Thursday, July 30, 2009


Here is a sketch of Deadpool. The end.

Monday, July 27, 2009

All Good Chefs have Burns...

I burnt the crap out of one of my fingers, which meant that I couldn't do what I was planning tonight. Since I was down to one hand I thought I'd just doodle something on my wacom instead. What I thought I'd do is draw a chef with his hand on fire. That doodle eventually became Akuma, and has lead to my desire to see a fairly unlikely cross-over: Capcom vs. Black Books.

Can Fran and Chun Li make it through an entire bottle of wine without breaking out into a fight? Will Blanka ever stop stealing Manny's Hawaiian shirts? Will Akuma put up with Bernard's dour ways, or will he perform the Shun Goku Satsu?

Other Capcom cross-overs I'd like to see:
-Capcom Vs. Trainz.
-Capcom Vs. Archie Comics.
-Capcom Vs. The Mountain.
-Capcom Vs. Larry Flint.
-Capcom Vs. Woodstock: The Dream Concert Never Ends.
-Capcom Vs. Piracy: An animated guide to copyright law.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hasty lunchtime art attack

@Drew:I thought samurai were really more my kinda thing?

BTW, two of your posts this month totally don't count. I think that makes us even at the moment doesn't it?


I keep on forgetting I'm the Lone Freakin' Wolf. In honor of me remembering that I'm the the Lone Wolf, I've done this picture of Terry "The Hungry Wolf" Bogard. He is part of my wolf pack.

I also want to let you know you are part of my wolf pack too.

I needed to practise a little more with my wacom, so I took a sketch I did on the train and digitally inked it. I still need more practise, but I'm starting to get used to it.

Meanwhilst, I think this is also my most posting-est month ever. Go me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Game of the Moment - Dawn Of War 2

I was a bit of a fan of the original Dawn of War, well at least after a couple of the addons came out, I'd taken her on a few dates and met her parents. Even though I could never really find anyone to play against I thought it added a bunch of new options that really shook up how an RTS should be played. Map control was the most important part here, much more than in a regular RTS. Combined with the relatively slow pace, this suited players like me (i.e. Lovers/Not fighters) who prefer to defend rather than rush in (like fools).

Dawn of War 2 keeps that basic feeling of combat but like someone hooking up in a nightclub toilet, it completely does away with base (relationship) development. Instead, players pump out units and thrust them directly into battle, shifting gameplay from strategic to something more tactical (if there truly is a difference). I haven't really ever played Warhammer 40k, but I imagine DoW2 is more like getting it on in a dining room; i.e. a lot closer to a tabletop game than the original ever was. To be honest, I'm not sure where this leaves me, or whether I can continue casually tieing this to sex and relationships.

Sure, you can still bust out a bunch of different playstyles, and technically there's nothing 'missing' in that. Removing base-building has only simplified the build order. But thats probably the biggest problem here, everything seems overly simplified. As far as units go, you don't get that many to choose from, but I guess you get enough for each race to have a few strong tactics. Following that, considering how little troop variation there is you'd expect there to be more races to choose from. I for one miss Chaos, and those crazy outerspace commies, the Winter Guard, and it couldn't be that hard to add a couple of the other races from the expansions. After all that, even considering the small numbers of troop types, its still not that greatly balanced.

The other major win DoW1 has over DoW2 is that it can run well on my computer. I know I may not have the greatest computer EVER... But I can-not-for-the-life-of-me work out what is causing DoW2 to be running so slow on both mine and my housemate's computer. There is honestly not that much going on screen, but it seems to take a godly amount of processing power to do it. Furthermore, I bet I could get a decent LAN game going in DoW1. DoW2 seems to handle online play fairly well, but LAN play was like a pile of broken dreams, soaked in tears.

It's not all doom and gloom though, the single player (or co-op) campaign is pretty cool, coming off as a kinda linear Dune 2 meets RPG. I'm not sure I'm entirely following the plot, but whatever. It's different and kind of cool. Furthermore, as limited as it is, playing skirmish maps is fun. I haven't played against anyone yet (and probably never will) but judging by the reviews it's gotten I guess there must be a little bit of magic in the multiplayer.

So there we go. As far as I stand, I'm still in that awkward place before I'm ready to see her exclusively or decide to go for her older, slightly more traditional sister.

This has gotten very creepy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last night Jackie Chan came round...

I'm still trying to work out what I should call these posts... Character Mondays is boring and lacks alliteration.

This guy is Shinichi Watanabe (perhaps, I can't find my old notes notes at the moment, but I definitely remember his last name is Watanabe). Long time viewers may remember him from old (and failed) comic "Fistful of Kung Fu". In that story, he's an Shaolin Monk drop out, who wanders into Shanghai, looking to start a gang war between the resident Triad/Yakuza gangs.

