Friday, December 14, 2012

Monaco: What's Yours is Mine

A little known fact about me; I love sneaking around in games!
From cutting throats of a ruthless, yet unsuspecting samurai warlords deep within their fortress to cowering in a dark corner to hide from disfigured monsters looking to kill me, I think stealth games are amazing!

I think it came from when I was a child, running around my forested backyard, climbing trees and rocks, pretending to be a super-secret ninja warrior or setting traps while imitating "Ahneld" from one of my favorite films, Predator.

Eventually, as my teenage years crept up to me, laziness, games, and 14.4 kps powered internet took a hold and prancing around in the woods, hiding from imaginary bank guards and aliens became less and less appealing. But that void of stealthy adventure has been filled time and again by different video games. And since more games are leaning toward over-the-top set pieces and explosions, stealth has barely whimpered recently, that is until now. I've nearly lived through my 20's and 30 is right around the corner, I'd say I need to regain that youth of the sneaky-sneaky.

And that awesome sneaky-sneaky I look forward to is Monaco: What's Yours is Mine


Monaco: What's Yours is Mine is a 4 player online or split-screen co-op stealth/action game coming to XBLA and PC early 2013.

With it's unique graphics, brilliant music, a colorful cast of characters, and game play that has been described by Bytejacker's Anthony Carboni as "quite possibly the best co-op ever.", Monaco is definitely worth checking out.  

Monaco: What's Yours is Mine is created by Pocketwatch games. Founded in 2005, this indie studio was first known for creating the IGF Grand Prize nominated ecosystem-sim game Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa and the subsequent game Venture Arctic. 

I'm gonna buy it. Just sayin'.

Until next time,
-Dave

Monday, December 10, 2012

Snowman Builder Game Development

Hey there everyone!

So as some of you know, I'm a full time student and part time social media intern.

Well, my internship was initially slated for "a couple of weeks" before it was stretched to 3 months.
And then 3 months came and went and now I've been an intern for nearly a year!

In that time, I've helped develop and maintain all of their social media outlets, develop and publish contracted author's posts to their blog, completely re-worked their children's site, along with create hundreds of art assets and photo-manipulations for web advertising across all of their sites. It's been a lot of work!

Recently, while being tasked with updating their blog and site regularly, I was also given the task to create a new game for their Kid's Zone site and have a release to go along with the holiday season. Now, as anyone who has tried to make a game knows, this is no small task. And on top of that, it needs to be developed to work with mobile devices as well!

So the game that I came up with that will fit in the tight dead-line and should satisfy the requirements is a simple snowman builder game made with the Construct 2 engine. I've made some progress getting it to work the way that I want, along with creating assets needed for the game.

Check out below! It's a screen-shot of what I have built up so far!

Looks pretty sweet, huh?

Anyway, I just felt like sharing this little guy with my tens of readers! I'm using the Construct 2 engine to build it up and I'm using a personal license that I got until the company I'm interning at can get me one of those fancy business ones! 

Until next time,
-Dave
(Yay for developing simple kids games all by myself while under tight dead-lines! Woo-Hoo!)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Maia: A game by Simon Roth



Video owned by TotalHalibut via YouTube

For those of us who played games like Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital, we have warm and cozy spots set aside for those games. But does that new generation of gamers know the joy that can be held from designing a facility and managing it while trying to cope with the goals set ahead of you?

I've snooped around, and I haven't seen much along the lines of those amazing classics. Some claim to carry that torch, but they just don't really add up to them. We need a game to fill that void. A game to give us near god-like control to build and manage. A game with humor, dark and fun. That game may very well be Maia.

Maia is a sci-fi space colony management game in the style of Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital with elements of Dwarf Fortress tossed in. It is about keeping your colonists safe from a hostile alien world as well as managing their needs and making sure they don't go crazy and start murdering each other. It looks amazing but it needs your support to make it the rest of the way on Kickstarter. 

Are you willing to help?

Click here to check out the Maia Kickstarter.

Until next time,
-Dave
(If Maia gets made, I'm gonna control a robot in it and harass all the colonists)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Day Deals

Psst...hey...I heard you like games...

So you may know this already, but in case you didn't...
...tomorrow is the start of Steam's Autumn Sale.

Lotsa games are gonna be super cheap, just in time for some Thanks Giving turkey coma playing for us nerdy folk on the interwebs.

Personally, I'm going to try and clear out my wish-list with all the great deals that are sure to be had.

Here are some games I think you should look out for and can play with family and friends this season.

Scribblenauts Unlimited; great to play with younger family to help capture their imaginations and enjoy a (some-what) non-violent game.
Little Inferno; A fun little game where you set things ablaze to stay warm. A little dark, but still fun for the entire family since nearly everyone loves setting things on fire.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2; Fast and frantic multiplayer action that is great fun for the slightly older kids to play.
Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of Baskervilles; a hidden object game that parents are sure to love!

Or just look around! I'm sure you'll find something to share with family and friends this holiday season.

Heck, even if you're not into sharing, you should find some freakin' sweet deals for those games you've been keeping an eye on. As for me, I think I'm going to try and get everything on my wishlist!

