AyC: Loom is an atypical adventure game even within the fantasy genre: its unique appeling does not lie in elves, orcs or dwarves, but in an original imaginery without the need of recurring themes, what builds, undoubtedly, a much more richer experience. However, in the game one may perceive the use of some influences from the classic greek myths, like references to the myth of the Moiras (in fact, the elder who gives the staff to Bobbin, Atropos, and his partners Clothos and Lachesis, are named after them), but everything is so well concealed that it creates a unique magical feeling. How does one weave a game like Loom? Where does one part from to put all the pieces together in order to build a story where myths, guilds, prophecies and the Apocalypse are so naturally articulated?
BM: It's kind of you to suggest that Loom turned out so well! If it has an internal consistency, it's because we began with strong models.
Our first model was Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, a film with a very striking aesthetic that we tried very conciously to emulate. The art director for Sleeping Beauty, Eyvand Earle, employed an semi-abstract visual approach that looks like no other Disney film. It somehow manages to feel both idyllic and sinister at the same time. I sat down with Gary Winnick, the lead animator, and Mark Ferrari, the background artist, and studied Sleeping Beauty carefully to figure out how this feeling was achieved. If you compare Loom with Sleeping Beauty, the influence is very obvious. (Bishop Mandible looks so much like Malificent, it's almost embarrassing.)
The other model was Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake. All of Tchaikovsky's work i tinged with a wistful melancholy impossible to describe in words. Swan Lake is very dark, yet it contains some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed.
Eyvand Earle's vision, and Tchaikovsky's ear and heart, informed the design of Loom from start to finish.
All of us, whether we realize it or not, are molded by strong works of art we have experienced. I think it's wise to be fully aware of these influences, and thoughtfully shape them into new configurations that then become our own.
AyC: Although Loom is a store suitable for all audiences - a fable, one may say-, there are also some dark points in the game. The story gets darker as it develops just to merge in a wonderful catharsis. The gloomy, shadowy touch is a trademark of Brian Moriarty, as proved in Trinity, Wishbringer or Loom itself. What do you like so much about the obscure to include it in all of your games?
BM:It's true that many of my games are tinged with melancholy. Most of my favorite authors (Hawthorne, Ray Bradbury, J.M. Barrie, Lord Dunsany) and composers (Tchaikovsky, Messiaen, George Harrison, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues) als have that wistful tinge. Maybe it's the Irish in me.
AyC: Back when you still were at LucasArts, and alter finishing Loom, you took along one of the first drafts of The Dig, a version that was particularly different from the one that actually made it out to the stores. We know that the story you wrote was quite darker, more shadowy, that it had an extra character, that it was technically different. What we would like to know is, why was it discarded?
BM:I rarely talk about The Dig, as it brings back many sad and painful memories.
That game was made during a period of constant political upheaval within LucasArts. During the course of its production, the entire upper management of the company changed four or five times! It's a miracle the final product came out as well as it did, which is a credit to Sean Clark and his team of heroes.
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