Monday, 21 November 2011

Thumbnail Generator

I held off posting this until after Mitch Small's lecture. 

It has really hit home how important planning my workload can affect my performance. 
I'm still disorganised with regard to balancing the workload. 
I seem to focus on what I feel is more interesting than what is a priority. 
I have to consider the time factors for each project better so I can make time more available for the projects I want to focus on. 

After reading through the Mere Kat Process and Planning document it really shed light on some of my concerns. 

My main problem is that without a process I flounder about and fail to reach my potential. 
If I know what steps to proceed by, it's all plain sailing. 

If I still haven't walked through a stage when planning out, if I miss a step, it tends to float around in my head like a soap bubble. Always niggling for attention. 
So getting a reasonable amount of thumbnail sketches onto paper really helps dust out the bad ideas. 
You soon 
It also allows you to gain some momentum with your work and reference those stronger ideas when a problem happens to arise. 
Going back a step is never good in any industry so pre-planning is going to save both time and money. 

I used to feel like I had cheated when I used a pose from reference. I don't know why? 
Now that I think of it, it was incredibly dumb and counter productive. 
I must have thought that I wasn't a real artists unless I originated my own ideas. What an idiot! 
Maybe some bad advice when I was younger? 

Reading Mere Kat's thoughts on using reference to guide your work really dispersed all fears. 
How else would I learn? It's so obvious now. 

Having the privilege of seeing Mitch Small at work was a revelation. 
I feel that with more practice ( a lot more) I can produce work at speed that communicates my ideas. 
Which will in turn enable me to focus my results more efficiently. 


I have been tinkering around with an idea for a game since August. Initially it began as joke between me and Inez. 
I woke up one night and she was doodling an interesting little character on my PC. 
She must have lost faith in it because despite my pleading she saw fit to delete the image. 

Little did she know that my software auto-backs images to my desktop. I inspected the plucky little character once again and instantly felt inspired to create some friends for him. 


Inez gave me the go ahead to keep the image for reference. And so began the genesis of "MINIONS" 

All the MInions from L to R: Raid, Toro, Heinz, Armold, Vulc, Orbis,
Skracth, Croaxe, Grrrr, Bead, Ball, Sir Neigm, Furn, Dex,
Drake, Ventz, Ertz, Pot-Shot, Pinch, Crax, Mister Reyes.
Minion is himself a 'minion' of a 'Dark Lord' who has chosen to rage against the world. 
This stirs something deep inside Minion and causes him to revolt against his masters evil plans.
For his efforts he is cast out of the 'Dark Lords' realm, to a place where all the rejected minions reside. 

So it's up to Minion to rally the other Minions together to defeat their evil master.

This idea really took root in my mind. 

We had a great time firing game ideas at each other whilst waiting to go on rides at Alton Towers. A great source of inspiration which I recommend to all. 
Being in a positive sense of mind really accelerates your creative thought process because your full of enthusiasm. 

And being at a Theme Park is like walking through a Video Game environment. 
Everything is carefully constructed to maximise your enjoyment.

(Also having a whole Summer break was a big help. But completely unrealistic in the working world). 

Each character started out in my sketch book to then be refined by points of reference to where I thought these characters were heading. 
One of my main influences is 'Time Bandits' a film created by Monty Python comrades Terry Gilliam and Micheal Palin in 1981.

The Bandits with 'The Map of The Universe'

David Warner as 'Evil Genius'

Terry Gilliam. This pretty much says it all :)

And a rather odd game called 'The Misadventures of Tron Bonne'. 

This game is set in the universe from the Megaman Legends titles. 
The difference with this game is that the main protagonist is the villain. It's an enjoyable deviation from the usual path. 
Tron Bonne is a pirate that raids towns and dungeons for all their resources. The problem is your crew is an inept bunch of robots. 
To improve their performance you must specialize them in certain fields. 

I love how the Thief is pulling a pig behind him :D

Here are a few Servbots and their potential abilities - 

 A sharpshooter, he's known by his nickname, "The Gunslinger."

Location: Gym
Skill: Sniper
Give him the Comic found on scouting missions.

 Smart works in development and the field. He's a fighter and a scientist.

Location: Lab
Skill: Bazooka
Raise Attack and Brains ratings to 4.

 Strange has the kind of personality where you never know what he's thinking.

Location: Café
Skill: None
No skill requirement.

This is the quirk that I enjoyed about this game. Essentially evolving these little guys to be useful.
It's quite a positive endeavour. And fun too more importantly. 
One thing I always read about in the games industry, if it's not fun, it's not a good game. 

As the course goes on I would like to use what I am learning to try and expand this concept. 
It could be good or it could all just seem like a good idea in my head. 
I'll just have to find out.