Thursday, February 28, 2013


This is my day:


And on top of that, my phone died after starting the day on a full battery.  Which sucks.

Oh well.  It's nearly home time anyway, right?


Friday, February 22, 2013


It has been a good day.

Much better than Tuesday.

Here's what I did today:

All on my own!  Clever me, eh?

Hands and feet and head can wait until Tuesday.  It's been a long haul to get this.  I tried a way of modeling that I haven't been taught before and I love it.  Basically, I start with the foremost features and model a basic shape over them - in this case the pecs, front of the ribs and abs.  Then I just made my way round the side and to the back.  I did the arms and legs in the same way after I'd done the main body.

Pretty happy.

A great start to the weekend.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One of those days.

So I started the day thinking that I was going to be more productive than ever and that one of my biggest milestones was going to take an hour to achieve.  Great, right?

As I said in my last post, I've found the Layar website to be the single most user-unfriendly site I have ever had the pleasure or misfortune of visiting.  As I signed in this morning, I was greeted with a nice graphic of a three-step process that read something like "Upload your image; Upload your AR graphic(s); Share with your friends."

Now having read that, I thought "Sweet.  I'll nip on here, upload an image and a very simple graphic and I'll be done with it by lunchtime."

What proceeded can be described - very accurately - as not being the case.  I uploaded my image fine.  No real problems there.  I then proceeded to look around to find the place to upload the graphic that I made for the purpose of the test.  No such place was found.  What was found, though, was a big list of pages on the site that might possible hold the key to my finding the place in which to upload my 3D model.

On having read them all, I was none the wiser.  I found a little programme that converted my model to the file type that the site and app. supports, but with what to do with said file type I still had no idea.

Then, Andy Woods from Double Fine studios did a Skype interview with the third years.  Naturally, I gatecrashed this and learnt a great deal.  So today isn't all bad.

Still.  Layar can go away.  Possibly forever.  Or maybe until I can find someone who can help me with it.



The Layar website is possibly the most user unfriendly website I have ever seen.

That about sums up the day right there.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day was yesterday.

My wifey and I aren't the sort of couple who do Valentine's Day the day after just to make a point.  To be honest, every day is Valentine's day.  I love it.

Saying that, we're celebrating it next weekend.

One of the things I made for my wifey this year is this:

Yaay!  I drew it out based on a painting I'd done a couple of years ago and then added a bit more before going and getting it laser etched.  Yea, I could have etched it by hand, but I really love watching the laser do its thing, so it was sort of my present, too.

It's given me the laser etch bug, so I'll more than likely do something else with it today.  I'll post pictures when I get the chance.

In other news, I'm filming a wedding tomorrow.  I'm a little scared because I've never done it before, but I'm also pretty stoked because I'm an assistant, so while what I'm doing is important, I do have some guidance.  I'm looking forward to it.

That's about it for the moment.  I'll post a little more from uni when I'm in.  Right now I have to go and run some errands and all that.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day. Also, Arizona and Oregon's birthdays.

Yea, that's right.  Arizona is 101 years old and Oregon is 153 years old.  Nearly as old as some of the buildings over here.  :D

Happy birthday.

Also, Happy Valentine's Day.

The good thing of not having the internet at home is that I can post things here before I surprise my wifey with them later.

Although now that I'm typing this, I don't know if I should wait until tomorrow to post the image I want to...

You know what?  I think I might!

I'm in work today in a couple of hours.  Turns out that when I have a defined end to my day, I get a lot more done!  Who'd've thought?  I'll post up pictures of everything tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a really old plushie-type doll I made a couple of years ago:


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back for an update.

Hey!  It's been a while.

A few things for this post; I have done a little bit of personal research for my project; I have drawn a few things and I have done some more things.  Let's have a look at all of this, shall we?

Personal Research.
I went to an independent games store the other week and had a good chat about the things that they look for in the games that they sell.  I didn't want to go to Games Workshop because we all know that they love their product and no other and we should buy everything in the store whenever we go which should be every week.  I digress.
I wanted to go to an independent store so that there were a lot of different games to choose from and talk about.  I wanted basic things - their favourite art directions, mechanics, figure models, card layouts, etc.  It was pretty productive and I got a lot out of it.

In terms of figures, dynamic poses were preferred.  The things that bugged them most was detail distribution on some figures.  Although the figures themselves were of a pretty good design and to a great standard, the fact that there were big, bare patches in some places and tightly packed detail in other, less conventional, places was a big put off.

For art direction, steampunk was a favourite.  Much to my dislike.  What they also liked was the idea of an alternate universe.  Not necessarily an alien planet in a different time, but the idea of what our planet would look like now if technology had taken different steps in the past.  That's what I thought was a little more interesting.  The same company that had a questionable detail distribution on its figures also lost out on this category, too.  Mostly because of the detail distribution again - whether this was still the figures they were talking about or whether the art suffers from the same decisions they did not make clear.

However, this game was at the top of their ease-of-play list.  They said that the appeal was that the basic rules were easy to pick up and it was the tactics and subtle playing methods that were harder to learn.  The fact that you can pick up the game and get stuck in was the catch.  The idea of putting a lot of time into the game to get to know it better and, thus, become a better player is an option, but it is not a necessary requirement.

Finally, the overall opinions of the games.  The favourite game was chosen because of the weapons included in it, more than anything else.  Old weapons like spears and bows and arrows; creatures that are fantastical and - sometimes - aflame; magic and spells and the likes.  All of these were appealing because it's a backwards technology.  Something very primal and brutish, almost.

The least favourite was chosen because of expense.  While the game may be good and fun and offer something that others don't, the fact that it was a fair money sink to get into was something that held nearly all of the guys back.  No-one wants to pay a lot of money to find out that they don't really like the mechanics or ideals of the game.  Which is fair enough.  It almost makes talking about in-game sales topical.  Almost.

