Mono-Stream Media
in Websites updated on July 29, 2011

Another online portfolio, this one for a media production company which produces a variety of videos, from instructional shorts to full-length features.

Created using Dreamweaver, CSS, and XML. Graphics done in Photoshop. Videos are by the company.

www.monostreammedia.com

Stories - to be determined
in Stories updated on July 29, 2011

I have a few short stories or snippets of short stories that I've written throughout the years. However, I've determined that, as with my analyses, they are to disconnected and random.

However, I think at some point I will begin a writing marathon, during which I will attempt to write a set amount, such as ten pages or a chapter or 10,000 words or something like that, and post the new material every week, until the story's done. I think it'd be good practice, and hopefully, eventually, something good and usable will come of it.

Thanks for reading!

New Years 2009
in 3D Random updated on July 29, 2011

Happy New Year! Well, Happy Old Year, anyways.

A few years back I worked independently for this guy named Dan Bachman. I guess he was in marketing or advertising or something. He had all these great ideas for simple pictures to express concepts... I think.

Anyways, this is one that I made for him.

3DS Max (V-Ray rendering)

Maze Game
in Digital Games updated on July 29, 2011

This little maze game was one of my first attempts at making an actual, playable game. It works, up until level 8 or so when I forgot to put an end-point on the level. Whoops. Well, it's too late to fix. Enjoy!

*Warning: The music is really loud and probably annoying.

You can download it here.

GameMaker

Historical Family Connections - Your Family's Link to History
in Websites updated on July 29, 2011

The following sums up this website nicely.

"While each family is unique and wonderfully individual, all our stories are connected to specific events in history. Historical Family Connections goal is to link individual families to historical events in which their ancestors have participated.

"Hundreds, even thousands of our families shared the same experiences, and now their stories can be linked to history through beautifully hard bound books full of photos, quotes, time sensitive maps, and descriptive circumstances that made each era distinctive.

"The journey begins with you. The insight you have will help create an heirloom that your family will always treasure. Simply fill out the historical family connections guide to the best of your knowledge and our staff will incorporate this information into our researched data that links your ancestor to history.

"Once Historical Family Connections rebuilds the time and place, the people in charge, and the action, you will have a story to share. Then your children and your children's children will know how their family helped make history."

Created using Dreamweaver, CSS, and templates. Will soon be getting a revision. Graphics done in Photoshop.

www.historicalfamilyconnections.com

Aaron Lutz Digital Media
in Websites updated on July 29, 2011

An online portfolio showcasing a variety of graphic design projects, from 3D to websites. Created using Dreamweaver, with HTML, PHP, MySQL, CSS, XML, Flash, and templates. Graphics done in Photoshop.

www.aaronlutz.com

Analyses - to be determined
in Analyses updated on July 29, 2011

After looking through the various thoughts and game analyses that I've written, I've decided they're all too scatterbrained and inconsistent to publish, at the moment. I will endeavor to clean them up, one by one, and make them readable and digestible. This is just so SOMETHING is in this section of the website.

Thanks for reading!

Goblins VS Dwarves
in Tabletop Games updated on July 29, 2011

This little game lies somewhere between Risk and Rock-Paper-Scissors, with a little bit of HeroScape thrown in for good measure.

It's called Goblins VS Dwarves. The premise is simple: cute little goblins and cute little dwarves beat the cute little crap out of each other. They each have unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses, can work alone or in groups, fight across varying terrain, build strongholds, sabotage enemy forces... all sorts of fun things.

The core mechanic of the game revolves around using dice and cards to resolve actions determined by the players. The hordes of each player are represented by small colored and stamped stones; the game map is on a hex grid and is randomly created at the beginning of each game, ensuring hours of re-playability.

Eventually I'll publish a free version of the game online, and if it does well I'll try to come up with a commercial version so I can make some money off of it.

I'll update this as I make progress.

This is an example of one of the troop cards, for the Brute of the Goblins.

(c)2011 Aaron Lutz Digital Media

Costly Pill
in 3D Random updated on July 29, 2011

A few years back I worked independently for this guy named Dan Bachman. I guess he was in marketing or advertising or something. He had all these great ideas for simple pictures to express concepts... I think.

