get used. That's the nature of concept art. When you look at any movie or game production, you'll see a lot of paintings that didn't get used. That doesn't mean it wasn't good, or that it wasn't created due to some twist of fate. Sometimes it just doesn't work, or the Director or Lead wants changes. Far better to make the designs and changes on paper than in 3D.
―Daniel Cabuco[430]
Not at all. Ben Lincoln is a good friend and one of the first to chronicle the behind-the-scenes descriptions. You can trust everything he's written. There's no contradiction. The Undercity's lowest points had water which you had to raise and lower along with the upper bridges you had to complete. Think about it: The bridges had to suspend over something. Water tends to go to the lowest place, thus it makes sense that the Undercity would have water as well as bridges. We wanted to have some areas inaccessible unless you had Rahab's soul, so you had to go and come back if you wanted all the goodies. Same with Wall Crawl and Pass-thru gates. They would have been strewn throughout this level.
―Daniel Cabuco[431]

Wraith Blade RazielEdit

I was wondering if Raziel's escape from his cyclic destiny is oblivion? When the wraith blade dispersed so did his soul as well right? I always pictured that as the most defining moment in the series by him deliberately sacrificing himself to purify kain which in turn gave him the release he sought.
―Soul Reaver

...

Well this hasn't been totally defined, so I don't feel I want to say it's exactly this or that. In my opinion, however, Raziel's sacrifice (the Gnostic Hero's sacrifice) was his freedom and soul. To become imprisoned within the wraith blade for all eternity was the fate he doomed himself to, and why Kain was so sad and shocked that Raziel was going into the blade.
However, I do believe with the purification of Kain, there was some kind of redemption for Raziel's soul; some way he at least would escape madness and derangement.
All things said and done, for the Soul Reaver to be the Soul Reaver and not the Blood Reaver, it had to have the "ravenous, soul devouring entity" trapped inside it: Raziel.
―Daniel Cabuco, Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:37 am[432]

Soul Reaver blade questionEdit

Hi Soul Reaver,

Thanks for the question. The Blood Reaver was never intended to consume Raziel, it was intended to be The Vampire Champion's weapon. The Vampires had Vorador forge the Blood Reaver with the same vampiric powers they had. It was meant to utterly destroy the enemies of the Vampires, including the Hylden and Hylden Champion. Raziel, in being both redeemer and destroyer, became both the wielder and the victim of the Reaver. Raziel is a living paradox: He has the essence of the Soul Reaver Wraith Blade wrapped around his arm. As such, when he came into contact with the Blood Reaver, it wanted to become whole again, drawing him into it. This dooms him to live within the blade fusing with it until his essence is indistinguishable from the sword, and only released when it is asked to do the impossible: Reave it's own soul. Thus the cycle begins again the Oroboros symbol's meaning is truly known. I hope that answers your question. :)

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[433]
#6 is off. Wraith Blade Raziel gets pulled into the empty Blood Reaver, turning the sword into the Soul Reaver. Raziel purifies Kain with the combined power of the balance guardians imbued into the blade. Raziel is forever trapped inside the sword: he is the ravenous soul devouring entity that is the blade.

What's left of Raziel's being is what is wrapped around is arm the first time Kain breaks it over his body in SR1. Thus intertwined, Raziel is basically two reavers, which is why he is free from the constraints of fate. When he comes into contact with another version of the Reaver (whether blood or soul) it bends time and allows whomever is wielding the reaver to share in the destiny altering effects (see Kain at the end of SR2).

Hope that clears it up for you. Thanks for the thorough going over.
―Daniel Cabuco[434]
#6 is off because the Blade Kain stabs into the body of Moebius possessed by Raziel is the Blood Reaver, which is the Soul Reaver without the 'ravenous soul devouring entity'. Think of the Blood Reaver like a container or prison holding Raziel's soul within it. The purified wraith blade on Raziel's arm is what heals Kain, but Raziel is trapped inside the weapon once more.

That doesn't contradict what Kyle said.

Hope that clarifies it for you.

Thanks!

