Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School Update, lots of doodles, and RPG talk

Daily Doodle - Feeling Green
Marker on Sketch paper
3.5 x 5.5 inchesIn Class Doodles - "I have Contacts"
Pencil on Sketch paper
4.5 x 6 inches

This image was doodled up before Pratt's class started, while everyone was starting to gather. I wanted to give myself a bit of a test and see how much of the "typical" comic book look I could get. I don't think I was too good at it, but I think having a unique style over something that looks common is really more important. The text in the speech bubble was something I thought about while in portfolio class. One of our assignments is to contact a professional artist off campus that we admire, thankfully I have met a good few and already have the phone number of at least three of them.

Composition in movie stills - The Last Emperor
Pen and Marker on Sketch Paper
4.5 x 6 inches

These were drawn up as an exercise in Pratt's class. We were copying stills from the movie "The Last Emperor" to see how they were composed. I typically like to do my thumbnails like this, black, white, and either a color or a 50% grey to act as an in-between color. I feel that if you can convey an image in those three values, then you've a strong composition.

Role-Playing Game Project

A friend of mine and I enjoy making traditional RPG games, ones similar to D&D and running them. For a while, I've been DMing (and though I've been trying to learn, I'm still pretty bad at it) and I've wanted to make a very simple "engine" (the rules/statistics that govern the game) so that I could trade DMing and playing the game with my friends freely. I feel I'm finally getting close to a reasonable product. I'm still fairly nervous about pitching it to my pals, but excited as well to see what suggestions they'll make.

While thinking on the game, I created several sketches to help me think up the setting of the game's story. The general idea or inspiration came to me early last year while remembering a project Devin Maupin had done in his sophmore year, but I didn't begin to put things down onto paper until mid-spring. I'll try to explain what was going on in my mind while not giving too much away. At least I'll show how an idea can evolve over time.

Recreational Sketches - RPG project: 1 "Yomi" (Spring 2009)
Marker and Pen on Sketch Paper
4.5 x 6 inches
This first sketch was me trying to think up some of the basics of the setting. It's plight and how airships come into play. It started out as something of a zombie-esque horror world playing on the themes of the undead and hell while working off Japanese mythology. The world, or at least the ground level that had become overrun with undead, became named "Yomi" after the land of the dead in Shinto mythology. The idea gradually changed to something less christian/shinto themed and moreso a play on science-fiction elements. Later included the element of a miasma gradually covering the world, leaving only a few mountainous regions untouched. The growing miasma explained the need for skyships in the setting. Also, I wanted everything to resemble the Boroque period, but technology had advanced to such a level that it resembled magic.

Recreational Sketches - RPG Project: 2 "Joker" (Spring 2009)
Pen and Ink on Sketch Paper
4.5 x 6 inches
This was really just something of a passing character concept. I'm not sure if I want to keep him or not. I really like the idea of this trickster character. And it would be such a shame to throw away his design.

Recreational Sketches - RPG Project: 3 & 4 "Koil" & "Pilot" (Spring 2009)
Pen and Ink on Sketch Paper
9 x 6 inches

More character sketches. You can see me playing with the idea of Izanagi in this image. I wanted to make references to the Shinto gods. That later got switched with gods from different mythos and was eventually thrown out when I decided to blend the ideas of different mythological dieties together to make original ones with their own flaws and differing personalities.

Recreational Sketches - RPG Project: 5 "Oni"
Pen and Ink on Sketch Paper
4.5 x 6 inches
These are my sketches for the "brute" race of beings in the game. I wanted a feral and beastial appearance without making it seem like an anthropomorphized animal. The end result was this creature, dubbed "Oni" for now. They have long ape-like arms and short legs for quadrapedal running, large ears, and a feline-esque muzzle. I was contemplating giving them a tail for a while, but I felt that was too much.

Recreational Sketches - RPG Project: 6 "Jiganshi"
Pen and Ink on Sketch Paper
4.5 x 6 inches
These are the "Jiganshi," based on the Chinese Vampire of the same name (the literal translation is "hopping corpse.") The basic idea of these people is that they're infected by a virus that thrives in the miasma. To prevent them from spreading it, they wear gas-masks, special collars to regulate their breathing, and hats that keep the virus sedated. The idea of the hats was something of a play on the Jiganshi folklore, as a Taoist priest could control a jiganshi with a special paper-seal that was placed on the being's forehead. Eventually, I opted for the outfit to resemble something of an old hazmat costume used by doctors during the outbreak of the bubonic plague to further emphasize the idea of infection.