I think this one is a commentary on how expensive medicine was getting - and this was back in 2008.

3DS Max (V-Ray rendering)

Goblins - Complains and Minmax
in 3D Characters updated on July 29, 2011

This, sadly, was my capstone project for my Associates in Multimedia for ITT-Technical Institute in 2007. The characters are from Tarol Hunt's Goblins, namely Complains-of-Names the Goblin, and Minmax the Unstoppable Warrior. I intended to have this big fight scene between the foes, but various life stuff and wrestling with a new animation program cost me too much time. I never got the character's skinned perfectly, hence, you get a stillframe render.

Goblins(R), Complains-of-Names(R), Minmax(R), and their likenesses copyrighted by Tarol Hunt, probably. So, (c)2011, cuz it's all still around. I didn't create the characters, just modeled and rigged them.

3DS Max (V-Ray Rendering), Lots-of-Robots' Automatron (for the rigging and animation), and minimal use of Photoshop for some materials.

This was fun, cuz I got to work with the cloth tool in Max for cloaks, loincloths, pants, and vests. I HATE the cloth tool, I've decided.

My First Dragon
in 3D Characters updated on July 29, 2011

Okay, so I believe every 3D modeler/artist worth his or her salt, especially one who's any level of nerd (which you probably are if you're a 3D modeler, just sayin'...) has a dragon SOMEWHERE in their past. Whether it's very good or not, well, I won't judge.

This was my first character model; since then it went drastically downhill, and I've decided making humans isn't my forte. I was the envy of my classmates with this one, which I made after my first 3D modeling quarter. I was very proud of it at the time; since then I've become a much more bitter critic when it comes to my own work, so I won't point out the things I don't like about it.

I did have it fully rigged, but the thing was a bitch to animate.

3DS Max

Netcom 02
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

While at HDR, I worked on a series of projects for military base expansions/restorations. Basically, we'd get the designs for a bunch of different buildings, and the layout of the base, and then we'd model it and do a flythrough video. Unfortunately, I was only able to get my hands on a couple before parting ways with the company, which since has failed to get me any additional material for use in my portfolio.

I didn't get video of the base this building belongs to. I don't remember the name of the base, either. The building was called NETCOM, but I assume that's military mumbo-jumbo.

This is the back.

(c)2009 HDR Engineering, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray Rendering), Photoshop for materials

Netcom 01
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

While at HDR, I worked on a series of projects for military base expansions/restorations. Basically, we'd get the designs for a bunch of different buildings, and the layout of the base, and then we'd model it and do a flythrough video. Unfortunately, I was only able to get my hands on a couple before parting ways with the company, which since has failed to get me any additional material for use in my portfolio.

I didn't get video of the base this building belongs to. I don't remember the name of the base, either. The building was called NETCOM, but I assume that's military mumbo-jumbo.

This is the front.

(c)2009 HDR Engineering, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray Rendering), Photoshop for materials

Fort Drum
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

While at HDR, I worked on a series of projects for military base expansions/restorations. Basically, we'd get the designs for a bunch of different buildings, and the layout of the base, and then we'd model it and do a flythrough video. Unfortunately, I was only able to get my hands on a couple before parting ways with the company, which since has failed to get me any additional material for use in my portfolio.

This one is of Fort Drum. I think it's somewhere in Texas. Above is a snapshot from the video. Here is the actual video.

(c)2009 HDR Engineering, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray Rendering), Photoshop for materials

Fort Carson
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

While at HDR, I worked on a series of projects for military base expansions/restorations. Basically, we'd get the designs for a bunch of different buildings, and the layout of the base, and then we'd model it and do a flythrough video. Unfortunately, I was only able to get my hands on a couple before parting ways with the company, which since has failed to get me any additional material for use in my portfolio.

This one is of Fort Carson. I forget where the base is located. Above is a snapshot from the video. Here is the actual video.

