What is this?

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What is this?

Post by hefan1998 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:15 am

I was browsing the art portfolio of Leah Verre (one of the original Humongous animators) and I found this:
http://www.leahverre.com/piwigo/picture.php?/10/category/1

It looks like a super-deformed version of Backyard Sports' very own Lisa Crocket. Was this used for anything? (Sorry if I don't know much, I haven't played an HE game in over 7 years)

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Re: What is this?

Post by Pizzaking27 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:07 am

Is your username GQG? BTW, that face of hers will give me nightmares!

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Re: What is this?

Post by Retrodude on Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:48 pm

Though I'm not certain which specific game it's from, Humongous started using pre-rendered 3D characters in their sports games starting with the first Backyard Football in 1999. It looks as if this was inspired by her later redesign that was first used in Backyard Hockey however. It also might have been used in the all-3D console versions, but I'm not too sure about it.

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Re: What is this?

Post by Pizzaking27 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:05 pm

I didn't know Humongous started turning 3D in 1999... or did they?

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Re: What is this?

Post by hefan1998 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:11 pm

Pizzaking27 wrote:Is your username GQG?
I assume you're referring to George Q. Greg whom I regularly see posting here. If so, nope.

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Re: What is this?

Post by hefan1998 on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:13 pm

Retrodude wrote:It also might have been used in the all-3D console versions, but I'm not too sure about it.

Was Leah Verre still with HE after the Atari takeover circa 2003? If not I don't think this model was used in any of those games.

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Re: What is this?

Post by GeorgeQGreg on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:38 pm

hefan1998 wrote:
Pizzaking27 wrote:Is your username GQG?
I assume you're referring to George Q. Greg whom I regularly see posting here. If so, nope.

Aww shucks... Sam: Happy

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Re: What is this?

Post by Retrodude on Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:34 pm

Pizzaking27 wrote:I didn't know Humongous started turning 3D in 1999... or did they?
I said it was pre-rendered 3D, so it was more like the Donkey Kong Country games.

As for hefan1998's question, one of her other pieces of concept art is the farmer from Pajama Sam LRS, so she was there at least for that 2003 project. Maybe somebody with more time on their hands can check the credits of that game?

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Re: What is this?

Post by Whatthe on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:32 pm

Pajama Sam: Life is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! does credit her for some character design; also, Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise credits her as lead artist as well as for some character design and some additional voice talent.

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Re: What is this?

Post by Pizzaking27 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:56 am

Who does Leah Verre voice in PBS?

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Re: What is this?

Post by Whatthe on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:55 am

It doesn't specify who she voices.

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Re: What is this?

Post by leahverre on Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:25 pm

So hey, i ego-googled myself today and found this thread and this board and you guys are making me cry. I'm really amazed and humbled by your dedication to the HE games.

I'm Leah Verre, and I'll do this site's version of an AMA if you're interested.

I was at Humongous for 10 years and it was an amazing experience. Great people, great games, and a great place to grow up in the games industry.

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Re: What is this?

Post by GeorgeQGreg on Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:50 pm

Hmm... ok, I got one. Don't know if you were specifically involved, but what were you guys thinking putting all those strange easter eggs in the games? Cannibalism, puking, furry blue butts, and I've heard there's worse in one of the Spy Fox games. Actually, is that true? Are there any we haven't found yet?

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Re: What is this?

Post by leahverre on Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:21 pm

GeorgeQGreg wrote:Hmm... ok, I got one. Don't know if you were specifically involved, but what were you guys thinking putting all those strange easter eggs in the games? Cannibalism, puking, furry blue butts, and I've heard there's worse in one of the Spy Fox games. Actually, is that true? Are there any we haven't found yet?

Ok, so what you're talking about are secret .ini settings that we'd put in the games where, in the original CD's, you had to type in a particular code to get there. The first one was in Freddi Fish 1, and was done by my husband at the time, Tom Verre. He had been ink and painting (because you know we did all the animations the old fashioned way, right? We would draw them all on paper and then scan them in and go over them with the pixels in a program called "Splat" which worked with SCUMM) and one night he just decided to animate Eddie the Eel eating Luther. I forget the code, but it was something like "Eddie_eats_luther=1". So you'd never see it unless you typed that in somewhere.. i don't even remember how to get to it. (I'm sure you guys know) So instead of feeding Eddie a Peanut Butter and Jellyfish sandwich, you'd feed him Luther. The next one was the Putt Zoo one where you just keep feeding Putt cotton candy until he pukes. And then there's the one in PSam where he photocopies his butt. That was done by Giancarlo Volpe, who went on to work on King of the Hill and I think he's now at Pixar or somewhere equally amazing. It was just a way to blow off steam and be goofy.

