Sunday, May 31, 2009


I've been working on something else this week, but at a friend's encouragement I think I may actually hold onto it and use it to put together a pitch for the Nickelodeon International Open Mic thing. It's probably not a likely sell because it started as more of an Adult Swim show type of sense of humour, but it'd be good practice.

So instead here's a sample of a Bison bison I made yesterday for a friend of a friend to turn into a M.U.G.E.N. character.
The gif format kind of messed up the colours, he looks more like this but I hear he might be remapped anyway so it could be a moot point. I realized how much fun it is to blow off steam with these short cycle animations, you can just toss 'em out and be done and onto something else in a few hours.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garbage day

Does anyone remember Cosmic Osmo? I think that was my most cherished childhood video game. Something about the atmosphere of the whole thing. Even though it didn't have a goal beyond "explore this weird solar system" I think playing that was the most immersed in a game I can ever remeber being. I'm pretty sure I've seen games since where the whole goal is just to run around and try to find what you can click on, but none of them had the same... just... MASSIVE SCOPE that made Cosmic Osmo what it was.

I was thinking that a point-and-click game of this variety would be fun if a big part of it was devoted to exploring a world like that. Like set up the Suburbs, the Basements, the Sewers, and Factory or something and cram them full of Easter eggs that you could always go back and root around for. The conventional style of point and click adventuring would allow you barter, trick, and deduce your way into more areas to explore in, but there would be plenty going on in the different rooms aside from the standard gammut of tools to pick up. Maybe also make it sort of a choose-your-own-adventure idea, where sometimes you have to choose between opening a path to one area or to another one completely, then having multiple endings available depending on the choices you make.

Originally I was picturing the characters in my head to be something bland and serious business-y. Like, a totally neutral looking model of a human that could be the nameless avatar for people to apply themselves to. Then I started wondering what motivation a totally average Joe-Somebody would have for rooting around people's garbage and going into their houses in the first place and stumped myself. Then as soon as I started giving distinct features and personalities to the main characters, the idea for the story really started to click itself together. It could just be a game about two bag ladies who ventured into the suburbs on the night before the bulk trash pickup because they know that people in suburbs always throw out the best crap. Then all the weird stuff starts to go down, but the creatures bait them on with the promise of treasure at the end if they persevere.

Multiple endings for the game would give completely different ends to the story, like there could be one where the two of them manage to do right by the shadow creatures and are eventually lead to piles of gold and treasure, another where they become the crowned queens of the underground beasties, another where they wake up back in their cardboard alley hut assuming that the previous night's shenanigans were all just a dream, things along those lines.

It's entirely too easy to take contrasting characters like these and give them diametrically opposing personalities as well, but I'm not sure I like the idea of that. I don't think there needs to be "a friendly one and a crabby one" or a "smart on and a dumb one" or even any clear one in charge who cows the other around. I think they work well as two generally well-meaning people, the short bandana-clad one being a little ditzy and gullible while the taller one is more prone to stress and second guessing. So both have flaws that give them some personality, but they're on respectfully equal footing in the friendship.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Summer Challenge time

Okay, time to get my money's worth outta this here free blog.

Now that the film is done and I have nothing to keep my BEASTFAST ART PRODUCTION schedule up, my new goal for myself is to come up with a new concept every week and devote at least a page of concept art to it a day. I have other things I'm working on too, but this'll give me some focus instead of running in circles and feeling like I'm spinning my wheels. And maybe eventually I'll learn how to draw environments too. Either way, I should be posting an entry every day or two with new sketchbook pages and more ideavomit for whatever the story is.

This week's concept du jour is something Mel and I came up with while we were sneaking around in the middle of the night to pick at people's trash and find fun things worth scavenging. I did manage to find a Watchtower bible to rebind into a sweet sketchbook but THAT'S A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY....
Anyway, the idea was for a 2D point and click adventure style game. The suggestion that a big cat-house thing out for collection might be haunted surned on the idea that you would have to rummage through trash to get spooky creatures hiding in the dark to help you. I went home to ponder over it some more and thought it would be cool to have a sort of Jacob's Ladder kind of alternate world going on, where you would basically start the game in a normal suburb at night. Eventually something a little out of the ordinary like a talking cat or something to that extent would up the weirdness. You would get keys into houses that would be empty but otherwise normal, and be able to find more peculiar things inside of them that would attract weirder shadowy creatures looking to strike up bargains out on the street. Eventually the interiors of the houses would start to get more shabby and decomposed, until finally they're just empty rooms with monsters waiting inside to talk to you.
This second page of stuff isn't really anything to get excited about, it's all VERY HEAVILY referenced from the 99Rooms (an awesome site I reccommend you check out if you are at all interested in artsy graffiti or urban decay). Anyway, very few things are cooler than spooky, delapidated buildings, while very few things are lamer than suburbssssss... so I got to thinking that the garbage picking could just be the start of the adventure. Like just the first world you have to explore. Eventually you could make your way into a basement that would just lead you through to catacombs of old factories, and that's where the real meat of the game takes place. I think it's something that would be akin to an urban version of Myst, where the environment is the most important aspect of the whole thing. Things shouldn't just be blatantly in-your-face blaugh scary Silent Hill style keeping you in the dark, but the whole world would be ore focused on making things seem just off enough to be unnerving. I'm thinking akin to the execution of Gorrister's level in I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

So that's Sunday and Monday's art, the Tuesday Wednesday stuff will be up whenever it gets scanned and assembled and all that. I'll blab about it some more when I get my next post together.