Gestures Galore

Still at it.  Wow, it’s amazing how much of a difference repeated practice makes.  Just in the pure eye to hand motion of being able to capture things in the right size / position.

Additionally I’m making excellent progress on the thirtydays.club website.  The whole thing is coming together and I hope to have it ready for a late October launch.

On the downside.. the 3TB drive went belly up and a bunch of not essential but useful stuff went byebye..  All the really important things were of course backed up.. but there were a couple huge folders of painting videos that I’m going to miss having around. (the backup stopped working in June when I had to re-install the OS)..

Continue reading Gestures Galore

Gestures days 6-8

So I’m giving myself weekends off, so 5 exercises a week for 4 weeks.

I’ve started building out the thirtydays.club a website for letting artists do this same thing and share the results and earn badges for completing a challenge.  I’ve got a good 7 or 8 different challenges already planned out and the core guts (forum, social integration) is pretty much there already.

I hope to have the core platform up and running by some time in October.

Anyway here’s the next 3 studies. Continue reading Gestures days 6-8

Ah that post painting funk

Ok after a little breather It’s time to get back to working on things that are fun.  Finishing a painting is both exhilarating and exhausting and I find myself having to take a couple days and recoup my creative energy or I’ll find the need to go back and fix, and tweak and tweak irrisistable.  But taking a bit of time away lets me just be proud of what I’ve done and let it be.

After a couple days I had a little fun playing with skin rendering and trying to get a sense of translucency. One of the many attempts actually turned out to become this guy, which has a nice tone to it that I like.

sketch-45

 

Followed by a couple silly monsters following my son’s obsession with pokemon all of a sudden.

sketch46

 

And then this thing.. .. this might become a thing.. it’s still rough, but it’s speaking to me.  It started out as a perspective homework.. then became an epic skies homework.. and now it might be something else altogether..

songofthestorm-rough

 

On an art related note, I cracked some oil paints open for the first time in 7 years (it was a disaster then) and … holy cow…I’m loving them..

Something about the transparency and the need to go slow really just works for me.. maybe it’s because I’m getting older and not in as much of a hurry.  Not sure exactly what it is, but I’m doing some test pieces and maybe finishing/reworking the initial disastrous attempt and who knows maybe they’ll be worthy of showing on the inter-tron some day.

 

Missed a few

Ok missed a few updates like updates 24-32.. they’re there, just not gotten around to posting them

However on sketch 32 this little guy popped out.

sketch-32

and then I decided he needed a chance to get a world to live in. And by 37 it was looking like this:

sketch-38

 

 

 

Then pulled in some rough textures and and blocked things in a bit more.
sketch-39

By update 40 the trees were looking flat and the overall color was beginning to be a bit washed out.
sketch-40

 

 

And that puts us here at update 41, time spent pushing back the stone some and final rendering of the character and more minor details.

Still need to touch up the bear, abird and pants, but we’re 99% there.

 

sketch-41

 

Flying Golden Turtle Final

 

I think this is going to be it!  Gonna sleep on it but I think this is where this journey ends for this piece. At least for tonight. Barring any last changes I’m looking to get this to a printer this week.
turtle-final-5

 

 

 

And here’s some details of some of my favorite parts of the painting.
detail-pathThe little path into the forest

detail-house

The little church and houses on the hill

detail-turtle

The turtle.. shell and belt buckle just make me happy.

detail-water

And my favorite part might just be the little glistens on the water.

Milestone 2: Week 4 – Finallly Fixed!

Finally got some time to dev last friday and Made Progress(tm) since the week before was spent rebuilding the pc.

The Maze Generator works!

milestone2MapI’ll need to increase the internal branching, it’s a bit too linear right now but that’s just a variable that needs to be tweaked.

Rooms now get harder and harder, the further in you go.  Next up is some minor UI tweaks and then a second enemy and that’s it for Milestone 2.  Just a couple months behind schedule.. but that’s the way it goes on top of real job, consulting work, children and a house to maintain.

 

 

Happy Easter – Week end update

Busy busy week.. all freelance debugging and we development..

So not much progress on the game.

  • Money rounding..  yeah.. lots of refactoring code.
  • Moving some more UI elements into groups so they render in the proper order and can be switched on and off.

Anyway here’s another beta.. # 7 now.

http://drakkheim.com/temp/BarnyardBonanza007beta.apk

Download Barnyard Bonanza beta #7

Daily Progress update.

I know… updates two days in a row??!  What madness..

Manged to get A* following objects to automatically turn and adjust their facing while maintaing their portrait’s orientation.   Also increased the basic map tile size by one so things aren’t as cramped.  The remainder of the evening was spend working on the following Mocup UI:

As you can tell I’m targeting a baseline 1280×768 resolution.  (obviously.. doesn’t everyone count the pixels on every image they see?)  The different thing is that designing for widescreen (6:9 / 6:10) and then making it work in old school 4×5 instead of doing it the other way around, lets you make some design decisions that you usually probably wouldn’t do.   With Widescreen you can essentially forgo the old L shaped UI frame and just settle for a thicker | shaped sidebar.. and still have plenty room left over.

I think we’ll be seeing more and more of this as the old 4×5 proportion fades into obsolescence. ..

The Fall Season!

Whoa.. after what feels like an absolutely morale crushing infernal heat wave that has more or less sapped all willpower for the last several months… it’s time to get the show back on the road.

Here’s a peak at what’s been worked on.  More details as soon as I get more gameplay things put in.  And after a break to Javaland  it’s back to good ol TGB.  The upside is that things make so much more sense now.   Many more thoughts on the matter later on.