Watanabe is proficient in many forms of unarmed kung fu, particularly the 5 animal styles. He is also privvy to the secrets of the forbidden "Shadow-Eagle Claw" technique, which specializes in one hit kills.

He's a pretty casual guy, who likes to keep his cards close to his chest and his motivations hidden. When things don't go his way, he tends to overcompensate a smidge. All in all, I wanted him to be more Jackie Chan than Bruce Lee. For an outfit I wanted something that looked like a rough approximation of the outfits from period kung fu movies. The jacket is pretty much a straight up chinese jacket from one of those movies, the rest of the outfit is a little more modern-day hipster-ish. In other words, he's wearing it to be ironic. Or something.

I'd still like to get around to re-doing (and finishing) Fistful one day, but I could always turn it into some kind of fighting/beat-em up game. Half of the fun came from coming up with wierd unorthodox fighting styles. Admittedly, Watanabe was kind of boring in this regard, but there always needs to be some normalcy amongst a group of freaks.

This scan didn't come out as well as I was expecting. To be honest I rushed the sketch a little bit, but I had lives to save so I think it's ok. I decided to add a little more colour than the last one to try and compensate, but in the end it doesn't really matter, these are only supposed to be rough character sketches anyway.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I needed a post, so I've quickly knocked together a bunch of the little, uninteresting stuff I've been working on into something post worthy. This is for that thing I'm doing at that time...

It's a bunch of templates for rooms. I haven't slapped them together like they should go in the game so they kind of seem a bit nonsensical (but who would building shaped in the letters BSR anyway?). I'm aiming for executive office space. Imagine desks and cubicles. Also not properly finished are the connectors between rooms and some of the shadows could use work but I'm not entirely sure whats going on with shadows at this particular moment. Also, I shrunk it down.

More later, but it's late. I'm out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Opinions 2 months too late - Motion controls are not the future

The big news at E3 this year was that both Sony and Microsoft had both developed their own motion control systems, Sony's unnamed magic wands, which I assume can be called PS-3-motes, and the Microsoft's Natal, which is an even creepier baby sounding name than the Wii (or Christmas if you're Portuguese...). Seriously, just as an aside, Natal is a terrible, terrible name. Sure it's not as juvenile as Wii, but it deserves scorn and shame.

Meanwhile, back with the topic of this post; This is not surprising. The Wii still has a large share of the console market and all it really has is motion control, so it's understandable the other two companies would want to move in on that. And also let's not forget that Sony had already tried this once before with Six-axis. And the Eye-Toy/Playstation-Eye. By the way Sony and Microsoft have both jumped on the motion contol wagon, it's looking more likely the next generation of consoles will be supporting motion control from the beginning.

But let's take a brief step back and look a what Nintendo has done with their control system. To me, it feels like Nintendo are always going back to their past and re-imagining older products. It's easy to follow the progression of the Gameboy as it moves away from the old LCD Game&Watch, and then gradually starts moves back to the old look and feel again before adopting the double screen fold out variant now represented by the DS. In a similar way, the Wii's motion controls invoke memories of the NES Powerglove. So Wii's motion control, while not perfect, nor as cool (in an 80's way) as the powerglove, is basically Nintendo getting an idea from the past and fixing it for the present. I'm still hanging out for the new R.O.B.

As great as this is (and indeed, as sales have confirmed), what has this meant for gamers? Unfortunately not much... The Wii has been criticized for it's lack of "Hardcore" games and in most cases, hastily shoved in motion controls. While there has been a few games that have made decent use of the Wii's potential, most simply play as minigame collections. This may change with the advent of motion control plus, but at the moment, actual gaming on the Wii is pretty stagnant. In my experience as well, implementing the motion controls into a game is tough without having to simplify things. Motion controls most definitely restrict the design process rather than compliment it.

So why?

Think about a game you enjoy playing? Would it work with motion controls? Lets look specifically at a couple of the bigger games on each console.

Halo (and indeed any FPS) - So aiming and shooting might be pretty fun, but how about movement? Let's say you want to quickly turn around and shoot someone behind you? With Natal, wouldn't that involve spinning around on the spot, which would then end with you facing away from the screen? Sure, you could have a voice recog that would accomplish that move, but would'nt that kinda defeat the whole purpose? And who wants to yell out "180" all the time while playing?

Metal Gear Solid - Once again, aiming and shooting would be easy, same with hand to hand combat. But how do you implement the sneaking and cover without simplifying it to the extreme? Do you make the player lean against an imaginary wall to simulate Snake hiding up against a wall?

That's not to say there aren't some games motion controls would work well in, but in both of those cases, there are several gameplay mechanics that in no way work better with motion controls, and a few that do. The problem with that is if you start mixing between control methods you begin to end up making the game feel like group of minigames rather than something consistent. These are existing games though, surely games being developed for these systems that would specifically be designed around this right?

