Friday, February 27, 2015

Gaming Assets

John Marine | 8:07 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Gaming assets for #indiedev and #gamedev are essential in game creation. You can always make up assets yourself, or you can look to the Internet for assets for free or for a fee. I've always wanted to make a game a lot of times. Most of the time, though, I felt like I mostly produce incomplete stuff. So rather than try to go through the pain of making a game from start to finish, I feel I am best served to create assets so people more talented and more focused than myself can create material to make games. This blog post is my own sort of post regarding the creation of gaming assets and what I hope to accomplish in making such assets.

Gaming Assets: My Philosophy.

You may have seen my attack myself (to an extent) on not being able to make a game or any kind of mobile app. I am not exactly attacking myself or lamenting not being able to make any quality games. However, I do feel if I can't deliver in trying to make something from scratch, I can still contribute by doing well in departments I am more accustomed to. For me, I've always been fond of making art (and sometimes making music). A number of game developers have people who design individual parts of games. You may have someone who is responsible for art and music. Someone else is responsible for programming everything. Everyone can work together and collaborate to make a game. There is not really any shame if you are more adept in a certain department than some other department. I often try to be a Jack of All Trades because I feel I feel the best way to do something best is to do everything yourself. Also, I fear that if I did design my own game, it would not be as successful in concept as a lot of popular games these days. For example, endless runners, procedural worlds, certain roguelikes, parking games, Angry Birds clones, etc. just don't interest me all that much. But if I am going to make game assets for a variety of applications, I HAVE to take into consideration genres I am not really fond of.

The mindset I try to instill is that having a pack of assets for games allow developers to have tools needed to build something magical. I like to think of assets as LEGO sets. A LEGO building set allows you to create whatever it is the original pack of blocks were intended to create. You then follow the instructions to build the set that was intended to be built with the set of blocks. However, can you make ONLY that? Absolutely not! With the same set of bricks, you can make other items using most of the same blocks. Just like you are not only relegated to building whatever the main set is supposed to offer, game developers can have a number of ideas on what to do with a set of gaming assets. I don't know what games people want to create if given a set of assets. All I do know is that I can provide some items that I hope will be useful in helping people create games. While I wish I could properly create games instead of having here-and-there pieces of what would have been games of mine, I feel like I could be better served offering quality material to others rather than have to work at a slow pace of trying to create assets followed by going through the pains of programming to bring everything together.

The main idea here is that a simple set of gaming assets can go a long way in creating anything you want. Now for more information on me getting myself into the realm of game asset development and offering my assets for download/sale. Read the next section.

Gaming Assets: Why I Entered This Realm.

Why take on making game assets? I like making art, I like games, I've wanted to possibly make a game or make some kind of application for mobile devices, and I want to contribute something positive that I think people will pick up on and expand upon if at all possible. It is the least I can do to try to get myself noticed online. There have been a few people who queried me for clearance on using MagicaVoxel models I created. While I do want to offer my assets online, I am still working out a few little details before I properly introduce my content online for download/sale.

Gaming Assets: The Challenges I Face.

Little by little, I am learning the ropes mostly in offering assets to people online. A big challenge for me is that there are some resources and programs I don't have. Most of those are programs you have to pay for to fully utilize them. Some even are industry standard programs that can cost a lot of money. So I am strapped of certain resources to be at my absolute best. While I can hope to eventually make my own games and programs, the least I can do to get noticed is offer assets to developers ranging from hobbyists to larger independent (or "indie") studios. To offer as many assets as possible means catering to a variety of audiences and in trying to offer a diverse array of themes and styles as possible. If I am more catered towards making a lot of urban and modern stuff, I also have to try to make gritty and evil material in case someone may want something of that nature. If I am more catered towards realistic characters, I also have to focus on more cartoon and abstract characters. Gaming assets also involve interface options and menus. So I have to think also about providing assets in those departments to provide interface art.

I have to improve my pixel art skills as well as (eventually) learn to make vector art to compliment mobile devices and also for cleaner visual displays across various resolutions across various devices. To give you an idea on this front, one of my goals as a solo game developer is to make a game for the OUYA gaming console. OUYA is based on Android. One of the OUYA's criticisms (among MANY criticisms) is that the idea of an Android gaming console is dumb when you can play certain Android games on Android devices with solid enough gaming capabilities instead of playing games on mobile hardware that is considered outdated. But because I see great potential in the OUYA and in making games for the system, I focused my energy on making a game for Android that I can eventually re-work to make it playable for the OUYA. Even if people couldn't care less about the OUYA, it bears some importance to me because I haven't given up on any dreams to make a game, even if it's some simple "Hello World!" thing, and I want to make material reflective of my artistic and creative talent. So there are many important things to me that I want to expose and exhibit in my asset development to offer something to various developers.

