Hey ho I haven’t updated dis here blog in sooooo long. All started with my imgur account filling up and asking me for a subscription (+ me not wanting to do anything about it), then PIGSquad and Pixel Arts stuff started picking up again. I do have some cool creative content to post, but the imgur situation plus the fact that I feel super disorganized using WordPress isn’t helping. I’m thinking of running with Tumblr based on some things that I’ve heard about it, so maybe I’ll get some more creative stuff up and running soon.
Just got a notification that this blog’s been active for a year! Here is a self portrait of my self. Because I don’t have anything else on standby to share.
As I mentioned earlier, a friend and I are working on a game for a gamedev competition.
I’ve been working all day on monsters, animations, and other important things (like the above superdope floral wallpaper that I’m so proud of). I’m excited because this will be the first videogame I will have actually finished – I’ve started a bunch and even have complete sprite sheets for some, but they’ve unfortunately never come to fruition. The above screenshot is especially cool because it looks so different from what each of these sprite elements look like on their own. Looking at a game in its entirety is so cool – the visual/auditory coordination seems impossible to pull off when you’re first starting to work.
Of course everything seems so doable when you’re conceptualizing and coming up with all of these great ideas. And said great ideas are totally doable if they’re worth pursuing, but once I draw a sprite with no shading in the midst of no background and without animation/audio context, everything looks dull and doodley (which is cool if that’s what you’re going for, but we’re going for “fear!”). I’m glad this week-long deadline is forcing me to work really hard and long at some of these things, because putting them all together in a tiny little sprite assembly like the one above is so worth it. When I’m animating the boy, I can get a great sense of who he is via how he moves, how he holds his flashlight, what he’s wearing (those lil floppy socks), etc. But when I see a screenshot like the one above, I get the big-picture interactive sensory overload that games are all about. And look at that; all of a sudden, we’re telling a story!
Here’re some little update screenshots I took periodically before completing what was necessary for the above picture. You see what I mean when I say that you’re just getting a one-sided story without much wholesome immersion.
…back to work! I might update one more time before we finish on Sunday evening!
Things will be ever so crazy these next two months. And they were crazy this past month! Our Skull Girls/Super Smash Bros. tournament at the 1.337 Geek Out @ Space Room anniversary party went super well, there was a really constructive Games for Change meeting and man, idk what else even happened.
But man, this month.
Started preproduciton on a collaborative animation project the other day (working with Matt Dan, the creator of Chef Antonio) – made an 8bit song and Matt made an animatic for us to start working with after I refine the song. We plan on using a bunch of different animation techniques in conjunction with a really crazy nonsensical series of events, and it’s gonna be fun. Betcha can’t guess what the below animatic screenshot is of.
In addition to THAT (aka animation [aka the most time consuming thing in the eververse]), there are wayyy too many cool PIGSquad things going on this month. There’s an Art/Code Night tonight, a general meeting on Sunday, a private screening of Indie Game: The Movie next Saturday, a Game Jam on the 25th and 26th at a venue I’ve never hosted at before, the Pwning Cancer videogame tournament/free play session in conjunction with the Hawthorne Street Fair RIGHT after the Jam at the same location, and then PAX the weekend after (which means I have to make shirts and business cards soooper soon). We’ve also gotta coordinate with the Portland Retro Gaming Expo for volunteers and the OMSI Mini Maker Faire for September. Probably doing most of that tonight. Shi’cray.
So yeah, lots of awesome stuff going on and I’m so glad to be a part of it, but MAN I’m gonna be stressed about not wanting to mess up any of this stuff. Y’know, just because the sheer number of things that I have the opportunity to mess up on. Ooo, I beat VVVVVV recently and messed up on getting 2 of the shinies. Don’t even know where they are. Gatdam.
In other news, the above picture expresses my current mood.
I can see what search terms people use before clicking on my blog, and an astounding amount are “its my birthday animations,” “Facebook birthday flash animation,” “flash animation for my birthday,” and the like. I thought, “hell naw, I’ll jist give ‘em what dey wann!”
So here is what you want, searchers of Google:
So there you go, you birthday blog-clickers; no more looking at the post about my birthday that just HAPPENED to have animation in it. And the snowman one has nothing to do with birthdays. I was just thinking it’d be cool to animate a snowman sweating in the midst of a campfire.
Pfwhewph, a bunch of stuff is going on!
