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Bit Warp

26 Mar

There’s an 8-bit Design Challenge on deviantart, and I wanted to submit something so I re-drew a Game Boy piece I’d made awhile ago. Here’s how it turned out, if you’d like to and you have an account you can vote for it here by clicking on “I’d wear it”. There’s also a desktop background version here.

My Laser Monster Game For Gamma 4

4 Feb

laser back

My submission for Gamma 4 (and my first solo game!) is in.  It’s definitely a prototype right now that I’m taking further and hope to release on a couple platforms.  It’s got classic arcade style gameplay that focuses on timing.  “Laser Monster Gondoko” was the name I chose for the Gamma submission, but I’ve already decided to change it.  I wanted to make up a unique word that will be attached to the character, but that’s just not the right one.  Hopefully it will become obvious as I make the game cooler.

Laser Back prototype teaser

A small teaser screenshot of my Gamma submission prototype. Click for full size.

Gamma is an annual game competition hosted by Kokoromi, an experimental game collective in Montreal run by Damien Di Fede, Phil Fish, Heather Kelley, Cindy Poremba.  This years Gamma 4 challenge revolves around creating games that are played with a single button. The chosen 5-7 games will be viewed and played at a party that bridges the end of the Independent Games Summit and the start of the main GDC.  Following the event, all the games will be playable in a dedicated booth on the GDC Expo floor.  The winners also recieve All-Access passes.

Programming for the Right Brained’ed

Game Maker turned out to be exactly what I needed to learn the logic and basics of programming.  I’m mostly using the drag and drop functions with a little bit of scripting, and it’s working out for me so far which is exciting the hell out of me.  Evan Balster and Beau Blyth are 2 really talented friends of mine that have given me coding tips when I’ve had questions.  Thanks a ton guys. I’ve been trying to read programming books and cram things into my head for months, but nothing has stuck until I started using Game Maker.  Now I’m learning the basics and realizing a little bit of what those boring books were talking about.  The turning point for me was asking my programer friends questions and also the GM tutorial “1945” by Mark Overmars.  I just opened the last tutorial file and started going through all the objects to see how they worked, so if you’re an artist having a hard time with programming like me then maybe this will work for you, too.  It’ll be a while still before I can do scripting or real grown up coding, but now I’m hopeful that I might actually be able to get there.

Laser Back Concept Drawing

Someone asked me how I made the concept drawing at the top of this post.  I sketched it large on a dry erase board first, took a photo with a friend’s iPhone, and then brought it in to Photoshop for coloring and adjusting.  This is the second time I’ve used a dry erase board sketch in a final drawing, and I kinda like the process.  I go into it knowing it’s temporary, so I don’t spend too much energy planning it out.  And redoing something is trivial.  This is original sketch.

laser back dry erase board sketch

Sketch of the laser monster on dry erase board before Photoshopifying.

Assemblee Voting

26 Jan

The Assemblee Competition has come to an end with 73 games entered.  Check them out here, or vote for them here.

Over 170 people submitted art and music for part one.  You can see everyone’s work gathered here (warning: this is a huge page with a ton of images), and vote for them here.  Everything made is released under a non-commercial Creative Commons license.  You can use it for your own non-commercial projects as long as you agree to the license and credit the creators.  There is more information on each creators thread so be sure to check them out.

Have fun playing the entries, voting, and using some of the assets for your own games.

Enemy Ship Process

3 Dec
enemy ships for assemblee compo

Enemy ship in 6 fruity flavors

I’ve finished up my art contributions for the Assemblee Compo, and this enemy ship was my last entry.  Wish I would’ve had more time to make environments, effects, and more enemies, but what can you do.  While creating the spaceships I figured out a method that worked pretty well for me, so I’ll share it here.  Hopefully someone else will find it handy.

I tried to focus on two things: symmetry and an interesting silhouette. In light of these, I chose an experimental digital sketching tool called Alchemy by Karl D.D. Willis and Jacob Hina.  It has a unique approach in that it alters what you draw in seemingly random ways that can result in creating a vision of something you might not have otherwise created.

spaceship sketches

Process stage I: Alchemy

I drew my spaceships using the ‘mirror’ and ‘microphone input’ features and set it to save and erase each drawing in 15 second intervals.  ‘Mirror’ gave it the live symmetry I wanted and the ‘microphone input’ feature alters the thickness of your lines according to sound volume going into your computer’s microphone (which is really cool to experiment with.  Play some music while drawing or just yell like a bastard).  The features ‘Autosave’ and ‘refresh canvas every 15 seconds’ force you to shotgun sketch a ton of possibilities.  Once I had 60 I brought a few into Photoshop, made some changes, and then drew in the details.

Enemy Ship Process

Stage II: Alterations and details in Photoshop

It was a pretty simple method overall.  I highly recommend Alchemy for visual brainstorming or just experimenting.

Assemblee Arts – Spaceships

16 Nov

So far, I’ve drawn a rocketship and spaceship for the Assemblee Compo.  Been busy with freelance, but I’m hoping to find time to contribute more before the competition deadline.  My thread is here.

Whiteship by Ted Martens for the Assemblee Compo


Tin Rocketship Assemblee Compo

Tin toy style rocket ship

New Ideas. New Compo. New Friends.

25 Oct


I recently had an idea for a surreal dream-like game about an astronaut floating helplessly in space and all of the f**ked up things that happen to him on his journey.  It’s not thought through that much yet, but I like the mood I’ve established so far.  It’s darker than my usual stuff which I’m excited about.

Art of Braid Talk

David Hellman’s talk about the art of Braid was great, and I found myself relating to a lot of it.  Such as putting off work all day and then getting angry with someone when they want to hang out at night because they’re obviously trying to keep me from getting work done.  David, my friend George, and I went out to a Chicago blues club the next night and talked about game ideas that have been brewing in our heads.  My favorite pastime.

New TIGSource Competition Begins – Assemblee

image from

Ok, it’s time for a massive plug for TIGSource.  The Independent Gaming Source is an awesome community to check out indie games in development, finished games to play, and lots of other fun stuff.  A new game competition just started, and the theme is Assemblee: artists and musicians make whatever they want and post it, then programmers use any of those assets that inspire them and make a game out of it.  Credit is given where it’s due.  Great idea.  Check it out.  Assemblee Compo.  I’ll link to my thread of humble art offerings in the future.

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