Yesterday, being the Lord’s day, and therefore a day on which I do as I like, I made progress on my virtual pet. Said progress report can be found at the bottom of this post, but I’m quite enthused with it so far. Can’t wait ’til Wednesday to work on it again.
For my new readers, “Captain’s Log” posts are regular project update posts. They occur at four times: the first day I work on a new project, the day I finish the current leg of a project, and every Monday and Friday for the duration. On Monday, I call my shot for the week, and on Friday I analyze whether I made my shot and try to adjust my plans and expectations accordingly.
Krag Vargenstone marks the first time since I formed this blog that I couldn’t reasonably be described as the ‘captain’. Which is fine — I have neither need nor want to be “in charge” of this project — but I titled the category without considering I might work on a team at some point. I may, therefore goof around with the titles.
I’m unsatisfied with the “HD” graphics used for the upper body in the south-facing walk. For one, his nose grows two sizes when he starts walking. For another, the linework is kind of terrible. But the time for me to perfect my process for the final artwork is after I deliver useable art for my programmer.
My days off are Sunday and Wednesday. Here are my plans for the remaining five days in order:
Northeast and Southeast idle and walking animations.
Aiming and shooting animations
Orc 8-direction move and idle
Dwarf alternate costumes (cloaked and armored)
If I get ahead of the curve, I can go in and figure out the art quality.
I also got a recurring weekly art commission from my church, and I intend to do that Monday of each week. But I providentially have the option to set aside a separate block of time for that.
Downloaded the repo for the first time in four years, and I’m looking it over. At the moment I haven’t touched Unity, as the Unity version in use is really old, and if we upgrade (and I hope we upgrade!) I want that to be the decision (and problem) of the team’s code monkey.
He did not give me a time frame other than January, which has a whole month’s worth of days, so I don’t know if work on the project is going to start on the other end today, or in one month. But there’s a bunch of stuff I can do in the mean time. I’ve improved significantly as both an artist and an animator in the last 4 years. I have better, more potent tools now than I did then.
At the moment I’m just going through the art, figuring out what the heck I was doing, reorganizing it, and tidying it up. I also need to re-learn Spriter.
Krag Vargenstone is an interesting sort of a thing for me. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make friends with people who want to make un-woke games. The last time I made it, it fell at a particularly unfortuitous time of my life: I was dealing with some nasty medication side effects, and I was preparing to leave my home state to help with some drama with my in-laws. Now, I no-longer need the medication that was causing the side-effects, and I am back among my own family.
I wanted to get six pages done today. I got four done, and two more written, and I’m not sure if I’ll manage to do the storyboard for those other two today.
At this rate, we shall cover the crucifixion tomorrow, and the resurrection Thursday. Unless I can boost my production to 8 or 10 pages a day, though, I don’t foresee us finishing the story this month. Still, it should be very easy to pick up or wrap up in any spare moments I get over the next couple of months. And If I do boost my production speed (which, for drafts or storyboards, is inexcusably slow), we might yet pull it off.
Still, this bit of production, while less than I need, is more than I’ve been doing, and the right kind of momentum to start the week.
All goes largely as I predicted last time. I’m not actually registering a log because I’m working on Christmas.
I’m registering a log because a thought occurred to me and I wanted to pin it down before it escapes.
I have one more picture to draw for the white elephant gift exchange tomorrow. But listening to the GDC postmortii of Into the Breach and FTL has me thinking “why not try and make my RPG battle system as a game all by itself?” An RPG, even a small one, is a huge undertaking.
I have a passion/skill gap in game-making that serves as a constant annoyance. I have made games by myself, but small things like Space Invaders. I never want to make another shooter as long as I live.
The trick is finding a project that’s bigger than a space shooter, but small enough I can finish it, but interesting enough that I can get excited about it.
I have previously dismissed the idea of making the combat system of my RPG design as a game unto itself. But for some reason, right now it seems like a really, really good idea. It may be the general exhaustion speaking, however. So I want to note it down now and come back to it with a fresh mind.