(c)2009 HDR Engineering, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray Rendering), Photoshop for materials

Sundial Resorts - Marketing Material
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

To prove that we could handle it, the Terra Firm decided to create a fictitious chain of resorts called Sundial Resorts, and one resort in particular in Costa Rica. We proceeded to model and render the whole thing, then create a slew of marketing materials to go along with it.

This shows the variety of materials - stationary, direct mailers, DVDs - that were created, all to promote a resort that doesn't exist (to my knowledge).

(c)2008 The Terra Firm, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray rendering), Photoshop

Sundial Resorts - Condo Deck
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

To prove that we could handle it, the Terra Firm decided to create a fictitious chain of resorts called Sundial Resorts, and one resort in particular in Costa Rica. We proceeded to model and render the whole thing, then create a slew of marketing materials to go along with it.

This render is from the deck of one of the condos. Inviting, huh? That's the Terra Firm yacht in the water; if you look close you can see me waving.

(c)2008 The Terra Firm, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray rendering), Photoshop

Sundial Resorts - Condos
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

To prove that we could handle it, the Terra Firm decided to create a fictitious chain of resorts called Sundial Resorts, and one resort in particular in Costa Rica. We proceeded to model and render the whole thing, then create a slew of marketing materials to go along with it.

This shot is of the seaside condos. You can see the main hotel in the back.

(c)2008 The Terra Firm, Inc

3DS Max (V-Ray rendering), Photoshop

Airport Cafe
in 3D Architecture updated on July 29, 2011

The Boise Airport had us design this little cafe that went in at a dead-end of one of the wings, I think while they were doing construction. For all I know it's gone now.

(c)2007 The Terra Firm

3DS Max (scanline rendering), Photoshop

Sci-fi Girl
in Drawings updated on July 29, 2011

A sketch of a sci-fi-esque girl. I didn't come up with her, but I can't remember who did. I just copied it for practice.

Freehand, pencil

Sorcerer
in Drawings updated on July 29, 2011

A sketch of a sorcerer guy from the cover of some character sheet package for Dungeons and Dragons.

Free-hand, pencil

Self-portrait
in Drawings updated on July 29, 2011

Self-portrait.

Freehand, pencil

Voraxian profile
in Drawings updated on July 29, 2011

A profile sketch inspired by cloud-gazing, of a made-up mythical race from my childhood D&D games. I don't know if they're supposed to be reptiles or mammals or what. Dinosaurs, maybe? Or insects? I don't think we ever figured it out.

Freehand, pencil

Thor: The Lost Saga - Design Document
in Game Designs updated on July 29, 2011

For our final project in our game development class, Aaron Mahoney and I decided to make a game called Thor: The Lost Saga. The following is a link to download the design document for the game; I would've just included everything on the webpage, but unfortunately, it's like 15 or so pages.

Thor: TLS Design Doc

Thor: The Lost Saga - High Concept Document
in Game Designs updated on July 29, 2011

For our final project in our game development class, Aaron Mahoney and I decided to make a game called Thor: The Lost Saga. The following is the high concept document for the game.

@2
Thor: The Lost Saga
By Aaron Mahoney and Aaron Lutz

Game Analysis
Thor: The Lost Saga - a fantasy/adventure RPG steeped in Norse mythos.

Game Concept
Thor: The Lost Saga is focused on the trials of Thor, the God of Thunder, who is cast out of Asgard by Loki, God of Mischief and Fire. Throughout his journey, he will gather his lost equipment and regain his godhood with the help of old allies; gods and heroes of the Norse legends. He will battle against Lokiís monster hordes, ever closing on his goal: a final encounter with Loki in an attempt to prevent Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse.

Game Goals
As Thor, the playerís ultimate goal will be to confront Loki and stop Ragnarok. Major goals will include regaining his godhood (or at least his godly powers) and his powerful equipment: Mjollnir, his hammer; Megingjarpar, his girdle; and Augrmahks, his iron gauntlets. Other goals will include defeating lesser and greater enemies, solving puzzles that hinder his progress, and gathering a group to fight with him. The player’s progress towards these goals should be fairly obvious, but some may not (such as: at what point is the player powerful enough to have regained his godhood status?). Things like these will be measured in the interface, with possibly an indicator on the main screen.

