Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Proof Positive (or Proof Posi+ive)

John Marine | 1:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
As a first-time eBook author, Proof Positive is my first eBook and first eBook series. It is a self-help series where I offer advice concerning various general issues along with advice to help produce and boost positivity. This blog post here will fill you in with more information about this project of mine. You will get a lot more insight on me coming up with this series and what it is all about. Welcome to "John's Creative Space!"

Oh, and what do you know... this is *officially* my 50th post on "John's Creative Space!" Welcome to my golden (50th) post on this blog!

The "Proof Positive" Series

Let me tell you more about this eBook series I created. But first, here is a picture to help identify this post...

Proof Positive John Marine
^ from: www.amazon.com - .

The "Proof Positive" series (styled as "Proof Posi+ive") is an eBook project I started in trying to offer positive and encouraging thoughts to help people be and feel more positive about life and society. My method of offering advice is to provide a snapshot of a certain situation and then try to offer advice to help people deal with the certain issue and become stronger. I feel offering calming words and speaking with passion are ways to help people feel better. My hope is to motivate and encourage others with my advice to certain life issues. While Proof Positive is a self-help series, I also want to make things interesting by featuring self-help on certain issues outside of living life. For example, I was considering installments in regards to sports and sports fans. I want to mix things up a little bit while not losing focus of the main matter of Proof Positive.

Because I mention a bunch of life issues in my main blog, I feel the need to maximize the usefulness of my advice by creating an eBook. I take my blogging experience to try to create something people can access and (hopefully) profit from my work. I feel I could reach out to more people and feel like I am offering a service by making eBooks. I feel you can put more powerful content in an eBook than most blog posts (and even most videos) have. In the early development of my first eBook, most of my time was spent trying to learn how to make an eBook. This took away from me concentrating on making actual content. In fact, I actually spent more time trying to practice making eBooks before trying to actually make one. I even went as far as to purchase an Amazon Kindle eReader to practice and test my eBook on a Kindle (let alone a proper eReader). So this has been the work of about three or so months before eventually releasing my first ever eBook.

When I made my first eBook from an ODT text file in LibreOffice, my manuscript came out to 14,425 words using 80.426 characters. Now that I released my first eBook, I have the confidence to make more. I found a suitable workflow I can use to make eBooks quicker (content notwithstanding). A big part of this creation of an eBook was thanks to a program called Alkinea. Alkinea is a beta program used in the creation of EPUB and MOBI format eBooks taking ODT text files made using either OpenOffice or LibreOffice.

Timeline of Events.

Here are a few highlights of mine in making and releasing my first eBook (as of December 15, 2015):

• September 11, 2015 - made a folder dedicated to eBooks; includes sample eBooks as well as test material
• [circa] October 29, 2015 - made first practice eBook focusing exclusively on HTML coding
• [circa] November 27, 2015 - made second practice eBook, code named "Tormenta"
• [circa] December 9, 2015 - made third practice eBook, using a program called Alkinea, used actual eBook project made in LibreOffice
• December 11, 2015 - released first eBook on Amazon, later to other services with Draft2Digital; uploaded EPUB version of eBook
• December 13, 2015 - first sale of eBook on Amazon

To be honest, I actually was supposed to release my work on December 10; but since it was getting late when I submitted my work in the early morning hours, I settled for that Friday afternoon to release my work and do all the different editing to get my work live. Once I released my eBook, I felt accomplished. I was all on social media and such promoting my work from sites that took my work live online. You can imagine how proud I was of everything.

Here is a look at my first eBook and its content...

Proof Positive: Happy Beginnings.

Here is the description I offered for this eBook:

"Our lives and society are ripe with negativity. With so much negative in our lives, it can be tough to think positively. Proof Positive by John B. Marine is a supplement to help people think about things to be positive about. It is a collection of basic thoughts as well as advice to common and uncommon life issues. The Proof Positive series will take on a number of individual topics. The first installment, "Happy Beginnings" looks at positivity and negativity in general, and it also focuses in on basic thoughts and items to help people begin to think positively. All thoughts are expressed on a personal, passionate, and calming level in plain English. It is time to defeat negativity in our lives and in society with positivity and positive thinking."

This installment of Proof Positive is about starting out trying to think positively and starting out generating positivity. I focus on a few basic things people can think about to be positive about right now. All of the material featured are all mostly different snapshots of life coupled with my advice to help people deal with certain issues. Do not expect a masterpiece of formal writing and literary awesomeness, but I do offer my own thoughts on a personal level and from a standpoint only I feel I can provide.

Future installments will feature a number of thoughts to help people out with a number of other issues. As of December 15, 2015; I am working on my next installment of the Proof Positive series. The first book in the series is on providing positive insight on a few basic things. The next installment (and you read this first!) has to do with making yourself positive as well as discuss matters of being self-positive. The issues basically relate to certain things that circulate in our mind in trying to be happy and positive. I will be sure to further elaborate on the next installment once it goes live online.

For a Fee?

Because I feel I can better benefit offering eBooks for a fee, I can only provide only so much a preview for all of you. I don't want to spoil too many fine details in any of my blogs. I feel that the amount of content I provide and the sort of professionalism I consider in building this eBook series is of great quality. To be honest, I am actually working on this as a business outlet. When I wanted to build a game for the OUYA and for Android devices, I had in mind making some paid material. I have only so much to try to make any sort of material.

Just know that when I create something for sale, you can be assured I've given my best effort and that it will have value. I would never release anything I felt did not have any sort of value or usefulness to it. That is my philosophy with blog posts, and the same goes for any sort of paid content I consider. So you definitely have my word that my material is of exceptional quality and something I am proud to release and share.

Want to Use Resources?

Here are some resources I used in the creation of my eBook:

LibreOffice - used in making an ODT text file
Alkinea - makes eBooks straight from ODT files in EPUB; free for personal and commercial eBooks
KindleGen - used to convert EPUB to Amazon's MOBI format; use with Alkinea to generate EPUB and MOBI copies
Sigil - free program useful for editing
Calibre - free program useful for editing, especially for adding metadata and refining EPUB, also manages eBooks.
FBReader - a very good eBook app for PC and Android mobile devices. To me, it is the most accurate as far as eBook apps are concerned.

Good luck to any of you who are aspiring eBook authors.

Well, that's it. Thank you for checking out my work! Let me give you a little advice before I close this post... you can do a whole lot for me by Subscribing and Following my work. Stay in the know when I post new material. Get social with me to show your further appreciation of my work. That's all. Just saying. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

eBook Projects

John Marine | 6:33 PM | | Be the first to comment!
My ambition to make eBooks was expressed here on "John's Creative Space" and even in "John's Blog Space." This blog post here on JCS offers a look at some projects I am working on or considering in making eBooks. This is a chance for you to see what concepts I am working on or may consider in the future. I will also share some thoughts on the eBook process and how I am going about it. Any loyal readers that may want to offer suggestions or something are free to comment.

