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Captain Question

CQ's Land of Sprites and Randomness

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I've been thinking of getting my very own thread for a while, and here it is.

Welcome, dear DFAF'ers, to the LOSAR! (damn, that's an unfortunate acronym...)

Anyway, without further ado, I have here a screenshot of the glorious Psychonauts Advance for GBA (Release Date: probably never).

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/3162/retronautsmainlodgelarg.png

If anyone is interested, you can check out my DeviantART account (http://captainquestion.deviantart.com/).

I hope you appreciate my arty...pixel...stuff.

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Well, couldn't I just work at Double Fine...? :(

Seriously, I have to admit I had no clue what Brownie Brown was until just now. But hey, Mother 3? Layton? Super Mario 3D Land!? That's some serious business. Thank you very much!

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Well, couldn't I just work at Double Fine...? :(

Seriously, I have to admit I had no clue what Brownie Brown was until just now. But hey, Mother 3? Layton? Super Mario 3D Land!? That's some serious business. Thank you very much!

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I still like this. c:

MAKE A GAME.

-NAO-

I should actually post some stuff here too,Although I know nobody will look.

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I hope you don't mind some constructive criticism (I used to do some pixel art a few years back).

I think it looks pretty good and very detailed (I never noticed those figures on the top self), but I think there are some parts that you could do some more shading on (like background, Cruller and his kitchen). Anyway, good job. This makes me want to do pixel art again...

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@Martina313: But, my dear Marty, one cannot simply make a game on one's own... :)

@PCompass: I certainly don't mind criticism. In fact, I usually don't get enough of it because I don't know many other pixel artists!

Anyway, I think you might be absolutely right. I've never been the greatest at supplying shade, not even in drawings, so that makes sense. I'll try to pay some more attention to it if/when I do another one.

Thanks!

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Love the Psychonauts Advance art, CQ! I never realized that there were puppet-thingies on the top shelf of the Camp store though- guess I'll have to play the real deal again to see.

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@martina & CQ: Another example of one-man bands. However, it may take along while to finish it by yourself.

http://www.konjak.org/index.php?folder=2&file=1

@CQ: No prob. However, I am curious. How do you do the line art for your pixel art? When I made Susano (my avatar), I find doing the line art a bit of a hit and miss, as it was too small (I was restricted to 64 x 64) to work from a scanned drawing of the final product to work from.

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@Acefox: They're not really puppets, more like a cardboard decoration/advertisement for Dream Fluffs on the top.

Observe:

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120229224337/psychonauts/images/2/2c/Store.jpg

@martina, PCompass: All right, I guess it IS possible in some cases.

I clealy should have said:" I cannot simply make a game on my own"...

All right, I can maybe whip up some pixel art, but I've never animated anything, I can't program for the life of me, and I'm about as musically gifted as your average potted plant. I'd need at least a small team for something like that.

@PCompass (2) : Well, there's not much to it...

I open MS Paint, zoom in, and simply start placing pixels into a blank canvas, most often with an image of what I'm trying to do in another tab. Colouring happens during the lineart, so I can see if it looks all right in colour. A fair amount of trial and error later I come up with the final result.

In short: I simply don't use scanned drawings at all. This might not be very practical, but it works for me.

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Damn, you're right. But he is also not your average plant, is he?

retro game references...is there anything they can't do?

No but srsly I don't know how to compose any music. At all.

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@CQ: Since you're still using MS Paint, I recommend GraphicsGale (the Free edition, of course), which is basically a cross between GIMP and MS Paint. You can have layers as well and combine them when you finished it. Note you can actually buy the Full version for more features, but I don't think they're worth it. Here's a link for the download.

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/download.html

I guess music may probably be one thing you should count on someone else doing. However, a more important question is: can you design a game? And can you make a game people (whether that audience be large or small) would play?

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I have to say, I'm honestly completely blind to which applications are the best for whatever I'm trying to do. I do own Photoshop CS5, but I hardly know how to use it properly, and I'll look into this GraphicsGale thing for sure (thank you for the hint, btw), but in the end, I'd just as soon stick with Paint. I'm used to it, and it's just extremely simple to use.

As for the gaming thing...maybe I could? I'm not sure myself. I'm a huge videogame nerd, so I probably know all about how everything should work, what could be enjoyable... in fact, I've been discussing actually making a game for a while now, with a friend of mine who CAN program, but besides loads of speculation, we don't have much to show for it.

I seem to have certain difficulties coming up with a whole new world by myself. Every time I think of a good concept I picture it being set in a world that already exists, or with characters from existing games, which gets annoying after a while.

Guess I just don't have much imagination.

But hey, I'm keeping at it. You never know.

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You are not alone. I don't know how to use Photoshop either, but I know someone who does

Unsure if being a video game nerd constitutes to being a good game designer (as I heard game devs spend more than working on their games rather than playing other peoples' games), but I'm certain you may learn the pros and cons of a game (which is what you should do as a game designer). I'm also thinking up of a game and try to learn game design whilst studying computer science at the moment, which I haven't been able to do because of all these games I bought from the Steam Summer Sale...

