Firewatch Dutch translation

TL;DR: Download link.

As a little passion project I’ve been translating the game Firewatch into dutch in the off hours of the past two months or so. It was a bit more work than I anticipated but I had a good motivator: my girlfriend. I wanted to play the game with her but I knew she wouldn’t fully understand it if it was in english. Plus I like translating things, and this would be a good addition to my ‘portfolio’.

I had previously translated Gone Home, but Firewatch was a whopping 6827 strings, topping out at 53220 words. Transifex made it very easy with an excellent online editor though. Part of it had already been translated by other people but, nothing against them, it lacked a consistent tone, and some bits were just translated incorrectly. So I went through and reviewed everything, tested it in a full playthrough last week, and I’m ready to release it out into the wild now. There might still be some small errors or typos, so if you find those: let me know. And otherwise: enjoy!


Idle hands

I want to practice more and do more anatomy and gesture drawings, but this one here was a quick exercise in hands. Particularly the perspective when facing the palm with the fingers bending in is hard to do.


My workflow – exporting multiple images

I thought it might be fun to share some tips and insights about my workflow on here, so here is the first post about that.

I’ve been working with Photoshop for years and years, and I’ve picked up some cool tricks along the way. But Photoshop itself keeps changing too, so today’s tip is cutting-edge, using the latest features in CC 2015.1 to export images in multiple sizes with one click. This uses two great new features, namely Artboards and The Generator.

Artboards are old news for users of Illustrator, but in Photoshop they can really enhance your workflow too. I wasn’t a big fan at first, but using it in conjunction with the Generator makes a strong case in their favor.

The Generator is probably a feature not many people know about. Exporting multiple layers in the past was mostly the domain of Export > Layers To Files, or using Slices in Save For Web, but The Generator is the next evolution; all you have to do is turn on Image Assets under File > Generate, then append .png to the names of the layers you want to export, and when you save your PSD, it automatically crops and exports these layers.

I found this extremely useful for exporting character limbs for game development, but it has its uses in webdevelopment also. I’ll show you how I use it at my job to export different sizes of the same illustration:


The source file is very high resolution, obviously, and when it’s done, I have to export into two 1200×628 pngs – one with a text banner for Facebook, and one clean one for the blogpost itself – plus a cropped 700×628 version for Pinterest and Instagram.

Resizing and cropping manually is a small pain, but a pain nonetheless, especially when you have to go back and change something later.

So, what I do is make an artboard at the size of the original illustration and convert all the layers in it to a smart object. Then I make three extra artboards at the size I want the exported images to be, copy the smart object into them, and add .png to the artboard names. This way, whenever I make a change in the original illustration, the change is propagated to all the other art boards, and when I hit Ctrl+S it automatically saves them out to separate pngs, ready to go onto the site (well, after they go through ImageOptim).

Using this setup as a template whenever I start a new illustration saves me a bunch of time otherwise spent exporting images by hand. Hopefully this is useful to some of you too.

Week 109: Burn down the chart

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Last week we were hard at work on the Vrije Vogels beta at Hubbub. The task management software we use offers a useful ‘burndown’ chart, and we were indeed burning down tasks hard, the angle on the chart was pretty steep.


I stopped by the studio on wednesday to check a few things on the iPad build and finish up most of my open tasks.

Inbetween I upgraded the Adventure Creator plugin to its latest version in all my personal projects. Every new release brings some great features, it got me wanting to work on all these projects at once! I’d better continue working on Orlova first.

On friday I went to Nijmegen to talk with Embodied Games again. The first assignment packet was ready so we talked about that, and I got to know some of the other folks in the department over lunch.

Over the weekend the girlfriend and I planned a vacation in two weeks for some hard-earned R&R.

Next week: finishing up this Vrije Vogels sprint, and my first assignment for Embodied Games.

Week 107 & 108 – Ramp-up

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

In week 107 I worked on a prototype for Geometry Girl, the reading app that Niels ‘t Hooft is developing. I built in Marvel, which is a great way to mock up an iOS app. Especially having it right on your phone is great to quickly try things out. It wasn’t easy to put all our ideas into their framework, but it should be enough for the programmers to get started on the real thing.

Once that was done, the new sprint for Hubbub’s museum game (now titled Vrije Vogels) was on the doorstep last week. It was good to see the Hubbub guys again, the last sprint had been a while ago now.

During that week I also went to Nijmegen to talk with a group inside the Radboud University calling themselves Embodied Games. They’re working on gesture-based games to help kids and youngsters learn a variety of skills. And they were looking for a freelance artist and designer! So I went there for an interview, and it looks like we’ll be working together soon. It kinda came out of nowhere, but I’m excited to start working with these people, they have a lot of energy.

Next week: going hard on the Vrije Vogels to-do list.