Thursday, December 22, 2011

Construct 2 Video Tutorials

Full disclaimer: This is not my video.  But I thought it was important that people looking to create games in Construct 2 see it (especially beginners).  I've still been dabbling with the program here and there, but haven't found too many video references which tend to be the easiest way for me to learn.  Ayzhong does an excellent job of showing you how to construct a game using the event system as well as getting around any peculiar bugs you may run into.  I'm hoping to put some time into a small platformer in the coming weeks.  I'll be sure to post any tips I may find.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dr Sketchy: Frazetta

Had a great time with Dr. Sketchy Cleveland last night.  The theme was Frank Frazetta and with a great model (and the Conan soundtrack), the night turned out to be a lot of fun.  It really just felt like the perfect way to end a year of Dr. Sketchy's.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Work In Progress

The Winter Soiree is over and a great time was had by all.  I was honored to be included with so many very talented artist.  Seeing everyone's stuff together made me particularly excited about some group collaborations that should be starting next month.  

Looking back at my "Love No Longer Lost" piece, I see it as a kind of milestone as its the first piece was started and ended digitally.  Normally I'd do all of my preliminary sketching on paper and scan that in.  This time, I started on the Cintiq and would just do layer after layer of sketching.  It added a certain freedom that helped me to try new things.  Though, if you look at the above picture, you can see that sections of the girl went through a number of revisions: hence the other colors.  Finally, the background was created in Cinema 4D and used as a base for my layout.  Hope you enjoy this, look at my preliminary work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Love No Longer Lost

My most recent piece was created for an art show (Winter Soiree) out in Cleveland. After failing with a couple of other ideas, I decided to go back and rework a concept that I was never truly happy with. 

I had drawn the picture many years ago for the forums and had always wanted to take another shot at it. The basic concept is a man that lost his wife spends his life trying to recreate her as a machine. Not sure if that translates, but it was the general idea.

Also, kind of happy with the way it turned out considering its my first all digital piece.  Normally I'd do at least a little sketching on paper and scan it in for a base.  This time, I did all of my sketching in Sketchbook Pro.  Worked out pretty well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dr. Sketchy 11-29-11

Just some life drawing from last night's Dr. Sketchy-Cleveland meeting.  Had a nice "James Bond" theme going last night and great model to go with it.  Each drawing was done on my iPad in Sketchbook Pro.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scirra's Construct 2

I wish I could remember how I happened onto it, but yesterday I came across a game development engine geared towards HTML5 called Construct 2.  I may have previously heard of the original Construct, but this was my first time trying one of them out.  I have to say, even though I've spent only a couple hours with it, I'm kind of amazed.  Blinded by aspirations of developing for XNA, I'd never really looked at creating anything for HTML5.  This program is a godsend.

The interface is extremely intuitive and based mostly on "events".  Like most early software, documentation for using it is pretty scant, but the community seems more than willing to pick up the slack.  Their probably just grateful to the small team that has created this amazing tool (I think its only two guys...craziness).

Looking back at the time I spent, trying to learn C#, I can't totally feel like it was time wasted.  A lot of the "under the hood" stuff that I learned really informed me how to best design.  Being able to look at a game as a bunch of boxes that collide with other boxes seems to be key in all of the designers I've read up on.  If there is one bad side to this, its that its awoken a need to work on my game again, which I was doing my best to bury in favor of my video work.  Maybe it will be easier with Construct 2.  Maybe I can just focus on gameplay and stop pulling my hair out over code that I may never understand.  Time will tell.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Animated Conan and Death Proof Sketches

Just some late night sketching. Watched Death Proof the other night and wanted to draw Kurt Russell. Doesn't look anything like him, but I liked inking the hair. The other one started as an attempt to draw some crazy Frazetta posture. Somewhere along the line it turned into an animated version of Conan.  All of it done in Sketchbook Pro on the Cintiq.  As soon as I remove the blue, I stop liking it.  Not quite confident in my inking yet.  Need more work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cinema 4D Luma Matte Work-Around

