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Practice makes perfect

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Trapper Zoid

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Although I have my game concept, my 4E5 project will still remain in the "preplanning" phase until I head back home. While it seems most participants have already jumped right in with the coding (or at lesat the ones I see on the forums), first I like to get a good vision of what the game should be like before I even start officially "planning". This lets the optimistic part of my subconsious bubble away on all the weird and wonderful things that I want to put in there, while the rest of my mind can worry about what will go wrong!

One of the prime focuses for the project will be the art. I've been coasting with my cartooning skills by just pencilling doodles for ages, so forcing myself to make a moderately art intensive game will give me the practice I need to improve. However, since I'm still pretty unskilled at art I'm unsure exactly how long this will take. This is a problem when you have to plan to a fixed deadline!

At the moment it takes me several hours to complete even a single character pose (or roughly two to three World Cup matches [grin]). This is partly due to unfamiliarity with what Inkscape can do, partly due to unpolished art skills. Thus I really need to practice those skills over the next month to get a good idea of exactly how much art I can put into this game. I suspect once I've decided on the basics of what characters will look like and build up a portfolio of character poses it will be much simpler to construct new images - I could just frankenstein (heh!) various body parts in different poses and stitch them up for a new image.

On that note, here's another piece of practice art:

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I know I'm probably a bit pessimistic about my art, but there's just so much more I need to learn. At least I'm at the stage where it's much more like fun than frustration. I just wish I was faster at it, but I guess will come with experience.

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