New year, new batch of projects. As with my last few posts, this is mostly a list to keep myself focused on what I want to finish this year for Newgrounds.
Leftover from 2015:
- Black and Blue Friday: FishtailGames and I weren't able to finish this in time last year, but we've been chipping away at it and making good progress! In summary, it's a game about making your way and progressing through the only legal bloodsport in America: Black Friday!
- Red Cap Studios: The guy that I'm working on this with is in the middle of getting a script together for a video that's a series of very quick (think 10 seconds or so) animated skits (think ASDF Movie). It'd have a mostly static, quickly-snapping style of animation so we can get it done quickly. After that, there might not be much more content that I'm very involved with, but who knows.
- New LDAF design identity: Remaking logo, icon, etc. here to make a more appealing aesthetic that fits with what how I want to be seen as an artist.
- Education: Being an animation student, I have a lot of assignments that typically end up being 20-30 second animations. These are too short to post on NG by themselves, but by the end of this semester, I'll have enough work that I'll be confident enough to compile them into a single submission. Hopefully I'll release it around May or June.
- Social Justice animation: No, no, not the Tumblr brand of social justice...my school started an animation festival last November loosely based around social justice, and each year may have a more concrete theme (i.e. compassion). I don't have a script or anything yet, but I'd love to think about how commonplace and desentizing violence is today. It seems that an innocent kid in the ghetto is going to be shot tomorrow, and the day after that, a marketplace in the Middle East will be blown sky-high, and the day after that, someone will shoot up their school, and the day after that...I want to do something a little more surreal and symbolic so I can handle these topics with the sensitive touch they deserve, but at the same time, make it clear what the movie is actually about.
- Writing?: I want to make significant progress on my next book, a black comedy/drama titled Russian Roulette with a Black Widow. Additionally, I've been thinking a bit lately about how inactive I've become with the Writer's Guild, and that I'll admit to not really having a clue what's been going on with that. I'll make a better effort to at least see what's being going on in the writing forum.
- Practice: In general, I want to refine my work. I want to get to a more professional-looking point so I can get back to some projects I was working on as far back as 2010, but just didn't have the skill (or, admitedly, the patience) to handle the way I needed to.
So, let's see how much of that I can get accomplished!
Just another update on projects to keep myself on schedule, business as usual. I use it for that sole purpose so often, I really oughtta use it for more silly, stupid shit like I used to...well, that's for another time. Here's just a quick a-little-over-halfway-through-the-year update on things:
2015 Goals Accomplished:
- Flash Carnage Suite CS5! I'd been working on this one on and off for years, and I'm so happy to have gotten it out earlier this year. I'm really happy with the final result.
- Got scouted in the Art Portal. Thanks Zabujard!
2015 Goals To Go:
- The songs FlashStorm and I were working on are coming along. It's a short little EP of 4 upbeat electronic songs; some are mellow, some have a little more of a dance element to them, but they all definitely have their own identity.Some songs are more complete than others, and that's basically where we stand.
- Animation for a class. I'm keeping hush-hush on this for the most part, but it's a short, cute little story. No grand tale, just something funny n' sweet.
- The surprise game I mentioned last post is one revolving around the only legal bloodsport in the US: Black Friday! I've been working on very early work with FishtailGames.
- PO4 game got cancelled. However, I've been alking to Sonik-TLA a bit about a new game he's working on with some folks, more in late August-ish.
- Red Cap Studios. We're probably going to do a series of little shorts that total a minute or so later this year, we've got some good material written down for that.
- More illustrations; after all, I want to put my recent scouting to good use! I've got a good number of illustration ideas I hope to get out and into the Art Portal in the next few weeks.
This is probably gonna end up as one hell of a post, so hold onto your seats, folks!
New Supreme Alpha for the Writing Guild
Tremax and I talked about this a little bit over the past few days, and I've been given the honor of being appointed the Supreme Alpha for the guild! I want anyone who's currently in Alpha to know that I'm passionate about the truly creative part of writing; it's not just the words you see on a page or screen, but how they come together to create an image in your head. The way I see it, careful and precise use of the language can change a story from flat and empty to colorful, creating a reaction in the reader. For the guild, nothing would make me happier than to help encourage everyone to do what they do best. Everyone has a different style of writing, and it's certainly not my place to discourage your particular style. Still, I'm sure that we'd all like our pieces to have a certain amount of polish, and that balancing act is something that I want to be a part of, with all of you. This is very quickly entering rambling territory, so I'll wrap up with this:If everything I just said seems like a bunch of mumbo jumbo that makes no sense, feel free to PM me! Don't know what the Writing Guild even is? Click here, and you'll get a better idea!
It's been a long year, but I feel that I accomplished some great things in that time!
- LOCKED, my first novel, was published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble's Nook!
- Wait in Gold was released. It was originally intended to be published on the App Store, but the $99 fee and the necessity to own a Mac scared me away. I know Android is always an option, but I'm not sure that it's even still worth it after all this time; the game would need to be polished up quite a bit more, and I think at this point, it's best off staying as a Flash game on NG.