About the Label: eBooks

Anything eBook (or e-Book) related will be featured in these blog posts. These include both some of my own work and even eBooks in general.

eBook Projects: General Thoughts

The eBook allure lies in making material more detailed. As a blogger, I feel some material may be better suited towards blog posts and videos; however, some material would be better suited in an eBook. Not to mention being able to financially profit from your work. A number of eBook authors offer their work for free. Some others feel they can financially profit from their work, so they offer their eBooks for a certain price. To say one makes a financial living on charging their work for a fee can basically mean someone cares more about making money than expressing oneself. I certainly don't want to carry that mentality in some peoples' minds. But in a way, this is still a business at the end of the day, so people often have to take a business approach to things.

Having said all of this, here is a chance for me to share with you some projects I am working on or considering for when I seriously try to make eBooks. But before I share my project ideas, I want to give you a little background.

eBook Projects: My Considerations.

An important aspect in publishing anything is to consider your audience and what you want to target. There are different kinds of eBooks catering to different audiences. Most of my work will mostly be of the average text variety. So if you prefer eBooks that you can read on your e-Reader device or in an eBook app, that is what I am mainly targeting. I am taking most of my blogging style and offering it to the realm of eBooks. I look at eBook development kind of like making blog posts, only that

Because I intend to sell some of my work online, I am mostly targeting EPUB eBooks as well as the proprietary MOBI format for Amazon Kindle readers. I actually want to get a Kindle eReader for testing purposes. I mostly want to get the basic Kindle e-Reader, though I wouldn't mind having the more popular Kindle Paperwhite. The reason why I want to get the Kindle readers is so I can properly test my eBooks with the Kindle devices. None of the other Kindle devices (such as the Fire series) interest me at all. I don't need all of the extra functionality of those devices since I am only trying to make eBooks.

eBook Projects: Challenges.

The biggest challenge (or fear) I face is in my eBooks not coming out properly. Most of my process is in trying to find a proper workflow to where I am most confident developing eBooks and putting them together. This is why I presently haven't made anything as of yet. I am basically using Notepad++ to develop my HTML pages from scratch to make eBooks. I have various programs capable of managing and developing eBooks- Sigil, Calibre, and even Mobipocket Creator. I am still learning as I go in trying to make eBooks. However, I feel confident enough in my work that I may finally develop something amazing for an eBook.

Despite my optimism, I feel I can only do so much until I get myself an eBook reader. I am mostly fixated on getting an Amazon Kindle reader. Just a base Kindle reader will do for me, even though I wouldn't mind getting the more popular and better favored Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

Now on to the more important bits.

eBook Projects: Projects Explained

Here is a look at some of the material I have planned. Official names or any other media will be undisclosed until the proper material has been announced and released. Some of the projects described in this section may or may not actually be released.

eBook Project: Life Issues and Advice.

When I first considered making an eBook, one of the first topics I wanted to focus on were on life issues. I tried to build it all at once, but I then thought it would probably be better if I made this a series. This eBook project features a variety of different life issues I thought of and want to offer advice about. It is not definitive advice, but it is at least my own take on things. The reason why I am considering this is because I feel the lives we live are full of negativity and hate. I want to be able to offer something positive to read. Certain personal issues are also featured for insight. Basically... this is a self-help deal based on personal experiences and personal thoughts.

eBook Project: Gaming Thoughts.

This project I haven't started on offers thoughts of mine regarding various aspects of video and computer games. Here is a sample topic- what do I think about people regarding graphics and sound more than actual game play? What do I REALLY think about the independent/indie gaming scene? This is about the same sort of project as the one you just read about. Only difference is that I focus my thoughts on certain aspects of gaming. In one way, it would be silly to offer an eBook on something like gaming when I could probably post certain material in a blog post or something. Conversely, it is better to compile various thoughts on one certain category into an eBook and offer deep details that no blog post or video can express.

eBook Project: YouTube Thoughts.

From my YouTube experiences, I have learned many things and have had many thoughts on simply being a YouTuber. Honest feelings and thoughts are the primary focus of this eBook project. I haven't come up with any draft, but I do feel a bit like there are some honest feelings concerning why I haven't exactly enjoyed very much making videos and interacting with YouTubers. I will express some of those thoughts if I do make an eBook about this topic.

eBook Project: (a comic eBook?)

Could I possibly attempt making a comic-type eBook? I actually was thinking of making comic-style videos for YouTube, but I may consider something similar for an eBook. This will require that I design a bunch of images and put them together into a comic style eBook. The first book I ever bought as an eBook was a comic-style eBook- "I Am Pusheen the Cat." That was basically a series of images to make up an eBook. So I basically know it is possible to come up with an eBook consisting of a bunch of images put together into a book. Would I make one? It's possible. Nothing right away comes to mind as any comic project.

eBook Project: (a Mature or Adult-Oriented project?)

Never am I known to try something totally ambitious. I think I am too much of a nice guy to want to try making material laden with raunchy and explicit material. However... it is a thought I [surprisingly] might entertain. The best reason to consider a project like this would be to show the broad range of one's material. You know, basically to try to offer something to different audiences. It is much the same way you have movies rated by the Motion Picture Association of America with "G" that the an entire family can enjoy, and then you have those movies rated "R" Rated movies. Even worse are those rated "NC-17" by the MPAA that are even raunchier than R-rated movies.

So what is meant by "mature" or "Adult-Oriented?" It could range anything from profoundly violent and offensive material, or it may even involve raunchy romantic and sexy material. I don't have anything planned for this. I may, may not, or may never attempt to make something that I think far exceeds what a general audience would consider too extreme for normal reading.

You now have an idea of some of the different eBook projects I am either working on or considering. I am not sure if there are any topics that could I could possibly take into consideration as far as topics or categories people feel I can take on in making an eBook.

Amazon Kindle Readers (Bonus Section!)

As a way of saying thanks to you for reading this post and to speak of the Kindle readers, why not treat yourself to one if you're an eBook reader? The Kindle Fire and stuff personally don't interest me. So I'm with the e-Reader Kindles. Have a look at these and feel free to take a further look at these if interested:

Feel free to support me and my work any way you can. I thank you for it. Also... happy shopping! :)

I may attempt any number of different projects if I get on some kind of roll creating eBooks. I may even think of certain other projects outside of these mentioned here. Just remember that I will try to push my material. I hope you can support my work any way you can. I will surely announce my material to you all and where you can get it when I do publish material. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Voxel Robots

John Marine | 10:11 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
My MagicaVoxel voxel adventures now involve mechs and robots recently. Conceived as possible projects I want to start with Minecraft, I've been making certain robots and mechs. So I decided to show some of my work with you. This is the latest in a series of models I've been trying to create to further expand my profile of voxel models I have created.

A Special Announcement...

Unless you haven't visited my main blog, "John's Blog Space," I have a new Weebly page showcasing my creative works. I will use that space to feature some of my creative works with all of you. Some of those works include various voxel creations of mine that you've seen here on "John's Creative Space" previously. To visit my Weebly page, you are invited to come here:


Thank you if you do visit. I would appreciate your cooperation.

My Voxel Robots

In recent times, I been compelled to design robot voxel models. If you are expecting something like Gundam, Titanfall, Metal Gear, or anything like that in terms of robots or mechs, look elsewhere. There was a good bit for me to learn in creating these voxel robots.

