* A new prototype.
I started dabbling in another prototype that was inspired by and intended for my 5 year old foster son. Because of his inability to play some games and his interest to draw.
That prototype has some interesting ideas attached to it. It can be used to “gray box” levels fairly quickly so that I can mockup geometry and layout levels in an accurate way. Which gives me the ability to play with dimensions and space needed for puzzles and such. And as I have been tinkering with it, more ideas have come to light that is interesting to see if they are as interesting to others.
I was partially influenced by the new Zmodeller in Zbrush, where they try to remove all those extra steps in creating polygonal models and the kid friendly modelling interface of cubes in Minecraft. Also wanted to make it feel like a game rather than some rigid software so that it would be easy to build something out of it.
* 2D prototype
My brother just finished all his exams, so he will be able to join me for a weekend and finish the 2D prototype that was started a few weeks ago. Simple and interesting. As far as programming goes, it is really just missing a variety of levels and the score board.
When I was planning the 2D graphics for that game, I started looking into brushing up on my photoshop painting skills and be able to create better fancy pants 2d images with photoshop. Went through a few nights where I was watching various instructions on www.ctrlpaint.com and doing some of the exercises. Found a lot of interesting things and got introduced to some cool web services to help artists exercise rapidly. I don´t really like Photoshop for sketching. Even with its Wacom tablets, it is still a bit crippled and inaccurate. I find it a lot better to sketch on paper since I can draw from the shoulder very easily using that particular interface.
I am also modelling for NOP and have some over the top plans for a few of the models that are taking a rather long time to wrap up. That “gray boxing” I mentioned earlier should really be employed into that so that I can plan the exact layout of all of it.
The interesting thing about having NOP and all its pie in the sky plans, is that it forces me to learn so many things that make the simpler games so much easier to make. I end up with a ton of content, design, UI work and game utilities that I can easily reuse. Numerous things in there that I will make part of my portfolio when hunting for contract work.
* Business things.
I am going to change the name of my company. The “Low Level Games” name was not a very good one, and rather rushed. I think it is only around 20$ to actually change the name as it is not a big operation.
Other than that, I am about the return all the IRS papers for last years operation. Everything looks like a one man shop, bills go out, money comes in. Equipment and software purchased, salaries paid and VAT returned.
Gone a full round of running my own show and it is still alive.
I am working as an employee of Autodesk for the time being, but will be doing contract work and working on my own stuff during normal office hours in due time.
Now, I am going to attack more of the prototype features I am missing.