lördag 21 december 2013

Line Art

Last week we continued working on the character design that we created the second week. Week five was all about line art, so after a very short introduction we were asked to do a cleanup of the drawing we created in the beginning of the course. I did find the introduction very brief and several of us were then left wondering how you create clean line art, feeling we were not shown any techniques on how to approach it.

That led to a lot of googling, trying to find good tutorials on how to do line art, which was surprisingly hard to find, mostly I found a wide spectrum of different tips. I then tried several of them and after two days of trial and error I found a way that worked for me, of course I still need a lot of practice but I am happy with the lines I was able to produce, given the short amount of guidance.

Here is the before...

and here is the final image...

As usual i will add the reflective assignment for you aswell.

I did at first experiment a bit with light but it did not feel like the right approach, instead I wanted to stay focused on the volume that I had tried to create when drawing the first one. Therefore I chose to use lines to show volume and depth by emphasizing important curves. I also used line thickness to show different materials in her clothing and accessories and they lead the attention to where the action is in the mouth area. I wanted her to convey strength and femininity and therefore I kept the lines thin and sharp but curvy and flowing avoiding straight lines. In the hair and clothing I have deliberately left some lines broken as it gives life to them instead of them looking stiff. I also emphasized the eyes and face as it is the most important part and her eyes reveal her personality as a hunter.

My biggest problem was getting the lines to being where and how I wanted them to be, also I felt it was not explained clearly to us how to do this task but that we were expected to find a way that works for us. After day or two of trial and error I finally found a way that worked for me, using a small, hard brush and drawing fast semi-long lines and pressing ctrl+z until it was where I wanted. Since all the construction was already made what remained was the tedious and deceptively difficult task of creating clean lines and the challenge of not loosing the feel of the original drawing and expression in the face.

torsdag 19 december 2013

Gotland Game Jam

Last weekend I participated in the Gotland Game Jam, the theme was valuable and precious. Team "Trattarna" was made up by Oskar Frykmark, Anthon Fredriksson, Nils Wennergren and myself, two coders and two artists. We created a game called Melvind, it is a tower defense type of game where you will have to walk around and gather resources to build towers and fight enemies yourself. You play as the dwarf Melvind who is trying to protect his precious ale from the ketchup trolls, if you run out of ale you loose.

I am very happy with what we managed to come up with in the short amount of time although a lot of the art I produced did not get into the game due to the time limit.
There were several achievements for the game jam, we managed to incorporate several of them into the game, for instance one said the entire game had to be built using only pixel art and there was one called PEGI18 which meant the game had to include violence, nudity/sex, drugs and discrimination.

Here is a link so you can try it: http://www.doodlemeat.se/ggj13/

Here is an ingame screenshot aswell.

onsdag 18 december 2013


The fifth week was all about turnarounds, since all the groundwork had already been done during the construction it was not very difficult in general. I did have certain issues though but the assignment was rather time consuming than hard.

One of my biggest problems was the face, I found it really difficult to draw the same face multiple times from different angles, the draping in her clothes was the other main concern. Another problem was the proportions of the arms when straight out and of course having to draw her in such an unnatural pose (t-pose).

I am not completely happy with what I created this week, I would have spent more time on it and added details but under the circumstances I am very relieved that I managed to complete the basic drawings as much as I did since I got the stomach flu the day of the deadline. I am glad I managed to send something in at all and was very relieved when I saw that there was no reflective assignment for that week since I could barely think when trying to complete my homework.

tisdag 17 december 2013

Character Design

The third week of the 2D-course was spent on developing a character from one of the thumbnails we created during the first week, we were supposed to hand in the original thumbnail, a construction drawing and one complete drawing that is the last step before clean up. (The close up of the face was one of the VG criterias).

For a real game project I am not sure if the character i chose is the most interesting one to develop, but for this course and the assignments I felt it was the best one. The main reasons why I felt that way is partly that we were working a lot with volumes and this character would let me add things that help to show that and mainly because of the challenge of the pose and draping fabric which is very difficult. I did at times regret setting myself such a high goal but I am glad I did and that I managed to do it well.