One of my goals was to design these robots to populate Minecraft as part of a new world I want to create in Minecraft. These robots would be part of a story with this new Minecraft world I want to create. These robots try to merge in with a world already populated with humans and creatures. The world I am envisioning in Minecraft and its story revolve around humans feeling threatened by a combination of its own humans, various creatures, and robots. It kind of draws influence from Final Fantasy, but not deeply entrenched in Final Fantasy. Each class- humans, creatures, and robots- will have one or more characters massive in size and serve as boss characters. Some even may be rare and/or legendary enemies.

The robots I have conceptualized are a combination of various passive and hostile robots. While the models themselves seem out of place for something like Minecraft, they represent models unique to my own style of art and voxel modeling. I want to eventually design a number of robot models of different kinds and sizes. I even envisioned one or more robots to be boss-type characters that are massive in size and capable of massive damage and devastation.

My First Voxel Robot.

voxel robot
^ from: (my MagicaVoxel album on Facebook) - This robot has average claws meant to grasp various objects and even to pierce into intruders.

One look at this robot, and one might think this is a fairly old school robot. And in senses, it is. This is a robot who is meant to be a hostile mob. About as tall as an Enderman, this robot has claw hands meant to grasp people and objects. It has two laser cannons in its hand units to attack from longer distances. Mounted on its chest are two lights to see in dark conditions as well as be able to light up dark areas. There is a big battery pack installed on its back.

My Second Robot.

voxel gun robot
^ from: (my MagicaVoxel album on Facebook) - This basic robot was meant to defend areas from intruders.

This model is another hostile mob. It has two basic gun turrets. Its main purpose is to defend turf from invaders. They are fairly standard issue protection and fairly basic enemies. These robots are about as tall as the main player model in Minecraft.


Here is one model I am still mostly working on.

voxel WIP robot Arachne
^ from: (my MagicaVoxel album on Facebook) - An absolute war machine is this eight-legged robot with two chainguns.

This model looks pretty wicked, doesn't it? Can't complain when you have eight legs and tote TWO chainguns! This robot doesn't have a technical name, but its hypothetical name is the "Arachne Class." This is a hostile mob that has the same sort of mobility as the basic Spiders in Minecraft, but rather than jump at you, it fires plasma lasers from its two chainguns. It has another mode of attack in the form of a laser beam from its chest. Needless to say, this robot is a total war machine. It is also possible to ride this machine and use it for transportation and battle.

Now you have a little peek at my creations.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015


John Marine | 8:15 PM | Be the first to comment!
From my main blog, I have expressed interest in making eBooks recently. I have done a little literature here on "John's Creative Space" before, but never any eBooks. Will you support my work if I make eBooks? This blog post is an opinion-based post regarding my desire to try to make eBooks.

I have been blogging for perhaps a decade. My blogging has been done on Myspace even before Blogger/Blogspot. There is a certain science to designing blog posts such as this one. When it comes to doing eBooks, however, this is a different monster. I think an eBook requires a different level of attention and focus apart from blog posts. A lot of eBooks are offered for free, but many people offer their eBooks for sale on services such as Smashwords, Lulu, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and more.

Likenesses of Blogging and eBooks.

Allow me to discuss these two items as a blogger.

Both blogging and eBooks are the same in terms of speaking your mind and expressing yourself any way you please. At least anyone who takes blogging seriously knows the importance of expressing oneself through the means of typing stuff up. Same goes with eBooks. When it comes to making eBooks, you have to express points in a cleaner way than with blog posts. You also have to present material in a way that people will care about it and maybe even justify paying good money for your work.

I am not saying that blogging lacks professionalism, I am just saying that making an eBook is a bit more professional. You have to build your eBook more like a real book with a cover and chapters and such. These are more professional pieces that require a little extra attention to detail than usual. You can offer your eBook work for free, or you can offer your work for a fee. Then again, that's how a lot of freelancers operate with various works.

What Will You See with my eBook Work?

Expect some of the same sort of commentary served up the way I usually do. I will try to bring my opinionated work to the light in my own special way while making sure to express myself as best as possible. The various works I may create can range from personal material to certain entertainment pieces. Regardless, I know what I am trying to do in trying to create material I am hopeful people can find enjoyment in. If you like my blogging, I'm sure you'll find something to love with my eBook work.

Free or Fee?

Most important to me is speaking my mind and offering something to others. While I do want to financially profit from my work, I care more about offering a service and my voice rather than feel like ripping people off. People are going to spend more time with an eBook than with a blog post. An eBook is going to have to offer material that is deeper and richer than most blog posts. People are probably going to download and use your eBook more likely than maybe saving HTML or text copies of your blog posts. So in my view as a publisher, it is probably best to capitalize on your work by making and selling an eBook for profit. I will charge a good bit of my eBook work for a fee, mostly because of the level of importance and detail I think eBooks offer. And believe me- I wouldn't charge anything for any of my work if I didn't feel there was a certain level of importance and opportunity in making eBooks.

Since I never made an eBook prior to this blog post, I'll offer something for free just to make test eBooks. Maybe spread it around and get some reaction. I also will need to make a habit of having devices at the ready to test eBooks on various devices. Once I get a general feel for designing eBooks, I will become a bit more serious and more aggressively offer and create material to sell online. So until I create more proper material warranting for a fee, I will mostly offer material for free.

My eBooks and JCS.

I will probably use JCS to offer some ideas on any book projects I may be working on. Ideas may fall under project names and explained further in individual posts. Those posts may later be updated if I release a proper eBook. The title of the blog post may also change to reflect the name of my eBook(s).

My eBooks and Social Media.

If you feel there are topics you may want to see me try to cover in blog posts or eBooks, then please let me know. I may be able to come up with something interesting if I like your idea(s).

If you want to read more about my eBook ambitions, check out this blog post in my main blog: "John's Corner: eBooks?" (John's Blog Space).

Be sure to stay with my blogging work to see my latest material when they all become available. I hope you all are able to help support my work all the further. You will see bits of my work scattered across my blogs for you to download. So be sure to check out the sidebars, certain links, and stuff like that to see my work being offered to you. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015


John Marine | 11:42 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Matilda is a Maltese puppy and Charity's friend. As much as Charity cares about making the world and society as happier places, Matilda has about the same passion. The two got to know each other as Charity helped out Matilda was down on her luck. Feeling as if she owes her one, Matilda decided to join in on the mission to help make the world a more positive place.

Here is Matilda (prototype):
Matilda Maltese puppy MagicaVoxel voxel animal
^ from: (my MagicaVoxel album in my Facebook profile) - Matilda is Charity's friend. She is also the first voxel dog I've created. This voxel animal model was created using MagicaVoxel.

Though Charity and Matilda have the same goal, the methodologies of doing so among the two are different. Charity doesn't entirely feel she can make the world better just by doing cute acts and by working to solve problems. Matilda is a bit more serious and doesn't really try to be overly cute. In fact, Matilda would probably say Charity seems too reliant on being cute and trying too hard to win over the respect of people around her.

Creation Notes.

I seem compelled to try to make animals other than cats. As much as I love cats, this was my first attempt at making a dog. I actually am scared of dogs. While I don't know my dogs that well, I do admit that Maltese puppies are lovely dogs. The model I created was loosely based on my model of Charity. I didn't know how to design a Maltese puppy to the best of my ability. So I took a few different pictures and made my own interpretation of a Maltese puppy. I almost thought of giving Matilda a red collar, but I wanted to offer some difference between Charity and Matilda. So I gave her a blue dog collar.

