it’s so difficult to get this right >.<

It seems like no matter how hard I try the feet always look extremly weird….although it IS understandable, because there are no digitgrade rats in real life ๐Ÿ˜›
But then again, those are not “rats” in traditional form anyway >.<

*sighs* I have to get this right, it’s the only race I want to give players besides *cough* dragon magical transform*cough*, but because I want to base several body shapes on this and make it coherent with my world it is really difficult, because there can’t be an explanation of “oh they just mixed with humans hurdurr”.
They are small and petite, child like in body stature, they are agile and can walk quite well.
Now to what is probably problematic: they can’t jump that well, climbing is okay, they can’t use toes to grasp (similar to humans) or just barely, they rely alot on tamed animals and their magic.
I just decided recently that most likely all the structural building will be magic based, which means, they compensate for their weaknesses by using the one thing theya re really good at “physical based” magic.
I’m gonna explain that at another point I think….
Point is, there is no requirement for this species to be especially strong, agile , fast or good at climbing, they just need to be generally quite adaptable, similar to humans.
They also need to be well adapted to very harsh environments, since their main living spaces are rainforests, jungles and desert. Which is why their fur is short and coarse, tinted from tan to almost black brown hues. Their eyes are large for better nightvision, their ears are large aswell to hear environment changes and dangerous predators and they tend to build preferably in a hidden or “less straight obvious that something lives here” way.
I mostly decided for digitgrades because I think it’s how they evolved from their ancestors, that they were used to being prey they were faster at getting away from possible danger with this leg and feet configuration. Now it helps to have a good sight over the area, since they are so small. And yes, they also keep a long tail, which helps them balancing with those kind of legs.

I really hope I get this figured out soon, so I can start the 3D model ๐Ÿ˜ฎ that I wanted to do for weeks already…..but I don’t even want to start the model before I have it nailed down to it’s very basic shapes…>.>

edit: I fixed a bug in the LD game ๐Ÿ˜€ now the win condition works correctly (but haven’t uploaded this version yet).

EmberSparkz

I just set up my new pages, steam account etc. for my official “Indie” name ๐Ÿ™‚ Very happy about that ^^ Coming days I will probably be mostly working on dragonlands, helping out a friend with some graphics and maybe manage to rate some more games on ludum dare. For some reason I’m not very motivated to do so, but I will try anyway :O

Weird how everything starts to feel more real now…and I might actually start believing that I’m not so bad afterall ๐Ÿ˜› responses to my latest ludum dare game were definitely positive ^^

If you wanna follow my pages, here are the links, but I doubt I will do many updates there before I officially start my business ๐Ÿ™‚

https://twitter.com/EmberSparkz
https://www.facebook.com/EmberSparkz
also got a steam account that I can’t find over community search >.> called EmberSparkzGames

 

edit: found this the day after and didn’t want to make a new post for it ๐Ÿ™‚

learning networking

I feel like my understanding of how to make a game has increased so much (and my comfortableness with unity) that I think it’s time I learn about networking :O It will probably look quite unimpressive at first, since I will have to start at the very bottom, but I might also do some testprojects with the very easy unity inbuild networking solution. I just don’t think that I can learn much from it, since everything is abstracted away so much, that it barely feels like programming networking lol. But just like making a game with extra “components”. Which is good I guess, if you just want to make multiplayer games, but I’m serious about making an MMO sooooooo I need and want to learn how to network ๐Ÿ˜€ Not to mention that I don’t want to rely on others doing it for me “maybe”, if that hasn’t worked out in the past at all for me -.-
I need something, I want progress…I’m not really an artist, I’m a game designer, I like to make games, but I especially like to experiment and learn and figuring out how things work, before I even consider working together with someone else. I want to know that I can understand each piece and tool that I want to use for concepting a game, so that I can use it’s full potential and therefore also explain “in the future” to someone else, what I want.
Also…even though I sometimes seem to crack a little under the enormous amount of challenge I put myself into, I still like it ๐Ÿ™‚
I want to be ambitious and crazy or whatever people tell me, if they do ;D As long as I know that I slowly and persistently work towards my goals, there will be a point when I can say :”here, this is what I have made and it was totally ambitious and crazy project and time, ย but now it’s real”
I feel, that is more important than the exact game it’s about ๐Ÿ˜› “bring the dream into reality” and it doesn’t matter how good or bad it will be.

