Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Counting Sheep

Alicia re-wrote her short story on the weekend to rhyme and thus take on a nice Seussian feel which matched the concept drawings perfectly as well. So I set about illustrating the full set of pages using the MS Surface Pro and Photoshop. The Surface tablet makes for a pretty nifty Cintiq-like experience in a fully functional mobile computer. I used it with the keyboard attached but laying down flat so I could use all the short-cut keys as well. The book took a few days to complete, starting with the inking which for me was a two step process where I refined the thickness and flow of all the lines. Then coming in and colouring up the panels which now sit inside the woolly frame which Alicia will cut out and glue up to form a nice childrens-shaped book.
Note that the story-boarding was also part of Alicia's assignment/project so I tried to match them pretty closely though the details evolved as they went along or for flow reasons a closeup might have found its way in there etc. Once I had the base template in place, Alicia learnt some photoshop, duplicating layers, creating all the text and folder structure etc.

So here is The Counting Sheep, written by Alicia Hannah and Illustrated by Oinkfrog (Graham Hannah)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Epic Gaming

With Guild Wars 2 having its first birthday they released this nice infographic showing some demographics and other gamey stats. I always want to know more of course, take these stats, are these the stats for all characters or the most played on each account or characters that were played last or something else? Lots of fun to see the choices people make though:

[GW2 Infographic segement via the official site]

By many metrics though, the big game of the moment in League of Legends, walk up behind a laptop here at uni where someone is playing something and chances are you will see little Teemo or one of the many other heroes battling it out.

When it comes to epic though, few games can stand up next to EVE online. There are alot of things that EVE provides that make it something quite unique. The idea of having ALL the players in one 'world' seems obvious, but that is very rare in gaming. So EVE has its full player-base inhabiting the one galaxy and an unruly place it is too. With space under the complete control of player run corporations where the penalty for defeat is very high indeed - this is not a casual game and thus not for me. That said I did potter around the newbie area for quite a while a few years ago and there was lots to like.

This all means that EVE has the potential to allow for the largest gaming events possible, lots of players, one universe, high stakes and player driven. Recently there was the grand Battle of 6VDT which saw two huge alliances deploy thousands of ships to a vast battle that apparently required the servers to slow down time 90% to handle the load evenly for everyone. The screenshots are remarkable, realising that all those tiny specs are giant ships representing huge investments from those players.

[EVE online in-game images via the stream of drew_qt and the Verge article]

Here is a video from another big battle in EVEspace which hints at some of the scale and criticality of it all for the players, their coporations and the big alliances.

Lets throw in something from Destiny, Bungi's epic new game under development and its take on a game world designed to draw players in.

Then there is the simply remarkable looking Battlefield 4, the sheer chaos of war revealed in large gaming terms...