So that is a rather brief look at one of my other original characters.

You should Subscribe/Follow my work to keep up with my latest posts. Thanks to everyone to helping keep this blog remain relevant and loved. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Photoshop Elements

John Marine | 6:26 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Adobe PhotoShop is the best of the best in art editing. However, many people can't afford PhotoShop for a subscription or its lofty $1K+ USD price. So what's the next best thing? Photoshop Elements. Photoshop Elements take in many of the powerful features from Photoshop in a lite package. It is Photoshop for those who can't afford the full Photoshop suite. Since buying Photoshop Elements earlier this year, I have been pleased with just how much power and control I have with images than with almost any other program I've used. I even uninstalled PaintShop Pro X6 from my computer as well as The GIMP because of the power Photoshop Elements has.

As of this post (August 28, 2015), the latest version is Photoshop Elements 13. My story with PSE was with wondering if Photoshop Elements would work for me. Prior to Photoshop Elements, my only other Photoshop experience was with Photoshop 5.5 from my brother. I mentioned that I had PhotoShop X6 as my premier art-editing program. I was intrigued with PSP X6 because I had previously used PSP4 on my Windows 98 and WinXP computers. Over time, I felt like I needed something better to work with. PaintShop X6 was good, but not really great. I bought that program for about $75 USD. Photoshop Elements is almost $110 USD. At one point, I even wondered if I would want a bundle that included Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Premiere Elements is more like for people to make videos with.

So I went ahead and bought Photoshop Elements 13 looking for a better editing experience. While many people would probably use PSE for photo editing, I prefer using it for making and editing art. It is a great program to use with a handful of useful resources. The amount of control in editing pixels and layers and such is pretty good. Photoshop Elements really does have many of the key elements to help you make or edit digital art. Because I use it to design art for games and such, I rarely have used it to edit or modify any pictures of mine. All I know is that I felt more confident making an image from start to finish with PSE than I had with PSP X6. As long as you are not using the seriously powerful features, this is a fairly decent program to use if you're a pixel artist.

Remember I mentioned Adobe Photoshop Elements as a "lite" Photoshop? A number of features from the main Photoshop suite are missing. Among some of the many missing features include things like making layer groups, scripting, vector graphics, and more. Animation is possible with Photoshop Elements, but it is a bit cumbersome doing so. Don't expect the level of animation quality in Photoshop Elements like with Photoshop (or even the former ImageReady program from long ago). There are just some features missing from PSE that almost makes you lament not having the money to pay for the full Photoshop or even pay for a subscription for Photoshop. To put it mildly, Photoshop Elements is like being confident enough to drive anywhere you want, but you know you can go only so far. I certainly would recommend you invest in Photoshop Elements if you are looking for a powerful art editor. There are many features to Photoshop found in Photoshop Elements that you can live without if you are willing to sacrifice. Photoshop Elements isn't too light to where it lacks the power and polish of Photoshop. Photoshop Elements is Photoshop- only about ten times less expensive and with as many features as possible to give you the full Photoshop experience without having to pay for a full subscription or in buying the full program.

I would surely recommend Photoshop Elements as long as you have the requirements to run this program on your computer. Look online for resources on how to utilize your Photoshop Elements experience in case you want assistance. Remember that you can only do so much with Photoshop Elements with a number of the offered features. However, you aren't severely limited in what you can do with the program. So play around with it and make the most of your experience with Photoshop Elements.

Were you compelled by my commentary of Photoshop Elements and want to get it for yourself? Here are the latest versions of PSE that you can pick up on Amazon. Click on these items to learn more:

I would appreciate your business and in you helping support my work. So please help support me and my work any way you can.

Perhaps I've swayed your interest with this topic. This has been another post of "John's Creative Space." Subscribe and Follow if you enjoyed this blog and want more content when it comes available. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Charity the Cat

John Marine | 6:43 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Cats are so well-loved for their cuteness and personality. One cat, however, begs a certain question: what if one could change the world with one's own charm and intrigue? Charity looks to do just that in her adventures... and misadventures. This blog post introduces you to my feline character.

NOTE: There is no formal material for this character. This, however, will change with future edits. So stay tuned to this blog post for updates.

--- Charity the Cat ---

Allow me to introduce you to my unique character.

Charity the Cat
^ (prototype image, from one of my Facebook albums) - This is an early prototype for my character, Charity.

Now onto the story of this character.

Charity the Cat: Story and Actions.

There are a number of cats who help make us laugh and be awed by their cuteness. Some are silly, and some others can be on the fierce side. Charity is no different. Only thing is that she is a cat with a difference. Charity is an average house cat who is very affectionate and lovable. As much as Charity loves to be cuddled and cared for, she feels she can influence the world on her cuteness as well as in trying to perform certain tasks and help people out. It all came to a head when Charity felt the world around her was becoming too negative. So to restore positivity and shift the balance between negative and positive into a more positive direction, Charity looked for anything she can do to help make the world around her a happier and more fun place. She knows she can't solve all of the world's problems, but this cat certainly wants to make the world better... for cuddles!

What Charity wants to do is help out others and try to influence the world around her to make it better and more positive. Anything to help bring smiles to others or to make others feel better is what she will go through- no matter how serious or even how silly. Another cause important to her is to try to rescue fellow kittens from those whom have kidnapped the kittens. That even includes trying to feed starved kittens with delicious cat food or anything else made available. In other words, Charity just wants to positively influence the world around her.

In addition to her efforts to make the world a better place, two other cuddly animals want to help provide their own positive influences on the world. One is a Maltese puppy named Matilda, and another is a bunny named Benny (or Bennie). Charity looks at these two as helpful allies and cares equally for both Matilda and Benny. She even tries to prove her love and loyalty to them by trying to help them with their own problems.

Charity the Cat: Inspirations.

The main inspiration for Charity was Pusheen the Cat. I chose Pusheen for cuteness and for being playful. Another inspiration of mine is Neko. In case you don't know who Neko is, first of all, Neko is Japanese for "cat." Neko is a popular program in Java. One variation of the program either is a sequence where this pixelated kitty runs to the center, yawns, cleans itself, takes a brief nap, wakes up, and runs off the screen. The more popular one features Neko running towards wherever the user places the mouse cursor at around a fixed space.

I wanted Charity to be friendly and fun. However, I wanted Charity to be a cat who could save the world and make it a better place. I wanted to choose a positive name for my character, and the only real name that seemed to fit her best was "Charity." I couldn't really think of a better name for the puppy, so I kind of went with "Matilda" just for alliteration since she is a Maltese puppy. The "Benny/Bennie" namesake is short for "benevolent."

Charity the Cat: Goals.

I actually tried to come up with game prototypes to try to enact Charity in a situation to help become a part of making the lives of others better. I have two different game ideas in mind- a side-scrolling platformer and a top-down maze-style game. Neither has been real successful in trying to create. Also, I had planned using Charity as my mascot for an Android app that offers positive messages.

