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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.

38, Male

Software Engineer

Somewhere in Nevada...

Somewhere in California..

Joined on 11/29/05

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BoMToons's News

Posted by BoMToons - April 3rd, 2016


One thing I've seen over the past year or so is that, working steadily, my art style has evolved a lot and gained a bunch of nuances and quirks. The progress is imperceptible day to day, but over time I can't deny that I've made some significant gains. Looking at the art from when I first started Super Chibi Knight, compared with what I was producing at the end... there's a marked difference.

A lot of my stylistic progress came from working with someone who pushed me out of my comfort zone as an "art director" for a mobile game that was just recently released. He was almost NEVER happy with my first drafts and often gave me specific feedback that led me to push my boundaries. I disagreed with his feedback every time (vehemently on occasion), but I have to admit that, in the end, his influence was really positive (once I calmed my artsy ego) and helped me get to a "new level." I feel a little sheepish working with other people whose standards are higher/different than mine and whose instincts are ultimately more dialed into what will be popular/successful in the world of game dev. Apparently I still have a lot to learn.

The game I did all this art for is called, "Good Knight Story." It took the publisher over 2 years to release it and it just came out a couple days ago. For a while I was worried all my work would be lost to the ages (because of the delays), but it's cool to see something out there that has my art in it. It's a bit weird not to be involved in ANY of the other parts (coding, music, voice acting, testing, marketing, etc.) But I'm still proud of it in a strange way. Here's a gameplay video running on an iPad (notice how the publisher dismisses the interviewer's comment about the nice art style at 1:54 ish...):

Here's an article about the game on appadvice: http://appadvice.com/review/good-knight-story

FYI: @ricepirate and @thatcomposerguy also worked on it (weird how the publisher tracked them down independently of my influence) - So we collaborated on this game via a 3rd party!

Of course, now I notice nuances in others' art that I was oblivious to before that encourage me to keep aspiring for improvement, but it's good to recognize progress in yourself every once in a while.


You may remember my last post about the little financial fiasco that blind-sided me out of the blue and forced me to take on a side project. That project is nearing conclusion and I'm really proud of how it's turning out. It won't be my most epic game ever, but the concept is cool and I drew a TON of art for it in record time.

I'm hoping it meets some decent success on the web and the publisher will be interested in deepening the concept for a mobile/steam release. Here are the 32 enemies I drew and animated for it over the last 2 weeks (spoiler alert!):

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Which is your favorite?

 


Finally, here's a cool animation that reminded me of @butzbo's style:


Have you noticed any changes in my stuff over the last couple years?


Posted by BoMToons - March 17th, 2016


I got hit with some bad business/money news since my last post and have had to scramble to make up for an unfortunate mistake made by somebody else... at first the news was pretty upsetting and made me panic a bit, but since then I've been able to get my feet under me by taking on some additional work. Sucks, but it had to be done and it has slowed progress on my other projects I've been excited about.

I did, however, manage to put together some artwork for a "featured" spot on iTunes for a mobile game I worked on. I went all out on it and I think it turned out nice:

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Here's a detail shot:

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The gap-filling new project is actually turning out kinda cool, but I'm keeping it hush hush for now! Hopefully it'll be totally done in a week or so.

What do you do when plans fall apart mid-journey? 


Posted by BoMToons - February 29th, 2016


I mis-read @TomFulp 's latest news post headline and thought he was instituting a voting tax. (http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1405581) - This would be known as a "poll tax" (an outgrowth of "Jim Crow" laws instituted to disenfranchise black voters) and expressly forbidden by the Constitution! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poll_tax_(United_States)

You narrowly dodged a bullet there Tom! And you thought US Tax laws were a hassle... don't mess with the Constitution!

Anyway, my world domination work continues forward on multiple fronts!

Barfbarians!

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Undisclosed "secret" web game:

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Helping Tony on his next game:

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Found a repository of old anims and fx I made for a mobile game a while ago. The publisher might actually get around to releasing it soon!

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Have I mentioned that I really enjoy making fx animations? Let me know which ones are your favorites! What are your leap day celebration plans?!

<3 Nick

 


Posted by BoMToons - February 19th, 2016


Mas = more en Espanol... Kanada = Canada in Star Wars speak... really makes ya think!

Work-ness continues! Still doing a semi-epic flash game in Starling with Dragonbones-rigged animation (welcome to 2010!)... gonna be sweeet!

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Also made a title illustration for a game by Tony, a sequel to one of his classics:

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Additionally, I did some BG and tile work (and other odds and ends) for his engine:

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Also getting the foundations laid for Barfbarians! We've definitely decided to embrace GameMaker:Studio and are moving ahead at a medium pace (a couple hours a week) planning for Comic Con and eventually a Kickstarter campaign to secure the $ we need to go full-steam ahead on it. I'm loving GameMaker still and don't see that changing any time soon:

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In my personal life, I'm still chasing down my degree in teaching... I only have one class this semester though. It's called "The Bible as Literature" and it's a pretty interesting class so far. Adds some perspective to a subject I thought I knew a lot about already.

Also, started cycling every day to get somewhat back in shape... going well so far, I've overcome the crotch pain that accompanies getting used to cycling again.

What are YOU up to? Which of these projects gets you the most excited? What do you think of Donald Trump?

 


Posted by BoMToons - February 4th, 2016


Working on some stuff! One project is a web game in Flash/Starling that is gonna be SUPER cool I hope:

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The other is a new STEAM/CONSOLE game about barbarians who puke. For this project I decided to get out of my Flash comfort zone and try some new development platforms. I played with Unity and its 2D tools for a couple weeks, but it was taking me a REALLY long time to get anything done. The workflow and 3D base (even for the 2D tools) was too unfamiliar to me. C# is also a much more strict language than as3 and I was feeling bogged down.

I was able to get things working, but imagining the amount of time and continuous learning curve involved with making a BIG game in Unity was starting to freak me out!

So I did some research into some popular indie games that are under development now or released recently to try to find an alternative to Unity that would still allow us to meet our goals:

1. Publish on Steam with local multi-player and controller support

2. Have the option to publish on consoles (xbox 1 + ps4 + Wii + others?)

3. Web preview support if possible (not necessary, but pretty desire-able)

4. Mobile support (not really likely, but nice to have the options open...)

It came down to a decision between Open FL and Game Maker: Studio.

Open FL was really tempting because it's based on Haxe and uses syntax and display list-style stuff that's very similar to as3 that I'm already comfortable with (it's also FREE). I could use FlashDevelop and feel pretty much right at home with the process, but (and this is a big butt) its console support is a bit shaky and it's fairly new and not as well documented and has a small-ish community (though it's growing). I've heard that it has some funky quirks and can be tough to port projects between platforms...

Game Maker, I had always assumed, was a cheap (in quality, not in price) method for high-school kids who can't code making games with a simple drag and drop interface. I thought it wasn't a serious platform for game dev and was more of an educational tool... then I started noticing that some NICE games are/were made with Game Maker (Hyperlight DrifterNidhogg, Nuclear Throne, Rivals of Aether etc.) Once I saw that legit games were being made with GM, my only question was whether it would be as unfamiliar to me as my experience with Unity.

So I downloaded Game Maker: Studio and tested it out thinking that, if it was a beast to learn, I'd fall back to Open FL...

BUT MAN IS IT AWESOME!

For someone coming from Actionscript and Flash, everything just seemed to make sense immediately. What took me 4 hours to make in Unity took me 20 minutes in Game Maker and I could see the whole game feasibly unfolding from beginning to end (unlike my anxiety about unknown hurdles in Unity). Game Maker actually reminds me a lot of as2 style coding rather than as3... which is kind of a good thing for me!

So, Game Maker it is for Barfbarians! A further bonus is that GM has better html 5 support than Unity so we might actually get a web-demo of Barfbarians out there before all is said and done.

To prove how easy it is, here's a gif of Barfbarians already running local multi-player with game pad support at 60 FPS! WOOOO!

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 Leave me your thoughts on all this, even if it's just to say "Hi!"


Posted by BoMToons - January 23rd, 2016


@Luis, @Sqeezy, and I made a game for Pixel Day!

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/669415

It's about a very serious topic...

I wonder if @Tomfulp ever gets tired of his personal life being under the community's microscope.

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Posted by BoMToons - January 5th, 2016


It's easy to get depressed during the winter season but, for once, I'm feeling pretty pumped about entering the new year. I've got some projects I'm banging away on and not feeling overly stressed about money. Hopefully things will snowball into GREAT things in 2016.

I just read a brutal article about game development that hit way close to home by pointing out some of the mentalities I have about succeeding at being a game developer that have contributed to my stagnation. Read it at the risk of recognizing yourself in the "negative" attributes column:

http://www.sodaware.net/dev/articles/shareware-amateurs-vs-shareware-professionals.htm


I have a dream though, and I'm just gonna name names and get it out there:

I want to have my own game development studio.

