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About MichaelKocha

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    3D Artist
    Environment Artist
    Game Designer
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  1. Hey there.  3D artist here.  I'm interested to hear more about the projects you're hiring for to see if they'd fit my taste/talent.
  2. RT @CuriosCommunity: We're giving away a Razer Kraken Headset to all reigons! ->https://t.co/vsnfnA5Tzd
  3. MichaelKocha

    Struggles of the Antisocial Game Developer

    Hey thanks for all the replies. Yeah, I'm no longer antisocial now that I'm older, but i can't help but feel that most game developers, especially indie devs are. I also realize how awkward and pathetic a friend wanted ad is, which its why i was trying to look more for advice or suggestions on how to meet more people who share the common interest of game dev. Also, I have plenty of friends outside of games. I belong to a climbing gym so i meet people there constantly. Is it really that much to ask to want friends who are passionate about the same things your are? I'm also not looking for a team of friends to build an epic game with. I really just want friends to learn, do game jams, and essentially grow as game developers with. Joining a project is a great idea though. Or just recruiting for an upcoming game jam. I guess I always assumed I should only recruit for big projects. Thanks, everyone.
  4. So I've decided I want to teach #indiedev / #gamedev to the aspiring, yet clueless. So check this out if that's you. https://t.co/CafBZ0QYqn
  5. So right out of high school I picked up RPG Maker (back in 2006) and started up a ridiculously over-ambitious MMO project with it.  I recruited on the RMVX forums and met a ton of people who wanted to help.  3 of which ended up being my best friends basically to this day.   The problem here is that I've continued to pursue game development and making indie games (and actually nearly finished with school for a 3d game art degree) and my friends have all kind of lost their way.  They're all "interested" in game development still, but don't seem to have the drive that I do and when I propose we start up a project or do a game jam I get excuses or 4 hours of re-teaching them the game engine or how to do some simple game art.     The worst part is that at one point the biggest draw for game development was because I was very antisocial in high school and liked creating my own worlds to escape into.  But now that I'm 27 and a stay-at-home dad as well as a full-time student, I don't have much of a social life.  And my only free time seems to be between 10pm and 4am...  But I'm craving that team setting now that I've had a taste of it with game jams in the past and kind of know what I'm doing now when it comes to game development.     So how does one find more lasting friends who are serious about at least indie game development?  I feel like I post a "friend wanted" ad once a year and never find anyone interested.  Not sure how I snagged such good friends back in 2006, but today, even with the massive increase in indie developers, I can't find anyone who actually wants to chat about game dev or work on small projects or game jams together.   Any advice?  Or friend requests?   I should probably get a therapist.
  6. MichaelKocha

    Starting a Game Jam

    Hey!     So I'm always looking for game jams to participate in.  I'm just outside of Phoenix Arizona, but I'm a stay at home dad and a full time online student, so I have no time to attend an "IRL" game jam.     If you're looking to set up an online jam, you can go to Game Jolt and submit a new game jam.  Or you can find one on that list to participate in.   I only have 2 friends who have ever been interested in game development and over the years they've really lost their motivation (and I've kind of left them in the dust as far as skill goes) so whenever I do propose a game jam it ends up being me teaching them the basics of the engine (over and over again) or pixel art the whole time and we never finish.  So making a lot of friends, online and off, really helps so you can easily set up teams or meetups to jam.   And that leads me to offering you my facebook and Hangout info so you can add me and invite me to your game jam events in the future!  Ha ha.  So yeah, add me on FB or Google Hangouts (Michael Kocha) and let's be friends!
  7. MichaelKocha

    Game Design Education?

