Reboot

My how time flies when you’re busy!

In fact it’s so easy to forget to keep updating the blog when you’ve got real projects that need to get done. Luckily I’ve got a good pace of things going and seem to have settled into a nice routine which keeps GFW from going insane and keeps the freelance work getting done in a timely fashion.  However it hasn’t exactly left a lot of time to spare for pet projects.

I need to get back to doing what I need to do.  I need to make stuff.  It has been too long since I’ve made something. (and I’ve got to finish those dang oil paintings!)

What Have I Been Doing?

So for posterity’s sake let’s do a quick re-cap shall we?

  • Consulting work = good.  Got a nice workload of it that’s just about ready to wrap up.
  • Swiftthought Games is now a real entity (ooohh!)
  • Banking stuff is set up.
  • Mutant Sheep Eat the Earth! is down to 40 illustrations to go. Then a get a new proof set to do a couple rounds of playtesting.
  • Baby is cute and a handful.
  • I wish I had time to paint!
  • Wenderflonia’s store is almost ready to go.

Time to get rolling!  First priority, finish the MSETE! website and illustrations.

I’ve got an Idea percolating for a smaller board game that I need to make a quick playtest mock of.

Oh and if you’re interested in game design in general you need to see this http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012259/Train) (you might have to register but it’s free)

What I’ve been Playing

  • Starcraft II – so apparently has everyone else on earth.  It’s very good if a bit old school.
  • Elemental – been playing the betas, it’s come a long way in a very short time and the release version promises a nice Master of Magic type fix.
  • Minecraft – highly addictive and still early in development.  Mining and building and monsters. There’s a couple free old versions available to play, but the latest alpha builds are only available if you buy it (around $13 but going up soon)
  • Bejeweled Blitz – 60 seconds of crack in a pretty match 3 shell.

But first

Quakecon! this coming weekend.  Me and Parker are heading downtown for 2 days of massive lan party goodness and whatever else there is to see.

Super Productive Week – day 1

Super Productive Project Week is on!

So I’ve got the house to myself while GFW and Co. are out visiting grandma in Merkel.  Which means it’s a rare opportunity to listen to loud music till the odd hours of the night and work on All those things that I’ve been meaning to get done.

But, first things first.  Today was wrapping up some consulting for Kell. And also getting an awesome start on the Jones Communications website / CMS re-design.    After today I’ve got the element layout of the site in place so tomorrow I can focus on getting the content styling in place, and then gradually flesh out the pages and programmatic requirements of the site.

Additionally in order to further my adventures with water soluble oil paints, I’ve decided to start a second piece while working on the first.  Its a significantly larger size (14″x18″) But I’ve got plans for attempting something resembling a portrait… But the texture of the canvas in the first piece has become a hindrance so this new piece I’m starting out by layering many coats of gesso and then once dry, sand it back to a smoother surface.  Hopefully the texture will help my control of the paint. So tonight has been spent putting down 4 coats so far and hopefully one more before bedtime, and then allow it to dry fully overnight.

So the theory goes the remainder of the week will be a couple hours of website work, followed by some sheep illustrating  intermingled with breaks  on the paintings.    It might all be too much to do but hey.. its summer vacation and I can sleep in til 7:20 now 🙂

Old Wars and Putting the Sheep in Gear

Well summertime is here and that means it is time to kick things off and do stuff.

No Really..

I’ve been pretty stuck in idle for a while but a couple little things have started getting some traction.  Granted the freelance design work has been pleasantly steady which helps alleviate the guilt. 🙂   But really there’s been two projects that have gotten me going again. (ok, that and the baby finally deciding on a sleep schedule so there’s actually a couple hours that are useful on a regular basis doesn’t hurt either)

First http://www.beautifulbasics.com is up and running. It is still in its infancy but between me and GFW (whose site recently good a lovely makeover) we’re hoping that it will grow into a thriving community about family,tradition, and living a simple healthy lifestyle.

Second, I finally cracked open my tubes of winsor newton water soluble oil paints, they dry like oils but you can thin em with water instead of turp. It is a nice change from the usual acrylics and I absolutely love the drying time. The only downside so far is the color change while the water evaporates is going to take some getting used to. So the paint seems to dry in two stages, first the water evaporates leaving the darker pure oil color behind, which then takes the usual few days to dry.  Oh, and the cleanup with soap n water is a snap and the fumes are nowhere near as bad as old fashioned oils.

