Catching Up

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.