So far, nothing really has materialized. I still don't have enough programming knowledge to properly create any true game, even a prototype.

You now have an idea of what all I am working on in regards to Charity the Cat. I will update this post with new content as I make it available.

Again- I will provide more material on this character when I get to make it available. Until then, thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gaming Jams

John Marine | 1:40 AM | | Be the first to comment!
The way I understand them, gaming jams are challenges in creating a game within a certain amount of time. These jams challenge you to make as complete a game as possible within a certain time, sometimes even creating to a theme. Some of the most unique gaming concepts result from these jams from developers ranging from single hobbyists to multiple people part of a team. Whatever the case, gaming jams can really bring out the best in developers. This blog post offers a few thoughts of mine in regards to game jams.


I have never participated in a gaming jam as of this post. Thoughts expressed here in this blog post are all based on opinions and ideas of mine.

--- Gaming Jams: General Thoughts ---

NOTE: Some topics and thoughts expressed here may be featured in their own blog posts in the future.

Creating a game from start to finish takes a lot of time and money. Especially among the independent gaming circuit, however, games don't have to take ages to complete. They also don't have to be overly fancy. So to put people to the test, people take part in game jams. In the past, I thought game jams was like when you have musicians who simply perform music to others. You know- like jam sessions. But as I learned, game jams and their namesake are named for trying to put in as much content to make a proper game within a short amount of time. Some jams even have an added challenge- making a game to a certain theme. If taking part in a gaming jam, people do have an opportunity to try to practice their skills before taking part in a gaming jam proper. This sort of practice will sort of ease the burden and limits being completely unprepared and inexperienced. Some people on YouTube set up YouTube videos showcasing time lapses of their created games from concept to completion.

Of all gaming jams, one is considered the biggest and the most popular of all game jams. That gaming jam is called...

Ludum Dare.

The most popular of gaming jams is Ludum Dare (pronounced: "loo-dum dar-eh"), a 48-hour gaming challenge. Many developers of various levels have made a number of games within these challenges. The challenge of gaming jams like Ludum Dare involve creating a game that is as complete as possible. Sometimes, a theme is offered that participants must try to stick to as part of the Ludum Dare challenge. For example, participants in Ludum Dare may be asked to build a game with the theme of friends and family. So developers want to try to make a game focusing on these concepts. Once the time limit has expired and once the game has been submitted for review, it is up to gamers like you and I to test them out and play them to determine who wins.

Now if you think Ludum Dare is some brand new deal with very few iterations, think again. As of the date of this initial post (August 13, 2015), Ludum Dare is about to enter its 33rd iteration with Ludum Dare 33 happening between August 21, 2015 and August 24, 2015. Good luck to anyone who may be taking part in LD33 and in future Ludum Dare jams.

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: Learn more about Ludum Dare by visiting its official website at ludumdare.com.

The Psychology of Game Jams.

Hypothetically, a game could be completed in just one day. In theory, anyone could create a game in less than 24 hours. Some even could create a decent game in even less time- even in one hour or less! Can you imagine making 365 or 366 games- one game each day? We all know this is humanly impossible since we need to take part in a variety of activities to stay alive and such. However, in the case of game jams, it shouldn't take forever to build a game as long as you have the proper skills to build a game from start to finish. What if you were trying to meet deadlines to complete games for a company or some client? Can you complete a decent game within the time frame of a game jam?

The primary challenge of a game jam is to try to create a game within a certain amount of time. It does not have to be overly fancy- it just has to work and work properly. The game can be made by one person or be part of a team. Many people who participate in gaming jams learn lessons in trying to create games in short order.

Learning from Gaming Jams.

I have read multiple posts on Ludum Dare's website and in others' blogs about what they learned in working on the games they attempted to create for gaming jams. Many wish they had more time and resources to develop games. Some others think of taking certain measures to be more efficient in developing games, especially when you don't have so much time to work with. So while the challenge of making a game in such a short amount of time is a great challenge, there is a lot to learn. I would say that people in gaming jams learn of the essentials to making a game before refining them further. Most gaming jams mean most developers have to do with certain development pieces since you don't have as much time to create certain elements as you probably would you had seemingly unlimited time to develop a game. The impression I get from those who do jams like Ludum Dare is to find out how much game they can create in the allowed time one has to develop a game. Because you have a set amount of time, does that mean you will create a game as complete as possible? Not all the time. Some games created in jams may even be broken messes that still are remotely serviceable. A game jam is NOT a contest of perfection, and games are only going to be as perfect as what one deems perfect (or at least decent) with games created in game jams. You're going to have to be REALLY good if you're going to make a game in a gaming jam that even would challenge any Triple-A developers or Triple-A games. If you're expecting perfection or play to a level of perfection, then you've already lost the battle before the battle even starts. Just like in life, you sometimes have to learn some lessons from mistakes you make from making games in gaming jams.

Would I Participate in a Gaming Jam?

Programming is not one of my strong suits in creative work. While I am a stay-at-home person not in college or having any proper job, I seemingly have all the time in the world to do as I please. That unfortunately doesn't mean I could create a game from start to finish should I take part in a gaming jam. As a solo person who takes on a vast array of publishing tasks ranging from art to music to blogging, I don't think I could stay focused enough and be as educated enough in programming to develop a game within a short amount of time. I also tend to think highly of myself. I would feel bad releasing something that isn't to a level that I think is acceptable of my talent level. While not the very best, I certainly don't see myself the very worst.

So the chances of me taking part in a gaming jam would be rather unlikely. Maybe I'll try a gaming jam when I feel I'm experienced enough and talented enough to take one on.

--- Gaming Jams: Final Thoughts ---

I think gaming jams exist for one purpose among others- challenging people to create games in a short amount of time and usually without resources that most major developers and games would utilize. On a positive and encouraging note, being able to make so much using so little is always something encouraging. The dedicated developer would participate in gaming jams and be able to learn how to make their games more efficiently. I also feel gaming jams are the cornerstone of game development in a gaming culture in which games somehow have to be pretty and elaborate to be worth caring. Some people these days won't even go next to a game that isn't something Triple-A quality in every possible aspect. What such people would miss out on is the pure essence of games- playing them. Games don't have to be overly pretty. While not to say that games made by independents are ugly, at least there are people who remember that games are about proper play and are not beauty contests. In case anyone wants to know why the indie gaming community is so strong and appealing and why it seems almost anyone can get into the indie gaming scene and be their own star, follow game jams and games made in gaming jams. I would probably go as far as to say that gaming jams help you appreciate and respect the indie gaming scene and why games from indie developers have the sort of appeal that they have. So I'd say these gaming jams are the perfect platforms for indie developers ranging from hobbyists to proper studios.

If you take part in a gaming jam, be sure to try to create a game as complete as possible giving your full effort and dedication. Each game created in a gaming jam is both a chance to enjoy gaming, but also to learn how to make games more efficiently. Make something great while also being ready to take on various challenges in putting a game together to begin with. Your title probably won't be a Triple-A game killer, but at least making something you can be proud of through so much time and effort (and in such limited time) is something to be proud and boastful of. You are not going to be the next legendary game developer or lead gaming's next top gaming studio or company through gaming jams, but you have a chance to push yourself and your skills to the limit while also making great games through gaming jams.

