|February 21, 2008
The IGF awarded Excellence in Audio: Audiosurf, by Invisible Handlebar to
Pedro Macedo Camacho. Pedro was responsible for all music and edited/supervised all sfx but the game is all about music. Read more about the project and here is an interview with the producer. AME congratulates Pedro and are thrilled that he won.
February 13, 2008
Yeah! We have more publishing partners, so now south eastern European fans of adventure games can play A Vampyre Story when it comes out a in a few months. Now Mona and Froderick can play their own game!. Read Article »
June 15, 2007
Read an interview with Bill Tiller about A Vampyre Story and other interesting AME plans by Will Freeman (Pro-G). Read Article »
April 3, 2007
Happy Easter from AME!
March 15, 2007
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from AME!
February 14, 2007
Autumn Moon wishes you and your loved ones a Happy Valentines Day!!
October 31, 2006
Autumn Moon wishes you and your family a Happy Halloween!!
Halloween – my favorite time of year, which I think is fairly obvious based on our name, our web site imagery, and also because of the game we are making.
Why the Halloween theme, name, and Halloween-like game one might ask?
It might be a trend or it might just be normal, but I have noticed that many people my age seem to be trying to recapture their childhood. Tim Burton seems to be remaking every movie from his childhood (and mine too for that matter) with remakes of Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Nightmare Before Christmas is a clear homage to the stop motion holiday specials, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer that we watched and loved as kids. George Lucas did the same thing when he recreated the movie serials of his childhood in the form of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
An artist friend of mine wanted to collect again all the toys he had as a kid. I asked why he wanted to do that even though he was an adult. He said it is because looking at them made him remember all the good times he had with those toys and it instantly put him in a good mood. I know the feeling. Today while taking my daughter to school, I saw a book on her desk I hadn’t seen in thirty years, a book I loved called Halloween Tricks. It shows you how to pull off simple illusions to impress your friends. I was flooded with warm nostalgic feelings.
Of all the holidays, Halloween for me celebrates the joy of being a child. It is scary and full of adventure and it comes with great rewards (candy, candy, candy). It also demands that you be someone you are not. It demands that you pretend. And it encourages tricks, the pranks and scares that really give this holiday its unique and somewhat dangerous reputation. The monsters of Halloween represent death, danger and horror. What better way to fight the fear of death than with excitement, joy, and the energy of children ‘high’ on candy, full of youth and life. Their laughter and joy are a panacea for any morbid spirits that might ruin this holiday.
This is the reason I chose to put Mad Jack, our silly cartoon Jack O’Lantern, in our logo. He looks kind of scary, but he is obviously harmless and whimsical.
Just for fun, some of us at Cal Arts would make up our own production company names to place at the beginnings of our films, to seem more professional than we were at the time. Plus it was fun to imagine that some day we would have our own production companies.
I chose the name Autumn Moon Productions to display before my short film. When I did actually get to start my own company, it was natural to use the same name, though I liked “Entertainment” a bit better than “Productions”. And the initials, AME, are very similar to the name ‘Amy,’ which just happens to be the name of the love of my life.
I chose ‘autumn’ because it is my favorite time of year, not only due to Halloween but also because a lot of exciting things happen in autumn.` My birthday (coincidentally) is November 1st, the day after Halloween. Autumn is the start of the American football season (go
BEARS!) and the start of the school year. But even more I love the change in the weather, in the light, and most of all, the change in the plants and trees. Autumn, and especially October, is a time of mystery, adventure, and danger, when the skies turn a foreboding grey and the trees turn to gnarly hands and arms reaching for the sky.
It’sthe time when voices from the past ride through the fall leaves upon the chilly breeze. The smell of burning pumpkin and dry leaves instantly sends me back to my childhood when my friends and I would venture out into the woods, looking for ghosts, goblins and mystery.
Ray Bradbury, an author whom I would ditch school to go read, understood this about fall. He ascribed the name ‘October Country’ to the homeland of his supernatural villains in the book, Something Wicked this Way Comes. So autumn to me means adventure, and what better word to use for an adventure company?
And lastly, why the word moon in our company name? The moon represents the subconscious, the night, mystery, and creativity. On a full moon the night seems to come alive and glow. The moon is the natural lantern for the adventurer. It is bright enough to illuminate the silhouette of the monster, or to hint at a clue, but still not bright enough to reveal his identity, or the solution to the riddle. The moon means mystery. What better symbol for a company whose stories involve the macabre, the mysterious, and the imagination?
So I encourage you all to enjoy this Halloween night and to find adventure. I hope mystery and imagination come and haunt you tonight and the rest of the year.
