Monday, April 20, 2009

All I wanna do is make phonetic gun noises x3.

And so, we come to the end of another weekend of broken promises and lack-of-working.

That's not to say I didn't get anything done, its just that there were a lot of unforeseen distractions and forgotten obligations. What I have got, I am so very proud of. Not only that, but I've only got one more piece of finished concept art left (or do I? *DRAMATIC TURN and STARE*), so I'll have to start showing off something soon. I'm definitely going to have to look at getting this site finished as soon as possible.

On another note, I had my first day of working from home today. It wasn't all I was expecting. Hopefully things will run smoother when we have the office set up properly. Similarly, I have my first day in the new office tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the 2 hrs (possible) travel time, but I am almost excited to be working somewhere new. Plus I'm also glad I've got an hour train trip with nothing to do but stuff on my laptop. I've still got a bunch load of stuff to do from that and this trip is tailor made for it.

As for today's picture, this is a boy train. He was supposed to look kind of eager and ready, but I've had some people describe him to me as an angry Asian train. These people are racists.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby did a baaad baaad thing.

Well... Today was a lot busier than I was expecting, and fraught with danger at every turn, so I'm only just getting around to posting properly here.

So this is another piece of concept art for that thing I did that time. Once again, I cant really give too much away about it, aside that a) it's a game and b) they are trains. Draw your conclusions from that. Even better: write how you think those two facts come together and what details I'm omitting. Bonus points if you force me into replying with "No comment."

In relation to this, I remembered another lesson I learned from this: Don't count your chickens until they hatch. I think I got a little too excited that I'd "made it" when in reality I hadn't made anything yet.

In a similar vein, I saw this list of advice everyone should know when they are 18. I can't remember where exactly, it was some right-wing newspapers website, so some of the advice was probably thinly veiled racism and bigotry. I did know some of them pieces of advice, but one that struck me, and that I'll now recreate with heavy paraphrasing, is: Don't mistake being active with being productive.

It kinda struck a chord with me, since that's what I've being doing. I keep off putting off projects because I don't have enough faith in my skills to complete them to a state I'd be happy with, so Instead I keep either starting new ones or just doing random things and then I don't really end up with that much to show.

I think I've got enough ideas that I can safely burn through some and maybe not focus too much on making them as perfect as I envision in my head. Even if I'm not happy with theme, I can always go back and remake them again as something else later down the track I guess. It's so common to see people revisit (and sometimes never leave :S) the same basic themes they started with in pretty much all of the creative arts so I don't think there's a massive amount of shame in doing that if I feel the need.

So the current plan's going to remain a secret for the moment, but mainly because I'm trying to sort out exactly what I want to focus on. Well that's not totally true, I'm going to properly finish off my site and tart up this blog first, but after that it's all a-mystery.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A life of grime.

So... The reason my pic from last night was mildly prophetic is because today I was told they were going with another artists designs for the game I was asked to concept. I was a little heartbroken... but I think I'm over it now. This is a man blog after all. Single tear. That's it.

The bonus I guess, is that I can post the stuff I've done here and it can act like a buffer while I do other stuff.

I'm not particular pissed because I still think my stuff looks ok, and there was very little direction for me to go off of. Also, that whole 48 hours to define a style thing kinda sucked. And in the end, I lost out to an actuall trained artist who's been using his/her tablet for more than 2 months.

Meanwhile, it's all good to be idealistic about it, but its worthless if I haven't learned anything from it. Due to total lack of criticism (or feedback at all really), this is what I'm taking:

-Concept/basic designs doesn't need to be that detailed/clean/big (although that was me mainly sticking with what I know due to time restraints)
-Force people into dialog about what they want.
-I'm sure I learnt something about style... I'm just not sure what. I mean, I based mine on an example that was given to me, but I don't think it was as cartoony as they wanted. I think I'm going to have to try mimicing some other peoples styles.

I dunno... I'm sure there's more, but I'm a little tired. I've got a few others to put up, but I think i should probably leave out anything gameplay specific since I dont want to get into trouble.

Oh, massive ups to 26, catch my favourite song of thiers "A new beginning" in the season finale of the tv series "Life" this week. Maybe I'll have to get around to doing that film clip for you :P

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ending Vs. Ending.

SPOILER WARNING. So a lot of the discussion prior to the Watchmen movie coming out was regarding the change to the ending. Since seeing it, most people agree it was not a major loss to switch up the ending (although, a lot of the little details that *did* get changed/lost bugged me), and I can see where they are coming from and somewhat agree. However, it did make me think a little bit about whether or not either plan was that good of an idea after all.

I'll briefly recap:
In the Comics:
Ozymandias, the worlds smartest man, realises that he'll never truly make a difference fighting petty crime, gives up adventuring and begins a massive commercial empire. Using his vast wealth, he 'kidnaps' a slew of the worlds greatest scientific and creative minds, takes them to an island to work on a 'movie', all as a front for creating a terrifying alien organism with psychic powers. To truly make his plan work, he has to find a way to get rid of Doc Manhatten, the only being powerful enough to stop him.

The Comedian finds out about this plot, and breaks down. Ozy kills him to protect his plan, and exiles Manhatten. As the world is on the very verge of nuclear war, Ozy teleports the 'Alien' to New York, where it dies, taking most of the city with it. People die but it leads to world peace as everyone bands together to fight the implied threat of alien invasion.

In the Movie:
Ozymandias realises that he'll never truly make a difference fighting petty crime, gives up adventuring and begins a massive commercial empire. Using his vast wealth and his connections to Doc Manhatten, he starts project S.Q.U.I.D., which is a front to hide his true intentions of building a machine that can cause massive explosions similar to Manhatten's power. To truly make his plan work, he has to find a way to get rid of Manhatten, the only being powerful enough to stop him.

