Update: What I've Been Up to Recently, as of Dec. 17, 2020
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Since it's been a while since I've posted anything to the Internet, I figured it's time I should let you all in on what I've been up to as of recent (and by "recent" I mean the past several months or so). If you're interested, continue reading and find out.
What I've been working on as of recent
What have I been up to these past few months, you say? Well, to put it succinctly, I've been teaching myself game design and development with Unreal Engine 4.
I've started quite a few little projects, none of which I have any real intent on completing any time soon, but rather to utilize as learning experiences. Most of them are based on some of my previously established story ideas (a lot of which I would like to turn into video games anyway), and some of them are from my miscellaneous idea pile I have buried in a cerebral fold somewhere in my brain.
(Originally I was gonna take video footage of these projects, but my poor computer struggles to run both Unreal Engine and OBS at the same time, so the video comes out looking more like a slideshow than anything, so you'll just have to make do with still screenshots. Sorry...)
Non-specific Creepy Dark Horror Game Thing
One of my first attempts at doing something with Unreal Engine in recent history, opting for a low-ploy, low-res PS1 look (that seems to be in vogue at the moment with the indie game scene).
You can't really do much other than walk around. I was mainly just experimenting with low-resolution graphics.
This weird clock tower monster thing is based on a clay birdhouse I made waaay back in 11th grade ceramics class. Still think it's a neat design, and you might see it or iterations of it in my other works down the line.
The Voyage of Kiki Banana
Here's my attempt at a hand-drawn 2D platformer, using my "Kiki Banana" story idea.
The idea behind this one is that it would be a series of side-scrolling levels strung together non-linearly via a series of top-down island overworlds (something not unlike Zelda II: The Adventure of Link), which are then strung together via an oceanic overworld that you can traverse with a ship.
The hand-drawn sprites are rather time-consuming to make, so I'm having second guesses about doing it in this way. Originally I wanted the game to look as much like a 2D animated cartoon as possible, and I'll still strive for that look, but maybe I'll replace the 2D sprites with cel-shaded 3D models instead... maybe...
2D Adventure Game Thing
Here's an attempt at 8-bit Gameboy-esque pixel graphics in a top-down overworld remenesent of the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening or Oracle of Ages / Seasons.
I don't think I'm the best in the world at pixel art. It's okay, but it always comes out rather plain.
Shadows of Wiccumshire
Out of all the attempts I've made thus far, this is the one that's impressed me the most, by a long shot.
This one's based on my story idea "Shadows of Wiccumshire". The concept behind it is that it's a story-heavy 3D adventure game with survival horror elements (imagine a game with the exploratory freedom of an open-world game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but where you are very vulnerable and have limited resources like in a game such as Resident Evil).
For the past few years, I've been slowly teaching myself 3D modelling, including UV mapping and armature rigging. For the longest time, I couldn't get the hang of either of those, but now I finally have... at least enough to make something half-decent.
The cel-shaded look was actually something of a happy little accident. Originally I wasn't even going to bother with cel-shading or outlines, but after accidentally finding out an easy way to rig models with inverted-hull outlines and finding a fairly simple cel-shading post-process tutorial on YouTube, I decided "what the heck?" and implemented it into the game. And lo and behold, it worked! In fact, this is almost exactly how I originally envisioned this game to look like in the first place; cel-shaded characters with thick black outlines matted against a background of hand-painted textures (the same basic concept behind a lot of 2D animation).
This one's so recent I debated whether or not to include it, but eventually thought "why not?"
This is from a story / series idea I've yet to announce officially, simply called "StarBright". I have a slew of ideas for different ways to implement it into multiple game genres, seeing as it's not so much a specific story or plot but rather a loose amalgamation of ideas and concepts that are flexible enough to be more or less anything.
The basic premise is that a girl named Starla periodically finds herself in a cutesy, wacky dream world that needs her help in some way, usually to solve a conflict or defeat a bad guy using star-themed magic and Imagination.
This particular instance of StarBright I'm calling "StarBright Story" for now, and it takes quite a bit of inspiration from the first two Paper Mario games.
Plans for the immediate future
As far as what I intend to do in the near future, I'm not absolutely certain on anything in particular. However, you can definitely expect me to learn more 3D modelling and game design. It's always been my dream to make video games, and I seem to be closer to that dream than ever before, so I see no reason to stop now. My only stumbling block at the moment seems to be my inability to come up with a simple enough game idea that I could actually finish within a reasonable amount of time. But I have faith that that idea will reveal itself to me in due time, so I'm not worried.
In the meantime, I would like to seriously start producing videos for my YouTube channel, and more than just tidbits of animation or music. In fact, I've got an entire video series planned where I interpret aspects of popular culture (mainly video games, comics, and cartoons) from the perspective of the occult or esoteric. It's called Culture DeOcculted, and I've even got a logo for it:
I've got a slew of outlines already done up, and even a couple of scripts. Now I just need to implement those into actual videos.
I would also like to, at some point, start a web comic. Specifically, a web comic starring my Kiki Banana character. I've spent the past few years fleshing out her world, and would really like to manifest it in some way, and I think a web comic would be perfect for now (and then later down the road, as a video game... perhaps?). It wouldn't be some long, on-going story or anything, just a series of short, usually one-page gags, with the occasional few-page story.
So anyway, that's about all I have for now. Do let me know which one of these projects interests you the most, which ones pique your curiosity; it might just increase the probability of that project being what eventually manifests. I know there's not much per project to go off of, but still, if one does interest you any, please let me know.
So, stay tuned for more stuff and things, and I'll see you then! <:P|