    Hey Skye.  It seems like you got your answers, but I wanted to add my 2 cents just in case I could help.   There's a few things I tell everyone about game dev and going to school for it.     1.  Don't go to school for game "design" until you're either working professionally int he industry or you've already got a degree somewhere in game development and want to learn more.   2.  Before contacting any schools learn as much as you possibly can all by yourself.  Learn to make games with an engine like Stencyl.  Design them, do the art for them, do the "programming" (Stencyl doesn't require you to know code to create games.  Just logic).  Once you've literally learned everything you think you can doing it on your own with Google and YouTube, then start looking into school for the field that interests you the most.  Either art or programming.   You already got an earful about why game design is a bad career decision right out of the game.  The short and sweet of it is that everyone wants to eat the bread but no one wants to put in the elbow grease to bake it.  So learn all the roles before you try to manage them.   As far as schools, for-profit schools are almost always frowned upon, but the hard truth is that if you really want a focused degree on games you might end up at one of these institutes.  In the end if a studio hires you based on the school you attended, you probably don't want to work for that studio.  You want to be hired based on your portfolio, which means that unless you get your degree from the alley behind Best Buy, you're going to have the chance to put in what you want out of your education and build your portfolio as you go with extra projects and not just your class assignments.     I started Full Sail University Online nearly 2 years ago now for game art.  I've never loved drawing and I'm still pretty bad with a pencil and paper, but 3D art and sculpting somehow just called to me.  I learned as much in Maya and Zbrush as I could before attending school and because of it I basically breezed through my first year with a 4.0.  I was doing a lot of extra work to push myself as I went, too.  Finally I'm to the point where I'm learning a lot of new things and I'm finally really being challenged.  To be honest the best thing about finally going to shcool for game art is that I'm able to ask questions to people who work and have worked in the industry.  There's a lot of unspoken rules in 3d art that never made sense to why I was following them until I could finally openly speak to a professional.  You can do this without paying $60k if you can manage to find a mentor somewhere, but I like the idea of having that shiny degree to at least get my foot in the door at a studio in the future.   Anyway.  If you're really interested in games and making them, start with Stencyl.  I just did a tutorial series (my first series, so it's not exactly professional) proving that with a little bit of knowledge in Stencyl you can make a game from scratch in 30 minutes or less. - Hope I can post this here.   Also I'm currently looking for more game dev friends for game jams (mine suck and always bail on me.) So feel free to add me on Google Hangouts or Facebook (Michael Kocha) and I'd love to teach you anything I can.   Good luck!  Welcome to the wonderful world of game development!
  8. 10/19/15 Update:   Just thought I'd post some progress on the game along with some future goals and plans to keep this topic updated.   Newly added features:  - Build menu complete  - Fences are now in-game  - Tents are now in-game  - Storage chests are now in-game.  - All build items can now be placed and rotated freely   Art updates:  - Began work on new desert flora  - Began work on new ground textures  - Began implementing new biome art  - Finished animations on Onych beast  - Adding recolors of beasts and travelers   News:  - Interviewed a candidate for Marketing and Media Manager (outcome pending)  - First official trailer for Tame will be ready for the public by November 1st  - Beginning work on the Steam Concept page  - Beginning work on Kickstarter campaign   Looking for closed alpha testers (No NDA) - Message us or leave a comment here if you're interested in testing the game before the public release.
  9. MichaelKocha