One of the things that the guys liked in a game was the ability to tailor the rules to a certain situation.  If the game is based on controlling an army, it's nice to have rules that can bend to accommodate a small skirmish.  If the idea of a game is to go all out offensive and try to beat you opponent to the ground, then maybe rules for a defensive game would be fun to make - based on the rules of the main game itself.  Or if it's a sports game, how possible would it be to think of a different sport entirely and modify some rules for that?

X-Wired Games.
Last night I had a great few hours talking through my ideas with a good friend of mine who is also a skilled programmer.  It's a bittersweet conversation whenever we talk - I tell him what I want to do and he (more often than not) tells me why it's not as possible as I first thought.  See; being a designer, I can draw and think up magical ideas and game mechanics and story lines and characters and interactions and an array of other things without limit!  I believe the adage is something like the only thing that limits me is my imagination.

But then with a programmer, I'm grounded.  I'm kept this side of reality.  And I love that.  I need that.

The worst thing that I could think of is getting to the end of the year and having an idea that I want to pitch only have a developer tell me that it wouldn't work and then go on to the next presentation.  I'm wanting to keep at a basic level for as long as I can so that the core mechanics can be worked out and the foundations of the game can be created.

Call of Duty.  You walk around.  You point at things you want to shoot.  You click to shoot them.  Everything else is detail.  Everything else is an addition to those core pieces of the puzzle.

This is what I need to get.  I need to get the basic pieces of the puzzle that is my game idea and I need to get them prototyped.  It is said that with Unity, you "Build once, deploy anywhere".  The beauty of Unity is that with the core mechanics running, it is a few tweaks away from being copied and used on a different platform.  Or so I believe.

So my homework for today - or uni work if we're going to get pedantic - is to break my game down into the very basic components.  With that, I am to make a list of all things things associated with these components, such as interactions with other components, qualities, why they are important, etc.

One of the things that I'm going to be looking at is the ability to craft items.  One of the ideas of the game is that you, as Subject 86, can collect, store and combine items to make things that you think you'll need.  Sort of like Minecraft meets Monkey Island and then they meet D&D and Magic the Gathering and have this lovechild.

That's a bit weird.


I did these:

This is the Haemogoblin.  It's a misspelling of Haemoglobin.  That's why it's funny.  I drew out this guy as a placeholder for a better drawing.  Sometimes I have ideas that I really like and then I find that within a week, someone's gone all Extraction on me and gone into my dream safe, grabbed the idea and then drawn it.  No-one ever admits it, though.

So one of my favourite artists, Jouste (Jesse Turner) drew a Terror Former.  The idea is a Cordyceps-inspired infection that attacks space explorers.  He drew a really nice infected bloke and it seems that one of my guys got a little too close for comfort.  And safety.
He's now more than likely a mindless drone; milling round the galaxy and helping the spores reach anything and everything that it can use to further its spread.

I'm going to draw some more.  I need to warm up somewhat.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Almost lunch time.

It's been a pretty fun morning.  Productive, too.

We had Kat Marks in to give us a lecture about her fashion work and it was great to see how different disciplines share similarities.  It was a great lecture and we got a lot from it.

After that, it was time for me to have a little look at client-server communication, which was a worry that I had based on a conversation with a good friend last night.  I have to confess, I still have no idea what I've been reading.  Here are some of the sites that I've been on over the past few hours: - which talked about Ajax or something like that.  Up until this morning I thought that Ajax was only a footy team from Amsterdam.  And a household cleaning product.  Maybe a superhero.  Or villain. - here is where I learnt what HTTP and HTML stands for.  That's about the extent of my learning from this site. - which was a little more helpful, even though it's Wikipedia.

and - which was probably the most helpful of the sites; giving me the definition of what I was looking for.  Definition learned, I still don't really know what to do with it.

Next, I looked at a few screenshots of the Eye of Judgement for the Playstation Eye.  It's pretty good.  It's the closest thing I've found to what I'm wanting to do, so it's a nice start to see how the characters interact and the mechanics of the game work. was the first site I got to from Google and I grabbed this image from it:

A nice look at how the game seems to play and the positions of the characters with their interactions, etc.  A nice looking game indeed.

Then I went to - which looks to be a shot of the PSP version of the game.  Here's the image from that:

So it's been a fairly productive day.  I've decided that I'm going to stick to creating the characters and mechanic ideas for the game instead of getting somewhat sidetracked with the behind the scenes side of it all.  From what I've heard that's quite a stereotypical designer thing to do.  I don't mind that.  I know that I can get a prototype ready to go, so whether or not a full game is possible at this time is not a huge concern.  As a friend told me this morning; "If [a company like] Sony like it, they'll find a way to make it!"

Lunch time.


I gatecrashed a party, once.

It was the 65th birthday of a man I will never know the name of.  But the food was delicious and the party was at a zoo, so that's good enough, right?

This project gatecrash has taken over the last week and I LOVE IT.  It's been refreshing to have such a great side project for a short time.  I have a lot to look at today for my main Masters focus and I'm looking forward to it, but yea, it's been nice getting creative with this other project.

I'm going to be presenting my work with the other students next Thursday and I'm pretty excited about that, too.  I haven't done the level design part of the brief in the way they asked for, but I'm going to say that that's the great thing about borrowing this brief.  I can modify it to suit my means somewhat.  We're I in the group that the brief was set for, I'd have no such option, but I've had a great time focusing on one aspect over another with this thing.  Namely the character design and mechanics therefore.  Lots of fun.

I might even show you what I've been up to...

But not yet.