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!
I think it’s about time to essplain via Bloggy McBloggerson what my Space Funeral-related project is.
I’m developing Space Eulogy, the JRPG prequel to Space Funeral. I received permission from thecatamites to produce the game about a year ago after having played SF, the style of which I fell in love with and the story of which inspired me to expand on the canon. If you want to read about how the story pans out and stuff (and be a super dumby boring-head), I wrote a wiki so that I wouldn’t have to explain plot elements to other people who are working on it.
I started/finished that wiki up the day of a PIGSquad Art/Code Night that I hosted last week at the NW Lucky Lab, and I’ve been trying my best to complete certain other aspects of pre-dev stuff day by day. So far, after having worked out the basic plot, central characters, and the central characters’ backstories, I have a few non-pivotal characters mapped out and some more gameplayish stuff laid down. The party members all have at least three classes to choose from (the character “Mmm” has five), there are approximately 55 enemies and 12 bosses that I’ve divided into 14 leveling tiers, and Donny and I have defined quite a few gameplay elements regarding stats/level caps/encounter frequency/etc.
Regarding the team so far, I’ll be doing the main project development, writing, art for the prologue, and art for battle scenes; Donny will be doing stats and battle design; Jamey will be coding; and Wolfgang will be doing tile and NPC art. I’m excited to start working with everyone else soon (hopefully in the beginning of March), and I’m glad that the wiki’s all laid out beforehand.
With regard to MaNy ThInGs, I’ve been busy and worried and stressed and enjoying myself and all’a that over the past few weeks. The Lucky Lab meetup was fun/relaxing/helpful after having experienced a fairly depressing PDXFC meeting, where we explored some of the more hopeless corners of short film distribution (which has become our topic of the month as a result). There’re also quite a few big events coming up, such as this month’s chiptune show, Barcamp at the end of March, our hosting the Indie Game: The Movie screening, ‘n all that. I’ve decided to make my series “So There’s This Game” a Thursday-ly thing due to these commitments and other reasons, such as the fact that I’m going to burn myself out with zero audience if I do something like that twice a week.
Oh, but speaking of the CHIPTUNE SHOW, it’s THIS FRIDAY and it’ll be REALLY FUN. HAGEN made a REALLY COOL POSTER for the EVENT.
Our monthly PIGSquad general meeting was held last night! 20 people showed up, which was perfect for our varied agenda; we discussed Global Game Jam retrospectives, our Porkland Chiptune show coming up on the 24th at the Backspace Cafe, organizing art/coding nights, participating in a user-generated conference called Barcamp, and a bunch of projects that everyone’s been working on!
It was great to hear opinions on how the GGJ could have been better run – I felt that everything was executed appropriately, but there’s always room for improvement! There were lots of interesting points about the schedule for the first hour and a half of the Jam, mostly revolving around when the prompt was delivered in relation to when teams formed, when the keynote was shown, etc. There were also numerous critiques about the IGDA’s website, which I agree should be changed for those registering, those showcasing their games, those trying to have their games discovered, and the like. People were interested in playing everyone’s games at the end of the Jam as well, but everyone was super ready to vacate after 48 hours in the same building, so we’ll be saving that for the postmortem (the date/location of which is still TBA)! Perhaps a few things will be different when we do our next PIGJam in April.
Details about the Porkland Chiptune show will be out soon, I’m planning on getting everyone together for a art/coding hangout at the NW Lucky Lab late next week, and I’m continually trying to get feedback on the PIGSquad forums regarding the arcade cabinet we’re looking to construct and put in Ground Kontrol (if you have any opinions on that, please send ‘em our way). So yah, things are lookin’ good! Might also be worth mentioning that a large group of us hung around the meeting location to talk until about 10:30pm (meeting starts at 7); it’s great to know that everyone’s been having a great time with each other!
I’ve also gotten started on a video blog that I hope to start releasing every MWF, titled, “So There’s This Game.” It’s based on the fun we had at GGJ with videogamena.me. I’ll post when done!
Whoa man! Today’s got me stoked; I’ve been slinging links left ‘n right for the Failsafe Moving Party, the Global Game Jam, and the first PIGSquad meeting we will’ve had in a month and a half!
Failsafe’s hopefully gonna turn out to be insane (cray, at the very least). DJs Downpour and Maltron will be killing it with a regular EDM Sunday at Pioneer Pub, and Logan and I are hoping to pull in the entirety of Oregon City to raise a ruckus. We’re throwing out free shirts, buying people drinks, making it rain (Cash/Stickers/Pokemon cards), and distributing other various goodies all night. We’ve got a dance party at 10. We’ll be wearing sunglasses at night. It’ll be off the Hook. We’re all ready to party, but are YOU? I want everyone I know to spread this link around as much as they can so that >329402305 people show up. The fate of Failsafe (Fatesafe) depends on it.
And this whole deal is taking place right after this month’s PIGSquad meeting, at which we’ll be talking a lot about the Global Game Jam! I juuust responded to a couple of e-mails regarding the Jam, and we’ve got about 33 participants signed up already! Our max is approx. 50, so if you’re lookin’ to Jam and Jam hard, you best register, gameboy!
WAT an excellent month.
I went to December’s Dataport chiptune show last night at the Backspace Cafe and had a great time – Dakota Clark opened and Cheap Dinosaurs/Animal Style closed out after that. In addition to having a good time with friends, I was really blown away by a few aspects of the show… Dakota’s act was very different from what I had seen at Micropalooza this year. Quite a few of the songs in his set focused on building discordance and then resolving quick in a climax every measure, which I was a huuuge fan of. Emotional storytelling through music at its finest. I was pissed that I didn’t get video of his second song specifically, but ah, well. I’ll probably ask him to come play for PIGSquad’s Porkland Chiptune show as Ovenrake come January…
Cheap Dinosaurs and Animal Style put on a great show as well. Their second act featured a glitchnes esque display that I hadn’t seen before, but looks like a New York pulsewavey kinda thing; I was a fan of the “strobe” option. Happened to record the entirety of one of two of my favorite songs of their set:
And yeah, good night. Saw some great music, talked to a lot of good friends, didn’t blow my ears out cuz’a earplugs, and didn’t have to pay for parking. Propz to 2PP, ajumpsbshoots, mechlo, and greightbit!
Saw my friend Eric play saxy sax at the Tonic Lounge tonight with his band “The Longshots.” They’re really great live – if you’re in or around Eugene/Portland, see them next time they’re in town, and give ‘em a like on Facebook in the meantime.
Last time he was in town, Eric and I began working on a sax/accordion duet demo that we plan to put in front of game devs. It’s an odd aesthetic, but something we’re both fans of. I feel like a good sidescroller or point ‘n click could come out of it. Even if a game wasn’t made around dem choons, it’s good to play music with Eric again; we used to play together in highschool in a band called The Chapstick Experiment, which (d)evolved into Dry Lips towards the end of good ol’ band times. We threw stuff on Last.fm awhile ago, but I’m not sure we have any of our old songs up for free download. You can listen to segments of songs here, at least.