I think my biggest "fear" is in creating something completely original and offering it online. Something original in the sense of "this could have been a proper game of yours, but you're releasing it online like it's something someone else could use." In other words... something distinctive and of great quality that you release online when it could have been a game you could have created. It's something I sometimes fear, but when you've failed a number of times trying to design something great, you are better off producing material that someone can use and utilize to perfection.

Gaming Assets: Some of My Interests.

I am hopeful of designing assets for applications ranging from platform-type games to racing games and MAYBE some sports. Who knows? Maybe a guy like myself want to design some assets for girly games. I just want to explore as many different avenues as possible and try to offer as many option as possible for as much appeal as possible.

• Action, Brawler, Platformer
On the 2D front, I am interested in brawler-type games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage. I have somewhat interest in classic fighting games as well, but not as strong interest as I would like. Platformer inspirations of mine include the Super Mario Bros. games and MegaMan/RockMan.

• Racing/Driving
As a fan of racing/driving games, I want to make assets for racing games. Most of what I want to do mostly involves 2D racing games and pseudo 3D (some call "2.5D") racing games. Like, I want to make assets for people making Mode 7-type racing games like Super Mario Kart, F-Zero, the GT Advance series, and more. I even want to design racing game assets for pseudo 3D racing games like the classic OutRun games, the Hang-On series, the Pole Position series, and more. Assets here would consist of things like props, vehicles, backgrounds, and more. Part of me even wants to make a vintage-style Pole Position mostly as a refresh of today's racing venues. The trouble with that aspiration is that I would have to get some approval in trying to re-create and use certain licensed tracks. In addition to 2D assets in racing games, I want to also make voxel gaming assets for racing. There are very few blocky item resources for those who want to make voxel racing games. I want to at least contribute to voxel implementation in racing games. Most importantly, I prefer doing non-licensed and original material just to avoid copyright issues and potential violation of creative identities.

• Puzzle and Maze Games
I kind of have ideas about running through a maze and also some puzzle-style games. My main puzzle inspirations are Tetris and Yoshi's Cookie. I have ideas for a maze style game that I often dream about being played. But really, I can't think of too many puzzle games that I think can be made into unique games to whomever ends up using my gaming assets.

• Girly Games?
Would a GUY actually make assets for GIRL games? I mean no disrespect if there are any guys out there who make game assets for girl games, but it is a rather unusual avenue to take. I do follow fashion. I do have a game concept mostly of an all-female cast. So I am fairly comfortable in perhaps doing game assets for girl games. The ones I kind of have the most interest in would mostly be adventure type games like "Fashion Icon," "High School Story, and stuff like that. I may even have interest in games where you play with pets and take care of them.

So now you know about gaming assets and my own aspirations in this department. I feel once I start making and designing assets to be released online, I will garner attention from many people. I can hopefully make something to please as many audiences as possible as long as I am able to create quality assets for others. I will possibly share my own gaming assets here in my blog before (if I do) offer them online for download and/or sale. I will definitely keep all of you in the know.

This concludes another blog post on "John's Creative Space." Feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or questions/comments about my work or anything you see here in my posts. I hope you were able to get some insight from me. Have yourself a great day/night and thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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My First Pixel Art

John Marine | 5:05 PM | | Be the first to comment!
My first #pixelart of any kind is a gaming asset I created. It was all created using simple colors from the freeware Paint.NET program. I created a simple billboard that could be used in a pseudo 3D racing game the likes of Pole Position or OutRun. I decided to utilize my art talent to try to create game assets that I hope will be picked up by developers or for those looking for ideas to build a game around. I'll talk more about my gaming asset aspirations in a future post. But for now, here is the image I created:

pixel art game asset
^ This is a roadside billboard I created. It was made only as a sample of pixel art. The larger image was zoomed in by 400% so you can see the details better.

Other people are much more talented at pixel art. I simply created this just to put myself on the map of those who have created any kind of pixel art. The creation of this image was made possible by using the Pole Position games as a baseline. I needed to find some kind of image to use to envision something of a proper width and height. A challenge to this is that it can be tough to build any kind of game asset unless you almost basically create your own game or your own game engine. One of my aspirations is to make an Android app (and maybe a game), but I decided I'd stick to designing assets. I feel with more experience and by practicing more, I can design more interesting and more detailed works, including gaming assets.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy my small sample of pixel art.