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[435]
Yeah that is the way it works. I thought you were saying that the Blood Reaver was already the Soul Reaver when it imprisoned Raziel, which would be off.
―Daniel Cabuco[436]

Soul Reaver AlphaEdit

Sorry but the video is set to private. I can't see it (Judging by the response above, no one else could either)

As to how he might have gotten it, that's pretty easy. Testers at CD and Eidos were required to sometimes record their playthroughs (esp closer to Gold Master) on a VCR. (don't say 'what's a VCR?'.. please.. hahaha Some tester could have smuggled one out long ago. Another possibility is that someone had gotten a hold of early footage we were required to submit in order to get various considerations for marketing like ad space or pre-reviews. Yet another possibility is that it comes from an animator or artist's reel. Some people did leave the project before it was done, and were required only show footage privately for their reel. The NDA for Soul Reaver footage long since expired (or at least, no one is enforcing it)

I should be able to tell you more accurately once I can see it.

Hope that helps

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[437]
Yeah, imagine the Sluagh at an even faster run speed. Lol.
―Daniel Cabuco[438]

Art? Yes, art!Edit

Holy effin' cow that's awesome! Love it! Can you take a pic of it all filled in? Are you going black or clan specific colors? Either way it will be badass! Thanks for posting! I should make a section for SR:LOK tattoos. I've seen so many wonderful ones!
―Daniel Cabuco[439]

Question about corruption's effect on life in NosgothEdit

There were many aberrations in Nosgoth, such as Werewolves, Swamp Mutants, etc that existed throughout its history. That being said, do remember that by Soul Reaver 1, the land had almost no trees and had violent earthquakes. The corruption of the land wasn't a constant level, it became worse over time. It also wasn't clearly even over all things. The lessening of the fertility of the land, and the increase in aberrations were symptoms that got worse over time. It's like when you get sick, it doesn't happen all at once, it takes a little time to ramp up to it's worst state. The red trees could be part of a symptom of the land's failing health, allowing the aberrant vegetation to grow. Similar to how werewolves exist but not every wolf was born a werewolf or with a curse to pass on lycanthropy.
―Daniel Cabuco[440]
Right! Exactly, Hash. Nosgoth had aberrations before the pillars, so wierd trees, mutants, magical creatures and such exist within it. The corruption of the land just made more aberrations exist. Good insight there.
―Daniel Cabuco[441]

Some questions about story development and game backstoryEdit

Hi WatchingOne,

That's a great question, thanks. They Hylden were created by the BO2 team, and we found a lot of openings them in the storyline of SR2 without giving anything away. Most of the credit goes to Amy Hennig, since she was basically handed the race and told to run with it. It did provide us with more information to further flesh out the backstory of the Vampires, so we took it as an opportunity rather than a curse. From a visual standpoint, it allowed me to paint the story of the Vampire/Hylden war murals with a deeper understanding of the motivations and conflicts involved. Amy did a fantastic job of weaving it into the main LOK mythology. This kind of flexibility is what's afforded to us when we leave certain parts ambiguous.

Thanks,

Daniel
―Daniel Cabuco[442]
We had always hinted at a greater set of enemies, and when I was working on SR1, we liked to provide symbology for good, evil and various incarnations of such. They may have influenced the artists on BO2, but we didn't specifically map out the look of the Hylden on SR1.

When I painted those, I thought of ways of representing the dual nature of Fate and Time (giving us beauty and horror). Thanks for the question.

DC
―Daniel Cabuco[443]

The Hylden CityEdit

I was talking with Tom C and finally explained my thoughts on what the Hylden City would be like in the Demon Realm. I thought I would share it here for posterity.

I had always thought of the Hylden world as this (and wanted to visit it in subsequent LOK games): The Hylden Kingdom is transported to the Demon Realm. Here all things are eventually twisted by that realm into demonic perversions of their former self. The Hylden, realizing this, use their glyph magic to stave off the warping.. however, the poorer lower city's magics begin to fail after a millennia, slowly encroaching on more and more of their city. It creates a distinct class disparity between their castes and a source of friction as those with less status are sacrificed for the nobles and upper class.

