July 19, 2011
Doxy is a Pen and Paper RPG in development by Ian Warner, who’s commissioned some black and white illustrations fro me. Doxy is a humorous and farcical RPG, which seems to be Ian’s specialty. While it’s not going to make me big bucks, Any illustration work I can get under my belt is always a good thing. According to Ian doxies are meant to be common strumpets. The modern day analogy might be to say that doxies are to courtesans what today’s prostitutes are to escorts; the more money you’re willing to pay the more class (and more importantly hygiene) you’re going to get. I previewed the chubby doxy above in a previous post, and it’s my favorite of the first four illustrations I made for Ian. I can’t place why exactly, I just like her curviness and her “come hither” look.
I like this one as well because of how I was able to get a few squiggly lines and copy and paste them into a pattern for the pillows and the drapes the doxy is lounging on. It’s a neat touch that gives the piece a lot of visual flair without necessarily taking too much time. For more of my black and white work, please take a look at my coroflot account here, where I’ve uploaded quite a few new artworks.
July 14, 2011
The title of this post are the exact words I was told to use when posting this UI work on my blog. Obviously the rest of this post will be teases and riddles so feel free to stop reading now if that kind of stuff annoys you.
About 2 weeks before our honeymoon in Japan I was contacted by a company for an opportunity to work on the UI for a franchise that I’d loved for a long time. Maybe it’s more accurate to say it was the franchise’s blockhead kid brother, but it was still a pretty cool opportunity. The game has been released on Facebook, and it’s a pretty simple affair, where you’re tasked with certain missions (ie shoot some stuff), pick up cargo, upgrade your ship, then proceed to the next mission.
The Social aspect of the game comes through being able to show off your best ships and comparing them with your friends’ via Facebook. I had to remove the sample ship and components from this screen because it would make things too obvious, but hopefully you get the idea.
At this point people who know me and know pop culture in general probably have an inkling what the franchise I’m talking about is (if you do, please keep it to yourself to keep me out of trouble!). Unfortunately even if you did figure it out and found the game that I worked on, you won’t be able to see any of this concept UI come to life. It was never clarified to me why, but it’s easy enough to pin the blame on ridiculously tight deadlines forcing the developer to pare down their original ideas into something much simpler. I was understandably disappointed to find this out after getting back from my honeymoon, but that’s just the way the creative industry works sometimes.
July 1, 2011
Since we just released some DLC and Spacechem is also being offered up as one of the prizes in Steam’s Summer Camp sale, I thought this would be an opportune time to talk about some of the concept art that went into Spacechem, Now I know what you’re thinking, Spacechem isn’t exactly a graphical masterpiece, so why would it need concept art? Well the truth is that one of the things that drew me to spacechem originally was the story, and the opportunity to design a world and characters around that story, which was intended to have a more central role in earlier versions of Spacechem than it did in the final product. For example, the story was going to have conversations between characters with avatars, similar to a standard JRPG. Zach wanted an aesthetic that was different and eye-catching. I’m not sure who suggested it, but I eventually went to early/mid twentieth century sci-fi as my peg for the universe. Stuff like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, etc. I was also influenced by a book on arms and armor in the metropolitan museum, and tried to meld that into the scifi world. Below you can see some of my helmet designs. None of these actually made it to the final game, but there is an echo of design #1 in of of the panels we used to help tell the story in the middle of missions.
While none of these actually made it to the final game, but there is an echo of design #1 in of of the panels we used to help tell the story in the middle of missions. Here investigators are looking into Spacechem documents. I wanted to make the investigators look a little more mysterious, so I enclosed their faces in helmets.
Zach also liked to say that he wanted to make the players feel heroic when they played the game, and so I designed Spacesuits for them that made Reactor Engineers look more like spacefaring heroes in the mold of Han Solo. I took lots of inspiration from all sort of places like Star Wars and even old diving suits, but I think I borrowed most heavily from the design for Captain Harlock.
I liked design# 2 best here, and that image ultimately wound its way into the Story Panels as Bruce Novak’s signature outfit. Below you can see him hacking at foliage in a jungle planet and entering his massive spaceship to embark on an adventure into parts unkown.
While a lot of the concept work behind Spacechem was left out of the game due to time and budget constraints, I think it still helped to flesh out an interesting world (which is part of what attracted me to the game in the first place) that I would love to return to some day.
June 28, 2011
I referenced Frozen Synapse before, but now that it’s finally come out and seems to be doing quite well I thought I’d post about it again. It always does my heart good to see any indie company I’ve worked with do well, and it certainly gives me hope that I’ll be able to release a game of my own with some friends one of these days. Above is one of the concept UI pieces I did for the mode7 guys way way back in 2009 (I always cringe a little when I look at old work, made me rethink posting this). Considering how “small” Frozen Synapse is as a game it’s educational to note that games can take years to be made, even if it’s not triple A material.
June 23, 2011
Super quick cover I made for iphone dev Touchten games‘ War Mania. Thought it apropos to post it now since War Mania is 50% off right now. Can’t vouch for the game since I never played it, and I can only take credit for the cover. Looks like your standard chaos management game though, so if you like the genre give it a shot.
June 16, 2011
Going into the backlog this time, and found a sketch form a silly game my friend and I were thinking of putting together. Essentially it would have been a dating simulation, where your conversation skills would either let you land a girl in bed or not. So yeah, it was a hentai game.
June 9, 2011
This post comes as a bit of a surprise to me. I was going to put up an entirely different image until it came to my attention that a game I’d been working on a year ago has finally been released on Xbox Live. Actually, “game” might be a misnomer, since it’s more a music/beat sampling software similar to flstudio compressed into a console experience. My role in the game was to design the UI, and you can see above some of the design ideas we were discussing.
We liked the first design sample best so we extrapolated on that and the UI you see here is pretty much what made it into the game, with some minor changes and tweaks. I’m curious as to why it took so long to come out, though my gut tells me it has something to do with Microsoft Certification. You can check out some gameplay videos here and here to get a better idea of what the game’s like; the former was released by the creator of the game and the latter by a music producer doing a review of the game. Anyway it’s pretty cool, so if you’re musically inclined (or not!) and have 80 Microsoft points to spend, why not give it a shot?
June 2, 2011
I’ve been wanting to draw something as a thank you to all of the good folks that bought Spacechem. Though Spacechem’s story isn’t one of the main attractions for people that bought the game, it’s definitely one of the things that drew me to the project. This scene depicts one of the last boss confrontations (the one right before the final level, I forget the name of the boss exactly). One of the ideas behind the bosses in Spacechem is that each boss grows progressively more intelligent and “human”. I wanted to blatantly accentuate that intelligence by making him a huge brain with an eyeball stuck into it. With tentacle feet. OK so my character creation skills could use some work.
May 20, 2011
In a rare burst of creative energy I went ahead and colored yesterday’s Isaac Clarke drawing to give it the love it deserves. Used a bunch of textures/filters and good old paintovers to pretty it up, but I think it was well worth the extra hour put into it.
May 20, 2011
I’ve been wanting to use my pen brush for some drawings, and since I’ve been playing Dead Space (the original one, cause I’m cheap like that) and I really love the design of Isaac Clarke’s R.I.G. I thought I’d draw that. Aside from the anatomical issues and the pose looking a little stiff I quite liked this drawing. I love the flow of drawing with a brush pen, and the subtlechanges in line width. It just makes the work feel so much more natural. Below you can see some of the first few sketches I made, to familiarize myself with drawing the unique helmet and R.I.G.