First off, I’ve been having some very interesting talks with people who are pursuing the prospect of hosting community art centers focusing on “younger” art (AKA all of the things that I do/love), including electronic music, videogame education, indie film stuff, zines/comics, etcetcetc. Met with a current leader of a Clackamas County arts organization to speak about some ideas, and I’m just finding that more and more people are in support (especially in light of Clackamas County budget cuts regarding art in schools paired with its lack of art/community centers in comparison to Multnomah County, the lack of leadership accountability in sooo many networking organizations that I’ve participated in and researched, and the time and place that we’re experiencing economy/technology/demographic-wise). I’m really excited to see where this talk goes when someone is ready to make a move – this idea has only been around in my head for the past two weeks, so I’m taking it slow and considering everything before jumping into anything.
In other news, I interacted with a whole bunch’a PIGSquad stuff yesterday. We connected with the founder of ChickTech to see how PIGSquad could help with regard to their women in technology workshop in January, spoke with DJ Switch of the Dangerous Kids Podcast to get in on hosting a videogame tournament at the 1.337 year anniversary of Geek Out @ The Space Room on July 27th, started talking about hosting Global Game Jam 2013 next year, and reserved a table at Oregon’s science fiction convention “Orycon” for November. tHaT iS a LoT oF sTuFf.
And speaking of Dangerous Kids, our member Rob was on their podcast the other night after speaking with them about his current podcast beta testing for a PIGSquad podcast! You can listen to the Dangerous Kids PIGSquad Cast here, and Rob’s PIGSquad PIGCast will be leaving beta in the coming months!
I also made these special little animations just for you. They love you so much!
I have not been keeping up on this blog like I’ve been meaning to! Luckily, I was super inspired this morning!
But first, past news.
A third Sunday ago (the 17th), I submitted “The Noble Lie” to Attack of the Flix, that monthly awesome impromptu film screening that goes on at the Curious Comedy. Awhile ago, my friend Eric was getting ready for a jazz recital and he wanted me to animate something for him that would play on the projector behind him; in about 6 hours, I whipped something up without prompt, which he used as a backdrop to music that was “composed” only about twelve hours after I sent it to him (most of it was all improv – he [sax] and his guitarist just had a conversation about what key to be in and when, as prompted by the animation). I totally didn’t expect the music to come out the way it did, but I was super pleased, especially due to the fact that it was improv (which I can’t pull off at all). Regarding the animation, I had this idea awhile ago, the semi-point of which was to simplify my work on _Decay. This was a much different experience, though, because I’ve only ever composed imagery to music, and Eric made the music to my imagery instead. I wanted to repeat elements and keep everything as simple as possible so that he could write his performance for the next day as quickly as he needed to, and I wanted to keep focus on his work rather than mine due to the nature of the actual performance. Overall, I’m super stoked that it turned out the way it did! Didn’t win anything at AotF, but I want to do it again soon!
I’ve also been super busy with PIGSquad – in addition to having an Art/Code Night (with around 23 attendees..!) and witnessing Ed test his boardgame prototype for Starship Rex, a bunch of us attended our friend Jeffrey‘s event “Gaming for Social Good.” The purpose of the event was to explore ways in which games/gamers/gamedev can influence a greater good with an emphasis on how games can aid in achieving the goals of nonprofits, and explore we did. If you’re interested in pursuing an event like this, there will be more in the future, and Jeffrey has made a Games for Change Facebook Page to allow people to share their personal explorations and notify others of upcoming Gaming for Social Good type events. I’d personally like to see more specific issues tackled, where nonprofits have more of an idea of what’s going on and gamers are more clued in on the needs of those nonprofits. Should be seeing something like that soon!
So yeah, those are pretty much the big things that are going on right now. I’m currently on a to-do rampage after neeeeding to start up Majora’s Mask. I’m just SUCH a fan of the color scheme and overall graphical quality of that game… I want to make horrible polygonal characters so badly, but I gotta start small. Working on some Space Eulogy and e-mail and design stuff today!
It is 4:10am (in the AM) and I’m chillin’ at the Art Institute of Portland for PIGSquad’s third Game Jam, the Mayhem PIGJam! There are 40 of us here in approx. 9 different teams developing games from scratch in a period of 48 hours! I’m not working on something Jam-related, but it’s still a game. A shoot ‘em up, in FACT. Here’s a track I’m in the process of writing for the Rain/Lightning themed level!
Everyone else is doing well with their shizz. The prompt is/was different for each team – people drew from a pile of cards with mayhem-like words written on them, and these were their prompts. Implosion, Explosion, Destruction, Madness, Doom, Anarchy, Disorder, Mischief, and Turbulence were a few of them. Mayhem and Peace were the two “special” ones (which means nothing), but no one drew Peace! Ah well.