Character Background
What´s his/her name? - Artemis
Male/Female? - Female
Physical health/handicaps? Athletic, swift, agile, strong, light (leather) armor
Personality? Calm, nurturing and innocent but temperamental and vengeful, young in the terms of a goddess and therefore a bit childish at times. A hunter – determined, patient
Family? Distant family of other gods
Intelligence? Smart, somewhat unaware of the world outside the forests
History? Ancient goddess, protecting pregnant mothers, children, forests and animals since thousands of years, goddess of virginity and the moon and very much effected by it
Hobbies? Hunting
Friends? Animals, a bit of a loner when it comes to humans but not anti-social
Add more here that is of value: Bow, lyre, deer, hunting dog

An early version of the construction, you can see how I have placed the clothing on top of the underlying construction.
I know it is a lot of text but I will post my reflective assigment for the week as well.

I thought for a long time of which character to develop, finally I chose to continue working on my female archer, Artemis. The reason I chose her was because I felt it would be a challenge with the draping of the fabric and I could add accessories that would help show volume. I made several fast sketches to find a relaxed pose to develop but I decided to take this opportunity to challenge myself even more by choosing to position her aiming her bow at a 45° angle. I felt this character would give good practice working on volume, foreshortening and adding things on top of volume that flows with it. I have been trying to either feel or take the pose, imagining how she would feel and look and looking in the mirror to help with difficult parts as foreshortening and fingers.

I need to work on thinking in 3D and how to place clothing, so I thought this would be a good challenge for me. It turned out to be just that, however I think I managed to achieve what I wanted by implementing what I have learned these past few weeks. As I said last week I do not think I could have pulled this off in the beginning of this course.

Her style has been kept simple, with few details as I wanted to portray her as someone who spends all her days guarding the forests and hunting. Another reason for the pose was that it felt most fitting to show who she is, as her greatest interest is hunting. Her love for nature is shown in the choice of her accessories; it is also the reason why I have given her just a simple wooden bow and little jewelry with very simple design. The bracelets have been placed both to show her status as a goddess and to maintain the feeling of volume in a drawn character.

I wanted to keep her a bit young-looking as she is young compared to other gods and sometimes lets a childish side shine through. At the same time I wanted her to portray the wisdom and power of a thousands of years old goddess; therefore I chose to give her quite a strong nose and the expression in her face.

The Pitch

I just realised that I had written this post about our big presentation but forgotten to post it so here it is.

This Monday was the day we had to be finished with our projects and pitch them to the rest of our class, the second year students, our teacher and staff. Of course we where nervous but we felt prepared as we had practiced a lot and put a lot of time into this project. We got some points on how to better present our games. Generally they were positive though and I had several people coming up to me afterwards telling me they really like our idea and that we did a great presentation that looked good and complete. We also managed to engage the entire audience in the discussion afterwards, which will help making them remember our game.

It felt really good afterwards, having gone up in front of so many people and actually pulling it off without being too nervous. I have also had people telling me they liked that we where two people on stage and managed it really well. Overall its been a stressful but fun experience and I hope I get the chance to do it many times again as I feel it is valuable for the future. Now there is only a report to be written and I will be finished with my first two courses at GAME, it has been at times very intense and I have learnt a lot, especially from the practical parts. I am looking forwards to seeing if "With Love..." will be produced and showed at the GGC next spring.

2D Week 2 Perspective

The second week of the 2D-course we studied perspective, once you know how to do it is rather straight forwards but it is tedious work and I did not find photoshop the best tool for this week's assignment which was to draw an airplane and a car in the same picture. Here is what I did along with the reflective assignment of the week.

After having drawn on paper during this week I have realised how messy it can be so I decided to do this assignment in Photoshop, although it was extremely time consuming I felt it would give a cleaner and more accurate result. I did not realize exactly how much time it would actually take compared to drawing it on paper but I believe it would just have turned into a mess of lines if I had tried to do it on paper. This unfortunately meant I did not have time to put in as much details as I wanted to and I feel the result shows perspective well and accurately but it is not an interesting picture.

I also found it a bit of a challenge when needing to build things vertically instead of horizontally, it felt strange as I looked at it and thought I have to do the exact same thing as I just did, just in the opposite direction. I did solve it but it was a bit difficult changing the way I think between vertical and horizontal.

Considering how much work it actually takes to create something very simple with correct perspective I wish it would show more. It does not look as if someone has put in a lot of time and effort when the picture is so simple, but I guess that compared to a fully rendered picture in which the artist has guessed on perspective the simple one would still look better.

The things I learned this week have been crucial to completing this assignment, I would not have been able to do it last Monday. Especially the use of crosses has been very useful, both for positioning and maintaining proportions. I would not have thought of thinking of for example an airplane as a volume before, I would have drawn outlines of how I think it should look. Now I have a new way to look at it, seeing also what is covered and I think it will be very helpful in my drawing.

måndag 16 december 2013


For the past few weeks I have been very busy with the first 2D course. We have been working a lot on construction and building characters with boxes and cylinders. I have been working really hard, trying to challenge myself every week and that is probably why I have been doing so well.

Anyways I thought I should post what I have been doing for my home work these past few weeks so I will start with the first one. The assignment was to draw 20 thumbnails based on a concept - Clash of Heavens, a game where an ordinary person is thrown into a war between gods - they were supposed to be very quickly sketched and show a variety of different designs, (it did not have to be the main character). We were also supposed to show our three most dynamic sketches from our sketchbook, so here they are along with my thumbnails, I will also post the reflective assignment for this week at the end.

This week I have worked to focus on movement rather than drawing the model as I am used to. This was a challenge for me as I have always drawn to create a pretty picture and I realize that I must let go of that and do things completely different. That is one thing that caught me in Walt’s book, every drawing needs to have a purpose, I need to learn to try to tell a story when drawing instead of just wanting to create something that looks good. This is a knowledge that I have not been willing or able to accept until now and I am determined to get past it so that I can develop as an artist.

Although I have not been successful every time I have tried to convey personality and mood through posing instead of just having the person standing there doing nothing. I feel that what I have learnt this week, both in class and from reading, has really helped me create believable, expressive poses without having a model. This just by changing the way I think, or as Walt said, switching gears.

Another thing in Walt’s book that really struck me was what he said about lines, think about how and where to put them and not just do them because. Especially the part where he said “There are only four lines per cylinder and if it takes you twenty lines to make one – you need help!” It made me think that perhaps I need help, I feel my drawings at times get a bit messy and I found it a challenge trying to implement this, in particular remembering it while drawing. I really need to work on this and learning to know what line to put where and how it should look. It is very easy to copy a line, but not to create one that shows movement and life, I find that they easily become stiff and emotionless.

I have found it very difficult to keep all the new knowledge in mind when drawing, it is very easy to just fall back into the same old tracks and forget it all. I have to remind myself all the time as I realize from time to time that I am not thinking about what I am doing.

söndag 15 december 2013

With Love...

I know it's been a while since we finished our project but I thought I should post some screenshots from "With Love..." as well as the one page design. The first one is the start screen, the second is the action shot and the last one is the one page design document.

torsdag 31 oktober 2013

Project Romantic Pencil

The ending of our introduction to game analysis and game design course is coming up really fast now. The assignment is to design and pitch a space shoot 'em up game inspired by two randomly selected words. Our words are romantic and pencil, which seemed really difficult at first but I think we have been able to take those words and create something that is new and different.