Only demons can cross over to Nosgoth though 'thin places.' The Hylden meet and enslave lower level demons and possess them when they cross over, using them as puppets. Those Hylden warped by the demon dimension were also able to cross over. Think about what a Hylden would have to do to cross over voluntarily.. and you have the Hylden General.
―Daniel Cabuco[444]
Hi Craftmused,

Yeah, it's fun to explore. I would say that there would be a lot of variation in the deformations, and on top of that, Hylden/Demon experimentation with technology to supplement their forms. (Kind of explains the lightning demons) I like the thought of their vices influencing their deformation. Even using 7 deadly sins as a guide to change their bodies.. some bloated, some multiarmed and greedy, others burning with wrath.. great stuff!

The General would have been a noble by birth and leader of high rank. His hatred and humiliation would have been great due to what many would have considered a great loss to the Vampyres. You know how in Terminator, the Terminator has to be encased in flesh for the metal to travel through time? The DNA of the Hylden Lord would have had to have been suffused with demon energy, demon blood, demon implants, etc. It would not have been a painless process.. quite the opposite. The armor may have been fused into his body, so that not much of a Hylden would have been left...
―Daniel Cabuco[445]

Tomb Raider UnderworldEdit

Hi Shard,

I did work on the Underworld for its entire preproduction before leaving Crystal D. I understand your question and yeah it's a bit sensitive. What I can tell you is that Crystal did have a history of console exclusivity when certain financial requirements were met. Soul Reaver 2 was PS2 exclusive (later put on PC). When Tomb Raider Legend was in the last year of production, Microsoft was unveiling the XBOX 360 at that time, so Crystal and Microsoft worked out a deal to put the game out on the XBOX 360 concurrent with the PS2 version. I worked as the Art Lead on the 360 version that last year, and I can tell you it's the best version of the game (better than PC, because Lara has actual wet/dirty maps, which at the time didn't work on PC graphic cards) The XBOX 360 version was supposed to come out a month or so after the PS2 version came out, instead we got the game done early and released the same day as the PS2 version. Microsoft was so pleased with the port/upgrade that they signed off on getting as much exclusive content as possible. I even have an announcement video with Lara at XFest announcing that Tomb Raider would be on 360. (I did the story boards for it) Now to your question, was it worth it to be exclusive? Well in the long run, no I don't believe it was beneficial financially. It's always better to have more markets covered for selling your game. However, in the short term it does provide the developer with cash up front, and allow them to focus on a single platform for testing and development. And sometimes the developer needs that money. Also remember that the management team in charge of everything wasn't Square Enix, but SCi, who wholly owned Eidos at that time. Their point of view was markedly different from Square (who shifted away from console exclusivity). Also, SCi didn't have the financial resources that Square does today, so any deal with money up front was great for them. It's something they were open to. The DLC was probably (I'm not really aware of specifics, just speculating here) bought and paid for by Microsoft, so that's why you're only seeing it on Xbox. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Tomb Raider with me, we tried really hard to stay true to the original gameplay spirit of Tomb Raider, with puzzles/jump puzzles and exploration over combat. I agree that console exclusivity isn't a great thing, but it does help push consoles. Bloodborne is PS4 exclusive and helped to ship those machines, Halo to Xbox, which is fine but I do believe most AAA studios want to be able to sell to as many markets as possible. The question is whether development costs will force them to take a payout for exclusivity in exchange for up front cash.

Thanks again for the great question. :)
―Daniel Cabuco[446]

The Sarafan ReligionEdit

A bit of an off-the-wall question, but what was it like being of the same religion as the Sarafan?
I know that there's probably a name for it already, but I'm curious and eager to know any speculation on what the Sarafan did on a not-so-inquisitive level. What was their holy day?
Did the Sarafan go to Mass of some sorts? Run confessionals? Pray in a certain direction?
What did they do when they meet people of a different faith from their own? Obviously they ostracized and hunted vampires, but was there anything else they hunted?
―Zee_Cupcake
Hi Zee,
Thanks for the great question!
Well we didn't really work all of that out, but it's something that would be fun to work into a new game or story. If we were going to do a game with them again, I would want to take the preproduction time to work out exactly those questions, as well as further refine their heirarchy and history.
Also, in a sinister twist, I would make their highest leaders secretly possessed by Hylden OR worshippers of th Elder God. (Maybe there are two factions split along those lines)
I like to think that the Sarafan were zealots who didn't tolerate other religions well, and forced/tricked/coerced people into falling in line (esp with the Vampire menace at hand).
―Daniel Cabuco, Mon May 11, 2015 8:05 pm[447]

Why no graphic novel?Edit

Cheers, Daniel,
I basically registered to ask one question: were you aware of any attempts to pitch a graphic novel to finish off what Defiance started?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this question has been asked already in the several years - it probably was, and probably more than once, but I found nothing in the search!

