Archive for February, 2015

Mecanim is the Bomb

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Jesus, it’s been a long day. Full day at work, followed by an evening of tweaking vertices and exploring Unity’s Mecanim animation system. But it’s been worth it. I have to say this system is rather mind-blowing compared to what I’ve been doing before. You can just download animations from Unity’s asset store and apply them to any humanoid character! It’s ridiculous. I still don’t entirely understand how to edit these animation clip files, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. Like tomorrow, most likely.

I’ll have something to show off soon, but in the meantime check out this game: LINK

If there’s anything that might get me back into miniatures that would be these things. They are hands down the finest miniatures I’ve ever seen. Perhaps the best of Warmachine is on the same level. But of course the Arena Rex ones represent gladiators, so they’re inherently better. That’s just common sense.

Now for a little bit of Hearthstone before I lay my weary head to rest…

— Peace and sweet dreams


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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Came up with a pantheon today! Enjoy:

The Pantheon of Imperia has five gods, all female. They are often referred to as the five sisters, and are typically represented in the form of a five-pointed star. Each point of the star has a shape particular to the goddess it represents.


Fortuna – Goddess of Luck and Fate

Description: Fortuna weaves the threads of life that bind mortal souls, and swings the odds of life and death in favor of those she likes. She appears as a blind woman, her eyes wrapped by white cloth, carrying the great scale that balances the forces of the universe.

Symbol: Scale


Minerva – Goddess of Wisdom and Secrets

Description: Minerva brings the wisdom of the gods to the mortal realm, whispering her mighty secrets into the ears of those she favors. By her word great inventions are crafted, brilliant creeds written, and vast empires torn asunder. Above it all she watches patiently, clad in a cowl of blue and black, with the all-knowing owl perched on her shoulder.

Symbol: Owl


Aurora – Goddess of Order and Renewal

Description: Aurora is master of the air and the great cycles of nature. She rides across the sky on the back of a great golden eagle, keeping company with her brother, the sun. She wears streaming robes of yellow and green.

Symbol: Eagle


Bellona – Goddess of War and Strength

Description: Bellona rides a chariot pulled by four bulls, or else she sweeps over the battlefield on her flaming wings. She drives the feral tempers of humankind, gives courage where it is most needed, and brings great victory to the worthy.

Symbol: Bull


Morgana – Goddess of Death and Sacrifice

Description: Morgana is the gatekeeper between mortal life and the great beyond. She sits in judgment of the fallen, and manipulates mortal affairs to the benefit of the underworld. Her skin appears ashen, and serpents writhe within her hair.

Symbol: Serpent

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Every Spare Minute

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Okay, so making games is hard. Pong clones maybe not so much, but anything that’s truly something new and worthwhile is really bloody hard. And for one guy, working in his spare time? You’d think it’s impossible, and it very nearly is. The only way I’m going to make this work is by being smart. By using the best tools for the job, by buying resources whenever it makes sense, and by streamlining every part of the production pipeline. And of course, most importantly, I have to want it. I have to want it about as much as I want air. The main problem last year was treating this project as a chore. For the most part anyway. And lo and behold, somehow I never seemed to have any time. There was always something else that really needed doing. And that pattern is never ever going to get this thing made.

But my mindset this week has shifted massively. The pieces are all falling into place, and every day I seem to arrive at a new epiphany about the mechanics, the story, or the art pipeline. Every spare minute is harnessed for the purposes of creation, is something I might say if I was feeling especially poetic about it all. Even on the bus I’m jotting notes on my phone, or sketching out characters. And this is the only way forward. Now all I have to do is sustain it, without falling unconscious in the process.

I’m going full 3D on this beast, and 3D is an unholy bitch, but it has always been my bread and butter. I have at least arrived at a style that allows textures to be produced very quickly. Modeling, UV mapping and animation, however, remain enormous time sinks that I’ll just have to live with. Fortunately I’m dealing with a theme that calls only for humanoid characters (the theme is gladiators, by the way). If I also had to animate dragons, horses and gibbering piles of goo, I would just quit right now. But humanoids I can deal with. I have a pretty decent idea of how they move, partly due to being a humanoid my entire life thus far. And I have some experience animating them. There’s also a lot of resources out there for human animation, and much less so for the poor goo piles. Thank god we’re such a self-absorbed species.

Without further ado, below you will find the character I’ve been working on this week. Definitely a bit rough around the edges; further tweaks are certain to come. But I am pretty happy with the base model and the rig. In game this would appear pretty small, and most likely get rendered with a toon shader. So there’s enough detail to get by, though I’m definitely doing another pass on the texture map and the sword.



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I’m Back!

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

So, clearly I’ve ended up abandoning this blog for a rather absurd length of time. I have no good excuse for that, except that I’ve been busy with so-called real life. There’s always something that needs doing, and the little time I’ve been able to spare for my own projects I’ve spent doing stuff, rather than blogging about it. And truth be told, there wasn’t that much to share last year. I’ve been keeping this next game project of mine on the back burner for over two years now, and it has changed shape about fifteen times in the process. But none of those forms has made it past the paper prototype stage. With every previous iteration of this thing there’s always been some small bit of nagging doubt about mechanics, theme, art style, tech platform, or whatever else. It’s never felt quite right.

But now, just in the past few weeks, a firm vision of this game has coalesced in my mind. The theme feels like exactly my sort of thing, and the mechanics sound beautiful, at least in theory. They are elegant, logical, original, and yet not terribly difficult to make happen. And I actually have art for the game now that I’m really excited about. I even have a little something running in Unity. Naturally, I don’t want to get too hyped up here, as there’s a very long list of things that still need to be proven out. But I have to honestly say I’ve never before been this excited or confident about a game project before. This is a very interesting place to be, and I can’t wait to start sharing some stuff. First to my family and close friends of course, but soon enough I’ll have some cool things to post.

This is happening. Life is good. Keep kicking ass all you beautiful people!



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