Media Consumption: Her Interactive's Morgan Woolverton

Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic media food groups of audio, ...
Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic media food groups of audio, video, printed word and games, speaks to Her Interactive 3D artist Morgan Woolverton. Woolverton has been a 3D artist at Bellevue, Washington-based Her Interactive - a company specializing in PC adventure games targeted at the female demographic - for a little under two years now. Prior to this, he had a plethora of art-related jobs, including work in film and television. Gamasutra called Woolverton in the middle of Her Interactive's "art pit," where they're busy working on the next installment of the Nancy Drew series, to monitor his current consumption habits. Sounds: "It's kind of funny, I used to play music and be in a band, playing drums. We played speed metal. So I used to listen to a lot of very heavy music like that, but since I've been doing more animation, I listen to a lot of ambient music, a lot of soundtracks. Brian Eno, he's really cool. Aphex Twin is big on my list. As far as soundtracks…let's see, the soundtrack to Traffic is incredible, as are the soundtracks to Heat and Solaris. A lot of those just kind of open-ended kind of theatrical music soundtracks give me a lot of ideas when I'm working. That's when I tend to listen to the most music, so maybe the lack of lyrics gives me a little bit more space to think. I also listen to a lot of internet radio, Digitally Imported has some really great sections, and I like 3WK Underground a lot." Moving Pictures: "Man, I'm so into the History Channel right now. We just got cable, and I tell you, it blows me away how sophisticated that channel is. It just does so much, and does it all really well. I'll put it on when I'm working at home on my computer, and just sort of listen to it. As far as movies, what have I seen recently? Sin City, I loved Sin City. It's too good. And I haven't seen Narnia yet, so I can't say anything about that. I'll see it, but not in the theater. It had such a big impact on me as a kid that it's like the movie is already there, so I don't need to see it on the big screen. I didn't like Million Dollar Baby, that kind of bummed me out because I really wanted to like it. I used to watch the Sopranos a lot, we Netflixed that, but we have a kid now, so that's stopped." Words: "I'm the son of an english professor," said Woolverton, "so I used to read novels. I was introduced to a lot of great things, and I used to read a lot, and now all I really read is computer manuals. And I guess I read the newspaper too." And what are his favorite novels? "It's pretty traditional stuff, my favorites, like Camus' The Stranger. There was a period there where I was really interested in reading about slave rebellions. His Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, that was just brilliant. With a historical novel, you have to get your facts really correct. So he generously started off the novel in a shipyard, explaining in the 18th century how they built the ships. As if to say, 'my facts are straight, don't challenge me.' And the novel took off from there, and he left no stone uncovered." Games: "I've had a real bad addiction to Fable recently. It got so bad that my wife started calling my daughter, 'Daughter of Chicken Chaser,'" said Woolverton, referring to the default nickname the non-player characters give the main avatar. Though the game does allow one to upgrade nicknames, Woolverton has yet to do so, he says, because he's been too busy enjoying the game to progress to that point. "No joke, I'd sit down and watch time go by, watch people walking, just because the game gives you opportunity. You can just wile away the hours in it. Fable is one of the most well-balanced games I've ever played in my life. There are so many different possibilities to explore as far as just how you want to play the game. I had to put the game down, it got so bad." Other than Fable, Woolverton also describes Beyond Good and Evil as "amazing," and enjoys the occasional online bout with both Battlefield 1942 and Unreal Tournament 2004.

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