Thursday, 9 March 2017

Breaking Bad Blogging Part 2: The Rebloggening

I'm actually doing art again! Templar has really been taking off so here's an entire post to his progress.


I've been playing around with different art styles and what I want with the feel of the game. Consequently, Templar's been in need of a little bit of a re work.

So I started with these;

And they were all well and good and all, but with the change in art direction, Templar had a bit too much detail. This meant it would take far too long to actually get him in game to the level I'm chasing.

So I took him back to the drawing board;

I started with the stereotypical hero pose. A step in the right direction but not quite there yet. I want him to very visually convey his playstyle in game, namely being able to take a lot of hits and hardly flinch.
He looks like he's an NBA all-star
At this stage, I decided on strong silhouettes and flat colours with cell shaded lighting for the visual style for the rest of the game. Templar needed a stronger silhouette to complement his playstyle.

Next Stop: Maya!

Then he got a sword and shield,

In a bit of homage to the old painting, I took him back to photoshop to finish him off. 

This is ultimately what I'm aiming for with the art style. He's much more visually distinct than his earlier versions and is finally in game. Apart from some animations, he's completely done.

More content is coming soon, I'm working on some enemies and environment assets to get in game.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Evidently, I'm Bad at Blogging

I'm working on fixing that though.

So July was a massive flop for me. I had a major artist block that refused to go away and life wanted to get in the way as well.

Thus, I'm thinking of changing up the way I post updates and how I go about achieving goals that I set out for myself. This art block really crippled my workflow for the entire month so I'm hoping to avoid that.

The Plan is...

I'm going to try to aim for monthly goals and post small updates weekly. That, and work on making a more long term plan for this project. From there, I can work on the smaller monthly goals with (hopefully) a clearer picture of what I need to achieve and how to go about it.

Other Notes...

I think part of the reason my art isn't working as much as I would like is because I've unintentionally signed myself up for a whole lot of things without considering my schedule. Such things include holding a producer role for the semester 2 pantomime with the UWA Panto Society, and starting on an online diploma of project management.

I should be able to juggle everything, but I really need to say no to things sometimes.

Planning Up!

The big picture goal is obviously to get the game out with some killer artwork in an year and a half or so (date not determined, don't quote this). Starting out on the smaller goals, I need to get a working art style for the project that'll be visually interesting and successfully implementing it into the test level that we have now. That should be a solid months worth of work just on the 3D assets and animations.

In Case You Didn't See It...

On my art page on Facebook, he's some work I've done in some of my spare time when the block wasn't as overwhelming.

Hey look! My toe got into the shot.

I need a better way to post these rather than just using my phone.

I had this sketch for a while from before the July block, I also found some fantastic paint pens. So I went over the line art and put the pens to good use. I managed a to nail the cell shaded look on Samurai, it worked much better than I thought it would.

9/10 Would definitely recommend buying these pens.

I'll post updates when I have some art ready to show you guys. The project management course is actually really helping with time management and planning and I'm only halfway through the first unit. It's almost like they know what students are like with assessments.

Anyways, I'll update you guys soon!


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

CS 1 End: Case of the Skull Crabs

At least for this CS.

A little late, but...

Look At This Skull Crab Enemy

When there's cake on the horizon.

So all of his anims that I wanted to get done are done. He has a spawn, a run (see above), an attack, and a death. The skull crab is going to be a swarmer type of enemy when he's in game so you'll be seeing and cutting down lots of him.

Next up This July

Is CS 2. I'm going to motor through this one as much as I can because Alex needs these things.

  • Tileable floor textures
  • Tileable wall textures
I'd rather have some actual environment assets in engine for the test we're aiming for, but I'd also rather have the level generation working optimally before I start thinking about environments.


This is a short update, but I've also been suffering from a wave of artists block so I've only been focusing on the things for the sprints. I'm attempting to find ways around it now so I'll have some more extra thing to add on to the blogs next update hopefully.

See you next week!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Update: July Is Crunch Month

So that basically means there will be changes to my pipeline over this month.


My work partner, Alex, wants to have a working test build of the game done by the end of the month so he can get some tweaking done to the core gameplay.

This means I need to crunch hard to pump out a whole load of assets for this test.

So Get To The Point Already

I will be halving my sprint timelines to a sprint per week. Quality isn't as big of a factor this month just so long as it is functional for the test build deadline we set out for us.


Starting this week is a premature end to sprint 4, and the first of the Crunch Sprints for this month. 

Goals for Crunch Sprint 1 (CS 1?)
  1. Basic Rig for anklebiter enemy (including skinned mesh and IKs(Inverse Kinematics, I don't really have time to explain so here)
  2. Basic Animations for said anklebiter including
    1. Idle
    2. Run
    3. Attack
    4. Death


July is the month in which lots of assets are going to be churned out so that the game this is going towards has something to go from. I'm going to run myself into the ground trying to get all of this out and working.

Lots of coffee will be consumed to sate my needs.

In the meantime, here's the fruits of Sprint 4 before it was cut.

First bit of production art done! The character portrait for Templar.

I suppose you could say CS GO!

See you next week/sometime sooner if I finish the CS goals before then!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

End Sprint 3: Apple, Updates, And Paperwork

So with Sprint 3 coming to a close, there have been a few things that've happened this week.

Not exactly what I would've liked, but I'm going to roll with it.