Gaming jams are both great challenges and learning experiences. I salute all who take part in these jams regardless of talent and/or talent level.

These are at least my thoughts about gaming jams. I want to know what you think, though...

What are your thoughts about gaming jams? Have you participated in one? What would you recommend to others who may want to try a gaming jam?

This concludes another post of my creative works blog- "John's Creative Space." This is a blog where I share my own creative works as well as thoughts regarding making such creative works. It falls in the "anything and everything" mantra I follow for all of my online publishing work. If you enjoyed my blog post here, then please subscribe and follow this blog and my others. Get social with me on social media if you want to connect with me better. Thank all of you for your support. Simply visiting my material is the bare minimum that you somewhat care. That's all for this post, have a great day/night! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pusheen the Cat Camry

John Marine | 1:21 AM | | Be the first to comment!
#Pusheen the Cat is wildly popular. The cute animated cat has her fair share of cute and silly pictures both static and animated. I designed a car of her for fun using the NASCAR Generation 6 mod in "NASCAR Racing 2003 Season" (or NR2003). I will share with you my creation in this blog post.

Before I Begin...

DISCLAIMER: Pusheen the Cat is a trademark of Pusheen Corporation. For more on Pusheen, visit www.pusheen.com.

--- Pusheen the Cat Toyota Camry ---

Here is the car I created featuring Pusheen the Cat:

Pusheen the Cat Toyota Camry NASCAR Generation 6 Stock Car
^ from: (one of my Facebook photo albums) - Meow! It's Pusheen the Cat decorated on a Toyota Camry stock car.

In case you know nothing about Pusheen the Cat, let me give you a little introduction. Pusheen the Cat is a big tabby cat inspired by a real cat from the past of Claire Benton, the owner of Pusheen. Pusheen has a sister named Stormy. The term "Pusheen" comes from the Gaelic word "puisin," meaning kitten. Pusheen the Cat was featured a lot in an old Tumblog called "Everyday Cute" run by artists Claire Benton and Andrew Duff. Web comics featuring Pusheen basically showcase her hopes and dreams. Two of Pusheen's favorite activities are eating and sleeping. Both of which she does very well, I might add. Her popularity ultimately garnered her own site on Tumblr. As her popularity grew, Pusheen the Cat later became popular with various merchandise and goods in her image. There is even a book about her called "I Am Pusheen the Cat." It is safe to say that Pusheen may be the most popular fictional cat not named Hello Kitty. In fact, she may even be more popular than Hello Kitty!

I blogged about Pusheen the Cat before. You can read more in my main blog by clicking on this link in case you are interested: Pusheen the Cat (John's Blog Space). Now on to the car I created.

I chose the Toyota Camry as the car to feature Pusheen with. The car is adorned with the number 18 to represent the calendar day Pusheen was born (February 18). The car was painted to demonstrate the sponsor layout for cars in NASCAR for the Generation-6 stock car. Since no actual driver was thought of as the one to drive it, I decided to let Pusheen be the star of her car! So she is the one who has her name atop the windshield visor along with the Toyota logos. I was really unsure what pictures to put on the car to represent Pusheen. I've saved a LOT of pictures of Pusheen from various animated GIFs. The one I chose for the hood was a cute picture I would sometimes see in Facebook sticker comments. The chosen hood picture was Pusheen sitting up with a heart over her head. Up front is one image on both sides of the car with Pusheen waving hello to you. On the sides is Pusheen running; and on the rear quarter panel is Pusheen next to a laptop. The roof of the car features Pusheen on a scooter. Originally, I wanted to have that as the image on the sides of the car. However, I didn't think the running animation of Pusheen would work well as the roof image. So what I did was put the scooter Pusheen on the roof of the car. Past the rear windshield is "pusheen.com." The rear of the car features some graphics I grabbed from an app called PopCam, which is a vastly popular photo app in Japan. Pusheen appears over the Toyota logo on the back of the car saying "meow." And to complete the design, I added some hearts because after all, Pusheen just wants to make friends and look cute.

For More Information...

Here is where you can learn more about the different elements of this car:

NR2003 NASCAR Generation 6 mod on BullRing Motorsports - includes mod and templates.
Pusheen the Cat official page

Cross-Promotion/Other Reading.

More on Pusheen from me:
Pusheen the Cat (John's Blog Space)
^ More on the animated cat that inspired the creation of this car.

I Am Pusheen the Cat (John's Blog Space)
^ My review of Pusheen's book.

That concludes this post.

I may share more of my work with you as I make them available in posts. So be sure to stay with "John's Creative Space" for more! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Moonlight Motorsports

John Marine | 12:03 AM | | Be the first to comment!
My fictional racing team in games is called Moonlight Motorsports. It is the team I use for racing/driving games that allow for customization or in which cars can be painted. The same blue and gold that identify my work also make up the team colors for Moonlight Motorsports. I am making this post basically to introduce another avenue of creative works of mine. This one pertains to custom art for games. So welcome to my creative works blog- "John's Creative Space!"

About the Label: "Custom Art"

In games that allow for customization of art, I offer my own custom art in my posts. These posts feature artwork of mine designed for computer games. Some of my work may or may not be made available for download. I will consider offering some of my work for download based on interest from the general public-at-large.

--- Moonlight Motorsports ---

Any official cars or logos or such haven't been made available. So this post may be updated from its original posting (August 8, 2015) to reflect new changes. Here is my car in "NASCAR Racing 2003 Season" to share with you in the meanwhile...

Moonlight Motorsports Chevrolet SS NASCAR Gen-6
^ from: (one of my Facebook photo albums) - This is the team car for my team in "NASCAR Racing Racing 2003 Season." I haven't yet decided on a proper primary sponsor.

One thing to note is that I haven't selected a primary sponsor for my team. I do have an idea for one in mind. This car is really just a team car just to identify myself and my team. There are two different primary sponsors I was considering as my proper car to use in NR2003- Samsung and Logitech. Both cars are Chevrolet SS models I have in mind. For now, I just have my blue and gold car to represent myself and my team in the game. The number I use in racing games is #25. Alternatively, I use #3; but there are very few games or times where I use the #3. So my driver/rider number is 25.

The car was created using a Photoshop template of the NASCAR Generation 6 stock car mod. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 to paint the car up. NR2003 uses TGA format for uploaded images- which PSE13 unfortunately doesn't support. So what I have to do is use another program to save images in TGA format. What I use is the free Paint.NET program to save in TGA format. I then upload everything into the game and enjoy racing my car!

For More Information...

Here is where you can learn more about the different elements of this car:

NR2003 NASCAR Generation 6 mod on BullRing Motorsports - includes mod and templates.

That's all!

I hope I can share more of my art creations with NR2003 with you all. So be sure to stay with this blog to check out my latest material. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Game Prototyping

John Marine | 7:43 PM | | Be the first to comment!
If you want to make a game, it is understandable to jump right into simply making your game right away. However, you need a game to be effective. So prototyping is a key element in game development. This blog post is about game prototyping and my own thoughts on the whole process. I hope you get to enjoy this post and maybe share my blog and its posts with others if you enjoy my work.

