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Friday, January 30, 2015

GunBlocks Game Illustration (+Process) & My #MelbGGJ #GGJ15 Recap #HungryBirds

Leonie's small blog island says hullo! (:

First up I can finally show what I was working on late last year...and I do a recap & play games from the Melbourne Global Game Jam later down this post.

    Let's go crazy! Journal Time.

    Game Illustration I did for GunBlocks
    Was a great pleasure working with Cookie Engine, a German indie game studio! Check out their free Pre-Alpha demo for their game GunBlocks if you're into "tetris + worms + terraria" + amusing character dialogue! Play if you're interested! (10-15 minutes at most to finish based on my own playthrough.) 

    Yes I'm plugging them with all these links because they're a cool four person indie team! I first came across them by just playing their demo on a whim.


    Disclaimer: I fleshed out existing designs (the pixel art in-game) and that the Gunblocks logo is made by & belongs to the Cookie Engine Team



    CONTENTS


    Year 2, Weeks 1 & 2 (14th to 27th Jan)


    Digital Sketchbook 

    All the gifs
    Sketchy things



    The Making of the GunBlocks Illustration


    Okay here goes! Process to be more precise!
    This is in no way a tutorial.


    Steps 0 and 1 are omitted as they might be up for later use. 
    But they're essentially sketches, sheets and thumbnails.

    Step 2: I like this one heaps but it wasn't meant to be; too 3 dimensional. GunBlocks logo is kudos to the GunBlocks team for me to use.
    Step 3: Another sketch over. 
    Step 4: Some things sketched over
    Step 5: Some rearranging.
    Step 6 Detail shot: The Infamous Mustard Mint Chips before revision. Yes big jump from the sketch phase but this is just a lot of putting in colours and progressively getting detailed.
    Step 7 Detail shot: The ship in its magnificent huge form.
    Step 8 Detail shot: Tree! Bird!
    Step 9 Detail shot: All of them used to have moss beards.
    Step 10: Coloured everything. Phew. Flowers!
    Step 11: Some revisions to the ship, middle tree, smoke fx and other tidbits.
    Final Image: Ta-dah! The Spot the difference game now at this point!
    Visual Development! | Breaking down the blocks and how they will look

    Visual Development/Character Design! | The Key GunBlocks Characters!








    Melbourne Global Game Jam 2015 Recap 

    I didn't tell you nothin' ;)

    Actually, I wasn't allowed to jam but I kept saying 'no' to that and went ahead anyway. Here goes!

    My second time. See my other Melbourne Global Game Jam posts if you're curious. Teamed up with Global Game Jam friends James and Jayden to make Hungry Birds. Truly a team effort! The theme was "What do we do now?" which was quite vague and open to interpretation. 


    Overall a fun intense time where you just focus on making up a game prototype. (: 
    **Didn't have much sleep and time allowed was set so if that's not for you, I stress that one can do game jams (with friends or by yourself) whenever they like in their own time too. Many game jams and projects out there going on (so many games!); just ensure everyone on your team is clear on what they want to get out of it. It's not easy...so many team work stories: both horror and great ones.

    A snapshot of our resulting game is as follows but I'll let you know when an improved game is ready. (:


    Our prototype game, Hungry Birds
    Our title screen! :D
    Our Icon (temporary at least!)
    I illustrated James' story; this is how Hungry Birds begins
    Credits Screen! Yes I drew every letter.
    Bad phone photo but this is a progress shot as I was doing the art

    The name Hungry Birds just stuck. Yes there's Angry Birds and other game names of the same variety but Hungry Birds is exactly what our game is and no one has used it so...yes! This is what we're calling it.

    You'd need up to 4 game controllers (ideally a total of 3 to 4 players as well): 



    If I were to pitch this...
    Eat, score & stay balanced together on a plate as 2-4 baby birds using game controllers! Let Mother Bird worry about the rest. #HungryBirds

    But this 2nd pitch sounds better:

    Will you work with or against your baby bird siblings as you survive on an unstable plate? Don't let Mother Bird down! #HungryBirds




    Feedback from the handful of Playtesters
    People had fun (I was playing too)! Loads of things to improve (it's not a perfect prototype as one expects). Some people left early and a few came back for more so it was really encouraging overall. (:



    HUNGRY BIRDS VERSION 1+ something
    I'll do a post just for Hungry Birds next time when more improvements are made to the prototype!


    Slipped into the media...?
    There's a positive The Age article here on the Game Jam and somehow a screenshot of our game sneaked in along with Hot Water (see below); didn't expect that! Also it's apparently on page 4 from the 26th January printed issue of the Age. :O Shocked, grateful and amazed!







    Where I play the <48 hour made games (ie if I'm able to download and play it on my own!). I couldn't go around to play much games at the time as I was mostly stationed at our game's spot (and playtesting).



