World of Adventure, created by Riley Swift in 2006, is our first video entry in the OSR Art Friday series. Swift, who was already known in gaming circles for his set of Dungeon Majesty actual play videos, put this together for a fan movie contest. It won of course.
It's a perfect homage to early 80's D&D (has anyone created a more perfect one?), using seemingly found and modified TSR art as well as "original" pieces such as the big-hair nymphs or sexy shamans or whatever they are exactly, beckoning to the viewer in the opening seconds. There are dungeon corridors, more dungeon corridors, slithering things, skeletons and skulls and more skeletons and skulls including a giant skull with flashing jewel eyes. There are references to Spelljammer as well as tavern scenes and floofy wilderness settings with bards and maidens. My three-old son was looking at the video very intently and seriously, but then burst into a spontaneous and joyous laugh when the talking tree appeared.
Scott Martin of the metal/punk bands 400 Blows, Crom (the American one) and Big Business created the original heavy metalish soundtrack. Speaking of which, the whole video is sort of a shorter and more fun version of the 1981 film Heavy Metal. Again, remember, World of Adventure was made in 2006.
Swift would later be hired by HASBRO to use pieces of the movie to create thirty second television ads for the "Red Box" version of D&D 4e. Many Old Schoolers predictably sniffed at this as an attempt to portray a bad game in nostalgic terms it hadn't earned. They were right of course, but the ads are still fun.
Dungeon Majesty (whose 2004 trailer is here) features Swift and four ladies sitting around a small table playing D&D 3.5 in a relatively demure if nerdy manner. However, the greenshot background shows the ladies dressed as their characters in cheesy but cool early 80's style costumes, sneaking through corridors and swinging their weapons. I'm not sure how many episodes there are but they seem to all be available from multiple sites. You either like this sort of thing or you don't. I like this sort of thing.
Swift is a graphic artist and video maker who directed and wrote the Multinauts, with a similar 70's/80's low-budget ambience. His website also features a diverse set of commissioned works ranging from the Intro to the Sophie Grace and Rosie Show, a toddler's website, rock and roll tee-shirts and a Disney Cars video featuring, of all things, the great Stooges song Search and Destroy.
Cool stuff all around. We wish him well.
But most of all, thanks for World of Adventure.