- I completed a series of portraits of musicians I've been inspired by. I'm glad I set out to do this, but looking back, I think the project suffered from the same thing that Orchestra of the Zodiac did; I tried to do a little of everything instead of focusing on one style. It's hard to see improvement over time when everything is in a completely different style. Still, I have some pieces I'm happy with, and that's always nice to have!
I have no intention of being a slouch this year! Here's some stuff in the oven for 2015:
- FlashStorm and I were thinking about collaborating on a few songs.
- I'm FINALLY almost done with that CS5 beatemup animation! It's been a challenge to work on, but it's been rewarding, no doubt. It's also a ton of fun to watch an animation evolve from this to this!
- I aim to get scouted in the Art Portal! I plan on uploading more consistant quality work to develop my style.
- A surprise game for November. Don't want to give away too many clues or hints on this one, it's one I love the idea for. :3
- The Power of 4 game our team is working on!
- More videos and possibly shorts for Red Cap Studios.
Phew, that's a whole lot of links and typing...well, that's all for now! Have a Happy New Year, folks!
Hey there! This is just another quick update to spread the word about some stuff I'm working on.
Red Cap Studios
A friend of mine recently launched a YouTube channel dedicated to all things comics (and other media every once in a blue moon), so come take a look at Red Cap Studios! We launched our first video last night: a review of issues 1-13 of Howard the Duck. If you're a fan, it's worth swinging by and taking a look! I helped out with the visual identity of the channel, which is primarily the Red Cap character. In the future, we plan to do shorts involving him, so watch out on the YouTube channel and here on Newgrounds for some toons!
It seems like it was so long ago, but I'm wrapping up the last portrait for this year and posting it on Dec. 2. It sure as hell wasn't a similar process to making Orchestra of the Zodiac; the portraits weren't consistantly made. I switched from Corel Painter 11 to Photoshop CS2 (upgrade in someways, down in others...hey, it was free!) about halfway through the year, and got a new tablet (pressure sensitive, yay!) in time for the very last portrait. They definitely weren't all masterpieces, but there certainly were some that I was happy with.
Still chipping away at that drama/black comedy novel, some songs, and stuff in the Writing Guild. Woo.
I've been itching to get back into animation, and once I wrap up the portraits and a few other loose ends, I'll be able to tackle that Flash CS5 beatemup and finish it for good! Even though CS5 is old news by this point, the animation itself and some of the jokes and teases in it will always be relevant.
Thanks for reading through this!
This is another one of those posts where it's moreso for keeping a checklist of things to do to inspire myself, but I also just like to give little updates for people who enjoy my stuff.
I released Wait in Gold recently, so if you haven't played it, take a look!
I was planning on making an iOS version, but after looking at the process for doing so, that's not a possibility. I did say that it would be a reward for being in the beta, so if any beta testers are reading this and want something else in exchange, I'd love to talk about it. In other news, I don't really plan on making any games by myself in the near future, as I feel like the final product is better when I'm part of a team. Once I get a good chunk of the following things out of the way, I'd love to put myself up for "adoption" on the Team Up page in the Games section.
-art and animation-
Still going to be chipping away at those portraits I've been submitting to the Art Portal; I'm 1/3 of the way through. Regarding animation, I'm still working on that little CS5 beatemup. It'll be way outdated by the time it DOES come out, but I think the animation will still be a good measure of my abilities.
*quick note- I've been doing touch-ups to certain portraits so they're not *quite* so embarrasing when I look back on them. I did the Williams one first, and may do others later on.
If you haven't taken a look at LOCKED, my first sci-fi novel, please do! If you already have, PLEASE review it on Amazon! I'd love to know what I did right, wrong, and whatever other comments you have! In addition, I'm currently in the process of working on a little sci-fi short story (no more than 3 pages, just a tiny little something), and I'm gonna take some time this week to start planning for my next novel. It's a black comedy, and I'm thinking about titling it "Russian Roulette with a Black Widow", but that might change..
What's that? A life!? Of course! I'm going to be heading up to Lyndonville, Vermont for college, majoring in Animation and Illustration. If you've taken a look at any of my work here on NG, it's obvious that I really need some professional guidance, and I'm excited for it! With everything I've said so far, I'm confident about the future and can't wait to see what comes next!
Hey folks! This is a little bit different from what I usually post, but I'll get right into things: my first novel (or a novella, if you're feeling argumentative), "LOCKED", has been published on Amazon's Kindle service! Go here to take a look!
I originally posted a few snippets in the writing forum here, but I changed so many little details so often that it wasn't really worth showing until I was completely finished. It's a YA Sci-Fi, similar to The Maze Runner or The Hunger Games. If those types of books are your thing, I hope you'll take a look at LOCKED!
It seems like the only thing I use this blog space for is postmortems! Hopefully that'll change in the future. :3
I know nobody actually reads this, but I do like to keep a record of these sorts of things. Anyway, I'll keep this brief and I'll get right into things. Nobody needs to see me write a novel about this. I had the idea of writing a song for every Zodiac sign in June of 2012. It was one of those late night, before-I-fall-asleep thoughts. I got started in December of 2012.
