New project, new blog.

Hey, I’m the manager of the group blog for Dean’s group.

That blog can be found here: https://fotfpblog.wordpress.com/

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Project 2 Proposal

I would like to propose the creation of a small grid based combat game. It would be 2-4 players, and each player would control 1-4 pieces.

This would entale:

  1. The design and balance of a few basic game mechanics.

I’m currently thinking about using a simple 3 attribute system (Body, Mind, Speed) and building mechanics to reduce and increase these via weapons and armor. The goal would be to reduce the body or mind of the opponent(s) to zero. If we have enough time I would also like the to incorporate arena events that would play to certain mechanics over others (Weather, NPCs, etc).

  1. The creation of weapons and armor that work with the mechanics.

I would like to accomplish the creation of at least 15 of each (30 total) with specific rules and regulations. For an example a spear would have increased range over a sword, but has a hard time dealing with heavier armor.

  1. The design and layout for a small 2-4 page rulebook.

Pretty self explanatory- you need something to reference the rules from.

  1. The illustration of 2-3 arena layouts.

Being a hex based game mostly about combat, we would want more than one space to have players interact with. Another thing to do if time allows would be the creation of a ruleset for the generation of arenas.

  1. Generic token creation.

Having a visual depiction of your character on the grid is important. These will just be portraits, a minimum of 6.

  1. Package design.

How the game is presented to a potential player as well as making sure the pieces can be cut out and assembled.

  1. And finally- adding a fitting setting and lore to the world.

This is one of the first and last things of the project to do. It’s important to stay on theme for the weapons and armor but it is also important to not let the theme ultimately “rule the rules”.

project2-spredsheet-image-final

Above is my scheduled plan for the work and what teams need to get done what over the 5 weeks.

role-chart

And this is the flow chart for team communications. It uses the same colors as the graph to designate teams. The teams are comprised of these members (with team leaders in bold) with 11 roles total:

Production Manager and Blogger

Director and Lead Game Designer

Assistant Designer/Writer

Art Director, Art Team Leader

Illustrator

Illustrator

Design Team Leader

Graphic Designer

Package Designer

Head of Editorial, Documentary Team Leader

Cinematographer

Editor

I would be the Director/Lead Game Designer, but all other roles I leave up to whoever wants them. I want all of the production team to stay in communication while reporting to the Blogger, aka the Production Manager, for easy documentation and collecting and distributing work.

Week 5: The Final

PompProjectstart.jpg

The Final.

So, for recap- my assigned project was to create a menagerie of characters. I started thinking about what I would want to do, and I thought it might be fun to play with the concept of a adventuring group and make a funny cover image for a game that doesn’t exist.

I got the idea originally from when I played FFXIV with my friends over the winter break and we all decided to choose the pompadour hairstyle and act like 50’s thugs. Over the five weeks of our project I have been logging my endeavors to push the designs of the characters and make them into a believable squad of adventurers. I have gone in-depth into my decisions on the background, character costumes, characteristics, roles of each character, and my inspirations for each step.

However, many of my classmates were confused at some of the fluff. Fluff, sometimes called flavor, is a general term that’s used among many tabletop games and gamers in substitution for “lore”. Whatever you call it, story is in many games superficial and is used to help guide players in the right manner of thinking. When I did these posts I had no intention of making my own fiction for my illustration to follow, I didn’t really think it needed some story to why these characters are in a fantastical situation. Nevertheless here is the fluff that is so strongly desired, and presented in a way that would be on the back of a game’s manual:

pompback pompside pompcover

And below is something I forgot to do last week, a color pallet for each finished character design, with the colors ordered by use.

pomplineup

Week 4: Final Designs and Under Painting

Welcome back.

This week will be a shorter post than the others, I’ve mostly just been refining the final painting.

Underpainting.jpg

Above is my current progress on the final image. And below is my lineup of finished designs. I already talked about the choices for clothing before, so i’m going to let the images speak for themselves.

final-char-des

Some things of note that have changed would be the change in aspect ration of the final image from portrait to landscape and the inclusion of “enemy creatures”. These were suggestions made by our classes critique, and I think they worked well when I tried them. It makes it a more dynamic and active composition. The creatures themselves were also inspired by similar fashion trends as the main cast.

