Posts Tagged ‘ real life ’

Oh Where Oh Where Has Our Dear Tiger Gone

So I hear there’s been some audio news over on the ArenaNet blog. Truth be told I haven’t had time to read and watch (blasphemy, I know!)  But it goes without saying that ArenaNet’s audio team are supremely talented artists in their own right and that the soundscape of Guild Wars 2 is rich, varied, interesting, and every bit as beautiful as the visual artwork of the rest of the game.

I’ve been super busy, and not busy playing other games. I have been poking at Minecraft and League of Legends, but mostly because they are quick affairs that don’t encourage me to continue playing for hours on end.

I make no secret of my desire to enter the games industry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in media arts and animation and by chance I landed in advertising. But my heart belongs to 3D work, so this is ultimately not where I want to be. What’s been taking my time so much lately are drastic steps toward my ultimate goal: Work for a great company, preferably in the game development capitol of America, Seattle.

ArenaNet looks like a fantastic company, and their art department is second to none. They are definitely on my list of “places at which I want to work” (I actually have a list, I’m not some kind of starry-eyed idiot. My backup plans have backup plans), but I have no illusions that I can just walk in the door, proclaim myself a fan and an artist, and get the keys to Tyria. If I want to get to my goals I’m going to have to work for it. I’m going to have to work my ass off.

Hence me being busy. Part of my strategy is talking big, performing bigger, getting advice from the super-awesome, and diving head-first into award-winning mod projects. That indie company I was going to do work for collapsed. I took about a day to be mad and moody about it then I turned right back around and shot for the moon — and landed.

It’s still early days, and things with this group might still crumble to nothing (unlikely) or they might decide I’m not actually the droid they were looking for (more likely). But as I’ve said before, everything I do, I do to better myself. If I were to be released from this project this instant I would still come out ahead: more determined, more persistent, single-minded, and most importantly more hungry for that mountaintop.

Success goes to the most talented. Talent isn’t awarded by luck, it’s earned by relentless perseverance in the face of constant failure. I choose to play charr because of their relentless nature and ferocity. They don’t accept defeat. Seize the day? No, I will rip it… from life’s teeth.

Bonus for putting up with all this navel-gazing: An old WoW buddy of mine commissioned a logo for his beer brewing blog, I’m going to be livestreaming the painting of it tomorrow morning. I’ll make sure to put up a shout-out on twitter.


Ephemeral Drift And Impermanence

First off, if you missed my guest post over at Bio Break, please go check it out.  The topic he gave me was loads of fun and I had a blast writing it.  Yes, he was mistaken as to my gender, please don’t hamstorm him about it.  If you were all wondering though, I do have an about page and it does have a picture for proof. 😉


I’m willing to bet that a majority of you reading this played with Legos as a child.  If you did not I’m sure you had some sort of building block toy, something which you used to make something else.

Children are creative, miraculously so.  A tragedy I have seen is a coworker who brought in her child’s paintings and instead of appreciating the simple chaotic beauty, she always asks “well, what is it?”  It just is, and isn’t that enough?


But beauty doesn’t last, and neither do the things we make.  From a sibling coming and destroying our carefully wrought lego landscape to the digital representation of hours of work disappearing into the ether when our favorite multiplayer game goes dark, we live in a world where the only constant is change.

I heard a story once about a tibetan monk who spent hours and days constructing a sand painting.  Shortly after completion a child came and began dancing across it, destroying the intricate design in moments.  Instead of being angry the monk simply smiled and remarked about the beauty and freedom of a child’s simple dance.

When gaming, particularly with games like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and Minecraft we develop a sense of ownership towards our creations and avatars.  When we step back, however, it’s obvious that these constructions are only so many ones and zeros and cannot (I would go so far as to say should not) exist forever.

I’m noticing this strongly right now when playing Minecraft.  It’s a game I prefer to play with friends.  What is the fun of building something fun and interesting without having friends to share it with?  However, this requires a server to either be hosted by a person on their machine or to pay for a professionally hosted server.  Inevitably people get bored, other responsibilities crop up, things change.

I have built many things, spent many hours, on things that are potentially gone forever.  I do not mourn their passing, however, because the joy was in the building and in the sharing with others.  Projects were completed and I am compelled to move on.  Like balloons released to the sky.

Right now I’m building a tower on a friend’s server.  Everyone is building a tower.  Eventually these will be pasted into a wall to make a castle built by everyone.  It’s a lot of fun and should be beautiful when it’s done.

Will it still be beautiful when the proverbial child comes dancing through and we scatter to other projects in other places?

Yes, I truly believe that.

Oh, Hello Ambassadors

Congratulations to all the winners.

For the rest of us might I suggest a trip through my archives?

And now for my next trick:

Model this in 3D. Goal: Be as awesome as possible

Not listed in my above (and very old) article, I also recommend art therapy.  To that end, Autodesk Sketchbook is a neat little program. (I’m running the trial)  It reminds me of Artrage if you’ve ever messed around with that.

My mother always told me I wore my heart on my sleeve.

Into The Ether

Well, after 10 days, many slaughtered tutorials, one crash and innumerable re-renderings, my Guild Wars 2 Ambassador video is finished.  I submitted it to ArenaNet last night.

