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Hopp's 31 Days of Inktober Adventures!


I've been up and down this past month with consistently getting my Inktober drawings finished on time, but for the first time I can say I finally managed to complete the full challenge.

I've attempted Inktober 3 years in a row now, starting in 2016 (and with Hopp-themed drawings coincidentally), and was never able to get through that mid-month hump where many artists end up throwing in the towel.

I didn't stick with any specific "daily" or "weekly" postings this year due to procrastination, distractions, and other projects going on, so a lot of the drawings were done clumped together during days at a time.

Anyways, without further ado - I hope you enjoy my 31 Hopp-themed Inktober doodles!











Hopp Budsies Plush Incoming!

Super excited to announce that I've won a raffle for the opportunity to submit for a custom ordered Budsies plush! If you don't know what Budsies is, check them out here. I put in for a ticket months ago and finally got an email back saying I could send them a drawing of my own handmade plush character, and of course I went with Hopp! For their designers, I drew up the simplest and easiest to understand turn-around sheet I could with a more simplified style for Hopp in mind. I was only allow to choose 8 total colors for the fabric they'll be using, so I also had to cut short a lot in that regard. You can see my turn-around for Hopp here:

Hopp's Turn-around Character Sheet

I couldn't be more excited for them to get back with me once they start up on the first pass. It's estimated to take anywhere from 6-8 weeks, but that's probably only if everything goes perfectly. I'll be posting updates for her here as I get them!

New Hopp Page! (pg 20)

Finally got around to getting page 20 done (and colored)! Continuing off the previous page when Hopp and Widget had just discovered the entrance to some kind of weird tunnel through an opening in a giant tree. What will they find as they descend down into the darkness?


Trying my best to get back on track with getting pages finished, or at least sketched out well enough. This is the second page I'm considering completely done, since I do eventually want the whole book in color. But I'll have to just see how it goes as I get close to the end of actually completing the entire thing.

Game Jam Gameplay Videos and Retrospective

Some videos we recorded of our game jam game. Check em out on Youtube:

 

Retrospective

So, some things I learned after we finished up the last submission on sunday night:
  • Don't expect the most recent versions of Unity (especially alphas) to work properly on 10 year old windows operating systems (windows 7)
    • As a result of this I wasn't able to do any actual editor work. The newest version we were using (2019.3.0a10 Alpha) would not launch without crashing on my win 7 system.
    • This was resolved post-jam once I updated to windows 10 (this topic will be addressed in a future blog post grr...)
  • Probably don't use an alpha version of Unity for a weekend game jam, just to avoid small compatibility problems or crashes.
  • For more unique concepts involving things like VR, get all the framework and business ends set up a day before actual development, in order to avoid having to do any of that the following day and eat into your production time
  • Get your damn scope narrowed out... we started out with a good theme (area 51), then split our 6 devs into 2 teams of 3. At that point we just started exploding with sub-ideas for our VR concept. It got bloated with unrealistic expectations fast and took too long to narrow down later on.
    • I'm no game jam veteran, but I know well enough that as a small team, you only have 72 hours (less than that realistically, with bathroom breaks and sleep) to finish and polish a working game! It makes no sense to even fathom delving into the realm of stats, RPG-like mechanics, scoreboards, long-winded narratives, big character rosters, etc. during the idea stage.
    • No matter the theme, pick a basic, bare-bones skeleton of an idea, and give it some small bits of flare/pizzazz (wow). It just has to be fun and playable!
    • Since we went with a VR shoot-em-up wave-based game type, the meat and potatoes were essentially already on the table. We just went in and made it a bit flashier with some alien dudes, UFOs, and a couple guns that shoot lasers.
    • That being said, some of our team members were living in a high-level fantasy land during the pre-development stage (and some time during actual development too)- and those overly spicy ideas were still being thrown around
      • "It'd be cool if we added a bunch of enemy types with unique behaviors"
      • "We should add a big list of different weapons with different ammo types"
      • "Let's throw in a boss battle at the end of the last wave"
      • How about "Let's get the core game done first?"
    • Those first 3 ideas ^ were very hard to dissuade the team from sticking with, as it would've taken away from precious development time. Yes, they would've been very cool to implement! But unfortunately, going back to that strict, unforgiving ~72 hour time limit, every developer has their limits (both physical and mental).
    • Especially being the team's only artist (typical for game jams), any idea that came about which introduced more enemy types, more weapons, bosses, additional level layouts/designs, etc. added more onto my plate and less of a chance I'd actually be able to get any of the real stuff done.
    • Stretch goals! Two fun words that every dev team should come to know and love. Learn to shoot down a team member's unrealistic idea in the friendliest way possible: "Dude- it'd be awesome if you could add in a character customization screen!" Response: "Cool idea! Maybe after the core stuff gets done, we can check it out. Let's mark that as one of our stretch goals!"
  • Overall, I think the jam was a general mid-level success. Was there more I think we could've added in the given time frame? Definitely. Maybe had we been a bit more focused, I had been more prepared with being able to actually run the editor properly, and we had our base game framework set up beforehand. But, other than that, fun experience, would go again. B-

Some Game Jam Stuff

Got back to posting this a week late! Here's all the art stuff I did for our game jam last weekend. We chose to go with an Area 51 theme (yeah, memes, haha), so I tried creating kind of a retro, psx-era style with the graphics. 

We ended up calling it "Artifact 51" and turned it into a badass VR shoot-em-up! Our two programmers killed it with the gameplay scripting. The whole idea is pretty straightforward, but actually playing it on the Oculus Quest is a lot of oldschool, arcade style fun.
  • Start the waves by grabbing the gun floating on the obelisk
  • Create a bulletproof shield with your left hand by activating the left trigger
  • Take out the spawning UFOs and alien bad guys by shooting with the right trigger
  • Once your gun is out of ammo, throw it at the enemy for an explosive reaction, then grab another one off the obelisk
  • Dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge enemy fire for as long as you can
Game Title/Logo
Example Level/Theme
Alien Enemy Concept
Alien Enemy Zbrush Sculpt
Alien Enemy Model


Pistol Concept
Pistol Model
Shotgun Model
Shield Artifact Model
Weapon Spawn Obelisk
We are still working on getting a gameplay video finished, and will publish the game on our itch.io page sometime this weekend for all to play in VR!

3D thing and Game Jam!

Haven't modeled or textured anything in 3D for awhile! So I made a quick stylized wall thing in 3D to shake some rust off. Check it out:

cool stylized wall made in 3ds max with custom textures and geometrycool stylized wall made in 3ds max with custom textures and geometry

I will also be helping out with a super small game jam this weekend with some co-workers! No idea what we're making, but I'm ready to make some videogame art! I will be posting here as our project moves along with any updates.

Gennaro & Tony

Vinny does the funny man voice real quick for one of my art booru submissions~





The dumb doodle in question:


Drew it during a Dreams game involving some off-brand knock-off italian "plumbers". Hmm...

Celebrating the Moon Landing's 50th Anniversary

Buzz Aldrin might not have found any aliens during his first trip to the moon 50 years ago. But Hopp apparently did! They're harmless.

Hopp and Widget meeting a friendly alien on the moon