Maybe so, but lets look at some of the other limitations that they'll haver to work around:
-Not everyone plays games in a nice big living room that gives you space to move around. Or is unashamed enough to jump around like a manic frog while other people are around. People think watching others play Guitar Hero is awkward, imagine driving an imaginary car.
-There's no feedback between character movement and player movement. You can just wildly swing around as your sword hits a wall or something. Theres nothing stopping you from getting into positions not possible for the in game character.
-It's much easier to move a couple of fingers and thumbs rather than your whole body. And it's a lot easier to know where to put them when you've got something tactile to touch.

And lets not forget the lessons we've learned from the Wii so far:
- Motion control gets shoved in for the sake of having motion control.
- Control schemes get needlessly complicated when they are replaced by arbitrary motions.
- More games get turned into a series of minigames.

And thats not all, but it's as much as I can be bothered with on this train ride. I can elaborate further, but as I mentioned: Train ride. Over it. And of course, as a designer you should be doing everything you can to not let the bottom 3 happen, but as a player you know that's where the majority of games are going to go.

And lets not forget what this will do for competitive gaming as well. Imagine a finely tuned game like Street Fighter, where a character'sattack speed/priority/reach etc are all important. In a motion controlled fighting game, would that be necessary? Would it just be all about who can wildly wave their arms around the fastest? Will style and subtlely be damned? Games wont be won on skill anymore, they'll be won on fitness, and if its going to be like that, why bother with the console and game? Fitness is the natural weakness of the gamer.

So all up, I'm hoping this is a passing fad. Everyone knows a mouse/keyboard combination is perfection :P. For the record, I do think Natal is pretty impressive tech, but I also think Sony have a better idea of what they are doing (buttons etc on the wand will give you more options).

Monday, July 13, 2009

King of the Iron Fist

In my legendary quest for regular posting, I've been trying to come up with ideas for weekly posts. As mentioned before, I was thinking about adopting a column-style "post of the day" type thing. Hopefully then I might be able to stay more on target. I have a feeling what I'll be doing is just trying a bunch of different stuff and then seeing what sticks.

I haven't committed to anything yet, because commitment is scary, but today I'm trying out a "Character of the week" type thing. Basically, I take one of the ideas I have for a comic/video game/thing and sketch up a character from it. This also has the double purpose of being able to fill up my ideas folder with character sketches and stuff. Everyone wins.

I'm not sure what else I'll be talking about, since I dunno if I wanna give away too much information. Not only because I deathly fear intellectual theft but also because I deathly fear that a lot of my ideas are dumb.

So this guy is... Well... Currently nameless. I did think of a name a while I was sketching this but I forgot to write it down. It's not important for the moment. He's the leader of a small group of cyberpunks, and basically the tank of the group. His metal arm is able to produce various explosive attacks. He's also a sarcastic bastard, quick to temper and enjoys gardening. The game I was thinking about him for is also currently nameless.

I wasn't aiming for him to look like anything else in particular, but looking at him now I can see so many little influences. It's not that big a deal since the game idea was supposed to be pretty referential, but see how many you can see and then compare them to mine for prizes!
-The whole thing seems very Cowboy Bebop, especially the mechanical arm.
-The hair and body shape seem a lot like Yashiro from King of the Fighters.
-The colour scheme is similar to Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear.
-It's retarded, but I can't really see a red singlet and not think of Duke Nukem.
-The two belts (one superfluous) is a little new Final Fantasy-ish. Although this one was kinda intentional. Probably should've put more zippers on him though.

Friday, July 10, 2009


And yet... here I am rushing things out again...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Big Stompy Variety and Cabaret Hour.

In an effort to keep up the apparent rivalry between my blog and Drew's (He is the Ken to my Ryu), I've been considering what I can do about this blog to keep up the pace. I unfortunately don't get the chance to do stuff at work, usually because I'm kinda a little busy working. Furthermore, anything I do at work is officially property of the company and that includes ideas and thoughts. Naturally, I try to think as little as possible at work.

So anyway, my days mid-week are massive drains. I'm tired of pushing out rushed things for the purpose of getting out a post, but I'd still like to post as much as possible. Sure, I can sketch on the train on the way in to work, it's way too bumpy on the way home to do anything. What I can do is type though, so I imagine what I'm going to start doing is maybe re-occurring column-style-glossy-magazine-topical-nonsense posting. And by that I don't mean trash (hopefully) I mean interesting things (also hopefully).