Have a good one.

Until next time,
-Dave
(I like the holidays. It's the only time I get deviled eggs...)



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Scribblenauts Unlimited" is coming...

So how many of us have; or at least had, a Nintendo DS?
From what I've read, quite a few of them were sold, so I gotta think someone who reads this has owned one. And for your sake, I hope you at least had a chance to try Scribblenauts, a fantastic game where you solve puzzles how ever you can by summoning in whatever you can think of by simply typing it out on your wee-tiny screen.

 I owned a DS for a little bit and Super Scribblenauts (the second in the series) was one of only a hand full of games I owned. When eventually selling my DS, I nearly kept Super Scribblenauts anyway! That's how good of a game it is!

The Scribblenaut games are pure magic, but they were held back slightly by limiting us, the players...

That is, until now...


As I get a little older and transition into becoming a PC gamer, I got super-freakin' excited when I found out that Scribblenauts Unlimited is gonna be on Steam! That's right mah-fukkas! AND IT'S IN HD!



Yeah, you're looking forward to it now, aren't ya'?
...
What's that?! You think this is a kids game!?!
AH-HELL-NAW! This right here is an awe-inspiring game made to gently awaken the child like wonder and whimsy that resides in all of us, you stupid ass-hole! You will love this sweet chunk of creative innocents, damn-it!

Need more reasons to love this game? Okay, here we go!
  • Unbound World: An open universe environment that opens up unlimited hours of game play! You can literally play it forever!
  • Object Creator: You can make unique objects with unique properties and share them with friends online! Or give them to sworn enemies to ruin their lives!
  • Object Library: Store previous items and custom creations in a magic backpack for use later. Like stashing a magic wand in yer pack to smote some dudes!
  • Multiplayer: Fuck yeah! (on the Nintendo stuff)
  • Merit Board: Where each world has hints stored for whiners who can't handle this! Yeah, I said it. What're you gonna do about it?
  • HD: Did I tell you it's in HD? Oh, well I guess you weren't listening, cause yeah it's in HD.

Now that you know you want this game, you should probably know when you're life will be blissfully and ever consumed by the fiery nova of bad-ass-ness that Scribblenauts Unlimited will pound into your succulent face holes.
...
November 20th.
...
For $29.99 plus tax.
...

Scribblenauts Unlimited is Developed by 5th Cell Media LLC.
SCRIBBLENAUTS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Until next time,
-Dave
(Did I go a little too far this time?)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Draw a Stickman: EPIC

When burdened with a little bit of free-time and over-flowing with creativity while out in the wilds of the world, I find my mind wandering into traffic and promptly wrecking any concept I have of time. If you don't have this problem and oh so desperately need a distraction from the ever-whirling world around you, me-thinks you should check out Draw a Stickman: EPIC! (watch the video below!)


You draw your hero and their tools and weapons in order to solve puzzles, over-come obstacles, and slay monsters that stand in the way of your quest! With the unique art style and a heavy dose of creative freedom, this game for iPad, iPhone, Windows 8, and Android devices could help you forget how time works.

Also, if you like this game and want to help others enjoy it, you might head over to their Steam Greenlight and giving it an up-vote!

Until next time,
-Dave
(More stuff soon!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Computer Gaming and Laptop Bags

For those of you know PC game, you know how much fun it can be. The community is kinder and more mature. The games have better graphics with updates and mods pouring freely in. The controls are more diverse and responsive. It's really a great way to eat away your time when you have other things to do...
But if you're like me, you have a gaming laptop. One that costs more than your first car. More power than you know what to do with and quite a bit bigger than those wee-tiny laptop bags or "sleeves" they try to peddle in stores. Those are made to fit 10 inch netbooks and tablets. They aren't made for our kind of machines. Our game playing monsters. My beast of a machine needs more room and more cushion, and by gum, so does yours. 

If you're looking for something to get you by with a great price and everything you need, check out this bad boy down below. The 18" Case Logic Laptop Briefcase. I have one for one of my old laptops and it does what you'll need. Enough room to hold a gaming laptop and a power brick. Maybe a handful of external hard drives, too if that's how you roll.



But, if you want some more room and some more style you might want to check out this one.


$100 of cool looking bag with all the room your looking for to hold down your bad-ass computer and accessories. Okay, so it's like $70 more than the Case Logic bag, and they do the same thing and offer about the same amount of room, so why buy this one instead? Well because it looks cool! But you are right. They do the same thing. Personally, I'll probably just use my Case Logic bag since it's held up for years, is a great price, and is still going strong.

Until next time,
-Dave
(Advertising like shameless whores)

XCOM Enemy Unknown - review

Today is a bit of a sad day for me. And it's because I decided that I don't like at game that I was really looking forward to as much as I thought I would. That game would be XCOM Enemy Unknown.


That's not to say that it isn't a fuckin' great game, because it is. I think it's fantastic. Why I don't like it is that I had forgotten how frustrating the original was, and this update leaves that devastation in tact while kicking up the graphics and stream-lining the user interface. The part that I hate to admit is that I hadn't grown any better at the whole tactical, turn-based, squad combat thing since I was like 14 years old.

