Friday, 19 June 2015

Supanova Day 1

Now that Sydney Supanova has 3 full days I get to see even more of the fun. Today I only had a few hours there but already had a fun time in the seminar room and the show floor.

First session I attended was a Masterclass by Mark Raats of Lucas Film poster fame. He was talking through his process for working traditionally with markers and pencils etc. While he may use digital creation daily, he showed a real love for more traditional methods.


Following straight on was another Masterclasss, this time from writer Mike Jones who has a wide portfolio of writing credits now from novels to games and more. I love writer panels, but Mike was awesome preparing a really engaging talk that covered his advice/rules for creating a world. Essentially to build a storyworld before a story. a world that fuels the engine of multiple stories. Starting with rules of the world itself and to get the audience to care, get the audience to worry. World rules should generate problems, create an emotional state - a contract with the audience.

I liked his exploration of the idea of the world and thus narratives being about problems. Problems that are big enough to be experienced from different perspectives, active enough and big enough to never really be solved. These problems should feel intrinsic to the world, not just plonked onto it.

Mike poses this dramatic question for his work and other writers he works with: Will X be able to do Y or else Z? Again he poses this for the world where X can be a city or community or tribe and where Z means dire consequences for all. Mike also talked about the importance of a Storyworld timeline featuring Influences, Decisions and Thresholds (points of no return) for the world.

Maybe I didn't do his talk justice, but believe me it was stellar!


I did buy a pair of latex swords at the end of the day from Wicked Replicas - Kili's sword and Anduril which are both simply awesome.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battle Maiden Monsters

I had an idea the other day that took the idea of giant loch-ness-like sea monsters could team up with a band of battle maidens of some sort to bring a different take to my game ideas. The alliance could come from a shared need to recapture an island from nefarious foes or to battle ships on the open seas and defend their otherwise hidden home.

The pics below show some sketch compilations from a few files that certainly hint at something kinda fin to explore further. You will see pirates, amazons and other ideas here which each bring something cool to the mix.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Uper Unity and Unreal Updates

Yes, shiny updates for both the Unity and the Unreal real-time engines recently. Just look at all the new additions and the wonderful demos created to show them off. Having done a little with both I am currently looking more at UE4 - mostly for licensing reasons actually, but lets see what they have to offer us in the latest updates.


I admit to not having worked with Unity for a few versions now, but I am super impressed with what 5.1 looks like it can do. I recall seeing demo scenes for earlier releases and they looked impressive as well, but I couldn't ever find other people being able to replicate that level of visual gorgeousnesss. This latest version may be the same, but check out how beautifully the engine delivers the Blacksmith Demo! Apart from admiring the video itself below, the FAQ article has a bit more info for anyone keen to dig a little deeper and you have to check out the Concept Art blog post as well:


The Unreal 4.8 Release Notes outline a swag of new or improved features from new open world rendering enhancements including new grass and LOD handling through to the experimental procedural mesh system. There is lots here to get people's interest and I am particularly keen on all the environment changes and improvements to making larger landscapes work. I havent looked as closely at all the 2D tools added yet, but they could be heaps of fun for anyone working with that sort of game/project.

Anyhow, just look at how pretty these pics from the patch notes are (and if you havent seen the kite demo yet - it is below: