Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Playing with animation

Been doing a little freehand animation lately. Nothing even remotely finished, but I do like what I came up with. These will probably display horribly though, because I am using a program absolutely not suited for animation.

Okay, yeah, so that's it. Like I said, nothing even remotely finished, just messing around before bed. If one of these comes together well enough, I might try doing a finished animation eventually (maybe even with color) but who knows if I'll ever get around to that. 

Inspired by finding some free time to watch Steven Universe. I forgot how much I enjoyed that show when it debuted. I tend to lose track of shows I like, so its always nice to get a chance to catch up a little bit. Good stuff.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Azure Striker Gunvolt Makes Me Question The Need For Mighty No. 9?

Keiji Inafune, the creator of acclaimed series such as Megaman, Dead Rising, and Onimusha has unveiled a new game from his recently formed company, Comcept. Since leaving Capcom, Inafune's studio has dabbled in all sorts of games, but this new title, tentatively called Azure Striker Gunvolt for North America, is probably the most familiar. Teaming up with Inticreates, the studio that developed the popular Megaman Zero and ZX subseries, it looks as though Inafune is getting back to his roots with a good old fashioned side scrolling action game. But there's something familiar about all this...

Yeah, not even a year ago, this same thing happened, but the game was called Mighty No. 9, and it went to Kickstarter to find funding. I was a very early supporter of Mighty No. 9 (and donated a considerable amount), but I generally don't like the fan interaction on these types of projects, and the long wait before anything resembling a finished game is shown off is agonizing. Add in some completely terrible and unfounded drama over something incredibly stupid, and Mighty No. 9 has kind of soured in my eyes. Meanwhile, Gunvolt comes completely out of nowhere, looks completely finished, looks AWESOME, and didn't require any kind of financial contribution from me to get going.

So what happened here? If Comcept and Inticreates were already creating an amazing looking sidescroller that looked to channel Megaman's spirit, why the need for kickstarter? Why the need for so much fan mongering and hyping? It's a little confusing.

Now, it should be noted that Gunvolt is only slated to release on the 3ds, which is honestly the platform that 90% of fans of Megaman or sidescrolling action would be anyway. Mighty No. 9 is shooting to launch on a staggering amount of platforms, so maybe Gunvolt is actually a smarter project. Going after a single platform that there is definitely a market on, and taking advantage of that unique hardware is generally a smarter idea than just trying to jam your game on to everything that plays games. Lots of side scrollers in particular, including Mutant Mudds and Gunman Clive, have seen significantly higher sales on the 3ds than other platforms, such as PSN and Steam, combined. Sales trends would seem to indicate that the audience for side scrolling action games is mostly on Nintendo's handheld. This isn't surprising, though, considering side scrolling action would tend to appeal to very dedicated players, most of which are going to be playing on a dedicated handheld. 

In any case, I'm excited for Gunvolt. I'm much more excited for it than I am for Mighty No. 9 at this point. The lack of fan interaction, community management, crowd funding and grandstanding in this project has refreshed my outlook on Inafune's new company. Whereas Mighty No. 9 seemed to put literally everything before the actual game, Gunvolt has done it right.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Finally Finished!

Wooo, finally finished the art and lettering for Nova Phase's third issue! Not gonna show anything off just yet, but I think this issue turned out pretty good.

In other news, I finally sat down and started reading the volumes of Animal Land that I picked up like, a year ago but never read. So good. So, so good. I don't have a ton of time or money to spend on reading comics anymore, but goddamn this series just keeps getting better and better, which is hard to imagine because I absolutely fell in love with it to start with. Although I can never really show the kind of praise this series deserves, here's a little warm-up tribute I did today.

Kurokagi is one of the most badass characters I've seen anywhere. I know that Animal Land will probably never be adapted into an animation or game, but the character designs are just so great I had to give it the pixel art treatment. I don't think a fighting game would work, since the characters' sizes vary so much, but maybe some kind of action/RTS hybrid, like Dillon's Rolling Western, would work. As I am typing this, I am realizing what a fantastic idea that is, damn. Oh well, won't happen.

That's it for now. Might do another bird related post in the near future, or possibly America themed. Things are shaping up nicely artwise. I think I'm getting the hang of animating these big assets, so I'm eager to move on to some of the other characters that haven't been shown off yet.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another bird joins the Bird Force!

More Bird Force related madness. I use these as a break from my more stress inducing work. The team's up to four members so far! Here's a cutscene of sorts for good measure.