Well shit, we did it again! Here’s the cover for this years SYSOAB.
Like last year and the year before it, a new comic page every day just one minute after midnight, Sew-Central time.
As an art note, I live in this notion of “fix it in post” even when not explicitly. I always seem to assume that I’m going to have more time to finish A Thing later when a deadline isn’t present. But I don’t, and every picture or painting seems to have an invisible deadline where I lose interest in refining it again to make it what I think ‘it should look like‘. This is where I either call the picture finished, or save it with a ‘_WIP’ thrown on the end and share it, effectively making it a finished piece.
This is bad, or it feels bad.
I’ve taken steps and identified the problem. Smile this year is ‘rough sketch -> rough ink’. I’m not sure why I always feel the need to turn my decent looking sketching into terrible inked layers that I then re-ink several times and loose all of my… well, my Me. I think it shows when compared to last years comics, and fun fact, each page took less time to make than last year.
Get ’em! New Halloween was a lot of fun.
And we got SMILE YOU SON OF A BITCH goin’ on
For a game I keep saying is my ‘top active project’, I sure don’t talk about
or work on it any. I wind up taking large breaks while Hawk toils away in the salt mines, shifting all the walls. What this game visually is has changed a great deal since the start, and ended up landing at dioramas.
So to start, our tiles are weird, did you notice? They’re isometric from the top on two planes, but also cubes so they have to be drawn a very specific way to line up. It took me a little bit to get accustomed to it, but it gives the game this.. unique feel to it. It’s the same style of maptile that we used in Magical Unicorn Adventure, so my adjustment time really wasn’t unlike riding a bike. MUA being a depthless-sidescroller meant that I built those levels and tiles very differently, and they fit in a lot less for that style of game. I achieved more character and sense of place from the backgrounds in that game than from the tiles or level design. Chaos Eater on the other hand I think of as a series of little dioramas because I get to flesh out Z-axis this time as opposed to just the X and Y. Hawk has made a pretty great little editor that isn’t lacking in features for this cause either. It’s very impressive to me that he even found a way to make editing a map with these unique maptiles simple. I don’t give him the proper praise for his ideas sometimes, but he usually has his finger on the pulse of ‘what I need’ to get work done long before I even realize it. (the worst is when he asks if I’d like X or Y to be added and I say ‘no why would I nee that’ only to realize a few days or weeks later that ‘shit how do I make this look like it was my idea’)
This game has become slightly more relevant recently as it served as base-inspiration for our Dreamhack entry Sins of the Past. Patient 06 was planned to release on 6/6/06 but never saw the light of day.
This game was our third and final-for-a-decade attempt at a light-system game. I knew the light system from Project C made my art look better with assisting me fake depth, and I learned from Train that light made my dithered edges look pretty sweet. Unluckily though I was a terrible terrible pixel artist who just dithered the fuck out of everything, not to hell but beyond stylistically, you know? It got a little overboard with this project. I definitely didn’t do the light any favors by picking this weird, awkward tile style. I remember being really proud of it at the time, but looking back it reminds me of the Nightmare on Elm Street DOS game, except that game had the good sense to have some character and not assume that any shortcomings in the art would be fixed magically with light.
The plot of this game is silly. It’s about a daughter who is going to visit her father in the psych ward of some “crazy person” hospital, and he’s in cell 06, and he’s patient 06. Upon arriving you find his cell empty except for a cryptic note, then the game starts proper. Or something like that, we didn’t completely get around to fleshing out all of the plot (which was mostly my task). It had a bunch of different versions, but the one that was developed the furthest just feels like a rehash of Project C. Frustratingly lost in a maze of darkness solving boring door-key puzzles while attempted to avoid the real meat & potatoes of the game, the enemies. Continue..