About making new worlds, I think you should do Freewriting (like Tim does).

However, note that nothing in this world is truly original, as somewhere out there, there's probably an idea that's already been done. Copying bits and pieces here and there from different places is fine, but don't copying everything from one place (which would obviously be unoriginal). This link may help you. So just do what you think is good. :)

http://www.austinkleon.com/2011/03/30/how-to-steal-like-an-artist-and-9-other-things-nobody-told-me/

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Oh, but I don't play that many games. I'm more of a connoisseur. :)

That is, I enjoy learning more about many different games and their gameplay/story/visuals...

Anyway, you're right, I would probably need a little more than just experience with gaming.

Oh, and good luck on those studies.

You know, you're absolutely right.

That link really did help amazingly well, and maybe I should try this freewriting thing.

Thanks a lot, PC.

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I reckon it's about time I uploaded something new here:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/853/motherdoublefinebattle.png/

Those (few?) of you who have played Earthbound or Mother 3 should immediately recognize this battle interface.

By the way, the "Evil 2HB" originates from ScottC's DFAC (see #804 and upwards).

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All right, not much feedback on that last one, but moving on...

On Acefox's demand I'm posting this on DFAF, even though it's been on DeviantART for a while:

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/4292/psychonautssummercontes.jpg

As you can all see (unless you can't quite make out the scanned pencil drawings), this is a short Psychonauts comic taking place after the actual game, with Raz working at the HQ. It was originally made for a contest around the theme of summer (at "Psychonauts-HQ", a group on DA).

What you probably cannot see are the little details and references I put in there because I enjoy doing so.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy it, and I guess I can't keep myself from referring again to my DeviantART page, where I have two more (shorter) comics still in my gallery. (You could check them out maybe...?)

CQ out.

EDIT: I hope this doesn't count as double posting, but I just didn't think editing my previous message and stuffing this in there would work.

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You're totally fine, CQ! I like this comic a lot. Poor Sasha. Apparently the famous, hard-working psychic must be punished for being so comically serious and uptight. I like your interpretation of how psychics take a vacation, too. And everybody looks adorable in your drawing style. I approve!

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It's definitely an awesome comic, CQ, and I'm glad you decided to post it here! I myself have been meaning to do a Psychonauts comic for a while but never got around to it. Hopefully, by you posting yours will inspire lazy bums like me to do so!

And I think it's great Laverne from DotT made it into the strip!

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@Kirby: Thanks. Maybe I should post any next comics I might do here too. It's just a pity the small details like Lili's portrait on Raz's desk are so hard to see.

@Acefox: Me? Inspire? Yeah, no, probably not. But if it helps, I'm always up for drawing more comics. Maybe I could even take it to the next level and draw a full story later on...

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Hey CQ- love your new avatar with 8-bit Clem and Vernon!

Also, just curious- but in the first picture of your Raz model, I see a couple of character sketches on the paper underneath it. Was just wondering if those characters were supposed to be Walter White and Jessie from Breaking Bad?

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@Kirby: Well, actually I just gave up on the legs, because they kept falling off. I suppose I should have made a wire skeleton first, instead of only putting wire in the appendages. Oh well, it's only my second attempt at a clay figurine anyway. (the first one was "Captain Question"-the character-. It's still visible on my DA somewhere)

I'm also not planning to paint it. I'm afraid I'd just completely wreck it then, as I've never seriously painted anything before. So I'm afraid I'm going to have to let you down as far as the "finished product" goes...

@Acefox: Thanks. I still had those laying around I guess.

And no, they aren't. In fact, I've never seen a single episode of that show, and just now I had to look it up to see what it's about... if you really want to know, that particular piece of paper contained a bunch of character sketches, including some of my characters and the Game Grumps (for the sprites I posted on DA). The ones you're probably referring to were actually very vague sketches of the guys from "Continue", another Youtube show.

They are pretty bad though.

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@CQ: Ah, was a long shot, but thought I'd check anyways. Love all the 8-bit Psychonauts characters you made on your dA. Also love your other Scott Pilgrim game-esque characters. Do you sketch them on paper first, and then scan them into to help render them into 8-bit or do you do everything digitally?

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Well, the Scott Pilgrim-looking ones are all just edits (made to be resemblances of classmates and acquaintances), so those are obviously all-digital, but so are all the others. I never have used an overlay or something similar to help render them, I just start placing pixels and (hopefully, usually after some trial-and error) end up with a nice looking result. I suppose it might be trickier this way, and at the beginning, when I was still editing, I had to stick really close to the original sprite's pose for fear of messing up completely, but I learned relatively quickly. By the way, the first few Psychonauts sprites (Raz, most obviously, but also Sasha, Milla, Lili...) actually did start out as Scott Pilgrim sprites. I just learned how to deform them beyond recognition pretty soon, and after that, I streamlined the process and just started making them out of the blue. (If you ask me, the Linda sprite -visible here: http://captainquestion.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d4ehqf0 - is a particularly good example of this)

Oh, and if you actually keep reading up to here, I'm flattered you'd be interested in my ramblings, to be honest. :)

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