I have been chosen from my team along with another team member to go up on stage next monday and present our game. Today we got to go up in front of our teacher and two teaching assistants aswell as the rest of our team to test our pitch and get some feedback. Even though we did not finish our pitch until last night it went really well. Of course I got nervous several times during the pitch but I feel I was able to control it and hopefully, with a lot more practice, it wont be too intimidating doing it in front of the entire class and teachers.

The feedback we got was generally positive but we also got some great tips on how to improve both our pitch and our design, altough at some points the feedback was a bit conflicting as they did not always completely agree with each other. Our teacher did say when we were asked which our words were, that he was sorry about that, however when we were finished he said that he was not sorry anymore and that he loved it.

We have been working really hard on this project, many nights have been spent passing things back and forth on skype and we have had many (and long) group meetings. I have learnt a lot during the process although I have felt most of the time that we have no clue as to what we are doing. I have been leading the "art part" as I was chosen as the Lead Artist early in the process and I have gotten a lot of practice in planning and thinking of what needs to be done and delegating tasks, as well as creating art.

At first I felt that we had some difficulties communicating with each other and it was difficult to combine our thoughts and ideas since we are very different from each other. Now i feel that we have finally learnt how to communicate and come together as a team. We still have a lot to do but I think we are in a good place considering the work and time we have left.

onsdag 9 oktober 2013

First Time

We have now started working on our major assignment and it's become really apparent to me that it is the first time that anyone of us is doing it. There are so many things to think of and it is hard to remember them all and harder still trying to do them in the right order. I think we have the information we need, we just need to learn how to use it and I feel that we are sorting things out as we go. We will probably do things very differently the next time around though. I really feel that I am learning how to do things, or rather how not to do them. This assignment really allows me to learn things that you cannot truly comprehend in the classroom.

It is also a challenge working in a group with five people who have very different ideas and ways to look at things but I feel that we have now established a good common ground where everyone feels on board with what we are doing. We just need to listen to each other and try to understand where the other person is coming from and I think we are on our way to accomplishing a good teamwork.

We have now been working on this assignment for two days and I finally feel that we have put together the groundwork which will allow me as the Lead Artist to take my team of artists and start on our part of the work. I have given them tasks such as trying to figure out a style that will appeal to our target group and sketching a layout for the interface, though I am not really sure if that is a task we need to do this early in the project. As I said it is the first time I am either designing a game or being Lead Artist and I am not 100% sure of what to do or when to do it but I make descisions and go with them.

tisdag 8 oktober 2013

Major Assignment

Our major assignment for the introduction to game analysis and game design course is to design a space shoot 'em up game that is supposed to be inspired by the words romantic and pencil. I did find those words rather difficult to incorporate into that genre, I first thougt the only thing you could do was something with pencils, either being one or shooting them, and writing love letters.

However I thought it would probably be really boring and way to obvious. It felt like just taking the words and not actually doing anything with them rather than being inspired by them. So I did what you always should do with your first idea no matter how good they seem and threw it in the bin. Then I tried to figure out something that was a less literal interpretation of the words, trying more to be inspired by them than directly translating them into a game.

I thought instead of doing a game about someone trying to get home to their love through a vast enemy territory, not knowing if their loved one was still there or still waiting for you, completely made in pencil art.

tisdag 1 oktober 2013

The assignment: the Presentation

I was chosen from my group to go up in front of the rest of the class and show my PowerPoint-presentation. It made me really nervous and I felt my mind go blank and I did not know what to say. I had made my presentation so that it would speak for itself as I did not want to break the mood created by the music and pictures by spekaing.
It went rather well I feel, thinking about how I felt the panic when I realised I was gonna have to go up on stage, I did not feel as nervous when actually standing there. And I did manage to make everyone laugh (purpousely).
It felt like good practise though and I am glad I got the experience. One thing I probably could have done better was to prepare a short list whith the things I wanted to say and perhaps prepare the speaking part a bit better as I tend to blabber and forget everything I have thought of when I am put in the spotlight.

torsdag 26 september 2013

The Assignment

This monday we had a lecture with Ernest Adams about Art and music, he also gave us un assignment in which we were to choose a genre. We could chose from survival horror, real-time-strategy and children's non-violent game. We also had to research an artist/photographer/filmmaker and a composer/musician and finally make a powerpoint presentation. The only criterias were that it had to be a minimum of ten slides and have pictures and music.