-----------
One additional question: there was a texture in Defiance that was only partly decipherable. The decipherable part went, perhaps, like this:
LES ENFANTS / DE LA TERREUR / ENFOUIS SOUS / LES DÉCOMBRE / DE L'OUBLIS / ATTENDENT TOUS / LE SEIN BIENFAITEUR / DU ELDER GOD
There were four more line on this texture that were really, really hard to decode. What were they?
―Ananke
Hi Ananke,

No I'm not aware of any attempts in that direction. The writer would have to know a ton about the LOK universe and be able to tie together a lot of different story threads in order to do it. That particular ball of spaghetti has kept most development away from the LOK franchise.
Are you planning on giving it a shot? :)

―Daniel Cabuco, Mon May 11, 2015 8:30 pm[448]

Rahab's GillsEdit

Do Kain's necro vampires even need to breath? If not why would Rahab evolve the gills. Im guessing they need to breath in some fashion but wanted to ask.

Unrelated to subject but what do you think Kain's vampires would be like if he made more after defiance? would they be more like Vorador? Im guessing not because he never showed the ability to turn vamps in a normal way and had to do the soul thingy with a dead body. So maybe they would be more like you see the Lts before raz is executed

―Sanguise

...

Even if you suffocate a vampire, unless you burn the body it will just return to life once the environment is right. They're quite resilient. If you remember in SR, if you removed a spear from the heart of a vampire without consuming his soul, he'd pop back to life and attack you.

So yeah the gills allow them to breathe water with full immunity to its effects.

―Daniel Cabuco, Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:34 am[449]

Vignettes From The Latter DaysEdit

I like it a lot! This is really a great read, more subtle in execution and lasting long after the last word. Well done!
―Daniel Cabuco[450]

Hello guys.Edit

Wow, its really exciting to meet some more legacy of kain fans, and even someone who worked on the game! I figured I'd best make an intro before I start unloading my questions/theories & and general over enthusiastic fan-yness upon you all.

So yeah, I've been a fan of the series since forever. My favorite game in the series was either Soul Reaver (The one that got me hooked) or maybe Defiance. Even though I haven't played Nosgoth yet I've done a lot of poking around in the lore and such, and I have to say its very impressive as a hard core fan. It ticks a lot of YES boxes for me. <3

And yeah! Hi everyone, its nice to meet you all. :3
―Inimical
Hi and Welcome! If you have any questions about LOK please feel free to ask me. :)

-DC

―Daniel Cabuco, Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:29 pm[451]

The Soul Reaver Menu Screen StatuesEdit

Did the statues at the start of the Soul Reaver menu screen mean anything?

There are eight of them, so six brothers plus Kain and Ariel?

I get that the Blue-eyed one looks like Raziel, but the bearded one makes me think of Tony Jay for some reason.
―Smoke-Z

...

Thank you for the question, Smoke-Z. Also the extra statue, now that I think about it more, was supposed to represent Malik, not Ariel or the Priestess. It was so long ago I forgot.. I wanted to have all of the Sarafan Bretheren represented, because you find out later that they became Kain's lieutenants, and there is an empty tomb for Malek.

DC

―Daniel Cabuco, Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:30 am[452]

Raziel origins...Edit

Hi Daniel,

First of all I really thank you for all of this enlightenment about this series I'm a fan since 1997 when first played BO:LOK.

So about the topic, I never figured out how Raziel came to be the soul of the Reaver at the first place, I mean the Reaver was forged by Vorador and after Janos and elder vampires casted some "spells" on it, so where Raziel fit as the soul of the Reaver here?
―AKRuSan
Hi and welcome AKRuSan.

