Monday, June 30, 2014

FIST CHAMPION Beta Ver. 0.2 Go for broken

Check it out at:

Beta Ver 0.2

This is my initial build for Beta. Pretty much everything is a little broken, but I wanted to have a baseline to build off of. Look forward to more regular updates in the near future. I'm going ot take a little rest now.

What's working?

  • 5 stages
  • 6 characters
  • None of these are in a completed state
  • Mostly everything is broken

What's broken?
  • Mostly everything is a little broken
What's next?
  • Redo the character animation (Already in progress)
  • Flesh out environments
  • Redo the HUD
  • Add SFX in the fights
  • More visual flair

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Surveying My Domain On The Ocean

So, big news. FIST CHAMPION now has a domain. FISTCHAMP.COM
As of this posting, there shouldn't anything there yet. There will, however, be a website and more advanced resources for my game soon. I'm also thinking about moving my blog over there. There are big things happening. My game has leapt very close to reaching a public beta status. I'm shooting for the 30th of June. Wish me luck. I need to get back to work, so this blog post is going to be really short.

Remember what the original boat environment looked like?
Pretty, but not the direction I moved in.
Here's the reworked version of the boat environment!
New hotness.
Just wait until you see it in-game. :)

I'll see you next week!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Menus, UI, and Choice

So, I've been dragging my feet with updating the Stage Select portion of my game to make it actually function. For first playable, it was literally a screenshot of the UI with nothing but functionality to start the match, or go back to the previous screen.

I just spent the entire day putting the actual thing together, and I must say that it functions like a dream now.

Part of the reason I took so long to put it together is that I was hoping for Unity 4.6 to come out sooner. 4.6 is going to introduce a completely revamped UI system that would have made all of my UI and menu work so much easier and streamlined. However, since I don't plan on waiting for Unity to update before I deliver the next release, I decided to take the initiative.

Next up: the Options screen and the Character Select screen. Of course, this means that I will have to add some more characters... Sounds like a plan. ;)

See you Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Art Blog - Let's Talk About Process

I wanted to outline a little of the process making environments for FIST CHAMPION. I hope you'll indulge me.

I started off with my design document where I came up with Characters and environments. At first there was just a random collection of both, but then as the project developed it was decided that for every character there should be an associated level. Since I had wanted to use a valkyrie: Valhalla was an obvious location.

A quick sketch.
After a series of thumbs, I had wanted to do some larger sketches to help nail down what the environments would look like; as shown in a previous blog post. Some of the sketches were better than others. Valhalla was one of the weaker ones.

After it was decided to keep the sketched out look for the game, it became important for me to revisit the environment sketches to have a cleaner Valhalla to work with.

A much longer sketch. Scanned and cropped.
This was the resulting sketch. I had also taken the time to do a little more research on depictions of Valhalla, and had fallen in love with a simple geometric depiction of the structures. This was instead of a more Olympian approach with columns and domes everywhere.

Shadows and color swatches.
 After scanning the above sketch; it is brought into photoshop where I do a quick shadow pass and give everything a colored layer. It doesn't matter if the color is correct or not, because I can go back and adjust color and saturation after everything is blocked in.

Color adjustments, lighting, and textures.
With Valhalla, I wanted to push the rainbow aesthetic. So I might've gone a little overboard. Colors are adjusted, and texture is added along with some lighting effects. This was a pretty quick pass on the environment, I did it for use on the blog, but I feel like the core concepts are all present.

All environments are being brought to this level of completion for the next release of the game. Afterward, I plan to go over all environments again for another layer of polish. FIST CHAMPION inches ever closer to its next release.

In the meantime: here's a video I made of the announcer voice in game. (Now you can tell when rounds are happening. It's kind of a big deal.)

See you next week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What's Happening This Week?

My birthday! I will be 29 on Wednesday. But! That's not what I'm hear to talk about, and I bet that's not why you came to this blog. (Unless it is, in which case: thank you.) FIST CHAMPION inches ever closer to it's next release. There are still a few tasks that I would like to have completed before the game is ready to show to people again.

To Do's For This Release:
 - Finish redrawing and scan in remaining environments.
 - All environments must be colored. I can go over them again in the future, but I would really like to have all backgrounds at least a first pass of color.
 - Throw placeholder characters in game. They won't be colored (probably), but I would like them to be in place for future updating. And I plan on a lot of future updating.
 - Import the wicked sick music Tyler has made for FC so that your ears can know how awesome he is.
 - Add character sound effects to the game. A lot of shouting has been done in my bedroom, and it won't be for naught.
 - Visual representations of the countdowns before and after rounds. No more guessing!
 - Win/Lose screens for gloating before returning to character select.

To Do's After Release:
 - Contact media outlets. Try to get people to play my game.
 - Create pinning animations for matches.
 - Add character states during rounds (winning, losing)
 - Second pass of color for stages
 - Populate environments
 - Animate environments
 - Much much more of everything.

There's a lot to do, and I would like to have something to show very soon. My hope is that creating this list of ToDo's will help to bring some focus in to my work. Seems reasonable, right? Now I think I'll get back to it.

See You Soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Colorful Decisions, and Art Direction of The FIST

Thank you for bearing with me on Monday: I was having a nostalgic episode and wanted to share it with The Internet. If you missed it, you can read the post here. Now let's get back to FIST CHAMPION!

