David Rowe's Art of Knightmare

Series, Teams, History, Behind the scenes etc. - all discussed here.
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David Rowe's Art of Knightmare

Post by wombstar » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:05 pm

It's been a long journey for David and long wait for the rest of us but it's finally over. Mr Posty dropped off something special to me this morning :D
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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by pjmlfc05 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:29 pm

Yes got mine today and a fine read it is too! Haven't read it all yet but there is a lot of thought behind the designs of David's work. It can be easy to take it for granted.

Great work David!
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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by HobGoblin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:01 pm

Just opened mine and it looks absolutely awesome. I'm just so pleased (and still kind of amazed) that this exists!

I look forward to poring over at my leisure.
Extreme warning team, a Hobgoblin in the level!

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by wombstar » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:03 pm

I've been avoiding the Ebook as I've wanted to endulge in the real thing.
Just waiting for a time slot where I wont be interrupted
Mine was stamped number 15 if anyone's interested lo.

Had a quick flick about and it's so cool to see theses rooms in great detail, and seeing the development stages and planning is quite fascinating.
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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by Greystagg » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:27 pm

This is a wonderful book, with so much detail about the planning of the early series rooms. Fascinating as well to see how much they reworked the rooms to increase the variety and creativity for series 2 and 3. I would never have spotted what the base room was for that series 3 stained glass room!

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Re: Art of Knightmare

Post by Drassil » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:19 pm

Greystagg wrote:I would never have spotted what the base room was for that series 3 stained glass room!
Before reading the book, I'd never noticed that either!

I've been enjoying David Rowe's Art of Knightmare on three levels. One: immersing myself in the artwork. I imagine myself in those rooms, wondering what lies beyond those pitch-black portals, and the past quarter-century seems to melt away, if only for a moment. Two: drinking in the details given in the production notes. I particularly like the caricature of Tim Child, and a fact revealed on page 90. Three: there isn't really a third, but how could I not write 'three levels' in reference to Knightmare?

I am proud to own this book and to have my name in it. 'Must-have' is an overused phrase but I think it applies here. To be a Knightmare fan yet not own this book is, like Simon's sidestep, just not right at all.

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by Mashibinbin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:58 pm

http://www.knightmare.com/news/cast-cre ... -available

After missing all the initial discussion and campaign to get this going I was delighted to obtain this in a truly fabulously priced second chance offer at £15. If you haven't got it yet I truly reccomend it.

Just out of curiosity what extra material made it through to the limited edition?

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by Canadanne » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:21 pm

Drassil wrote:
Greystagg wrote:I would never have spotted what the base room was for that series 3 stained glass room!
Before reading the book, I'd never noticed that either!
I knew the stained glass room was based on the Level 3 clue room because David Rowe mentioned it to someone on Facebook about four years ago (that's also when I found out he didn't draw the window), but I hadn't recognised it before he pointed it out!

I, too, have thoroughly enjoyed studying both the artwork and the accompanying paperwork. So many things I hadn't known or noticed before. One thing that tickled me is the changes that were often made between the initial roughs and the final room designs - you can really see how Tim had to anticipate everything the teams might try to do, with all the weapons and wall ornaments being drawn well out of reach in case they wanted to pick them up!

Here are just some of the things I found noteworthy (spoilers if anyone hasn't read the book yet!):

~ The first Knightmare pilot is supposed to have been called 'Dungeon Doom' according to Tim Child's History of Knightmare, yet the set construction plan gives the title as 'Dungeon Danger'. Either someone made a mistake, or it had more than one name before they settled on Knightmare!

~ On the diagram showing a quest through Level 1, it's intriguing that the Granitas clue room has an attached option reading "DEAD | BIG FOOT". Are we to understand that failing all three riddles would result in a giant's foot squashing them or something? I thought the wall monster was supposed to feed on them...!

~ I'm very curious about the inclusion of 'Roller Coaster Corridor' on the list of rooms for Series 2; it appears on both Level 1 and Level 2. I'm assuming it refers to the minecart ride (what else could it be??), but that didn't appear until Series 3. Perhaps the plan was to include that sequence when the Mining Room was first introduced, but it took them a year to get the animation right? The original brief for that room doesn't say anything about riding in the truck (only "Dungeoneer must blast his way out e.g. disintegrating wall"), but I wonder if Tim envisaged them *arriving* there in the minecart instead of using it to exit. That might explain why David Rowe inaccurately captions a Series 3 image of the Mining Room as "Broadcast set with crashed roller coaster from the previous level".