Week 3: Background and Composition

Welcome back!

 

This week I studied more about final composition of the image than I did designing the characters.

pompprojectcharplacemnt

The image above is the style of background I chose to use, going for the full “rocketbilly in high fantasy” rather than just setting up the four man party system in a different setting (like a 1950’s NYC subway).

This composition is inspired by some of the covers used for tabletop and electronic RPGs (role-playing games). The covers (images below) all have a central/radial composition with a semi-atmospheric perspective that are figure centric. The covers also all have the figures in dynamic action poses showing off the characteristics and abilities of the characters illustrated.

The red lines are the position and relative silhouette of the figures in the space. Final designs next time!

I choose to follow the standard of cover composition because I want it to read more easily as a cover to a game like this so the association with the subject matter will be stronger. Something I noticed while discussing this with my class is that the idea did not instantly translate in the form of pure character design, so I want to make sure it reads what I want it to read as. And having a strong connection compositionally I think will help the overall believability of my work.

This is a bit of an image dump of some examples of what i’m talking about. Below the dump I explain my choice of background:

https://i0.wp.com/static3.paizo.com/image/product/catalog/DYN/DYN0008-A.jpg

(Image)

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91YJ9ZYjCgL._AC_UL320_SR212,320_.jpg

(Image)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/50/The_Sunless_Citadel.jpg

(Image)

For the actual background of the image…

pompprojectbgunderpainting

… rather than the composition as a whole I chose to have a fantastical plains-to-mountains background. This was more of a personal choice rather than one of necessity. I have always felt that open plains always convey the feel of an open and unexplored world better than any other environment. Mountains also help break up and hide the horizon line as well as to help the viewers eyes travel from the busy figures to the calm sky. They also help frame the figures more naturally without the use of trees when staying with the open plains feel.

As for the reference pictures below I searched for pictures of mountains in Washington state and in central/eastern Russia for some basic scenery to draw inspiration from:

https://i0.wp.com/pixdaus.com/files/items/pics/2/98/536298_abc727a9230c9b136489cc1edc4f69fc_large.jpg

(Image)

https://i1.wp.com/russiatrek.org/images/photo/altay-russia-mountains-view.jpg

(Image)

https://i2.wp.com/photorator.com/photos/images/ulagansky-district-in-the-altai-republic-russia-photo-by-nikolay-lyapin-19121.jpg

(Image)

 

Thanks for reading!

Week Two: Recap and Lineup

Welcome back!

For this week I explored the concepts behind the other members to this group. I also wanted to clarify what I’m doing a bit as well as explain some of the things I referred to in my original post that may be illegible to those not super familiar with the subjects I carried on about.

Starting out is the lineup of characters:

grabenstetter_shawn_groupscan

I’ve designed the “tank” and two “damage dealers” while using the original “healer” that I drew before, just slightly edited.

Before I talk about why I made these decisions for these characters, I’m going to clarify what these adjectives mean and what my project goal is.

I am creating a cast of 4 characters based on the generic group layout of most video games and OSR (Old School Renaissance) tabletop games. An OSR can be summed up as Dungeons and Dragons. You are part of a group of murderous homeless vagabonds set in medieval times, generally consisting of three to six people, that kill people and monsters for money and cool stuff. However I am changing the formula to instead of having generic knights and clerics I’m using 50’s bad boys with big hair; a satirical approach to the genre.

In these murderhobo (player character) gangs a certain co-operative synergy is required between the players abilities. As such roles were created to more easily choose one’s position in the group dynamic, not so much by the tabletop games but video games. These roles are most commonly named tank, healer, and damage dealer.

Image result for protection warrior

(Image)

Tanks (example above) are used to centralize threat to a single high health and armor target; this allows other roles to focus on aspects other and survival. This is probably the most complicated task of the three roles and is usually represented by a veteran soldier to illustrate.