About the Label: "Game Assets"

Any blog post under the "Game Assets" label are items I created that could be used in the creation of games. These assets can range from single items to various items in one. The main goal is to offer items that developers can use as ideas for games or to build games entirely.

I mentioned gaming assets a lot in this post. Rest assured, I will talk more in depth about my gaming asset aspirations in a later post here on "John's Creative Space." I am thinking in the future to make a site completely to serve as my portfolio of my various creative works. For now, "John's Creative Space" IS my portfolio. Thank you for visiting my blog here. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Request Address

John Marine | 9:13 PM | Be the first to comment!
Recent requests about my voxel art and in others requesting clearance for my models to be used has led me to create this blog post. I want to address a few issues in regards to my creative work being used and for requests thereof. It brings me great pleasure that there are those interested in my work. As much as I have used this blog to offer my creative work mostly for fun, I realize there may be some people who may be interested in some of my creative work to where they may want to use my work in projects. Either that, or I create some material that I hope may be used in games or other sorts of media projects. Either way, I am willing to address these concerns with this blog post here on "John's Creative Space." This post concerns future plans of mine, including possibly entering the freelance realm for assets I've created to be used in various applications.


If you have ANY suggestions for me in regards to what I am about to discuss and the different nuances you are about to read, PLEASE contact me via E-Mail or through some other medium so I can be more confident in the subject matter involved.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who have seen my voxel artwork and decided to want to ask if I do any extra work or if my work can be used in other projects. I have to say that I am glad my work has been to the liking of others. I needed something to get my creative work across. I needed something to get "John's Creative Space" across. Ultimately, my work has led me to being recognized for my voxel art mostly on Twitter. I've done everything on a hobbyist level while also having a degree of professionalism and responsibility. A majority of the work I do is done to the best of my ability. Often times, the perfectionist in me wants to try to make something just a bit better before releasing it online; and sometimes, already-released work I want to get rid of just to... you guessed it- improve on it some more before releasing again. In addition to my voxel art, I want to try to also delve into pixel art and vector art. The goals there are to offer game assets that I hope will one day find themselves into games and media projects. Some work of mine will be purely exclusive, but I do feel I can offer assets people can use and utilize in a number of applications.

I do want to say that I will surely offer my work to others to be used. However, I would also like to financially profit from my work. I surely want both myself and people involved to both be happy. What I may decide to do is offer my assets online for a price. I certainly want to make prices reasonable and affordable. I will consider several different avenues to allow for my work to be featured as well as offer items for sale. Since voxel art is one of those avenues, I am considering TurboSquid to offer my 3D assets for sale. On the front of being hired or doing any contract work for game developers or others, it is honestly something I have never engaged in. Life in itself is a learning experience. I am sure anything I get engaged with will be something new for me. "John's Creative Space" IS my portfolio, though I may seek a more proper portfolio for my work in the future. I may need to have more experience to really consider myself a true freelancer in a number of departments.

Should I get seriously involved in something along the lines of contract work or being available for hire, you are going to need to be very patient with me, as I've never done any of this before. I am not educated in offering my creative work for a price or in calculating hours of work, estimating hours it takes to complete my work, calculating expenses, offering reasonable rates for my work, legal considerations, or anything like that. I have no traditional 9-to-5 job outside of the usual work I do in publishing content online. I don't even work on a certain budget because I am often times very cheap in doing my work. Despite being cheap, I try to make the most of what resources I do have. I honestly have never worked for anyone before. So I am not as experienced at trying to complete certain projects within a certain timeframe or trying to completely satisfy a client with my work. All of these things make for a brand new experience that I will likely learn to adjust to new challenges put in front of me.

With all of this said... thanks to all of you for your cooperation. If you have any suggestions for me to maybe not feel as crazy or skittish about trying to be someone to offer for hire for media projects or games, please be sure to comment on this post or send me a message or E-Mail online. I am more of a blogger by trade more than I am even remotely close to any freelancer in any field of media (art, music, etc.). I do, however, enjoy and take on the challenge of offering other material outside of my blogging.

In the future, I will be sure to share material with all of you to where you can check out my various assets. I will try to offer material that I am sure people will want to use and utilize. Links will be provided here in my blog and elsewhere. I want to thank everyone again for your interest in my work. If you have any questions or comments, contact me online with the different links and resources I've provided. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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