~ Surprising to learn that Guy Standeven's Troll was supposed to have blue or green skin!

~ It seems there were quite a few changes to the plan for Ariadne's original lair. They intended to have a visible web (as seen in later series), extra doors on the back wall, and creatures' eyes glowing in the blackness, while the spider may not actually have appeared! There was also an idea that the WEB spell could be used by teams to form a bridge over a chasm.

~ The correct spelling of Casper's name is now thrown into doubt, as Tim Child repeatedly spells it 'Caspar' in his room briefs. It's spelt with an E in the programme credits, but then again these also spelt Smirkenorff's name wrong, so aren't necessarily to be trusted!

~ The original brief for the Hall of Folly bears little resemblance to the end design. It's described as "a very grand room indeed" (not the rather neglected-looking study we see on screen), and was supposed to have a decorated Round Table, and only one exit instead of two. A planned puzzle with the dungeoneer reassembling a shattered 'M' medallion to summon Merlin (which would later be repeated in the Level 3 'Mogdred Room') wasn't included in the programme either, though we did see them putting blocks together and other variations on the theme.

~ It's hard to tell from the tiny fax, but it looks like the original idea for Merlin's Series 3 room was possibly to have the step clues printed on flagstones parallel to the missing path, rather than told to the dungeoneer earlier?

~ Interesting how the two crossing rooms don't quite match what Tim described, i.e. a "balcony" made of stone blocks in Level 1, and a bridge constructed from multiple wooden sleepers in Level 2, both of which could have individual pieces removed during scenes. Amused by the reference to "worms or eels, or whatever we can come up with for our creepy crawlies"!

~ Fascinating to read David's description of the Cavernwights Room, conceived as a smugglers' cave with evidence of it being regularly flooded by the tide. I'm not sure I had ever really noticed the barrel and chest in the corner before, and I certainly hadn't noticed the ripples on the sandy floor! Perhaps some of the Wights' feastings were unfortunate smugglers! (Also note the variant spelling 'cavernwyghts' used by Tim.)

~ I love the detail that the 'Jericho 6' text on the wall (which always struck me as a bit odd and random-looking) was originally supposed to resemble a London street sign!

~ Tim's initial fax about the dragon room sounds rather different to the final design. Instead of being a crossing room, it seems to describe the dungeoneer walking on a low footpath along the left hand wall, with the dragon on a raised slab alongside him. It also sounds like they intended to use footage of a real lizard.

~ The shocking revelation that a shortcut to skip the levels was apparently offered to teams as early as Series 2! This is hinted at in Neil's quest, but I wasn't sure if it was truly an option that had been prepared for. It's unclear if the reference to "teams" means it was offered to every team, or if theirs ended up being the only one (perhaps some of the ex-contestants on Twitter could tell us). I'm also wondering about the significance of this being grouped together with a note about "floor moving toward dungeoneer and freestanding door moving past (VTR driven)", which sounds rather like the Conveyor Belt / Corridor of Blades! Was this already what Tim had in mind for the shortcut? Did it perhaps take longer to achieve than they thought it would, as with my speculation about the Roller Coaster Corridor?

~ Note that Combat Chess was originally to feature a Knight chess piece in addition to the dungeoneer (rather than them *being* the Knight), and the instructions were to appear on the back wall. The game was seemingly estimated to take 45 seconds - I'm pretty sure it always took much longer than that!!

~ In the Egyptian Room with the cat statues, David says the exit door was added later by computer "as the puzzle evolved from that originally envisaged". I wonder what the original idea was, with no door required? Perhaps the dungeoneer was supposed to jump through the trapdoor to reach a lower level?

~ I wonder why the caverns in Series 3 are called 'Death Valley 2'. What was Death Valley 1? Or is that the one in California?! Also surprised to learn that they considered manifesting a wall monster in the middle scene!

