Dr. Stump is the foremost expert on therians. He was well prepared for this life by his extensive life making Starnet videos detailing crazy theories about peak media franchises well before he got aboard the sleeper ship headed for Theria, and he doesn’t really care who knows it.
Old Sentinels say that once upon a time, Dr. Stump was a formidable man. That he’s let himself go in the past few years. But Dr. Stump does not talk about the glory days. He talks about therians. And if there’s something you need to know about therians, he almost certainly already knows it.
This last week I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and nothing else (except what was required to keep my family and their animals alive, of course). And what I wanted turned out to be the basis of a platforming sequel to my hit game Candy Raid: the factory.
This gif has a lot of little things worth talking about, but let’s get back to it.
I need to either search for a day job, or else gear up to pay my bills with my projects quickly. Option 2 means running a successful crowdfund ASAP. The only project I have that is close to ready for that is Awesome Moments, my Bible Story book.
Because of my social media fast, the earliest I can run the Kickstarter in question effectively is March. If I choose to work my butt off on Hat Trick, or my bestiary, or on this little Candy Raid platformer, I can hypothetically have either of these projects Kickstarter ready by then. But I have to be 100% committed to the project. And my history of underestimating time to completion on projects leads me to believe I’d need at least two months to get either of those ready. And even a successful Kickstarter wouldn’t disburse funds until April.
Which means I need to hunt for a day job.
Sucks to be me, but I’ve been employed at dead-end day jobs for 15 years, and I’ve done the starving artist thing for 6 months. Being jobless definitely helps my projects, but not by giving me more time, but rather by giving me consistent time. If I can get something with regular hours, I should be able to keep my productivity close to the same.
If not, such is life. So let’s talk about how we are going to change our approaches to Vargenstone and Everything Else as a result.
Here are pictures of the Night Mare, in roughly the order I made them:
No relation to today’s post whatsoever. I just lined these up because I wanted to, and I find WordPress’s gallery convenient for the task.
This is my yearly custom of pausing and considering my life’s path and whether I want to continue on current lines, or what course adjustments I should make. As such, there will be an over abundance of navel gazing.
Æther is measured in drams, which are also the unit of currency in many lands where the substance is harvested and used in various machinations. The units are as follows. Four drams (4ᵭ) to the nip. 3 nips (3ꬻ) to the gil (1ꬶ). 1ꬶ of aether is about a teacupfull liquid radiant. Dram coins frequently (depending on the local culture) have an aether crystal set in the coin itself, whereas larger denominations of coins are theoretically exchangeable for aether. Seximal and duodecimal denominations are normal for other currencies.
Of course, a 1 gil aether stone may be worth considerably more or considerably less depending on the intensity and nature of the radiance stored therein and on market forces.
Lost all of last week. My tent was well suited to my working at a slow but steady rate, but now winter is making overtures.
By the weekend I had settled on converting the basement into an art dungeon. And then I injured my knee, rendering large quantities of stair-climbing inadvisable.
My knee is just about good enough now that I can start building my art dungeon tomorrow. However, I also have a lot of busywork to catch up on unrelated to my comic, so my objective for this week is to catch up on responsibilities, and maybe, hopefully get a page or two done. My ultimate objective is to handle all my potential excuses so that I have no excuses remaining next week.
If I had storyboards, this would be a paid SubscribeStar update. But I do not.
Last week, I got to the end of a story arc on Hat Trick and instead of trying to push ahead, as is my wont, I decided to go all in on making kids’ books via zettelkasten. The idea is I work on whatever I want in the form of little note cards (which in my case are literally playing cards),
…and when a cluster of cards develops to the point that I can turn it into a book, I turn it into storyboards and kick off the process.
So I got started on Awesome Moments. But because A) I don’t trust my printer/scanner, and B) I’ve always wanted to illustrate a kids’ book by painting over 3D models, I spent a few days re-teaching myself how to sculpt in Blender.
During the process, I unearthed some reference pictures I drew for character proportions, and attempted to use them, but decided they weren’t right for my needs: I need big hands and feet, for a more cartoony look.
So I produced a new set of proportions, which I have yet to try sculpting or modeling in any way.
Yesterday, the thought occurred that it would be better to make a story that had only one or two characters, so that I can produce a finished book as soon as possible.
Making Awesome Moments 1 is going to take 3-6 months no matter what I do. The idea of picking a project that allowed me to build incrementally toward it was more a joke and an excuse because having a list of all my potential projects is extremely useful to me.
But… then a thought occurred to me. And I already spoiled it at the beginning of the post.
John Michael Jones learns the Lord’s Prayer! I sculpt JMJ and his dad, I make a room with a bunch of stained glass windows, and I make the windows illustrative of the prayer in question. Bam.
Yesterday I smart noted the Lord’s Prayer and Luther’s large catechism on it. And this has me a little worried…
A Little Worry
Historically, I have not finished projects I’ve started. I like to jump around. Last year, I turned that around by picking tiny projects and committing to them come hell or high water.
The Smart Note/Zettelkasten approach is founded on the belief that jumping around is actually the right way to go — if you do it smart.
I have reason to trust it. But now, having jumped twice in a single week, trusting the process is getting hard. There is no intrinsic limit on it.
I’m going to give it 3 months. If I don’t have at least one book storyboarded by December, I need to reconsider.
Yesterday, I went through my old attempts to build a 3D basis for book making and extracted a new proportion set:
Big feet, big hands, big heads gives a cartoon/toy feel. Sculpted forms plays into my prejudices also. I think it will do. I won’t know until I model a couple of characters, and ultimately make a book with them. But I have a good feeling about this set.
The single, most efficient way to test this idea of using lego people to make books is to design a book that only has one character. At most, two. Preferably a constant background. Preferably a blank background.
Basically, The Monster at the end of this Book.
Although, come to think of it, making posters would be a good intermediate step. Just having finished, printable pictures would tell me a lot of what I need to go to keep, cancel, or modify the project. So, my prior contention that I should just use this as a way to do the Original Character challenge is probably the way to go. And that is probably what I’ll do.
But I started this blog post with the intention of listing as many potential projects as occur to me in the off chance that one of them will have an obvious “Monster at the End of this Book” story I can tell. And having that list will be useful. So I’m still going to make it. In alphabeticalish order.
Last time I spent any time on the Awesome Moments project, a few months ago, I came up with some drawings and a concept for proportions based on the drawings.
The idea is to make what I call “lego people”. Not that they have any physical resemblance to legos, but that I have hands and torsos and legs and heads and hairpieces that I can mix and match to create several different cartoony characters.
And the art style is an art style I can be happy with for most of my projects because, using them as a basis for paintings, I can produce higher quality books faster than if I were drawing them.
Mind you, I’m not 100% sure I don’t want to draw them yet. Only 90%. I’m sculpting and sketching away secure in the knowledge that I don’t need to make that decision until the book is ready to harvest from my deck box.
Thing is, this is not the first time I had the idea to do lego people for a project.