July 30, 2007

Photoshop is Phun!

It's amazing what you can do with Photoshop in a few minutes once you know what you are doing. Check out this mock-up of a PC game based on the card game speed:

I recognize it's not terribly advanced, but it's just a rough draft so I can talk more intelligently /persuasively about the interface at a team meeting tomorrow, and the whole thing only took about 20-30 min. to throw together. Neat!

Actually, I made the wooden tile in the background as part of a recent art assignment (more on that later), does it look like wood? Just curious.

Source Images Galore!

I know you all have been wondering if my artwork has at all resembled the source images, so I though I'd provide them to you at this point...

Christopher Lloyd

Rock Pile (my texture is taken from the rocks in the upper right)

Sadly, I couldn't find any source images for an inverted, floating, Arabian castle. So you'll just have to assume I got that one right ;).

My first map!

Hey all, this week is looking to be crazy (a couple projects, a quiz, two midterms, and a paper in a pear tree) but I seem to have a little bubble in my schedule so I thought I'd try to fit in an update:

I just submitted the final revision of my first Space Hulk map, here are images of the original map as well as my modified version:

The Original Map

My Revised Version

I also had to write an analysis of the original map and why I made the changes I did, so I am trying to include that as well. Though I'm not sure how to do it...

Does anyone out there know if it is possible to upload a document to a blog?

Let me know and I'd be happy to share the file. Though I don't know how excited any of you might be to slog through my 9-page analysis. If there isn't a way to put it up just let me know if you'd like a copy and I'll shoot you an email, thanks!

July 27, 2007

My first map?

Hello all,

Much has occurred over the last few days, and there's a lot to talk about, but I don't really have the time right now, hopefully I can do so tomorrow (my Saturday should be less busy). I created another texture, some tiles based off of source photos, created a map for the boardgame Space Hulk and spent almost two hours today playtesting it, in addition to the standard 200+ pages of reading and quizzes. I think the playtest went pretty well and I will post the final map and accompanying analysis as soon as I have it available. All my exams have been very good as well, so no problems there. Also, based on comments and other side conversations it would probably behoove me to post the source images when I put up an assignment so you have a better idea what I was trying to do or what I was given.

In other news, I randomly received an email from Andrew Leker (the CEO of Mind Control Software) saying that basically he hasn't forgotten about me and he plans to have a senior designer check out Richmond (the card game I sent him a few months ago as part of a GDC follow-up). He also was very enthusiastically supportive of my enrollment at the Guildhall which was cool. Things are overall good, but I'm crazy busy pretty much all the time. Fortunately, it's stuff I'm interested in so it doesn't tax me too much, but I do miss playing games which I don't really do that much anymore.

Anyway, I'm off (to actually play videogames with friends this evening, hooray!), but I'll try to post more info when I have the opportunity. Later!

July 25, 2007

My first texture

Sorry it's been a while, things have been busy. Important notes:
  • We went out to Dave and Busters on Saturday for my birthday and had a blast
  • All my quizzes and assignments have been going well as far as I can tell
  • Things are overall good, but busy
I mean, last night I stayed up until 1:30 A.M. making a texture (after being in class from 6:00 - 9:00). Anyway, I was pretty pleased with the result so I thought I would share. I'll probably refine it over the next couple days, but this was the first pass.

A note to all you Photoshop experts: I recognize you could probably do a better texture in your sleep, but this was my first time and it was really hard for me so BACK OFF! :)

July 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Unfortunately, text cannot quite convey the sarcasm of that title.

Yes, today is my birthday, and while I am thankful for all the birthday wishes and the presents I have received, they sit on my chair unopened as I have spent the majority of my day on my most recent art project: drawing a castle in two-point perspective.

My back hurts and I am still not overly thrilled with the end product, but I guess that's art for you. Anyway, it's done, I'm over it, and now I am free to enjoy the last 75 min. of my birthday, hooray! I have included an image of the drawing for your enjoyment.

Part of the project was to create a backstory for the location and try to communicate it through the drawing, so you'll have to let me know what you think the story of my castle is. Now, I am off to relax a little...

July 17, 2007

With friends like these...

Jane is awesome.

Nick is awesome.

I am writing this of my own free will and accord. I am not being threatened with painful birthday rituals or anything like that.

Meditations on Art Class

This was my brother's idea, but it amused me so into the blog it goes. I give you the haiku "Mediations on Art Class":

Drawing makes me cry
Christoper Lloyd looks scary
Let's learn Photoshop

And the scary Christopher Lloyd drawing I am referring to:

One week down, roughly 83 to go

Well, today marks my second quiz of my first term at the Guildhall. Yeah, I recognize I probably should have posted yesterday about my first quiz, but I was tired/lazy and then I forgot. Anyway, they both went quite well, I think, and have done a lot to bolster my scholastic confidence which had been somewhat wavering due to constantly being told how hard the classes/tests/professors/ assignments were going to be. That and the only real assignment I had being a drawing assignment didn't help any. Come to think of it I should probably take a picture of that...

The quizzes were in Level Design and Game Studies and basically revolved around the readings we had been assigned the previous week. Nothing too stressful or mind-boggling but enough to make sure you are reading the book and understanding the concepts. We have two more in Level Design this week that will hopefully be of a similar format.

