Hey folks! The long wait is over, castle character bios have been released at DeletionQuality and there's plenty of goodies about each character and creature! Oscar and I have been working on this project for about a year, not to mention aciDC14 and Mattbot made some interesting contributions. You should totally read it! If you find grammatical mistakes you're welcome to send me a Note. Oscar is more active on DQ so you can throw him a private message there, there's a character discussion thread as well, take a look: forums.deletionquality.net/sho…
Here's a bunch of bio snippets for the sake of preview
Beecher Beecher grew up in one of the few remaining French-Canadian regions where he signed up for military service at young age during a bout of national unemployment.
Lloyd Officially speaking Lloyd was hired, although in reality one could argue that he was captured.
Dr.Romanov Through persuasion and eventually force the government successfully acquired the doctor to work for them in what came to be called The Castle Project.
Private Ray Williams Despite Ray’s career within the military he still treasures family and past interests. When there is time left to spare he enjoys reading a book or access the remains of the internet.
Evolved Evil With their keen senses they track down anything unusual and lay in ambush, may it be behind a wall or two, it won’t stop them. They eat prey but it’s unclear whether they gain any energy from the activity.
Flying Evil The creatures tend to be showing a more aggressive than defensive behaviour – they persistently attack fleeing intruders to finish them off, including vehicles much larger than themselves.
Hey folks! Thought it was time to update everyone on the upcoming Castle episodes. Over at DeletionQuality there's been a forum thread dedicated to questions & answers regarding Castle 4. I've re-coded Oscar's post to fit this journal entry You're welcome to ask questions but I highly recommend you do so at DQ because Oscar is more active there, here's the link: forums.deletionquality.net/sho…
CASTLE IV QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Answers by Oscar are represented by normal text while questions are written in bold.
I aim to make the music myself this time. There are a few reasons for this. Even though I'm sure other more talented composers could make epic stuff fit for the series, I enjoy having full control over the timing/sound etc. To be frank I also felt quite bad to sometimes push other people to make the music (Repercussion), especially when I turned down pieces that I felt didn't work out. Especially considering this was something that someone had created purely in their free time. Also, just taking music from various sources online don't feel good either because it won't be tailored/original for the script. And taking music from movies/trailers don't feel good for the same reason, as well as the ethical aspect of it.
I've tried to make music before as early as back for Repercussions (the after credits bonus scene music in Rep Part D2 was actually by me trying to mimic the credit's "theme" song), but my skills weren't too good. I've spent quite some time since then trying to improve my skills and I think that I've now reached a level of quality that will work for Castle IV. Polo also helped me out with the final mix for the teaser, and he will also be helping out with custom made sound effects, so it feels good to have his talent available.
And will there be voices?
Are original voice actors returning?
Yes, just like previous episodes. Though I haven't yet decided about the voice actors. Perhaps some of the old actors aren't even available or willing. I aim for a high level of quality in every aspect of the movie, sound and voices included. That means I can't tolerate low quality microphones. I've had the idea of actually paying for a bit more professional voice acting as well, but that depends on how much that actually costs, perhaps DQ:ers/Enthusiasts would be willing to spare some change to make that happen.
That's some interesting change of style. I suppose it's only a somewhat natural progression from stickfigures and I dig that you've decided on a sort of hybrid between stick figures and human characters.
Although i would have hoped for full on human i can more or less accept this with open arms.
I like the new art style. It might take me some time to get used to it since for me, Castle was defined mostly by that art style you had.
Ah yeah, the art style. My aim here is to make it obvious you are still watching the Castle series, but with enhancements to make it more on pair of my current ability. I understand that not everyone will be pleased by this change, especially of the characters, and that's all fine, I don't expect anything else. Though for me this change is important.
The characters have been transformed into what I refer to as Slim-Figures Essentially this is going a bit more anatomically closer to the human body – Non spherical heads, actual hips and shoulders. The anime-ish or DBZ inspired eyes have also been pushed into something smaller and more human like. Though the colours and shading should still resemble those of earlier episodes from the Flash era. I think these small changes will allow me to put more expression and depth into the character animations. I'll be sure to give a few examples in my blog later on about the art style, so hang in there.
So, out of curiosity, now that this seems to be in 3D, do you have reusable models and textures for the characters and environments?
Is it gonna be fully 3D?
Yes, it's all 3D. Thing is, I aim for it to not look "cliche 3D". This means I want a cel-shaded Flash-alike look that still screams Castle all over it. One of the biggest pros to this approach is that I won't have to re-draw the character one time and then again, and again, and again (repeat for few hundred frames). Downside is that set-up time has been quite lengthy.