The Comedian finds out about this plot, and breaks down. Ozy kills him to protect his plan, and exiles Manhatten. While the world is on the very verge of nuclear war, Ozy uses the machine to blow up cities around the world, ending with New York. People die but it leads to world peace as everyone bands together to fight the implied threat of Doc Manhatten.

In the final analysis:
So, its a happy ending all round (almost). Both versions end up roundabout the same way, although the world banding together to fight a god character is either retarded or a heavy handed metaphor. However, I find it odd that a story so very very bleak it can turn so positive so quickly. In the comic it happens in about one page, and we're not talking about a ray of hope, we are talking the full rainbow of hope. In both versions, Russia is busy throwing it's weight around and America has it's finger resting on the button, ready to launch a counter attack, should it come to it. Suddenly, everyone's slapping each other's backs and running off to fight the version-specific-scapegoat.

To me, Ozy's attack is more likely to start WW3 than prevent it. In the comics, everyone in the surrounding area dies as soon as the Alien is teleported, people in the area around that suffer crippling mental distress. Surely the initial report would indicate there's been some kind of superweapon deployed. The immediate analysis would be that it's most probably an attack by the Russians, and that American retaliation must be swift before they get a chance to deploy again.

In the movie, it's even more insane. Many cities across the world are hit by what appears to be America's superweapon... With the very last city being New York, at least 30 minutes after the first attack if I'm remembering correctly. Surely the mirror opposite of the comic book ending would happen here, Russia would assume America has attacked and fire their nukes in retaliation. Alternatively, America could assume Russia's push into Afganistan was just the beginning of a world wide push, with these latest explosions being the next stage.

Let's also not forget that the movie is set in the 80's... Sure, it's a world that's been enhanced by Manhatten, but Ozy's still only got a crappy 2 color screen computer, and he's the richest (or at least, one of them) man in the world. Their communication network is hardly comparable to the the wonderous world wide coverage we've grown accustomed to these days. Surely this whole ordeal would create an immediate nationwide/worldwide panic and confusion as fingers are pointed in every direction (mostly Russia/America), and thats not even taking into account the religous end-of-days style fear (Manhatten is considered to be a god after all).

So I dunno... I mean, far be it for me to try and second guess the smartest man in the world (or a writer as insanely talented as Moore for that matter), but there had to be a better way to go about 'Saving the world'. It's important to remember that Ozy is always trying to do the right thing. There's certainly nothing in the story that suggests he's been corrupted by his power, aside from possibly his self doubt at the end. The point was always to scare the world into unification by providing a greater threat to worry about. Not all great leaders have to rely upon intimadation to get things done though. I have a couple of ideas that don't involve indescriminate killing:

- Saving the world through capitalism:
Ozy already has a massive empire, so rather than funneling money to his doomsday plan, he instead uses his money to branch out into all nations. Slowly and surely expanding his entire corporation, he ends up with a monopoly over most of the major industries of the world, particularly those involved in weapons production. Self-sabotaging research and developent to slow the technological growth, and moderating construction costs to slow the supply, Ozy is able to effectively control the government through logistics eventually bending them to a shared view of peace.

-Saving the world through adverstising:
Having already cracked the secret of business by monitoring global sentiment via advertising, Ozy realises the process can work in reverse too. Using his wealth, Ozy takes control of the worlds media, steering global sentiment away from war by changing the way the world sees itself. Creating guidelines, he eliminates stereotyped images, which has the knock on affect of lessoning racism, bigotry and other hatred and promoting a united world view.

-Saving the world by manipulating Doc Manhatten.
After reading his psyche report, Ozy realises Manhatten is growing less and less connected to the world. Rather than accelerating that as he did in the book, he attempts to slow it down as much as possible by maintianing as many strands to Jon Osterman as possible. Then, taking advantage of Manhatten's willingness to 'Do as he's told', Ozy can pretty much do anything. Get Manhatten to steal every nuclear warhead at once in the world and deposit them in the sun? No problem. Turn vast sections of barren land into fertile farming land and end world hunger? Easy. It might sound a little riduculous, but Manhatten is pretty much capable of anything as far as the story goes. In the movie he's even helping out Ozy. It might not be the end all, but it would definitely halt an immediate nuclear war.

-Super power up Rorschach.
Give him a giant robot or something. And then unleash him on the world. Would scare the crap out of me...

Note: None of these plans would support Rorschach's mask killer theory.

So there you go. Note that none of those will truly save the world from itself, but neither did Ozy's plan in the comic/movie. Both scenes end in the office of the New Frontiersman, and even though America and Russia are all chummy chummy, we still get a glimspe that racism and hatred haven't died with the squid. Still, it's got to be better to do what you can rather than do nothing at all.

(As a side note: I did the image last night in a tiny amount of time. It turned out being strangely prophetic.

Seriously though... I can see how being Manhatten would get dull.. but there must've been times it was great. You wouldn't have to ride the bus anymore and you could teleport girl's clothes right off of them, which would be great at parties.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Sooooooo... Fuck it. I'm working on this on my own time. On my own equipment. They haven't said I can't put what I'm working on on here, but I guess if they do... I can just replace it later.

I think it's probably best I don't reveal what it is exactly... so feel free to guess at what this is for. I'll give you a hint: It's a train.

What else is new? Not much. I'm still trying to work out how I'm going to divide up my time. Supernova is on on the weekend, so no doubt in going to be inspired do something comic related. Only time will tell.