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So many times, it happens too fast...you trade your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past, you must fight just to keep them alive.

39, Male

Software Engineer

Somewhere in Nevada...

Somewhere in California..

Joined on 11/29/05

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BoMToons's News

Posted by BoMToons - September 29th, 2016


Ever want to create a Mandala design, but been too lazy to make all those intricate lines? Well fret no more! Here's a video I'm using in my Art Education internship to teach high schoolers about symmetry and symbols!

 

 

This video is an effort to have the students do something fairly complex, but to teach them the technical stuff in video form so they can go at their own pace (pause, rewind, watch in 2x speed, etc.)

I'll see tomorrow if it works!

I dare you to try it!


Posted by BoMToons - September 19th, 2016


Time for an out-of-context update:

Van Gogh never achieved great recognition during his life. He continued to make art, moving closer and closer to clinical insanity until he committed suicide thinking his life's work was a failure.

Dr. Who took him to a modern museum, imagine how this would feel:

 


Posted by BoMToons - August 31st, 2016


Yo, Super Chibi Knight is on SUPER sale for its 1 year anniversary! Just $2.99!!!!

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In other news, I'm on my 4th week of my teaching internship... it's been pretty hellish so far... I've basically been tossed in the deep end without much support and 3 full curricula to design... I'm barely staying 1 day ahead of the students... kind of missing the good ol' days of being a full-time game dev... much less stressful!

An added stress is I have a SUPERVISOR from my university in my class 4 days out of 5 that is constantly criticizing me and telling me what I need to improve. Imagine doing your job with someone constantly looking over your shoulder and handing you a set of "notes" for improvement at the end of every day (plus conducting formal evaluations of your performance and literally grading you)... it's an added stress that I'll be glad to be rid of after only... 10 MORE WEEKS! :-(

It's extremely humbling and sometimes rough to swallow my pride, especially when I philosophically disagree with my supervisor on fundamental aspects of education, but she's got my final grade in her hands so I have to jump through her hoops.

I've heard the 1st year teaching is always like this though, so hopefully things calm down once I'm into the groove of things.

In good news, my "Digital Game Development" class is pretty fun to teach, but it's incredible how much foundation work it takes to get good at Flash... so many quirks and new concepts for these high school students that I've taken for granted for many years (have you ever tried to verbally explain the difference between a graphic symbol and a movieclip? Try it sometime...). There've been a few moments where the students have started catching the vision of the power they're beginning to wield and that's the main thing that's keeping me going.

The students are finishing their 1st project this week, a 15-second animation... and it's been ROUGH for them to learn enough Flash just to get those 360 frames put together into something somewhat presentable. A few of the students are picking it up FAST though and making some incredible stuff. I don't know what privacy issues are at play, but it'd be fun to upload their anims here to Newgrounds, maybe as a compilation, for some brutally honest feedback :-D

I honestly don't know if I can handle being a full time teacher... I REALLY miss being more actively involved in my own personal projects, but I've committed to stick it out for this 1st year and probably a 2nd to make sure I'm not just cringing at the tough up-front acclimation, and maybe the summer will fill my creativity void, but I hear the call of a lot of new game ideas and it's really hard to resist.

Give me some input about new jobs and teaching and the inner drive to be creating plz.


Posted by BoMToons - July 29th, 2016


I finished my 325 mile bike tour down the Pacific Coast Highway! It took 5 days, and we rode about 45, 50, 65, 75, and 100 miles! It was really fun and challenging!

Here are some pics:

Starting campsite at Big Sur California (near giant redwood forest).

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Our 2 man tent, bikes and baby carrier re-purposed as supply rig.

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First day, my friend sewed a brim onto his helmet to protect from the sun, we're calling it the "Cowboy Helmet" - We also had bluetooth communicators on our helmets that let us talk to each other the whole time.

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Nobody around to take our picture so I photoshopped my friend in...

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South of Big Sur there's a cool beach where Elephant Seals sunbathe, can't really see them here, but it was pretty cool!

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Morning of day 2: Lost the key to our bike lock, so had to use my Leatherman multi-tool to saw it off!