That’s 50 pages done, for a book length of 52 pages. But of course, we’re not done with the story yet. So we’re looking at a final book of 80 to 100 pages, I think. I guess we’ll see when we get there.
I don’t expect to get a lot done this week. In addition to taking Wednesday and Sunday off, as is my custom, I will also be taking Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off.
And I am no longer certain the storyboard will be complete by the end of December. Because I have prior engagements for January, however, I will be dropping it come January whether it is done or not. So, here’s hoping and praying I am inspired to get it finished by then. If not, it may be months before I get back to it.
So far, we’re up to 40 pages storyboarded, and begun on the next 2. It’s not great, but it’s constant forward momentum, which is all we need to finish the job. Well, that and the grace of God.
The focus on Genesis-to-Revelation overview of history with Christ at the center means that the Gospel of Mark is basically my go-to source. He’s got the action-packed supernatural showdown emphasis I am aiming for. But obviously, I’m pulling stuff in from Luke, and from anywhere else I find useful.
Awright. Yesterday was, in general, a good day, despite a town-trip eating half the day I got most of my chores done, four pages of storyboard AND a bunch of work on my Licensed RPG. WordPress was down, so I live-tweeted the process.
Monday I am likely to be engaged in extracurricular activities that will not only prevent me from getting pages done, but even posting my week-beginning log.
So here it is. 30 pages storyboarded. Presuming I work Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday, averaging 4 pages a day, and the story isn’t finished by Saturday, we’ll finish out next week at 46 pages, with 42 on my Friday Captain’s Log.
Per my pastor’s encouragement, I intend to include an appendix explaining my artistic choices and pointing to the Scriptures from which they are drawn. However as the final book’s predicted length approaches 100 pages not counting appendices, and the things I need to explain multiply, I wonder whether I can reasonably include those extra pages.
I may just have to resign myself to it. I want my work to be easily available to the broke and impoverished, but I can’t justify sparing any bit of quality for the confession of faith I leave my own child.
So that’s the plan. I’m very excited for Tuesday. War in Heaven illustration time! Honestly, I’m sufficiently excited about it I may do it today, instead of the stuff I’m kind of sort of planning to do..
This week has been a bit of a trick. Members of my house had major surgery. I was blessed by God and my brother with a building, which I had to help drag to the farm I live on.
The Awesome Moments storyboard remains where it was on Monday. Work on the Candy Raid promo art got done.
I have two more days to this workweek, today and tomorrow. Assuming a minimum of 2 pages per day, that’s 4+ more pages. So, when we hit the ground running on Monday, we’ll see how that went.
I have been toying over the last few weeks with the ideas of taking Sunday and Wednesday off rather than Saturday and Sunday. I tried it out this week, and I think that will be my pattern moving forward.
Psychologically, I’ve noticed my love for Hat Trick has been creeping back. I started on Awesome Moments last month with the assumption that when the storyboard was done, of course I’d Kickstart Awesome Moments first. It’s my most important work after all. But now I am content when this leg of this journey is done to pick up the next leg of the last journey.
Not to mention my January and perhaps February are spoken for.
It’ll be amusing (to me at least) if I produce nothing really in 2020, but come out the gate swinging with multiple products in 2021 because I spent all of 2020 laying the foundations for them.
I’m going to do my pages now. My plan is to do the bare minimum each day to progress, then switch over to work on my RPG engine. However, if the mood strikes to do more than the minimum, I will let the muse have her way. Ciao.
I’m drawing a picture of Candy today. Hopefully it shall be epic.
It’s meant to replace the current promo image, which is too dark, doesn’t have the character centered, and is a fruit of that period where I thought painting over 3D was the solution to all my problems. (And in fairness, it is sometimes a good technique).
Candy Raid! My first collaborative effort. I did the art, Kayne Ruse did the coding. As of last month, Candy Raid has made more money than my children’s books, making me equally successful as a game developer and a purveyor of pedagogical print. We got a marketing scholarship in a contest, so the game is being re-launched in about a week.