Working on a fun-happy-times mobile game – brainstorming and visualization

Since my feared NDA blockage hasn’t come to pass, I can show you guys something I’m working on with a small team. ūüôā The game will be focusing around throwing dice, knocking away your opponent’s dice and, of course, getting the highest score.

I wanted to share my art style experimentation so far to let you guys see where we’ll be going with the style.

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I’ve been playing around with the character ideas in my head and generally having a blast giving sushi personalities!

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And here’s a rough 3D blockout of the possible playing angle with a bit of a UI on top to show how it will look like (plus all the prettiness I need to make happen, of course).

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I’m pretty pumped about working on this project, and I really am doing my best to make this game a success!

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Environment concept art and my unending love for a Photoshop plugin

Since block D started I have been busy (I also blame my 2-week blog silence with this, cough cough) with some more of that fancy game makery again.

This block around I wanted to work even more on my 2D skills, try and challenge myself, and generally do some more drawing, painting and all that good stuff in between writing and playing World of Warcraft.

Branching out from only doing characters, I tried my hand at environments.

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Sumo wrestling minigame area

The game in question has several mini-games and I was tasked with creating the environments for these.

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Luckily I had just the Photoshop plugin to make my life easier!

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Watercolours and WoW-fandom

So…. I finally grabbed a new set of watercolours after seeing someone on YouTube recommend a set that seemed in the right price category and overall handily packaged, plus the local art supply store actually carried them.

Tada! My shiny van Gogh watercolor set!

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While I am less than impressed with the local art store’s website and their capability to pull their heads out of their backsides when it comes to accepting their own damn gift certificates,¬†I am satisfied with the quality of this set.

I also ordered a few brushes, since the set I got for my birthday so many years ago acts more like a scrabbly pile of sticks instead of anything resembling a supple brush.

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So after dabbling with these colors a little, I have to say I am impressed. The colors are very vivid (I even made a messy color chart that I am planning to redo since I screwed the order and.. ehh, I want it to be neater before I show it) and I look forward to trying these out at school and during our plein air workshop.

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For the past week or so I’ve also burned some midnight oil while I continued on my personal fanfiction piece for my priest!

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End of block C and Ludum Dare hulabalooza!

Wooooo!¬†Block C has finally been wrapped up, I have my passing grade and it’s almost May vacation. Couldn’t ask for more!

For my birthday I got the newest Drizzt book from R.A. Salvatore (signed, no less!) and devoured the thing in a few sittings.

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Spoiler warning: this book is pure awesome.

For all the times I felt a bit “meh” about some of the previous books, this one was just the most gorgeous combination of high-energy action scenes, greater scale plotting,¬†just good old Drizzt philosophy and giggle-inducing party banter with a tiny bit of daring character developments in the mix (imagine me fanning myself furiously and giving Gromph Baenre a surprised stare). This book¬†pretty much restored Salvatore’s status as a writing god in my eyes – well, maybe the fact I’ve been reading some less well articulated fanfiction (and working on my own fanfiction in between playing WoW and doing school work) lately helped a little bit.

Last week I participated in my first game jam ever with 5 other people at my house. Another spoiler warning: the whole weekend was outrageously fun!

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The siren call of World of Warcraft and.. end of the block is in sight!

Block C is almost at the end and while the panels are stressing me out somewhat, I’m enjoying the nice April weather.

A few weeks back I resubscribed to World of Warcraft! Since then I managed to finish levelling one of my alts, a paladin, to level 100 as well as gear up my long-standing main(s), a holy priest and an elemental shaman, up quite nicely through Looking For Raid.WoWScrnShot_041116_142912

As you can see, I have a bunch of more alts to go if I want a whole straight row of level 100s! This isn’t really in the planning, though. I’m just enjoying doing some Tanaan things (dailies! SO MANY DAILIES!), trying to get flying for Draenor, and doing some LFR and healing.

Oh man, have I missed healing.

As for school and art side of things, I’ve been steadily filling up my sketchbook and enjoying experimenting with my Copic markers and my stash of colored pencils.IMG_20160408_214555

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Evolving workspace and … my first YouTube video!

The other day I caved in and ordered a new tripod!