Maybe it was all of the talk in one of Grey Scale Gorilla's lighting tutorials, or maybe its because I've had to do this before, but I finally decided to treat the seen like a real life studio and solve my luma matte problems that way.  So, in order to remove the area where the picture is supposed to go and get rid of the white matte line, I chose to deal with it like it was a green screen.  I made the picture area a solid green in Cinema 4D and then removed the area in After Effects.  The luma matte still works decent enough for things like coloring (which I will be using later), but I've spent too much time trying to remove that white line and my research shows no one has solved it.  Until the day comes that Maxon addresses it, I will have to use my green screen trickery.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Late Halloween

Not sure how successful I was with this one.  Ultimately I was just trying to make up for not drawing anything Halloween-ish and not facing my inability to draw a Turkey. Continued my new found love of unnecessary rim lighting.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Put It In Your Ears To Keep You Inspired

Not sure how many people out there are as easily lead astray as I am, but I've learned that I need to limit my outside inspirations to what I want to accomplish.  Its just getting too hard to focus on one thing when I'm so easily pulled in different directions.  One of the things I like to do is listen to podcasts that either teach about the work I'm wanting to do or motivate me to get out there and do it myself.  Recently I came across the Paper Wings Podcast.

Hosted by Chris Oatley and Lora Innes, the show focuses on, but is not limited to, visual story telling.  They often go over tips for taking on personal project as well as divulge the history and struggles within their own work.  Both are currently working on web comics and are definitely worth checking out.

Chris Oatley: Greg the Megabeaver's Prehistoric Slideshow
Lora Innes: The Dreamer

I've become a huge fan of the show.  It just has a calming and informative feel to it without acting like a talk at a seminar.  The hosts are extremely likeable and are constantly providing tips which can only help improve your work.  It also helps that they are so involved with their community and willing to answer questions posted in the comments.

Another podcast that's definitely worth a listen is the Sidebar Podcast.  The easiest way to explain it is if you ever hang out with a group of friends and they're all in to something way before you are.  The more they talk about it, the more you want to dive in and do it with them.

That's what Sidebar is for me: A group of friends talking about artists in a way that makes me excited about artists.  The hosts (Dwight, Swain, and Adrian) will normally have a guest on and proceed with a line of questioning that really just feels like catching up friends.

This show has done so much for exposing me to different artists as well as styles of art.  But, more importantly than that, its humanized the people I had already looked up to.  While its sometimes depressing when these more accomplished artists reveal themselves to be younger than me, its worth it just to find out that we have the same influences and struggles.

Personal favorite episodes are with Lauren Montgomery, Shane Glines, and Skottie Young.

So hopefully that helps you as much as its helped me.  Just some fun and informative chatter to help you get through your projects.  Feel free to comment with any shows you might think I'd like.  I'm always looking to add more. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Colors On Zombie

Was getting ready for bed and had the urge to color something.  Having recently watched The Walking Dead, I had zombies on the brain. Seeing as I've struggled with drawing zombies, I decided to appropriate my friend's sketch.  You can see Craig Worrell's original pencils here.  Be sure to check out Craig's personal site and follow him and a bunch of other extremely talented Cleveland Artists at the Sketch Of The Day blog

Sketch of the Day blog
Craig Worrell's Portfolio Site

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Art! Madness!

Finally got a chance to sit down and just draw.  What started as a warm up sketch ended up as a Hellboy picture that got away from me.  I'm starting feel like I'm finding my style (in my 30's. Ugh).  Not quite painterly, but a lot of those principals go into my coloring.  To round out the night, I drew some Ninja Turtle action.  Basically, I just wanted to continue drawing but couldn't decide on what.  That sequence of events usually ends at a Ninja Turtle.  Last night was no different.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreaded White Lines

It always seems that the parts of a project that I assume will be the easiest will inevitably bite me in the ass.  I'm really enjoying my time with Cinema 4D, and getting back into After Effects has been like visiting an old friend, but combining the two hasn't been as smooth as I would have liked.  Specifically, I'm having a little trouble with compositing into After Effects.  I think I have it narrowed down to the matte that's being created by Cinema 4D.  Currently, I'm setting up an object buffer that is cutting out the area where I want to place my photo into, but its a little too big and producing a white line around the image.  I saw the same thing happen in the tutorial I followed at, but thought I could get around it.  I'm going through a similar tutorial on that doesn't seem to have the problem and keeping my fingers crossed that I find a solution.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unblurring: Twice as much fun as Blurring