Game Information
Genre: Action/Adventure RPG
Type: RPG with explorative environment, level progression and increasingly difficult monsters.
Style: Think Legend of Zelda meets Final Fantasy; the world and area navigation will be from a top-down view (isometric), where the player will be able to interact with non-player characters (NPCs) and see monsters in advance, choosing whether to combat them (like LoZ). All battles will take place in a side-view screen (like FF).
Players: Single player.
Setting: A mythical world steeped in the mystical arts: magic, gods, demons and devils. Kind of King Arthur-esque, but all major influences come from Norse myth. The continent Thor explores bears an uncanny resemblance to Scandinavia.

License/Brand Analysis
Fortunately, Norse legends and mythology is not copyrighted. We will not be dealing with any established brands or licenses that may incur problems with final publication.

Target Audience
The game is intended for RPG fans, male majority, ages 13-35.

Competitorís Analysis These days, adventure/fantasy RPGs are a dime a dozen. The biggest competition is games like Final Fantasy; established companies with established game series. The reasons T: TLS is different, and better, are:
  • None of the crappy random encounters - if you wish to avoid enemies, you may.

  • Progression of other characters in your party is secondary; the focus will be on getting Thor more powerful so that he can reestablish his godhood.

  • This will be a new and unique look into the Norse mythology, which admittedly, has been established very little in any previous game.

  • The story will be very important in guiding the player through the game, but it will not be simply a movie that you occasionally get to interact with. Cut-scenes will be kept to a minimum, and used only to drive through a specific part of the story. The rest will be described through the actions of the player. The focus will be kept on gameplay, and allowing the player to evolve, learn, and grow as he/she progresses in the game.

Game Design
Expanded Game Concept
The game is meant to follow the adventures of Thor. The game will begin with a movie scene showing the god Loki stealing Thorís powers and banishing him to Midgard, the realm of mortals. Thor then awakes in the wilderness, unarmed, alone, and weak (in comparison to his former self). He will travel to the nearest village, gather some basic equipment, and learn of where the first piece (or perhaps all the pieces) of his legendary equipment has gone. If we do the latter, the player will be allowed to choose which piece he goes after first, adding an additional choice for the player to make, which allows for more freedom and sense of controlling oneís own destiny.

During his travels, Thor will meet many heroes of Norse legend, such as Beowulf, Sigmund, and Gunnar; the player can choose to have them join his party (or not). He will encounter the dwarf brothers, Brokk and Eiti, who will help guide Thor to his equipment, and provide him and his party with better gear. Also, at certain points in the game, Thor will be approached by Valkyries, that may also join his party. He will seek the help and guidance of other gods, like Odin, Njord, Tyr, and others.

Since it is an adventure RPG, the character will fight monsters and overcome obstacles that give him experience points. Experience Points (XP) will measure the progress of Thor in Character Levels (CL). As he and his party gain levels, they become more powerful. When Thor reaches a specific CL (say 50), then he will have become powerful enough to claim godhood again, and be that much closer to confronting Loki. Monsters will range in power from weak to very powerful, and depend on the power of Thor and his group. There will be specific ďboss-typeĒ monsters Ė Lokiís direct underlings - that Thor will have to overcome. These encounters will mark turning points in the game, and help the player measure his progress in the game. I.e. Thor learns that Loki has four powerful monsters guarding his cave, so the player will know that after he defeats those four monsters, then he will have gained access to the cave.

All the characters in the playerís party will be able to level and progress; all of them will also be able to find or purchase better equipment as they journey. I.e. Thor may start with a bung-mallet, but end up with Mjollnir. Or maybe Beowulf joins the party with a plain longsword, but ends up with (the equivalent of) a keen flaming bastard sword +10.

As stated before, the ultimate goal will be for Thor (and his party) to confront Loki and prevent Ragnarok. According to the myth, however, Thor dies, and Ragnarok comes to pass regardless. Perhaps the game will have a twist ending.

