The Pixel Crush

-------------------------------------------|Digital Animation & Game Criticism|-------------------------------------------

Friday, 18 June 2010


The Electronic Entertainment Expo or "E3" finished just over an hour ago in Los Angeles, California.
This meeting of publishers, developers, press, and gamers represents the gaming community's largest and most prominent gaming convention. The industry builds up to it each year in a bid to impress and draw attention to products in development and outdo each other during their press conferences-now streamed live over the internet to viewers, and inform gamers and press alike as to what to look forward to in terms of both software and hardware over the next 12 months.

So obviously as the owner of a playstation 3 the press conference of the most interest to me was the sony one but I ended up watching most of all three, being microsoft and nintendo.

Highlights for me in no particular order:

  • Portal 2 coming to PS3.
  • Little Big Planet looking more awesome, endorphin enducing, and creative than ever.
  • Kevin Butler's speech rallying gamers into a nerdy frenzy.
  • Rage looking totally gorgeous.
  • Nintendo games like Epic Mickey and Kirby's Epic Yarn actually looking pretty sweet (too much epic in the title though)
  • Xbox not having all the definitive versions of games and the PS3 having less sucky ports
  • 3D actually being exciting.
  • Zelda being totally broken during the Nintendo demonstration (that was hilarious, yet saddening).
  • Kinect is a joke.
  • Move is less of a joke.
  • 3D is starting to interest me more and more.
  • Motorstorm Apocalypse.
Lowlights in no particular order:
  • Where the hell was The Last Guardian? Shadow of the Colossus was a masterpiece and that was 5 years ago, hurry the hell up.
  • Also I want more from That Game Company, Flower was early 2008, surely they're working on something?
  • Part of me hoped for glimpses of games like Arkham Asylum 2 or Uncharted 3, but realistically its just too early.
  • Over 9 out of 10 games appear to have core gameplay mechanics centered around shooting, this bores me and worries me. I hope David Cages makes 5 Heavy Rains a year just to balance things out.
  • Infamous 2 is NOT looking good, its profoundly worrying. Ice powers? Totally illogical. Character re-design? Also totally illogical. "anything is subject to change at this point" -sucker punch game director Nate Fox. Please for gods sake, change it.
  • Stagnation in the industry, this might just be the way it seems after such a killer year of games this and last year.

Portal is amazing, I finished straight after I saw the trailer for the sequel.
To think it started as just an experiment in gameplay mechanics, to hear the developer commentaries on level design and teaching the player the gameplay is inspiring. The sense of mystery, the brains behind the logic puzzles, the minimalist story, the humour, the personality injected into such sterile looking characters and environments. Masterful. Makes me want to create.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A. A. Milne Goes Gansgter: Pt. III

I'm actually really pleased with what I ended up getting done for the animal firm project, this was only the case sometime last night when I started fleshing out my character back stories and all this stuff  just seemed to pre exist in my imagination without me having to really think about it. Suddenly it wasn't just another hard boiled gangster, but a deep and flawed character whose personality had been shaped by the blows life had dealt it. This doesnt mean I got finished all I wanted to, I had to re-use some drawings in others etc and wish I'd more time to do a more unique "wow"image or more environments. But it's been so full on this last few days I've totally burnt out on colouring shit in, shame I was always catching up with this project because of "what" monopolising available time. Anyway, I seriously encourage reading of the bio's.

Meet the Firm:

Friday, 4 June 2010

A. A. Milne Goes Gansgter: Pt. II

Second and third characters fully painted up. I realised how much I failed to recreate that Jenny Saville flesh with oils effect in the first one so made up for with Shelby the sheep by adding giving him some nasty blue and orange tones, this gives the appearance of a dead terracotta thing.

But first Bakon The Baker:

...and Shelby The Sheep:

more coming soon...

Society man, society...

really really interesting article on gaming, consorship, the laws surrounding both, and community.

A. A. Milne Goes Gangster: Pt. I

So now everything but animal firm is out of the way I can concentrate on  weaving a dense and dark criminal underworld for my domesticated and disturbing cast of creatures.

This is Piglet, whom I have already intoduced, and now exists in full colour. I wanted to create a really dark suit for him whilst avoiding a men in black look. Also wanted the create a fleshy look to the skin that was remaniscent of Jenny Savilles paintings and also not unlike the concept art style Rockstar Games uses.

Here's my attempt. Im quite pleased with the finished result, hopefully I will be able to create a scene with all this characters in one environment, unifying their various, scales and proportions in a comparable way.
Please click to enlarge...