There is game prototyping ranging from digital gaming to board game prototyping. The post here primarily concerns game prototyping for digital games. So I'm speaking to all of you who produce indie games. I am not a professional at this topic, nor have I successfully developed a prototype for a game.

--- Game Prototyping ---

Just like with engineers, the process of making something begins with a vision and is further brought to reality with prototyping and eventually the final product. Gaming is no different. Those who take the time to prototype and brainstorm are the ones who produce some of the best games. Take it from me- you want to jump right into making a game using whatever skills you have. However, this jumping in can lead to you getting into or making a hot mess. You don't want that. Instead, it is best to take your time through the development process.

Building a game prototype allows you the opportunity to convert your vision into code. A prototype is NOT the final game. The main purpose of a prototype is to put your vision into a tangible form for which to be edited further. Once a prototype is created, you have to continually modify and enhance your game to where it becomes something you hope to release and maybe even profit from. Anyone who cares about making some of the best games have to master the art of prototyping.

Everyone has different methods of prototyping including various workflows. Some developers even use board games they created and even some other software bits to properly plan prototypes. The main key is to try to create something that can be used towards building a prototype through coding and using multiple samples and assets.

--- Mastering Game Prototyping ---

Allow me to discuss some of the finer elements of game prototyping.

Remember that a prototype is NOT the final product. A game prototype should be a realistic vision of a created game, and all of the different elements going into producing a prototype should be realistic. It is okay to screw things up or not have a fully complete prototype. The main goal is to try to create something that you can work with.

Having said this, prototypes don't have to be pretty and polished. In fact, a lot of prototypes use primitive shapes and even sometimes, copyrighted material.

Game Prototyping: Mock-Ups.

One of the first bits of prototyping that some developers like to do is provide mock-ups. These mock-ups provide a vision of what one wants to accomplish in building a game. Mock-ups of games are not in any way playable. These mock-ups are essentially concepts. They don't have to be purely elaborate. However, a mock-up of a game gives a clear vision and a baseline for what will hopefully lead to a completed game. You don't need to make mock-ups, but they can go a long way towards providing a proper focus on what kind of game you are trying to create. Ideas will change based on the mock-up(s) you create. Ultimately, the finished product may or may not equate to the original mock-up concept. Mock-ups will still help keep you focused. So create something to give you an idea of what it is you are trying or hopeful to create with your prototype for your game.

Game Prototyping: The Programming.

The programming aspect is a real factor in game development. Feel free to use any sort of programming language you are most comfortable with using in making your game. Some of the basic prototyping with programming is mostly in trying to come up with something that you can use in further development of a game. Part of making the final game can be about having errors in coding. Some of those coding errors could result in infamous elements of the game. Like according to Minecraft, the Creeper wouldn't have been possible had it not been for some sort of coding error. Programming prototypes will give you a chance to make the game before tidying the code to be more efficient.

Some game engines, such as GameMaker Studio, Construct 2, and Stencyl (among many others) have been heralded by developers for their game prototyping functionality. Such game engines provide people with a solid foundation for which to prototype games without needing to invest lots of time in providing coding and graphics. You may not be able to export code from most of these programs (or at least not with free versions), but you at least can get started in seeking a vision for whatever game(s) you are trying to create.

Game Prototyping: The Graphics.

Unless you are developing a text-based game, having a great graphics package will help make your game look as amazing as it can be. Until you develop something more stylish, you are best setting up either primitive shapes or (not recommended) images from copyrighted material. What a lot of people do is mostly use certain images as placeholders. These placeholders can serve as baselines towards further development. If primitive shapes are used, these shapes can always be replaced with actual images.

Game Prototyping: The Sounds and Music.

Having an array of sounds and music will help bring life to a game. At the earliest stages, it is best not to think about sound or music until you developed a proper looking prototype. I would think about sound and music after you have a good measure of the programming and the graphics. Look at sound and music as final touches. Early on, you probably will come up with either sounds and music from copyrighted material. Maybe later, you can work to make more original sound effects and music. You may also look to hire or use music from other people. Just make sure to credit the original artist of any protected work.

Game Prototyping: Bringing it All Together.

Once you have the programming, graphics, and sound down; you have yourself a great idea of what you want to build as a game once the prototype is built. Making prototypes will help you to further push your creative boundaries in trying to make your game go from prototype to a final build you can be proud to release. Never stop working to improve your material.

The next section provides examples of other developers making prototypes and development videos on games.

--- Game Prototyping Examples ---

If you poke around on YouTube, you may find some videos on game development. Some developers ranging from single hobbyists to proper game studios have put together their own prototypes for games. I want to dedicate this section to show you how some developers created prototypes for their games. This will hopefully give you some insight on the process of prototyping for games. Some of these games eventually saw final versions; some others remained prototypes. If you need inspiration to develop prototypes for games, this section may hopefully be of great service to you. So take a look at these videos to get an idea of the prototyping process in making games.

NOTE: Since most of these videos had embedding disabled, I will only feature links to videos for you to see for yourself.

Flixel Platformer Game Prototype
Game #1 - Environment test, basic movement...
Torque Game Builder platformer prototype
C++/SDL Platformer Game Test
[gamedev} Amber Battles prototype Gameplay
KnightFyre #GameDev - Day 1 Recap
Double rope gameplay (prototype v0.2)

As you can tell from these links, I mostly geared my focus on platform games. But of course, prototyping can be done for any game of any genre.

Game Prototyping: Evolution.

This set of videos is an example of how a game evolves through individual builds. The indie game "Chasm" is a great example of how you continually build and build until you make something real special. Take a look at these videos below as inspiration to improve the development process of games. Three development videos are followed by a trailer. So gain some inspiration to build prototypes with these videos:

Chasm - Development Video #1
Chasm - Development Video #2
Chasm - Development Video #3
Chasm Kickstarter Trailer

The moral of this story- keep working to improve your game so you can make something awesome to release in the future!

--- Game Prototyping: Final Thoughts ---

Prototypes of games and the prototype process are key elements in the final production of a game. Making games is a tedious process, even for established game engines respected for their prototyping abilities. Success in game development all depends on trying to come up with prototypes to help speed up the development of games. Prototypes and various alphas and betas help make this possible. Prototypes don't have to be pretty- they just have to WORK. From a prototype, you can then go ahead and further refine a game project to make it special.

To any game developers out there reading my post, best of luck to you in making and completing your games!

That's all for this blog post. I'm hopeful you enjoyed this post and maybe found something to enjoy about it.

What would you suggest to others in prototyping for games?

You read another post of "John's Creative Space"- my blog concerning my own creative works as well as advice on various aspects of creative works. If you enjoyed this blog and its posts, please Subscribe and Follow for more! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Soaring High

John Marine | 11:05 PM | Be the first to comment!
"Soaring High" is a high-energy song I created using Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS). It is meant to be a song of victory as its tone suggests victory. It also could just be used to express positivity. Either way, this is a positive style song I created with a high energy to it. The main instrument I used wad ZynAddSubFX and a few drum sounds. Here on "John's Creative Space," I'd like to present you one of my latest songs. Even though it is featured as a YouTube video, you need not visit my YouTube channel to be able to hear my song. Have a listen below (or click on the link to view on YouTube):

^ "Soaring High - Made With LMMS"

I may consider doing an extended version of "Soaring High" in which the song loops, and then ends with the original version. Make sure to stay with my YouTube channel to see if I make that extended version. The song took me maybe two hours to complete and even longer to try to perfect it. It was actually about a 30-second song until I decided to add a second part to it to make it more around 55 seconds. The perfectionist in me tried to improvise the song to be better than the original. I may even update this post to include both the original song and the extended version.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy my song here. As a fun fact, this is the first video I uploaded to YouTube (that I can remember) that is 1280 x 720 in screen resolution (720p, of course).