    So this is mostly me downloading games afterwards. And some of them I couldn't go far with them. There's also heaps of games out of the 53 in which I can't play where the download link isn't working or because I don't have game controllers on me. Hope to play more when more of these games if they get further developed. Double Asterisks for some games I found interesting.


    • 404: I couldn't leave the first screen though I reached the end of it :O
    • Sync Link: I played by myself though and didn't have much platforming skills. I fell down and I cannot actually die; it was amusing!
    • Chromony: Exist as different beings? Make yourself colourful? I was confused and it felt trippy.
    • Clonesequences: how I can get to the next level....had trouble cloning myself.
    • **Death Before Disco: I played this with one of the developers and got killed by an incoming squid. That face is frightening. Interesting.
    • **Desk Job: The graphics look swish like Stanley Parable & Team Fortress 2 and I'm getting loads of blue screens :O I think I killed the game; I got a blank screen yet noises are being made. I couldn't get any event beyond entering the date and icon screen.
    • **Esrever: Cool concept though I had trouble and cornered myself at the boxes part. "I revived you back; sorry for killing you! Please no. Don't kill me." vibe.
    • **Quality Control: Interesting and looks cool! It was really hard to jump in right away and I half got the idea! Just struggled with it; I'm no good at video games but I enjoy them anyway.
    • **Go To Sleep: What wanting to die feels like. Blurry, can't pick up any money, made a plant grow, eating mysterious pills, filling a tank to the brim, vague doorbell button, going to bed every time. You are trapped and I kept thinking whether I should quit the game versus how far I could push the game. It's not meant to be fun (more of an experience) and it's not a surprising ending. 
    • **Life Threatening Emergencies Won't Fix the Hot Water (Hot Water): I was lost for a moment because I didn't realise I got the carrots. Neat little point and click game! Interesting dialogue too! :D I was stabbing my mouse button a bit too much admittedly!
    • **LumberLust: Looks so pretty! The stylised 3D sweet graphics! Just chopping doors, trees and huge snowballs. Seeing sights. Couldn't chop the house though.
    • Lunchtime with ¤┤▓ ■ and Friends: Sweet art style, music and pixel art graphics, couldn't play by myself though! 
    • Lute n' Loot: I was very confused but I got a chuckle when I went out of the boundaries of the world. Making people dance.
    • Office Bash '15: I tried buttons and defeated monsters but I'm not sure if I was doing it right or if there was an end to it. 
    • King of Wot: Wot indeed. The game over sequence was a laugh. Playing by myself not that fun (multiplayer game) so I tipped over the Wot King.
    • Save President: multiplayer game as well but I tried what I could. I broke off and got a leg by myself, then I went into mines, then the torso blew up into its own piece. Then one of my cars clipped into the ground in presidential race mode and got a laugh out of that. I'll need people to play with once again here.
    • Echochamber: I got stuck but I really appreciated being told what the easy to remember controls are. Struggled with controls with some of the other games which can't be helped given the time we had.
    • **Stipulation: Interesting take on pong! Mind games and intentional rule changing confusion. I played it with another and it was hard to control; you need much practice.
    • Sufferage: multiplayer game with nice pixel graphics but I killed some enemies even if I was playing on my own! Another game I can't get the full experience with.
    • For a bonus, here's an ABC article on five other games too, and another from IndieGameMag, some of which I couldn't play.
    If ever able, looking forward to trying Not an RPG, Clay TogetherCube Crawl, Dreadmill, Experimouse, a bunch of Card games, Koraha, Rescue Squad, Mount Hollow, Step up to Space, Waiting Room, Utensil Quest, OMGCyclops, SplitShift, YT Cat Simulator, [Reacted], and Space Punch (it crashed my computer but I saw it in action).

    I'm not sure how they play but I'm just curious! 




    Footsteps (2014) Gameplay Video?

    Ah speaking of our Game Jam games, found a recent gameplay video for Footsteps (a GGJ 2014 game we were a part of) thanks to the Work in Beta team:

    I thought this game was forgotten so this video is a surprise! Thanks so much for giving it a go! He's struggling so much in the video and in hindsight it's quite the deep end/steep learning curve to start the game with. This is not a surprise to us so even though he didn't make it far into the game, I think he managed well so far. (: 




