Category Archives: motivational

Stress sketches.

stainandhawk
I’ve always sketched on my notebooks. Ever since I can remember. It actually helped me, when I was on classes, to remember what they gave in class even if I didn’t take any notes.

When at work however It takes an interesting form. I start gradually taking shots at the paper sometimes one line at a time or one detail at a time. Eventually some of the “random” shapes start taking interesting aspects.

It occurred to me some time ago to actually keep all the notebooks from my previous works in case I came upon some creative block so that I could channel or re-visit the creativity encased in those “random” sketches.

As a result I have amassed several notebooks with tons of sketches and doodles trapped between the notes and textual content of whatever I was doing that day.

Some of the sketches got pretty creative. I have one doodle that was stained by coffee and I decided to finish the job and color the drawing with the coffee and do some line work on it. Note most of these drawings are not measured or planned works of art. Just some overworked randomness.

Here are some of the sketches I managed to “rescue” for future consideration:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After writing part of this article I actually checked some online articles with similar theme:

There are many other articles dealing with this trough the internet just search for art therapy or stress and art and/or drawing.

It is my personal belief that sketching inside and around your notes will help relieve stress and in my case it has the added benefit of helping me remember the actual notes I took… I’m guessing it has to do with memory somewhere too so try and apply it to your work and see what you can gain from it. You may be surprised of the end results either way.

Advertisements

Experiences on game making

Here are some of my character design sketches while working on the concept. I later took the best ones and made a clean version on illustrator.

Here are some of my character design sketches while working on the concept for FFB. I later took the best ones and made a clean version on illustrator.

 

I have always been an avid video game enthusiast. When I was little I used to play video games and my first programming experience was with an old Tandy TRS 80 model computer… in BASIC(no, not visual Basic the original Basic BASIC). I was really into it too. I had loads of papers with my designs. I still keep some of the raw concepts and sketches.

I went to art school and in the meantime I purchased Klik & Play (from MAXIS which had some evolutions since ’94) one of the first event oriented game programming engines I’ve been exposed to. It was exciting to see my creations move and walk and fight with little coding and lots of animating. I made fighting games, mega man style games, castlevania style games and plenty others but never one fully finished. I did keep all the sketches for later though.

As soon as I graduated I went to programming courses in the local college… however at the time they were more focused on accounting than gaming so I took all I could learn and went somewhere else to focus more on art and mix as much I could with computers.

It wasn’t until recently with the help of Construct 2 and loads of patience, forum diving, and luck that I’ve been able to fully publish a game. Getting players to log in and leaderboards to work was a pain for me. As soon as that was working I considered it a great victory. What I didn’t get into my variables however was the concept of making ads work in the app, and to me the actual interface and concept of making ads work is very much alien. It took me days to make the ads work and I still don’t fully understand them. This leaves me with some homework for next apps and games to come.

However this list may help someone else achieve their goals and they will serve as a reminder for me to follow on the next games I make.

  • Start small: Get the main idea on paper and focus on how it’s going to work.
  • Shut people up but do listen: Ok maybe not in the violent sense more like in the sense of keeping the purity of the concept. Many people will have many ideas and will feel they have to share them with you to “help you”. Good intentions pave the road to hell. Keep them in mind but try to keep the main concept clear and specific. Otherwise you’ll change the game more times than needed before you realize.
  • Write things down: Keep a record of what you are doing. A sketch, a doodle, a note… do try to keep them in writing and make a log or even an excel file with all the changes, fixes, modifications, updates, goals and victories so you remember.
  • Keep track of time: Important! Keep in your log hoe much time it took you to complete one given task so that when you have to do something similar again you have an idea of how long it will take. This also helps you keep track of “costs” in term of man hours spent and effort. Trust me in the end it will be worth knowing how much actual effort you put into things.
  • Do forum dive: If it wasn’t for the gamer/developer/forum communities most of us wouldn’t get to our goals. Sometimes other people have insight and solutions to problems you will probably not think of on your own. Do go, socialize and forum dive. Some people will have the golden cog that will make the machinery of your game work better than you thought.
  • Get information about that part you didn’t know you needed: Sometimes as developers we overlook certain details that have to be in your game/app to work.  It may be communication with “app store of your choice”, ad monetization, marketing and promotions, a fan base, the ability to make a plush toy out of your main character or some other gimmick, you have to take into account all you can and be ready to invest time/money in the tools, technologies or services you need.
  • Looks are NOT as important as mechanics: It may look awesome but if it doesn’t work it’s worth nothing to players/users. Make sure you get the mechanics working all the time. Looks can always be improved in the long run.
  • Work on fanbase before release!!! I was to keep the game hush hush before release which immensely lowers the impact on release. I know that from previous experiences but its good to keep it in mind. It helps keep people excited, it drives downloads and helps promote it beforehand. Facebook people … go get it!!!