Learn more about Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) by visiting lmms.io.

Feel free to comment on my work either here in this blog post or on YouTube. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Game Development

John Marine | 2:48 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
#gamedev can be expensive- mentally and financially. Building assets and trying to develop games efficiently can be quite consuming. There is also programming that plays into it. These days are more like a Golden Age to make a game. Reason(s) why is because there are so many resources out there for game development. Also, hobbyists and independent (indie) developers have gotten themselves across in ways never before possible in making quality games vs. what major developers are making.

This blog post is a general look at game development.

About the Label: Game Development

Topics under this label are directed towards game development. This also includes programs and other insights in regards to game development.

--- Game Development in General ---

Do a search on social media. Look up terms like #indiedev and #gamedev on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other place. Everyone involved in creating games offer a variety of different games in development. Everyone has a certain level of creativity that they want to share with others and include in games. I have been thankful through Twitter and Instagram to see so many different game developers offer their own creations to the Internet. It never ceases to amaze me just what developers will come up with.

Some game developers are a collective effort. Some others may even be one-person studios: art, media, and programming. Proper teams and studios make games. No matter what, making games can be quite a task with a good amount of reward for successful games.

Game Development Today.

When I was in my teenage years in the 1990s, there were times I envisioned creating a proper game. I had many different ideas, but NEVER being able to actually go through all that makes a game a game- especially coding and building assets. I used to be a Computer Animation major before going to Graphic Design and then Broadcasting/Journalism. So I was never formally trained to program. I even tried back in the mid-late 1990s to learn Visual Basic.

Now look at today. Not only are independent and hobbyist types try to develop games, there are more resources available to help make even the simplest of games. This is somewhat a golden time of game making with the advent of many indie developers. A lot of programs these days are helping in making game development more efficient rather than take a very long time to develop one single game, let alone a prototype of a game.

Harsh Realities of Game Development.

Perhaps the harshest reality of game development is that is is expensive. I literally swear that with some of the resources available to you in this day and age, you need something equal to at least $100 US Dollars to have proper access to and gain full features of a lot of different gaming interfaces and platforms. That is especially if you intend on developing games for certain platforms and even making material for commercial use. For example, you can create and publish a Flash-based game to certain online game sites like Kongregate and Newgrounds. But if you want to port a Flash game to something like Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or something like that; most programs and interfaces require you to buy a license or pay for a subscription service. You may even need to download extra material to be able to create games for certain platforms.

The Cost of Game Development.

How much can this cost? It can be quite expensive! Let me give you a few examples of how much it costs to buy licenses for certain downloadable programs. Don't worry- I will include links to these products later in this blog post and into the sidebar of my blog in case you want to learn more about each item. (Prices as of April 17, 2015; in US Dollars, and excludes taxes):

ImpactJS (a paid HTML5 gaming interface): $99 USD

Stencyl: free for Starters to publish to the Web; $99 USD a year for Indie developers (Web and Desktop); $199 USD a year (Web, Desktop, iOS, and Android)

Construct 2: free to download, develop only for Web, no commercial use; $129.99 USD for Personal License (develop to Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, Amazon Store, Wii U, and make in-app purchases, limited commercial use); $429 USD for Business License (develop to Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, Amazon Store, Wii U, and make in-app purchases, full commercial use)

GameMaker Studio: free for Personal Use; $49 USD for GameMaker Studio Professional package; $799 USD for GameMaker Studio Master package

Marmalade: free to download for personal usage; $15 USD (excluding tax) per month or $149 USD per year (excluding tax) for Community license; $499 USD (excluding tax) per year for Indie license; $1,500 USD (excluding tax) per year for Plus license; $3,500 USD (excluding tax) per year for Pro license

Corona: free to download for Personal Use; $79 USD developer per month, billed annually for Enterprise Small Business; $199 USD developer per month, billed annually for Enterprise Unlimited

Unity: Personal Edition is free with certain limitations; Professional Edition starts at $75 USD per month

Some of these programs even offer reduced prices for students. Some licenses may even require you to upgrade to higher licenses if you make a certain amount of revenue from your game sales. For example, if you make about $5K USD in revenue from your game sales, and if you are using a certain program for your games, you may be asked to buy a higher license. I only noted game engines that have pricing plans to them.

--- Game Development: What the OUYA Taught Me ---

I mentioned earlier in this post that today is sort of like a Golden Age of game development. Nowhere is this more apparent to me than with games offered for the OUYA. The OUYA is an Android-based gaming console that gained fame as being this different kind of console. People backed this console via its Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 or so. Many people were frustrated with the OUYA, especially those who waited for a long while for their OUYA to be delivered to their homes. Some others totally dislike the OUYA since it used outdated technology (it has an nVidia Tegra 3 processor, for example).

The key element that I take away from the OUYA is how simple it can be to make and publish a game. Did you know that two games posted in the OUYA's gaming lineup were made by (respectively) an eight-year old ("Asteroid Rescue") and another game made by a 12-year old ("Knockout")? Not everyone who publish games for the OUYA are proper game studios. On top of that, the OUYA team looks at every uploaded game and reviews them before including them into their ever-expanding game library. One thing I have learned is that you don't have to be overly talented to make a decent game. People usually think you have to be anywhere from a very popular independent game studio to a Triple-A level developer to make games. This, however, is certainly untrue. Some games created by some developers are actually quite good or could be much better. A lot of people would easily hate on people because their games aren't Triple-A quality. Some others, however, can find enjoyment in even simple games as much as they do more of the higher-quality games.

As much as people have different skill levels of making art and other creative works, people have different levels of skill in making games. You have fully detailed games done by talented individuals and studios, and then you have more casually designed games made by some lesser studios and hobbyist game developers. Being able to create games is possible by almost anyone. And with so many people willing to design games to publish online and for a console like the OUYA, that's why I think almost anyone these days can make a decent quality game to publish online. That's why I say this is somewhat of a Golden Age of game development. You can be a total hobbyist and make a game that ends up selling wildly and becomes enjoyed by many people. Formal training in game development or in mathematics is not required to be a celebrated game developer. Both, of course, are good to have in making games.

So look around the OUYA games marketplace to gain perspective on the many games created by people of various skill levels. You would be surprised at what all people have done to make such games worthy of being played by others.

Here on John's Creative Space, I will be sure to highlight on certain game making engines. I want my visitors to gain my thoughts and such in regards to such game development engines. I want to send all of you my best wishes in developing games ranging from prototypes to full-on games. "John's Creative Space" will certainly help in expressing and exposing such game development programs and engines. So be sure to visit my blog here for more information and insight from me. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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