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A fellow bike tourist. "Ramses" had been on the road for over a year. He started in New York state!

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Morro Rock looms along the coast.

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Our only trouble was some worn out bike cleats, luckilly there were plenty of bike shops along the PCH.

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Old cleat (gray) vs. new cleat (red) - The old one was paper-thin!

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Climbing a massive hill (+1000 feet)

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Our campsite on day 3 was right on the shore at Refugio Beach!

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Never turn your back on your friend when the camera is out...

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Stunning bike path along Carpinteria/Ventura beach area.

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My favorite beach: Mugu Point - misty morning ride on our final day.

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Breathtaking - Every hill rewarded us with new incredible scenery.

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Riding through the sandy bike path right on Venice/Muscle beach.

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On day 4, we ditched the trailer because it was waaay too heavy - stayed in a hotel on night 4 and were at our destination by the end of day 5.

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On our final day, we biked nearly 100 miles. Kinda crazy to finish it all with a century!

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Epic tan-lines.

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In other news, I've been going back to college to finish my degree over the last 2 years. This Fall semester will be my last one, which means I get to do an "internship" or "student-teaching." After a lot of finagling, I was able to swing a "paid internship" which means I won't have to dip into my savings to support my family over the next 4 months.

I'll be teaching at a local charter school that focuses on "S.T.E.A.M." education which takes "S.T.E.M." (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and inserts the "Arts" back into the mix. I really dig this philosophy of education because it equips students with skills that are immediately applicable in the real world once they're out of school (or even while they're still in school). And "Art" adds in the creativity that is often missing from purely technical training.

I'll be teaching 3 classes: Graphic Design 1 & 2, and DIGITAL GAME DEVELOPMENT! I'm particularly pumped about that last one. I'd love it if my students could actually publish some games in the app store and/or here on Newgrounds.

I'm still working on http://www.BossClash.com (Sign up to be a Beta TESTER), and we're making good progress. Lots of adjustments coming up in the next few months, wish me luck!


Posted by BoMToons - July 12th, 2016


@the-exp and I have been hacking away at BOSS CLASH!

Here are some teasers to get you drooling:

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BOSS # 1!!!!

 

 

LIFE BARS!

 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AS A BETA TESTER!

 


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I'll be heading out this weekend to start a week-long bike tour down the Pacific Coast Highway! It'll be 6 days and about 350 miles! It's gonna be super challenging and fun. I've been prepping like crazy, and decided to use a baby trailer to carry all my stuff. To keep all the electronics charged I decided to use a solar panel and a battery pack. To secure the solar panel to the trailer, my wife and I had a stroke of genius and decided to use my old convention lanyards!

I knew I saved them for a reason!

If you've ever been to a convention where The Behemoth had a booth, you know that their lanyards are quite a few notches above the standard fare and they worked perfectly on the back of my trailer to tie down the solar panel. #MacGyver

Hopefully all goes well on my bike tour and I return with some cool stories/photos to show off in a week or two!

 


Posted by BoMToons - June 30th, 2016


Super Chibi Knight is only $1.24 right now on Steam, the Soundtrack is only 79 cents! Get them before July 4th to take advantage of this great deal!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/283080/

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In other news, I relocated my office this week to make room for my kids to not all be in the same room (now we have a girl room and boy room). As I was cleaning stuff out and throwing stuff away, I went on a nostalgia-filled reminiscing trip. I've been making games for a long time now (over 10 years) and it's been a wild ride!

Newgrounds was the first place to really encourage me and recognize a spark of talent in me (though my old stuff is really cringeworthy looking back). I've worked with a lot of talented people and made some legit friends. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the old days when people had a lot more free time and you could get by making smaller-sized experimental games to flex your creative muscles.