But chyeah! All ‘n all, things are going very well – I was extremely prepared in my presentation of the rules ‘n such, and it was a breeze getting teamless people to assemble! I actually wrote down stuff that I needed for tonight, like, a few days ago, which is an absurd amount of preparedness for me (ooh, “absurd” would have been a good prompt…). Chris, Matt, and I are still working through what we’re specifically doing for our game, though – I had no time to prepare any sort of notes for my actual project
Also, heads up – I will be appearing on my friend’s internet Livestream show this upcoming 12AM. The show is called “Frope, it’s not Saturday” (I assume because 12am is TECHNICALLY Sunday), and Jesse will be talking with me about the shit that I do and stuff, including what’s going on at the Jam at the time. Tune in and watch me talk with 3 hours of sleep (I plan on sleeping from like 6am-9am this morning)!
After having a super d0-nothing (at least artistically/moving my life forwardly) week, I woke up this morning to this AMA by freddiew. It’s always inspiring to read “there’s nothing that’s holding you back/there’s no excuse” and “practice practice practice,” because I lose sight of those two pieces of advice way too often. There really is nothing holding one back technology- or skill-wise (unless you suck ass). It’s the future ‘n all that, and all of this stuff is horribly convenient to get your hands on and there’s a horrible amount of time to take advantage of that. Xept it’s not horrible. Just the amount is. Shit’s huge.
I think the one thing that really holds me back is lack of involvement with other people. Yeah, of course there’s PIGSquad/PDXFC/mbleh bleh bleh, but I’m talking about true “partners in crime” kinda shit. And mentor kinda shit, too! I always feel so motivated when I hear “there’s nothing holding you back” and “practice practice practice” from someone who you know is genuine and who’s doing genuinely well, but it’s so rare that people enjoy sharing their success, even in their powerful words. Like, professors at University would say SOME stuff like that, but it never seemed genuine… By the time I was out ‘n graduated, I really had the feeling that a majority of the professors who taught me for an extended period of time were just there to be there. Weren’t really passionate about teaching, but they may have enjoyed tenure and their ability to do research for the rest of their lives. Of course, there were some who had worked in really awesome professional production fields and came back to Uni to spread the love, and there were some who are just wayyy too awesomely focused on their topic and want to share it with others (in the midst of hearing what they have to say), but man, such a vast majority were so uninspiring. That coupled with a lack of a sort of “partner in crime” – there are a lot of people I can connect with very well individually, but most are either out of town or too busy, or I get too distracted by shit that’s not important and forget about these awesome people that I have the ability to be around. I know that a lot of that is a concern with trying to secure some sort of security in my life (AKA da monay), but I’m also aware that I’m a fuckin’ weirdo. BUT, I’m also getting a lot better at staying motivated AKA not staying up til 23952 ‘o clock doing dumb shit on the computer and waking up feeling like a pile. But, but but buuut but.
But yeah. I feel good right now, and I want to make games and animate shit and do fun thing and yeah. Also, you should watch freddiew’s stuff because it’s really great! Boom!
Sew, I went to the Stumptown Comics Fest last Sunday and had a blasty mcblasterson. PIGSquad had a semi-table there, but due to miscommunication, I was not alerted of its presence until Saturday evening, so I just lumped some stickers on it on Sunday and left it at that. It was great to meet a whole bunch of cool comicers/videogamers/educaterrs/all that – I’ll have to post a blog reviewing some of the cooler shite when I’m not so hopped up on the thought of going to PAX and listening to this extremely funky fresh song.
PIGSquad was also confirmed for its third Game Jam, the Mayhem PIGJam, at the end of May. You should totally crash it if you’re able.
GUH, I’m way too stoked to be typing shit right now. I’ll have to publish individual blogs about all of this cray bunk later this week. WHAT I INITIALLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT was this Dangerous Kids Podcast that I was interviewed for at the Stumptown Comics Fest. Listen for me between the minutes of 24:00 and 31:00! I panicked and dropped word of Space Eulogy, so now I feel that I need to start spreading a bit more word on it. Damn it.
Said podcast also reminds me that John and I guest-spoke on the AJumpsBShoots Podcast last, like, November or something. We give a kinda introductory talk into our opinions on indie games, PIGSquad, and all that. I’m actually surprised by how much my views have changed since recording that. They aren’t so outrageously different, but I’m much more driven/confident in certain areas, I feel more well versed in the scene, and bleh bleh mbheafsa. All that. Y’know. I leveled up or something.