Game Structure
The game will be top-down isometric. Battles will be side-screen, with the bad guys on one side and the good guys on the other. It will be only single player, but the player will be able to control a party of interchangeable heroes and valkyries that journey with Thor. The player will advance his characters through leveling and finding/purchasing better equipment. There will be specific items the player has to retrieve in order to beat the game, or even approach Loki's domain.
As the player progresses in the game, it is approaching the coming of Ragnarok. According to legend, Sol and Moon fall from the sky, plunging Midgard into a year of darkness and winter before the apocalypse comes. When this happens in the game, it will help signify the playerís progress as well as add a sense of doom and urgency to the situation.

The levels the character will travel through include open areas between locations, cities where the party may rest and shop, dungeons and ruins that the party will travel through when retrieving the Quest Items (Thorís hammer, gauntlets, and girdle), and Lokií s Cavern. The places a player may encounter enemy monsters are anywhere but towns, and more frequently in Lokiís Cavern and the Quest Item dungeons.

The battle system will be turn based, where the player decides the actions of his party, then the round commences and everyone does what they were told.

Gameplay
The core gameplay involves the player controlling Thor, the Hero, and warriors and valkyries, the Hero's Companions. The player will be able to interact with NPCs, and fight or avoid monsters/enemies. The characters will progress through levels and better equipment, and once the player acquires the Quest Items and regains Godhood, then the player can confront Loki and attempt to prevent Ragnarok.

Expanded Gameplay
This was mostly explained up under Expanded Game Concept. So again, Thor will start out mortal. He will have to travel to the nearest village and gather standard equipment, then begin his acquisition of the Quest Items and obtaining Godhood. Along the way heíll encounter many heroes of Norse legend, as well as Valkyries, who will be allowed to join his party and his quest. The party members will be interchangeable. That is, the player will be able to change which members of his party are Active, and which are Passive. Active members will partake in battles. Passive members will not.

Thor and Co. will battle many monsters, some under the employ of Loki, others, just random creatures with a grudge and a violent disposition. At incremental stages of the game, Thor and Co. will encounter ďbossesĒ; more powerful monsters that serve a specific purpose and work directly for Loki. Monsters that are important enough to have their own names. i.e. Hel, Fenrir, Grendel, Jormungand, and the other nefarious demons from the myths.

After Thor reaches a sufficient level of power (a specific character level), then he will be able to reclaim godhood. Once he has done that, and has also retrieved his equipment (hammer, gauntlets, and girdle), then he and his party will be able to confront Loki and attempt to prevent Ragnarok.

Game Features
Key Game Features
  • You are in control of the coolest god in Norse myth: Thor.

  • Lead Thor and a team of epic heroes and valkyries through hordes of enemies.

  • Encounter old and new acquaintances in your quest: Brokk and Eiti, Heimdall, Odin, Njord, Tyr, and many others.

  • Battle against some of the most nefarious monsters of Norse legend in a dynamic, action-packed adventure fantasy.

  • Improve and evolve your party into the stuff legends are made out of.

  • With hundreds of weapons and spells, and limitless levels, deck out your party with all the coolest accessories, including Thorís Hammer: Mjollnir.

  • Experience an epic story with semi-decent graphics and hours of gameplay as Thor works towards his ultimate goal: defeat Loki and stop Ragnarok.

Summary
Loki, the god of Mischief and Fire, plans to destroy the realms with Ragnarok, the apocalypse. But first, he must get rid of a thorn in his side: Thor. Robbing the god of Thunder's powers and equipment, Loki banishes Thor to Midgard, the realm of Mortals, in an attempt to rid himself of Thor's meddling. Now, Thor must quest across Midgard in search of his equipment, and in pursuit of regaining his stolen powers, and ultimately prevent Ragnarok from coming to pass.

As Thor, you will gather a party of warriors and valkyries from the Norse myths: powerful, legendary heroes, whose powers are at your fingertips. You and your companions will battle through seemingly endless hordes of Loki's monsters, gaining power and gear that will ultimately help you defeat the devious deity. Uncover a lost chapter in the legend of the God of Thunder and Lightning in Thor: The Lost Saga.

Thor: The Lost Saga - Proposal
in Game Designs updated on July 28, 2011

For our final project in our game development class, Aaron Mahoney and I decided to make a game called Thor: The Lost Saga. The following is the proposal for the game.