When playing XCOM Enemy Unknown, you can adjust the difficulty down to "Easy" but at that difficulty, you start feeling bad for the invading alien forces for gravely under-estimating man-kind. But that's not how I think it should be played; at least on Normal and with this nifty function called "Ironman". Besides sharing the same name as my favorite alcoholic super-smart-hero, the Ironman feature auto-saves with only one save, so if your team keeps smeared across the map or burnt to a plasma-induced crisp, there is no way of getting those team members back. It's tough and unforgiving, and I under-estimated how much this game would try to hurt me in real life.

But I'm getting off track. XCOM has strong, stylized visuals and unique designs that me as a player could get behind. Though the armor does remind me of nearly every other space marine I have seen, the deversity on the teams and the even faintest sense of customization really helps make your squad your own...which makes the lose of the entire team just that much more of a gut-punch.

If you enjoy strategy, a good challenge, and a compelling sci-fi setting and story, than take a look at XCOM Enemy Unknown. And if you're like me and remember playing the old XCOM when you were younger and you're kinda sure you had fun, you might as well give it a shot, too! You never know if you're going to like something until you try.

Until next time,
-Dave




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Keep an eye out for "Don't Starve"

Recently, I've been diving into PC gaming so very much more. (Guess that's what happens when you get a shiny new computer and have a little bit of free time...)  And being the aspiring game developer that I am, I search for fun, new, and exciting gaming experiences, especially from indie devs.

While lurking around the youtubes, I saw a tiny series by one content creator that never caught my eye before, that was until now...

A highly stylized game where you play a dapper gentlemen scientist who gets dropped off out in the wild, with nothing but your wits and the world around you to help you survive.

Being a fan of survival, crafting, rogue-likes, and unique art styles like myself, you are  bound to come across "Don't Starve" and you will; like me, will love this game.

Yeah, it's pretty fuckin' awesome.

I played the demo a couple of times on Chrome and I found myself eyeing the buy it button from their web-site and dipping into an excellent indie game induced haze. If it weren't for my ever diligent girlfriend asking me about paying my bills, I probably would have spent the low, low, low price of $8.99 that I just don't have on this amazing game.

Hell, lets be honest, I am going to buy the Early-Access of "Don't Starve" just as soon as she isn't looking...

"Don't Starve" is by Klei Entertainment. As far as I can tell, as of October (of this year, 2012) it is in Beta and only available in-browser. It will be a stand alone executable for it's full release. If you wish to purchase the game early, you get 2; count 'em 2 copies of the Early-Access Beta, a full copy of the game when released, regular content updates, you get to talk to the devs to help the game evolve, and a Steam activation code when its released over there. Which, as most awesome indie games, will end up on Steam. 

Find out more about the game and even enter the beta yourself at http://www.dontstarvegame.com/blog/

Until next time,
-Dave

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Capsized - review

With the purchase of my new computer granting me new found gaming power, I decided to make a couple of purchases on Steam; your favorite neighborhood digital retailer of interactive computer entertainment.

And instead of flexing my machines mighty computer muscle, I bought an indie package. The Canadian Indie Package to be specific, which includes Dungeons of Dredmor, Space Pirates and Zombies, Superbrother: Sword and Sworcery EP, Shank 1 and 2, Capsized, Hoard, Warp, and Waveform. Now, unfortunately by the time of me writing this, the sale is over, which is a real shame, because you could have gotten all 9 game for $15! Yeah, $15!

Anyway, I've played a bit of Dungeons of Dredmor and beat Shank 1 before, so I knew I'd at least have those to play again if that feeling ever crept over me, but all the others I hadn't really felt too much interest in, accept one. One game that I had seen and wanted to try before on Steam but was always a tad hesitant to purchase was a part of the group. That game is Capsized.

Like a stubby legged boss!
One thing that really drew me to this game was all the screen shots of beautiful, hand drawn scenes. The high detail sprites with that clean look like it was pulled straight from concept art really caught my eye. And to me, that meant the game-play needed to be ass.

I thought to myself, "Seriously, if a platformer looks like that, they must have spent so much time painting it and much less time programming it to work."

Well now that I own it and actually played the game, I can tell you that game-play doesn't suffer for games highly detailed, hand painted style...well it doesn't suffer too much.

You play a space faring fellow who has crashed onto this alien planet after your ship gets effed up somethin' fierce, and after gaining your barrings and rescuing some other crew, you continue to fight your way through the harsh world. Battling bloated bugs, spiky wolf things, and various OP alien tribes folk through the different environments gives you a feeling that the world is truly alien to you. I mean everything feels a bit alien to the player, helping to add to that feeling of dread and survival.

The game is played with our plucky little hero facing the mouse as it's used to aim at all the things looking to kill you in the game. Running, jumping, jetting, and tethering around the environment to solve (very) simple puzzles, move boxes and rocks, and to get in a better position to kill the hell out of baddies is alright. One thing I should say about the platforming is it feels...off. As though the character doesn't have a real bounding box; as if the individual pixels are mashing together and making things just feel a little like stones getting rubbed together. Mind you, they're pretty stones, but not the most pleasant feel. It could have used a little smoothing out. Oh, also the wall jump feature seems like it was added because of pixels colliding. If doesn't feel natural and could have easily been taken out as the tether cord is (in my opinion) an easier way of making it up steep cliffs when you're out of jet fuel.

