It probably isn't working, but I just felt the desire to play around with neon green and orange for some reason...


#46, NSFW

"Return with your shield, or on it."



The Deal
I draw or paint 300 Spartan themed sketches, paintings, and illustrations.
I take donations for the glasses, tablet and monitor I need, with anything extra going to Child's Play.

The Status
Over $300 dollars raised so far...
I have the glasses and the tablet, next is the monitor.





The original frenemies.



"I'm certain they thought to break our morale by using the grotesque corpses of our fallen brothers in such a manner. Instead they had the opposite effect. Where as once the men had been held together only by their soldier discipline, with no interest in the welfare of this land so far from their own homes, now they fight with a new purpose. Now they feel this fight is theirs, that it's personal, and for that alone they are fighting as though ares walked among them."



Spartanasaurus Rex.



I recently watched a great presentation on character design, if you're wondering why my style has changed so much.





Hopefully these two have a bit more personality than my last attempt at Spartan/Persian pairing.



thought I'd go with something more 3d today...



So Monday was a total clusterfuck on the project I'm currently working on to keep myself in house and home, and in the process this kind of slipped my mind. I'm just going to shift and end this week's selection on Saturday rather than Friday, hopefully life will be returning to normalish next week.


Flow and Counter-Flow

I've been in many game design discussions, and one of the big things to come our way in the last decade or so is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's research on flow. We know, through artists and athletes that flow is a very activity based feeling. It presents itself as we do things and apply ourselves against the world under the right conditions.

Now Csikszentmihalyi's work and thinking is backed up by scientific studies and research, whereas what I'm about to talk about has no grounding other than my own limited life experience. What I want to talk about right now is what I'm calling counter-flow due it's very opposing nature to the traditional conception of flow.

So if flow is our optimal state for pressing ourselves against the world, then counter-flow is the optimal state for the world to press against us. You could use the terms contemplation or meditation, but those are to me activities not descriptors of a state of being. Much like flow, counter-flow only appears under certain conditions. First, you need to have lots of free floating information, second, you need focused time. It's important that time not only needs to pass, but it also needs to be focused, either by being contiguous or by being spent on related activities, but not the same activity.

Counter-flow is not inspiration, but when in a state of counter-flow you will be inspired. The best way I can explain it is that you will find yourself traversing a web of connections which you have definitely before observed, but never before noticed. Problems which had previously been too large to handle will have their solution simply slide into place. Unlike flow, counter-flow will not necessarily make you happy. Depending on what you discover, it may make you angry, depressed, ecstatic, anxious, or really any of a large range of very powerful emotions. However no matter the emotion, the experience from within the state itself will always be one you cherish, and make a part of you.

So why am I talking about it? First let me get it out of the way that there are some people for whom counter-flow is the real high, who go out of their way to find these experiences wherever they may be. You may have seen them around art galleries, museums, libraries, monasteries, or turn based strategy games... Though the numbers have turned against them, there is still a core of gamers who seek out this kind of experience in their own games. They submerge themselves in slow moving overwhelming walls of information, taking breaks to read up and discuss the vagaries of their recent experiences. On a larger scale though, in my hubris fueled opinion, every great work that is not primarily utilitarian in nature contains both flow and counter-flow.



I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad that I managed this one in a time frame that made yesterday's pixel art look downright laxadaisacal.





WIP - Brawler Cast





Fever dreams.









kind of screwed over on my current project, hopefully I'll be able to make it up to you on #29 or #30



I really wish I could have restarted this one and gone more into exploring the pottery inspired pose of the Persian, or even just done something far more focused on the Persian. Unfortunately, today there just isn't a lot of free time in my schedule, so I only got one shot and this is what came out.

The Hard Truth

The "Hard Truth"... if you have ever wanted to get into the game industry as a designer, I probably don't even need to tell you what that means. For everyone else, it goes a little something like this.

"Hey I have this great idea for a game!"
"Well the Hard Truth(tm) is that nobody wants your bleeding idea. You'll either need to get a job in the game industry, you lazy bum, and wait out the three to twenty years of being an executive's ass wipe or pour blood sweat and tears by the bucketload into making it by yourself. Oh and good luck finding anyone to help you, nobody wants to work on other people's ideas, they have their own."

The trouble isn't with the core message, 'it's not that easy', it's that every time someone broaches the issue they're always in some sort of sadistic competition to be even more cynical and condescending than the last person. Obviously these peons simply didn't get how wise they were when they were level headed about it, and now it's time to remind them all what useless pinheads they are.

Now I'm not an industry insider, in fact I'm an amateur indie developer, but I have something to tell everyone whose ever read a Hard Truth(tm) put down. They aren't wrong, but they aren't actually telling you anything useful either.

So what is the useful information? It's simple, if you want to get involved in making games, you kind of have to actually like making games. If you either can't be bothered to learn the software for a mod kit, or get an office job, or just hate those activities with a passion, then maybe game design isn't for you. It's probably not something you'll ever like being a part of, and in the end you may come to hate your own idea because of burnout. But that's only side A. If you love getting involved in modding, if you love programming, or working as a hiring person, or game testing, or writing, then boy are you in for a surprise... You're actually welcome here. Okay so nobody is going to trust your pitch with the ten million it needs to become reality, but that's okay, because you know what you get to do in the mean time? Have a lot of fucking fun doing something you love.

If you're a writer, write. Get out there and write a book, you may not have an in to get hired as a writer straight up, but maybe you'll get to write a book for a game. Then do some writing for the next game, or if your book gets that popular, maybe they'll approach you wanting to make a game for YOUR book. If your an artist, take your time, nail that portfolio, work in movies or comic books, hell print ads are excellent for learning composition. Then guess what, you'll have a portfolio and people who think what a swell person you are, and all while doing exactly what you loved doing.

The fact that your idea is going to have to mature before it actually gets made shouldn't be a horrible disgusting truth that must be borne in order to enter the club. It's a chance to get some experience, get better at what you already do best, and most importantly, relax and have fun. After all, if you screw up, at least it wasn't your idea.