Friday, August 31, 2012

Another, Different Intern

The Intern is a learning class (really a subclass), basically designed to augment leveling for a character. Plus, it seemed like a good alternative to the token Squire / Recruit class. If I were to really get waist deep in the "farmer" aspect of the game I suppose I would call him a farmhand or greenhorn or something, but too many farm puns and I might start burning things for entertainment. There's not really a lot of mechanical nuance to the class, so right now I'm just burning through ideas and attaching whatever mechanic fits the name. Because that's how game design works, obviously.

Anyway, the Intern.

--Boosts XP gathering

Coffee Run

Time Management
--Speed Increase

Organizational Binder
--Greater critical hit chance


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loading Supplies

I saw a photograph that made me realize I don't do a lot of action poses any more, so I decided to give one a shot. Here's... The Kark levitating what appears to be a bag of quicklime?

No, wait, he's tossing it.

As always, Ebling's architecture is fun to imagine but really hard to draw. Think Mirror's Edge if every level were built with assets from TF2. There's a smidge of nontraditional Chinese city planning in there, imitating some of my favorite places in Asia. Hakka villages, imperial gardens and hutongs. The buildings are huge, twenty story skyscrapers impossibly crafted from wood, supported on beams over a lake. I don't know why the lake is so important, so don't ask.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Comic, and I'm Back

In an effort to get back into the swing of things, here's a comic that I think is worthy of the New Yorker.

 I don't necessarily have a high opinion of the New Yorker.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

PA 3 designs: Carl + laziness apology

Yeah, I've been really lazy with this the last week or so. Welp, that's not going to change, but I am going to externalize this thought so that it's finally outside of my head. Here goes: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3 was released. The game was abandoned by Hothead Studios, then replaced by nostalgia engineers from Zeboyd Games, completely changing the art direction, story telling style, combat system, and cast.

Cut from the cast list was our homeless hero, Carl, and gone are the various facets of the original game's fight animations. I'm really enjoying OTRSPOD3, but I still miss those attack animations. Maybe someday it'll get a 64-bit reimagining on the DS like Final Fantasy 3. Where was I? Right, yes, Carl. So, the attacks re gone and with them the attack names and weapon upgrades and other junk that I liked in OTRSPOD. Last year, while I was lamenting the loss of the PA Adventure series, I started working on hypothetical updates, just for fun and because my job is boring.

There it was: rake, then there was a hoe. I think the shovel is a natural progression from there. I've drawn the Steam Shovel before (because I love that pun more than my own imaginary future children) but the Noumenal Shovel still needs to be designed.

Steam Shovel
Fitted with all the latest in anachronistic steam technology.
The Noumenal Shovel
I think we can all agree that this is what Plato was talking about.

Primary Attack: Call it a Spade
Tight, close-range swing

1st Special: Mudslinger
Carl shovels some dirt up, then throws it at the enemy

2nd Special:  Make a Hole
Carl hits the enemy several times, stops to rest on his shovel, then hits them some more
3rd Special:  Sodbuster
Carl stabs his shovel into the ground and it comes back out at the feet of every enemy

Gabe Team-Up: Negotiations
Carl chokes an enemy with his shovel while Gabe tenderizes the ribs

Tycho Team-Up:  Dirt Nap
Some stuff happens and some guys get shot. I don't know, man, I'm tired.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Letter to Daniel O'Brien

Dear Daniel O'Brien,
Recently I was in a comedy club, where I accidentally made eye contact with a comedian while trying to close out my tab. Our eyes lingered for a moment, and at that point I realized that yes, I had to make conversation with this man  or risk spending the next nine minutes memorizing his every move, so I could analyze his posture for judgment later.

"Hey, you're that comedian that makes all those jokes that I steal and tell my family." I immediately regretted telling him.

"I don't really steal them, I mean, I tell them but then I'm like I didn't write them, this guy did... I mean. Uh. Hello. Were you up tonight? I didn't see you... I didn't see you go up, tonight." I looked beseechingly at the bartender, hoping that maybe he had closed out my bill or was at very least getting ready to breath fire on me.

He appraised me, I assume. "No, I didn't go up tonight. Did you know that you look like Daniel O'Brien?"

