Thanks Wells Fargo for featuring me on your #WhyIWork site! They also did an entire write up telling my story. I’ve been feeling down lately and this really let’s me see that the hard work isn’t for nothing and this lifted my spirits up to keep going. Check it out if you have the time.
While I was in school, I worked on a small mini game with a classmate on our free time for fun. The game is called Chick-a-Dee and it is a small puzzle game featuring little chickens owned by a little farm girl. The objective to the game is simple – make sure all of the chickens crops the road.
I’m not really here to talk about the gameplay, more so about how the game was made. As usual, I used Construct 2 (www.scirra.com) to create the game. My former classmate is a 3d artist so we decided to play around with 3d sprites in a 2d engine similar to Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo. What he did was model out the chickens and background elements then saved them out as 2d images. I took them from there and implemented them into the build and programmed the game to work.
The game took about 2 days to create and it was never meant to be anything outside of a small game jam style project. But I still went ahead and created an illustration for it. I have included each of the steps I took to create the main title screen.
Over the past year, I have made the dive into becoming a full digital artist. I don’t draw on paper much and instead use the Wacom Cintiq Companion. I made sure to keep my process pretty similar to how I drew traditionally.
I start with quick sketches, blocking out the characters and the environment. At this point, everything is pretty loose and wild. The next step, I ink over the pencils and make the lines nice and clean. From there, I play around with the lighting I might want in the scene by blocking in shadows. This helps me see the mood that I am going for before applying the colors. I then block in base colors and keep everything simple. Just lines and solid colors. Right after that, I grab my shadows from before and place them on top of my colors to really make things pop. I like playing around with the shadow colors. I tend to not use black for my shadowing. For this piece, I used purple hues. Finally, I’ll go over little portions of the piece and add in lighting effects in between the trees, and more.
I may start going over coding one of these days, but still being an artist at heart, I felt like briefly going over the visual creation process instead. Take Care
Now that I am finished with the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, I am taking a look at Super Ubie Island again. I am planning to release on Steam soon but before I do, I want to do some touch-ups on the game. I can’t believe I released the game back in 2013. Time is just flying by. I did take a year off of game development to gain leadership skills at the academy though.
I am in the process of trying to land a pretty big development contract. I can’t speak much on it but in the mean time, I plan on touching up past games and re-releasing. I still plan on picking up Team Notion again and bringing that to completion. It’s so hard to say what’s going to happen over the next year because this past year has been pretty insane. I am in the 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 class and I have also been dealing heavily with the Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, working with Girls Makes Games’ summer camp to educate more girls on game design and programming. I just have a ton of things going on right now and it can be a bit overwhelming.
Black Enterprise will be featuring me as a part of their BE Modern Man initiative. It’s a movement that honors the essence, image and accomplishments of today’s man of color. My feature will be up June 22nd. I am honored to have so many opportunities coming my way. It’s even gotten to the point where I’ve been in collaboration with one of the hip hop industry’s top producers, Hit Boy. We’ve been planning out a set of projects since January and looking to begin getting one of the projects off the ground.
Hit Boy has recently released a track with Beyonce and Nicki Minaj titled, Feeling Myself. We were both in this year’s Forbes list and decided to link up and make some moves. I’m pretty excited for what’s to come of this collaboration.
Being able to meet people such as Michael Pachter, Warren Spector, Richard Garriott, Starr Long, the president of the Entertainment Software Association, and many many more this year has been amazing.
I am back now and ready to tackle some new games that I hope you guys will enjoy. Let’s see what the rest of 2015 and 2016 will bring!
A good friend of mine Jewelz Chérubin has begun work on animation tests for Team Notion. He is a professional animator who has worked on Disney’s Star vs the Forces of Evil and Fish Hooks. We have been talking a lot about teaming up to step up the production level of Team Notion and have fully animated cut scene sequences! More information soon…