    Project Zeds - Asymmetric Zombie Mayhem

    Hey! Just checking out your project here.  It's looking really great so far.  The gameplay style is pretty innovative and I can totally see this being a big deal when it's finished.  I know you're in really early development still but I was just curious if you were doing your own art or if these were all placeholder models.  Is the game going to continue to be stylized as it is now and cartoony or are you planning on going more realistic with it?  I personally really enjoy the cartoony take and I think it's a better choice in this situation.   Everything looks great so far.  I can't wait to see more.  Keep us updated and I'll check back in when I can!
  10.     PROJECT CANCELED 2/16   Welcome to the world of Tame   Tame is a top-down open world survival and colony building game built in the Stencyl game engine for Windows.   It's still in fairly early development but we want to start getting feedback and possibly a fanbase before we release the game.     About the game:   The setting is primarily a vast desert in a sort of Arabic inspired fantasy world although eventually you'll be able to venture into massive caves, large forests and boneyards filled with all manners of terrible monsters, both dead and alive.   You play a nameless, faceless hero trying to firstly survive then to carve out your place in these harsh, unforgiving lands.  In order to do so you'll need help from the beasts and wandering travellers throughout the world.     The beasts: Tame wild beasts to use as mounts or to fight alongside you, or simply slaughter them for food.  Track beasts by following footprints through the desert, but be sure you know who's footprints you're tracking.  Many of the wild beasts are massive, ungodly creatures built for hunting prey far more capable than humans.  With the ability to tame even the most legendary of these creatures you can rule the desert as a beast-riding warlord or simply use the animals to haul goods and earn a living trading between randomly generated villages.   The nomads: Along your travels you'll not only encounter beasts of all sizes and temperaments but also other travelers.  Many of these people make their living trading between villages and would be willing to buy your resources in exchange for food or coin.  Aside from traders you'll also find small settlements with peaceful inhabitants whom you can recruit or hire to join you and your allies.  Or if you're feeling particularly merciless, rob them from their coin or enslave them to do your bidding.  With a fully interactive world you play any role imaginable by making real gameplay choices with every new encounter and pay the consequences as you go.   The factions: Along with peaceful traders and citizens within the towns you come across you're also bound to run into those who wish to take what you have, even if that's simply your life.  Entire factions exist within Tame.  Every character who exists in the world will be aligned somehow to a faction.  This means that with every play-through you'll encounter different groups of NPC's with different motives and moral alignments.  You may find yourself trading with a wealthy faction interested in helping those with coin or defending your allies from a band of cuthroat mercenaries who could use your settlement to expand their operations.  This also means smaller groups of bandits, raiders or highwaymen can be real threats to players just beginning their life in Tame.   The colony:  At the heart of Tame are the colony building features.  You'll use landmark flags to claim territories to call your own.  Within these territories you can use your gathered resources to build stables for your animals, homes for your colonists, barracks for your guards and even slave quarters for your slaves if you choose to cross that line.  Build your village, town or city as large as you want, spanning the entire desert if you can.  Hire settlers as guards or laborers to help protect and expand your reach.  Tame beasts to work for you, hauling resources or guarding your settlement, or order your guards to patrol the city mounted to give them the upper hand against threats.  The world is yours for the taking, however you wish to take it.   Images   Everything's so tiny!: Our vision for this game was based on many things, including the theme of "tiny worlds".  We chose to leave all our pixel art at a 1:1 scale to not only represent a large world around the player, but also to better portray massive scale beasts yet to be released.  We know the humanoid characters are small, but we have little to no customization planned for them which makes their details less important.  The beasts and settlements/colony are the main focal points in the game and once you've grown your presence to a good size, you'll be glad you can see so much screen.  Also keep in mind that the images here have been resized to fit the forum thread better.  The game is designed for fullscreen gameplay.   Pre-world generation screenshot:   Final build menu screenshot:   Current in-game beasts:   Notes: We, Everbrave Interactive want you to know that though many of these features are already in the game, it's continually evolving during the development process as any game does.  Any and all information here is always subject to change until the game is released, so please feel free to make suggestions and try not to get attached to any features (and we'll do our best as well).     Feedback:  Please feel free to leave feedback, suggestions, comments, ideas or any other form of constructive communication.  Any unnecessary negativity is frowned upon, but please don't hesitate to be blunt about your feedback, within reason.   We want our development process to be very transparent.  We plan to release this game to Steam and that means we need support and feedback to shape the game to a state that the players want, regardless of our original vision for it.     Testing:  If you're interested in testing the game during the development process, have more questions or want to help us market and advertise for the game for a revenue split, please feel free to contact us.  PM us here (Your best bet for an answer) or email our studio at pr@everbrave.net   Thank you for taking the time to look at our game.  We're very excited to bring our vision to life.  Help us do that by contributing your ideas and thoughts to the project.
  11. MichaelKocha

    Game Art Education Question

    Wow.  Let me first thank both of you for your superb replies.   I perhaps sounded a bit more skilled in my original post than I should have.  By "forever", I meant I've been making flash games with pixel and vector art for about 5 years. Before that I thought I was a game designer who didn't need to learn programming or art and used software like RPG Maker. Now I do a bit of digital painting with a graphics tablet and a small amount of traditional sketching when I'm not working on game art.  I'm definitely naturally talented when it comes to all art and design skills and that might be because of my passion in it, but my portfolio only shines in the graphic design department (10+ years in Photoshop creating banners, logos and typography).  I love simple pixel art, but I want to be more versatile.   Being a versatile artist is honestly my goal, so a more general education is great for me.  I want to work in more independent projects, as I really enjoy working directly with fans on smaller teams.  My studio is only a 2 man team; me and my programmer friend of several years.  We're both about the same level of talent, so it works out.  But we can't seem to make any money off of the dozens of little games we've released (nothing you've heard of.)  I want to learn 3D to up my game and get into bigger projects to turn game development into a career.   Working for a big studio would be amazing and I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to present a portfolio worthy of applying at one, but my goal isn't to be a famous game artist working on the next big franchise game.     In short, I think a game art school is specific enough for me to learn what I actually want to learn, yet generalized enough to be able to wear many hats in smaller teams.  I have access to much of the software packages I need to learn 3d, but I don't have the dedication to learn it outside of a formal setting.  It's taken me years to finally be happy about my skill in 2d art.   But again, thanks so much for the inspiring words.  I definitely couldn't get a job with my current portfolio, but I'm glad to know that I can go with a school that fits me and my budget and still make it in the world of games.  I'm one of those people who goes way out of the way to learn more about something that interests me.  The downside of that is that I find a lot of things interesting...
  12. RT @me_vladm: Check out the new Easy RPG Creator for Stencyl 3.0 by Siren Games! @MichaelKocha http://t.co/OVVg2HZ21t
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