Monday, January 14, 2008

A nice change

Hello all,

Just wanted to spout off a quick few thoughts...

It's the new year. And, while I admit, I have already run into a few roadblocks, my health being one of them....
With this being the start of a new year, it is only befitting that we come off to a nice start, eh?
One big factor (and my #1 goal for the new year) was to secure employment. Which, I mentioned in a previous post, I already have. ^_~
Now, allow me to gush. :3
I work at a teeny, tiny studio called Fit Brains. Located in the heart of Vancouver amidst the nest of entertainment studios, this half-a-floor studio (we share space with the independant comic creators, Zeros 2 Heroes ) makes what they call 'guilt-free fun.' Fit Brains creates flash-based PC games that train your brain.
Now, I won't lie. My boss warned me that we were going to be hitting the ground running. Our goal is to finish five games by the 31st of this month.
Yikes. o_O;;
On my first day, I had to bring work h0me because I ended up redesigning about 80% of a character roster for a game that was nearly complete. By day three, all characters were created, sketched, cleaned up, coloured in Photoshop CS3 (by the way....I HATE WINDOWS VISTA!!), and re-imported into Flash. So what I have been doing since then?
Designing the art for a game from the ground up. As in: backgrounds, characters, buttons, splash screens, icons, animations, task bars, score counters.....
....and so forth, and so forth. :3
Now, this is, among other things, and incredible learning experience. While I LOVE video games, I have quinessentially devoted my life right now and my education to animation. I honestly dreamed; nay, fantasized about combining the epic powers of 2D animation with video gaming, I never really thought anything would come of it. While there are, of course, 'indie' successes in 2D gaming, so many of these titles become what we call 'sleeper hits.' This is when a game becomes a cult classic more than a best-seller. The sad thing is, with gaming publishers, it really is all about the Benjamins. If a game doesn't sell phenominally well, much less just....well, it is deemed a failure, and canned.
All you gamers will know what I'm talking about when I mention say...oh, I don't know....Okami, by Clover Studios? Thanks for the support, Capcom! You guys rock! (FYI, for the non-gamers, Okami was artistically, design-wise, gameplay, story-wise and everything-else-wise the best game of 2006. Unfortunately, due to poor advertising and well, thinking outside the box with a clever and incredibly creative storyline, Okami didn't sell as well as it should've, especially according to a behemoth like Capcom. So, shortly after the games' release, Capcom shut down the creative power of Clover Studios. That was a dark day.)
We have old[er] success like Phoenix Wright 1,2 and 3, or even newcomers like Sony Entertainment's Patapon for the PSP. So, again, this was something that was either not possible, or possible only if I lived in Tokyo. -_-;;
But, here I am. Granted, it's not like we're making the next Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda. But I've been given such an amazing opportunity, and such creative freedom with a video game, how could I possibly complain? :D
Once I find out if it's okay to, I'll post up some art and designs...being forced to draw every day for at least seven hours gives rise to some pretty cool stuff. :3
Well, I've got OT to pull until Friday, so I'm heading off to bed. Wish me luck, everyone!

Here's to a bright, happy, and successful new year for all of those close to me (and even the ones who aren't). :3


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