New avatar

I felt it was time to update my corporate branding. My current avatar doesn’t really do justice to my hair situation anymore!

The base for the first avatar came from a daily comic I drew in 2010. I then used it to advertise my font, and soon it became my business card and website header when I went freelance. I updated it once in 2014 to add the beard. Since then I never really looked at it again. I did draw a new version of myself in my daily comics from 2015, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I felt the need to update my official avatar too.

A tradition that has snuck into these avatars is that each new version has the shirt I most like to wear at that time. This year was a bit of a challenge because it’s not as colorful as previous years, but I think the greyish-blue does contrast nicely with the orange.

avatars

2018 focus points

In 2017 I stopped meticulously blogging about all the things I do because I simply do not do all that much next to my day job anymore. But for 2018 I’m gonna start again, it’s too easy to lose a year just sort of pushing projects forwards while not really achieving anything.

But this time I’m not setting goals; I’m defining focuses for each month. This is an idea I picked up from Design Life. It’s another way of saying “do this and nothing else for this period of time”. I’ll be picking from this list during the year to set a monthly focus.

  • Draw more Off-stage
  • Update portfolio
  • Improve drawing skill for poses and expressions
  • Learn to draw with my left hand
  • Release a new game
  • And a bonus objective: do something incredible every month.

January has already been dedicated to Off-Stage, and lo and behold, new comic pages have started to appear online! So it’s working.

Media log 2017

Continuing the tradition, here’s my media log of 2017. This year I’m highlighting a few noteworthy entries.

The Kanye West discography

kanye

I started listening to Dissect, a podcast about musical analysis. It examined what might be my favorite album of all time, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I already loved it for its artistry when it came out in 2010, but diving in this deep and exploring all the artistic nooks and crannies made me appreciate it even more. The way it tells a complex story and references mythology is very inspiring.

It may sound strange to people that know me, but a part of me identifies very strongly with Kanye. And listening to all his albums in sequence really filled up my artistic tank again, made me look differently at the work I do.

Prey + Spirits of Xanadu

prey

I love a good immersive sim. The year started off right with Deus Ex Mankind Divided, I played some Dishonored 2, but Prey really impressed me. It’s a classic formula, but it has just the right mix of setting, art style, gameplay, and level design to make me want to spend hours in that world. It cemented for me the idea that this might be my new favorite genre, and that I want to try and tackle making a game like this, however impossible that may seem.

Then I played Spirits of Xanadu, by the people currently working on the System Shock remake (it’s all connected, eh). It’s basically Prey, but at such a low fidelity that it could have been made by one person in a reasonable amount of time. It was then that I knew I had to attempt this too.

Blade Runner 2049

blade

I saw this one twice in a week’s time. The visuals are amazing (those colors!), but especially the thought that went into each part of this world, from the architecture to the functional UI for an AI companion, I just can’t handle it.

It’s okay to quit

birds

This one’s not specifically about one entry, but a more general feeling that I’ve developed this year: it’s okay to quit. We live in a time where we have access to such an embarrassment of riches, media-wise, that instead of looking for quality we now have to look for time. I would play all the games that look interesting and clear out my Netflix and IMDb queue if I could, but there is simply not enough time.

So instead of tightly maintaining my ever-growing backlog (which ironically is what generates the data for these posts), I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to not experience everything. I’m sure the new Marvel movies are good, I can live without them. These games that I played for two hours and enjoyed but have to push myself to finish, I can live without them. There is so much out there now that is good, I’m concentrating on finding the things that are great (such as those mentioned above). Focusing on one thing deeply instead of consuming three things at the same time and not really absorbing any of them. I think this will also give me more peace of mind.

I think for next year I might then transform my media log into an experience log that also includes trips, events, and other things that I find enriching.

See this year’s full list after the break:

Continue reading “Media log 2017”

The House On Holland Hill v2

A year ago, I released The House On Holland Hill, a short narrative game built during Wizard Jam 4. In keeping with tradition, I’m now releasing version 2 of this game, on the eve of Wizard Jam 6.

 

THOHH was never meant to become a highly-polished game, but I found myself still thinking about it after I released it. So a few weeks ago I decided to work on a few upgrades to make it feel less like a prototype.

Here’s what’s new:

Continue reading “The House On Holland Hill v2”