Thursday, 5 July 2012


Today was all about studying UIs, learning the relevant terminology, and, crucially, mocking up some game ideas.

Part of this involved more thought being put into the units we'll have in-game, and we all seem pretty stoked about dragons.

Red ones, blues ones, old ones, new ones and everything in between!

This lead to some relevant (and not so much) Google image searches, and between How to Train Your Dragon and Sparkle Dogs (don't ask) we ended up with some pretty cool ideas!

One of the most prevalent ones at the moment is to base the dragon's look and traits off known silhouettes, and as such we're looking into the animal kingdom.

Here we have a hare, rhino, guinea pig and panda-dog!

We're also keeping up with doing some 20min speed paintings, the theme of which today was 'Swamp':

Thanks to the course, my colour work is MUCH better than it used to be, and I've only been there 4 days! It's a truly fantastic course that I'd recommend to anyone, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow where the plan is to refine the game idea.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

2 more days down!

Afraid there wasn't much to post from yesterday, we worked on some pixel art and learned about dithering and other cool effects, but I forgot to bring any home with me to write about!

Today though, I have 2 pieces to share with you, and both have been created with an awesome new (to me) piece of software called Alchemy. Available here as a free download :

"The Stag"

This was created with reflection on and "Trace Shapes" being used, with "Style" in the upper right being on blocks rather than lines.

All the different brushes have cool effects, ranging from using per pressure to generate spiked gate-like lines to using sounds fed into the microphone to create large blobs, but trace shapes is by far my favorite. The way it works is to grab basic shapes other people have created from an online repository (it does this for you) and you 'trace' blindly around them. Setting opacity to low and building up black and white layers can leave you with cool effects like this!

Another I created with Trace Shapes it 'Throne Room':

Much higher contrast for a stronger image!

We also did some environmental 20min speed paintings which were critiques by industry professionals, so that was amazing! And then we were told about the following gold mines:

Pretty amazing stuff! And that's all for today, with no idea what tomorrow will bring!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Day One: Some amount of hours remaining

First and foremost, you would not believe the amount of planning I've put into my month of Gamer Camp.

I'm always a stickler for accuracy, and as such I have created a spreadsheet to document my day-to-day spending and given myself a daily 'extras' allowance as such. And so: I have £5.14 as "recreational" funds to spend per day!

I have also made a list of 15 trains I can get ~to~ Birmingham every day, and 20 I can get ~from~, depending on the start and end times as per. the course and my team's instructions.

Now, onto the good stuff!

There were only 14 available places for Gamer Camp Nano this year, which would be split into 7 artists and 7 programmers, however due to *unknown activities* there's only 9 people taking part this year. This group consists of 4 artists and 5 programmers, and yours truly was, of course, late.

In my defense, I was only 5 minutes late, but everyone else was happily on time, so I was left with that horrible feeling that I'd been holding everyone up. Thankfully my fears were put to rest when I realized we still had 10 minutes scheduled of coffee-drinking-friend-making to do.

So friend make I did!

I'll keep anonymity available for others, but suffice to say they're all lovely people. And it was startling to see how much everyone had in common!

Now, onto the good stuff:

Being day one, the first half of the day was orientation. We all took part in some cute little team building activities, including one where we made a quick poster about ourselves and presented it to everyone else.

I, of course, mumbled and bumbled along, allowed my stage fright to set in, then spent the next 10 minutes not being able to stop my fingers shaking.

Then we started work, and by work I mean playing some games.

 Analyzing, comparing, playing, playing, playing... It was good! Followed by some brainstorming (and some pleasant arguing over ideas) we were pretty much ready to go!

So, as of today, we have a VERY rough, unrefined in any sense, spec. And I'm excited as hell!
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