That's about all that's going on right now. Now, I think I will enjoy a little Yggdra Union before I have to heat up some dinner and head off to art class. Later all!

July 13, 2007

End of Week I

Hey all!

Well, the first week is over, and I'm still very excited about everything and the classes are super cool. My level design class was spent almost entirely talking about the different genres, pros, cons, good examples, bad examples, and the professor is really passionate about all of it, which makes for an exciting experience.

Art class is, well, Art class, and I am trying to approach it with an open mind despite my severe lack of talent. We just got our first big assignment in there: reproducing an image from a movie using a grid in order to help obtain references. Kind of a cool idea really, but it will probably take me a while to do and it's due next Tuesday.

Other than that, it's mostly just a lot of reading, and we have our first quiz in level design on Monday. The professor basically prefaced it by saying almost everyone bombs the first quiz, especially if they haven't been in classes for a while :). Needless to say, this doesn't breed confidence, but I'm just gonna read the chapter and do the best I can.

I will try to keep this as up-to-date as I possibly can, but I am getting slammed with getting back into school, moving, and all sorts of other stuff. It's not to bad right now, but I guess I am a little anxious about where things are going. Just an FYI if posts start becoming a little more sporadic, there's a very good reason. Still, all in all, there's nothing I'd rather be doing and there's a lot to be said for that.

July 11, 2007

Scared yet?

So, the basic report is: The Guildhall professors have spent the last few days trying to scare us into realizing how intense this program is, and at least partially in my case, they have succeeded.

Meanwhile, I've just been busy getting back in the swing of school and trying to get prepared for my classes in addition to cleaning/setting up my apartment. It hasn't left me a lot of time to post, and right now isn't really an exception.

Long story short, it's been awesome so far (two days, yeah, I know) and I'm sure it will only get better once we start doing things, but it's going to be intense, really intense, and I'm probably not going to have time for much else. I hope to have a more substantive post, this weekend once I am a little better organized. Thanks!

July 9, 2007


Why does blogger insist on inserting pictures with a hyperlink to themselves? It doesn't make sense to me, but at this point I don't care enough to edit them out of the html...

Tools of the Trade

Got my books and PC today, thought you all would be interested to check out the new diggs:

Did someone say LAN party? (Actually, a few people did during orientation...I love game school :) )

July 8, 2007

It Begins...

Tomorrow is orientation! I'm so excited, it's crazy.

I recognize I have nothing new to add about the school, but since I just spent the majority of my day unpacking/organizing, cut me a little slack, alright? I haven't been this excited for something in a long time, and it's good that I am since it sounds like I'll have my work cut out for me.

In the limited free time I allotted myself for today I did manage to finish off F.E.A.R. which was a decent shooter. I thought the graphics (particularly the lighting effects) were thoroughly impressive, but the game did feel a little repetitive in that it felt like you were fighting the same guys in the same hallways. I like what they did with some of the level design, but it wasn't varied enough to hold my attention. Still, I managed to finish it (not typically my MO) so there's something to be said for that. Alright, well I'm gonna kill a little more time and then it's off to bed before my first day of game school!

July 7, 2007

Ain't no party like a Guildhall party

Guildhall party this evening, and while my apartment is still largely unpacked and unsettled, I got a chance to meet some fellow Guildhall students in my cohort and also from the last few cohorts as well. Some of the "veterans" (my term, not theirs) seemed to think that I "will do well" so that is certainly exciting/reassuring (offsetting the others that were trying to scare/warn the "n00bs" of what lay in store for them). The party was definitely a good time it makes me feel even more sure that this is the right thing for me. Hooray for game school! Anyway, it's time for bed.

P.S. I blow at Guitar Hero, like seriously blow. I don't think my left hand was built for it, or anything really.

Unpacking is Slow

Goodness, it feels like I have made almost no progress unpacking and yet I can look at the pile of broken down cardboard boxes to know that isn't the case. Man, moving is a giant pain in the ass. Still, my apartment is beginning to feel more like home, and orientation for school is in only a couple more days, which is really exciting!

Anyway, I think that's all I have for now, I better get back to work. I still need to set up my microwave if I intend to eat tonight, and also I need to find the box that currently has my toolset so I can tighten all the pieces on my table, lest it collapse. Hope you all are doing well, later!

July 6, 2007

Howdy from Texas!

Hey all!

As you all are probably aware, I have spent that last few days traveling from Richmond, VA to Plano, TX, and only claimed my new apartment as of this morning. Since then, I spent the better part of the day getting furniture, utilities, etc. in addition to figuring out how to set up a DSL modem/router in line with a wireless router (which I only managed to figure out within the last hour - much more difficult than anticipated), so this is the first chance I have had to make a post in a little while. Then again, since I haven't really shared this address with anyone, I don't suppose anyone really noticed ;).

Texas was rainy upon arrival. In fact, the whole drive in was basically a sheet of water, but luckily today was beautiful, if not a bit hot. My furniture and utilities arrived with almost no problem and my new apartment is great. There's still plenty to be unpacked and moved around, but things are slowly coming together.

I also got the chance to check out the school yesterday for about 30 sec. What I can say is: the front hallway is cool looking. And the campus is super-close to my apartment. Probably about a mile or less. Anyway, it's late and there's plenty more to do, so I am going to take off for now. More updates soon!