Two hours of sleep 1
I’m going to start off by telling you about my weekend because my post will make more sense if you know what I did yesterday. The most important thing is that I’m writing this with only two hours of sleep behind me. “Two hours of sleep behind me“, I seriously don’t even know whether that’s a correct sentence right now.
Moon Moon Moon, our game development studio is also a band, and yesterday night we had a concert. The concept of the evening was “night at the library”, and that was exactly what it was. We played at around 0:00. and around 5 am we went to our tent. Yes, our tent; the artists and all the people who bought a ticket for the festival had their own tent in the library. It was weird and awesome, and there was 80ies music and I drank beers (which is never a good idea for this tiny Dutch person that I am).
Anyway, now you know why this post might be a bit all over the place. I hope Mark Benis will write a better post later this week about his experiences at GDC.
What I did this week
The last 6 days I’ve worked a lot on the art for the game because… that’s what I do. A good tip for any aspiring pixel artist/animator; use references. I always wanted to be the most original artist in the universe, so I didn’t even dare to look in the direction of other art pieces when I was working on something. But since I started inspecting other pixel art animations frame by frame (for example, the walking cycle), it really did improve my animations. Your authenticity as an artist lies in a lot of different things; your use of color, your choice to include or exclude certain things etc. these things will remain even if you look for inspiration in other art. Most sane people probably already know this, but for me, it was a big revelation. If you’re just as stubborn as me, everything I just said won’t convince you, and that’s perfect too, maybe you’ll find out for yourself some time then, or not!
Speaking of sleeping; the more I work on this game, the easier it is to get out of bed/the hard it gets to go to bed at all. I just can’t wait to keep building this world we’ve written down on paper. We’ve worked on the two main characters for a while now but just last week I really feel like we’ve reached a breakthrough with them. Ever since then, making the art became a lot easier, I know exactly how they’ll move, what emotions their faces will show and how their appearance (clothing etc) can express their personality. It sounds insane, but I’ve come to a point where I’m working on the main characters animations while thinking “I wish you were real”. Luckily, our programmer fairy Martín Isla is able to code things in such a way that at least lets you experience the feeling of realness in that world. I think games can really be the perfect combination of reality and magic, something that’s often so very unbalanced in the real world. Oh god, I’m so tired, I don’t even feel any shame in typing something so cheesy. 2
Normally I wouldn’t write a thing like this without a clear subjects and eyelids touching each other, but I was supposed to post something on Friday, so I’m already two days late and now I have no choice. But I hope you enjoyed my little story, the next one will be better for sure!
Love, Mark Lohmann
PS: please enjoy my artwork, ‘The Worst Extra Terrestrial’