Aside from my day-to-day work and home responsibilities, I have always had a sort of back-burner project going through my head. I used to think of myself as a writer and a 3D design hobbyist, though I kind of put these hobbies aside in the interest of work and building a home for my wife and our "kids", two dogs, two cats, and a gecko.
But you can't put your most cherished ideas away. They have a tendency of creeping back into your mind every now and again, and so I find myself pondering it again.
I want to make a village. A 3D village, photo-realistic, complete with peanut-butter-covered butter knives in the kitchens, to squashed pennies on train tracks. I want to have a regular postman running his routes, a sales clerk at the hardware store who frequents the bar too often, and a gate that was put on at an angle and has rusted through its springs.
This project is not new, by any means. I've got map sketches going back almost 10 years. I originally came up with the idea because at work we were doing 3D sets for an interactive Language software product, and Myst and similar games were all the rage at the time. I found Myst and Riven very compelling, and it occurred to me that maybe my writing projects were faltering because I was using the wrong medium. Perhaps it wasn't a novel I was trying to make. Perhaps it was an interactive virtual world!
Well, 10 years later, and I've learned a lot about 3D rendering, 3D programming, and all sorts of other things, but haven't made much progress yet on the actual original project itself.
So I'm going to give it a try again.
I'm buying some notebooks and some small pens.
I'm collecting URLs and books and article on civil engineering, city planning, small towns.
What I' d like to do is divorce the over-arching story I had in mind at first, and just focus on making a real, living, breathing village of about 1,000 or so citizens. Neighborhoods, broken fences, farms, etc.
Along the way, I'll develop a web site that will show it off, and encourage people to submit ideas, photographs, models, etc., to be incorporated into the village.
I'll keep progress on the project updated in these blogs. And now that I have a scanner, I can even begin posting some of the hand-written/-drawn elements I've already begun working on.