"Our idea is to create an action/adventure RPG based on Norse mythology and pantheon. The artistic style will be mostly sprite characters and monsters with scrolling backgrounds. The theme will be a top down navigation with side view battle screens.

"Think the Legend of Zelda meets Final Fantasy without the crappy random encounters common to most FF games. The setting is in a completely mythical world steeped in the mystical arts: magic, gods, demons and devils. It is kind of King Arthur-esque but all major influences coming from Norse myth. The continent has an uncanny resemblance to Scandinavia.

"The main character, THOR, is out to get revenge on Loki, who has stolen his godly powers and equipment and try to prevent the Norse apocalypse of Ragnarok and the death of a majority of the gods.

"Other characters will include: Odin, Heimdall, Jord, Hel, Fenrir, Jormungand, and others. Graphics comprised of bitmaps, gifs, and maybe some 3D elements. It will include sound effects and a background soundtrack. The target audience is RPG fans, male, ages 13-35."

Thor: The Lost Saga - One Page Pitch
in Game Designs updated on July 28, 2011

For our final project in our game development class, Aaron Mahoney and I decided to make a game called Thor: The Lost Saga. The following is the one page pitch for the game.

One Page Pitch

Thor: The Lost Saga

Nothing. You see nothing. There is darkness all around you. An empty void.

Suddenly, the darkness is broken by a brilliant flash of light, followed almost instantly by a thunderous explosion. The sound reverberates through the darkness. Another flash and another explosion, and you can see something in the distance. Then another and another. The sounds become deafening, they are so close together. You feel yourself moving through the void towards the source of the flashes. Out of the darkness you catch a glimpse of a titanic struggle between a man wielding a warhammer with tremendous strength against another man with horns growing out of his forehead. The light and sound emanate from the warhammer every time the Warrior strikes the Horned Man, illuminating the battle for an instant.

The battle continues thus for a minute or two. Then, as the Warrior seems to gain advantage against his foe, a pulse of light shoots from the Horned Man and strikes the Warrior in his chest, apparently paralyzing him. The Horned Man starts to chuckle, and with an arrogant and seemingly effortless gesture, expels the Warrior's hammer from his grasp and casts it into the nothingness that surrounds them. Another gesture and the Warrior's girdle is ripped from his waist and follows the hammer. Then his gauntlets follow, the Horned Man's imperious magic leaving the Warrior unarmed and vulnerable.

"I shall teach you to interfere with powers beyond your control. It is foolish to think that you could stop Ragnarok." The Horned Man stretched forth his hand. The Warrior grunted in effort as he began to glow with iridescent light. The light began to seep from the Warrior's skin through the darkness into the Horned Man's clawed hand.

"I hereby banish you to Midgard, where you can amuse me by living out the rest of your inconsequential life... as a mortal!"

The last of the iridescent energy left the Warrior, and he gasped with sudden pain. Then, the Horned Man lifted his hand; the Warrior rose into the air. As if casting aside a doll, the Horned Man tossed the Warrior into the surrounding darkness, the Horned Man's final words resounding in his mind. Mortal.

------------------

Thor: The Lost Saga is an epic action/adventure RPG which places you in control of Thor, the former Norse God of Thunder, turned mortal by Loki, the God of Mischief and Fire. The game chronicles the journey of Thor through Midgard, the realm of mortals, on his quest to regain his equipment, restore his godhood, and destroy Loki to prevent Ragnarok, the apocalypse.

Throughout the game, Thor meets many other Norse heroes, mortals, who may aid him. As he journeys, he gains in strength and resources to further his quest and ultimately prepare him for the inevitable battle. Along the way he recovers his lost equipment: Mjolnir, his hammer; Megingjarpar, his girdle; and Jarngreipr, his iron gauntlets. He calls on the help of old acquaintances, such as Brokk and Eiti, Beowulf, Sigmund, and others. He confronts the legions of Loki, including Grendel, Fenrir, Hel, and others.

Eventually, Thor regains his powers and equipment, and confronts Loki in an epic battle that decides the fate of the world, on the edge of Ragnarok.