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Team Lara lists “Unnanounced Project”; Buzz Monkey readies for “next smash success” May 13, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfanboy in Crystal Dynamics, Future Games.
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Caleb Strauss, senior environmental artist of Tomb Raider Underworld, has listed an “Unnanounced Project” he’s working on under Crystal Dynamics in his May ’09 professional resume. His involvement in the mysterious project, as his description puts it, includes “pre-production development, 3D world environment modeling, documentation, contribution to art pipeline and workflow, and mentoring.” Strauss worked on the “modeling, blending, collaberative polish work for materials and lighting on underground Chapel and hallways” for Beneath the Ashes chapter of Underworld. He also did the “blending, polish modeling, and final lighting for Father’s Secret Study” for the same TRU add-pack.

It’s no secret that whatever unnanounced project Crystal Dynamics is working on is bound to be Tomb Raider; that is, following the mandate given by Eidos to the Redwood-based team to solely focus on the franchise. But, could this “Unnanounced Project” be really? What else could it be?

Meanwhile, Buzz Monkey, known for the Wii and PS2 ports of Underworld and their contribution to the PS3 and 360 versions of the game, has also listed a “Top Secret Game” on their official website, touting it as their “next smash success.” While Buzz Monkey did work on the last three ‘Raider installments, there’s no saying for sure if this top secret game is indeed the inevitable Tomb Raider IX, as the company “offers full game development, co-development, ports, and consulting to both publishers and fellow developers” — not only to Crystal Dynamics.

On another side of the web, TRU technical artist David Suroviec seems happy about what “they” have done so far on “a project.” This new project has allowed Suroviec “to start working from a nearly clean slate,” as his work on Underworld, he’s admitted, wasn’t as flawless as he had wanted it to be, especially since it was his “first job ever.” Suroviec still works at Crystal Dynamics as a technical artist as his profile description puts it. In February, he wrote a rather teasing insight on his current project, which could very well be Tomb Raider IX: “My co-workers and I have accomplished so much so far and I am excited for what we have in mind down the road.”

Even Robert Moreno — former junior material artist at CD — has heard of the excitement in the Tomb Raider dev house. Moreno, according to his site, worked on “materials and textures of Croft Manor’s main hall” and “modeled and textured the clean and destroyed versions of Croft Manor’s exterior for cinematics” for Underworld. The TRU artist has spoken to Tomb Raider Fanboy, and while he was unfortunately one of the 30 CD employees laid off last January, he shares he still hears from his friends from the team and “they say the next Tomb Raider looks very promising.”

Well, will it be SO promising it will make us say “Oh Lara, I love you so much”? THAT, we’ll have to wait and see.

Definitely more on the game as things develop, which they will, eventually.

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