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 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,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shark Bite

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

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

Until next time,

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,

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,

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' - 'Until The Quiet Comes' short film by Kahlil Joseph - '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,
(...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,
(I'm kinda sick right 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,
(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!

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,
(Guess that was more of a rant than anything else...)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pixel Monstars!


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,
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,
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,

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!


Until next time,