Was just sitting here going through the Adobe Max 2011 Sneak Peeks and my mind is being blown.  While I'm impressed with the conversion of 2D images to 3D images in After Effects, I'm most impressed by the "unblurring" of photos in Photoshop.  I'm constantly impressed with the strides that technology is making in software packages that a common person can buy (admittedly with some saving).  Check it out:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Sculptris

Just some more tinkering with Sculptris. Started as some kind of cute monster, then became an ugly monster, then got a little too close to a California Raisin, then ended here. I really need to start sculpting the eyes. I keep telling myself that I'll add them into the model and then animate them. Then I remember that I don't know how to do any of that yet and move on. Either way, I'm moving along in Cinema 4D. Its going pretty good so far. Hoping to have a couple of test shots done by the end of the month. Should be sped up now that I've realized that I can buy a lot of the virtual props I need for some pretty reasonable prices. Hoping to update again soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Flash Animation

Was rooting through some old work (pretty embarrassingly bad stuff) on an old Photobucket account and came across this old Flash Animation I did about 4 years ago. Thought it would be appropriate for the season.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Turning My Focus Elsewhere...For Now

So I've been thinking a lot about my current time constraints and it seems I have another problem: filtering inspiration.  I understand if that doesn't make sense or is some kind of contradiction.  Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I get too easily lead away into different projects and find focusing to be increasingly difficult.  If I see a good piece of art, I want to draw.  Some interesting new visual effect and I want to dive back into After Effects.  The wind blows a different way and I want to work on something new.  Recently, I've made an effort to stay away from the podcasts, websites, post-mortems, and developer interviews that I used to devour on a regular basis and turn my ear to the places that inspire art and film.  It really just keeps me in the right frame of mind and helps me stick to one project.

That's not to say that I've given up on the game, just that I need to prioritize my time right now and work on something till completion.  I get far less accomplished when I'm trying to do it all so I've decided to put the game on hiatus for the next 6 months.  I've been working on an idea for a new business venture dealing with video and I really need to pool all of my free time into that.  Its something I've been excited about doing for a while now and am confident that I have the ability to pull it off.

This was definitely a difficult decision to come to as I was finally diving back into XNA and C# and feeling that I was really understanding it.  With any luck, I'll be able to pick up where I left off at the end of March.  I will still be posting the occasional art and assets for the game, but will probably step away from the coding for a while.

Till my next post, here is a rough model I created in Sculptris.  Its a free sculpting program from the makers of Zbrush.  I bumped into it when I was pricing Zbrush and Mudbox.  After getting depressed over the price of each, I found Sculptris.  Its hugely beneficial because you can export the models and use them in Cinema 4D.  Definitely worth checking out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting Back On the Horse

A couple nights ago, I attended another Cleveland Game Developers meeting and it really inspired me to get back into learning C# and XNA. Life has finally gotten back to a manageable pace so fitting in the tutorials should be easier. I took the first step last night by popping in my 3D Buzz tutorial DVD's and getting wet. When I last left off, I was towards the beginning of the second disc. Also, I've decided that this time I will keep a notebook and start jotting down things in the hopes that it will help me retain what I'm learning. Perhaps treating it like an actual class will keep it in my head and on schedule.

