Update: What I've Been Up To Recently, as of February 4th, 2022
Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Greetings everyone, welcome back to yet another Update post! Hope you all had a good Winter Solstice holiday season since the last update. It hasn't been all that long ago since the last one (a pattern I would like to establish, making these more bi-monthly and less semi-annually), so I don't have just a ton of stuff to show off, making this post nice and short in comparison to the others.
VR Headset Attainment
So, perhaps the most interesting thing I've done since November is attaining a VR Headset, specifically the Oculus Quest 2. Virtual reality is something I've had an immense interest in for a while now (I just love the idea of being inside a game world, looking all around at it in glorious binocular 3D), and recently I've finally got my hands on such a headset.
I gotta say, it's pretty darn cool, to say the least. I haven't played a lot of games yet, save for VR Minecraft and Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted... why yes, I am a 31 year-old playing "zoomer" games, what of it?
HOWEVER, I have played a lot of my own games using Unreal Engine's VR preview setting, which is really, really cool! Imagine entering into your own worlds, walking amongst your own creations, standing in front of your own characters in full-on binocular 3D... there's nothing quite like it, honestly. It's been the hottest of minutes since I've been filled with such giddy childlike excitement as when I first donned the headset and looked around my own Wiccumshire, seeing the sun shine through the leaves of trees I crafted myself in Blender, standing face-to-face with my own Helrynega. Dare I say, it was magical!
Of course, this experience has got my imaginal gears a-turning when it comes to developing interactive media for VR. There's so much you can do with it! So much potential! You don't even have to make actual games, necessarily. You could just as easily simply create really neat environments to plop people into. It's so immersive you could entertain people with pretty scenery or cool set-pieces alone, no actual game needed... what I'm trying to say is that, even with my (currently) limited know-how when it comes to game design, I could very feasibly develop something pretty nifty for VR.
Do expect some VR-specific UE4 projects sometime in the future.
Another Entry for Another ReAnimated Collab
Another notable thing I did was complete another entry into one of those "reanimated" collaborations, where a bunch of animators get together and animate the various scenes of a cartoon or video game cutscenes or what have you.
The last one I participated in was the Zelda CD-i ReAnimated Collab back in 2020, which was a blast (I love those games way more than any human being reasonably should). This one I participated in this time is the WarioWare Gold ReAnimated Again Collab. The scene I was given was of the character Lulu spraying Wario in the face with a squirt gun, knocking some magical "crown" off his head (turns out it's actually a chamber pot), turning him back to his old self.
Needless to say, this was a lot of fun to animate, and I appreciate Behon for letting me participate in it!
Website Updates and Tweaks
The last really notable thing I've done since November is tweaking the website a bit; streamlining it for easier navigation, adding new stuff, etc.
Firstly, at long last, I've updated the Kiki Banana page! Now, you all can have a little more context for this silly fictitious pirate girl of mine and the wacky world she lives in. I also completely overhauled the logo, too, as you can see on the left here. The previous one was... fine, I guess. But I really like this one, though, as you can tell a little more what the basic vibes of the story will be (wacky and tropical).
And for those of you who are more interested in any of the other story concepts, don't worry, they're going to get the same treatment here soon. I'll also be adding some new stories as well... yes, there's more... a whole lot more, and not all of them silly cartoons, either. In fact, you may be surprised what I've got up my mythopoeic sleeve...
One other change you might've noticed is I've completely overhauled the Gallery Section, so that it's categorized based on art medium (illustration, comic, animation, etc.) rather than based on my different types of projects I've categorized for my own convenience (on-going works, works in progress, etc.) which I figured would make a lot more sense to visitors. Also, I've dissolved the Fan Art section, incorporating fan art amongst my other original works and differentiating them from my original works in their descriptions (by just adding [Fan Art]). There's not really much reason to separate fan art and originals, plus it helps fill out my galleries.
I've changed the previous "Project Pitches" page to the "Story Index" page. The idea before was to list a bunch of potential projects I have cooking in my brain for others to get an impression of and leave feedback to express interest, thus increasing the likelihood of that project being chosen. Basically, it was to be a series of pitches to you all to gauge interest in these potentialities. However, I've concluded that this probably isn't the best way to present these story concepts of mine, so I changed it to more of an index, a reference point to redirect people to for the primary purpose of giving context for my original works based on these stories, a more organic approach to garnering interest. Again, I feel like that would make a little more sense to visitors, as well as being more useful to them.
I think now, the website is far more conducive as a platform for future works. Speaking of...
Plans for the Immediate Future
As always, I like to end these updates off with my plans for the immediate, foreseeable future.
First of all, the Kiki Banana comic I've been teasing at for a while now is indeed happening, and pretty soon, too. It'll start off as more of a series of comic strips, one-off gags or few-page mini-stories freely available here on the website and perhaps elsewhere, such as Itch.io and other webcomic hosting sites. Afterwards, larger, longer, grander stories too big for a mere few pages will begin to emerge, which will be available via print comic (or e-book, if you're lame).
This won't be my only project, though. In the background, I will be hard at work on some kind of indie video game project, at some point. Still trying to widdle down the right concept for a very, very small/short indie game fit for my (currently) novice game-making skills. My current issue is that every idea I get starts to balloon into bigger and bigger projects that far surpass the scope I'm either capable of our willing to tackle. But that's not to say I don't have a few good candidates! And I don't plan on finding the perfect plan, either, as I've taken this quote to heart:
A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. - General George S. Patton
This waiting and waiting for the perfect plan is a path to failure. It's so much better to just do it now, no matter how half-baked that "it" is, than it is to wait in perpetuity for the absolute perfect, flawless plan of action for later.
Because "later" never comes.
After hundreds and hundreds of hours of introspection I've done over the course of my life, I have found this to be absolutely true, and one of, if not the reason why it has taken me so damn long to get anything done. I still have a bad habit of second-guessing myself and doubting if a plan of action will work out, but I'm in the process of breaking it, and I feel I've made definite headway in doing so.
Anyway, maybe I won't take too long in deciding amongst my plethora of tiny game ideas to actualize one.
That's about it for now. I'll let you know what I've been up to in a couple of months down the road, once we get there. In the meantime, take care, and I will see you then.