September 26, 2009

Octopus on a Swing Set

Filed under: Sketch — Screenhog @ 2:36 pm

The question isn’t “Why do a quick sketch of an octopus on a swing set?”

The question is “Why NOT do a quick sketch of an octopus on a swing set?”

September 24, 2009


Filed under: Sketch — Tags: , , — Screenhog @ 6:56 pm

I was getting ready for bed last night, and I was struck with the idea that I should do a quick drawing of Yoda freehand. Do these kinds of thoughts ever happen to you?

Anyway, I got out a nifty variable-width inking pen I have, and just started drawing from memory. In about 7 minutes, this was the result:

Meh. He looked like half-Yoda, with a mixture of a gremlin and Tweeg thrown in. Not great… so today, I actually found pictures of Yoda and started again. 12 minutes later, I had this:

Better. It was still freehand with ink, which means that once you’ve drawn a line, you’re stuck with it, so I’m pretty happy with this. Light sabers never look right without color, though.

September 19, 2009

Prop Ninjas

Filed under: Sketch — Screenhog @ 7:30 pm

This has been a busier week than most, and coming to today, I knew I wouldn’t really have time to make a new thing for this blog, so I went searching through old stuff, and this caught my eye.

A few years ago, I had an idea for a card game entitled Prop Ninjas. The basic premise of the game was that there was a group of ninjas from a remote part of the world who wouldn’t just fight with regular weapons… they’d fight with anything they could get their hands on. One ninja might fight with a rabbit, and his opponent might counter the attack by fighting with a carrot, which the rabbit would eat and get distracted from the opponent’s real attack.

It was an interesting game idea, and not unlike Scribblenauts in some ways. I created 80 cards for the game, and playtested it with some friends. It was an okay game, but it was somewhat flawed, so I let it go.

Anyway, had this game been made, the cards would have needed illustrations, so I started drawing ideas of what the Prop Ninjas themselves would have looked like. Here are the concepts:

September 17, 2009


Filed under: Sketch — Tags: — Screenhog @ 7:53 pm

I’m devouring Scribblenauts at the moment, and while I intend to do a video game review of it later, my short review is that I definitely like it.

September 12, 2009


Filed under: Opinion,Sketch — Screenhog @ 5:00 pm

In the story of Humpty Dumpty, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” Am I the only one that has ever asked why they even let the horses try to put Humpty together again? They’re horses, for crying out loud… it’s not like they’re out in hayfields across the midwestern United States weaving hay into blankets or creating mud sculptures. They do not have a particularly delicate touch when it comes to arts and crafts… for that matter, they don’t even have thumbs.

Come to think of it, the story doesn’t even mention that Humpty is an egg… I wouldn’t be surprised if that weird little rhyme actually has some kind of deeper meeting or political statement or something. If “Ring Around the Rosy” is about the Black Plague, who knows evil lurks in Humpty Dumpty.

September 8, 2009

Quick Animation: Anti-Theft Device

Filed under: Animation — Screenhog @ 8:07 pm

September 5, 2009


Filed under: Digital Painting,Sketch — Screenhog @ 6:42 pm

About 4 years ago, I was sketching up concept drawings for an animation idea I had, and I drew a goofy-looking gopher. I loved the drawing, but it was forgotten until today, when I was looking through my old sketches. I asked myself what he’d look like painted, and…

Here is he, with a side-by-side comparison of the original sketch. I’m glad I tried it, but I still like my original sketch better.

September 2, 2009

Learning Level Design: Mario Bros. 1-1

Filed under: Video Games — Tags: — Screenhog @ 9:02 pm

I’ve mentioned how I’d love to make a Wii game someday, but to do that, there are a lot of things that I still have to learn, and one of them is good level design. If you’ve ever played a game where every location feels the same, or if you’ve played a game where finishing the level requires some kind of near-impossible jumps and maneuvers, you’ve been a victim of bad level design.

I decided that one of the best places to look for good level design is in popular games and memorable games, and very few games are more popular or memorable than Super Mario Bros, and Level 1-1 is so well known that it became a stage in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, so let’s see what makes this level tick!

(I’m going to be writing this with the assumption that you are not particularly good at video games. It helps to see games from a new user’s point of view.)

Here we are, the start of the level. It starts out very boring, and I’m pretty sure that’s on purpose. All you see is Mario, the sky, and the ground. You try walking to the left, but that doesn’t go so well. You try walking to the right. Oh, what’s that? A question mark box? What could be inside? It’s very subtle, but putting that question mark box on screen gives you a gentle push as to which way you should go, inviting you to explore a bit more.
(click to read the rest of this post…)

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