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Re: What is this?

Post by MrEightThreeOne on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:40 pm

Cool, now we know who to blame for ruining our childhoo-I mean who did those crazy scenes. There was also Spy Fox getting burned and brought back to life in a Dragon's Lair fashion.

Well, most of us know about HOW to get them...you can thank the ScummVM team for that. Obviously it's just a little off-putting when you see seemingly innocent children's games suddenly throw things at you like cars puking and rear ends exposed. There's also some cool leftovers if you dig deeper though, like old storyboard drawings and test animations. If you care to see what we've uncovered so far, help yourself.

Hmm...I think I have quite a few questions I can ask.

What would you say some of your favorite memories working at Humongous were?

What was your favorite thing you worked on while there?

Any particularly interesting stories from the office?

Do you know of any concepts, be it puzzles, scenes, or otherwise that were planned for games but didn't make it for various reasons?

Any ideas what happened to the proposed TV series by Lancit Media? There's several news from around '97-ish that detail Humongous getting a deal with them to produce three different TV series for the HE characters, but nothing was ever mentioned of them beyond that.

Do you have a personal theory on why Humongous ultimately didn't last?

By the way, look what I found. (lol cell phones)

Thank you so much for dropping by -- it means a lot to me.

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Re: What is this?

Post by GeorgeQGreg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:02 pm

OH MAI GOSH, SHE'S THE CHICKEN IN THE POT?

Ahem, the ScummVM team shouldn't have all the blame. Somehow, the Dutch translators found the Zoo easter eggs, and PUT THEM IN A NORMAL PAGE IN THE HELP FILE. The Dutch translators were just as messed up as you guys! Whoever picked them, sure knew how. Heck, I'd have plenty of translation related questions to ask, but I doubt you were involved with that part of things. But here's the text of the Dutch help page on the HEGAMES.INI file.

http://pastebin.com/1p0Jftzc

Edit: oh yeah, I love how the translator seemed to think the "autoplay" feature refers to the Windows 95 autoplay feature.

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Re: What is this?

Post by leahverre on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:35 pm

MrEightThreeOne wrote:Cool, now we know who to blame for ruining our childhoo-I mean who did those crazy scenes. There was also Spy Fox getting burned and brought back to life in a Dragon's Lair fashion.

Well, most of us know about HOW to get them...you can thank the ScummVM team for that. Obviously it's just a little off-putting when you see seemingly innocent children's games suddenly throw things at you like cars puking and rear ends exposed. There's also some cool leftovers if you dig deeper though, like old storyboard drawings and test animations. If you care to see what we've uncovered so far, help yourself.

Hmm...I think I have quite a few questions I can ask.

What would you say some of your favorite memories working at Humongous were?

What was your favorite thing you worked on while there?

Any particularly interesting stories from the office?

Do you know of any concepts, be it puzzles, scenes, or otherwise that were planned for games but didn't make it for various reasons?

Any ideas what happened to the proposed TV series by Lancit Media? There's several news from around '97-ish that detail Humongous getting a deal with them to produce three different TV series for the HE characters, but nothing was ever mentioned of them beyond that.

Do you have a personal theory on why Humongous ultimately didn't last?

By the way, look what I found. (lol cell phones)

Thank you so much for dropping by -- it means a lot to me.

Wow, the internet is a scary place, man. I don't even remember writing that.

Favorite memories: Too many to count. There's a scene in the first Spy Fox where Mr. Udderly butt-walks across the ice. The animator on that scene had another artist butt walk across the floor so he could get some reference on how to approach the scene. There were great brainstorming days where we'd spend a day at someone's house armed with sketchbooks and whiteboards and design an entire adventure. There were water fights in the parking lot. There was "stupid park day", which started because there was a rash of people who had been parking poorly, so we decided to just create a day where everyone parked as idiotically as possible. So there would be a Mini taking up like, 3 spots, which is kind of a feat if you think about it. Recording the theme songs for Spy Fox was pretty neat. Receiving fanmail that included little kids dressed up like Sam was especially cool

My favorite thing I worked on is hard to pin down, but all the Spy Fox games are up there. I think Poodle Menace would have to be a fave because it was super goofy. I modeled the main baddy (Poodles Galore) after Phyllis Diller. I also had a thing for llamas, so I was able to cram a llama character into the game.

I'm sure there are lots of things that didn't make it into the games, but I can't think of a specific example that would be particularly interesting to share. All the good stuff ended up in the final products.

TV series: No idea.

