April 22, 2013 - 11:31 am
Behind the Scenes, Development, Games, Graphics
If I was someone who knows how to draw, I could look at something and put it on paper. Ok, I know it’s not that easy. It requires points of reference, models, a lot of practice and so on. Even so, I am not that person.
This makes it really difficult to draw the hard stuff, like the human body. I wish I could get one of those little wooden dolls, position it the way I want it and copy it. But I need something more exact to start from.
Then there are programmers, and when programmers find a roadblock we sit down and code a solution. Once again, not that simple. But it helps.
That’s how this little tool came to be – and believe me, it was tricky. Say hello to the virtual wooden doll:
So, what does it do? Well, mainly the same as that other tool. It creates models for people, using the same perspective as the scenes. After all the variables are set up, it prints a page like this one:
It is intended to generate the main positions for a character, but I’m not doing it right now – I’m mainly creating some random poses to some random characters so I can test it. So, after this is printed, we can start some concept art. For instance, here’s David Green:
No, I don’t like it either. I don’t know why, but this guy was created with a common face that’s simply bland. If (some day) we get to work on Trapped again, this will have to be solved. But right now, it’s not a concern. Let’s move on.
And here’s a ghost/zombie:
And, finally, this is Betsy:
Next steps are to “ink” these drawings, much in the same way as the scenes. This is what the next post will be about.
Anyway, as a side note – before deciding to create the tool I researched a lot for free, simple ways to get the same kind of results in the Internet. No luck – there are some good references, but I really needed a tool. So when this one is over, after we enable animations, we’ll upload it here and leave it free for use to anyone who has the same issues.
Sorry about that. Blame the spammers and robots (always blame the robots).
The fact is we’re having to moderate a few hundreds of comments a day because of spam. And we’re not talking about any spam – it’s the kind you don’t mention in a blog post so not to attract undesirable visitors. Like the FBI. Pretty gross stuff.
April 4, 2013 - 3:10 pm
Lucas Arts, Random stuff, Sigh
When I was a child, we had an Atari for years. But the first video game I chose, and looked forward to, was an 8-bit Nintendo. This information isn’t really what I wanted to tell you, it just shows how old I am. Sorry.
Anyway, a few months before I got the Nintendo I started to collect a video game magazine to know what’s going on. And while I didn’t have the games themselves, I used to read the magazines from cover to cover. They were divided in sections for different platforms, and most of them didn’t interest me, but I had a lot of time in my hands. And by the end of the magazines, things got weird.
You see, all sections had walkthroughs and tips. And most of them looked a lot like each other: jump, run to the left, press A, B, some instances of the Konami code… It was like all the games were variations on the same themes. But the last, smaller section, was about PC games. And the tips for some of those games just made no sense to me. There was no “A, B, jump” there. It was more like “to get the golden pen, first pick up the chattering teeth and the explosive cigar in the present and send them to the past. Give the cigar to George Washington, replace his teeth with the chattering ones and wait until the fireplace is lit up. Pick up the indian carpet, climb the house and use it on the chimney.” I mean, how was that even possible? It wasn’t your regular Mega-Man-snake-shooter stuff. It seemed impossibly complicated. It seemed like magic.
Even after I got my Nintendo, I still was a couple of years from my first PC. A couple of years trying to understand those actions, cartoon-like graphics, trying to wrap my mind around how to play those games and what were they like. And then, with a lot of built-up expectative, I finally got my hands on a copy of Day of the Tentacle.
It was way, way better than I expected.
It was the most fun I’ve ever had with a game. We used to play in groups of friends, personally or by telephone, sharing tips and trying bizarre ideas. We could barely understand English. It was challenging, it was unexpected, it was funny, and it was like nothing I’ve seen before.
After that we started to collect adventure games (which was hard in Brazil back in those days). Each new one we got was a treasure. After DOTT came Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Sam & Max… you got the picture (unlike Bruno, I was never a big fan of Sierra). And those games marked me more than I can tell.
Then the adventure games fad was over. And everything changed.
Rest in peace, Lucas Arts. You were amazing. And even though you never launched anything relevant after the adventure games golden age (my personal opinion, feel free to disagree), I can’t avoid being saddened by the news.
It’s been more fun than a jump-suit full of weasels.