3D Festival: When did production begin on Nyxies?
Mike Brown:I started working on it just before Summer last year. We were in the pre-production stage of Presto's upcoming game 'Whacked' for the X-box so it was a little slow at work. I built several primitive characters, no hands or feet, pretty blocky and rough, to get a general idea of the character design aesthetic I wanted. Then I went ahead and built the male and female leads (Leeek and Laurr) and posted them around a little. I had no idea what I was going to do with them at the time. I had a couple story ideas but nothing really solid. They just kind of sat around for 9 months while I worked on story ideas and started laying out how the whole Nyxie universe fits together.
Note: Above link is a 12MB AVI in DivX format.
Once I got the mechanics of the world worked out, and had a couple of story idea sequences on paper, I started laying everything together into a story. The storyboards were done pretty quickly and after that it took about 5 weekends to build the environments and animate everything. I did one or two shots each weekend and built the sets and props as I needed them. The title card animation took an additional 2 weekends. The web site kind of evolved over the course of a few weeks. I'd say the story and character development phase took about a year to solidify and the actual production time was about 8 or 9 weeks mostly on weekends.
3D Festival: Is Leeek the only character in this tale? If not, how many more can we expect?
Mike Brown: I've got a pretty broad cast of creatures and characters designed and planned. There's a couple good guys, a couple of bad guys and a few things somewhere in-between. It's an odd world where things aren't always what they appear to be at first glance.
The first six episodes are designed to introduce a lot of the players so you can expect to see at least one new creature or character introduced in each episode. After number six there'll be a few more characters but they'll be introduced more sporadically. The environments will start getting a lot more lush as well. Most of the episodes will take place outside in a very dense forest. The cave settings are pretty stark and bland compared to what's coming.
3D Festival: Where in the world did you come up with the idea? It's exceptionally original.
Mike Brown: I got the original idea from a dream I had about these two tribes of little creatures made of rope that were at war with each other. On one side there was the dark creatures with glowing eyes, and on the other side there was the light creatures with black eyes. The glowy eyed side was fighting to keep the world dark because the bright sun hurt their eyes. The dark eyed creatures were fighting to keep the world bright because they feared the dark. The first idea I had was to do a series of 'Spy vs. Spy' type shorts with the glowy eyes and dark eyes battling it out. I really didn't find the dark eyes to be nearly as appealing as the glowy ones so I abandoned that concept and started focusing on the glowy eyes. I kind of think of them as dark, mischievous 'Smurfs' in a way. They're not evil or malicious, they just like dark places.
3D Festival: What is your target audience for Nyxies?
Mike Brown: I'm really not sure I have a target audience. I basically started this to have fun and learn more about film making and directing techniques. Shot flow and camera angles and stuff like that. I'm really just trying to entertain myself and hopefully some of that will carry over to the audience. I'd like to have something that's primarily fun for adults but is also acceptable and for kids to watch. There's so much adult stuff on the web. I'd like something mom and dad can share with the peanuts. If grown-ups like it, I think kids will too.