~ The Transporter Pads puzzle ended up being reversed, by the looks of it - they were meant to start at the bottom and make their way up to the exit at the top.

~ Amazing to see rooms and locations that never made it to screen. I'm particularly fascinated by The Henge and what its intended purpose may have been! (Seems like the perfect place for the Cup to be found, as in the Sorcerer's Isle gamebook.) Wonder why it wasn't used - and whether the unused rooms ever made it into the French or Spanish versions, as with the Eyeshield sequences!

~ Nice to have the spelling of 'Vale of Banburn' officially confirmed! The caricature of Tim Child on one of the sketches is hilarious. ;D I seem to recall some speculation that the 'quicksand' was made up as a way to kill off Gavin when he strayed from the path (since the danger wasn't mentioned until he stepped in it), but the sketch with amendments by Tim clearly shows that it was built into the original design of the valley.

I've also posted some thoughts on my LJ, mostly about stuff I hadn't spotted in the pictures before. :)

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by wombstar » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:12 pm

Founds it quite tricky to read some of those notes, the pictures were quite small. Notice some rooms were missing but many David didn't draw those ones (Medusa, unless it was made from one of those stock rooms?)

I hope someone does a follow up collecting the digital art from following shows.
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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by wombstar » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:54 pm

Do we know what the 'Lion room' was?
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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by Canadanne » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:44 pm

wombstar wrote:Do we know what the 'Lion room' was?
The one with the lion's head above the door, either shooting laser beams or with floor tiles missing.

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by wombstar » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:18 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about that room.
8)
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Re: Art of Knightmare

Post by Drassil » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:58 pm

Canadanne wrote:~ On the diagram showing a quest through Level 1, it's intriguing that the Granitas clue room has an attached option reading "DEAD | BIG FOOT". Are we to understand that failing all three riddles would result in a giant's foot squashing them or something?
Either that or an attack by the Spanish Inquisition, which nobody would expect.
Canadanne wrote:~ The correct spelling of Casper's name is now thrown into doubt, as Tim Child repeatedly spells it 'Caspar' in his room briefs. It's spelt with an E in the programme credits, but then again these also spelt Smirkenorff's name wrong, so aren't necessarily to be trusted!
I think there's a CASPAR spell in one of the Knightmare computer games. Spell it backwards and it sounds like Scooby Doo talking about dungeoneering equipment.

Interesting to note that on another of the faxes, Tim spelt Treguard both with and without the u. I'm inclined to go with the end credits' spelling of Casper. ;)
Canadanne wrote:~ The shocking revelation that a shortcut to skip the levels was apparently offered to teams as early as Series 2! This is hinted at in Neil's quest, but I wasn't sure if it was truly an option that had been prepared for.
Taking the information in the book at face value, the idea of 'jumping levels' was under discussion during the development of Series 2. We don't know to what extent this was superseded by later discussions. Still, it's fascinating to think that the 'Way Out' door in Neil's quest really could have taken the team to Level 3.
Canadanne wrote:I'm also wondering about the significance of this being grouped together with a note about "floor moving toward dungeoneer and freestanding door moving past (VTR driven)", which sounds rather like the Conveyor Belt / Corridor of Blades!
Or perhaps the CGI dwarf tunnels seen in Series 3.

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Re: Art of Knightmare

Post by Canadanne » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:56 pm

Drassil wrote:I think there's a CASPAR spell in one of the Knightmare computer games.
I just noticed that yesterday! It unlocks a door, so almost certainly a reference to the much-loved magic key. ;) I'm leaning towards Caspar as the official spelling now. (Guessing the Treguard inconsistency was just a typo!)
Drassil wrote:Still, it's fascinating to think that the 'Way Out' door in Neil's quest really could have taken the team to Level 3.
I suppose if the team had decided to try it, and Treguard wasn't able to talk them out of it, that's what would've had to happen. It seems they were destined to have a memorable quest, one way or another!
Drassil wrote:Or perhaps the CGI dwarf tunnels seen in Series 3.
Oh yeah, it could be that! Would make sense taking a shortcut through a dwarf tunnel.

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Re: Art of Knightmare competition

Post by wombstar » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:18 pm

I would guess the 'Way Out' door would be the same as the 'fire exit'
It would most likely have killed them off.
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