It’s been quite a while since I posted any update featuring personal artwork (most of my art-related activity was centered around commercial projects).
This gallery is being reworked and updated with new content, but in the meantime please enjoy these recent pieces:
2012 | Playsino | Facebook | Flash | Social game | Casino and cards
Solitaire and Prizes is Playsino‘s first game on Facebook, and it’s a combination of authentic Solitaire gameplay, contemporary social gaming mechanics and aesthetics, plus a novel and somewhat unusual Sweepstakes element that offers players the chance to win real-world prizes.
2011 | Meteor Games | Facebook | Flash | Social game | Strategy and city-building
I originally joined promising social game developer Meteor Games to lead prototyping efforts for a future title, but due to shifting priorities I found myself in the Product Director role on one of the company’s existing games called Serf Wars.
In retrospect this is the best that could have happened: I got to work with an amazingly talented team on a very interesting project, and learned a lot – about game development as well as human nature in general.
2010-2011 | Six Degrees Games | Flash | Virtual world
Action AllStars is a sports-themed virtual world aimed at kids ages 6 to 11. It originally launched in 2008, and features major league brands such as the NBA, MLB, or the NFL Players Association.
I joined the team as VP Product / Creative to lead the efforts of trying to take the site to the proverbial “next level”. It’s a well-known fact that that subscription-based kids’ products are a notoriously hard nut to crack (in case of AAS this was further compounded by an older-skewing audience and the less mass-appeal sports-theme itself), but perhaps this is why the challenge seemed like a particularly interesting one to tackle.
I have seen this issue pop up several times recently, so I decided to dedicate a post to it.
Here’s the situation: you have a complex hierarchy consisting of a number of animated MovieClips, nested into one another at various levels. You’d like to be able to start and stop the animation of the whole hierarchy (think of a “pause” functionality in a game for example), but the standard stop / play methods of the MovieClip class just aren’t going to cut it, as they only apply to the top-level timeline. Now what? (more…)
Well, if you’re a regular visitor, you surely must have noticed the overhaul.
The previous incarnation of the site had recently reached a dead end: my custom “Frankentheme” (stitched together from organs of other themes) just wasn’t holding up well anymore, the CSS was all over the place, the site used way too many plugins, and the SEO wasn’t anywhere near where it could have been.
I have spent several weeks researching various potential upgrade-options. It became clear fairly quickly that a premium theme would have to be the way to go, especially since I was hoping to find sort of a “one-stop-shop” solution, a theme that was versatile enough to truly hold everything together.
Some of the same rules and techniques still apply: the main driving element is an animated perlinNoise map, but this time it’s used to supply pixel-displacement data.
Along with some basic sound-analysis and bitmapData effects it creates a pretty interesting end-result that in my mind is now officially stuck with the vaguely cyberpunk-inspired moniker “Aurora membrane”: (more…)
Having another look at the powerful drawTriangles method while playing with my shiny new CS5 reminded me that a while ago I was planning to do a full-blown cloth-like effect utilizing this little vintage experiment.
However, with the introduction of native 3D and numerous drawing API enhancements into Flash it is now possible to do this in a lot less less cumbersome fashion than before. (more…)
In the past half a decade or so the ever-increasing complexity of traditional game development has prompted the emergence – and subsequent mainstream acceptance – of the “technical artist” as a fully legit and often sought-after position.
Typically these individuals have a strong art foundation, but for one reason or another their interest extends beyond the aesthetic impact of their work into the technical as well: they become very mindful of performance, memory and scalability issues, knowledgeable in various setup techniques, optimizations, art-asset management and maintenance practices.
Some of them acquire considerable scripting or programming skills and end up writing shaders, effects, tools or even entire applications.
Coming from a similar background myself, but having spent a good amount of time in Flash development I can’t help but think that a large-scale adoption of a similar role in the Flash development community is just about overdue. (more…)