Tuesday, 5 August 2014

MMM, Blended goodness.

Cant think of a way to start this blog so why don't you close your eyes go to your mind palace and think of something awesome like Ninja kittens fighting sloths using nun-chucks made from Scorpions while a pug puppy dressed a Roman Emperor sits between Kelly Brookes Boobs deciding their fate.

Phew, My mind palace seems to be a very strange place. Any way just thought I would write a post about my new project which is to learn Blender. I've always loved 3D animation and I'm a massive Pixar fan but never thought I would get a chance to make my own 3D creations. I had heard of Blender and heard that it was a top level 3D software package - FOR FREE. My favourite price.

I started off by watching loads of beginner tutorials on YouTube and doing lots of paint by number tutorials to get familiar with Blenders confusing interface. Coming from an Adobe background Blenders UI is daunting to begin with but these tutorials helped me memorise the tool lay out.

Heres some really simple tutorials that give you cracking results even with zero Blender experience-


I'm now moving on to making my own art. I'm still reliant on tutorials, but now I can piece them together to make images of my own. Our next games artwork is looking suited to Blender but not in a way you would expect. I've been struggling with the look of our new game but Blenders opened up a world of art that I never considered I could get my noggin around.

Next step would be a shift to unity and if I can develop my skills in 3D we should be starting work on 3D games probably early next year.

In other news, our latest game is nearing completion and after a couple of weekend get meet ups we have given the project a push and we are really excited to put it out there.

Monday, 7 July 2014


Look, I know its been frickin ages since my last post but shit, if that's the most you have to worry about today then your having a good day in my book.

So what the bloody hell have I been up to? Well now that PJ is around more as his day job has chilled out ever we have had a few meet ups based around the game the game PJ has been working on. Basically the game is his baby but we've all had some input and I've put my newly acquired animation skills to use by designing the intro animation. I've enjoyed making this intro as its fairly short and its my first time working to a brief for an animation project albeit a very loose brief.

On top of the animation I have been designing images for information screens which has inspired me to start a new animation. One of the info screens includes a character I used to draw when I was a kid, I really want to make some simple, short and funny animations.

Oh and we discovered Guns of Icarus, Id watched the Yogscast play this and it looked very interesting but due to being a console gamer I didn't really take anymore notice. Then PJ rocked up with some copies of the game and we love it. Its a great metaphor for our game design project! Play it and you'll see what I mean.

So whats next? Well finishing of the new game is first on the list, we are hoping to get this out within a couple of weeks which will be closely followed but the website announcement to friends and family. We were going to advertise and get all social media about it but we have decided that a soft launch would be best and easier to manage, plus we will get honest feedback.

After that we will start to flesh out our next full game. I'm really keen to continue with our next project as its been slow going for a while, we have a cool concept worked out and we are excited to be working on it.

Peace out bitches.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Flash Animation.

Next step in the learning process is learning Adobe Flash animation. I wanted to make a cartoon as a learning project so I started off with a simple little doodle thing that I made in Adobe Illustrator a while ago to learn a few techniques.

I didnt really obsess with learning the different techniques in detail as i wanted to try a load of tricks to see how they work. I usually find that its best to experiment with Adobe programs and find ways of doing things yourself rather than sit through hours of tutorials. I will focus on important gaming animations like walk cycles in future animations. I now know I have a working knowledge in Flash so game development should move along a bit quicker for the next game.

One big lesson i learnt making this animation is that i should start off by making shorter movies. This animation took me ages as i really bit off more than i could chew. I also stumbled across many of flashes annoying qwerks while working with a largish file. Next time i will split the files up and have different scenes in different files stitched together with a video editor.

Music is provided by my Brother Adam Tustian. 

'Late for work' animation

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Stay on target, STAY ON TARGET!

So its been a while since I've last posted, sorry about that but a shit load has happened. Obviously we all took some time out for the Xmas period, but PJ has had work commitments and I have lost my day job and I have been job hunting. On the game dev front we have decided that the next full game we are going to make is going to be a cracker so we are going to take our time with it and make sure we are happy with every aspect of it. For now we have a brief plot and the odd concept image but that's about it. Its going to be a story driven game but that's all I can say on that for the moment. Will will keep you updated s keep checking the website and twitter for info.

So what have I been up to? well, First of all I have been trying to design some concept images for the new game, but I was really struggling to get inspiration and have suffered my first creative block. I saturated myself with images and art styles to try and get a feel/style for the new games artwork but nothing I came up with really stood out. After numerous moans about it to the others PJ give me a couple of slaps round the chops and said that its going to be long process, lets just talk about the game, plot and atmos and as we flesh things out the artwork will evolve itself and let it grow organically.

After that chat I decided to shelve the new game and finally learn flash animation. PJ mentioned that we need a logo intro for our games so I thought that would be a perfect project to learn flash with. TOP TIP time - don't bite off more than you can chew! start with ground up tutorials and practise. I had a whole complex image I had done in illustrator, but where as I though this would speed the whole process up it ended up bogging me down right at the start. I presumed that being used to Adobe programs that I should be able to jump straight into flash, but as it turns out it seems like flash (formally macromedia) is a kind of emulation of adobe programs and there are a few effects in illustrator that flash doesn't like. after a lot of YouTube tutorials and googling I started to make some progress. One of the biggest issues was how i ordered and layered things in illustrator. On the bright side i now know for future projects how I need to set files up in illustrator. Now I'm just waiting for the sounds from Adam before we can add the intro to our games.

