This commission might not have happened at all if Matthews had visited the offices of Traveller's Tales on a different day! He was there to deliver
the artwork for their company logo, which he had just
completed, and was introduced to Steve Riding, a senior producer at game publishers Psygnosis. Riding, who already knew Matthews' work well, suggested
they adjourn to a nearby pub for a 'lunchtime pint'. It was during this time that Matthews found himself being commissioned to do a game. The
conversation went like this: Riding to Matthews - "Your stuff would look good in a computer game." Matthews to Riding - "Are you asking me to design
you a game?" Riding to Matthews - "Well, er, yes."...
The original scenario was devised by Matthews, incorporating his own title 'SOS Dark Planet', and was intended for a 7 to 12 age group. Later, the age
group went up to teenage and over, so that many of the first batch of drawings were not used. Some, however, are shown here among a selection from the
later batch of sketches. At the point of the age group re-focus, the game was renamed 'Shadow Master' by the marketing men at Psygnosis. Matthews has
never come to terms with their choice.
Then Traveller's Tales divided, with one of its partners setting up under the name Hammerhead. Psygnosis gave the game to Hammerhead to develop.
Shadow Master could be best described as a first person shoot-'em-up on an alien planet.
During 1999, Matthews received a request for game conceptual design from Jeff Remmer at 989 Studios in San Diego, California. 989 is part of the Sony
Remmer was already familiar with Matthews' art and wanted figures, creatures, machines, and backgrounds designed to enhance their game for which they
already had a principal character. Rodney worked exclusively on the commission for about four months, accumulating piles of pencil sketches and some
colour works, before being told that a decision to terminate development had been made under internal policy. Apparently, the game had become too big
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The following sketches are from two games in the pipeline: 'White Knuckles', an intergalactic racing game utilising exaggerated vehicles and exotic
landscapes. The player's opponents would be alien and the races and tournaments would take place on alien planets. The levels would each be dedicated
to one competition type, with aggressive racing and in some cases shooting. Not too much of the presentation portfolio is being shown here for obvious
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Karin Matthews has also devised a theme for a computer game, which could well be adapted for other projects such as animation, etc. Rodney has
completed a number of production sketches, two of which are shown here. The game fits into the fantasy adventure and strategy genre, but Karin is not
ready to reveal the name or plot at this stage.
Rodney has an idea for a sketchbook publication to feature his many computer game drawings. Watch this space!