Also, really need to add some art or something to this blog. Its so drab looking. Kind of bums me out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Star Command

Came across a pretty cool new iOS game that mixes Game Developer Story with Star Trek. I'm pretty sure that combination sells itself, but I've attached the Kickstarter trailer to help. As someone that really enjoyed Game Developer Story, I can't help but be really excited for this one. Take a look: Star Command

As far as my own work goes, a recent move has occupied a lot of my time. I'm hoping to get life and furniture situated so that I can jump back into the 3D Buzz videos. At this point, I'm a little worried that my hiatus will keep me from remembering everything I've leaned. I might have to make a schedule and dedicate myself to spending the necessary amount of time to continue. At the very least, I'd like to continue with the asset creation. With any luck, I should have some more of that posted soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cute Things Dying Violently

Just wanted to take a quick moment to point out a great game (in my opinion) that was just released on Xbox Live Indie Games as part of the Indie Summer Uprising. I actually don't buy too many indie games, but wanted to make a point to at least try all of the ones coming out with the Uprising. Normally, the 8 minute limit is all I need to get my fill of a game (which may be more my fault than the game), but after the time limit ran up on Cute Things, I threw down my dollar to continue. I'm really enjoying the puzzles and sense of humor and hope that this game does well for Apathy Works. Do yourself a favor and download the trial. This game at least deserves a shot at your precious dollar.

Cute Things Dying Violently at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Incredible Hulk Sketch 8-23-11

Was playing around on the Cintiq tonight and threw this together. Sketched it in Sketchbook Pro and then put some quick color on it in Photoshop.

As far as the game is going, I still have every intention of continuing it, but my scheduling is getting a little side tracked at the moment. I'm hoping to resume my normal way of life here pretty soon, but I'm seriously starting to consider trying to take someone on that is already a programmer. Not really sure what is the best way about finding someone. I'm probably going to have to spend some time on the XNA forums and twitter to get a feel for the landscape. We'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pin Up Art and Update

I was recently asked by a friend of mine if I wanted to participate in a small art show for the Tremont Art Walk in Ohio. Our small section of the walk will be based around Pin Ups. Having avoided drawing pretty girls for most of my life, I took it as a welcome challenge. After a failed attempt, I rethought my approach and came up with a fake Pulp Magazine Cover. All and all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm kind of nervous about people seeing it, but it fits in nicely with my "try new things" attitude.

In other news, I recently finished the book I was reading on better time management. It helped me to take a hard look at how I use my time and places where I can be more effective. Hopefully, I should be able to rework my life to include XNA and Cinema 4D (a new obsession).

I started working on the online tutorials at Lynda to get me more comfortable with C4D. I'm hoping to work with it 2 or 3 days a week as I find time and also get in 2 or 3 days with XNA. Just typing it seems like a ridiculous feat, but I'm determined to make it work.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inking Test

Wanted to Practice inking with the Cintiq and had drawn this guy in my sketchbook the other day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spider-Man Fan Art

I had been more than a little obsessed with the art of Skottie Young and felt like drawing a more cartoony version of the super hero.

I also, i realize I haven't updated much on the game. Its been kind of hectic as I try to reorder my schedule. I'm trying to jump into Cinema 4D and start a new business venture, but really don't want to give up on the XNA project. I know I should better prioritize my time, but I'm convinced that its scheduling and procrastinating which is keeping me from my goals.

So right now I'm reading through Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule -- and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern. So far its pretty good. I'm hoping it gives me the tools I need to figure out my schedule and get everything in order.

In the mean time, I have an art show coming up that I need to submit a piece for. Going to have that finished soon so I should be able to post that.

Couple of Warm Up Sketches

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sketchbook Pro Practice 7-11-11

7-11-11: Just playing around. Have a project that I needed to start working on soon and wanted to try and do it with the digital marker tools. Just trying to get comfortable. Don't know why I picked a mushroom.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Character Poses & Cleveland Indie Devs

Got to make it to my first Cleveland Indie Developer's Meetup. It was interesting having a serious discussion on games between people with such varied levels of experience. Some had released games and others were working on their first (Like ME). I don't think anyone else there was using C# or working in XNA, but it was nice to see some of their projects. Though I had to leave a little bit early and didn't get to see as many as I'd like. I'll probably travel to the next one and see if I can see more of their work.

Above are some sketches and character poses. I'm going to try and get back into my 3D Buzz videos soon, but learning Cinema 4D will probably cut into it. Also having the itch to animate. Damn my lack of time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Idle Animation Test & Meetup

Sprite Idle Animation on Enemy Character. Seeing what I can g... on Twitpic

Put together a test tonight using After Effects's puppet tool to animate and bend the arms. While I don't think it will work for the majority of characters in my game, I can definitely think of a few opportunities for it. Pretty happy with the result.