The music found in Capsized suits it very well. Though, it might suit too well. What I mean is that when you're playing, the music never stands out; never gets your blood pumping when you're knee deep in green guts and just doesn't really build suspense when you dive into a dark cave. It blends in very well, so much so that you don't really notice it.

All that being said, I enjoyed Capsized and would recommend downloading the demo to see if you like it yourself. And if it's  cheap enough for you, pick it up! Capsized has plenty to offer.

Me-thinks the next game I will play and possibly "review" will be Warp.
If you have any suggestions for a game you'd like me to play, let me know!

Until next time,
-Dave

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shark Bite

Hey guy! Do you wanna see a drawing I did of a shark?!
...
okay. Here it is anyway...

Dur.
I think I'm getting better at using a mouse to make these things...but maybe that's just me.

Until next time,
-Dave


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bored Art

Makes you uncomfortable, huh? Me too.

Just me drawing a bit more, this time with a mouse.

Until next time,
-Dave

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mew-Genics - Team Meats next official game

On October 20th, Edmund McMillen updated the Team Meat Blog with an announcement of a new game! 



Edmund talks about Indie Game: The Movie and of working on a new Super Meat Boy while also bringing up a game he and Tommy started working on during a game jam. Mew-Genics came to be and while working on it, they decided that it will be their next official title! Edmund also said that it is by far the strangest project he's ever worked on. 

If you don't know who Team Meat are, they are Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes. The creators of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, along with working on other titles. So when Edmund said that this new project is their strangest, you know it means something.

Not much has been said about Mew-Genics aside from "it has cats"; no real word on game play or style of game, but I know Edmund and Tommy will make the fans proud!

Until next time,
-Dave

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Flying Lotus - Putty Boy Strut


Flying Lotus' 'Until The Quiet Comes', is out now on Warp Records 

Album features Erykah Badu, Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat, Thom Yorke & more. 

Video directed by Cyriak.

More from Flying Lotus 'Until The Quiet Comes' 
http://youtu.be/-pVHC1DXQ7U - 'Until The Quiet Comes' short film by Kahlil Joseph 
http://youtu.be/KRkssedopfQ - 'Small Moments' by Beeple


Figured I'd share something I just found. I could listen to this song for hours. 

It makes me happy.

Until next time,
-Dave
(...nothing to say)

Fall Background - Zak Design's Kids Zone


So my day job is being a social media and web design lacky (read: intern) and I created their new Kids Zone site.

But yeah, I created/painted a background for it today in Photoshop that I was kinda proud of so I decided to share it with my tens of viewers!

I created everything in here aside from the leafs; those are made with that lame little leaf brush in Photoshop. 

Anyway, I'll be updating with more artsy stuff and game news here in a bit.

Until next time,
-Dave
(I'm kinda sick right now...it sucks...)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oh hey, didn't see you there...

Sorry for the slow updates guys, but for those who want to know, I had to get a new computer.

My old one just wasn't cutting it anymore.
That, and I burnt out the power supply...

So in the mean time, I've had a little POS laptop from HP to hold me over, and 3D modelling with it was like trying to play chess by snail-mail. Photoshop? Yeah, if I was lucky, it would open in under 20 minutes.

Being as frustrated as I was, I did the only logical thing and bought a beastly machine hell bent on eating the souls of children, punching the elderly in their junk, rocking out, and exploding with computing power.
An Asus G75VW, decked out like a boss!

May not represent true level of bad-ass.
With a 2.8ghz Intel® Core™ i7 3720QM Processor, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 670M 3GB GDDR5 VRAM, 16gb of RAM, and a 17.3" HD screen, it has everything that I needed!

The reason I haven't updated in 5 days(!) is because I had gotten this bad boy and it needed taming it like a mighty wizard on a mountain top, in an epic lightening storm. I would need to tame this fiendish explosion dragon like it had kidnapped a scantily clad princesses. (Yes, many princesses) I needed to install all of my "work" programs and from my last laptop, I was preparing for days of laborious disc swaps, updates, and reboots.

Well, that didn't happen. It took me like 4 hours... the rest of the time was spent watching YouTube, playing XCOM, and various other forms of wasting time while riding this monster machine in a montage best described as that one scene from Neverending Story.

Now, some of you may be saying "Uh, Dave, that isn't the most bad-ass computer I've seen." This is where I would tell you to shut the hell up, least you wake the monster from it's slumber! 

Seriously though, it's not the biggest and best out there, I know. I've had work stations with more processing power, compilers with better graphics performance, and servers with more RAM. But hey, I like this, it's good enough to keep me going for a while, and there is no doubt in my mind that if I don't keep an eye on it, it will take hold of me, rip my mind numbing job away from me and force me to eat sugary treats and pretzels while seducing me with hours of internet videos and beautifully rendered video games...

