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Friday, January 28, 2011

Moddingstorm

Chris and NinaModdingstorm is a new site for mods created by Moviestorm lead artist and self-styled “minor Web celebrity” Chris Ollis.

He’s so dedicated to his work that at the end of the day, he goes home and makes more Moviestorm art - except when he’s cuddling big cats like this one. Chris was our very first employee, and has been with us for over five years. He came to us from Codemasters, where he worked on a variety of games, mostly involving racing cars. However, he’s always liked doing as many side projects as he can fit in and is a man of many talents. Before turning his hand to Moviestorm, he was an accomplished Unreal Tournament modder; he writes for various animation and 3D magazines; he contributes all sorts of satirical material to b3ta; and he’s had a number of his sketches shown on various TV shows.

He started Moddingstorm as a way to release a wide selection of content at his own pace that has nothing to do with mainstream Moviestorm development. Already available is a castle constructor set and appropriate peasant costumes, plus some horses.  If action scenes are your thing, there’s a jumps and falls pack and a bunch of face wounds.  For extra detail in modern settings, there are desktop and laptop computers, with animations, and miscellaneous props including a goldfish bowl and an ashtray. If you want to try something more experimental, check out the flat people. And for horror fans, there’s an animated Cthulhu - my personal favourite, as it means I can finally make one movie I wrote nearly four years ago!

Chris has a lot more lined up. “First, I’m going to do female peasants to finish up the mediaeval stuff, then - not necessarily in order - retro sci-fi (think Buck Rogers), head gear, robots, moonbase, superheroes and a couple of moves packs. It’s great being able to focus on what I enjoy and just tinker around with things. At work right now I’m doing animations for whiteboards and sorting out missing animations for Valentine’s Day. This is just fun.”

Some of his mods are free, but most are commercial. Chris is open about the fact that his mods are more expensive than most user mods. “There’s a lot in one of my packs,” he points out. “They’re as sophisticated and rich as any of the official packs you’ll get from Moviestorm. They’re not just a couple of buildings or some props. . So yeah, I think they’re worth it, but I guess the real test is to see what the users think.” 

Moddingstorm also includes tutorials for other modders, covering some of the more advanced aspects of modding. Chris has always been active in the Moviestorm modding community, offering help and advice wherever needed, and he wanted to continue this. “I just hope this lights a fire under people. All the info people need to do stuff like Cthulhu is out there. This should help some of the users who want to take modding a bit more seriously.”

He’s also open to commissions.  As he points out, “free time is a rarity, but if you have an idea that looks like it could be enough fun…”

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(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland



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