Old Bill

So whose in our lineup for new characters in Harvey? 

How about a heartwarming, German speaking, advice giving, jovial little man named Bill!

Introducing William F. Neubauer.

Bill Neubauer closing the elevator doors. Students crowd around him.
Bill is the one that looks more dapper than the rest.

William (Bill) Neubauer started his career at the Stout Institute in 1931 as a 30-day temporary elevator operator. The first 30 days seemed to work out quite well, so Bill carried on as the Stout Institute’s elevator operator for the next 23 years, finally retiring in 1954 when an automatic elevator was installed. He didn’t have any hard feelings about it, though.

Bill was very well known and admired by the students. According to Stoutonia newspaper articles and many students, Bill was always happy. The daily elevator riders always looked forward to his cheery conversation, hearty greetings, and his even disposition. He is remembered as one who was always willing to help students in any way that he could. He always gave great advice. Bill had moxie. His frequent greetings in German led many students to believe that he grew up in Germany, but he actually moved to America by the time he was two years old. Old Bill perfected his German speaking skills in Wisconsin.

Black and white photo of Bill Neubauer standing in the elevator.
Quite the gentleman.

Some of the most mind-boggling aspects of Bill’s career at Stout are his estimations of the number of students he has transported in his trusty elevator. Bill himself estimated that every day he would travel roughly 8 miles in his elevator. He made between 500 and 600 trips every day, and each trip averaged 6 passengers, bringing the total to about 3,600 passengers daily. Over the duration of his career, Bill estimated that he transported 15 million passengers over the course of 48,000 miles.

We dug up an old Stoutonia article that opens a window into Bill’s life, providing just one anecdote. It reads, “The funniest experience that Bill told about his work is when a girl came running up to the elevator when it was stopped in the basement shouting, “take me to fourth Bill.” She counted the floors as they were going up, “two, three, four,… oh, my gosh Bill, we just passed fourth, where to now?”


Presentation and Playtest!

Come one, come all!

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 3.48.42 PM

You are invited to an in-progress Virtual Harvey Hall presentation and playtest, this Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in UW-Stout Micheels Hall 290. Now in its second semester, the project has grown to a three-class, 45-student collaborative transmedia project (overseen by Mitch Ogden, Kevin Pontuti, and Dave Beck). While this presentation will still be an in-progress view of the experience, we hope to gather more feedback from all of you as we move into the final stage of the project’s development.

The key area of feedback that we hope to gather is in the “playtesting” phase – giving you a chance to sit down with the project and experience Harvey for yourself!

Swing by to hear a short presentation on the current build of Harvey and and sit down to a computer to play the game yourself. We want feedback from anyone and everyone!

Working With Wireframes

NAME: Alec Diab
SENSAI: Dave Beck
POSITION: Game Engine Team [UI/Sound Director]

I am currently working on the technical design and layout of the “Scrapbook” in the Harvey game. The game engine team is in charge of implementing and bringing to life all assets created by the other artists. There is also a lot of creating that needs to be done with the user interface, or “UI,”  so that we can ensure that the player is able to easily navigate through areas that we create. The challenge with most UI situations is trying to forget what you know about navigation and think through the eyes of your target audience and account for all situations that need to be explained and how the player will interact or solve those problems.

With that in mind, I have been tasked with designing the layout for one of Harvey’s more important UI asset: The scrapbook. The scrapbook is an item that the player will have with them at all times and is the main “go-to” reference for what the player needs to do, where to go, see what they’ve collected–such as achievements or completed missions–and more. The actual physical scrapbook will first be created by the digital cinema team (they need it for the game intro), and then we will have it modeled, textured, and utilized for being made into the type of item the player will need.

"Main Section"
“Main Section”
Scrapbook Rooms Visited Tab
“Rooms Visited”

Creating a Likeness

Hey everyone, my name is Emily Dillhunt. I’m a junior here at Stout, and just recently started working on the Harvey project. It’s an honor to be able to help out in a project like this, I see great things in the future of our program.

If there’s anything that’s come to my attention in the first few weeks of taking part in this project, it’s how passionate and committed all of the students are. It’s a great experience to be able to take part in such a large group of designers, all putting forth their unique specializations to create a game. I can’t wait to see what the final project will turn out to be.

Speaking of unique specializations, I’m a part of the character sculpting team. What we do is a bit of a mixture of technical skill and aesthetic decision making; it’s not enough to just make the characters look nice (though that’s pretty important), they have to be built so they can function well, too. If they’re not built properly, the animators will have a tough time doing their job.


Sculpting a character starts out simple: you need a reference. In my case, as a new member I was tasked with the creation of Clarence “Cal” Peters, a muralist who painted at Stout in the ’30s. The tricky thing, however, is that when Cal was at Stout painting his murals, he was 32… And my references are from 30 years later, when he is 60 years old. You can see (right) what he looked like at some point in his later life, after he moved out to California.

So here’s what I knew about Cal: He was 32 when he painted in the basement of Harvey Hall. He liked history and strived to be historically accurate in his depictions. He always wore a white t-shit when painting, and was described as being “slight, unruly haired.” And then, of course, I needed to de-age him about three decades. After some quick ideation sketches, I started to develop the basic shape of his face–working out how his nose, ears, eyes, and chin were shaped–and from there it was a lot of scaling (did you know your ears and your nose never stop growing?) and minor tweaks like figuring out his eye shape and how his hair would look.

Eventually this was the final result, which will potentially go on to a sculptor to create the 3D game model. Who knows, maybe you’ll see Cal later in Harvey Hall! Only time will tell.