Saturday, August 1, 2015

Practice, practice, practice

Game development is like any other art form; without practice, the capability to create withers.  I really need to take this to heart. For all of my game design challenges, I have been the quintessential code monkey: The person lost in the code, yelling at the artwork to stop walking away (damn you coconuts!) while the rest of group works on the other portions of the game, such as artwork, sound and music.  These are what the player will see and hear the most, not necessarily the code that makes it fun to play.  That's why I have been working on art.
The migrating coconut game a.k.a Feeling Lucky (find it here)

For the past two weeks, I have been practicing with my new drawing tablet.  Drawing on the computer is not *quite* the same as doing it on the tablet.  It has been a while since I've taken up the pencil for art (at least a year, from what I remember), but working on the tablet takes a little bit away from the drawing experience, even for someone with rusty skills.  The first thing I had to work through was the disconnect between the pen and the image.  In analog world, the pencil is friend, a close, immediate feedback.  I can feel the pencil move, watch the line form as I draw it.

When I work on my tablet, however, there's a slight delay.  The pencil is no longer directly attached to the lines.  The delay and the detachment from the pen makes me yearn for the pencil again.  The yearning dies down after a warmup, though.  Giving up the tactile nature of drawing is a small price to pay for instant digital work.  I'm not sure that the tradeoff is always worth it, but for making digital artwork, using a tablet is a huge improvement over the mouse, especially for those who were trained to work in physical mediums first.

- Chandler

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