Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dr. Sketchy Cleveland 2-28-12

Some figure studies from Dr. Sketchy. The model was a lot of fun, had tons of energy, and was genuinely upset with himself for forgetting his ice skates. We couldn't have loved him more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Construct 2: Progress Report

So I finished the player's run cycle (probably put an animated version up tomorrow) and idle animations.  Both are way crappier than the superhero run cycle I did, but I am really just trying to get some assets ready so I can start playing around in Construct 2.  I've still got that Ed McMillen interview in my head so I'm completely comfortable with this first experiment being bad.  Either way, I'm looking forward to testing out some things.

At the top is an example of the player sprite in its original form and then scaled down and color restrained to be used in the game.  Each sprite is less than a kilobyte which has to be good.  I had no model sheet figured out for the character so I was pretty much winging it.  The animation is a little wonky, but I'm hoping most of it will be covered up by the art being scaled down.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Your First Game Will Suck"

What with my new found infatuation with Construct 2, I've been itching to make a short game. Actually, I'm itching to make my first game. And with that itch, I've begun to start listening to indie game podcasts, and visiting sites, and basically jumping back into everything that I tore myself away from a few months ago. I think the reason for that is because Construct 2 eliminates the programming, so it makes it alright for me to just play around with some throw away ideas.

I recently watched an interview with Edmund McMillen (Team Meat) where he spoke about the creation of games and his start. In the middle of the interview he said, "Your first game will suck." Just hearing that was a huge revelation and even took a little bit of weight off my shoulders. I have my superhero game so worked out in my head, that I couldn't see it ever being anything but awesome while having never made a game.

So I decided to just make a small platformer to get more comfortable with Construct 2 and to build my animation skills. Its based around a kid's game show idea that has been taken to the extreme. Hope to pump out some assets very soon and maybe put it on the Chrome store. Below is some preliminary work:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rust Belt Monsters Week 6: The Crow

Here are some process shots from this week's challenge: Redesign James O'barr's "The Crow"

As always, you can see the finished piece over at the Rust Belt Monster Collective.

Started by loosely drawing in Sketchbook pro.

Added the trees on separate layers and cleaned up the image.

Brought it into Photoshop and added the Grey Scale values.  Lightened the trees to varying degrees to get some depth.

Converted the whole thing to a half tone.  Took way longer than I would have liked to find a setting I liked.

Laid the original line work on top of this and placed the whole thing on a paper texture.  See the finished piece at the Rust Belt Monster Collective.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Daily Sketches 2-16-12: the Crow Concepts

So for this week at the Rust Belt Monster Collective, James Giar suggested we pay homage to James O'barr's "The Crow".  Sounds like a great idea, but I know next to nothing about The Crow.  I remember seeing the movie when I was a kid, but that's about it.  All I know is that a spirit, represented by a crow, enters the body of a deceased person who was brutally murdered in order to exact their revenge.

The original Crow was a  former rock musician that was a bit on the gaunt side with long black hair.  Thinking of an episode of the Paper Wings Podcast where they suggested ways to add interest to your designs, I'm trying to go as far away from that as possible.  Above I've posted my initial sketches.  Not set on any poses, but I'm leaning to some kind of hulking behemoth with the same dead eyed look and trade mark makeup.  We'll see where I end up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Daily Sketches: 2-14-12

Sort of on a roll with this daily sketching stuff. Started drawing some kind of bird creature with Troy on in the background and this happened. A little bit of space suit action in the corner.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daily Sketches: 2-13-12

Wanted to try and be more consistent with my art. So I decided to start sketching every day (at least every day that I'm not working on an art project). The last 2 days was the Christopher Walken sketch so I thought I'd bridge the time till the next one with some sketching.

So here's a little alien and an arrow to the back of the head.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rust Belt Monsters Week 5: Max Schreck

Click here to see the finished product: Rust Belt Monster Collective

It may be hard to believe now, but a long time ago, Tim Burton was kind of awesome.  Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands all had a singular vision and a respect for art direction that a lot of other movies didn't have.  Looking back at those first 2 Batman films reminded me of when you had to design and build a set that represented Gotham instead of finding a location that could pass for it.  Don't get me wrong, I think the Nolan Batman is light years better, but there is a certain charm to Burton's Batman that still resonates with me.  With that in mind, I decided to draw an homage to Christopher Walken as Max Schreck.

And now for a little bit from my process.

Feeling the burn from my last piece, I decided that I needed to get the pose right first.  I put together some tests in Sketchbook Pro.  Once I found one I liked (and was nice and warmed up) I took a shot at the face.

Happy with how the head turned out, I then composited the head, body pose, and window together in photoshop.  Then I blew it up and brought it back into Sketchbook Pro and started to ink.

 Once I had completed the inks, I brought them into Photoshop.  I put down all of my flat colors on a separate layer using the pencil tool.  Having my flats down on one layer lets me select the areas I want to work on one at a time with the wand tool.

Then I start a new layer and start laying some purple into the shadow areas.  I select one area at a time by its color and just render within the selection.  I then did basically the same thing for my highlight areas with an orange. Then, I drew a small cat face and used it as a wallpaper texture in the BG.

Next, I looked up some Hugh Ferris architecture pictures and then masked off some shapes and rendered the lights hitting the buildings.  Some rim lighting on the edges and I was done.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Zoobilee Zoo Sketch: Mayor Ben

Just under the wire, I finished my piece for this weeks Rust Belt Monster Collective theme.  We were tasked with choosing a character from a children's show and making a drawing of it.  I don't love everything about it, but enjoyed working with the simulated markers (courtesy of Premium Pixels).

See the finished piece here: Mayor Ben

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Developer Vlogs and Research

I'm starting to get the itch to try creating a game again in no small part to the ease of use of Construct 2.  With this new found fascination, I've been looking at developer blogs again, listening to the occasional developer podcast, and looking for books on game design.  On the book front, I'm finding it difficult to just find a book that breaks down how games are designed without focusing too much on the coding.  Construct makes coding unnecessary so I don't need to be bogged down with the technical side of it.  I'm just looking for a kind of superficial look at how some games work.  Might have to be a little more active on some forums to get the answers I want.

I am, however, reading "The Making of Prince of Persia".  Its a collection of journal entries from Jordan Mechner during the development of Prince of Persia.  While I admit I never finished the game, its visuals and play style had a huge influence on me when I was younger.  Its a fun read and gives you some nice insight into Mechner's frame of mind coming off of the success of Karateka.

Another fun resource has been Indie Chatter.  Its a vlog (video blog) by Ben Kane of Going Loud Studios (DLC Quest) where he discusses pretty much every corner of being an independent game developer.  The most admirable part is that he is cranking them out at 3 per week.  He's got some editing in there too so I can see that probably taking him more time than he'd like.  The series is only about 5 episodes deep, but I'm looking forward to seeing more.  Here is were you can follow it:

Indie Chatter Twitter
Going Loud Studios

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sketchy Sketchness

Thought I would take a queue from a couple of my Rust Belt Monster cohorts (Tim and James) and include the rough sketch versions of my pieces for the collective.  All 3 were done completely digitally so this is all from the  Cintiq in Sketchbook Pro.  See the finished pieces here or on the Rust Belt Monster Collective Blog.