Y "Yeah, I've heard of Daniel O'Brien. He is a funny person and I read his columns literally the same day that they are published on the Internet."
"No, dude. You look like Daniel O'Brien."
I had to process this. Do I look like you? Yes, absolutely. White guy, mid twenties, really short hair, totally sick pipes. Holy shit, is it true? Am I DOB clone material? Here, look at this untouched file photograph of me.
It's uncanny, right?
So I was thinking, DOB, do you need, like, a Saddam Hussein-style body double? Partner through which you can perpetrate wacky, Parent Trapesque shenanigans? Evil twin to grow a beard and maybe bang your wife/girlfriend/good-smelling neighbor, then be shot on a rooftop, only afterwards they reveal it was all a mask and you were actually me all along? I can be awkward, make uncomfortable small talk, worry I'm sweating too much, and hang out at skate parks and ball diamonds with my hands in my pockets. I'm the full package! Right now, I'm actually editing this because I didn't want to look like I was bragging. About being awkward.

 You like presidents? I love presidents. Until I was convicted of treason last year, I was working on building customized presidential reliquaries. You know, maybe like a little bronze bathtub that has Taft's little toe bone in there, a hollow derringer pistol with a fragment of Lincoln's skull, or one of those little tooth treasure chests with Washington's wooden teeth. Don't worry, I got the sentence reduced down to "felony misuse of presidential skeletons".

I mean, it's not like I'm hoping you'll hire me so I can pull some Prince and the Pauper move. I admit that was my first thought, but honestly, why would I want you to serve out that sentence here in Supermax, or being stuck with my prison nickname (President Boner). So I promise I won't Dickens you. No, wait, that's kind of ambiguous--that could mean I'm promising not to haunt you with holiday ghosts. I won't Face/Off you. I won't steal your face, is what I'm saying, and use it to become best friends with Swaim, and live in his mansion. I'd much rather become best friends with Swaim and live in his mansion on my own merits. You guys all have mansions, right?

Amin Mueller

PS I can't rap, beatbox, or talk for any length of time about rapping or beatboxing. I hope that won't be a dealbreaker.

PPS Did you know that when you Google "Daniel O'Brien", it gives your birthday and home town with a picture of Michael Swaim's face? That's not a joke or anything, it's a true thing that actually happens. Well, it did.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Celie Again

Working on Celie some more. Even though I settled on her current hair style like four years ago, I still don't like it. Like I said, she's weird and the limits I set on her design are taking the wheels off. I might have to lose all my fundamental design choices--the heavy gloves, the shirt that was supposed to make her look uncomfortably professional... She should be more than just accessories, after all, but my inability to consistently draw faces is my weakness once again.

Plus, do you know how hard it is to get good body models for girls using Google? Impossible.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Bleak

The Bleak is kind of an idea for a video game. Well, not a complete idea, as so often my ideas are, but a kind of overarching aesthetic and mood. I got the idea from myself, coopting ideas from Portal 2, but bear with me here.

So, the idea is that a maleficent force--GladOs, I guess--has access to a large population of humans and some sort of hazard to chuck them at.  Representing that population are a series of player characters, each a randomized human character. A number of traits are selected at random, including skin tone, outfit, vocalizations, the whole deal. Once randomized, this human is active until it dies, and when it dies its body is included in the local landscape, permanently.

You roll a white male in a blue jumpsuit, then die trying to make the lion pit? At the bottom of the pit is a skeleton wearing a tattered blue jumpsuit, and your player character is suddenly a black guy in footy pajamas... until you don't see the spike trap.

Now, there are of course obvious problems with this idea. For one, players are morbid and depressing. One man's game meant to reflect on the sacredness of life and weirdly hollow deaths in video games is another man's opportunity to create a fully customized room full of corpses, and if the game was sufficiently hard your players would ideally die frequently enough to get the point--and see some dead bodies--but not so frequently that puzzles need be solved with heaps of human corpses. In fact, in order to avoid training players to kill a heap of player characters to solve every obstacle, you'd have to avoid using anything similar for a puzzle solution at any point.

In other words, you could never encourage the player to use the corpses of his victims/former pawns as puzzle tools, with the understanding that they will no matter what you do and giving them the tools they need to take advantage of it if the mood strikes them. Hopefully, giving a player license to arrange their bodies into a pile that spells "balls" will cause them to do it,  then gasp in horror as they realize how callous and bizarre that is, even on a simulated person.

Anyway, the whole point is to reflect on the sacredness and brevity of life, which is a fine way to get a video game shown at MoMA but probably not a great way to get score hits on Youtube.

Celie, playing Lute

Okay, so it's not actually a lute, and her hands look dumb. Trying to draw every day, sometimes you just feel like you're not drawing anything cool and need to rewind, relax, and think.

So, thoughts: I think Celie's design is incredibly whitebread. Collared shirt, huge gloves, boots... even with as eccentric as that is, I feel like she's not fully fleshed out, design-wise. Not sure what to do about it, really. Eh.