Let's Start With The Apple

I recently updated my Macbook to the latest OS version (10.11 El Capitan) and it's been playing havoc with my pipeline. Mostly because it has effectively made the drivers of my Wacom drawing tablet completely redundant and it was causing a lot of trouble for people. 

My first work around was a flop, however, I've got a better workaround for now. With any luck, I can get back on track with actual work.

The Update

The tablet works again now. 

And The Paperwork

Seeing as most of my time this week was spent looking for a way around the driver problem, I spent a lot of time refining the visual style of the project starting with the characters. For Inspiration, I turned to my staple for fantasy visuals in games, Fable.

Redesigns for the Templar and the Viking.

In the end, this style works much better aesthetically than what I was using before. The silhouettes are much more defined and you can more easily see who they are as characters and how they will move and play in-game. The Templar is obviously more tanky than the Viking, so I (to quote an XCOM post mortem discussion at GDC) 'Chunkified' the armour and shield. The same thing was done to the Viking, just to his arms to emphasise his offensive playstyle.

TL;DR, it's looking much better than it was before.

Other than that, I got a quick rig done on the old Templar model using mixamo, which also has some basic animations that you can use. I haven't exported those yet, but I do have this one horror shot.

Just imagine he has a sword and shield and it'll be fine.

That's pretty much what's going on with this pipeline. It's had a couple of hiccups but it's still going.

Moving On

I know not much happened this sprint, but get some basic assets out for sprint 4.

To do in Sprint 4:
  1. Export basic Templar with Mixamo rig and animations so that some gameplay can get going.
  2. Work on basic environment assets for testing purposes (with substances attached)
  3. Some proper digital artwork for this project such as:
    1. Mood art to capture the feel of certain levels
    2. Character paints to help with the design of player characters and enemies

I figure I started out on the wrong foot getting back into this project out of the pantomime, that and hardware issues. The exporting of the basic stuff will give my partner, Alex, something to work with for actually building the game's core mechanics into something fun. I think what I need to really focus on this week is getting something out that I can easily build momentum from. 

Now that the hardware issues are behind me, I can actually start on getting something good out.

Also, I'll be posting extra drawings to my Facebook page so that it actually has some art on it rather than just being a signal boost for this blog so keep tabs on that.

See you in 2 weeks!

Monday, 6 June 2016

2 Months later

 Brushing Off The Dust

I know what you're thinking. That was the longest two weeks you've ever sat through waiting for an update. 

You're right, and I'm sorry it's been so long without an update.

I've been a busy guy lately and mostly none of it has been towards the project.

So instead of a sprint update, here's what I was busy with.

I'd Like to Talk to You About The Revengers Initiative

For those of you who don't know what a Pantomime is, the TL;DR version is that it is a play that usually parody fairytales and the audience is encouraged to heckle things like; "He's behind you!" or some other joke towards to cast on stage.

The Cast Shirts were great. The taglines on the back read "Heroes aren't Born...They're Cast." and "Revengers, Rassemble!"

The UWA Pantomime Society recently showed a pantomime about a group of supervillains called the Revengers and it was the most ambitious panto I've taken part in. This included something the Panto society had never done before, a short animated motion comic intro movie.

Due to time creeping up on everyone, we had a very short window to complete the entire thing.

Short as in 4 days.

All the assets were pre drawn thankfully. There was more that we wanted to add in but there was absolutely no time to get them in before the first show. We were already walking a knife's edge with the editing.

Credits for the intro vid for the art and editing collectively goes to Stuart Potts, Cam Michael Butler, Emily Archibald, and myself.
EDIT: Watch it here!

Slow Time To The Present

It's been a couple of weeks now since the panto and I've done at a handful of concepts to get myself back into the swing of work.

Hey look! It's the Templar again.

Believe it or not, I got the idea for this boss after watching a nature documentary.

Back On Track

I'm going to start up my sprints again. It's fair enough to say that my last sprint was a total flop so I'll start up from sprint 3. The major goals for this sprint will be:
  1.  To get the Templar rigged up and ready for animation.
  2.  Get some basic animations done for the Templar.
Other optional small goals include making basic equipment for the Templar like his shield and sword, and drawing up some more environment concepts to start fleshing out the feel of the world.

Rounding Off

I'll get back to posting updates every second sunday so then I can get myself back into the rhythm of designing again. The Revengers was a fantastic panto to be a part in but it did end up taking a very large chunk out of my time for the project. Now that the panto is well and truly out of the way (at least until next semester), I'll be devoting all the time needed to get something going for this project.

Sorry again for the hiatus and I'll see you in 2 weeks!


Monday, 4 April 2016

End Sprint 2 - Out Of Time

This sprint was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Not because of the work load, but because of the amount of outside factors that sapped all of my time this past fortnight.

Armour With Style

I did manage to get a decent part of the textures done on the Templar. There are still some details left to add but he's coming along fairly well.

Praise the Sun!

The two enemies are also ready for texturing, but I had no time to texture them.

There's a Whole World Out There

I also got some work done on environment concepts. 

The pillars will endlessly litter the area.

I took some inspiration from one of my favourite oil painters, Zdzislaw Beksinski. He is a surrealist painter whose given me a good idea on what direction I want to take with some of the environments. 

Moving Forward

I'm not going to set goals for sprint 3. I am going to be spending most of my time getting ready to move houses so I can't see too much dedicated work time going into the game. I will do what I can when I get some free time and will post whatever I manage to finish.

See you in 2 weeks!