I knew next to nothing about rigging 3D characters (and man that's quite a lot to take in) before I started and that's also one of the reasons I'm not as far into actual production yet as you might expect me to be after over a year. Now however, I have ended up with a robust and flexible rig that supports what I'm looking for so from here and on things will hopefully move bit more swiftly. I will be able to use this rig for all of the main characters, I just switch out the character model. I can also re-use animations, such as a walk or run-cycle and transfer between characters. In other words lots of pros now that I'm past the initial set up phase.
Ok, now, someone get onto brightening/contrasting every frame of the Castle IV teaser to uncover any hidden messages!
Ah, that would've been fun but I actually forgot! I'll be honest – you won't find any hidden stuff in this teaser, but I love that shit so hopefully in the real deal or something
How many parts will there be? Estimated date of release for the first part?
Okay so my reasoning here is basically that I want to push out results to you guys as soon as I finish a part. This is the opposite of what I did for Castle so far (all parts in one big chunk). Also the parts may be a bit shorter than those of earlier installments in the series, but more in total (perhaps A to F or even G I dunno). I'm just thinking it's quite boring for me and you to not see anything for a few years, especially considering the long wait already, and then have it all in one go. If you disagree you'd always have the option to simply wait for everything to finish. So the closest goal at hand is to finish Part A, and my hopes are to release that sometime during 2016.
When is it taking place?
Without spoiling too much. Part A starts out by giving a brief flashback (re-animated) of the events inside the Altar-Room in Castle III Part C. Thereafter we finally focus on what happens to Lloyd.
Will it be finally revealed what is Boomer using for his hair to stay the way it does for countless hours?
One who waits in patience will find out!
Will any of the original members (I.E. Boomer) have any other features like scars, eye colour, stuff like that?
I'm thinking there should be a bit more customisation between characters yes. Examples like you mentioned but also in gear and equipment, etc, but also anatomical differences such as Boomer having a bit more buff body type and Romanov being very slim.
Are the monsters going to be as detailed?
Not exactly sure which monsters you mean but I aim to up quality in all aspects, so I will probably not simplify the monsters like the "evolved evil" or "flying daemon" etc, rather the opposite.
Oscar, will this be the ultimate episode in the castle series? Or have you not decided yet?
I aim for Castle IV to end the series yes, though I think I could tell endless stories within the same universe which could focus on the characters earlier in their life or such.
You said you've been working on Castle IV part A for a year now, so I gotta ask, how long (approximately) will it take you to finish each part?
It's a bit tricky to speculate, but up until now it's been lots and lots of planning, as well as learning stuff to be able to make the production in the first place. So at this point, after a year, I feel I've reached a state where these "research and learning" steps are starting to finally pay off, therefore I think the production itself will move more swiftly from now on. My aim is to make at the very least one release annually, but hopefully faster than that. It's still too early to know for sure, but we'll find out as I progress.
Why is it called Castle IV? I mean, it's not the fourth Castle is it?
No, there is no fourth Castle. But the name itself refers to the series' fourth installment, not actual amount of Castles. You should think of Repercussions as 3.5.
Hey Oscar!! Will there be new characters in the series?
You're going for more of a human look, I assume? But that face looks more like the usual, typical example of an alien more so than a human.
I imagine it's too late to consider re-modelling at this point, maybe something for you to consider for the rest of the project though. Yeah, like I was into earlier, I'm aware that the somewhat drastic change is not everybody's cup of tea. Even though re-modelling is still doable – I've taken a decision to go for the current look simply because I'm happy with it
Oscar do you plan on advertising Castle IV on sites like reddit?
How to advertise it has been on my mind but I haven't really come up with a robust solution. I have no experience with Reddit and to be honest barley know how it works. Please enlighten me?
Oscar, are we finally going to get to see what happened to the general in Castle 4? How much of the story is going to be set in our dimension with respect to the castle's dimension?
Yes and still a bit in the dark.
Will we be seeing any more of the Ancients? We got a little glimpse at them in 2005 with the Castle Prologue, but we've only had a few mentions of them and the Wise One since then. It'd be pretty neat to find out a bit more about our favourite ancient race, namely what lacquer they used on their wooden doors to make them last so freaking long.
I guess that part isn't fully decided yet. I think there's definitely room to shine some more light on their background story, just not sure if it's as part of Castle IV or something else entirely. Lol ya, thought exactly the same thing about the wood in retrospect to be honest ^^
NOTE ADDED BY ECFOR: (I'm nicking Oscar's journal for a minute. The competition is over and you can find the entries HERE.)
I kind of missed to inform here over at Deviantart but there's a Castle competition in progress over at DeletionQuality.net. Only a week left to join in, but who knows, perhaps a late submission still beats the competition
The Castle Prologue, Castle II, Castle III and Castle Repercussions has been uploaded in 1080p by Oscar. You can find his YouTube channel in the link below. Have fun watching the slaughter in glorious HD!