UI! That’s right, with a little love I managed to get an in-game UI working for the basic play button (shop does nothing yet) I also got the fundamentals of the in-app options set up and much more, but it’s not really anything that you can see..
After that, I went back and did a minor re-factoring of some of the War Mages will have a few more changes being made this weekend for the beginning of the challenge/training levels. I hope to have that ready for publishing next week.
And finally, it’s been too long but it was beyond time to just play in photoshop for a bit. Granted it suffers from not having a reference and I really should re-work some parts, I’m pleased overall.
Ok, needed a bit of a fresh mental break from typing and numbers for a day or two so I started the beginning of the large pile of character protraits that I’ll need to make (somewhere between 10 – 50) That’s the joy of doing things as an indie developer.. I can put on whatever hat I want to today. Granted at some point I’ll have to put on the businessperson hat and then it’ll not be so much of a joy.. and when time comes to put on that 400lb steel and barbed wire hat labelled accounting I’m sure it will be no fun at all. But today… today I’m wearing a paint spattered cartoony beret.
Oh and I also got a large chunk of the UI implemented.
Looks a lot like yesterday’s post? Well it should.. except this one works and lets you scroll the map etc etc.
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.
So as I’ve mentioned before I’ve been playing / testing the Elemental Beta, which has since been launched er.. well… poorly… Apparently There was a bit of developer tunnel vision and it turns out the release version was kinda… well.. unfinished.. However Stardock has a history of supporting their releases magnificently.. and if the newly released 1.08 patch is any indication Elemental is quickly on its way to being worth it’s weight in gold.
So Funnily enough, this plus a couple other factors all gelled together and I’ve unexpectedly / inadvertently managed to start a new project.
First the elemental launch got me thinking a lot about about the old classic Master of Magic(now available at GoG) and Age of Wonders (also at GoG and Impulse) and how hard it would be to make a classic fantasy TBS with modern tools.
Second, I’ve been coming to grips with building real web apps with CakePhp and getting used to working with the whole MCV concept.
And, perhaps, most significantly, I’ve messed with fun tool-set jQuery overlays and dungeon creation tools via web browsers in the past and while updating all my domains I found that I had registered fantasywarsonline.com a long time ago and simply never gotten around to messing with it. So I spent some time re-discovering things I’d made a long time ago.
So one evening later, in the breaks between putting teething baby to sleep, I’ve managed to get a good start on a random map creator, and some basic database modeling laid out.
I’ve got a few freelance projects to work on this weekend and a painting to finish, but hopefully I’ll be able to define some Fun Milestones to knock out so hopefully this can be a fun multiplayer web based TBS.
Analog diversion update
The Sketches for all 4 element paintings are done.
And the Fire Element Painting is getting closer to being done. I hope to wrap it up in the next few days (baby willing)
That’s it for now. I know I haven’t gotten to the Amnesia or Reccetear games post, I just haven’t played anything in the last couple days to get screenshots from them, however they’re Both Excellent and you should buy them.
Amnesia is probably the scariesy 8-10hrs you’ll play this year, and Reccetear is an addictive, cute and surprisingly huge rpg where you play the town’s item shop owner!
 clearly this was written late late at night and makes little sense in parts… updated for coherence.
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.
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,
Ok, been a bit hectic and I’ve been a bad blogger. 🙁
I feel I can blame it on the impending arrival of offspring and get on with it.
Couple paintings are done and there’s now a nice angel and demon in 24×24″ panels in the front hall. You know.. to scare people away from the good art that covers the rest of the house.
So the current plans (subject to revision but hey I feel better when I can pretend life’s going according to some sort of plan) is to prep the baby room and get the 2 paintings finished in time for baby Jude to arrive. Then it’s baby time and squeezing in the last touches on Mutant Sheep Eat The Planet! and get that finished out by Summer in addition to getting some more freelance work and getting Wenderflonia all set up and ready to take over the art world.
Ok so some more sheep have been done but it’s time to assess the situation and get a firm grasp of where exactly I stand. But first a picture of the prototype tuckbox that the game will be shipping with (some assembly required)
Why Include something as silly as a tuckbox, when it will surely impact the bottom line One might ask. Well the answer is simple, with the last couple playtests it’s become obvious that the system of green tokens to track the value of the current place is massively cumbersome. So I decided to put in a little track sheet that you can just put a couple counters on to track the value of the current place as it is eaten. And the price difference between a 4×4 board and a board big enough to have a tuckbox to be cut out is negligible. So the tuck box is almost free.
