Week 113 – Snap back to reality

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 I returned from vacation to find a bunch of things I had to do had accumulated. Eventually I spent most of my time on the final sprint for the Vrije Vogels game, culminating in me going to the Hubbub office at 5 pm on a friday to work out the last few bugs before the deadline. It was fun though, having everyone in the (virtual) office and punching out the last few things, improving things for a few hours and seeing it all come together. Especially marking off everything on the todo list was a satisfying way to start the weekend.

Inbetween I did some logo sketches for a client in the UK I had worked with previously, and I added a few things to the lighthouse keeper game, with the intent of showing it off at friday night’s PlayDev meetup. Eventually┬áI couldn’t attend due to the aforementioned crunchtime, but working on it was nice, it’s been on the backburner for too long.

Over the weekend I finally finished The Witcher 3 with over 100 hours on the clock, and immediately moved on to MGS V, which I expect will eat my free time in a similar amount.

Next week: more interviews and working at the university.

Week 105 & 106 – Downtime, wireframing and job prospecting

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.

Week 105 was mostly used to decompress after my adventure in De Torenkamer (see the week 104 blog). I caught up on sleep, saw my family, wrote some words, updated my portfolio and then re-aquainted myself with The Witcher 3.

On thursday I met up with Niels ‘t Hooft and Saskia Freeke to discuss the next steps in Niels’ Geometry Girl / Hybrid Writer’s Toolkit project. The day after that I did something completely different and went into an abandoned hospital with some street art friends. I’m glad I went along; you see this kind of thing a lot in games and other stories, but to do it yourself is an exciting experience.

Last week was more of the same. On Monday Niels stopped by to catch up and talk through the Geometry Girl wireframes. During the week I made a prototype with the Marvel app, and built the same thing in Invision to compare (Marvel still came out on top for me even though Invision has a bunch more cool features). It’s a great way to get a feel for your (app) design on the target device really quickly.

I also started slowly looking around for a new job, something with more hours as my current side job, and where I’m actually doing something with my creative skills and mental capacity. So if you or someone you know could use a great 2D artist/animator/designer/writer/developer, I’m over here.

Wittcher 3 fanart

Just submitted this piece to the Witcher 3 fanart competition. Had fun making this one.

Week 96 – lights, camera, UX

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.

On tuesday we started the third Home Rule sprint at the Hubbub studio. New addition this sprint is Niels ‘t Hooft, who is taking care of the story content. On friday we had another meeting to discuss our progress. Alper and I mostly worked on designing new features this week and setting everything up so we can get going once the full storyline is ready this week.

Inbetween I worked on Reconquista some more, getting it ready for release. I added some extra props to the level, optimized the performance a bit and experimented with gamma color space vs linear color space + tone mapping, and I’m still not sure I understand it exactly but the colors look much better now at least.

RQ04

I also spent an inordinate amount of time researching a new laptop powerful enough to play The Witcher 3 on, which comes out this week. Not since my days as a young gamer with a desktop PC had I compared graphics cards so thoroughly, or thought about clock speeds, teraflops and heatsinks. It was awful, but I found a good one that I might buy sometime soon.

I closed the week out by celebrating my birthday in Amsterdam at a small festival. Seeing how happy and kind everyone there was, and the artists having fun, and supporting each other from the crowd, it felt like such a far cry from the worries and the vitriol in the games industry lately. It definitely lifted my spirits, and I hope we can all be a little more like those people.