Some of my highlights were P.I.C.O., Nephi's Adventure, Aqua Slug, Black Sheep Acres, Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer, BoM Beat Battle (Winning the "Rockout" contest) visiting Comic Con 3 years in a row. Terrascape. Trick or Treat Adventure Quest. Boss Bash. Going to Pico Day. Doing stuff for Wiggi World/Woogi World. Visiting Italy. Pico Blast. Castle Crashing the Beard. The Newgrounds Printed Calendar. Buccaneer Battle (winning the Max Games contest). Portal Defenders. Cave of Wonders. Chibi Knight. Madness: Premeditation. Abobo's Big Adventure (Winning a NG Tank Award). 3 kids along the way. Super Chibi Knight. Deterministic Dungeon. Time flies!

I wonder if my "peak" was some point in there or if it's still to come. I wonder if things will "click" monetarily soon with a bigger project. I can definitely see improvement in myself over that time period, but the market in-general has also gotten better and better with higher standards.

I made a spreadsheet of my games (since the NG API was launched and I began tracking stats across the web) to see if I could recognize any trends. Surprisingly, Pico Blast seems to have had the broadest appeal on the web for the longest time. It's a good fun "boss rush" game, with nice variety, but I wouldn't have chosen it as my "best game." 2008-2010 seems to be my most "successful" time period.

Also, I discovered that, just since starting to track stats in 2007, my top 20 games have been played over 100 million times. That means I've been entertaining 10 million+ players a year for 10 years! 

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Johnny Carson, talking about why comedians do what they do said: 

"Everybody wants to be loved–no matter what they do. Everybody wants to feel that somebody likes them, they’re accepted. It’s an attention-getting thing. And that, in effect, is like saying, ‘Hey, look at me, folks. I’m getting your acceptance.’ So it is a form of love, I think, you’re looking for from the audience. And I’m sure that’s part of it, to any performer, is that, 'they like me’."

I've questioned my motivations for creating stuff a lot over the years. Money is ONE motivation, but there is also the desire for acceptance/love mentioned by Johnny Carson. It might be called "attention whoring" or whatever, but I can't deny there's some of that going on with me. I don't think it's shameful, it's just a part of any person's creative drive.

I honestly believe that, even if I had all the money in the world, I'd still be doing this, worrying about how popular my creations are, and enjoying it.


Updates on Boss Clash: I've been working on menus!

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Do these make you excited for Boss Clash? If so, sign up to be a beta tester!

<3 Nick


Posted by BoMToons - June 21st, 2016


Hey peoples! The "secret" game project I've been referring to lately is ready to be announced!

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This will be a game where all you do is FIGHT BOSSES! It's kinda like my old game Boss Bash, but with a little more consistency and a LOT more bosses. There will be a LOT of surprises, but that's the general gist.

If you would like to be a BETA TESTER please visit the website and sign up!

http://www.bossclash.com/

 


Posted by BoMToons - June 10th, 2016


I've got to set long-term challenging events to keep myself motivated to exercise, so here's the latest:

I'm going on a BIKE TOUR down the coast of California!

It's all self-planned, guerilla-style, with my best bud. Hopefully I don't get hit by any crazy RV-driving tourists! (SHARE THE ROAD!)

Here's the itinerary:

DAY 1. Vets Memorial Park to Kirk Creek Campground - 60.2 miles - Rated: Difficult - http://bit.ly/1Yfir26
DAY 2. Kirk Creek Campground to San Simeon State Beach - 40 miles - Rated: Medium - http://bit.ly/1PkuhB9
DAY 3. San Simeon State Beach to Oceano Campground - 52.6 miles - Rated: Easy - http://bit.ly/1tn7O25
DAY 4. Oceano Campground to Gaviota State Park - 61.6 miles - Rated: Medium - http://bit.ly/1VR6WOf
DAY 5. Gaviota State Park to Carpinteria State Beach - 44.4 miles - Rated: Easy - http://bit.ly/1UljBYt
DAY 6. Carpinteria State Beach to Leo Carillo State Beach - 47.8 miles - Rated: Medium - http://bit.ly/25PzBt7
DAY 7. Leo Carillo State Beach to Huntington Beach - 71.7 miles - Rated: Difficult - http://bit.ly/1UaILHT

I'm continuing work on my secret project, now code-named "PASTELLE" - OOOOOOoooooooooo! Mysterious!

