Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Scanner!

My beautiful wife Amanda got me a new scanner for Christmas, so after a couple years of erratic posting, now my home art studio is complete and can now share some of the work I've been doing.

Here's an unfinished portrait of Dave ...

Monday, June 27, 2011

My First Shipped Title With Signal Studios -- 'Toy Soldiers: Cold War' (!)

Yeah, I know. I haven't updated my art blog since Christ knows when. My biggest excuse is my current lack of a scanner, so I can't scan any of the work I've been doing in my sketchbook. However, I've also been busy working at Signal Studios lately, and finally, after working for over three years at Snowblind and not shipping a game (my credit in Death Tank excluded), I'm happy to announce that after barely a year at Signal -- and, no joke, a bald eagle is cawing outside my window as I write this -- my team's game, Toy Soldiers: Cold War, will launch on Xbox Live Arcade on August 17 as part of Xbox's "Summer of Arcade" promotion.

And you know what else? The game is really good. Trust me. I've played the shit out of it. It's fun. But I don't have an Xbox 360 at home, so I can't buy it. You do have an Xbox 360 at home, and you know someone who's worked on this awesome game, so you should probably buy it.

This game marks my return to Actually animating on a project that Actually produces a playable game instead of spending all of my time processing motion capture data for a project that gets canceled or has a release date that keeps getting pushed back, and back, and back, and soon on. Incredibly, this hasn't happened for me since the Handheld Games days, when That's So Raven: Psychic On The Scene was released for the Nintendo DS (coming not-long-after Phil Of The Future for Game Boy Advance). Not that I want to take this time to revisit my time at Handheld. My former brave colleagues from that Hellhole That Still Managed To Ship Playable Games will know what I'm talking about. (And by the way, the above link is worth clicking on. The Wikipedia entry for TSR:POTS is maybe the worst Wikipedia entry ever, but somehow describes the game exactly.)

ANYWAY, Toy Soldiers: Cold War. Great game. I worked on it. My team was comprised of a group of guys who worked like crazy to make this game into what I think will be the best game on Xbox Live Arcade this year. Actually, when I think about what my job on this game actually was: Moving War Toys Around Just Like I Did With My G.I. Joe Toys As A Kid -- I had it pretty easy. The animations Nick Kondo and I created for TS:CW will likely go unnoticed by most people who play this game. Not because they're bad. I actually think they're quite good. But this game has such absorbing action that you'll be too busy blowing shit up to notice the soldier I made scratch his ass while his weapon is reloading. The programmers, designers and artists on TS:CW made awesome stuff.

I guess I'm getting a little ahead of myself here since the game hasn't even been released yet. I should probably reserve my joy for when people actually start buying it. I've just forgotten the feeling of following a game project through to its completion, and the end product actually being good. I felt that with Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile, but hardly anyone played that game. I think people are going to play this game and love the hell out of it -- August 17, 2011 (seven days after my birthday).