In other news, tomorrow night I will be attending my first Meetup with other Cleveland area Game Developers. Hoping this will be an opportunity to pick the brains of other developers with more experience than me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Robin Williams & The Legend of Zelda

Really looking forward to the Ocarina of Time 3D game and thought this video was pretty cool. I never finished it when it originally came out for the GameCube (and didn't finish it when it was a pre-order bonus with Wind Waker), but I'm sure this will be the time I make it all the way through...maybe.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jet Foot Sprite

Definitely not the final name...or is it. Did a color test on character design. Going to my first Meetup with the other Cleveland Game Developers and wanted to have some assets to show. Wish I would have some actual code to show, but that is definitely not my strong point. Going to give Torque Community Edition a try. Its becoming more and more apparent that I need something to help me along as my free time is becoming more and more scarce.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mentor Character Sprite Art

Just a quick art progression on the Mentor character in the game. Hoping to do a couple more of these this week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quick Sketch 6-8-11

Just a quick sketch from Dr. Sketchy last night. Drawn on my ipad.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Has it been 2 months?

Wow, I can't believe its been so long since I touched this thing. I've been pretty busy with work and a couple of video projects I had been working on. Both were labor of loves...that eventually turned into giant pains in the ass. Either way, I'm hoping to get back into the whole XNA/Indie Games thing.

In addition to teaching myself programming, I'm hoping to meetup with other local programmers. The hope is that I can meet some people that can help walk me through the more difficult parts and possibly collaborate with. I've joined up with "The Cleveland Game Developers" over at I've had great success with the art group, Dr. Sketchy, and am hoping for a similar experience.

Also, the top picture is a potential robot design created on my ipad. Hope to update again soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick Sketch

Probably not even game related, but I was tinkering with Sketchbook Pro on the Ipad and thought I would post it up. Been a long time since I've been able to practice programming. Have a deadline on Wednesday that should free up some time. If not, then definitely in June.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Art Update

Wow, I haven't touched the blog in a while. A video project has my pretty tied up, but I'm hoping to have it done soon so I can get back to the 3D Buzz DVD's. Tinkered with some art last night. Also got to play around with the trial version of Sketchbook Pro. Really liking the markers on that thing. Might have to pick it up down the road.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Design Insight

I know I already posted something this morning, but I watched this video today and thought it might be interesting to my fellow game designers. Over at David Jaffe's blog, he uploaded a video and touched on certain design decisions that he was struggling with in the multiplayer section of Twisted Metal. First off, its fascinating to listen to someone outline the problems they're facing and the consequences they may have to the game play. Also, it really seems to put in perspective the challenges that come along when trying to innovate in the multiplayer arena. Really is worth watching.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

I know I had just mentioned the incredible work of effects animator, Michael Gagne, last month, but I had to post the new trailer for his game, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. I am extremely excited about this game and completely smitten with its design and use of silhouette. Really amazing to look at and a nice translation of his style.

As far as my XNA studies, I'm right at the end of the first 3D Buzz disk (literally 2 hours left) so I'm really hoping to knock that out soon. Keeping my fingers crossed for Sunday as my weekend has already filled up with prior commitments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Double Fine games has been a huge influence on me and once again, their use of story and interesting characters has grabbed my interest. Loving the back story on this.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

500 Visitors!..

...Well, sort of. Looks like my little ticker is saying that 500 individuals have made it to my little slice of nothingness. In actuality, some of them are me before I turned on the IP Exclusion feature, but I'll take it anyways! Just wanted to drop some sketches up on a couple of villain ideas I had been working on. I'm starting to get mad at myself for neglecting my XNA studies, but "grown up" (ie: house) problems have thrown a temporary wrench in the works. I might take a Saturday afternoon and just power through to the end of the first disk. Here is keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love Girls, Hate to Draw Them

