Speaking of that big project…

Back in February, I announced that I’d taken on a programming contract for all of March. It takes a lot to get me to agree to do contract work, but this particular contract was an easier sell for me than any of the other requests I’ve received over the years.
It was an opportunity to work with my friend Denny Unger on the new website/storefront for WorldWorks Games. We’ve worked together in the past on other, smaller projects, and he’s a lot of fun to work with. It wasn’t exactly a “You had me at hello” thing at first, I admit, but the offer of up-front payment and the fact that Denny’s easy to work with sweetened the deal enough to break the ice.

So, we’ve been working together since March on WWG’s new home on the Internet. Denny handled the graphic design and artwork, and my job was to turn his static compositions/mockups into living, breathing webpages. Here’s a little teaser that should bring a smile to your face:

Yes, that’s a product page for one of my models.
As for the rest of the project, I can’t really discuss any technical details or anything of the sort yet. That will all come in due time, when WWG begins to post teasers and announcements of their own. What I can tell you, however, is that this is a pretty huge project, and I’m doing the whole codebase from the ground up.
There’s also a second half to this big project: adding my old stuff to the WWG storefront. A bit over half of my catalog didn’t make the cut because it was just too old and stale. Specifically, anything from before 2007 is gone forever. Out of the remaining stuff, about half needs some touch-up work, a bit of a makeover, or reformatting for machine-cutter compatibility. As an example of minor touch-up work, stuff like the Sandmaster V will be getting new store graphics, like the promotional render shown below:

In the case of makeovers and reformats, stuff like the Itoyo 950 are getting new store graphics, a bit of a texture refresh, and reformatting to support machine-cutters:

As one final bit of teasing, I want to show off the catalog thumbnail format that Denny and I put together for my stuff:

27 thoughts on “Speaking of that big project…

  1. UPtrainfan89

    WOW, Thats amazing! Definitly awesome! I just dont have words at the moment to describe how awesome that looks! 🙂

  2. Vermin King

    Things are definitely looking up. I expect that non-direct sales should more than make up for losing direct sales.

    It all looks very nice. I think this should all work out very nicely for everyone involved.

  3. emergencyoverride

    DUDE!!!! That completely rocks. And your project for March was working with Denny on the website. You sly dog. Grats on that it really looks great. I can't wait to see it in all of its functionality and graphic goodness.

  4. Christopher Roe


    The secrecy…well, there were multiple reasons for that. Mainly, we didn't want to talk up or overhype something only to have it fall through.

    However, I turned the keys over to Denny a couple of weeks ago, so the gang has been adding products and working with the completed bits while I continue working on unimplemented features. We're far enough into the process that there's no turning back, and enough of it is functional that going live is a matter of when, not if.

    There's no firm ETA, but we're working on it, and I figured you guys really needed to know what I've been up to, especially after all the disheartening news that led to me closing up shop.

  5. Squirmydad

    Shiny…I'm glad the Itoyo is getting some love, that's one that I'll definitely pick up again with the re-release. 🙂

  6. Will

    That sir is great news. A real cooperative endeavor between you two was has us asking "When" rather than "is it possible". And it appears to be on a much grander scale. The future looks very interesting.

    It's great to see some of your new model renders and the models getting a little new paint.

    Congratulations Chris. And congratulation to Denny for convincing you to come abored!


  7. Barn_Owl

    Denny has been hinting at this for a while now can't wait for it to go live, looking forward to adding some of ebble's stuff to my WWG collection.

  8. RRatliff

    That looks great! I'm sure this is going to be a big success for you and Denny both. Glad to see some good news.


  9. Doug

    Glad to see that the Secret Project was one done for a great group of people. I cant wait to see what the finished (is a website ever truly finished, LOL) project looks like. Its a shame that over half the catalog will be gone for good, but hey you did warn everyone that not everything would be transferring over to WWG and to get our copies of the Archive DVD before they were gone.