Now that I have the power to scan everything that I sketch, this whole drawing thing has become much more pleasant. In a previous post I showed off what the initial sketches of the environments looked like.
Environment Sketch of the Science Lab
These sketches were originally meant to be guidelines for more detailed paintings in the style of the first stage I had done, the boat on the ocean.
What a beautiful sunset.
It's a cool painting, but it doesn't really evoke a feeling that is true to the kind of person I am, plus it feels a little too sterile for my taste. I needed something different. Since I hadn't yet defined a look for the game, I sat down and did some color tests and wrote down some rules. First and foremost, I remembered the rule of KISS. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) It turns out that the sketches I had done paired with some basic painting and application of texture could create a really nice look for the rest of the game. It is because of this that I am going to go back to the characters and other backgrounds in order to redo the linework for them on paper in the new style.

I have already done a first pass on five backgrounds using my new rules. I would very much like to show them to you. I hope you like them.

These five paintings represent a major move for me in a positive direction for my game. I know have a much clearer idea of what the end product could look like, and I can't wait for everyone else to see what happens next.

I'll see you next week.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Free Beard and Nostalgia

This has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, and I feel like it's time I start to talk about it. so please bear with me.

For pretty much my whole life, I've wanted to start my own company. Most people who've known me for any length of time have probably heard parts of this before. When I was a little kid, I used todraw pictures of video games I wanted to make. At one point I came up with an idea for a Zelda game that took place during modern times.

I made link have baggy pants because I didn't know how to draw bare legs.

I really wanted to make video games and I had no idea where to start. So I just kept writing my ideas down, and drawing things that excited me. I drew on pretty much every surface I could get away with. At one point my bedroom was plastered with sketches of super heroes that I made up and potential video game characters. Some of them were actually original and not rip offs of Nintendo properties, I promise.

Everything had drawings all over it. This is from 6th Grade.
The first attempt I made at starting a company was called J.J.P. It stood for Jonny (Gardner), Josh (Rima), and Patrick (Fulmer). We never really did anything, but I still have at least one flip book that I branded as JJP. It's about a stick figure that falls in an endless cycle until his atoms split, and he becomes a superhero (at least that how I'm interpreting it now). After a while, I became really good friends with a kid named Devon Tocco. He shared my love of videogames and he seemed to be brimming with ideas for games, comics, and movies.

Flights Crew was what Devon and I called ourselves
From Elementary through to the early years of college, my friends Nick Rubatino, Devon Tocco, Tobanic Brooks, Madison Mosely, JP Gulliford, and several other great people undertook a literal ton of creative endeavors. Some were better than others, but it always felt like we were creating while everyone else was doing... Whatever else it is that normal people do. we made a ton of movies and recorded some music. There was a lot of drawing, and a few comics. A lot of ideas for games, but none that actually were made. Several of us really wanted to make video games. Nick and I went on to DigiPen and studied art. While there I made a ton of new friends that were just as, or in many cases more driven to create than myself. Many of these people would go on to work awesome jobs helping to make all manner of videogames big and small.

However... I find myself with that nagging feeling inside to create my own way. I keep wanting to do what I've always wanted to do: make my own company. Make the entertainment that I want to make, and work with my friends to create products that are distinctly our brand of humor and personality. To that end, I came up with Free Beard.

Free Beard is my new brand. FIST CHAMPION is a Free Beard game. Just as all future projects that I work on will be Free Beard products. I want to do this for real this time, and I don't want to do it alone. I hope that I can drag some of my friends in to this mess with me.

There will be more FIST CHAMPION details on Wednesday. I promise you you'll like what you see.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Announcing: The Announcer

I received my scanner in the mail the other day, and it works great! USB powered, highly portable, scans at a usable resolution for my purposes. I scanned all of my characters and scenes, and now I get to move on to first pass color. I'm pretty excited.

But this post isn't about a character that I sketched. This is a post about a character who won't even be seen in my game. I've been recording voices, and yesterday I had my friend Adam do voice work for The Announcer.

I hope you like it.

This is actually a really great time to bring it up for serious. Are there any lady-type persons who would like to do some voice work for female characters in my game? You should really get ahold of me about that. If you're interested, e-mail me here: I'd rather it not be me that does the female voices, because that could come off as insulting I'm sure.

In the meantime I have done a few other voices, but you'll have to wait to hear what's going on there. I really do look forward to letting everyone play my game. It's still a long ways from being finished, but it's about ready to release into the wild again.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Scannerless In Seattle, Oh Well: Spring Cleaning Then

I was hoping to have my scanner today so that I could scan all of the sketches that I did a week ago and get to work coloring, slicing, and importing them into FIST CHAMPION. Alas, UPS got the package as far as Redmond today, and then handed the package off to the fine people who make up our United States Postal Service. I should be recieving my parcel on the 'morrow. Until then, I have taken the liberty to do some clean-up work in my Design Document; especially in the area of defining SFX and Music needed for Beta release. This sort of information gets stored in what is called a Functionality Outline. I happen to really enjoy making lists (I think I told you that at least once before). This list is in an outline format and I have items color coded to differentiate between SFX and Music.
Example of a chunk of said Functionality Outline
You might notice that some of these items are crossed out. Those are the things I have completed. There are a lot less items completed than uncompleted. Maybe It's time I started doing some voice work... Unless there's anyone else amongst my friends who really wants to do some grunting or announcing (preferably someone with a good microphone and an insulated space to record, but hey whatever). Let's just say that I am open to inquiries.

Do you really want me to have to do the female grunting voices? I will. Maybe I will anyway, and use those as an alternate audio track or something...

Until Next Time.