I'm almost 32 and still struggling with drawing girls. I'm making some strides, but its just not something I do enough to lock down a specific look. I think part of it is my tendency to draw small, and occasionally re-size for details. When I'm drawing a girl, the pencil lines can be too fat for some of the more delicate areas (mostly the eyes and brows). This morning, I put together some stuff that I liked and plenty that I didn't. Also, I came to the realization that I'm going to have to draw 2 different angles for all of the people that will be carried by the Player. It shouldn't be too hard, considering I'm going to repeat the bottom half of the player's body and the cape animations, but the transition animation when changing directions might prove difficult. I guess it just comes with the territory.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Player Sketches

Went on some what of a drawing binge last night. To get more comfortable, I decided to go through a book I have on comic book poses, Comic Artist's Photo Reference - People & Poses, and draw the player using it as a reference. I'm pretty happy with most of them and finally feel like I'm getting the character down.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Planned on inking and painting this in the computer tonight, but the snow belt is getting hit tonight and my electricity is being unpredictable. So rather than suffer through a night of lost saves, I thought I'd just post the sketches I mocked up today. The idea behind this character was to provide the player with a mentor, someone at the end of their career (possibly past it) that can give some insight into what it is to be a hero. I wanted to create someone with a strong physical stature, but was a nice contrast to the player's thicker, beefier shape. I'm hoping to have them guide the player through the tutorial section and possibly pop up through out the game to offer hints.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rough Flight Sketches...Very Rough

I know, if this is what I'm posting, I must not have much. Well, these were the sketches that I mentioned earlier in the week showing the positioning for carrying female and male citizens. I'll probably design other ones for criminals and the elderly. Also, I'm right at the end of disk one of my 3D Buzz tutorials and should have that finished by this weekend. With the start of a couple of commissions, I'm hoping I can keep on track with the XNA project.

Also, I came across an interesting video of the animator that creates those toilet paper commercials with the bears. The video shows Joana Quinn's work area and process for animation. I absolutely love this video. Just seeing another person with a disheveled work area, making sound effects as they flip their pages, and concentrating so intently when trying to draw hands, really comforts me. Its nice seeing someone at her level going through the same things as I do. It makes me feel like the gap isn't as far as I thought (if that makes any sense).

I originally got the link at the Academy of Art Animation blog. Definitely check it out if you are a fan of animation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cannon 1 is done.

Tonight I completed the first of 3 Cannon Game tutorials on the 3D Buzz disc. The whole thing was created withing Visual Studio's "winforms" creator and went pretty smoothly. The ironic thing is that there are really no cannons anywhere in the game. Its basically just a shooter. There are about 5 hours left to the first disc before I'm done. I'm feeling pretty confident in what I've learned so far and really feel like everything is sinking in.

Earlier today, I was sketching some rough ideas for how I will visually represent the player carrying citizens. For the women, I've pretty much stuck to the traditional "flying with the damsel" look so often seen in comics and film. I started working with an "under the armpit" style for picking up men, but realized that I might have to rethink their falling animation. Where as the women can fall facing upward and then naturally transition to the carried position, the men would be flipping over. I'll need make sure that they are falling face down for that positioning to work.

Also, I read an article today showing the early design doc's for Aero-The Acrobat. I'm not sure if I've ever played it, but I distinctly remembered its ad campaign. Either way, it makes for a pretty interesting read and a fascinating glimpse into how some programmers design their games.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superman Fan Film

Holy crap do I love this! Robb Pratt, a Disney animator, did an amazing job with this Superman fan film. Great old school, Fleischer feel to this and I catch myself re-watching it just to analyze the cape movement. Definitely give it a look.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back in the Saddle

So life got a little crazy since my last post. Without being too specific, there was a week where I couldn't work on anything (even non game related) and was unable to continue on the game. Things have calmed down a bit and I have been able to continue with the 3D Buzz tutorials. I'm right at the end of the first disc (the 3 cannon tutorials) and things seem to be going well. A lot has been reiterated from the XNA Book I was working on, but that is to be expected. I'm very happy with the way things are going and feel like I'm on the right track.

