Monday, July 13, 2015

Art Direction of Spirit Siege - Part 2: After Kickstarter

This is Part 2 of a two-part post about the evolution of Spirit Siege's art direction. If you haven't already, check out Part 1.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Rabbit Holes

I finally finished this painting I've been working on sporadically for over a year. It's been a lesson in deciding to just suck it up and do the work I know needs to be done.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Art Direction of Spirit Siege - Part 1: Before Kickstarter

Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part post about the evolution of Spirit Siege's art direction. If you'd like to jump ahead, here is Part 2.

Art direction is what enables a team of individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, and artistic styles to ship a unified product. It is the process of getting the team aligned around a vision, a clear goal of what we're all aiming for, why we're aiming for it, and how we're going to achieve it. Done well, it contains the decisions that make a thousand others.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Deck Builder Visual Design

Spirit Siege has a deck builder now! This screen was the first real opportunity to flesh out and nail down the visual language of menus, so lots of the problems we solved here will carry over into other parts of the game.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dance of Squares

Sometimes I just want to play with color without the pesky business of drawing stuff first.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Go - Elephant's Eye

This fast impulsive painting is the product of several ideas colliding across space and time. About six weeks ago, I started playing Go and am now completely enamored with it. I just learned the name for elephant's eye shape last week. Once upon a time, two years ago, I hatched plans to paint three endangered species in ultra-vibrant colors. The preliminary sketches were in this post. Passion for something even better (at the time) snuffed out that idea. Yesterday, I walked past the most amazingly brilliant red dahlias, and suddenly I knew where this was going. Red seemed appropriate because of passion, danger, and because, as I understand it, typically only one of the two Go stones can live in this configuration.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Spirit Siege - Game Design Kickstarter Updates

 During our Kickstarter campaign, there were a number of game features we wanted to explain in greater detail. For our daily backer updates, I made these explanatory panels to give visual interest to what might have otherwise been walls of text, using copy from our game designers and Caitlyn Patten's character art.

Spirit Siege - Featured Characters

During our Kickstarter campaign, we wanted to highlight the units and teach our backers some basic strategies. I made up these handy informational panels for 15 featured characters using information from our game designers and Caitlyn Patten's adorable character art.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Information Density is Fun!

By far, this chart was the most fun piece of graphic design I created for Spirit Siege's Kickstarter campaign. It needed to convey a lot of information and make it easy to see what the backers would recieve at each tier. Many of these types of charts simply use X's to indicate whether items are included in different backer tiers, but we used small graphic representations of each item instead, repeating written information visually where relevant. More visual appeal, easier to parse, and strategic redundancy for the win.

What made this project particularly fun was cramming a lot of information into a really tight space. Over the many iterations shown below, I adjusted things like column widths and icon designs to accommodate the changing character length of item names and the current number of backer tiers.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Making of Bowman

Spirit Siege has a booth at PAX! Time for eye-catching booth decorations. Caitlyn Patten designed the character, I just made her BIG. The game art, because it's game art, was too low res to print at this scale, so I broke out the old scenic painting skills and made us a prop. At first I was reluctant to get this crafty, but less than a day later I was bouncy with excitement and losing sleep gleefully planning methods and materials. Turned out to be a super fun diversion from the usual pixel-tinting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spirit Siege - Kickstarter Banners & Reward Sub-Banners

Lots of graphic design for Spirit Siege's Kickstarter page. The main section banners look like the princess example above. Each one features one of Caitlyn's adorable characters.

Below are some of the sub-banners for the Rewards section, where we go into detail about each reward item. I designed these sub-banners to be smaller, less attention-grabbing, and to feel indented, so that it would be clear that you are looking at a sub-section header even when you're deep inside the long long rewards section of page.