CEO and Creative Director
Autumn Moon Entertainment
October 19, 2006
The AME web site lives!!!!
We decided it was time to start making a few updates to the AME web site (we figure we should do it at least twice a year, whether it needs it or not). The good news, is the reason we’ve been so lax in updating the site is because we’re currently in full production mode with A Vampyre Story. New backgrounds are being created daily, we’ve completed several of the 3D character models, we’re in the process of finalizing the content for all of the in-game cutscenes, and our good friends at Golden Goose Games have been working hard on our 3D game engine.
The gang at AME is very excited about our progress – we’re confident we’ll be delivering a game that’s been well worth the wait. Now that we’ve settled into our Petaluma offices, development of a Vampyre story should continue to accelerate (at least as soon as we get all of these boxes put away – Tim Schaffer was right, it takes a long time to set up an office). In the next couple of weeks we’ll be revamping the AME and Vampyre Story web sites to include some updated game content, and we’ll be adding an AME blog that will provide a combination of ongoing development updates and information about all of the bizarre happenings occurring within the AME office.
June 30, 2006
So you guessed it, I am very happy to announce Autumn Moon has signed with a publisher to produce A Vampyre Story for PC. More details will be coming from us and from our publisher in the coming weeks. So the AVS team is swinging into high gear finishing up pre-production and then starting on full production.
Sorry I can’t say more or give more details but we wanted to let the fans know as soon as possible that we have signed a deal, but we also want to have a big press release and web event to announce the details. So look for the ‘big’ announcement and more details coming soon.
Thanks for all your patience and wish us luck as we plow headlong into production.
Bill Tiller 🙂
June 15, 2006
This interview came out in April 2006, we are finally posting a link to it now. Sorry for the delay! Read an interview with Bill Tiller on A Vampyre Story at Adventure Advocate.
Read Article »
April 8, 2006
The Goose, the Moon and the Woodpecker
Team up for AME technology Demo
To finish the A Vampyre Story Technology demo, Autumn Moon has enlisted the programming talents of Pileated Pictures and Golden Goose games. AME has narrowed its engine search down and selected one that will allow us to create a compelling game without compromising on features or art. We are currently focusing on creating a technology demo that will demonstration to the publishers that we have the talent necessary to do an amazing job. With a technology demo in complete, the next stage of production will be just around the corner.
We encourage all AME fans to go over and check out Pileated Pictures, founded by Mike Levine, a long time LucasArts alumni. Pileated is a talented full service multimedia company that has many years of experience in gaming technologies, art and design, web design, and animation.
Golden Goose Games has made several games for the casual PC Gamer, as well as creating original titles, and an outsource for medium sized projects. Their team members created games for many different platforms, and have several years of experience in making good games.
AME is excited to be working with the both of these companies and thank them for their efforts so far, and can’t wait to see what the future will bring.
March 7, 2006
Check out what is being said around the web about A Vampyre Story:
December 11, 2005
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Merry Kwanza, Happy Winter Solstice and Joyous Boxing Day to you all! Did I miss a holiday? I’m pretty sure there is a Zoroastrian holiday around this time too, but I am not sure. Anyway Happy holidays to you all!
So just incase you didn’t notice, I wanted to let you know about the new AME store and the new AME forum. We finally got off our lazy collective, uh…ahem…’duffs’, shall we say, and added some overdue content. So we added a store now, – the typical Café Press stuff, and will be adding black T-shirts and a calendar soon. I’d like to thank T for all his help there. So buy as much stuff as you can afford. It is for a good cause: paying T back for putting up the webs site and dealing with Café press. I owe him tons, so anything you can give will help out. Plus T is very, very poor and sick with a limp. He may die soon if we don’t raise enough money for Tiny T’s operation this Christmas!
Next we have a killer new forum where you can flame each other to your hearts content, and I’ll occasionally add my horribly misspelled and grammatically incorrect comments and share way too much. Hopefully you all can read “Tillerese’ and understand what I am babbling about. So good luck with that!
I’d like to thank the good folks over at Adventure Europe (http://www.adventure-eu.com), Dimitris Manos and Stone for putting up with my slow…um…’arse’, and for putting this together and for doing the whole hosting thang. Go check out their kick ..uh…’duff’ site when you get the chance.
And last I threw up a picture of Froderick for you all. I want to give proper respects to Jean Louise Sirois for the background facial expressions of Froderick. Those will really help our animators get their phonemes down, whatever phonemes are.
I’ll be adding two more images, another character image of Shrowdy’s Mom, a major villain, and a new screen shot of Madame Strigoi’s Gypsy wagon and encampment.