I've been thinking for a while I should really be testing all of my skills as it stands with BSR. I'm not just about the drawing. I'm about writing. I'm about sound. I'm about volleyball. I'm about a lot of things. So this isn't going to be like posting personal stories about what I did on the weekend and what I'm going to wear to the prom; I'm going to try and keep it relevant. What I need to do is learn to be more opinionated, pick my beliefs, stick to them and savage people who don't agree with me. I'm mainly talking in regards to video game design, etc, of course. Mainly. But look at the post that's got me the most comments so far, the one where I cry at Hollywood for ruining Max Payne. Sure, one of those posts was mine but I'm still counting it. All the famous video game designers are bastards. John Romero want's you to suck it down. Cliffy B demands to not be called Cliffy B anymore. Ron Gilbert's stance against April fools day is both legendary and terrifying. Sure Sid Meier was relatively placid but the man's an encyclopedia. He defines bastardry (cue rimshot).

So what does this mean for this blog really. It probably means more blogs where I get obsessed about stuff for weeks at a time, which I know Drew hates, but fuck him... I hate circles and there has been a hell of a lot of circles in his last couple of posts and you don't hear me complaining...

(I'm sorry circles, you know I love you... You're so round and shapely... Please take me back.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The New New Challengers

The time has come for fighting in the streets once again

So I picked up Street Fighter 4 PC – despite what you might think, It's not the reason for the lack of activity on here recently. To be honest, aside from a marathon session last weekend while I unlocked the secret characters, I haven't played it that much. It's good like that though: I can play a couple of rounds online and generally be satisfied.

The game itself has definitely justified its reviews so far. It's odd to find a game (that's essentially a remake) that not only maintains the feel of the old game but also manages to feel fresh and new too. Not to mention I finally get my chance to prove my salt against other like minded individuals. Considering I never really had access to a decent arcade growing up, this is like some kind of geek dream come true.

The character roster isn't bad, although its a shame none of SF3's characters made it in. I'm mostly OK considering most of my favourites have made it though.. Although it would be cool to have Guy back as well. It's kind of interesting what they did with the new characters though. The creators specifically did research and attempted to design new characters to specifically appeal to western audiences. It's like they totally forgot that SF2 was one of those World-Wide-Smash-Hit type of things.

Anyway, this isn't the first time it's happened. In Super Street Figther 2, they introduced Dee jay and T Hawk, which I think were both designed by Capcom USA to specifically appeal to an American audience. Speaking of which, it's also interesting to look at the comparisons between the 4 new challengers introduced in SSF2 and the new guys introduced in SF4.

Abel is probably the best designed of the new characters. He's french. He uses a (slightly embellished) real style. He's heavily riffing off of an actual real world fighting legend. His design also would look perfectly in place if he'd been introduced in SF2. As far as story goes he's an amnesiac who's also mercenary who just happens to be a clone of M. Bison (LOL SPOILER). This is (surely coincidentally) almost exactly Cammy's back story in SSF2. I can only assume this is going to lead to a horrid torrent of AbelXCammyXBison slash fiction. Also, Abel is the guy in the picture today.

Next up is El Fuerte. He's a lucha libre (A.K.A Mexican Wrestler), but I assume he's owing more to WWE's Rey Mysterio Jnr. His back story seems to revolve around him entering the tournament to find the ultimate recipe. This kind of “Entering a fighting tournament in order to find a totally unrelated thing” was also done in SSF2 with Deejay, who was fighting to find the perfect beat. However, considering he's never really been seen in a game again, I guess it went pretty well for him. I think there's a lesson in that for all of us.

Crimson Viper is the character designed especially for American audiences is a Angelina Jolie-esque, Pussycat dolls reject mother wearing the tuxedo from Jackie Chan's The Tuxedo. Strangely enough, she didn't end up all that popular in US after all. Personally, I think she looks more like she belongs in an SNK fighting game. I'm stretching it a little, but she can set her kicks on fire. So can Fei Long from SSF2! Coincidence?

Definitely the worst character of the new lot is Rufus, the overweight self-styled kung fu prodigy. Sure, his outfit references Bruce Lee, but all up he's a joke character. Let's face it, as much as I like Dan there's no need for another one of him (i.e. Self taught joke character) and his ability to bounce around like he's made of rubber defy beleif even in the reality of the Street Fighter world. It also doesn't help that his moves are pretty good and all up is probably one of the most powerful characters in the game. I'm going to go ahead and call him the new T.Hawk, since both are American stereotypes annnnnnd... no that's it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009



I just had his as a black and white sketch, but then I considered that the last couple of items so I gave it a quick colour. Also, I learnt a way to quickly turn sketches into line art which is pretty awesome.

So, I sketched this on the train as well. For some reason the ride out to Helensvale seems a lot smoother than the ride back into the city, so that will be something to consider when I get around to organising myself.

Meanwhile I've come up with the following areas I think I need the most practise with. Can you spot anything I may have missed?
-Hands and Feet
-Punching through tree and rock
-Meditating under waterfalls

My first challenge will be trying to paint like a French art nouveau fashion designer from the 60's though. It's a complicated situation...

In other news: Street Figther 4 is finally out on PC! FUCK YES.