Anywho, next purchase is going to be this bad ass mutha-fucka!
Yiynova 19" LCD Tablet Monitor FTW!
That's right, I'm going to give the beast another weapon to battle my productivity! (Once I can recover financially from my last purchase...)

More 3D models and "art" coming soon!

Until next time,
-Dave
(Fear the might of such a beast, for it will burden you with doughy flesh and pictures of kittens)

Psst...check out the link below for a good deal on an Asus G75VW! Its my current weapon of choice!
-Dave




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Low-Poly Character Modeling Secrets!

(Quick note before starting. I wrote this at an beginner to intermediate level with 3Ds Max in mind. Most of the tips and tricks will translate well to other 3D software, so keep that in mind for whichever software you prefer.)

Character modeling isn't easy.
I try to tell people, but I get asked pretty often about 3D modeling. Usually for little hints, tips, tricks that will ease the process of moving a character from the squishy parts of your brain-pan to the cold, harsh (virtual)reality of the computer. My go to answer is one taught to me by an excellent instructor of mine.

"Suck less."

But more on that later. Now for the short-cuts that will indeed make you suck less.

1. Start Simple! - Take your favorite high poly character from this generation of games and I can guarantee you that it started it's life as less than one-thousand polygons on a screen. How can I be so sure? I just am; trust me. If you want a real short-cut, use the map below to make a low poly female form. As you can see, the arms are cut off mid-bicep, there is no head, and the leg is cut mid-calf. If you can't figure out how to from that, go back to fundamentals and practice practice practice. I'll go over hand, feet, and head/face modeling later, but in this post, we're focusing on tips to help your process.
Low poly female form.

2. Patch Model! - One of the best things to learn in my opinion is how to patch model. This involves taking an edge of a polygon, and extruding it our to create new geometry. You can to do this by holding shift and dragging out once you select your edge. I like to start all of my projects with either a plane or a cube before converting it to an editable poly. Find what works best for you and try to speed up your process over time. That means practice. Seriously.

3. Throw it Out! - Don't ever be satisfied. If you create one that you love, save it. If you're just having a bitch of a time getting your geometry to work the way you want and you're dumping hours into one model
that is ugly, start over from scratch. You'll get a feeling like you just wasted hours of your life and you have nothing to show for it. Get used to it. I think maybe 10% of my models are successful, and that's with my ego pushing that number higher! It's better to go back to the right path than keep trudging away down the wrong one.

4. Connect! - Use it! In edit poly of a cylinder, grab all the edges around the object. Now hit that little connect button. See that? A line all the way through! NEW GEOMETRY! WOOO! Now you know how to create more splines, vertex, edges, and polys to work with without using that pain in the ass cut tool! (Wow, lots of W's in that last sentence...) 

5. Suck Less! - So here it is. Suck less. This means practice. You can get all the little short-cuts and secrets in the world, but without practice, you'll still suck. Chances are you'll even suck worse. But practice. Study anatomy, watch people, draw, get a physical hobby, take breaks, study psychology. That's all a part of practice! If you want to make character models, you need to know how characters work. I know a guy that wants so bad to be a concept artist, but doesn't listen to advice at all. He just sits and draws the same flawed anatomy (think Popeye's forearms, but on all major muscle groups and covered in a splash of anime) without willing to stop and see how it really works because he thinks he's better than everyone else. 
Don't be that guy.

Just be more awesome and less of a bitch.

So yeah, that's my quick little guide to better character modeling.

Until next time,
-Dave 
(Guess that was more of a rant than anything else...)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pixel Monstars!

Rawr!

So I don't know why, but I've been fascinated by pixel art lately. I mean more than usually. It started with making the character asset for Nordic Sol and then it must have been my unstoppable urge to procrastinate that has gotten me to make these little pixel beasts.

Whatcha think? I might "release" one of these bad boys every so often depending on how many of you like them! It doesn't take me long to make one and it's good practice shading and pixel-ation-ing.... 

Anywho, I may as well take requests. If you want to see a special kind of monster, your own creation, or something else, just put your request in the comments down below and I'll try my best to get it made for you in a timely manner.

Until next time,
-Dave
Ps. I know I misspelled "Monster". 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Umbra - End Level Concepts


Yeah, that's a classy dumpster, right?

That's sinew but it looks like goo. 

For our class game, we've been working on level design. These are some of the concepts that I've done for the "end level" of our game, Umbra.

Whatcha think?

Until next time,
-Dave
Ps. Fuck, I need to get a scanner...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nordic Sol - Morrise

Hell Yeah!

Here is a little preview of the main character of Nordic Sol, Morrise! 

Since David Fuson, the designer and director of the game, decided to go with more of a retro style, I got new inspiration on creating the main character and this is what I came up with.

What do you guys think?

For those who don't know, Nordic Sol is a 2D side-scroller that has the player take the role of Morrise (hope I'm spelling that right...), a rough and tough viking who was horribly burned by the sun goddess. Now he fights his way up to fight her in the sky by pillaging and stacking huge piles of loot to make his ascent!

Pretty freakin' awesome game idea, huh?

Oh and did I mention, we're almost done with this one, too?!
With the humor filled story, subtle RPG elements, and fun platforming elements, we plan on having our proof of concept done here some time soon. 