The fact that there were hardly any instructions made this assignment seem rather tricky at first. I did not really know what to do, but I started googling the genres and I found an artist quite quickly that I liked an thought would fit perfectly with the survival horror genre. So I found some pictures I liked that went with that theme and started googling for music.
That was the part I found the most difficult as it is something I have never done or ever thought about before. After some initial searching I started clicking my way through youtube while watching the pictures, trying to find what music made me feel most uncomfortable while watching them. Finally I chose to go with György Ligeti's "Volumina" as I felt that was the song that made the most impact in combination with Federico Bebber's dark pictures.

The assembly of the Power Point was rather straight forward and just kind of fell into place once I got started and I am pretty satisfied with the final result.

tisdag 24 september 2013

Our very first game

Last week we had a seminar during which we were asked to play a game called "Sissyfight 3000", basically it's a bullying game in which the players are to gang up against each other.
Earlier in the day we had a lecture about the MDA (Mechanichs, Dynamics, Aestethics) so when we had played for a while we were asked to change the dynamics and create our own version of the game. The only thing we had to keep was the "target->action" mechanics.

Our first version was a war game called "World war 3,5" and honestly, apart from names and settings the game was not that different from Sissyfight. I found it difficult trying to change the concept into something new. It is very easy to get stuck in a thought of how it should be, I believe it is easier to create something new rather than trying to change something into something else. It became clear when we presented our games to the rest of our class as many had continued on the bullying theme.

At the end of the seminar we got an assignment to start all over and make a completely new version, we spent two long afternoons discussing and play-testing and finally came up with a game we call "Snitch™", where four players are maffia and two players are snitches. The mafia want to find the snitches while the snitches want to kill all mafia and be the only one/ones left alive. We added a bunch of cards and I think we actually came up with a rather fun game that is based on Sissyfight but different from it.

I think our group worked really well together, we have a good team and I felt everyone contributed and participated while we are also having fun. I found during the entire game developing process I had this feeling that I want to participate and I want to make my mark on the game and I really liked that feeling.

fredag 20 september 2013

First few weeks at GAME

I have now studied game design at Uppsala University for three weeks, last week and this week I have been feeling like we're really getting started. We've had our first assignment in communications class and I personally found it very difficult to find a subject and writing a bit more scientifically about something artistic. I decided to write my popular science article about Concept Art which turned out quite well and received good critique from my group. The critiquing of other people's articles is also something challenging as you really need to read it thoroughly and think about what they have done well and to help them improve.
I have heard people saying it is boring and unnecessary but I do not agree. I believe that this course could really be useful, if not for the rest of the time in school for the rest of my life. You can always learn something and when you meet someone you should try to find what you can learn from them.

Game analysis class also seems interesting so far. Our first assignment was to go home and play Pacman and then analyze it and break it down into objects, properties, behaviour and relationships. The game looked very simple at first but when I started analyzing I just found more and more. So we all went to school with these long lists and we discussed it in our groups and finally one of our mentors reduced it to half. Perhaps we were all trying to do the analysis really thoroughly so we just overcomplicated it.
I did find it interesting that our mentors seemed to disagree upon one thing we discussed, whether the ghosts are one object with different behaviours or different objects because they have different behaviours. We came to the conclusion that it was one object with different behaviours when one of our mentors came and asked about it and corrected us, saying that when it comes to game designing they are separate objects. When we went through it all in the end another mentor corrected us back, saying that when it comes to game designing they are only one. I think that is probably the gap between artists and coders that this course aims to bridge.

I seriously have to stop now because it is getting way to long but I do have a lot more that I have been thinking about, but that will have to wait for another time.