Thursday, May 30, 2013


Research and things like that are best done in bits and bobs.  Here's a link for a little article on a new game (I think it's called 'TUG') that has just been funded by Kickstarter.  The game is very social science-focused; looking at the players themselves to evolve the game and carry on making it better and better.  There are a few great ideas from the guys at that company and it's great to see the game get going.  Hopefully it'll keep getting better and better.

And I love the concept work.

The article mentions character customisation and it was encouraging to see that, even though briefly mentioned in a two-paragraph article.  It's something that I've been toying with greatly in my designs and my project this year, so it's encouraging to see that it's still at the front of the minds of people who have taken their designs and projects to the next level.

Then there's Kickstarter.  Check out these guys and their TCGMMO.  That's right.  Online multiplayer-focused Trading Card Game.  Rolls off the tongue as easily as my RPARTCG, right?  (I think that's the most accurate description of my project thus far).  Check out their homepage, too, and have a good gander at their site.  Some really lovely stuff there.  Now to convince my wifey that I should buy a computer and some cards instead of food this week...

I'm off to work.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hi, tech.

I'm now all linked together and account synchronised and all that.  Fun stuff.

Now I can post tiny bites of insight and wit from my phone.

That's all for now.


Friday, May 24, 2013


Applying for jobs is one of those things that I have little know-how about.  I've worked my fair share of jobs but I work them for long enough to forget the whole application process.  I guess that's usually a good thing, but not right now.

I found this guy this morning and I really like his stuff.  Especially his Tribe Bot series.  Very Chibby Bertie the Pipe Bomb.  Lovely stuff.

I figured I'd have a very quick scrawl and come up with two other colours for him - Orange and Grey:

The blocks of colour are so that they're distinguishable.  The Orange Tribe are the pyro-type.  Flares and things that fizzle are their wont.  The Grey Tribe are partial to a little nostalgia; frequently brandishing obscure weaponry that is of no real practical use today.

I'd love to work on these a little more, so hopefully he'll get back in touch.  If you're reading; Hey there, Mr Space Cow!  Thanks for taking the time to have a look here!


Iron Men - Three!

I had a dream last night that Galactus popped in to lend a surprisingly helpful hand to a band of heroes as they fought their way to goodness and peace and all things lovely.

This dream included what I think were three versions of Iron Man.  Only one of which I knew about previously.

There were also three brothers - two with super powers.  The third may have had a super power, but I don't know.  He was off flying a small plane, so I didn't get to meet him.  The second brother was one of the Iron Men - a very old version.  The third and oldest brother was similar in powers to the human torch but he could be cold to the touch.  And didn't have to be on fire in order to fly.  It was pretty cool.  Although he got into a scrap with the original Iron Man (a different version than his younger brother).  This original Iron Man had Spidey's webslinging ability (obviously) as well as an odd green and purple suit.

This is a quick doodle of him:

Now as you can see, his bronze, spiky head was a little off; as well as the fact that he was spinning black web and sporting a purple and green suit.  He fought well, though.  It was pretty sweet to watch.

Something else happened with someone falling out of a window or something.  They got saved by the Not-Really-Human-Torch, though, so they were ok.

At the end of the dream, Galactus flew off in his spaceship which was also part of the building we were on the roof of.

A good night.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'd like SpEngineer to be my job title.

Another sheet of the SpEngineer:

First use of colour on the character, too.  Some of my favourite poses here, I think.  I'm pretty happy with them all.  Well.  Most of them.

Here's the coloured figure a big larger.  For my amusement more than anything:


Time to go.


Friday, May 17, 2013

What time is it?

Adventure Time!

All the time.

But now it's home time.



Thank you so much!  I hit ten thousand views the other day.  Wonderful!

So here's a doodle!


Poster two.

Another quick layout idea.  Lasso tool around images of figures, fill tool to get the shapes.

I liked the idea of a group of zombie killers (obviously - I mean, zombies are still cool, right?  Right..?) that contained one member who wields an axe.  You know.  Because axes are cool, too.

