Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Ludum Dare 28: Unfinished

Watched the Incredibles this weekend and may have been too inspired by Bomb Voyage.  Villain design likely to change.
I had a little bit of spare time this weekend and thought I would try my hand at Ludum Dare.  I'd never participated in one before and even though I didn't finish, I greatly enjoyed the experience and plan to explore my prototype further.

If I can take you a little bit through my process, I was eyeing the voting results through the week and had a couple of ideas forming for a few of the finalists.  When the voting ended and it was determined that the theme was "You Only Get One", I was pretty excited.  My idea was to do a spoof on 80's action movies and have the player throw his trusty knife at an escaping villain.  You would then guide the knife around a ridiculous number of obstacles, all the while ignoring the basic laws of physics.  The obstacles would get more obscure as the knife traveled.

While I could only work on it sporadically through the weekend, I really enjoyed my time with it and spending and extended amount of time in Construct 2.  I also figured out a more efficient way of doing a few things.  I hope to finish it soon.  You can check out the prototype Here: Ludum Dare 28 Prototype (Press Space Bar to start, Left and Right Arrow keys to steer.)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Sprite Test

Definitely not the final colors.  I repeat: Not the final colors.  But I think we are looking at the final proportions.  I've got the whole thing inked and painted in Toonboom Studio, so it should be easy to quickly swap colors and see what I like.  I'll be sure to post the variations up on the blog when I have them.  Probably going to sit on them for a bit though as I don't want to make any brash moves.  

Also, I might have some free time this weekend so I'm going to try and participate in my first Ludum Dare.  Pretty exciting stuff.  Hopefully the weekend doesn't get away from me.

Ink and Paint in Toon Boom

Friday, December 13, 2013

Closing In On Final Design and Spider-Man Similarities

Did some more sketching today and I think I've got the new design and proportions pretty much locked.  I know I've said that a few times before, but I really mean it this time.  At least I really hope its the last time.  Next move will be to work on the colors and to create a style guide to keep my art consistent.

Speaking of superhero games, I was researching some games to give out for Christmas when I came across Ultimate Spider-Man on the DS.  I was surprised to see that a few of the concepts I've been wanting to incorporate in my own game were already in this.  Mainly the civilian rescues.  I'm probably going to try and pick this one up "used" to better examine there system.   Hopefully I can learn some dos and don'ts on the implementation.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Broken Age and Character Animation

Broken Age was the first project I had ever backed on Kickstarter.  Tim Schaffer's track record left me with a swell of confidence that left no hesitation for handing him my money.  I'm sure the game will be fun.  I'm sure it will have the character and charm that Double Fine is used to.

What I wasn't prepared for was how much my focus and sense of value would come from the documentary series they provided their backers.  I only payed $15 to back them and feel like they've far exceeded that with the hours of documentary footage showing Broken Age's creation.  Not to mention their Amnesia Fortnight documentary that came with their humble bundle.  They've opened this window to development that makes me extremely jealous that I'm not right in the middle of it.

But getting back to the game, I assumed I had a good handle on what Broken Age was.  I saw the test footage and the dialogue recordings.  I watched as their animators tweaked their poses and artists refined the game's assets.  And I was just sitting at room temperature for the actual game.

That was until I saw the recently released trailer.  Its simply beautiful.  So full of character and wonder.  I'm even finding myself compelled by the story, which doesn't happen too often when I'm playing games anymore.  For the first time I'm really itching to get my hands on the game.  Also, their character animation and work really makes me want to break down what they are doing and start to learn.  Hopefully it doesn't make me pull out my wallet for Toon Boom Animate.  The wallet is sore.  It needs some rest.

Anyways, if you read all of this, maybe you relate.  We will all sit patiently and wait for its delivery.  I'm sure we won't be dissappointed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Painting in the Baby's Room

Originally posted in the Rust Belt Monster Blog:

The times are changing, and the monsters are multiplying.  And with new monsters comes new opportunities.  Its with that in mind that I decided to create a painting for my daughter's bedroom.  With the help of fellow monster, Craig Worrell, we set out to create something special for my unborn child.  Follow along as you see a day worth of painting compressed into less than a minute.  Enjoy.

The Finished Product and my Happy Wife, Courtney.

The Original Sketch

Color Treatment

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Body Language and Stronger Poses

Riding the way of redesign, I've started thinking about how I can push my poses farther.  Everything in the previous build was way too stiff for my liking and I need to fix that up.  So while I'm still nailing down the final look of the character, I'm looking for more interesting poses to put the character in.  

Also, I've been thinking about idle animations as I feel like that could be a good "first thing" to animate.  I was going back and forth between a fighting pose and a stronger, stoic pose when I decided to do both.  I need to do some research, but I'm thinking of having the player's posture change based on his distance from an enemy.  Its probably been done before, but I think it could be cool.  

Ric Flair sketch during lunch.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Tile Set and Tile Work Flow

While I'm still working on the player's alterations, I thought I would jump back into the environments.  Construct 2 added a new tile object that should make constructing levels much easier.  Not loving my old building tiles, I thought I would go and alter them up.  I'm pretty happy with the results.  Using the original tiles as a base, I painted some new blocks/bricks, masked off areas to adjust color, and added a variety of window tiles for repeat.  I also went in and randomly flipped some tiles to further break up the patterns.  I need to do a lot more of these, but I think using this system for creating buildings will work the best.

Now to figure out the bottom floor store fronts.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Reposted from RBMC Blog:

I couldn't let Craig have all of the fun.  Happy Birthday to our own Jim Giar.  Your work constantly fascinates me.  You have a way of translating your style and technique to a large scale that I never quite figured out.  There are no tricks, no compromises, just a steady hand and confidence that I one day hope to have.  I'm honored to call you my friend, monster, and a few other things behind your back.  Have a great birthday!