Monday, November 9, 2015

More Art

I don't really use art as a form of expression much these days anymore, which is unfortunate, because it's always helped be deal with stressful situations. that's why, this past halloween, I decided to "paint it out" again, because I had a particularly difficult night.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hey! And Thanks

 A Message to you: "Got it!"

Nice to meet you! If you're reading this, it means I said something somewhere on the internet that you didn't agree with, and took the time to reach out to me and express your disagreement (sometimes referred to as "calling out"). I, in response, sent you this link (If it was not me who sent you this link, feel free to disregard everything cuz, uh, I'm not really sure what that person was trying to do[???]).

This is just a quick message from me to you, letting you know that I heard what you had to say, and have processed it. Your words have undoubtedly modified my behavior, worldview, or way of thinking in some way. I want to thank you for expressing yourself. For whatever reason, you believe what I have to say is important, and you want to make sure I know the impact of my own words, which is absolutely your right!

Secondly, if my words have hurt you in any way, I of course want to apologize. I hate causing people pain in this painful word, and I know that I, as a human being, tend to do it regularly, even though it may be unintentional (which I'm sure you know, this time, it was).

 If you're unsatisfied with this message, keep reading:

If you've made it this far you might feel a little unsatisfied --perhaps you want to have some kind of dialogue about what happened, you want more of an apology from me, or you want me to give you closure personally. I'm sorry to say none of those things will happen. This being the internet and all, if you are a stranger to me, statistically you don't even see me as a real person. I'm just a series of (possibly annoying) post it notes on a window that you often look out of. So you've put up your post it note, and I've put up mine, right here--an equal but opposite reaction. The people who I interact with daily, the ones who know me, who care about me, and who I trust to keep me from being a total douchebag are the only ones who are owed anything more than that.

So please, if we can't see eye to eye and it really bothers you, I implore you to take the time to have me blocked or muted from your feeds, or in general to just avoid me. I wouldn't be hurt or bear any ill will towards you if you did--I want you to take care of yourself, first and foremost, and have an enjoyable internet experience! After all, if you try to press the issue past this, or try to write some kind of personal response in an attempt to override what I've written here, that's what I'm gonna do to you. But I hope you don't. Cuz you're prolly a really nice person, and I'd like to be your friend someday!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Charmixy: HOOOO GOD

So yeah, over the past two months I've gotten hella tan, launched a Kickstarter, and juggled a new semester and job.

I'll tell you one thing, though. Nothing makes me a better artist than stress. Like, if I were a tube of toothpaste, stress is a hand squeezing me. Art is unscrewing the cap and letting all the minty fresh stuff out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I have been getting better at art!

It's been such a long time since I have felt myself noticeably improving in my artwork, I was so happy to realize that I have been getting better. the truth is, I let myself stagnate for a while, but over the winter break I have been doing a lot of practicing and I think its been paying off.

-I've practiced anatomy, so my human figures look a little better, and I can pull off more dynamic poses

my lighting and color theory have significantly improved thanks to a couple of photoshop techniques I've learned as well as taking a class on lighting and such

Also, finally, FINALLY, I have embraced the photoshop brush (evident in quite a few of the above works) and oh my god, I'll never go back. THE POWER. THE POWERRRRRRR. It's so much easier to get accurate effects and I can bust out artwork really quickly and effectively. 10/10. 10 out of fucking 10.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

this is definitely a bad idea

Since the holidays have rolled around and Salty and I have been unable to collaborate on our games (namely, Dantelyon for me and an unannounced project Salty's working on) due to us spending time at home with family, I thought I'd take it upon myself to try a small game completely on my own. Yeah, that means (argh!) I'll have to program it myself, too.

This winter vacation I REALLY wanted to focus on self-improvement, stretching and exercising all of the creative muscles I had previously allowed to atrophy due to school and work obligations. so far, it's been great! every couple of days I go out to sketch perspective scenes, I've started animating again, I'm reading lots and lots, and I'm also learning to skateboard. ahhhh, It's lovely.

This project covers three more things I'd like to improve--pixel art, something I've shied away from in the past, UI art, something I'm -supposed- to be an expert in, and programing, something I should definitely be doing a lot more of but don't do because auuuughghghg my brain.

folks, I present to you Charmixy Academy!
I wanted something that was simple for me but still a teeny bit challenging. The gameplay is just a real-time battle strategy game (think pokemon but without taking turns) mixed with match-3 tile games. you match 3 of the same element tiles (I'm making the game colorblind friendly, btw) to charge up a "charm", and each charm has its own special ability. tap a charm to cast a spell on your opponent. whoever runs out of health loses. Very straightforward, I think; all I have to do is figure out how to program all of that...