We'd have the ranged attacks from a sniper, medium-ranged support from a rifleman, close quarters combat from axe guy and then probably a demolitions bloke and a communications bod.  The usual.

It's something to work on, I guess.

Because you know I love a side project.


Monday, May 13, 2013


Nipped into uni after getting sent home from work early because it was dead.  After this, I'm going to go and pick up some veg and make dinner.  Not a bad day.

I've been experimenting with getting shapes and things down (relatively) quickly to get ideas forward or moving or whatever it is ideas do to progress.  Here it is:

I just use the lasso tool on polygonal and fill in whatever shapes I happen to make.  It's pretty fun.  I drew out the idea for this in my sketchbook last night.  I'll have another go at it when I have more time.  I'm wanting to make the main figure a little bigger so that the smaller figures in the background are more clear.  I've also used a pose that I didn't draw out, so that made it a little harder to get the look I wanted.  But I'm happy with it!  It's a new way of working and I like it a lot.


Friday, May 10, 2013


I've been going through what I've called my mid-course crisis.  I wasn't sure if what I was doing was the right thing to be doing and I wasn't sure if I was going the way I should be going.  So I spoke to Josh, my course leader.  He straightened me out.

Basically, I've been getting a little worried that while I'm confident and really happy in creating the project I have for my Masters; my employable skills may be lacking somewhat.  I've been thinking and talking about getting into Maya to learn the ins and outs so that I can have '3D modeller' on my CV, but it would have been a weak claim, if any.  As I'm seeing it now, it's good to be a 2D artist with a good ability to make things in 3D, but what is also great is a designer with a strong 2D ability, which I think is what I'm on right now.  I've gone from the practical creation of all things concept and illustrative and I've transitioned into the role of designer while maintaining a 2D strength.

Or something like that.

Here's some things I've drawn up today:

A while ago, I drew up a rough idea for a Haemogoblin.  Here he is again.

Another few SpEngineer drawings.  I went the pencil route and then over him with a brush pen.  Pretty fun.  I don't do that a lot.

So one of the things that I'm working on for my project at the moment is the idea that Subject 86 was not the only person to have been retrieved by the aliens on the planet that he's now occupying.  The basic coffinpods are created to hold up to 20 persons, so I was thinking that it'd be nice to see a couple of dozen other Subjects at some point in the game.  Not all at once, obviously, but throughout the game as it progresses.  Some of them are going to be more grotesque than others - it'll be anything from a simple arm swap (as we've already seen with Subject 86), while others are going to be used as living incubators, some will have half of them exchanged for another part of some other animal.  It'll be fun.

Finally, Zach Braff has got a Kickstarter up.  (I've decided that Kickstarter is my Pinterest).  If you don't know what Kickstarter is, you're probably not alone - it's a crowdsourcing platform that helps people get funding for projects that they want to start.  Ultimately, they pitch their ideas in a polished, edited, Dragon's Den style and it's up to the public to decide whether or not the project will float and how much they want to risk in backing it.  These 'backers' are rewarded with everything from e-high-fives to a hand crafted 10ft whaling boat based on how much they pledge.  Only once the amount needed is reached will the backers be charged for what they have said they want to give.  If the project doesn't get enough funding, that's it.  Game over.  No-one is charged and the project is taken off the site.  Hopefully these links will still work in a month when the projects are completed.

Back to the point; Zach Braff has a project up.  It's for a film called 'Wish You Were Here'.  Why Zach Braff is asking for the money to fund it, I don't know.  My rose-tinted view is that although he can fund it with what he probably carries round in his pocket from day to day, the idea that people can be personally involved in the film he wants to make is something that he wants to offer and share in.  One of the images on his Kickstarter page is of a few characters - very basic blocks of colour to see what they'll be kitted out in.  I figured it'd be nice to have a go at redrawing them myself and seeing what I could do.  This is my progress thus far.

It's been fun.

I've been listening to The Dreadnoughts all day and they're pretty great.  I'm listening to their album 'Polka's Not Dead'.  Check it out.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Presentation slides.

I thought I'd share some slides from my presentation that I did on Tuesday.  It went pretty well and I'm really happy with my feedback - I've got a lot to do this next semester and I can't wait to get started on it!

