Fallout 3
Platform: PC
Publisher: Digital Media Workshop
Developer: Digital Media Workshop
Genre: Graphic Adventure
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US 2008

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The hallowed halls of... something.
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It's a long way down.
Neal Chandran
First Look Preview
Neal Chandran

With Autumn Moon Games' highly anticipated A Vampyre Story on the horizon, it seems more independent US companies are revisiting the classic graphic adventure genre. One of these companies is Digital Media Workshop, Inc., a Long Island, NY based company that specializes in audio production, video production, and 3D design & animation. With their upcoming game Prominence, they are looking to take the plunge into video game design. This graphic adventure will be their first endeavor that they appear to want to self publish as well.

Prominence is a science fiction adventure that starts off with an amnesiac protagonist waking up in a strange, eerie lab, bewildered as to where he is, how he got there, and that nagging feeling of deja vu. In an interview with JustAdventure.com, the creators mention that the overarching story is about a peaceful human race called the Letarri and their struggles with the ever-expanding Rynan empire. If that was not enough, the Rynans are at war with the rival Maedoran empire, and it looks like all hell is about to break loose in a cache of colonized planets in outer space. Digital Media Workshop promises an engaging fleshed-out story with a decision at a key point that can branch it out in one of two ways. Horror and mystery are more common genres of storytelling in graphic adventures these days, so it is encouraging to see Digital Media Workshop creating a graphic adventure in the less common science fiction genre.

Digital Media Workshop has only recently uploaded two early screenshots on their website. The graphics are described as prerendered 3D environments with animated effects. This is the medium used most often in modern graphic adventures, such as The Longest Journey, Syberia, and Next Life to name just three examples. Unlike those aforementioned examples that had a third-person viewpoint, Prominence will be played from a first-person viewpoint. Concept art exists for locations, but there is none so far for character art. In the JustAdventure interview, the creators promise a very human sci-fi story, so speculation is that the various races will be more human in design than alien.

The music and sound design will be handled by Tom Griffith who has worked on a wide range of projects, such as film scores, video scores, and commercial jingles. He has even won awards for some of his work, such as two Clios and a Cannes Silver Lion for his work in advertising and the National Education Fiction Video Award for his film scoring. His decades of experience in music composition and Digital Media Workshop's experience in audio production promise a solid soundtrack. The game is also slated to have professional quality voice acting, though there is no word yet as to which actors will be doing the voice work.

A graphic adventure is not a graphic adventure without puzzles, and Prominence is slated to have story-based puzzles that make use of various items you collect for your inventory and puzzles that utilize the game's environments. Some puzzles are also said to have multiple solutions. It is also stated that none of the puzzles will require "lightning-fast reflexes" or "platform-gaming skills" as stated on the official site. The gamer's most valuable asset will be his or her wits.

Digital Media Workshop hopes to have Prominence fully done in 2008, and it is shaping up to be yet another upcoming graphic adventure to keep an eye on.


© 2008 Digital Media Workshop. All Rights Reserved.

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