Week 65

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.

Another week of battling the flu, though by the end of the week I conquered it and got back to work.

On wednesday I dragged myself out the door to have lunch with Richard Ram about him possibly doing the audio for Black Feather Forest. Richard is a cool guy and I think we were on the same page regarding what the soundtrack should be, and we were even wearing the same shirt, so clearly he is a man of taste. So I think we could work together well when the time comes to get started on the audio, somewhere around the end of the year. Richard is currently still working on the audio for Penarium, made by my friends over at Self Made Miracle.

Safely back in my quarantine zone I got to work on the proposal for the possible investor. Luckily I had a design document ready that I only needed to strip some irrelevant parts out of, and I had a solid demo, so all I needed was one bugfix and a rough estimation of the budget. I think I kept it pretty reasonable, so we’ll see how it goes once they get back to me.

Once I felt good enough to do some real work again I drew a few cartoons for dutch news site Fresh. They had an open call for illustrators and they liked my work so from now on I’ll be drawing some news-related spot illustration for them every week. You can check that out here (if you’re dutch).

I also tinkered with different materials for my sprites in BlaFF following a suggestion on the Adventure Creator forum. It allows me to tint my characters, which will be useful in later scenes where it’s dark or where there are hard shadows that the characters travel through. The effect is subtle but I like it. I might hit up SpriteLamp at a later stage to really make the lighting dynamic.

spriteshading

I’ve taken to the abbreviation BlaFF now, as BFF reminded me too much of, well, the term BFF, and having the ‘la’ in there makes it sound more like the full title – but maybe like you were slurring it ha. What do you think?

Inbetween I also made good progress in Alien Isolation, and I checked out A Golden Wake by Grundislav Games, a cool retro adventure game that pushes my 1920’s-loving button pretty hard.

Next week: plotting out the plot, one scene at a time, in Twine.

Week 17

This is a weekly recap of the goings-on in my professional life – to keep track of what I’m doing and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independant creative.

Monday went by as the classic blogging + Off-stage day. Took a trip downtown when I got stuck on drawing to get some fresh air and restore focus. Tuesday and wednesday I spent at the Game Oven office working on sexy visuals again.

Gilles van Leeuwen filming some dev diary action

By the end of tuesday my erratic sleeping schedule caught up with me and I basically fell into bed at 9 PM. Finding some sort of rhythm or schedule as an independant is so important because sometimes a bad sleep can sap all the energy I need to be creative in favor of just keeping this meaty husk up and running. It’s a struggle but I have an alarm set at the same time each day.

On thursday I did some sketches and interface design for a small webgame I’m collaborating on. I like these short projects where I can focus intensely on making art assets over a short period without too much back-and-forth and get a nice paycheck out of it at the end. If I reliably have two such projects each month I will be a happy camper.

On friday I was back at Game Oven again, and in the evening I was invited to a violin recital at the Utrecht conservatory. It’s not the sort of music I ever end up seeing live so that was a fun experience. It made me think a lot about what kinds of things I like about the music I generally listen to and how it fits in with my creative preferences.

Over the weekend I followed Sean’s advice and just ’embraced everything I love, idiot.’ I hadn’t played an actual goddamn videogame in weeks and I almost forgot how good that stuff can be. Found some new music. Read comics. Went to the cinema. Walked around Amsterdam. Planned a trip. The good stuff.

It is done

After months of pondering, rewrites and hard work I’ve finally wrapped up my submission for Side B, a musical anthology! This eight-page story gives readers an insight into how the music of Alison Sudol -aka A Fine Frenzy– has influenced my life.

You might remember I posted the first page a while ago. Well, that version was axed completely.

There was just no flow in the story, so I rewrote it with a little help from the Art & Story crew, and what came out ended up a lot more personal than I thought I’d be comfortable with. But I think it’s a solid tale now, one that needed to be told.

A few samples:




Side B, a musical anthology is scheduled to be in bookstores across the US roughly around spring 2009. I’ll keep you guys posted.