Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jim Ludtke, RIP

I just found out, two years after the fact, that Jim Ludtke died back in 2004. I often wondered what had become of him - his awesome work for the Residents pushed the capabilities of multimedia when CD-ROM's were in their infancy. He did desktop 3D when it was still hard, when you had to have a lot of patience because the CPU power just wasn't there. His fantastic, original, and distinctive designs combined with his obvious attention to detail and patience of Solomon earned him enough notoriety that there was even an "Absolut Ludtke" ad in Wired once.

I still consider Bad Day on the Midway to be one of the most engrossing and cool computer games ever created, and Ludtke's ingenious use of mapping video of real peoples' mouthes onto the 3D models made for a creepy and crisp look to the characters. To this day it gnaws at me that I never managed to find where Dixie's neo-nazi comatose (or is he?) husband hid the gold.

I'm really sad to hear of Ludtke's passing. I'd love to see what he would have come up with using the computing power of today's machines.

1 comment:

Freid said...

Really sad too, Jim's works will stick in my head forever.