Chances are we'll be kicking out screens and maybe even video of the game here in the next few weeks!

Until next time,
-Dave




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Extreme Date Fighter!

Hey there every body!

So last night we all met as the team and started going over whats next. Space Wings is 98.32% done (yeah, I made that number up) and just needs some bugs worked out. We might just release it in its current, pretty rough state, but the guys are so dedicated and hard working that they're still trying to get it to work perfect.

But aside from fixing Space Wings, we are finally getting around to finishing off Nordic Sol!

Surprisingly, one of the big things that has held us back was simply getting assets together and matching close enough, but to fix that and to add a bit of extra class, we're going with a pixel-style for the art.

To accomplish this, we're taking our existing assets and bringing converting them in our magic, patented process. (hint: it involves MS Paint!)

And after all of that, the guys are ready to jump into the next game! And the next HatJam! Thats right, we finish 2 games, we start 2! WOO! ...sorry, got all hyped up for a second...Yeah, the tentative plan at this point is take on another HatJam project with a more dedicated and realistic schedule of a month, and this time use our names in the hat. When someones name is drawn, they are the creative director this time. They will pitch us all 2 game ideas and everyone votes for the one they hate the least! From there, the programming team figures out which engine will be best suited for the game while the art team gets their asset list and start concepting. For each group, we'll have a lead and between the groups, we'll have a producer to keep the peace and help were they're needed.

I know, sounds a bit more organized than before, right?

For the slow project this time around, we'll be doing the crazy dating sim/fighting game hybrid that involves pillow fights, jiggle physics, and a healthy dose of humor. After talking it through with the team, we decided to add men to the roster. We did this for the ladies and gents that prefer gents over ladies. And it also lets us have a more rounded out roster and doesn't alienate anyone. Don't get the wrong idea, it'll still be slightly offensive, but more in a Leisure Suit Larry way than a BoneTown kind of way.

So yeah, sorry for the wall of text today, so take this humorous picture for your time!

ERR-MUR-IKA!

Until next time,
-Dave

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dating Sim / Fighting Game

I like dry-erase boards.

No, I love dry-erase boards.

Every time I spot one, I feel an unstoppable compulsion to draw all over that sum-uh-bish. To bleed out those toxic markers across its smooth, pearlescent surface while letting slip all the madness my mind has left.

Just last night, part of the team got to talking. It was about an idea a few of us had started to flesh out, mostly as a joke, and then I felt that urge to let my mind hemorrhage all over the board. Soon, the madness took to Adam as well and we all began refining the ideas and littering the surface with this.

Oh...yeah?

You might be asking yourself, "But Dave, that just looks like some cartoon womenz; where is the game idea in that?" Well then I know you didn't read the title of this post and you should try asking yourself what you're really doing with your life...

But yeah, the idea is a dating sim game similar to all those ones that come from Japan, are popular with 13+ year old males, have pixelated naughty bits, and poorly written stories. Now here is the kicker, instead of earning a few static images of poorly planned anatomy and lines of text, we want to give the player a pillow fighting game, with full on jiggle physics! 

So you play one of the women (Pst! Yeah, it's a lesbian dating/fighting game) and you have to pick which one you're going to "court", going through the dialog trees, picking the right gifts, going to the right dates, etc. When you do all the right things for the woman you want, they invite you back to their place for...a pillow fight...but you know, an actual pillow fight. Beating the crap out of one another, clad in lingerie on a bed, feathers flying out of the soft, down pillows, and things and stuff jiggling.

Here is the plan so far.

  • We keep it PG-13 (unless enough people want more adult themes, then maybe)
  • The less attractive women are easier to "fight"(?).
  • Planning on 8-10 women for the roster.
  • Each woman will have unique personalities.
  • If we get support, multiplayer... maybe...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a bit sexist, but I figure with that 50 shades book and male stripper movie getting women all riled up, I think we can do this. I mean, we're all looking for equality, right?

Well, what do you internet folk think of this idea?
Let me know in the comments if you want to see this made!

Until next time,
-Dave
(Ps. I'm probably gonna push to get this made anyway lol.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good and/or Evil


I was reading about some game design theory on good and evil game play and came up with this idea. 

What if you had an RPG, or any game really, where you play as 2 different characters, alternating between them on each level?

Say on level 1, the player makes the first character push over a box to cross a gap.
Then, on level 2, the player has to make the second character save someone who will be crushed by that same box being pushed by the first character.

Mind blown, huh?

This would could be taken to more extremes where the player is only shown part of a story. Such as character one is tasked with killing a goblin while the second character needs to collect the food the slain goblin was taking back to his starving family.

Essentially, creating situations that are seen as good acts, only to see them in a different light on the next level. This would help to illustrate that good and evil characteristics are just a matter of perspective, which I find pretty dang interesting...

Whatcha think?

Until next time,
-Dave

Teef - not everything i do makes sense...

His name is Teef.

Yet another 3D model from my kinda vast archive of my "art".

