Lots of things have changed this year. Changing jobs, moving across the midwest back home, transitioning to my first place to call my own. I don’t want to give some sappy post-mortem on my time spent at Neo-Pangea, but I think it’d be disrespectful to not mention my Reading family when they were all I really had for the past two and a half years. I had a blast in PA, worked on just about the coolest projects I could ever fathom being a part of (one of which recently earned a Webby Award for the animation!!), and in addition, I met amazing, respectable people that helped me grow into the artist I am today. They’re pretty sweet folks, and I still communicate with them today. I chose to leave Neo-Pangea in order to start a new chapter in my life. Being away from Cincinnati for nearly 8 years straight just made me appreciate everyone from back home that much more. By golly, it’s been an adventure. A thrilling one at that. I’ll miss you, PA~
With this transition it has also brought a lot of sweet going-ons that aren’t typically reported on here. Mourou as a team is still together, and we’re making a lot of headway on our horror RPG epic, Shaded Chasm. There isn’t a whole lot we can show right now, but I wanted to make this post to draw attention to the other locations that you can find us on the interwebs. Consider this somewhat of a shameless plug. We are trying to gain support for the game on Patreon. Basically it’s just a monthly donation that will award spectator access to our development as it happens. We don’t have any patrons yet, but hopefully that will change. Any money donated will go towards keeping us accountable on our development and show us that there’s an interest for this project! You can find our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/mourou
Lastly, if you want to stay up to date with the day-by-day life that I broadcast on twitter, feel free to follow. It is mostly artwork, Shaded Chasm plugs, and casual conversation with the folks I enjoy communicating with. There’s no shortage of indie game development talk, anime references, and butchered Japanese (I’m studying every day!). To follow, simply click any of these images to follow their respective links. That’s all for now!
So a few weeks ago Mourou had the privilege of participating in the Develteam Summer Game Jam. It went kind of like the previous 49 hour animaion competitions that we’ve participated in. We were given a theme to work with in order for it to qualify and the theme was “Dual Mode Retro”. This meant that the game had to be either 2D or 2.5D (retro) and had to have two completely separate modes of gameplay (not minigames). Well, we came together and ultimately settled on my idea for a reverse shooter mixed with stealth platformer. The result was rather awesome (with quite a few bugs and things that didn’t make it into the build we submitted). Regardless, our game, V∆MPSP!RE, made it to the top and was voted 1st Place by the Develteam community! We have defeated the competition and taken home a gold (and some Steam games).
This marks Mourou’s first foray into indie game development. Watch the video of me playing it below and see what you think. We all work fulltime jobs while doing this completely in our spare time over the course of two weeks. Enjoy!
Follow the link on YouTube in order to download and play the game for yourself. In the coming months we will be tweaking it in order to release a mobile version to the Windows Phone 8 store. If it does well there, we may even port it over to other platforms as well.
Timelapse Artwork and Animation
Hey everyone. In lieu of posting new artwork, I have decided to post a special treat. I found these long recordings on my hard drive of me drawing various artworks for Livestream, as well as a stream for one of my Pincho sprites. I decided to speed them up crazy fast and fit them into short 3-minute time spans so that you can see my process from start to finish. I particularly enjoy the animation video, as there are not too many out there going from the beginning to end of an animation. Please take a look at that one and maybe peruse some of the illustration ones as well. Crazy fun stuff! Let me know if you like these and I will make it a point to record any future illustrations like I did on these. Enjoy!
(playlist for the 6 timelapse videos should be attached to this video)
Prototype Shaded Chasm!
So, today I discovered StencylWorks, a visual game creation software and decided to attempt putting my sprites into a game. It took a lot longer than I expected since some of the code was being evil. Here’s a prototype of this puppy in action! The movement keys are A and D for left and right. If you hold down Shift, you will sprint, and if you try to go the opposite direction while sprinting you will have a slide/halt animation play. Pretty cool! The generic backgrounds were part of the kit, and I don’t own them.
I’ll probably be adding on to this to get jumps and attack animations in there just to shop it around to people and REAL programmers since I don’t think we can port this straight to a Windows Phone game. Exciting stuff! Can’t wait to get Chris/Jay’s official backgrounds in for the test and make it look cohesive of what we’re going for. Cool thing is we can add dialogue and all sorts of stuff in the prototype so it looks like my free time will be eaten by this in the coming days. Awesome!
Unicorn Boys Jump
Well, having a good experience with that animation last night led me to continue onto it a bit. I gave Pincho a leap as well. This was a little more time-consuming than the run cycle since I couldn’t copy frames or anything. Lots of fun animating the smears in the star and shoes, the overlaps in the ears and keychain. Let me know what you think!
Unicorn Boys Run
Hey all. Been doing some visual development work for Shaded Chasm, a series hopefully coming soon from Mourou! I had Keff up here for my birthday this past week and we started writing episodes, getting the plot and character development down. Now it’s up to me to direct the visual look for our series. So, I was doodling around in Toon-Boom last night and decided to do an old exercise from school – the walk cycle. Since Pincho is a little more action-based, I decided to give him a run. This was a lot of fun and helpful in deciding what to do next. Comments on the style would be appreciated! Is this something you’d like to see more of? Would you rather it be puppet animation instead of hand-drawn? Let me know! Thanks guys.