I think I know enough about the industry to be able to successfully lead a small team of talented people to success. It would have to be small at first and payment to team members would largely be in revenue sharing of our first launches, but once we had our first semi-hit, I think we could easily support ourselves.

Key components of this team:


1. Performance Programmer: Up to date on the latest tech (open FL, Starling, Unity, Haxe) - Intense attention/skill/love for nerdy things like optimization, mobile performance, game engines

2. Back-end Programmer: Database, API, multi-player specialist - Not intimidated with supporting 1,000 simultaneous-user multi-player game... (this position is not necessary for start up, but would need to come in once things are financially stable)

3. Game Artist(s): Strong visual style, good animator, quirky/unique personality and vision

4. Marketing Guru: Somebody that nerds out over analytics, setting up booths at conventions, shmoozing, and social media

Requirement for everyone is to be aware of the industry and trends of what's finding success (and why) and full of ideas for new games.

For #1, I want Antony Lavelle, or Joey Betz, or Newgrounds Mike, or Afro-Ninja (but most of these guys are already gainfully employed with their own stuff) I would also probably fill in here when needed for the first few projects.

For #2, I'd take my old business partner, or PsychoGoldfish, or Tyler Glaiel (also all doing their own stuff)

For #3, I fit the bill pretty well, but I'd really like Luis to be that guy and maybe work together with me on art/animation/menus etc. Poxpower would be good to have on board too for extra retro touches. Kupaman would also be a nice addition here. Mindchamber would be fun to have on board in this slot too. NG Tyler's stuff is looking awesome lately. Oh, and Wiesi...

For #4, I have no idea really... these guys are tough to find and tough to trust, I might have to fill that role for the 1st few years.

So what's stopping me? Mostly fear of failure, some is just not having the right combo of availability of the right people, some is not having the finances to tempt some of the more successful guys.

What bothers me is that, most of the guys mentioned above (and including myself), are all struggling (or at least only mildly successful)... mostly independently as freelancers, some are beholden to a list of regular sponsors/publishers. Most of them are hoping to make the next big hit, but don't have the resources to pump it out and promote it properly. If only we could join forces into a slightly bigger, but still surgical, team. A team needs that perfect storm of abilities and availability to reach a tipping point and break out of the endless loop of scratching up a bare subsistence... some kind of key change or power boost to break out of orbit on our individual planets.

That said, I've also witnessed quite a few "teams" rise up from our ranks and then fizzle and crash. What made them fail?

Anyway, that was something I had to get off my chest and reveal to the sunlight of the world for scrutiny. Tell me your own game devolpment secrets, aspirations, and fears!


Posted by BoMToons - December 23rd, 2015


Hey y'allz grab Super Chibi Knight for pennies ($2.49) for the Steam Christmas sale. Now's your chance!!!

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

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Posted by BoMToons - December 14th, 2015


I finished my university semester! Woo! I just have an internship to go and I'll have my degree done! I had a bit of a miracle happen with my transfer credits from my old university finally being assigned correctly which waived 12 credits of classes I thought I had to take next semester, that is a HUGE burden off my shoulders!

I'll be interning in the Fall, so I have the next few months to work FULL-TIME on a game project that I'm really excited about! It's still in very early stages, but I think will be one of my COOLEST games yet... oh and it will be released on the web! Just like the good ol' days! Sneaky preview (lots of temporary art here):

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One of the classes I took was a "ceramics" course. I had never messed with ceramics before and I LOVED it. I think I'm hooked! I'm considering getting a throwing wheel for my home and joining the local public ceramics studio. Here are some pics of my final project:

ceramic vessel

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Think I can submit this kind of thing to the Art Portal? It really needs multiple pics to get the full effect...


I submitted my first full-on VIDEO to Newgrounds! It's a little Christmas stop-motion video made by my little nephews who asked me to edit it all together for them:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/667415

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VOTE 5! :-D


Finally, I'm finishing up a project with @Luis that we started long ago and we decided to refresh for Pixel Day. I think you'll LOVE it!!

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That was a big update, but I'm feeling good about stuff and excited to be back in the game groove after a lot of boring school!

Leave me a comment and get me even more pumped up!

--Nick

 


Posted by BoMToons - November 18th, 2015


Hey fellows, my game, Super Chibi Knight, is now ON SALE on Steam for just $4.99. That's 50% off!!!

This is a limited-time offer, so grab this totally cool game for radical dudes while supplies last!

Play the web-demo here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/661076

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