Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back To Programming! Chapter 11 Finished!

I couldn't believe it had been a month since I had picked up my programming book, "Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0: Learn Programming Now!", then I took stock of the last month and realized that it isn't all that hard to believe. Lucky for me, my bathroom and drain situation is under control and I think I can start getting my schedule back in order.

Tonight's chapter was Chapter 11: A Game as a C# Program. I learned a little more about "classes" and "methods" and how the a program initially starts in its code. More importantly, I learned about working within the television's Safe Zone so as to prevent graphics from traveling to the outer area not normally shown on older "tube based" televisions.

More than ever, my time away from the book affected me tonight. At this point, I'm not sure if its the general nature of the author to not include things or if I'm constantly missing them. I can forgive the instances where he is expecting me to place certain text in that you automatically do for every project (namely the information under the Draw Method), but its getting harder to let slide the situations where he is changing variables in the code and not telling you to do the same. Once again, it has resulted in my cross referencing my code with his finished website samples to find the differences.

Even with the frustration, I'm down to the last 5 chapters with only a little over 100 pages to go. I know that sounds like a lot, but the end is finally in sight. I'm probably going to look into a few other options to continue learning, but haven't decided which ones yet. I'm hoping to figure that out soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something to Listen to


Recently listened to an interview with Brad Rigney conducted by the Sidebar podcast. As much as I hate that I let my digital painting fall by the wayside, I still like to dabble and keep up on artists in the field. Listening to the podcast, I couldn't help but get really amped up about working on my projects, just by listening to his enthusiasm. Here's a guy that went from an extremely low point in his life, picked himself up, and through sheer determination became one of the most renowned artists in the field. I wish I saw more of that in my daily life, but know too many people that prefer to line up excuses as to why they simply "can't." It was striking to hear his "get off your ass and just do it" attitude and it really put things in perspective as he talked about "giving up on" other things in your life to dedicate to your craft.

It really is an amazing interview and he seems like a really decent guy that you could just pal around with. To be completely honest, he reminded me a lot of Twisted Metal's David Jaffe with his very frank and open opinion on creation.

Podcast Link

Brad Rigney's DeviantArt Page

Also, you might want to check out the rest of the podcasts on the site. If you are an artist, I'm sure you'll recognize many of the names they've interviewed. And even if you aren't an artist, the interviews offer tons of insight into other people's creative process.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

He-Man: Blade

Finished my little test with my new Cintiq. Might have to callibrate my monitor and tablet because I painted it to be a bit browner than it may appear here. Who knows, my normal monitor is a bit on the bright side also. Anyways, happy with the Cintiq. Hoping to do more of the rogue gallery.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Update


I must not have been too bummed out from my last delay because its been another week without programming. I have been adding to my design doc, but the last week has proven pretty difficult as it relates to free time. In my defense, I had to do some remodeling to my bathroom, fix a basement drain that left me without water for a week, continue my new workout schedule (down 15 pounds in 3 weeks!!!), and I got my Cintiq. In fact, the above pencil sketch is something I threw together to test my Cintiq out on (I will be inking and coloring on it).

I was inspired by an amazing artist named, Dapper Dan. I was a big fan of his stuff when he would just post on the AWN forums (at least that's when I first saw him). He would do these great Rogues Gallery collections that I couldn't help but stare at. Anyways, it inspired me to do one of my own, at least for practice. Looking for something unconventional, I'm going to try and do the rogues gallery from the Masters of the Universe movie. First up is Blade.

Dapper Dan's Blog

His Moleskin Blog

His deviantart page

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where'd I Go?

Just looked at my blog and am a little upset that it has been so long since I've updated and more so since I've picked up my coding book. I feel like I'm so close to jumping into the beginning stages of the creating my game, but life has become real hectic.

First off, I saw this really cool video on IndieGames.com:

Adam Atomic Talks Canabalt - IndieGame: The Movie from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

Its basically another interview with an indie game developer (Adam Atomic) discussing his project, Canabalt. While his game looks great, annoyingly only taking him 5 days, I was most interested in his discussion of whether or not sound needs to contain the same retro feel as the art work. It was a topic I had spent some time thinking about in the past and was glad to see it addressed in this short.

In game news, the more I look at the blob in the previous post, the more I want to change it. It doesn't exactly have the transparent feel that I'm looking for so it may end up getting reworked. I have a tendency to stick with the first design that comes together, mostly because I struggle sometimes getting a workable piece together. I'm trying to use my new "Get it right, instead of Get it done" philosophy that I promised myself I'd do for this game.

Also, I recently purchased a used Cintiq 12WX on Ebay and am still in that half way point of excitement and buyers remorse. I've wanted one forever and finally broke down and got one. It should be in the mail soon so I'm anxious to play with it.

So, what with Madden out this week, my need to paint my bathroom, and a new work-out regiment, free time has been sparse (Yes, I understand Madden IS free time). I'm going to try and make it a point to pick up the book tomorrow.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Superhero Game - Sketching

Got the urge to sit down with the sketch book and jot down a few ideas. Here are a few rough sketches and poses of the main character as well as a new "Slime" type enemy for the game. Of course I could resist down-rezing it to see how it will look. Here you go.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dustforce

Just wanted to post this video that I saw over at www.indiegames.com. Not exactly XNA related, but I like keep up with what is out there on the indie scene and this has a fun look to it and clever animation. The direct link to the original story is here.



On the "Superhero Game" front, did some sketching earlier today and found a couple of poses that I really liked. Of course they are drawn about the size of a nickel so I will have to blow those up and see if I can translate them to finished art.

Also, been thinking a lot about the logistics of the buildings and some of the things I need to take into account when designing them. I'm probably going to continue to "fudge" the perspective, but I may have to rethink how I originally had planned the top of the buildings. Previously, I was just going to have the top edge flat (not seeing the platform at all). But now I realize that you can't have the wall of the building in front of the character when he lands on it and also behind him when he's flying in front of it. So the perspective change should help that, but I'm a little bummed I had to change it.

Hopefully I'll post some sketches soon as I wanted to really buckle down and start drawing the main character a lot. I'm hoping the repetition will help me get really comfortable with my design for him.