Here's some video of me streaming work on it (WARNING: 1.5 hours long!):

 



I'll be streaming pretty regularly during the coming weeks (it keeps me motivated and focused) so follow me on TWITCH to know when I go live! (there are already a few more videos there from further development) https://www.twitch.tv/pestoforce

 


Also, Good Knight Story came out for Android yesterday! Woooo!


How are your projects going? Got any summer plans?


Posted by BoMToons - June 2nd, 2016


Still working on getting back into shape. I'm planning a long distance bike ride for the end of July and don't have much time to get ready for it!

In game news, I'm trying to figure out how best to port Deterministic Dungeon to mobile. I'm thinking I might need to team up with someone who's really good at Unity, so I can just focus on the art and the game design. I have a pretty sweet design document that outlines the improvements and upgrades I'd like to make for mobile.

Are you the Unity expert I'm looking for? Do you know someone who is? There's money to be made if you're the right fit. PM me or comment if you have any leads! Show me some examples of work you've done!


One of the coolest things that happened since my last post is that Matt Roszak of Kupo Games decided to include Super Chibi Knight in the next installment of Epic Battle Fantasy!

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I really dig his take on the character! If you want to check out the anims, look here:

http://kupogames.com/2016/05/27/ebf5-chibi-knight/

Also, here's a gif:

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It really warms my heart when people do fan art of my stuff.


Also going full steam ahead on a neeeeaaattttooo web game with some help from Antony Lavelle (@the-exp).


What are you up to these days?


Edit: Forgot to include this little anim from Good Knight Story

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Posted by BoMToons - May 17th, 2016


Deterministic Dungeon is out there and has been doing great! (after 2.5 weeks it's nearing 500k plays across the web at the time of this post). Big thanks to @TomFulp for featuring it on the NG front page!

There are a couple bugs, and a few balancing issues, but overall I <3 the game and would really like to do a more fully fleshed-out sequel for mobile. It's the kind of game you want to idly play for a few minutes throughout the day.

With that in mind I've been reconsidering tech for the mobile port. Here are my current opinions on my options:

1. Starling - great mobile performance, big + for also playing well in web browsers as Flash. Great support and community + plugins. FREE! Downside: No console porting and PC/Mac/Linux support is a pretty big hassle for Steam. Shaders are resource intensive and not a very robust library. 

2. Unity - Great cross platform (+ console) performance and mobile support. Great community, lots of plugins, lots of cool special fx available with shaders. Kinda FREE, but not really. Downside: Web Unity is kind of a joke now, also Unity is not intuitive for me - the workflow is clunky compared to what I'm used to, and the 2D stuff still seems somewhat forced. 

3. OpenFL (+haxe) - (I just started messing around with this) - Familiar code/workflow - similar to starling. Cross platform performance (windows, mac, ios, android, flash, html5, etc.). FREE! Poor community support, fairly complicated setup (needed outside help to get the bugs worked out with compiling for various platforms) - Some features don't work across platforms. Doesn't have very good workflow tools (someone has a dragonbones implementation working, but it only works with outdated old versions of dragonbones [2.2]).

4. GameMaker Studio - This is the easiest for me workflow-wise (meaning I can bang stuff out as fast in GM as in Flash). It has cross platform support + consoles + windows/mac etc. Downsides: Costs money, needs extra plugin for skeletal animation (can't use dragonbones/Flash), noticeably missing a good web-browser export (has html5 but I don't trust it yet).

So yeah, there's no KILLER app yet for all export targets that also blends well with Flash animation tools (important to my workflow). Unity is probably closest with OpenFL being promising, but needing more examples, community, and support. That said, if GameMaker had a .swf export, and better integration with Flash animation tools, it would hands-down win for me. I prefer it over the others SO MUCH because of how intuitive it is for my workflow I can't praise it enough!


Here's an anim for upcoming Good Knight Story content update:

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Here's the final wedding cake pic I promised in my last post:

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Next up is finishing another web game I'm stoked about! (also, summer time and getting back into eating right and exercising!)

What's next for you?!