The SpEngineer.  So named by my good friend Stu Allardes.  A fun character that I'm going to enjoy drawing more and more through the next few months.


The two character progression sheets for my main character - Subject 86.  From the top left initial figure idea to the bottom right drawing of where he's at right now.  Between the two are the progressions and practices of the character drawing.  Also between the two (but not pictured), I found a style of colouring on Photoshop that I really like.  And it's how I've coloured Subject 86 at the end here.

The progression sheet for the alien.  Starting with an arm is odd - the arm that Subject 86 has is the arm that I knew the aliens would have, but I didn't have the overall design for the aliens at the point of making Subject 86.  So I started designing the alien based on what I knew I wanted his arm to look like.  Sort of like an Archaeologist or Palaeontologist theorising about what a new dinosaur would look like based on a tooth or something.  I'd be a Xenocryptozooligist, though.  That sounds far more exciting.  Or a Cryptoxenozoologist.  I don't know which way round it'd be.

I'm going to draw some more.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I delivered my presentation today.  The group before ran late, but that was fine.  I was able to talk about my next semester with my tutor for a bit while we waited.  Got some nice ideas that I can't wait to push and develop.

Now, after plenty of Youtube and Kickstarter, I'm off home.  Time for a relaxing evening before work tomorrow.


Sunday, May 5, 2013


Zach Braff has a successful Kickstarter.  That's nice to see.  His video for it is pretty sweet, too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sketchbook. Sketchwhaat? Sketchbook. Sketchwhaat?

An hour of scanning and photoshopping these together, I have the rest of my sketches.  Happy day.

Following on from the marker stones that I was thinking about having, here we've got the first ideas of using the Augmented Reality technology in a way that separates it from games before now.  The top left of this image is the first idea for it - having the same marker cards used by two or three different players in order to display two or three different levels!  One player can be in the city while another player - at the same time - can be using the same marker cards to explore the limits of that city's sewer system.  I love this.  On the right are a few ways in which I thought I could allow a player to access a lower level.

Thinking back again to the animals on the planet and what I thought would be fun to encounter.  Here we have a turtle-headed frog and a flying mole whale (final design at the top right).

An explanation of how the marker cards would work and some ideas into Procedural Level Generation.  The idea that the limits to the level are set but the content and environment of the level itself would be based on the card that is played in the middle of the marker cards.  On the right are some of the possibilities and in the lower right are ideas for a two-storey level.

Another few thoughts on a two-storey level - whether the players can see both storeys at the same time or whether they'd be limited to seeing one of the two at a time.  In the middle of the left hand page is a quick example of how the player on the top storey could see a little bit of the storey below.  On the right, I've got a few scribbled ideas about how the animals on the planet would interact with the players and their characters.

As with ways to get from an upper level to a lower level, I thought the idea of using cards to influence the environments would be an interesting concept.  If the player plays an elevator card (on one of the pages before), then the elevator appears there and they played can use it to access a lower level.  Here, we have items and objects that can be played to influence the topography of a level - rocks and wreckage and so forth.  These will be visible to both players - regardless of whether or not they are in a lower or higher level.  One player might put a heap of rocks on a street only for the other player to see them on the floor of a cave.  This could be a nice way of the in-game characters communicating with each other - marking a position to dig through or explore.  Or avoid.

On the right we have the introduction of the Space Engineer (SpEngineer).  Sent to the planet to explore with their 'bots, SpEngineers are a tough breed.  They are equipped with jetpacks and basic emergency supplies as well as tools with which they fix up the 'bots they land with.

On the left, we have an idea of what the SpEngineer's tool kit could look like.  It will have to be mobile but capable of supplying the SpEngineer with any basic tool he could need in the field.  Then below that we have some idea of how the 'bots record information and a start of what they could look like.  On the right, we have six specific roles that the 'bots are made for:  The standard, vanilla 'bot that is an all-round model, capable of being modified to fit another role if needed; the Micro 'bot, for exploring the smaller places that the other 'bots are too big to get to;  the Mechanic/Storage 'bot - a walking storage unit for the heavier and more specialised tools that the SpEngineer may need;  the Bio-sample 'bot, with storage room in an overhead compartment and an extra pair of smaller hands for the more delicate specimens;  the Vehicular unit for quicker movement and the Defense 'bot, usually armed with a belt-fed, 30mm machine gun and two smaller firearms, but with the capacity to be modified to a heavier unit, if needed.

Below that, I redrew the Bio-sample 'bot because it was a favourite and then around that I've drawn out some ideas for the way in which the bigger hands can function as sample collection devices for smaller and/or more delicate specimens that the extra two arms can't reach.

After this was all drawn out, I thought about having some of my characters as options for the player to use as their main character for a story.  There are also a lot of Maya notes on this page.  To the right, I've got a load of robot legs.

I wanted to explore the Micro 'bot a little more, so I started drawing out some more legs for it.  The lower drawing is the one I ended up modeling, as well as the one at the top of the right-hand page.  Below that, I've drawn out another SpEngineer.  Quickly.

I tried to think of a timeline for the story if it were to be played as Subject 86 - my original idea.  I was thinking about when I'd introduce the knowledge and awareness of the other characters.  To the right, I was thinking about how the SpEngineer character would appear if he were on a card that a player interacted with if they were playing as Subject 86, compared to the SpEngineer as a player would see him if he were their character of choice for the game.  Under that, I have possibly my favourite drawing of a SpEngineer; casually throwing a grenade.

Here's the start of my ideas regarding combat for the different characters.  Close range and long range.  To the right in the box is a drawing that I did with the Wacom Inkling.  A neat little device that I wrote about that day.  Unfortunately, one of the layers didn't take well and the digital result was missing a few key lines.  No worries.  Here's the guy I drew anyway.  I played with the layering system, so his left hand is all sorts of messed up as I went over it a few times in different layers so I could change them out relatively easily.  Top and bottom of the right-hand page are designs for comm. devices, goggles and headgear for the SpEngineer.  Fun to do.

Once more, there's a SpEngineer on this page.  Drawn out with all of the kit they are deployed with along with a break down of how their goggles work and - on the right - how the different settings on the goggles affect the images shown on the device that is used to play the game with.

This is an idea of how an action of a character would be shown in the game.  When they player wants to select an action, they pick it to see what the area of effect will be.  In this case, I used the Alien as an example; looking at the areas that can be affected by digging, smashing, charging, climbing, defending and running.

Thanks for looking through all this!  It was super fun to draw out and come up with and I'm still drawing my finger to the bone trying to reel out more ideas.

I'm just putting things together in Photoshop right now for a presentation next week.  I'm actually really looking forward to it.

EDIT:  Well, I've only got another two images to put up here.  The third one doesn't seem to agree with being put out there.  I'll have a word and see if I can persuade it otherwise:

The idea of playing cards that pop out an Augmented Reality object on the level is something that I really like the idea of.  Here, I've got an example of what the Sinkhole card would do (top 3D inset image) and then to the left I've got an elevator and to the right I have a signpost.  The sinkhole and the elevator would have information within the card that would open up a lower level if there wasn't a lower level already in play.  If there is, it would lead to the lower level in play - the lower level within the object card is only a backup.  With the objects like the signpost, both players would be able to see it.  The sinkhole and elevator, however, would be seen as they would naturally - if a player is on a lower level and plays it, they could go down to the lower level that's contained within the card's information.  If they are in a level below when the card is played, then they can only use the elevator to gain access to the level it was played on - in this case, above them.

Introducing the SpEngineer.  Most of the notes and ideas that I've scrawled out over the past few weeks.  All on one page for your easy perusal.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New things.

Today I created a video for someone and filmed a clip for Preview.  Two new things that I've done.  All in one day.

I also put forward a name for the new truck that the church has:  Van Rouge.


My new dream toy.

Today I found out about Phase One.  They make cameras.  Very good cameras.

This is the 645DF+ IQ260 and an 80mm lens.  The next time I have a spare $20,000 I'm going to splash out on one of these.

Freakin' A.