But anyway… back to the current state of the game development process. So it turns out that 85% of the time it’s taking is art. That’s right. It’s taking much much longer to draw silly sheep than it is to creating the game and the cards and exporting them and uploading them and writing / editing the rules etc. etc.
As of RIGHT NOW, I have Drawn and Painted 60 of 125 sheep. Of those 50 have been placed into their final art location in the inDesign files that are the decks.
I have 65 sheep left to Draw, ink, and paint. A happy estimate would be that if I totally buckle down I can probably do a sheep every 2 hours, maybe a bit more. So let’s call it 90 min. So that’s just a hair short of 100hrs of ART work left to do. Not too terribly bad.
Other than that I probably have 6 hours of editing and tweaking on the cards’ text to make sure they’re clear and are easier to understand.
Then toss in the other little things like re-writing the rules and finalizing the web and packaging art, realistically it’s probably closer to 120 hrs of work.
That’s some really long weekends in my immediate future if I’m to hit my goal of having it launched by my birthday.
Time to buckle up, it’s gonna be one helluva ride to see if I can do this.
So it only took a little under 7 months, this weekend I finally wrapped up the behemoth that’s been hanging in the kitchen since January. The biggest change was wiping out the sun, which I spent so much time into getting perfect the first time around. However it just wasn’t working. Once the sun got off the canvas the remainder just fell into place.
While it was fun for the most part, I’m seriously gonna think twice before starting another canvas of that size. It just takes so long and so much effort you wind up just tired of it before you’re halfway, and then once part comes out brilliant, just as imagined, everything else seems sub-par. Thank god it wasn’t in oils though, or I’d just be starting the glazes.
Next up, a commissioned (I barter for exotic liquor) series of cute jungle animals for a cute little niece. Lions, gazelles, giraffes and a penguin(?) oh My!
So, I’ve been running around in the total overwhelmed mode for a while and it’s time to steer the frantic caffinated ADD besotted herd of cats that is my attention span back onto track.
Some basic concept art got created, and then I wandered off the project to illustrationland and then got mired down in EPIC project full of GRAND ideas etc etc and just essentially spent some time thinking myself to exhaustion. Time to think less and do more.
I’ve made a list damnit! With a great big list of bite size (a week or 2) tasks to do. I’m going to pick one and just do it and then simply rinse and repeat. Theory being that this will decrease the amount of time spent bashing head on desk/wall/art table/sidewalk by not getting overwhelmed by any one thing or medium.
So after a nice little hiatus with the game programmy project its back to work on the behemoth that’s been hogging up the kirchen for going on a month now.
I really didn’t want to do this, which is why it probably took so long. You see, I didn’t finish the background first… and you always start in the background and make your way closer to the viewer. That way.. you don’t wind up having to paint over large swatches of the stuff you’ve already painted.
Which I did. Which sucks and isn’t a lot of fun knowing you’ve got to do something you were happy with all over again.
I actually fudged over the planet area fairly well so there’s just a couple small things that are going to need reworking.. so in all reality it could have been much worse.
So After that I started re-refining all the shade transitions on the gearwork and after I slopped a little shading on the planet guide beam thing I made up my mind to actually render out the gear works instead of the flat blue shapes.
The base color for 2 of them done and some simple shading on the smaller one and a little detail and it’s a good stopping point.
Well technically its day 8 but we’re not talking about the first attempt to paint the castle. Next picture I do.. definatly no weird lighting.. standard 3 light.. Not 100% happy with it but Technically the blends on the castle are as good as they’re going to get until I get a bunch more practice. I did a lot of blending and its still mostly luck wether I get the effect I want when I make a stroke.. sometimes the paint on the brush stays on the brush.. some times it decides to make a thick sharp stroke and sometimes it come out with this beautiful soft edged blend between what was already on the canvas and what’s on the brush..
I guess that’s the whole ‘practice’ thing…
Oh well here’s where things stand.
So Next up is the big blends on the sky.. that promises to be exciting.. but I need to buy some more pthalo blue and another tube of white and a thing of blending medium before I can tackle that..
So that means its Sunday at the earliest.. more likely i’m done til next week.
[Edit: almost forgot]
Oh and here’s a picture of the palette at the end .. its actually kind of a fun texture and visual