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Canadianarama + Sundry

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Canadianarama


I finally got permanent residency in Canada yesterday, woo! That's a load of stress off my back, though there's still much paperwork to wade through.

Builds character ya'know.

Freelancin'


I finally made post in Help Wanted offering my artistic services, but response has been, ah, underwhelming. I've been most successful contacting people explicitly asking for help, so far. So it goes!

(I am concocting excuses to bump my post, of course, so fear not for me.)

Isostrat 6


God help me, the strategielust is rising in me again. I'm just going to declare all my projects as active and work on them as I feel fit, because there will always be a place in my heart where a strategy game, a space game, and a sim game are simmering. Ha, simmering! Ahem.

What's got me excited again is square hexes aka squexes from ID Merlin of the Aragon Online project, which uses them. I mean, I've always recognized the elegance of hexes in that the centerpoint of adjacent hexes are equidistant from the origin hex, but I've disliked their awkward shape. The solution? Make them square! It's simply a matter of offsetting rows, like so:



Adjacency is much cleaner than on a square grid, and there are only 6 neighbors per hex intead of 8. I think I'm in love.

And now that I think of it, I've also been playing Medieval Total War 2 lately. I mean, it's kinda fun just enough to keep me playing, but it's so disappointing, ultimately, because it lacks strategic depth, the AI is braindead, and so it's just easy or tedious. (Plus it has no historical accuracy at all, heh!) My problem is that I love the game that MTW2 could be, and it's what I want to imagine I'm playing. But then I get frustrated and to thinking about how I'd make a political/economic strategy game, then I get back to Isostrat ... and here I am again.

So here I go again, this time in Pyglet, older and wiser.

Arcology


Laura's been working too hard so little progress on this. After being stuck in thinking about the graphics in terms of Simtower, I figured that it'd be fun to do the graphics sorta-isometric, like the lower right side of this image:



Just stack lots of little isometric boxes up and it'd look pretty good.

Free Graphics


Here're the skiffy-tiles at present:



I made a page with some extra Isostrat5 and Oort graphics, but I didn't like the layout much, and the content is a bit sparse so I'll put off posting it publicly for a bit.

Digital Painting





I have a difficult time drawing or appreciating "cool badass shit", if you'll pardon the colloquialisms. Like today someone posted some concept art of their project with some anime-esque cyber-knight with powered armor covered with skulls and long hair down to his knees which completely covered his face -- I mean, I understand that this is appealing on some level, but it's just too ridiculous for me to take seriously. Same for all the boob revealing fantasy armor and 5-ton shoulder pads. You know what I mean.

Has my innocence been stolen by a fine art education? I simply can't enjoy big guns, skulls, and badassness anymore without some sense of irony. It's just far, far too silly. But perhaps this is just an extension of the aesthetic of pragmatism which I've always held to some degree. What good does this do if I'm trying to do art for what is arguably an industry oriented largely toward adolescent male power fantasy?

Now there go all my clients, heh!

Why Art Contests Are Bad For Artists


I don't mean this as an attack on anyone in particular, and I'm sure that their motives are pure and in the interest of Good Fun and that they haven't thought of this criticism that I'm posing; but!-- as an artist I've become skeptical of the effect of art contests.

Think of it this way: The contest holder gets to choose from a number of entrants. Only one artist can win. Basically, the contest holder gets a bunch of artists to do work for them for free and they only have to pay the winner: Lots of artists get screwed. Contrast this to paying an artist to do the work: The artist gets paid and client and artist go through the process of creating a final product and no one gets outright screwed. Of course "it's their fault if they enter", and it's the desperate and/or amateur that do enter.

So maybe the risk is worth it for artists who aren't established (like me? -- crap! ).

[Like how I posed then undermined my own argument? That's a little dialectic for ya.]
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Hey. Just wanted to say I agree with you about the bad-assery. Stuff like the artwork for the games workshop games look "extreme" and all, but once you pass puberty it all starts getting a bit silly. Maybe I'm just in the wrong demographic [grin].

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Agreed! I'd even go as far as saying that the knight in that pic you posted is way more badass than those with knee-pads made out of kitchen utilities.

On a serious note, I'll explain my view - yeah, it's got a cool armor, one that looks top-notch, but his stance is that of someone who is afraid of his enemies, as opposed to the general attitude that other drawings try to convey. It looks like he could actually get hurt :)

'Bout the tiles, what ever happened to the little astronaut? :D The static image is awesome, did you manage to animate it as you wanted? For reference, I imagine his walking much less "bouncy", mostly just rotating his torso - like the guy in Blackthorne (old DOS game).

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LachlanL:

Is it just getting older, then? Hah!
Well, I for one look forward to being an old man because everyone will have to be polite and accept my bitter rantings about why everything the kids like these days is stupid.

Jotaf:

Your comment prompted a lot of though from me, and you're right -- I've been drawing 'warriors' as if they were reluctant or scared because I imagine that's what someone would be like in such a situation; Like the classic description of war, they'd either be bored to death or terrified for their life. I know I would be! But such an attitude that doesn't make an interesting game, does it. Or could it? How about a combat game that has the goal of shirking your duties and not getting killed? It might better resemble real life ;)

This also brings to mind how pervasively very particular attitudes are displayed in game art, eg. dominant masculine stances denoting 'powerful' or 'badass', and this not just in the content portrayed in the picture, but in the composition and pose as well. (And it begs the question of what 'badass' means! Plus I could make a connection to the whole Chuck Norris meme, to American westerns and the ethos of "muscular individualism", etc etc.)

I've almost got to write an essay on this accompanying a survey of game art. Gah, I've been made hopelessly academic.


Regarding the spacesuit figure: Yeah, I didn't update that this time. I'll get back on putting together animations for it, considering such popular demand.

I just watched a video of Blackthorne on Youtube; Very cool animation in that game, reminds me of Prince of Persia, and great pixel art. Thanks for bringing it up.

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