Anyhow. Just a few thoughts. Try an d keep producing and making and creating stuff and don’t forget to have fun in the process. If it isn’t  fun it’s more work than it should be.


The stone outside the river. 2009

Back in 2009 I wrote this motivational article. I currently don’t remember where or If I posted it so I’m re-posting it here for safekeeping. I hope it still helps someone out there 🙂

Stone outside the river
The Stone Outside the River: 2009 JCP (motivational / philosophical – category)

A stone that is left out of the river’s embrace will become chipped and rough once again for the winds and the elements hit it with such power that not even its hardness compares. Eventually after becoming rough and chipped it starts breaking and eventually turns to what can be described as sand and the wind carries it with it and spreads it out no longer a rock… no longer whole. If the rock is tossed back into the river or by chance falls in again, after some time it may become smooth again however it will be diminished and smaller compared to its previous state however it will stay whole and complete for longer. Though eventually it will turn to sand as well. 

This applies to every being, creature, beast, element animal or mineral. When taken out of it’s “habitat” or when exposed to greater amounts of pressure, tension or any other harmful environment they will turn rough, chip and eventually break.

It is highly recommended to return to ones roots, to the cleaner, more peacefully surroundings or to change to a more healthy one on a regular basis to in turn elongate the duration of the smooth and fluent being that shines its best and brightest when not diffused by harmful situations.

This is highly applied to many aspects of men’s life, especially experienced in the workplace and sometimes in other personal aspects of life. 

A man who becomes displeased, tense, angered or disappointed will turn to dust in a sense. As a basis man’s main genetic disposition is for hunter/provider usually working with a team to achieve a common goal. When the goal is not particularly clear or when the game is low the dispositions will change and the goal will not be met. Most hunters who fail to hunt or gather enough food risk not only their own lives but those of their family and even the whole community in the process. 

Eventually man came to realize he needed careful planning, and to keep moving to other more plentiful zones where more game was available. A change in surroundings brought with it new challenges to keep them motivated and new benefits to keep them at ease, more food to keep them well fed and strong and the promise of better more fruitful days.
This type of change affected man not only physically but psychologically, emotionally and even in some cases spiritually.

This is a skill that must be kept even in today’s civilization for society itself depends on constant change to renew itself or it will collapse and crumbles.

So go back into your river, your place of zen or move to a new one so that you may be refreshed and restored for longer better days ahead.


To the future we look…

The interesting thing about the future is that it is not yet here, it is not certain, and it is not written. However we can predict tendencies and probabilities. There’s a high probability now days that education as we know it has to change or die. Today’s education system does not work… Einstein knew this, we know this and you know this. In fact the education system itself knows this although they will deny it for as long as they have to.

What can anyone do? In most cases nothing, however in very special cases… one can work in pro of a future where quality education is provided, where dynamic and interactive education is available anywhere. Working in pro of a future where the digital, the printed, the virtual and the physical are available and entwined in ways we have not yet seen. This is part of the goals we will be working towards. Together educators, designers, programmers, artists and public can shape the system to a point where our kids can develop their skills and sharpen their minds to accomplish whatever goals they so desire.