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"Visions of Zosimos": A premiere in fantasy

By Matt McMorrow
On March 25, 2010

Animation and Gaming Instructor, and Forever Interactive Gaming CEO Emil Harmsen, works with students and instructors from the Creative Technologies Department to create new role-playing video game.Before being a major project to be released early next year by Forever Interactive Gaming, "Visions of Zosimos" was a book from the Middle Ages with its focus on the afterlife. It also dealt with a primitive mineral science called alchemy and living undead known as "the Homunculi."

The makers of every type of virtual game on the market offer players a chance to be someone else and escape from reality. Forever Interactive Gaming is no different in the proposal for "Visions of Zosimos." Players of the game are challenged by merciless warlords, with alchemy at their disposal. Spells can be cast over the mindless Homunculi, enabling hand-to-hand combat control for survival of the harsh wilderness.

This future release from Forever Interactive will be a role- playing game with a good number of other participants online. And the title's theme is not unlike the competing series, "World of Warcraft." Each of these games has the execution of player ability plus strategy.

But "Visions of Zosimos" has the added wrinkle of chance. Forever Interactive CEO and developer, Emil Harmsen, compares the playing experience to the card game, "Magic the Gathering." Many other strategies from "Visions" are also infused from the "Dungeons and Dragons" board game.

A pair of virtual dice is used in offensive attacks, as well as for defense. Cards of the game can be used for battle or traded amongst players. Cards can

pertain to social encounters, weaponry, defeated pit-bosses or territories unexplored. Unique features of the game are acquired artifacts to be sold or used as weapons. Before gaining these artifacts, special pit-bosses must be slain. The plot for "Visions" advances then-after. Alchemist sorcerers may also be consulted before any battle to enhance a player's chosen attributes.

Forever Interactive's website has promotions of game presentation that is easy on the eyes. "Visions of Zosimos" landscape is best described as spacious and dark. The game's graphic artists paint color off-tone to thrust those playing into supernatural realms. Within the ruins of

misty forests, you will meet the Homunculi, large spiders, barbarians and beasts resembling three-headed dogs.

The game is only being developed on company floor in core-mechanic construction. By the end of this year, Harmsen anticipates the project will be in its most correct, polished and final phase.

In addition to being CEO of Forever Interactive, Emil Harmsen also instructs part-time here in the Animation and Gaming Department of the Creative Technologies Division.

Some of MATC's students are using work done from "Visions" in a visual portfolio to complement their resume. A number of programmers engineering the project, on behalf of Harmsen, are also registered here. Harmsen does not resort himself only to what our college can offer in talent. He accepts the portfolios of other imaginative students across the nation.

As the head of a software development company, Harmsen describes himself as being in the frontlines with all other staffers, completing even the most basic work. Student portfolios from "Visions" can be shown right away to prospective employers in cooperation with Forever Interactive Gaming.

Harmsen reserves himself as a positive reference used by enterprising students that seek interviews. This can help those associated with his current projects stay on well after graduation.

Hard work from start to finish is noted, with the reward of relative percentage from game profits. Another incentive Harmsen's company offers is the ability to work from home.

Harmsen hopes secure funds earned from "Visions of Zosimos" will be enough to compensate his developers in keeping them. He also hopes to acquire a grant from the state to establish a studio for more projects in development.

One of the other projects in development is something Harmsen calls "Aeon of Entropy." The title will be fantasy-themed and played competitively online as well. The background for "Aeon of Entropy" delves into ancient Eastern philosophy in which player characters, and enemies, return from the dead.

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