Setting sail against the winds of whim and staying the course

Wooosh… that’s the sound of another gale force great idea blowing around.
Yup, they’re pretty much everywhere at this time of year. Annoying, persistent, unformed, and generally really exciting!

The thing is, they’re always much more exciting and enticing than what you’re doing ‘now’. Especially if what you’re doing now is rewriting something you’ve done before, in a new engine. In the last 3 weeks I must have changed my mental description of what I’m working on half a dozen times. Each new project, idea, or whim is a terrible distraction that’s so much fun to just dive into.

Because for me the best part is the initial rush of putting ideas and framework into place and start various parts gestating. So when I haev nothing but a couple months of grunt work (asset managers, re-inputing pathfinding algorithems, importing graphics, dealing with text input etc) it is so easy to want to start over and tackle an enticing problem and find out how various systems would interact.

Hell, at this point I’ve practically convinced myself to ditch BSDDoD! and hop into making ‘Irismel’ – the fantasy village simulator instead.  I’ve even started making some basic tiles and mock screenshots.

That’s gotta stop.

It’s time to get excited about BSDDoD! again.  So I’m laying off the big coding for a bit and painting some assets, concept art and visually interesting things.

The upside is that I’ll have things to show before too long and I can get the show back on track.

I am, however, thinking of changing the title from Blood Soaked Deadly Dungeons of Doom! to something more palatable and url worthy.

 

Editor Work

So what do you do if you have an unexpected 3 days of vacation.  Well if you’re like me you get a chance to dig into some new fun tech and wind up making a new version of the tile editor to support your game.   As I mentioned in the last post, I’m in the process of moving to a front face Isometic camera for BSDDoD! (like the original zelda).   Which is going to necessitate a new tile editor to do all the hard work.

The old editor is still online at http://irismel.com/tileEditor/ and functioning in it’s primitive state.  However the new editor, is slowly coming online at http://editor.irismel.com with the real magic happening on the editor pages ( http://editor.irismel.com/maps/editMapTiles/12 )  There’s still a bunch of fun stuff to do, like detecting and placing the  front facing tiles and being able to place and edit objects, not to mention being able to export this and get it into the primary game engine files.    But, overall, this has been an excellent week’s worth of progress.  Cake PHP is proving to be a fast and flexible framwork to be able to create complex data driven applications.  I really hope to get many more chances to dig into it and do fun web-app stuff..

The new editor does everything that BSDDoD! needs and then some, in fact it’s pretty close to being a whole generic level editor for all sorts of tile based games… but one step at a time eh?    I have a short list of to-do items left for the editor and then I can pop back into the main TGB code and start to implement the new map style (should be simple since the editor will generate complete maps) and start updating the player, adding new creatures, and adding the equipment shop…

What I’m Playing:

Revenge of the Titans: This is an addictive, just incredible take on the tower defense genre, and the latest version just simply does so many things right.

Space Chem: This is probably the puzzle game of the decade.  Build chemical compounds with an assortment of commands given to waldos… oh hell I can’t describe it.. just go get the damn thing or read Rock Paper Shotgun’s coverage...

X3: Terran Conflict :  the last entry into the X3 universe by EgoSoft.  It’s got a steep learning curve but leads right into the heart of one of the best space trading/combat/strategy games of the last 15 years.

Work Work and new hobbies

So here we are once again.  Another couple of weeks gone and the list of things I’d hoped to get to and deadlines for my pet projects are but fading memories.

Remember that ‘SUPER PRODUCTIVE MEGA AWESOME WEEK?!!” a couple weeks ago?

Well it turned into 2 days of productive (freelance work and 6 sheep done, not bad) 1 day of errands and chores, a day of packing an dinner with the parentals for doggie sitting and then I was off to see GFW, Parkzilla and Baby J at the other grandparent’s for the weekend.  So yeah.. not so productive.

However, let’s not dwell since it was an awesome relaxing de-wired weekend and thus worth it.

Wenderflonia.com Business Card

So since then.. Freelance stuff picked up speed and culminated in a long work full weekend this weekend, but I’m almost caught up 🙂

But (and this is the exciting bits!) I’ve fallen in love with Oil Paints (the water soluble oils, for the ease of cleanup and fumes)   So below are some pic of the second piece in progress, and I have plans to do a collaborative piece with GFW, which should be interesting.

So the theory is, I want to be working on around 3 pieces at a time,

One in polishing phase:

The Polishing Phase Just Started

One in the ‘ugly’ mid stage:

Deep in the ugly stage

and one at the beginning roughing, concept stage.

[No pics yet]

And here’s some pics for posterity’s  sake.

On the road to nowhere

Well.  So according to “the plan” By now I should have had 28 sheep wrapped and packed.

Turns out it’s more like 4, well.. not like… it’s exactly 4.

On the other hand, though, I do have 20 sheep drawn, inked and scanned ready to paint, and that’s good.  That was all last week but I’d qualify that as keeping up on the schedule.

So this week just didn’t lead to any real work getting done.  Worked on some freelance stuff and started messing about with what will be the marketing site for Mutant Sheep Eat the Earth! Which I’ve the photoshop files all ready to go on. And ninjababy has been taking up all the time that’s more or less left over at the end of a work day.

Baby Jude earns his Ninja Legs at 8 weeks.

So, I’m not gonna fret.  Just buckle down and give it another go.  And I’m gonna be a better blogger and actually post on a semi-regular basis, there’s actually a series of game related things I’ve been meaning to get put down.

For now.. It’s time to crawl into bed and plan to assault next week with renewed vigor.

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.