Ok, Vorador and Janos created the Blood Reaver, which is the Soul Reaver devoid of Raziel's soul. When they built it, they assumed the Vampire Champion would come and imbue it (possibly with the soul of their enemy, the Hylden or his own vampiric might.) Basically it was an empty vessel that would know what to draw in and capture.. in this case a ravenous soul devouring entity named Raziel.

As these things go, the pre-ordained savior of the Vampires wasn't exactly as the persona anticipated. Raziel, as fitting the description for both the Hylden and Vampire champions ended up being the wielder and the prisoner, forever bound to the Soul Reaver.
―Daniel Cabuco, Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:25 am[453]

AttributionEdit

With thanks to DCabDesign, Daniel Cabuco, and all other contributors.

This material is copyrighted. We (the individuals who uploaded this work, and subsequent persons who place it into articles) assert that the Legacy of Kain Wiki's practices qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.

ReferencesEdit

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  36. Vampire's attire in Nosgoth at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #13 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  37. Vampire's attire in Nosgoth at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #17 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  38. The Connection between the Lost City and the Abyss at DCabDesign (by Jake Pawloski), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  39. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  40. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #9 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  41. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #10 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  42. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #11 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  46. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #21 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  47. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #23 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  48. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #27 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  49. Various art and plot questions at DCabDesign (by Dubiel), post #29 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  50. Raziel and Janos at DCabDesign (by Jake Pawloski), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  51. Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  52. SR1 Title Screen mystery at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #7 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  53. Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  54. Soul Reaver 2 questions at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  55. Ruins in Nosgoth at DCabDesign (by Jake Pawloski), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  56. Your favourite Tomb Raider at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  57. Your favourite Tomb Raider at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  58. SR2 Air Forge and Defiance Forges at DCabDesign (by The Hylden), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  59. The heart of darkness. at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  60. 3 quick questions at DCabDesign (by Jake Pawloski), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  62. Blood Omen 2 at DCabDesign (by Divine Shadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  65. Return of the Mac... so to speak at DCabDesign (by Lord Onatu), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  66. The Sanctuary Chamber at DCabDesign (by majinkura), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  67. Shifter at DCabDesign (by Divine Shadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  68. Will Kain devolve like his lieutenants? at DCabDesign (by Nicodemus), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  97. Reaver's final purpose at DCabDesign (by Corpse), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  98. Reaver's final purpose at DCabDesign (by Corpse), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  131. Question on Nosgoth at DCabDesign (by Strands of Night), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  137. About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  138. About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #8 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  139. About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #11 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  140. About Kain's Empire at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #14 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  141. Nosgoth Architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  142. Nosgoth Architecture at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #5 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  143. savior or destoyer, depictions in defiance at DCabDesign (by raziel223), post #4 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  144. The Hylden's plan ... at DCabDesign (by Valaquen), post #6 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  161. The Hylden and Demons at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  162. The Hylden and Demons at DCabDesign (by Raina Audron), post #5 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  166. Thank you at DCabDesign (by Daniel Cabuco), post #1 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  172. The Human Citadel at DCabDesign (by Cradlis), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  180. Vampire Warfare at DCabDesign (by Lexy), post #11 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  181. Soul Reaver 2 Paradox at DCabDesign (by peanut_lord), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  209. The importance of 2D at DCabDesign (by urban_elf), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  235. Location Location at DCabDesign (by LittleShadow), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  320. Resurfacing at DCabDesign (by Daniel Cabuco)
  321. Resurfacing at DCabDesign (by Daniel Cabuco), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  425. Blood Omen 1 and Dracula Coppola at DCabDesign (by Kain-Umah), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  428. Malek vs Raziel oddness at DCabDesign (by Smoke-Z), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  432. Wraith Blade Raziel at DCabDesign (by Soul Reaver), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  447. The Sarafan Religion at DCabDesign (by Zee_Cupcake), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  448. Why no graphic novel? at DCabDesign (by Ananke), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  449. Rahab's Gills at DCabDesign (by Sanguise), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
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  451. Hello guys. at DCabDesign (by Inimical), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  452. The Soul Reaver Menu Screen Statues at DCabDesign (by Smoke-Z), post #3 (by Daniel Cabuco)
  453. Raziel origins... at DCabDesign (by AKRuSan), post #2 (by Daniel Cabuco)

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