Soooo…yeahhh……I got 2 heavy books to read and the vastness of Internet ๐Ÿ˜€

“Hello world”

Compo submitted!

I think this is the first time that I managed to submit it for the compo ๐Ÿ™‚ meaning having it done in 48 hours :O But oh hell…So many things that went wrong and escalated over the weekend. I barely got any sleep and I just made it barely into submitting it in time.
It’s crazy…>.> and now it’s 5 in the morning sheesh…but I’m glad it’s done ๐Ÿ˜€

Not sure if i will polish my game for the jam though, because with Toddler back home it’s almost impossible to write even a comment in my code :O
However I’m really glad ๐Ÿ™‚ In the end I even managed to compose a little background music and add a particle effect to munching berries, although it seems a little buggy…same goes for winning or loosing condition, poor critters still follow you around after they are dead XD Not sure where that went wrong lol.

Anyway, here is the link ๐Ÿ˜€
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=preview&uid=63831

I’m especially proud of the little changing face textures ๐Ÿ˜€ to show if they are hungry or freezing XD

theme: one room

of course ๐Ÿ˜€ from all the themes, this was the one I disliked the most and it was chosen ๐Ÿ˜› Sometimes I wonder if there are people registering just to troll vote the most gross themes XD

Ah well, now I have to deal with it that I actually have to think about how to interpret this theme in a way that I can work with it in a non restrictive way…since I really don’t feel like making a game about literally a room…>.>

so far I got 3 ideas…one about dealing with anxiety, one about breeding critters in a box XD and one about surviving in really bad environmental conditions, where each step outside the safe “walls” can mean death.

LD37 the day before

toddler is at grandparents…I got lots of candy, unhealthy food, my favourite frozen pizzas and hopefully got everything set up….trying to keep my nervousness in check and especially my mad thoughts about how I don’t know anything…>.>

I know some things…i can do things…it doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect, I just want to make something that somewhat works and have some fun! ๐Ÿ˜›

So…here I come ludum dare ๐Ÿ˜€ Ready or not! I will pop out a game!

New Header

I was drawing alot of feet today XD And it just so happened that when i wanted to test draw eyes and head that I kept refining the image, because I wanted to also try out styles etc.
Unfortunately it’s late and I have to go to bed :/ so I decided to atleast crop it as a new Banner and add a little text to it, which is part of the lore of my world ๐Ÿ™‚

charillustration_bannerdraft

also, while I was trying out shapes etc. I used the “shadowing” technique aswell, which I’m quite happy about, because it really helps refining shapes and finding mistakes. When i turn off the lines in the above picture, the rathead and the little dragon are still recognizable ๐Ÿ™‚ so that’s a success.
Also, while last time I got stuck on this whole shadow technique thing, since photoshop has no “easy” tools for it, I actually noticed that I was already using it, since it’s usually part of my drawing process to blockfill a character with a solid color, so I’m having easier time painting in the colors ๐Ÿ˜›
That was one of those facepalm moments XD

oh and here are the feet ๐Ÿ™‚

feetconcepts

as you can see, I’m struggling with various things, as example if I make it too paw like, it doesn’t really look like it belongs to a rat type body anymore, but it seems more sturdy?
When I make it more ratlike, it can easily feel as if it’s too delicate to actually hold up a character on 2 legs only, not to mention that I had a bit of an issue with trying to draw 5 toes….but then again, I’m not really good with feet in general. I really hope i can learn something from this (besides that small toes seem to be always crooked XD)
Also….would it make sense to shorten the thigh in comparison to the calf? i was wondering about it, that I don’t really want to give their legs too much length, since they are supposed to be of smaller statue, but when i apply similar proportions from a human body it feels kind of off. So I’m wondering, if it would make sense to simply have the thigh NOT being the largest bone in the leg, but rather make foot, calf and thigh relatively same sized.
I have to experiment with that….