Also, this weekend, my brother and I finished Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I have to say, I was extremely impressed with the art style and animation in the game. It is definitely inspired me to add a certain visual flare to my game. The studio that created it, Wayforward Studios, also created Justice League Heroes: The Flash, which directly influenced the game I'm working on. Its top notch animation and execution of the whole comic book/superhero feel fueled my urge to create my own game. Finally, continuing my love of high quality, hand drawn animation: Michael Gagne released I HD version of his film "Prelude To Eden" on Youtube. He is the world's premier "effects" animator and I'm sure people will see a direct influence in my game as I aspire to have my destruction match his quality.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Effects Animation

Raspail from raspail on Vimeo.

Saw this online at and thought it was pretty cool. Interesting effects animation exercise. Check out the LineBoil link for the credits.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Final Body and XNA Buzz

Just wanted to drop a quick update in order to keep myself active on the blog. First off, I have been working through the 3D Buzz videos and loving them. I'm finished with the first section, The Hyperion Project (text adventure), and am thoroughly enjoyed the teaching style and banter between the 2 teachers. I'm starting onto the C# portion now and am excited by the possibilities. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not figuring out a schedule to make sure I get the videos in, but I've been on them enough to not be too upset.

2nd, I've finally nailed down the final proportions for the player character's body (above). I know that seems odd considering I have already animated his run cycle, but I was struggling with figuring out an idle animation and needed to see how he looked standing. I understand if that doesn't make sense. In typical "Me" fashion, I drew it extremely small and then scanned it into the computer. I superimposed one of the head poses from the run cycle and had my rough. My next step will be to do a larger, tighter version on top of the rough and then create a complete model sheet for the character.
Finally, I picked up Batman: Brave and the Bold for the Wii and am shocked to say I really enjoy it. Sure, its easy as hell, but its a pretty fun 2-player beat 'em up. Granted, I bought the game for $18, so its ease and meager length doesn't sting as much, but I would recommend it. I think it might be the art style that is really pulling me in. That, and its throw back to the 60's era of super hero. Just a real "tongue-in-cheek" homage to the Dick Sprang era. If you are looking for a fun rental for some 2-player action, its worth a rental.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


For the last couple of months, my computer has been making an extremely annoying, buzzing sound. I cracked her open and discovered that it was the fan on my graphics card (Nvidia GeForce 9500 GS). Turns out the card still worked fine, it was just the fan. So, after putting up with the ever increasing clunking noises, I eventually looked into fixing it. Now, I'm not the type of person who likes to open up my computer and tinker, but I was at the point where installing a new fan seemed like a good enough idea. Sadly, you cannot buy a fan for that model graphics card, so I was pretty boned. Luckily, I came across some guys tutorial on how to put sewing machine oil inside the fan: Link.

Now this is where the anger happens: After resetting the computer to see if the sound was gone, I quickly turned it off so I could reconnect the monitor cables. I think this is what bit me in the ass. The computer went into repair mode and back to its last safe point. All the while, it assured me none of my files would be deleted. I foolishly believed it. This morning I wanted to jump on and continue the Hyperion Project tutorial and for some reason it had put me back about 3 videos worth of work. What the hell. So I guess I'm going to resist just watching the last few videos and just redo the missing work. I'll just hope this heightens my understanding of the information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Card Sagas Wars

I was browsing through the posts on Kotaku when I came across a fan project called Card Sagas Wars. The game is being created in the Mugen game engine, but all of the artwork is new and based on popular franchises. Watching the videos on the developer's Youtube page really inspired me to start thinking about my effects animation and how I want it implemented into my game. I might do some tests this weekend, just to see if I can hit on a style I like.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quick Sketch

Just a quick sketch during lunch today. I've been trying to get some ideas down for characters and enemies. This one will be for a rocket pack enemy that the player will have to chase down. I think I was inspired by the intro to GI Joe with Duke's part at the end. That would also probably explain the Cobra Commander-esque helmet. I should probably change that. Hmmmmmmm.

UPDATE: 7-9-12, I've been going back and retagging posts for the "Superhero Game" so that I have a better way of keeping track of the work done specifically for this.  I am wanting to take this opportunity to say that I like the concept, but despise the drawing and design.  Ben, if you consider using this for even a second, punch yourself in the face.