I also want to give a big shout out to Steve Purcell who did this cool image of me (I did the crappy colors). I asked one day if he’d put me in the next Sam and Max comic getting my ..um…’booty’ kicked by Max. And lo’ and behold! A few months later a copy of this showed up on my desk at Lucas Arts. I was thrilled. So thanks Steve, you rock!
Well that is for me this week. I’ll be back next week (Yeah! Right!) for another installment of “What the heck is going on at AME?”.
So until next time, adios!
August 24, 2005
I was going to post something completely different on this week’s AME news, but I just got the devastating news that one of the nicest, most generous, and talented people I have ever met died Tuesday in a car crash, Joe Ranft. I want the whole world to know what a great guy he was and I want to share with you my memories of Joe.
I knew Joe Ranft as my story teacher at Cal Arts from 1988 to 1990. Joe had just finished working on The Brave Little Toaster and Who Framed Roger Rabbit when I first met him, and was working on Oliver And Company and The Little Mermaid. He was a smiling gentle giant of man who just had this wonderful child like enthusiasm for all things story and art related. I was one of the weaker students in my class, though Joe never made me feel like I was. He was always supportive and gave positive critiques to help out my student film and story board assignments. He was never negative or a downer in any way.
He shared all these great stories about working in Taiwan on Toaster and working at Disney on Rescuers Down Under. He would bring in all this art from movies Disney hadn’t finished yet. It was very exciting and inspiring. He even brought a reel on video of all the concept art done for the new Rescuers movie. This led to an interesting chapter of Cal Arts history. The reel showed images of the boy who needed rescuing, an aboriginal boy who kind of looked like a blonde-haired, dreadlocked version of Mowgli from The Jungle Book. We all thought he was cool and thought it was good of Disney to not have a Caucasian kid as a lead in their movies for a change. Later they changed their mind and made a blonde-haired, blue eyed Caucasian boy. We all freaked out and ripped Katzenberg a new one at the Cal Arts premier. I don’t know if Joe wanted that to happen, but I recall that he wasn’t happy with the change either. Next year Katzenberg took the USC animation school to the premier of Beauty and the Beast instead. That showed us. I don’t think it was too long after Beauty and the Beast that Joe started work with Henry Selleck on Nightmare Before Christmas (I sometimes wonder if that incident precipitated the fall of Disney feature animation. My school’s brightest stars ended up working at Cartoon Network and Pixar, not at Disney.).
He was always bringing in cool books for us to look at. I remember the one he showed me was this wonderful book by Chris Van Allsberg called the Mysteries of Harris Burdick. It is a collection of images which form 12 different unwritten stories. Next to each image is the title and one sentence from the story. Joe loved this book because no one, not even the least creative person could look at those illustrations and quotes with out thinking up a story to go with them. It showed that everyone can be creative and think up cool stories -everyone! Joe was like that. He made you feel like you could be the next Tim Burton or Steven Spielberg.
He also brought in a bunch of Bill Pete books. Bill Pete was the head story guy at Disney for so many years, second only to Walt in his story telling abilities. Joe brought in Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent and Big Bad Bruce. They were these great short stories with cute plots with these occasional unpredictable twists at the end that were really pretty funny. He even told me about a children’s book store just a few miles away that I should go check out. Until then I hadn’t given children’s books much thought. Now I buy more children’s books than I can afford – just ask my wife! I owe my love of children’s books to Joe.
Our first assignment in his class, Joe made us use a character without a face called Mr. Egghead. At first I thought it was odd that we couldn’t draw on a face. But what he said is that some times animators use the facial expression as a crutch to express emotion. The best way to express emotion was through body poses, and in the silhouette. I had never thought of that before. He really wanted his students to get across the emotional states of characters through movement, behavior and acting, even in simple still drawings or inanimate objects. I remembered this when I was working on Curse of Monkey Island. All my initial drawings I was unhappy with. They were too stiff and lacked vitality. But then I remembered what Joe said about inanimate objects, that they could show character and emotion as well. So I applied this idea to all the palm trees and towers of the forts and the buildings and clouds, etc. And like magic, the art started to come together. The lazy palm tress were leaning over and relaxing in the hot Caribbean sun. The clouds were dancing, and swirling about in the tropical breeze. The towers were defiantly sticking out their chests, and the old buildings on the cliff were fighting for space on the cliff tops.
His classes were a lot of fun too. He showed us cool improvisational games he used some times with his story team to get their creative juices flowing. They just made us laugh our asses off, and proved that you can contribute a lot to ideas that aren’t yours, and that you need to rely on each other in a team, and not try and compete and out do each other or it will ruin the team chemistry and ruin the project.