There are more examples on our Kickstarter page, but these are the ones where I created the icon art on the left. Caitlyn made the art on the others.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tileable Water System

One of the tasks I worked on at Nova Heartbeat was designing a tileable water system for Spirit Siege, a top-down grid-based strategy game. We wanted to create organic-looking coastlines to generate visual interest while clearly delineating which spaces were playable. With some exceptions, units could not be placed on water. My rule of thumb was: water squares should be at least 75% covered by water, and grass squares should be no more than 25% covered by water.

While the original mock-up by Caitlyn had pretty directional wave lines, I wanted the final assets to be more flexible than that, so I used spirals to create a non-directional water texture instead.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Full Color Self-Portrait with Process

Last Friday, I gave myself the afternoon to start making whatever art I wanted. Since I hadn't done a full color portrait in a long while, and seeing how I'm still the cheapest and most accommodating model I know, self-portrait it was.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Halloween!

So there I was, listening to Janelle MonĂ¡e ("Dance Apocalyptic," in case you were wondering. I know you were.), looking at pictures of red pandas, and vaguely wondering what to be for Halloween.
Here's what happened.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ancient City

I took inspiration from the Ajanta Caves in India and the Vardzia cave monastery in Georgia for this concept piece of an ancient city. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Castle Paintovers

I love doing paintovers. They let me play with mood and color a lot sooner because so much of the content and composition is there already. 

 Overcast Day

Overcast Inspiration

Provided White Box Render, source unknown

Sunset Inspiration


Friday, June 21, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Lonely Giant

 Here are three illustrations from The Lonely Giant, a Scottish fairy tale. 

The giant asks his human friend how to cure his loneliness. Knowing that he could never marry her, she tells him to find a giantess to be his wife. 

He wanders the shoreline in search of a giantess. 

The giantess rejects the giant for being too small, and hurls him into the sea.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Fistful of Duckies Brochure


Doing some graphic design this week in preparation for DigiPen's Career Fair. Here's the team brochure for the game. A stack of our business cards will be paper-clipped inside over the whales. 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Graveyard Concept Art

Concept art for the graveyard level of the Halloween theme. 
Franken-duckies & gravestones by Jon Gardner. Bats by Terrana Cliff. I did the rest of the painting and the final composition. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The New and Improved Edge of the World!

Update to the Edge of the World level: new colors for sky and masking flats help distinguish it from the previous pirate-themed level, and background clouds add depth and interest. Woo!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brown? We don't need no stinkin' brown!

Next up we're making a pumpkin patch level for the Halloween theme. I'm having fun interpreting earth tones with our limited vibrant color palette.
Drawings by Jon Gardner and Terrana Cliff. I did the painting. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kraken Battle!

Level 3 (Act 3 of the pirate theme) features an underwater kraken battle! In support of our cut-out shooting gallery aesthetic, we decided not to aim for wave action on the tentacles and are treating them instead like flat pieces being controlled by sticks from below.

My team mate, Jon Gardner, did the initial character exploration. I then made final adjustments to the line drawings before taking over at the color exploration phase and carrying it through to final polish.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thinking with Post-its

For A Fistful of Duckies, our team was doing a lot of talking about chains of events, which menus needed which buttons, when we should present information to the player, what calculations would need to happen when so that the game would play well and at least somewhat resemble the loan repayment process in real life. To make the conversation clearer for everyone, I got a bunch of post-its and made this flow-chart of how I imagined the game would go. Then our game designer, Anthony Murray, took over, made adjustments, and implemented it in accordance with how the game actually evolved. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Return to Guache

Dusted off the guache tubes and made this little painting of a snake plant. Had a good time, remembered a lot of things, and learned a few more. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Underwater Stage

Level 3 (act 3 of the pirate theme) is an underwater level, so I got to make a whole new stage complete with sand ground rows, water masking flats, and a god ray backdrop. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Edge of the World!

In Level 2 (act 2 of the pirate theme), our friend the pirate ship sails to the waterfall at the edge of the world. Sure, why not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Choice Menu

Between rounds, the player interacts with the carnival barker host, learns new concepts, and makes strategic choices which determine how hard it will be to make future round payments. These choices are where the real life financial concepts really intersect with our carnival metaphor.