Distractions and Games? I’ve got plenty, but primarily playing Red Dead Revolver on the 360 and the indie strategy game ‘Hegemony, Phillip of Macedon‘ are tying up most of my mental breaks.  That and I’ve got to get a full day to get some people together and play a full game of Arkham Horror.  I will say that the Hegemony game is a wonderful new addiction.  It’s an absolutely massive undertaking for a small indie game company to make.  While it’s got some clunky features, it more than makes up for it in innovative new features that are sure to be copied by everyone else (Total War guys I’m looking at you) .  Unlike a lot of other Real-time Strategy games there is an emphasis on maintaining supply to you cities and units on the march that makes for a good time.

So, how does this lead me to getting my backside in gear and get cracking on the damn sheep you ask?

As luck would have it, GFW is taking the kids and heading west for a week come this Friday.  That’s going to leave me with a lot of downtime and I’ve got plans to make the best of it.

In theory, a bud will be coming by for some programmy consultanty help and if that happens that’s cool and that will probably take a couple hours every day but hey money talks 😉

Other than that I’m attending Akon (as a guest this year) Saturday; building an initial pass at a joomla website for a client; and designing a 1 page sheet, hopefully all this weekend.
So in theory, that leaves many hours are available every night next week for some serious sheepage! Oh, and I plan on blogging more (daily?) updates.

Let’s see how things work out, but hopefully there will be a ton of progress to report very very very soon.

Incubation And Spreadsheets

State of the Sheep

So after a couple days of taking a look at all the assets I feel like I’ve got a good grasp of where things stand in Mutant Sheep Eat the Planet!

In Short..

Cards Drawn 75 remaining 50 total cards: 125

Painted 62,remaining 63 ready to paint 13

Placed 60 remaining 65 ready to place into deck 2 (this is a short and easy step but it’s important which is why I track it)

So that’s not so bad.  Only 50 illustrations left and then 63 color jobs.   Granted the biggest hurdle is that I no longer have a scanner and the whole ‘transition to an all digital pipeline’ just doesn’t seem to be happening.   So I bought a scanner and it’ll be here in a couple days.

In the meanwhile I’ve started revising some basic rules, and updating the text on the cards so as to get mystelf start thinking about the rules etc and balance.  Hopefully I can make edits to the cards while watching baby Jude perform his nightly antics.. So a new round of playtesting will  be in the immediate/near future.

Then there’s a couple other steps for the cards, proofreading, final alignment, etc but those are what I’ll make friends n Family do 😉

Other Projects that Eat Time

Irismel.com

Ok so this is currently a formative tech demo.  But the thought of a multiplayer online web based rougelike with a live DM has been percolating around in the back of my mind forever.  So when I needed to figure out jQueryUI standards I whipped together the beginning’s of a web based map editor.  The downside..It more or less kills IE.. something about absolute positioning 5,000 32×32 divs makes it crawl.   But I’ve got some ideas to improve performance drastically.    Oh and what’s already up at Irismel.com is my first level editor for Blood Soaked Deadly Dungeons of Doom! But Irismel is a project that’s growing out of research projects not a driver for research, which is why I’m looking to use CakePHP for the foundation, because it’s something I want to learn.

Template Driven Microsites

The project that’s primarily eating away from SheepTime(tm) is an easy to edit microsite development tool.  That’s all I’m saying for now.. but it’s pretty cool and easy to use and has the potential to actually ‘Earn Real Money’.

Freelance Work

Yup just a trickle at the moment, but at least one item in the immediate future.

Misc Gaming News

So the Christmas Deluge has come and gone and it was good.

The highlight was clearly Dragon Age, easily the best game of last year.

Currently playing Mass Effect 2.. and it’s absolutely spectacular, also playing some Sins of a Solar Empire : Diplomacy for the strategy fix.. and it’s good and a handful of tiny Indie & Casual games that are just lots of fun (Trine, AI War, Soliumn Infernum, Boowork Adv 2 etc.)

The top 3 acquisitions that I’d like to make that just came out in the Spring Bonanza are: Bad Company 2.. Multiplayer shootem fun, Final Fantasy XIII for the jRPG fix and Settlers 7 for the build a world fix.. except it’s covered in UBI’s super evil DRM so it’s getting a pass until they come to their senses.  But really I’ll probably just go and play more Arma2 and Witcher and Empire: Total War.