One piece of advice he gave us was concerning burnout on projects, because lets face it, after a year or two of working on one project team members tend to get mighty sick of it. This can kill momentum and kill the quality of the project. He said that when we do get sick of the project to try and go back and eyepiece the things that inspired us to work on the project in the first place. Reinvigorate yourself with new art on the subject of your project or taking road trips to do research, watch new movies that could influence your work and give you new ideas. Just do anything to get your mind back to where you were in the beginning when you were so excited by the project’s possibilities. I have been working on A Vampyre Story in earnest off and on for five years. There are many times I have gotten sick of the project I was on, and then I think back to his advice and find that creative energy to go on and persevere till it is as perfect as it can get. Joe would say these are all hard projects. Everybody sees the great end result, but they don’t see the early crappy versions of projects that get discarded after tons of work and long hours have been put in to it. But in the end it is all worth it and people love what you have done. And they think you all are great natural talents, and get everything right the first time (Ha!). He says you never get it right the first time – never. And you shouldn’t. You can always do better and you should always strive to push your art and ideas farther. “You do a sequence until it is great, and then you rework it again- push it even farther or at least try”, Joe said when teaching at Cal Arts. Because of him I have very high standards for my art. I look at my art and I think “Now Joe said ‘Don’t be happy with it. Push it farther.” And then I go back and redo it and more often than not I surprise myself and I do make it better. Joe was right.
But the thing I really appreciated about Joe, besides his generosity and talent, was that he was a real human being. That’s real important to me. I just don’t see that enough in people in the game and animation industry. These industries are just too competitive to be nice in I think for most people. But not for Joe, he was always polite, cheerful and caring throughout his career.
I remember one time my friend Mike Cachuela saw my The Dig animations and said they were pretty good. He suggested I show it to Pixar because they were looking for animators for their first feature movie. So I called Joe and he set up a time when me and Larry Ahern should come over and show them our animation. Well let’s just say it was one of the more humiliating days of my life. Our game animations were just way too small and limited to impress Pixar. But Joe was real nice and complimentary about it. He smiled and thanked us, and gave us tips on how to get better and talked with us for some time, while the other Pixar director, who shall remain nameless, looked at us like we just wasted his valuable time. Joe could tell we were embarrassed and came to our rescue and encouraged us, giving us constructive critiques. He just showed such great caring and humanity.
Mike was right when he said of Joe’s passing, “There is a great big hole in the universe, where just tons of positive energy used to flow, that Joe has left behind.” He touched so many people. I’ll miss him. But his teachings and influence will live on. I know his creative spirit and everything he taught me will live on in all the art and games I do, and will be applied to the art of A Vampyre Story.
Thanks, Joe. George Bailey has got nothing on you.
August 14, 2005
AVS web site updated: New art added to Gallery and a News update.
Autumn Moon and Bad Brain Part Ways
(Encinitas, CA) Autumn Moon Entertainment (AME) announced that the company has terminated its relationship with Bad Brain Entertainment, a new entrant in the Video Game publishing business based in Germany. AME is currently working on its launch title, A Vampyre Story. AME is composed of former Lucas Arts employees and committed to reviving the adventure genre of game for which Lucas was once known.
“While it is unfortunate and a setback that we were unable to come to terms with Bad Brain, we remain committed to bring AVS (A Vampyre Story) to market as we believe that there is a strong fan-base for this type of game world wide and we love working on this type of game” says Mike Kirchoff, Director of Business Development for Autumn Moon.
Autumn Moon’s CEO, Bill Tiller, added that “Bad Brain’s enthusiasm and shared dedication to this genre attracted us to them and we are certain that they will grow into a great company in the future, but at this point we have elected to seek a publisher elsewhere. We are happy that our title has brought attention to Bad Brain and appreciate their efforts thus far in promoting the game, but we feel it is time to move on.”
While the ending of this relationship introduces a delay in the production of A Vampyre Story, Autumn Moon expressed they are dedicated to bringing this title to market. Autumn Moon also points to articles worldwide that have shown enthusiasm for the title and the game’s designation as the “Most Anticipated Adventure Game” by The Inventory as evidence of the market potential both for this title and the Adventure Genre.
Mr. Kirchoff added “this change in plans may have a hidden benefit as well, we (AME) believe that this genre a game has a huge potential in portable market, such as Sony’s Playstation Portable, where the style of gameplay and technology would appear to be an ideal match and this change allows us the potential to explore this opportunity.”
Read about A Vampyre Story at Adventure Developers.
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Read about A Vampyre Story at Xequted.
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Read about A Vampyre Story at Adventure Gamers.
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Read about A Vampyre Story at Just Adventure.com’s Inventory Magazine (June 2004).
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