This one I did a couple months (I think) back while procrastination set in again. Instead of this handsome feller, I was supposed to create another character or something...I dunno, I forget. Though, I'm pretty sure I got that one done, too...

Until next time,
-Dave

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gary Busey Smile

LOOKIN' GOOD GARY!

Sometimes when you're working on something, you get side tracked. If you're me, that happens more often than not. 

Months back at work, I was given the task of doing a complete revamp of a kids site, including new icons and art for all the pages, including a jokes page.

Now what shows more joy than a laughing, happy smiley face? Not a damn thing! So that's what I did. I crafted some stereo-typical yellow face with soulless, dead eyes...and then I gave him teeth...then hair...

"...mah gawd...." crept out of my bearded face as corners of my mouth began to lift. Before too long, I had a full-on, stupid grin going while trying to hold by my childish giggles while I made an innocent little smile into that thing above. Oh how I was proud of my work...

Needless to say, they didn't go for Mr. Busey being a potential spokesmen for their product, let alone their kids division. 

I tried again, but they said he was still a bit creepy... maybe Mr. Busey just kept haunting their dreams after that and they couldn't see smiley faces the same way again...

'I'll eat yer soul!'

Guess you can't please everyone...

Until next time,
-Dave

The Resale of Downloaded Games?


This one is gonna have so foul language. Just a heads up.

Sweet mother of gawd, law makers are fucking stupid. So very fucking stupid.

Want to know what I'm talking about? Look here.

For those of us that are too lazy to click a link, then I'll sum it up for you.

In Europe, it's okay to resell used games. Used digital games. As in games you fuckin' downloaded.

What it really boils down to is the sale of your license for that game to someone else. But that doesn't really work in the heavy pirated world of computer games. The developer or publisher has to provide the new owner of the game with a new license and the sellers license is no longer valid.

Yeah, no one is gonna find a way around that, ha-yuk! 

This is going to be especially damning to smaller or indie studios that don't have strong or even any DRM practices in place and these are the teams that need the funding the most. To me it means greedy, nasty, fat fuckers living in their parents basements while trying to make enough money off reselling indie bundles they pirated to pay for their monthly consumption of porno subscriptions, Jergin's, and pizza-pockets.

All of my hate...

...That reminds me, I need a tablet...

Anyway, the resale of games doesn't necessarily mean the loss of sales or customers. Since Steam is essentially a DRM system and digital distributor, they can offer to "buy back" downloaded games that were only acquired and activated with their service and make sure that the user that sold it back doesn't use it again. Basically destroying their license and making any copy of that license popping up again becoming illegal. Though it will cut into their profit margin and make it far more difficult for Steam to offer such reduced prices to the consumers.

Oh but whats that? One of the largest digital distributors and advocate for fair practices in the game industry is getting threatened with at law suit for trying to protect itself? I bring this up since part of the suit is to make sure that Valve meets all the requirements put in place by the ruling. They cannot have any system in place that prevents European customers from selling their "old" games. Fucking brilliant Europe..

Steam is just trying to protect itself and the end user from class action suits. They aren't trying to lock the users out from filing individual claims, just from making a massive claim with others for something so minimal. It's like if you buy a game for $3.00 off Steam. It doesn't work and you ask for a refund. If you ask with a bunch of other people (100) and the lawyer takes his cut (50%), you get left with $1.50.

100 x 3.0 = 300
300 x .50 = 150
150 / 100 = $1.50

There you go. You have a tarnished and possibly banned account with Steam, no game, and less money than you started with. Now that's smurt. Why would your account be banned you might ask? Because Steam reserves the right to deny service to anyone. If you're coming on their service and you're a bad customer, you get kicked out. It's just the same as any place else.

So there is that; get ready Europe, you're games will get even more expensive and much heftier DRM since the game developers and publishers will be scrambling to get as much as they can from their product before some kid tries making a dime off of you too.

These law makers are the same people that tried to take over the internet, strip our freedoms away and the same idiots that ask you to email back attachments when you're done with them because it was their only copy.

And lets be honest. The resale of downloaded games is pretty fucking stupid.

Until next time,
-Dave

Monday, September 24, 2012

Squash and Stretch - Animated lil' guy.

WOO! GET YOU SOME!

Not the cleanest animation, but a fun little guy jumping with his sweet cape!

...Funny, it looked smoother not as a gif....hmm.

Until next time,
-Dave

My Old Work - 3D Vehicle: Buggy

WOO!

I'm just posting some of my old work to have a record of all the stuff I've done.

This is a dune buggy which was the first ever scene and vehicle I have ever done in 3DsMax, though this is the one that I revisited after a few months to add depth of field and the dust effects. After that was added, I tooled around with it in Photoshop, adding some motion blur to give it a more dynamic feel.

Some of the detail is lost in the effects, but truthfully, you aren't missing much.

I dug up the original and you can judge if the post work on it helped or not.

Not as impressive, huh?


Until next time,
-Dave


Coaster Crazy - A game I want but won't get...

 
Awe-shum!


What's not to like about stylized characters loosing their fragile little minds and lunches while riding your custom designed roller coaster? 

Getting nickel and dimed just to buy new paint jobs and characters to ride your beastly coaster, thats what!

