Monday, September 30, 2013

Skeleton completed!

Here is the skeleton animation all mocked up and running together.

It has taken about a month of my spare time to make this animation and while it was good practice and fun to make I think I will be scaling down my pixel art to much smaller proportions for a long time to come. Expect more small pieces of a much wider variety and I hope those of you who have enjoyed watching this process had a great time and if this is your first time looking at my blog, be welcome and feel free to browse my older entries.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Field trip to the Gutenberg press in Provo

Yesterday, me and Shirley went to Provo to visit what they claim is the world's only functional Gutenberg press. When we arrived we found a non-descriptive house except for a over sized photograph displayed in the window.

First we were shown an example of what the book looked like with a actual page printed on calf skin (or Vellum.) "Vellum is derived from the Latin word “vitulinum” meaning "made from calf", leading to Old French “VĂ©lin” ("calfskin")." - Source Wikipedia 

The pages were decorated after being printed on the press with paint and gold filigree. I took two shots of the same decoration so you could see the light hit the gold in two separate ways.

 We then moved on to a demonstration of the printing process. First all of the letters have to be set one by one into the bed of the press. Each one hand placed and spelled out letter by letter.

The text is inked with two pads mounted on handles.

What the plate looks like after ink application.

The paper is then moved onto a bed. This keeps the paper registered in the same location for printing multiple copies of the same image or text.

The crank is then pulled to apply the ink to the paper.

The paper is then removed.

Using the paddle you see in the lower left of the next photo the paper is then placed on a clothes line to dry. Two pages are printed at a time, that is why it looks like the whole page is visible. There is another page hanging on the side you cannot see.

 A detail shot of the press with its crank and compression system.

 The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with movable type in the West (as in eastern cultures had done it before and thought it was no big deal.) 

 Individual letters in their holding case. Shown here are D, P and Z.

R, a, e



They then demonstrated how this moved forward in history and bragged about the Declaration of Independence. It was kind of cool. Benjamin Franklin was a smart guy and his profession for most of his life was as a printer.

 A tray full of individual metal letters. Look close and you might be able to see random letters on the tips.

The whole experience was awesome (I mean I felt awe during this experience.) These old guys were really passionate about the printing press and I loved hearing them tell stories. One little tidbit I remember is about kids putting back the metal letters and confusing P's and Q's thus creating the phrase: "Mind your P's and Q's." It is a great time to have a guided experience by someone who is so passionate about what they do. Yeah you can read about anything on the internet and learn what the whole printing process was about, but you will miss out on something I can only call awe or magic. Actually being there to witness something, no matter what it is for, has a power. A power over your mind and heart if you are open to it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Wilderness & Wildness of Sensory Deprivation

The goal seemed humble at the beginning of the Jam. Make a top-down sprite based game with a three way mechanic and one enemy for each style of sense. We had two programmers familiar with Unity, one programmer unfamiliar with Unity, and three artists. We could do this! Hopes were high and the idea stage had everyone jazzed up to make stuff.

Eighteen hours into the Jam I should have realized that things were not coming together on schedule. Communication was not clear between the artists and the programmers. Most of us had never met before and probably didn't want to step on anyone's toes. The character art had to be completely reworked to match the environment art and mechanics creating a huge setback. I ended up jumping off of the art team to try and help with other aspects of the game that needed attention.

I turned my focus to sound effects and level design. Creating a unique little 8-bit sound for each character in the game was fun and easy, too easy. I finished that job in an hour. I moved on to full time game design and level creation. I had the first four levels done by the half way point of the Jam, but no way to test them. Designing levels without being able to test them is like being asked to run a mile with a fever. Yeah, I can do it, but will I be any healthier or feel any better once I am finished? Probably not.

The panic set in way to late it seemed and prioritization seemed to be in the wrong places. Sound was completed first, but was not required for early game testing. Environment art and level design barely came in under the Jam dead-line. Q&A did not exist. All of this sounds like I am being negative towards how the group performed. If I am, I blame myself the most, because over the course of those 48 hours I was delegated our impromptu leader.

It being my first time leading a group towards game creation I was probably bound to make us fail. I had no idea what it took to organize six people into a unit and get the most out of the time they gave me. I know better now. Leaders must be chosen or step forward in such a large group. Hard decisions must be made and the lines of communication must be open at all times. I hope I get the chance to lead a team again soon. I will do so much better next time.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The first four levels of Sensory Deprivation

Since the game only partially exists I will describe the intended outcome of this project. The goal was to create a game that uses your senses as super powers. By focusing on one sense to make it super awesome you are sacrificing the other senses. We went with the two senses that are the most translatable to a video game; sight, sound and to mix things up we added the sixth sense which is control over time. I will talk more about the design ideas and about the troubles we ran into, but for now enjoy some screenshots!

These were to be the tutorial levels in the introductory area simply known as city. Introducing controls, enemy types and the powers to the player.

Monday, September 23, 2013

5050bmx design

I did a design for 5050bmx at work. They decided to go with a different design, but I had a really good time making this so I figured I would share it. Constraints were that it could only be one color with halftones and the art would be printed at a maximum of 9 inches wide.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Utah Indie Game Jam was intense!

Here is one of the levels my team designed for the Jam.

Sadly our game didn't get fully born into the world as a complete game, but we made tons of art that I will be showcasing over the next few days.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colored Skeleton Walk Animation

Skeletons are back, and almost done! I have one more animation left to color the outlines on then I will string them together into one smooth animation. I have been thinking of ideas for the next project. I am thinking about doing a gorilla and an Englishman conversing over tea.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Shirley!

Thank you for being patient with your other present. Here is a little one everyone can enjoy when they need to remember to be patient.

Bigger version!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Story Intro

The whistling of the wind wakes you up in the dead of night. Your window lies open letting the chill from outside into the room. You get out of bed to find everything strangely quiet except for the howling of the wind. All electricity seems to have stopped working. As your eyes slowly adjust to the dark. You see the exit to your bedroom.


A sneak peek into what I have been up to. More to come soon!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sword in hand

I added the sword to the walking animation. I kept it simple today as I am a little more busy for the next 2 weeks.

I am working on a video game. It has no relation to this animation, but I might not post as much until I get that finished. There just isn't enough time in the day to work on everything I want to!

Monday, September 2, 2013


This is tentatively what the final version of what the death animation will look like.

I doubt I will be able to stop myself from going back over it again and making it even smoother, but I need to move on to other things as I have been working on this update for about 9 hours at this point.