trying to find the style

I sometimes don’t really understand how it is possible to have a seemingly very well defined idea in my head and when I try to realize it, bring it into the physical world, it turns out to be anything but well defined.
I spend hours upon hours looking at references, figuring out how anatomy with a digitgrade(walking on toes) character could work, how the whole body posture would be, what affects it could have on general movement of a character, is it giving any traits? or even disadvantages compared to humans as example. Then beyond the anatomy is the style. I know I want something that is highly stylized, I want a colorful world and I want it somewhat simple BUT I want to have some detailed textures, ย comic like, but not exaggerated. I want models to be stylized, but not as stylized as the characters from journey. I want them feel somewhat realistic, but also light and with substance, not to mention I would like good looking characters, as silly as it sounds.
I also wanna have the option to create non good looking characters, but that they would still follow a certain aesthetic. So I’m browsing through sites, trying to find references I could use to get closer to that image…and from time to time I start thinking that I will be never able to do it and that this is just too big of a dream and maybe I should just give up and settle for something less…..but then I call back that image in my head, of that colorful vast landscape, with dragons and villages and mysteries waiting to be discovered. About meeting other players, working on their first villages, about them defending their villages from dragons…about the “normal” and relatively peaceful life they would be living.
I imagine that people can sink into this world and dream for a while, relieve stress and forget for a moment whats around them.
I think about how much it was a relieve for me to have had MMOs that I could join and find friends, good friends. How I made memories within those games, that I never forgot that are dear to me, no matter how good or badย the actual game was.
This is why I’m doing it…..not to make a perfect world, but to make another…a choice, something to choose from in this sea of games. Something that might be exactly the right game for some players ๐Ÿ™‚
That is what I hope for…that is what I work for and that is the reason to stay persistent.

It will happen.

and now it’s time for sleep….past 4 am here, wished I could get my sleep rythm into some stable manner >.<

ludum dare slaughter

didn’t have much sleep past nights…or maybe weeks. I don’t know. Today I was spending alot of my time on just slaughtering away at the ludum dare themes, hoping I can Influence the outcome enough to get something I want as a theme to jam on ๐Ÿ˜€
Also…I think I’m procrastinating a little O.o for days I was wanting to more or less redo that sketch I did from my ratpeople in form of a shape drawing, but instead of just doing it, with whatever tools I have available I got hung up on the fact that photoshop has no nice and fast one action way of adding or removing bulks of color with just the lasso tool.
Something that I had seen in a tutorial and apparently it also exists in programs like Illustrator, which I don’t have.
In short, if you want to make fast and filled shapes in photoshop, you either need to use a brush (meh) and filling everything manually with strokes or you learn all the necessary shortcuts of photoshop like: X for switching background and foreground color, B for brush, L for lasso and G for paint bucket and in my case Alt+Backspace to autofill a selected area with foreground color or ctrl+backspace for background color.
I also tried the freeform pen tool, because it promised to do exactly what i wanted BUT unlike the lasso tool, where i can just hold Alt to invert what I’m selecting with lasso, I had to actually go in manually to remove pieces…not to mention that it took me quite long to merge all shapes and I think it was Shift C or Shift+ctrl+C to hide the path lines, which has to be repeated every time I make a new path..>.< So visually it’s always obstructing me.
Now I did all of this mainly because I wanted to try out something i had seen in a tutorial, which is making a filled shape of a figure and with help of my brain unconcsiously knowing how things are looking “right” I could figure out a good looking shape or silhouette for my ratpeople. And i wanted to do that, because I felt that it still is nowhere near what I actually wanted….And I want to get that nailed, before I start making a 3D model of it.
But yeah….I think, if I would have just started doing it, no matter how “uncomfortable” it is with photoshop, I would have done it already, so i guess there was some procrastination at play, so i wouldn’t need to face my fears about not being able to meet up to my own expectations, no matter how many shapes i make….

so what?! mind?! I promised myself to DO this and for doing it is not important if the tools are “good” enough if they can do the job! Frigging mind….seriously….

oh and…this is my 100th entry ๐Ÿ˜€