At first I wasn’t sure about posting it on my blog.  It’s set to private (the only way you can find it is with the url), and I have comments disabled.  When in a creative cycle you go through a phase of elation, that you’ve made the best thing ever.  This quickly degenerates into hating your work with the fury of a thousand burning suns.  Eventually that feeling cools to mild dislike followed simply by the will to do better next time.

I’ve reached that final stage.  If my video is good enough to send to ArenaNet, then it’s good enough to share with all of you, the people who supported me and cheered me on through the whole process.  Thank you all.

I hope you enjoy it, but even more, I hope ArenaNet likes it as much as I did at the height of my creative cycle.  Even if I get no recognition, however, it was a fantastic experience, a whirlwind adventure into a new program, and a return to my greatest love: 3D art.

Coming Up For Air

It’s been an exciting week.  If you ever want to learn a piece of software from scratch, taking on an ambitious project with a tight deadline is a VERY good way to do so.  When in college, I was trained in 3D Studio Max.  For this project I only had access to Maya.  I can only compare the experience to a trial by fire.  I used every cheat I knew of to get the job done quickly, and I’m still not entirely done.

I have been pretty lucky, however.  The program has only crashed on me once, and only one of my Grand Plans has gone awry.  As we speak I’m rendering out my 3D scenes.  All I have left to do is assemble everything and upload!

I have to admit to being scared stiff, however.  This community has artistic talent in spades and more passion than you could shake a stick at.  I’ve stayed away from the other submissions; partly out of fear and partly out of a desire to not be tempted to copy anybody.  Some of my friends have kept me abreast of some of the stand-out submissions though.  I hear Elixabeth Claire has something nice, and there was something about guinea pigs.  (those guinea pigs have me nervous about my chances!)

But I’m in the home stretch, and very excited to see this video completed (not to mention to get to work on my next project!).  So for all my readers, thank you all so much for your support.  If it wasn’t for you I don’t know if I would have had the courage to go for this.

Here’s a sneak peak 🙂

Piggie loves you!

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

I was cruising merrily along, planning on putting transplants into the ground, spending the weekend hoeing.  Then ArenaNet came along with a hairline wire and clotheslined me.

They’re holding a contest.  Never before have the forces of the universe coalesced for me so clearly.  Never before have so many things in my life aligned to point in one direction.

I’ve had plans for short, Guild Wars 2 fan videos for months now.  I was only waiting on the software to implement them.  Now that I have the opportunity to play with these packages ArenaNet is holding a contest.

A 1 minute video about why someone should play Guild Wars 2, delivered in 2 weeks.

One minute goes by fast when your talking or compiling someone else’s video.  When you’re animating, however, it’s an eternity.  That’s just what I’m going to do, however.  It’s a grueling pace, but it’s also a challenge I accept with relish.

Will I be talented enough to win the coveted trip out to Washington?  In a community like this, not likely.  However, this is one of those opportunities to better myself I spoke of in my previous post, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it slip through my fingers.

So, my fantastic readers….


See you in two weeks.

The Fizzle And Pop

I’m probably going go piss a lot of people off when I say this but, I don’t care about game mechanics.

Here’s a caveat though, I don’t care about them as long as they work and are fun.  But even then, if I’m not having fun (see Starcraft 1 & 2) then I’m more likely to just not play it than I am to dissect and discuss the specific mechanics that make me feel that way.

During the wait for Guild Wars 2 I often hear complaints about lore articles.  Cries of “Give us something of substance!  Lore doesn’t matter, I want to know about mechanics.”  Frankly that attitude just leaves me scratching my head.

Guild Wars 2 is not ready yet.  We haven’t even been given a release date.  Under the specter of not seeing a living game until 2012 or even *gasp* the idea that it might be simply vaporware, the hunger for ‘hard facts’ is understandable.

Hard facts bore me, however.  To combat burnout I focus on lore.  At the end of the day, the idea of jumping over a Guardian’s ward by launching myself from the top of a cliff isn’t that interesting when the cliff, ward, Guardian, and the jumping itself are only hypothetical.

I see you in the back there /jump, I’m not talking about you.

Lore though, is a different matter altogether.  What is lore? It’s stories.  I absolutely love stories.  I love books, and plays, and movies, and games, and even gossip and forum drama if it’s a good story.  Worst case scenario, Guild Wars 2 is vaporware and never sees the light of day:  All my blogging and podcasting and artwork and ‘fanfic’ (god how I hate that word) will have been for nothing right?

Nope!  Because I focus on the lore.  I enjoy the good story and derive inspiration from the artists.  Everything I do, I do selfishly.  Everything I do I try to find a way to use it to better myself.  I blog to get my thoughts out and express myself.  I draw and paint because it’s good practice and because I must (any other artist will understand that drive, sorry I can’t explain it).  Every artistic piece I create is an opportunity to try something new.  I write little Guild Wars 2 stories to keep my creativity limber and as a warmup for my real writing projects (I’m currently pursuing publication for a short story, did you know that?).

Perspective, that’s what’s really important.  Writing ‘fanfic’, drawing fanart and discussing the minutia of a game that does not yet exist (for the everyday gamer at least) is not a waste of my time because everything I do feeds into my goals and dreams.  That’s just the way I operate.  And I don’t care about mechanics because I have little interest in game design.  Art though? Stories?  That’s another matter entirely.