Image result for ronin

(Image)

Damage dealers (example above) are the most self explanatory role- you kill things! Your job is to recklessly pursue the destruction of the people attacking your tank. Generally this role has the most dynamic differences than the other two despite its simplistic role. Most games provide magical spells, ranged weapons, a variety of melee weapons, animal companions, and your own fists as ways to dispatch foes.

Image result for white mage

(Image)

Healers (example above) are, again, just what they sound like: they restore the health of their allies. Their main job however is to fix mistakes made by the tank in failing to cultivate the attention of all the surrounding creatures or if damage dealers fail to perform well enough and the tank needs more personal attention. It is a strange role because if everything is going well you are not really needed; this is much more prominent is OSR games rather than in video games.

grabenstetter_shawn_groupscan

For my character designs I’ve done some things in the sketching process to make identifying roles easier. The tank has a shield icon on his necklace, the healer has a cross on his jacket, and the damage dealers have sword icons added to their jackets. This is just to help while sketching, Ill more cleverly disguise these aspects later (as you will see).

For the healer I wanted represent keeping your party healthy in a different way than just “healing magic” or bandages. His kit is stocked with moose, hair spray, and a comb.

The tank is sort of simple in his design, lots of muscle with dual garbage can lids to defend himself.

And the damage dealers are stocked into two loadouts- ranged and melee. The melee with a bat and thick leather coat to defend his body, as well as brandishing a switchblade. The ranged fellow boasts a long coat with a Molotov and a long chain.

Their clothing is mostly inspired by our venture into our school library. There were many books on fashion from the time period displayed and I took a few ides from there.

img_20170124_173209082_hdrimg_20170124_162047006

On the Left are some Japanese decorative jackets, used in the design for the healer and the melee damage dealer. And on the right the long coat with a high collar from a 50’s fashion show was a good fir for a ranged damage dealers ensemble- looking akin to a wizards robe.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

The beginnings of the menagerie.

This is the post excerpt.

For our first project we were tasked with the choice between creating an anonymous space or a menagerie character cast. While I loved the prospect of screenshoting my web browser and calling it a day, I chose the menagerie.

As with all things creative, combinations is the only way we can create something new and interesting (we hope) and this is just that.

badboy1medic

The image above is an example character of what I would be doing, but without context it just looks like a generic pompadour flying bad boy right out of 50’s America or 80’s japan.

So I like video games. I know, what a taboo. I was recently trying out a new game to fill myself and some friends time over winter break (that would be FFXIV, or final fantasy 14) and it had a pompadour! It is one of the only games outside of something like Yakuza (a single player role playing game set in 1980-1990’s japan) to have a proper pompadour. Admittedly it is more of my good friends prefered hairstyle than my own, but it was just too funny not to have our crew of four delve the deepest dungeons all wearing a large springy pompadours. In short (or long I suppose) is my idea. Illustrating the traditional five-man dungeoneering squad as silly haired bad boys.

Some inspirations would be:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6f/Redline_(2009_film)_poster.jpg

( Redline )

Redline is a pretty cool movie about racing, big hair, and some other not important stuff. It’s a callback movie to the old days of animating, having every frame hand animated, making it a somewhat notorious movie for having an insane production length but incredible results. Read more with the link above!

wowscrnshot_092512_115736

( World of Warcraft )

This is a personal screenshot of mine of when my group all made pandarians at the launch of the pandaria expasion a few years ago. Fun fact- we deleted all of these guys!

( FFXIV )

(Image)

Not a screenshot of mine, but a good representation of what I was talking about. Can’t get the boys together for a proper portrait of our group! The game itself is fun, but kind of long winded at the start. The leveling is not very streamlined and it is kind of unfamiliar making it even slower. The smaller groups are nice though, no need to gather fifteen men to take on raid encounters, only eight!

Image result for TF2

( TF2 )

(Image)

A game that I played at the professional level, but never took anywhere out of bordem for the metagame. If you were to pick it up now expect to be outclassed and confused. I took inspiration from the class designs and from the class cooperation aspect.

( I have no proper source other than this, its just an infamous picture )

This is the best example I could think of when I stared to consider this project. Big hair, lots of leather, and a friendly cohesion.

Thank you for reading!