Iron Dignity - (1996, Acorn Risc PC, PC, Artex/Topware):
Iron Dignity was a very impressive realtime strategy action game originally made for the Acorn RiscPC. When I first saw the demo I was blown away by the graphics which were quite extraordinary for their time. It used 24bit graphics, had water reflections of units and other elements, a seemingly never ending draw distance of the terrain and something called "filtering" for some of the special FX which was unseen in any game of this time before. The guy who made it was Frank Foehl, a really very talented programmer. And as a fortunate side effect he lived quite near where I'am from: Stuttgart. I met him at a Acorn Fan meeting near Stuttgart and I told him, that his demo was awesome. At that time the game was nothing more than a demo but we started talking about it and I gave him some gameplay ideas of mine and told him, that I am a graphics artist and that I'd like to do some stuff for him.
click for more pictures
click image for more pictures
So we started to work on the game. It was meant to be a action strategy game with at least two factions: the earth forces which used rusty, bulky military vehicles and the alien forces which used some sort of insect shaped vehicles. You needed to build bases and then build different vehicles all of which could have been driven or flown by the player. There had been mechs, tanks, buggys, planes, ships etc. It sounded really cool.
I did some graphics like a mech (which is unfortunately lost except the texture) and other object (which you can view in the image gallery) in Top Model on my RiscPC. He wrote a tool to apply the textures on them because up to then the other vehicles of the game only used some sort of generic textures. The tool was very much a programmers tool, but as I was not very much into 3D graphics at that time, it was quite cool. He also included something called "footplanting" which means, that the mech I've worked on would place his feed according to the underground. So no matter on which slope the mech was walking, his feet would always be accurately placed on the terrain. We met occasionally and improved everything. I also did some FX and game design. But the coolest thing ever was to see the game running on a gigantic Silicon Graphics Workstation of the University of Stuttgart in a cube and in real 3D. A cube (for those who do not know) is a room where the graphics of your application are projected to all sides via beamers. You were able to steer the camera or vehicle with some sort of 3D joystick (I think, it was some sort of a quicksilver technique quite popular at that time). It was awesome. Unfortunately the workstation freezed that evening and the room with the hardware was locked and could only be reset by the janitor so we needed to quit. But I was really impressed. And the fact, that Frank had converted the engine to a SGI workstation was equally impressive.
So I did some stuff for the game but then a company called Artex (which is now called Deck13), which was one of the better developer for the Acorn (famous for TEK and Ankh for the Acorn) snatched the game and I lost contact.
Later on I learned, that the game was brought over to the PC and that Topware was the publisher for it. The game changed quite a bit and as far as I know it was not very much of a success, nevertheless Topware (or maybe it was even Artex) wanted to include lots of real live cutscenes to it, which was very hip at this time (remember Wing Commander or Command & Conquer?)
Funny fact: There are some leftovers of my objects still in the game.

You can see some footage here: