Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Mount Your Friends Big Pictures for youtubers and media!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

So There have been a LOT of videos going up of Mount Your Friends. I linked a few yesterday but they keep growing faster than I can even keep up, but there is one problem.

Microsoft’s jpg compression on my box art is AWFUL and people want higher res version of my box art when they talk about the game.

As such, I’m putting up higher res versions of the art right here along with relevant Marketplace and Greenlight links for anyone to use when making any kind of content about my game. Youtube videos, website coverage, reviews, etc! If you need something in particular that I haven’t included here let me know and I’ll try to add it as well!

XBox Live Indie Games Marketplace Link:

Greenlight Link:

1280×720 landscape with climbers

Alternate 1280×720 landscape from “gentlemanly” censored Steam video

Just the climbers, with a transparent backdrop

XBLIG’s box art

Steam Icon

Pixel Animator 3d Release

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

The time between my posts seems to get longer and longer, but I’ve got a new game (actually an app) to talk about today, and I’m really interested in seeing how it does. The app is called Pixel Animator 3d, and its a voxel animation suite that you should totally buy. 🙂

Pixel Animator 3d

Here are a few videos I’ve made using it so far. I’ve got a few others that I’ll be putting up in the next few days (hopefully) as well as perhaps some tutorial videos. The engine is also being used for my latest game, but that’s still in early stages so I’m not yet ready to talk about it.

The game podcast dilemma

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Probably too many in fact. This all stems from working for 2 years at companies that were a 2 hour commute from my home. I needed something for those long bus rides.

If you look at my MP3 player you’d notice 3 main tastes. I tend to focus on technology, art, and video games. Technology is more or less entertainment and keeping up with current events for me. Usually I don’t get anything significant out of those except conversation pieces. Video games, although being my main occupation, I was surprised to find that I don’t get much out of these either. I get the usual game news, and sometimes an opinion about why a game does/doesn’t work which I can use to learn from, but the majority of the “useful” information I garner isn’t from games or tech podcasts. It’s from the art.

I find that the art/comics podcasts I listen to are the ones that give me the content I’m interested in. They are the ones that talk about personal marketing, finding work, managing time, making plans, working with publishers, and collaboration with others. Those are the topics I, as a game developer, am interested in. Comics podcasts come close enough to my field of expertise that they are often applicable to me.

Why could this be? Well, I think the majority of tech and game podcasts aren’t listened to by developers, but by consumers. The market for games and tech are so large that a lot of these shows exist to appeal to consumers. People who want to know about upcoming games in the AAA business, and aren’t about the development process itself. Comics and art on the other hand are communities filled with creators more than traditional consumers (advertising and games have us all as art consumers, but those consumers often don’t consider themselves “art fans” as it were). There are a lot of “starving artists” out there, so from that standpoint there is more interest in these communities about how to become a success. Because it’s hard to describe “art” through only words, these shows focus on other parts of their business.

So with that, I’ll share with you all a few of the podcasts I listen to for learning about art and comics development.
Big Illustration Party Time
Art & Story
Breaking the Panel
Webcomics Weekly

If you’ve got a podcast you think I’d be interested in, whether it be in art, games, or tech let me know. I’d love to get some new, interesting listening in. ESPECIALLY if it’s something like a games podcast from a developer’s point of view, as I’m always looking for those.

Taking a left turn…

Monday, April 13th, 2009

So, most of the programming work for Tank Strike has been completed, save for a few small tasks, but I’ve still got a few more “artistic” things I’m working on for the game’s release to try and drum up more interest. And of course, as the few, the proud, the people who come to my blog, you all get a REALLY early sneak peek at what I’m currently working on.

Ahh… I can never finish a project without breaking out the clay can I? I hope this idea actually reaches fruition, though it is tougher than I initially anticipated.

75% Persperation, 25% Procrastination

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I’d claim it’s apt for me to write a post about procrastination, considering how long it has been since my last blog post, but really, the blog wasn’t the catalyst for this post. As is often the case I wanted to reflect on this topic based upon some new art of mine. Below you’ll see a sculpture I started over 2 years ago. A piece that has been sitting in plain sight all along, as well as reserving its own space on numerous todo lists I created over those years.

Shelde's Charlie sculpture

It is a work that when I started it, I was enamored with how it was proceeding. I was so proud and muscled through about 75% of the piece. Then the problems. I was concerned about finishing, concerned that I would ruin what I already had in front of me if I tried to do the remaining portions of the piece. I didn’t feel like I knew HOW to do the details I hadn’t gotten to yet. So, the piece languished. It took a permanent residence on my only large-scale sculpture stand, taking up a piece of equipment that I needed if I wanted to make more sculptures.

When I returned to it recently. I did so with a different outlook. I held resentment to the piece. I still enjoyed the concept of it and thought it was decent, but I wanted it behind me. No longer was I afraid of proceeding in a way that could ruin the figure. I just wanted to be done so that I could move on. If I completed it I could start my next piece and learn more to make better works. In short, I wanted control back.

I think that is the bottom line of procrastination. Being in control of what you want to do. Being able to stick to a list of goals or tasks, and being able to follow through. I’m experimenting currently with setting personal deadlines for my artistic hobbies, but often find it difficult to measure how I go about smaller tasks, like sketching, and how I can approximate how long something like a sculpture will take when it isn’t the only item on my list. I’m curios if, for those of you who read this blog, what methods you use to keep organized, and keep from letting projects go by the wayside? Do you complete everything you start, or do you dump things that have sat around too long or lost your interest? Feel free to contribute your input in the comments.

Also, saddly after taking pictures of the sculpt and 2/3rds through this post… the stand that I put this on broke. The sculpture is now once again balancing on my sculpture stand, waiting for me to connect it to a better stand so it won’t fall over. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon, and not let another year pass me by on this.

It’s a little guy!

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Just throwing up a sculpture pic today. I’ve been working on this little guy for a bit to get back into the habit of sculpting. Apparently I have a habit of making characters with large arms, with tight shoulders and skinny legs. I like how the balance with his back hand came out to keep the figure from falling, but wish I had done a tighter job in a few places (The fist and some aspects of the face specifically). I think I want to get my characters to have a little more emotion in their expressions, as the face ended up pretty generic. Feel free to provide your own feedback if you have any. I do try to take into consideration all opinions that come my way. Same goes for camera-work if you’ve got any tips. Using a camera is kinda new to me so I don’t think I’m getting the best shots out of it.

guy with hoodie

Who got art in my games blog?

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

As those who have talked with me recently know I’ve been considering expanding this blog beyond the scope of games, and using it to post some of the artwork I do in my spare time. This is a combination of my own self-interest in showing my art around to more people, as well as wanting to be able to make relevant posts more often. To me this blog works to an extent as a form of practice in improving my writing skills. In my work and everyday life I tend to not write in long form often. I was concerned about the decision to have both my interests in games and art in the same space without the art being relevant to games because I feared the lack of focus would drive people away who were interested in games, but not so much in art. I decided to move ahead anyway because I feel that this blog is more for myself than for the readers and because, to be quite frank about it, I don’t think my readership is vast enough to care. I get some hits from my friends, and some hits when I link to my blog from various forum posts. It’s not a vast audience I should be concerning myself over here. I thank you for coming and reading my posts, but there’s no reason for me currently to cater to any particular group.

Long story short, I’m going to try to start posting my art regularly as well as any rants I have to make. This may mean eventually adding a new page for a gallery, but at the moment you’ll have to be content with my little sketches that end up in posts. Feel free to critique or comment about them.

Here’s some work I did recently. I’ve been practicing with my tablet in black and white forms to try and loosen up my style a bit more with varying results.
These are various robot poses based on my robots from

waving guy
Just a guy. He’s a bit stiff, and feels kind of like clipart to me

An orc. I like it, but I know I spent too much time making clean, sharp lines and not enough time on anatomy and the pose itself.

GMD began! Running to catch up!

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Quick post today, no real rant. Just wanted to provide the first piece of art for the game myself and Jacques are creating for the UofT Game Making Deathmatch. I’ve been working on character images and soforth, so this is a splash image of all the characters. We’ve both been busy with school work but hopefully we’ll be able to pull together something respectable. We plan to use Ogre3D with OpenAL to make the game itself.

splash image for game

Tools and Tribulations

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

decorated circus-like creature

I love when I can make a comparison between coding and art, because it gives me an excuse to post my latest piece and not feel guilty about “just” having the art there. I just finished this last night, inspired to create this from the vinyl toys scene. Specifically, designer/do-it-yourself forms like the Munny/Dunny craze. I wanted to see if I could make a form that was appealing based on the possibilities of “decorating” the form in different ways. This meant making a form that, although distinct, was not detailed in a way that would force people down a “paint by numbers” path.

So I created my little amorphous quadruped, planned how I would paint him up, and began the painting process… and then reality started to set in. Now, probably the more ideal way to color this piece for me would have been to use an airbrush to paint on masked sections of the piece to get a smooth, even coating with sharp, clean lines. But I’m not a professional painter. I don’t own an airbrush, and of the acrylic paints I had I didn’t even have orange for the body. Now, mixing my own orange using normal paints wouldn’t usually be a problem, except that my yellow paint was a bad bottle, and had a lot of solid “chunks” in it. Throughout the body’s paint there are little uneven patches and tiny dried bumps of paint. It’s not horrible, but it’s frustrating. In fact, none of the paint is perfect. everything takes on a bit of a layered effect and the texture of the brushes I used, and the “matte” varnish was shinier than I expected. I completed my goal with this project, but didn’t quite get the results I hoped for.

Now how does this apply to coding and game development? Think about the last project you made, and what limitations you had imposed. Either due to time, libraries, or tools used to create your game. If you were told about a new development tool which you hadn’t used before (whether it be a physics/graphics library, or a development environment such as Torque or 3d Game Studio) you start to think what great things you could make using the tool with such ease. Excitement for your opportunities starts to grasp at you as you leap at the opportunity to use a tool that will help you do your work easier and faster… and then reality starts to set in. There is an advantage in using the tools, but they are definitely not limitless. There are learning curves and new limitations. Maybe you hoped that your library would have an easy, intuitive particle-system that allowed for complex particle interaction. Maybe you believed your physics engine could handle soft body deformations. Whatever the case, your hopes didn’t match what you had to work with, and compromises had to be made. Maybe you had to define your own system for particle effects, or had to fake deformations using sets of spring constraints. Either way it wasn’t what you initially wanted, but it worked for your end goals. Maybe you even got the chance to learn more on the subject matter in the process.

And I think, at least to me, that’s the moral of the process. I get an opportunity to learn more about my tasks by not having that perfect solution delivered to me. I get to experiment, learn about the strengths and weaknesses of other people’s work, and learn the implementations needed to do these things myself. It’s an application of problem solving skills. I’m not going to aim purposefully for inferior tools to have this experience, but if I have no choice, I’ll learn from the weaknesses of my tools. Perhaps I’ll be able to take something away to make a more informed analysis’ in the future on what tools I use.