As for what happened in the end, well, it's just a case of a lot of what happens in the game dev world. Companies get purchased and the industry changes. It still goes on, so if you want to go into game dev, just be aware that like most jobs in the entertainment industry, it's not particularly secure or stable. Businesses have to make money, and while the HE games did okay, they were a lot more about the love of creating and sharing them than the love of profit. I'm really happy to see them on Steam.



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Re: What is this?

Post by leahverre on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:45 pm

GeorgeQGreg wrote:OH MAI GOSH, SHE'S THE CHICKEN IN THE POT?

Ahem, the ScummVM team shouldn't have all the blame. Somehow, the Dutch translators found the Zoo easter eggs, and PUT THEM IN A NORMAL PAGE IN THE HELP FILE. The Dutch translators were just as messed up as you guys! Whoever picked them, sure knew how. Heck, I'd have plenty of translation related questions to ask, but I doubt you were involved with that part of things. But here's the text of the Dutch help page on the HEGAMES.INI file.

http://pastebin.com/1p0Jftzc

Edit: oh yeah, I love how the translator seemed to think the "autoplay" feature refers to the Windows 95 autoplay feature.

The only part of the localization I was responsible for was helping to translate and resize all the burnt-in art, which was myriad. So I'd have to take a short, simple word in English (a sign on a door in a background, for instance) and figure out a way to smash the German equivalent (something like Gazundimeinenbraunundblummenburger) into the same spot.

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Re: What is this?

Post by GeorgeQGreg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:50 pm

Smash is right. I kinda feel sorry.

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Re: What is this?

Post by MrEightThreeOne on Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:36 am

leahverre wrote:
Favorite memories: Too many to count. There's a scene in the first Spy Fox where Mr. Udderly butt-walks across the ice. The animator on that scene had another artist butt walk across the floor so he could get some reference on how to approach the scene. There were great brainstorming days where we'd spend a day at someone's house armed with sketchbooks and whiteboards and design an entire adventure. There were water fights in the parking lot. There was "stupid park day", which started because there was a rash of people who had been parking poorly, so we decided to just create a day where everyone parked as idiotically as possible. So there would be a Mini taking up like, 3 spots, which is kind of a feat if you think about it. Recording the theme songs for Spy Fox was pretty neat. Receiving fanmail that included little kids dressed up like Sam was especially cool

Hah, I remember that scene, but I didn't realize he was butt-walking; I thought it was just Spy Fox dragging him off. Now I know!

That has to be the most ridiculous tradition I've ever heard (the parking one)...but it's too funny to shrug off.

Speaking of which, I actually went as Pajama Sam for Halloween one year! I think Retrodude said he did as well. I think I have a few old photos of it as well; it was by far my favorite costume I ever went with.

leahverre wrote:
I'm sure there are lots of things that didn't make it into the games, but I can't think of a specific example that would be particularly interesting to share. All the good stuff ended up in the final products.

Well, knowing what we've found, I'm intrigued by everything. There's storyboards of Mr. Triplefin smoking a pipe in Freddi Fish 2 and looking unpleasant to talk to instead of friendly (see here), unused cursors in the Freddi Fish 3 demo depicting golden FISH instead of golden pipes, an unused item in Spy Fox that is a paper supposedly mentioning where jail is (see here; the actual game has Monkey Penny send you coordinates to the watch), and an alternate path in Pajama Sam 4 where you were supposed to find the grandmother's missing contact lens instead of yarn for a sweater (see here). They're little things, but they've garnered my interest none the less.

I'm personally not pursuing a career in game development -- I'm more of a hardware guy myself, haha. My main hobby is looking at and maintaining old computers, to the point that I still have the very first one I ever used (and it was a piece of junk, too...but I didn't care, it played the games, so what more could I ask for? I made a video of it two years back, and I even played Pajama Sam 2 on it along with a few of the demos. Have a look. If you want to skip to the gameplay, it's at the 10:20 mark). These games are actually what made me realize how much I loved computers, and it's why I'm at college studying electrical engineering right now. I know it's a particularly rough industry to work in. Really, the entertainment industry in general is very stressful, but in the end, the companies I love the most are the ones who do it because they enjoy it, and it's just one more reason Humongous was and still is one of my favorite companies ever.

Oh yeah, I saw you sharing the person of the week on the alumni page on Facebook. I'd love to join that page, but I don't like the idea of people finding my real identity.

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Re: What is this?

Post by hefan1998 on Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:28 am

Been inactive for so long that I didn't realize Leah posted here!

So Leah, I'm going to ask the question in my original post: what IS that deformed Lisa model in your portfolio? I am only asking because it looks HORRENDOUS. I hope it wasn't used for a game.

Also, were you involved in the creative process with the Backyard Sports like you were with the Junior Adventures, or were you just an artist for the sports?

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Re: What is this?

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