I can definitely say some songs are better than others. While I don't think any are irredeemable garbage, the sound quality for some are better than others (FL Studios is certainly built for synth, and I haven't been 100% successful in making other genres like metal sound that great, but I've certainly improved). As a whole, the project taught me a lot about music theory, keeping your mind moving to prevent writer's block, and most of all, a few ins-and-outs of FL Studios that I didn't know about prior.
Every song is available for free on Newgrounds. However, every song is available in HQ on bandcamp. Those versions are slightly tweaked from their NG counterparts too. You can download the whole thing for $1 there. Again, both the originals are available to listen and download for free here on NG, and the tweaked and updated, HQ versions are also available to listen to for free there on Bandcamp, and download for $1!
For 2014, I'm planning a similar project. For each month, I'll do a portrait of a musician that has influenced me in one way or another. Each portrait will be in a different style. I DEFINITELY need to improve my visual art skills (as you can see by some of the things I've put in the Art Portal...), and the only way I'll get there is by consistantly practicing. If you made it through this whole thing...wow, thanks for taking the time! :3
- Still chipping away at that Flash CS5 beatemup. Confident that it'll be a good animation demo. Yadda yadda yadda.
- Orchestra of the Zodiac is coming to a close soon, and I'm VERY happy with how it came out. I'm so glad I did it, it was a really good experience in learning music, what works, what doesn't, etc.
Pico's Mission Postmortem:
This is one of those ones that would be long, drawn-out, and emo if I had the energy to do it. Back when I was but a wee '09er, I was inspired to make a little something for each major NG holiday: Pico, Clock, and Madness Day. I wanted Pico to be the game, since it started that way. Pico's Mission started life as a point and click inspired by what I had seen of Pico 2 at that point. The problem was that I didn't have the skill required to make it; it looked shoddy, and my level design was ASTONISHINGLY bad. I just had no experience, and wanted to make the very best tribute to Pico yet. It was like someone who started drawing two weeks ago trying to re-create Mona Lisa. The project fell behind and behind and behind until I knew I had to take a much simpler approach for the game to survive at all, and it became the action-oriented game that just got updated. Oh, did I mention that the game had been handled by more people than a porn star? Maybe I should've started that earlier in the rant. Eh. Sometime after Pico Day 2011 (if I remember correctly), I got a new coder...then another...then another...until I reached 5+. Half of them I'm VERY sure didn't even look at the file before taking 2-3 months to tell me they couldn't do it. I'm not saying any names, of course. :)
I had to end up finishing a few glitches off myself. The problem is...I AM NO CODER. I spent somewhere around 25-30 hours this week plowing through it, ripping my hair out the whole way along. Though it was an agonizing one, Pico's Mission was a lesson that taught me these key principals:
1) Know your limits. If you're only capable of Ms. Pac-Man, don't try to make Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.
2) Set time limits. A project that's been dragged out for years and years and years loses it's vision. See Duke Nukem Forever.
3) Quality over quantity. Nobody cares if your game has a fancy animation or neat looking background here and there if the substance is weak.
That's not to mention all the little game design things, such as what's boring, yadda yadda. In the coming years, I really hope to focus on those, ESPECIALLY the third. If I put out one thing a year that I love, I'm happy.
This is mostly for myself to keep a tracklist of things to work at and things I've done; having it on my userpage motivates me a bit more well.
* o3o action movie parody- canned. I didn't care for it, you didn't care for it, who'll miss it?! I never even started it; I realized it was completely stupid and likely embarrassing.
* Havin' a Ball!
This was put together from November up through now; learned a big lesson on difficulty curve and invisible levels (almost entirely the latter). NEVER going to make another game in Stencyl as well; I had complaints of the game crashing in certain browsers, lagging more than it should be, not to mention that I just found Stencyl horrible to work with.
* Flash CS5 Beat 'Em Up
Still working at a silly little gadget that's a "torture chamber" for the logo of Flash CS5, a little tongue-in-cheek thing at the program so many devs (including myself) called a nightmare. Maybe I could just allow people to upload whatever image they want that fits a certain size and allow 'em to go at it in addition to CS5 (and likely Stencyl now, he he hi ho ).
* Pico's Mission
Almost a year later and I'm aiming to have a huge update which fixes all the issues with the game. Gimmick is the latest to hop on board as a coder. All in all, it would fix glitches and finally add in that final boss.
* Orchestra of the Zodiac
...is still going as planned. A song per month for 2013, I'm wrapping up Aquarius this weekend, uploading it (hopefully) Feb. 2nd, yadda yadda yadda.
Hey you! Yeah, you! Golly gee whillickers, you just love video games, dontcha? Of course you do! How about flash games, them too? Even ones that have cursed development cycles? Well then, how about helping to finish up the code for a near complete game? Details and such are here , but in a nutshell, it's a game from Pico Day that still has the "out to lunch" sign for the boss, along with a few other things that could be fixed. There's an ambitious version of the design doc as well as a required one; all that needs to be done is the required one. Anyone interested in helping me get a patch for this out the door for Pico Day 2013?!