While I have been working on the above PJ has been cracking on with a game he's making, we have been play testing it for him and its looking really good. I wont spoil the game for you so keep an eye out on PJ's blog and the website.

What am I doing at the moment you may ask, well I'm starting another animation project for the time being. Its an animation based around a character I made using illustrator ages ago. Its just an exercise in learning to animate and I've got to say its looking good. I'm going to be using a track that Adams made and I'm going to practice syncing up the sound track to the animation as part of my learning journey. keep an eye out for it. right that's me for now, I have loads to do so I better get cracking. latas

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Howdy douche bags
So bedlam is complete, it's out on the Internet via the caper Republic site or newgrounds and its doing pretty well! At this moment it's up to 1700 plays which is amazing, it's so strange to know people have taken time out of their day to play a game where you throw boots at people heads to cure them of victorian illnesses.  The game so far has got 2 stars out of 5 which doesn't sound great but we are chuffed considering it's our first game. Next up is our second game, after attending Eurogamer expo and having a couple of interesting chats with industry types in trilbies we are hyped and ready to get cracking. First of all is getting the website finished. Its no good going all out trying to get people to play our games if you have to navigate a crap website. 
My last bit of work for the site is the avatars. My process for the avatars has been to draw a likeness on paper in pencil before outlining it in black ink. Then its off to Photoshop for a tidy up before chucking it into Adobe illustratorfor some prettying up. I was going to teach myself to use a tablet while doing these but for times sake I'm just sticking to what I know. So far I'm really happy at how they are shaping up. Really not looking forward to doing mine as it'll be strange staring at my ugly mug for hours, but it's a blast turning my bro and my bezzie into cartoons

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Website live!

So there we have avid readers, the website has put on its new clothes and is out and about showing his new toggs off to anyone bothered to pay attention.

Its taken quite a while but we've managed to complete the website. When I say complete I mean it still needs a load of bug finding and a load of polish, but its out there now and anyone that can be arsed can go look at the product of a gang of highly trained fruit bat farmers' blood sweat and tears.

Its been tricky trying to guess what will work and what wont asset wise, but I had a mock-up of the site I would use to test stuff on which was a great help. I've got to say the result is much better than I thought it would be. I had a massive mental block while designing the site, but really I should have just chilled out and had fun with it.

The best tips I can offer to someone doing this for the first time are:

Planning. Make a list of every asset you need and fill the list with as much info as you need. This includes sizes of art work, inspiration images, colour schemes and priority's. I found I needed to work on the background first as after I had that I could work from a colour scheme and I had a clearer idea of the overall theme. I used design mood boards to help me. Research and lots of reference images helped me get a general idea of the feel of the site. Inspiration isn't a tap you can turn on and off so you need to give your self a starting point.

Mock-up. Make a template in a program like Illustrator or Photoshop so you can test how your artwork looks in place. Playing around with the layout and adjusting sizes and position meant that the site went through many different incarnations. Its like having a giant jigsaw puzzle, but every time you complete it you find that several pieces are from a different puzzle and you need to start again with different pieces.

Communication. Stay in touch with the website developer. After toiling away in my pit, it was the get together with PJ that finally got the site finished. I had all the sizes I needed and a to do list but working live with PJ accelerated  the process and help both of us tie up the loose ends.

So, there you go. The sites pretty much done. what's next?

Well, my better half Gilly got me a Wacom Bamboo for my Birthday! what an awesome GF, helping me geek out to the max!

Its a sweet bit of kit, its very much a baby Wacom but its perfect for me to learn on. As this is my first time using a tablet to design with a massive £500 tablet would be a bit overkill and very daunting.  My little learning project for the Wacom is the caricatures for the 'caper crew'. I've read through a few tutorials and watched a load of you tube videos on inking using a tablet and all that's left is to get my hands dirty.

I've already managed to knock up a caricature for Mike by hand which needs a bit of a tidy up in Photoshop, but this is a chance to have a play with the Wacom and take my first step to being a big boy - I mean designer.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Website design

So it's my task to pretty up the website. We really like the sunburst effect for the site. The original idea for the site is a washed out/worn out look so we merged the 2 ideas together to come up with a background.

I've been trying to come up with a few demo drafts for the guys to look at and for me feedback on, but I just couldn't get any good demos put together so after one of our weekly Skype meetings I decided I was going to go back to the drawing board and switch program's to photoshop to get a better more realistic look and this seems to have worked. I've only drawn up 1 idea as it seems to work and the feedback is good so far. I'm going to have a tweak and commit to it I think. Time is a factor with us as everything we produce is in out spare time so as we are happy with the demo I'm just going to crack on with getting the site finished based around this textured background. 

Hopefully the logo will look good with the background- it should do but I need to tweak the logo a bit before having a proper look at them together. Phew, so much tweaking and so little time! Being a part time game designer is tough on the nips. 

Peace out homies.