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2016: I Guess Part I

2016: I Guess Part I
I must be getting pretty old now because these yearly review posts feel like they're coming on faster and faster. Another year goes by and I'm not really even sure what happened to it. I feel like I've written too many paragraphs about this feeling by now though, so I'll just skip over it this time.

I also accidentally slash totally on purpose took a really long break from everything work related including this blog unfortunately. I think it was actually pretty overdue. Looking back I haven't really taken a real break in the past however many years. Sure I take some time off from coding every once in a while, but not from "work" entirely.

Alright let's get down to business with my yearly review.


2016 in particular felt like a pretty fresh start compared to the last couple of years. Back in good ole January 2016 I had just moved to Denver, Colorado about two months earlier. I was back into the cold of winter compared to my previous home in the hot deserts of Arizona. It was nice to get a feel of seasons again, although it wouldn't take me long to feel totally sick of snow.

This month I was invited to be on the stream for Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 to provide commentary for the Snapshot run. It was an absolute blast and it was actually one of my game developer bucket list items checked off. The Games Done Quick marathons are my favorite things in the world, and to be a small part of them was a huge honor. Shout outs to Blechy and Nightmare and all the GDQ staff for making it possible!

I was also spending time this month working on a prototype of an procedural RPG type game that is still unfortunately in the early prototype stages. It's still a pretty loose idea for a game, and it's still one that I want to get around to, but unfortunately right now it's not really in the cards. I was working on some concepts of the over world based on some of the style from Links Awakening, as well as some of the core mechanics of the battle system.



Also this month marked the beginning of my epic Pathfinder campaign with a few of my closest friends in Denver. I rolled up a Samsaran Reincarnated Oracle named Ryn. The campaign is still going today and we're almost through the "last" season! This has been by far the most fun I've had in a tabletop pen and paper game, and I hope it goes on forever (or has a really cool ending at least.)


Toward the end of the month I also got into writing music again for some reason. Every once in a while I feel the itch to try to write music but unfortunately it doesn't last very long. There's something about music that makes it really tough to improve. I think the fact that I'm always exposed to super professional amazing music is what gets me. Sometimes I'll get really into one a song that I'm writing, and I think it sounds really good, but then I listen to a single song from a game or something on my work playlist and I realize how absolutely terrible my song is. Plus music software is a gosh dang nightmare to work in and even the simplest digital audio workstations give me infinite pain.

Song 6!

And of course I'm always doodling stuff.



This is the month that I decided to start streaming, and I used that as a launch pad to get myself working on Super Sky Sisters again.


My Pathfinder campaign progressed and the design of my character Ryn kept evolving. One of my favorite things about Pathfinder or any tabletop game really is that it's a constant source of material for doodling. Playing a good tabletop game with a solid group of people is way more captivating to me than any other form of media!


I also put together a presentation about explosions in video games for the fine folks of Warp Zone in Louisville Kentucky.

One of the first things I did on Super Sky Sisters was completely redo the backgrounds. One of the main pieces of feedback I got on the game in 2015 was that the background was pretty dull compared to the rest of the art. At first this was intentional as I didn't want to detract from the foreground art, but the more I looked at it the more I agreed with that feedback. I redesigned the background with some more stuff going on, and tried to shift the style of the background to that of the rest of the game.


I also dipped my toes into song writing once again this month before giving up on it forever-ish.

Song 11!

Another addition to Sky Sisters was giving the players upgrades along their play through which I think is one of the best things I added in my return to the game.



Looking back at this stuff now I can't believe how long ago it was. This month I went back and redid the art for the two player characters in Super Sky Sisters. At first I didn't actually like the new style, but I had to redraw them for the purposes of doing a bunch of animations for them.


I actually hate hate hate doing animations. I think I might actually like the end result, but animations are so frustrating for me to work on. Making good animations is a gosh dang mystery to me, but I do what I can.

March of course was also the month of the big Game Developers Conference which I've been going to every year since 2008. Dang that is a long time. Look at how serious I look in this picture.


Wow my hair was so blue back then! As I write this my hair is a big faded out mess. One of the biggest draw backs of moving out of Arizona was losing access to my ultra talented hair stylist, Stacy. At this point I'm actually making plans to go back to Arizona so that I can have her do my hair again (and also visit my friends.)

Along with GDC this was also the month of the big TowerFall showdown at The Foundry. Some really amazing games were played and I somehow walked away with the crown. I remember telling Matt "I don't know who was playing TowerFall just now, but it wasn't me." It was this weird feeling where I was playing so well that I felt like I was having an out of body experience. Anyway check out some footage.

I went back and spent some time revisiting my art style tests for my rpg prototype. I ended up ditching the pixel art look and going with a high definition style that uses pixel art as its source. Basically I draw everything at 4x its normal size using the pencil tool.


And of course the doodle train doesn't stop.

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