|Another departure from the Horizons team (wonder what is going on there) Art Director Dough Shuler is no longer with Artifact Entertainment. HorizonsVault has this letter on their front page:
It is with heavy heart that I must confirm the recent rumors of my parting ways with Artifact Entertainment. As of this past Monday (October 8), I am no longer a part of the Development Team working on Horizons. I want to thank the many of you who have sent me emails expressing curiosity, concern, and compassion regarding the rumors. I feel it's important as I move forward to part ways with the fan base in the same way I desired our debates to go; logically and rationally. Yes, that includes you, Bonk (grin).
First of all, I want to let you all know that Artifact Entertainment was one of the best working opportunities I've ever experienced. Second only to my work on Magic; the Gathering, illustrating Horizons was a dynamic, educational, and rewarding experience. I learned more about making games than any manual could ever teach (not to mention playing games and calling it 'research'). As I part from Artifact Entertainment, I can only wish the best to the current management team, and hope they can make Horizons as successful as it can be.
Though bittersweet, I want you to know the reasons I am parting with Artifact Entertainment;
First, Artifact Entertainment and I have come to realize over time that the role of the Art Director cannot be accomplished from off-site. As the project continued forward, the need for an in-house Art Director became more and more pressing, and upper management talked with me on several occasions regarding this. As far back as July, we have been discussing the need for someone to serve as QC (Quality Control), who would shoulder the responsibility of enforcing consistency between the concept art and the models. As some of you commented, many of the models varied from the concept art. Although it was my practice to allow the modellers freedom in their interpretations of my artwork, a need for consistency is also valid.
Second, I have come to realize that my view of what Horizons should look like and the view of the current management team are not entirely in synch. While I prefer a more realistic experience unlike any provided in current MMORPGs, the powers that be prefer something more painterly. With the look of Horizons under modification, it has become painfully obvious to me that I no longer have a place at Artifact Entertainment.
Looking to the future, I want you to know that I am currently in negotiation with no fewer than 3 different Development Houses who need concept art and Art Direction. I will certainly let you all know where I end up, although probably not on this board as I respect that it's devoted to Horizons. As it should be.
As always, I can be contacted at email@example.com, or www.douglasshuler.com.
I am reminded of a Klingon proverb spoken by Kang to Kirk; "Only a fool fights in a burning house".
Remember, keep it logical and rational. I'll see you all in beta!
a.k.a Dark Jedi
(former) Art Director, Artifact Entertainment