Here’s and old piece I finally finished up. It’s for a personal project I started a few years ago with a friend. There’s something about the WWI era planes that I love.
“Taking others’ interest into concern not only helps them, it helps you” – Dalai Lama
That’s a lesson my mom taught me by example when I was a little boy. I’m not even sure she knew she was teaching it, but she was. It’s the sort of lesson you learn, and then relearn ..again and again.
It’s also the sort of lesson you 2nd guess a lot. But inevitably , if you’re paying attention, it bares out to be true.
It’s 4:20 AM and I’m laying here sleeping like a rock doesn’t. My mind is tumbling over over and over, like a toy boat on the sea. Over the crest and troughs I see past, present and future possibilities scattered about, all sense of linear time is lost.
My mind drifts from one thought to the next, tomorrow’s scheduling challenges at work and how to pull four rabbits out of one tiny hat (it’s a very nice hat), to building tree forts as a kid, day dreaming in 6th grade science class of dungeons dark and caverns deep, how to afford getting a new roof put on the house before the rains start again, what’s my 2 and half year old nephew Kai dreaming about right now, and what will the world look like for him? Will he build tree forts when he’s ten? I think of my brothers and of Josiah Harlan, the man who would be king and was. And the unrelenting pain in my neck. All while the jazzy 60s Spiderman cartoon theme loops over and over in the recesses of my brain, and instantly I’m 7yrs old again setting cross legged in the 6am glow of a big cathode ray tube and slurping milk from a tasty sweet bowl of cereal …Damn I’d kill for a bowl of Lucky Charms, but I’m glad I can relive the favorite shows of my childhood on a nice flat screen.
Life can be a kick in the balls. And it’s too fucking short. But this night sure seems to be going on forever.
Sometimes the best effort and intentions can seem to get you nowhere. And sometimes along that path to nowhere you discover amazing things.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been crazy busy these past few months. With more work ahead and lots and lots of running, it looks to only get busier, so while I have the chance, here’s what I’ve been up to.
I was contracted by Playdom’s new Eugene office this past fall to develop a look and feel for their first game, Social City for Facebook. That was a chance to work with some of the most ridiculously talented developers around on their studios debut launch title, not to mention working with some great people who happen be good friends.
One thing lead to another and by the middle of November Playdom made me and offer and I joined the Eugene studio as art lead. Since then the team has been working hard on Social City, which launched this past week to a great reception. Over 300,000 players in just a few days, and it’s growing rapidly.
I received a lot of praise for the visual style and quality of the art, which is always great to hear, but in truth, getting from concept to a live game environment takes a team effort that can’t be overstated.
Most of the content in the game at launch was developed in house by myself, Tim (super awesome art ninja) Aste of PushButton Labs, and Nate Feyma (U.I, Flash and all around artist extraordinaire), with the rest being contracted to and external studio.
As the art lead on a game like Social City which has hundreds of art assets (soon to be thousands), it’s my job to develop a look and feel that serves the game design well, makes it appealing to potential users (I’m aiming for irresistible), and can also be clearly defined and taught to other artist, because there’s no way one artist can make all of that game art.
So the big challenge for me is keeping the vision of the game (artistically speaking) I’ve been trusted with on track and consistent as it grows to meet the demands of the audience. An audience of over 300k, and potentially many more users makes for a lot of mouths to feed, so to speak.
Without the support and trust of the team, both local and all of those in the Playdom Mothership, none of that would be possible. So a big thanks and debt of gratitude to everyone.
On the home front, I’ve been working off and on for a while on some existing environment development projects as time permits, and some web comic art, more on that when they’re ready to show.
After the past two weeks of being stupidly sick I’m good and ready to be done with it, so yesterday I caved and went to urgent care for some antibiotics. It seems to have brought back my apatite, which means more trips to the Vintage, and rekindled my penchant for more napkin art.
Here’s one from last night, it’s the 2nd in a series of three that are studies of some fresh cut Cheery Blossoms (?) in a vase on the Vintage bar.
…still busy, so a proper post and update will have to wait.
Quick Update: Christopher Mack over at Inside Social Games just wrote of a review of Social City and was pretty spot on in my opinion. I think he will be pleased with what’s coming down the pipeline for the game very soon.
… or C.I.A. spook?
I think it was about 1 degrees here yesterday. Probably closer to the mid teens when I got up, but at that range who can tell the difference. For about a minute I was seriously considering a slanket as a reasonable option.
Here’s some more napkin art.
Also Smashing magazine has some great seasonal icons and related goodies HERE.