I've always loved sim/construction games. Back in the day playing SimCity 2 and failing to recognize why someone wouldn't want to live next to a heavy industry area.

But now. Now they want you to pay to place stuff. It makes me kinda sad....

Fondly, I remember the days of real demos that didn't prompt players to hit a button to unlock the full game or get a new, shiny hat. A finer time when you'd install games off of stacks of disks and you'd have full size game boxes with manuals and code cards to prevent piracy. A distant past when your options for getting the full game was through the mail or from hole-in-the-wall retail locations that doubled as computer repair shops...


Ah memories...

But yeah, I wish Coaster Crazy was a game I could just buy straight up. I don't pay when I play F2P games since I see less value in them based off their sliding scale purchases. When Team Fortress 2 became free to play, I tried it out but it became some much more about loot and how much swag someone could get from keys they bought. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy(ed) TF2, but it's just not as fun as it once was. Games are filled with decked out players that have spent piles of real cash to have better weapons and cool hats. I dunno, just feels wrong I guess.

A lot of developers think it's the way to go. Heck, even I toyed with the idea of making a game that sucked every last penny out of the customer, but what does that provide the player? How can developers make games that have a limited value to start, and then convince them to pay so much more? Like paying hundreds of bucks for a third color in Pong. I just don't get it. If a product is good, which Coaster Crazy looks to be, then people will be willing to pay to own a copy of it. 

I may not be the majority, but I feel that F2P gaming shouldn't be the future of all gaming. Yes, there is a market for it, but the thought of having to pay a fee to play a game I have already purchased makes me sick. 

Sure, adding value in the form of DLC is one thing, but having to pay every month to hold on to that content is something I don't agree with. Maybe that's why MMO's never appealed to me at all. 

Either way, I'm not a consumer that is willing to purchase content in the F2P model. I know there is a place for it, but I don't want it.


And with that, it saddens me to say Coaster Crazy by Frontier looks fuckin' sweet. Too bad I'll never play it.

Until next time,
-Dave

Astronaut Model - Sculpt & Low Poly

Ah snap, yo!

Here is a model I did about 3-6 months ago to be added to our Umbra game as a little hidden easter egg.

On the right, the low-poly version that I created in 3DsMax (370 poly) before bringing it into ZBrush and sculpting. This was my first attempt at using ZBrush for a character. I tried using my tablet, but over the years, it's grown weary in it's old age, so I ended up using my mouse. I know, it shows, right?

I'm glad you'll only see him from a distance in the game, since taking a look at him again after so long I realize my first sculpt is obviously going to be my worst!

Let me know what you think.

And sorry for the lack of updates! I'm still trying to recover content from my bricked out computer...
-Dave

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monster Paw - 3D HTML5 Game Engine

I was poking around the game development communities today and found something pretty dang spiffy.

That's right; in a browser!

HOLY POOP! This little demo is pretty damn sweet! Until now, HTML5 games have focused only 2D (as far as I can tell) and this opens a new level of WOOPASS for developers to play with!

The Monster Paw engine is being developed by The Virtual Laboratory and is written in JavaScript and uses HTML5 and modern browsers to create real-time interactive 3D.

It ain't perfect just yet, but it's still in its alpha, so plenty more development is planned, which will expand on this already impressive engine IMHO.

If you haven't clicked on the links just yet, go and it some love!


Until next time!
-Dave
(Ps. 3D models and art are taking some time to get out to the world since my home work station crapped out on me. Sorry everyone, I'm working on it!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Game Maker wants your money

YoYo Games; maker of Game Maker is gearing up to make a hard push with Game Maker: Studio.

The engine is already released, though they say it isn't feature complete, but plan on expanding their community, support, and platforms to help deversify Game Maker: Studio and help establish it as a strong choice to game devs looking for something quick, easy, and dynamic.

Though the price point is fairly on point for where they are aiming, but a bit expensive compared to other 2D engines. YoYo Games hopes to compete with the likes of Unity, which has gained quite a bit of success with their engine in the past few years. The price point my be cheap compared to Unity, but rather inflated for other 2D engines like Scirra's Construct 2 which have strong communities and added mobile support included. Game Maker: Studio doesn't include mobile support, and needs to be purchased separately for each mobile OS, ranging from $99 to $199.

We'll have to see if Game Maker: Studio features warrant a purely 2D engine that is priced closer to some advanced, indie-friendly 3D engines.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ham Sandwich - 18Sept2012

Aw Yeah!

A nearly 4 year old render...they grow up so fast, *sniff*.

Block Head and more - 3D Character/Vehicle Render

Check out some of one of my old character models!

Block Head

I think this was the 4th or 5th one I ever did so it's kinda poop to what I do now. He was going to be for a very loose remake of an old game I love, Rocket Jockey, and yet, I never got anyone interested enough in it.
I would love to revisit the idea when I have more experience under my belt.

Oh and here is the "Rocket" that he was going to ride.

Zoooom!

So, whatcha all think? The "rocket" looks a lot better than the guy, but still not that great, right? I did the rocket as my 2nd ever vehicle model.

Later everyone!
-Dave