As I kid, I was definitely a collector. I'd pick up bottlecaps and paper-clips off the street and string them into bracelets. I also loved the idea of pokemon; having this whole world which revolved around a game and there were lots of things to collect and do and adventures to go on (even though I came to the unfortunate realization that it was glorified dogfighting D:)! Finally, I fucking love magic. like, old fashion, bubble bubble boil and trouble eye of newt feather of phoenix type shit. putting all of those loves together inspired Charmixy. You play as a girl coming of age who discovers she's descended from witches, and gets whisked away to the fantastical Charmixy academy! there she learns all about Charmixy, which are magical accessories that witches and wizards wear to cast spells. It's a fun idea and helped inform a lot of the game's aesthetic--a very old fashioned but charming, worn foundation mixed with modern, cute pop elements. As you can see, I've finished most of the art and am about to move into the 

P.S: this is a SMALL side project, do you hear me? this is NOT something completely new I'm starting to procrastinate and its making me a better person and I will NOT stop working on Dantelyon until its done. DO YOU HEAR ME? DONT DO WHAT IM DOING KIDS! THIS CAN ONLY END IN TEARS?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas! Stocking stuffers is now free for you!

A year ago this month, Glitch City held the first (and last, sadly) holiday game jam. It was such an exciting time, and I met a lot of swell folks (some of who are now dev friends I eagerly follow on twitter!) But most importantly, I made my very first game from start to finish (with Salty's help, of course), and I gotta say, I think I'll never stop being proud of what I made

Below you can read more about the game, as well as a short postmortem of its development (if you'd like to play the game, you can now find it in the "My Games" section of the blog!)

 In Stocking Stuffers, you play as Stuffy the elf, working inside a stocking stuffer factory at the north pole. You were born to stuff stockings. they go by you on a conveyor belt and you must arrange small toys and candy in such a way to fill each stocking efficiently. the stuffings take the shape of a tetrad, and each little stocking is its own bite-sized grid. The game gets harder as you progress, and if you're too "naughty" (you don't fill enough stockings correctly) the game ends! On top of that, Rudolph "Rudy" TheRednosedReindeer is your sweet but dull coworker. It's also your responsibility to make sure he doesn't get into any trouble (and interfere with your noble work!)

I'm still really surprised at how easily I came up with the idea for SS. A solid concept kind of clicked together almost immediately--I started with the fact that the game was a jam game, and so I had to make it replayable, keep story to a minimum, and use limited assets. conveyer belts were the first solution that came to mind, and from there I went to a toy-manufacturing facility of some sort, a modern Santa's Workshop kind of deal. I settled on a gift-packaging idea, and borrowed the arrangement mechanics from Tetris. honestly, there was very little iteration from that point--something I'm sure many experienced developers would strongly advise against, but there it is--with the exception of changing the gift boxes scrolling by to stockings (after all, it's much more common to put trinkets in stockings, not the big gift boxes!)

Rudy was hands-down the best part of development. Even though I think we'd have a solid, interesting set of rules without him, he really brought everything to life, and gave players a sense of place and purpose. Very early on I imagined the player, as Stuffy, trying their darndest to get these stockings rolling out properly, and having this idiot coworker running around and taking toys in and out, pulling levers you didn't want them to touch, and causing all sorts of general mayhem in the background. At first I thought of making another elf, but then I thought about using a reindeer, which made more sense and was a little less offensive. As an animal, the player would expect them to have less intelligence without introducing a gross mental health situation, but they could still be endearing to us  because, you know, they're all cute and furry. Rudy was the obvious choice! He's already established as a sort of oddball character, and having had a...difficult upbringing meant we could simultaneously be irritated with him and love him. Not to mention, in this day and age a set of headlights on Santa's Sleigh made him pretty obsolete. Put it all together and...well, he just made the game FUN.

This being my first fully finished game alongside my dedicated partner in crime, Salty, I would be remiss not to mention it was where I picked up many important development and communication skills still in practice by me today. I learned to love a good Game Design Document (something which school nearly completely turned me off to!), and Salty taught me exactly how to clearly write out instructions for a feature or a mechanic that he could later produce without supervision. I go about it the same way today, basically walking through a set of actions until I reach a fork, then writing out the result of each branching possibility. Salty still remarks to me today how impressed he was at my design for Rudy's AI, and given that it was one of the last things we added to the game, I put all of the things I'd learned into developing it. He and I really got a feel for each other's rhythm. Future game historians, take note! this is where the dynamic duo got their start.

The Holiday Game Jam was an awesome event where a package of all the game jam games were bundled together and sold, and all of the proceeds went to charity. Because of this, I decided not to release the game until a year after the jam. So now I finally get to share the game with you, and it's completely free!

I hope you all enjoy the game, but even more than that, I wish you a new year full of happiness, love, kindness, and purpose.