    Other Hermit Derp Adventuuuures: so hey 

    • Games (watching bits or all of it): 
      • Phoenix Wright DLC ending, Silent Hill 2 (so much symbolism in this game gosh), Game of Thrones: Iron From Ice, Mario is Missing, Escaping the Prison, I AM BREAD, Slender: The Arrival, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Super Mario RPG, No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, ZombiU, Shadow of the Colossus, Smash Bros. WiiU, Infiltrate the Airship, Sally.exe, Xenoblade Chronicles "I'm really feeling it!", Dying Light, Slenderman: The Arrival, Street Fighter 4 Omega Mode, H1Z1, Lisa, Continuous, Block n'Load, Lord of the Aisle, Mario 64 Hacked, Bayonetta, Syberia, Evolve, Left 4 Dead 2 Dead Before Dawn DC Versus, Copy Kitty, Spewer, Affected: The Manor, Disillusions Manga Horror, Parasite Eve, Dragon Age Inquisition, Canabalt, Scrabble, Spooky's House of Jump Scares, Mario 64, Huniepop (many levels of creepy)
      • Presentable Liberty: what a game; thought provoking on being isolated from the rest of the world and the power of words/letters. Themes of loneliness, depression, hope for company, hope for adventure
      • MOTHER 3 ending: it's beautifully well told and done. Heart strings pulled and feelings. Just as I remembered when I first played it for myself. Just bitter sweet sadness and clarity.
      • Just Shapes and Beats: Looks musically fantastic; eyes will go nuts if I were to play it!
    • Healthwise: keeping track of sleep! Humid hot weather not helping though. Soreness. I stand as I work more and trying to recover from the lack of sleep because of the Game Jam - extreme lack of sleep it really affects you and I'm paying for it now! Really, really sore from sleeping on the hard floor. Recovering takes a while.
    • Games (played) aside from the games above
      • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: Awesome moments to be had; it's pure fun and delight. 
      • Smash Bros. Wii U: Kirby, Toon Link at the moment
      • Armello: finally Early Access; backed it sometime last year. Newbie that I am, I took my time reading the Guide because I did not have the opportunity to grow up with tabletop/loads of boardgames/strategy games. Indeed I was quite apprehensive as I am not really part of the niche target audience and so a lot of the things on screen are incredibly overwhelming for me. But after a while of learning on the go, I had fun anyway and found myself immersed into it. Incredible artwork, music and animation; pleased to know that more people I know are playing it. Not feeling ready for an online game yet though! Keen to play more though and in getting better! :D
      Screenshot of my Defeat of the game; in Singleplayer, I played as Amber and wasn't able to reach the King in time with the Stones to heal him. ):
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reflection: Thoughts since the Hermit Burpcast Release

    I'll talk about it proper next episode! Still at the waiting and see stage but if Youtube is anything to go by (excluding mp3 downloads as I don't have stats on that), I've been beaming at how I've got at least 20 people giving it a listen thus far.  I expected just 3 or something from the beginning! 

    So I am really shocked!! Thank you friends! (: It'll probably fluctuate from here but as I said, I'm going to give it a good go for up to 6 more episodes. So that means six more months, usually the 3rd Friday of the month! Maybe I'll add some bonus ones on top of the regular ones; who knows.

    Audio Recording: I'm learning about it in case I need to continue the Hermit Derpcast and I'll ever have the honour to record other people in the mix too. Learning a bit about editing and recording things separately and all that. Have yet to test it but I'm not rushing. 

    iTunes Publishing: I've learned how to upload/publish a podcast to itunes too while still being frugal about it (it's so hard to find cheap/free ways!) So very confusing at first! I might not get into iTunes but I do have an RSS feed you can plug into your podcast app so you can subscribe manually yourself here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HermitDerpcast




    It needed updating as all it had was work up to May/June 2014. Hope to keep updating it bit by bit. So tired and I felt unwell for a time but having fun juggling. I'm careful to not get myself burned out; breaks are important! 

    And I had to remove my About page's selfie photo; as much as I don't want to be invisible, I'd rather not have it easily just there on that page. I gave it a go but I'm finding that I'm still not comfortable with it. 


    Some Stubbornness and Clarity 

    Lately got asked intrusive questions about how much money I earned and why aren't I doing "X" instead (not going back to what shall not be named, no way!) because what I'm doing is implied to be not worth it for a living (clash of values and all that). 

    It was a mixture of meaning well and curiosity on their part but also because that they wanted to compare my worth/financial success/usefulness with those within their own immediate family, reinforce their own values and then tell me what I'm doing is wrong if I were to say too much. (Judgments happen sometimes).

    Whenever this happens, usually I would respond bluntly in a sad way, left with mixed feelings of indignation and hopelessness afterwards. But this time I was calm and responded back vaguely and optimistically.  And I got patted on the back as a symbol of good luck...to my surprise. Appreciated it. 

    Realised that I came across as confident in myself so they didn't bother me anymore about my life choices. Although the doubts will always be there, I am slowly more confident in myself and slowly believing in myself more. I do not expect fast financial success anyway as it's supposed to be a tough road you make for yourself.  

    To be able to finally and genuinely say to the face of one of my well intended naysayers: 

    "Hey, it's going to take a long while but I believe in myself." 

    It's a good warm kind of feeling. 



    Derpcast Reminder  

    Ah another reminder for responses (here at this link) in time for the next Hermit Derpcast! I'll do another social media reminder post soon too as I doubt many read all of this!

    And here ends another mega packed update. Congrats! You made it!

    Fight to protect what you believe in! Keep adventuuuring you!  (:


    Leonie