It turns out that using a pile of boxes as a makeshift recording plateau isn’t very solid, it’s actually fairly dangerous and I just could foresee our cats knocking over the boxes and a broken lens (or worse) scattered all over the floor. So I felt like investing in a tripod would be worth my time, considering I also like outdoor photography and I could see myself bringing the tripod along for an extended nature walk ūüôā

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My new baby is the Hama Star 63 tripod. I’ve been experimenting filming with it, and so far I’m quite happy with what seems like a really decent tripod (and a carrying bag) for 24 euros. It also turns out that my camera, the Nikon D5100, is capable of some amazing video quality – but it’ll take some fiddling with it to get there. Before I go on a drawing and recording spree, I’m hoping to have a decent intro and outro together so I’ll also have time to research shooting video and preparing my space for it.

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Traditional drawing sprees, sketchbooks and Copic markers galore!

The other day I wandered over to the part of YouTube yet-unknown to me that contained endless lists of videos of people drawing. In real sketchbooks. With real markers, pens, pencils, inks and watercolours and everything in between. Guess what I felt compelled to do about .2 seconds afterwards?

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If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr, you might have seen me posting a few pictures of random little sketches, the new sketchbook that I adore to bits (this white gel pen is a gift from heavens, I tell you), or one of our cats sitting on my sketchbook.

I’ve had unbelievable amounts of fun just putting a pen to paper and doodling. Like a child, I’ve been drawing stuff that came to my head, stuff that happened during the day (I never knew art journaling could be SO MUCH FUN) and interlaced all that empty-headedness with some life studies and conscious practice.

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Pondering on group sizes and… character design.

Block C continues to pound my soul into the pavement… but I shall prevail!¬†*strikes a heroic pose*

I didn’t join the open day team this time around either, but I heard it went great. My Saturday was spent art supply shopping at the local arts and crafts store…

Tinted charcoal? Never drew with that. GRAB!

Tinted charcoal? Never drew with that. GRAB!

and drawing!

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Game dev side of life has been hoppity-hopping all over the place. My team lead/team mate has been sick most of the week and thus I’ve been left to my own devices to fiddle around with placeholder tiles and character design for our main character.

There are pros and cons to being in such a small group. I am loving the freedom and responsibility (all deadlines depend on me, but ALL art decisions depend on me!) but I’m also fearing the freedom and the responsibility. I have nobody else to blame than myself if a deadline is missed or an art asset is not up to snuff, and I can’t bounce ideas off another artist if what I am making is actually cool or not. In that I have to depend on artists in other teams, and they have their hands full themselves!

It’s scary stuff, but until now¬†I am doing alright.

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Busy busy – block C week 2

You know you are busy (and neck-deep in denial about how addictive Stardew Valley is) when you don’t have the time to write the weekly blog post. ¬†Whoops!

Block C has started in pretty much the same way as the blocks before this school year. There were pitches aplenty and a lot to ponder about if you hadn’t already joined a team at that point. The teachers were approaching this block a bit different from previous ones, though; this time they wouldn’t redlight projects off the bat like they would before, but would give those teams suggestions on how to improve their concept instead. It’s a great idea – people get to work on projects they’re really passionate about without the fear of being disbanded.

I managed to find a group and have been working my butt off to get the project started well. The group consists of me and 1 other person and we’re working on a small game (project name Fade) about an old man with dementia.

Pitch concept art, by yours truly.

Pitch concept art, by yours truly.

Being the only artist on this team is somewhat scary and exciting at the same time!

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Architectural studies, cinematography and life drawing!

New block, new chances!

This block is all about experimental gameplay (and there are a lot of virtual reality toys available) which has gotten people very creative indeed. On Tuesday we all huddled in a project lab room, watching the whole mountain of year 2 pitches Рto be more precise, 28 of them.

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Deciding to let the team choosing decision simmer for a bit, I headed out for a full day of workshops on Wednesday. I still wanted to do 2D, but the teams that interested me the most, and that had an interesting idea, already had their own 2D artist or didn’t need one because their game was so far along. Time to try and wiggle myself in somewhere!

Obsessive doodling while listening to a lecture seems to be my new way to go. Architectural studies was no exception!

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