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.
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…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.
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… 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.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
Gobble gobble Zzzzz..
Here’s wishing everyone a great turkey day in the company of good friends, and a warm, sweet tryptophan induced slumber.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
With turkey day just around the corner, November is almost in the bag, and a new year is rapidly approaching. Round and round we go.
On Saturday I bumped into the local group I used to run with, which brought back some memories and reminded me that this time last year I was gearing up for the Eugene Thanksgiving Day Turkey Stuffer 5k. What a difference a year makes.
I’m still running, but with a very different attitude and for completely different reasons. And I’ve never run better or with more satisfaction.
On a related note I strongly recommend reading “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall, even for the non runners out there.
It’s a great book and a hell of a story that happens to be true. I read it earlier this year just as I was getting back on the trails following a nasty leg injury. That book caused me to completely reexamine everything about how I ran and why.
In other news, I may be holding an art show in December. I haven’t made committed to it yet but I’m getting a lot of push in that direction.
My apology to the friends out there that I’ve neglected to stay in touch with recently. I’ve had a pretty full plate these past few months, but you know the back story. I am thankful for your friendship.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
When I started doodling at the Vintage this evening, I wasn’t thinking about fish, I was thinking about my nephew Conner who turned three years old on Friday, and how quickly the year has past. I wasn’t thinking about fish, but that’s what I ended up with.
Funny how that happens.
Not at all happy with the fish surprise, and being determined as I tend to be, a trait I expect my nephew will inherit from my brother, I kept at it. After some gnashing of teeth, flexing of claws, and a little wine, I took a request from Charlie who wanted me to draw her a Where The Wild Things Are sort of creature.
Here’s the sketch, my loose and hopefully cuddly interpretation of a wild thing. I’ll paint it up some time soon. Special thanks to Maurice Sendak for breaking the mold.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite
It’s been a long and crazy week. My birthday was Thursday, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas will be here before you know it.
Here is yet another environment sketch (napkin doodle) on its way to becoming a painting.
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