    Now I don't know what all the models of yours that are going to be transferred over are, but the M9 (armored APC from 2003) M11 (Humvee clone) and the M8A3 (Main Battle tank) are in my opinion still good models, even if they might now be graphically on par with the later stuff like the Jeepvee and Onager, I would assume they could easily be updated graphically and then given the GSD files for the auto cutters.

    Either Way congrats on the finish of the job and hopefully more work comes your way.

  10. Christopher Roe

    "Now I don't know what all the models of yours that are going to be transferred over are, but the M9 (armored APC from 2003) M11 (Humvee clone) and the M8A3 (Main Battle tank) are in my opinion still good models, even if they might now be graphically on par with the later stuff like the Jeepvee and Onager, I would assume they could easily be updated graphically and then given the GSD files for the auto cutters."

    No, it wouldn't be easy. I didn't always develop models the same way, and the one common thread with everything that's not making it to the new storefront is the fact that I *don't* have the 3D assets for them to work with. Some never had 3D assets to begin with, some were extensively modified after unfolding, some things are in obsolete file formats that cannot be opened anymore.

    Those models cannot be updated, they have to be redone completely from scratch, and once replaced, the old stuff is gone for good. The M11, for example–the 4×4 GPV *is* its replacement.

  11. Vermin King

    Again I thank you for making your catalog available on the DVD. A piece of history.

  12. AoM

    That's awesome news. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can totally see your descriptions of the "client" being understanding and easy to work with fitting in with the Denny I got to know at Gen Con last year as we struggled through building enough of the unsellable Terra-Clips sets to have terrain for the Malifaux demos and tournaments.

    All hail the new world of WorldWorksEbbles!

  13. Christopher Roe

    AoM: Yeah, he's a really nice guy. Sometimes I think we were separated at birth, never mind the fact he's a few years older than I am.

    Toshach: Nothing ever lasts forever. At least I have a new job in the same line of work, and I haven't fallen completely off the face of the Internet! 🙂

  14. Celtic Dragon

    Great that some of your stuff will be online soon. You said anything prior to 2007 won't be for sale,, but honestly, your older stuff is 10 times better than some peoples best! Is there anyway to get some of the older stuff posted, maybe as cheap sets or freebies? I would love to get some of the older things I wasn't able to get before you shutdown…

  15. Christopher Roe

    Sorry, no. Whatever I put up for free is effectively my portfolio, and I don't want people judging my current skills based on stuff I did 6-7 years ago.

    I don't want to sell them either, because the stuff that is not making the cut wasn't selling that well to begin with. It doesn't make sense to keep crappy old stuff around when it makes you look bad artistically and costs more money to sell than it's really worth.

  16. Celtic Dragon

    Ok then, are you planning any grav/floaters then? I use mostly paper minis for stuff in a SF RPG that I am doing, and other than a few specialty vehicles for extreme planets, my universe uses only grav/floater type vehicles. Your old grav/floaters were perfect, even though you might not think so, and unfortunately, they were some of the only ones available. Now the only ones out there are some very expensive metal grav bikes and resin grav vehicles, or some really bad boxy grav vans and the like.

  17. Christopher Roe

    Good question. I don't work on paper models full-time anymore because they stopped being profitable last year. Since they're something I work on in my spare time nowadays, I tend to do whatever strikes my fancy whenever it happens, and I haven't run into a personal need or desire for grav vehicles yet.

  18. Anonymous

    just a thought, read somewhere someone saying how good a robo cutter is. I just bought the 330 and so far am getting no where. The instructions are poor, there is no customer support, the u tube video's always seem to miss something out or ave different software. I'm dissapointed as I understood Ebbeles models worked with it, Any thought?


  19. Christopher Roe

    Try asking in the Lounge. It's a bit hard to troubleshoot something in a comments section. 🙂

  20. Christopher Roe

    'Fraid not. I haven't even had a chance to catch my breath yet, and Guncrawl development has been on hold for months.

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