Friday, December 17, 2010

The Ol' End of the Year Post

Every year I've been posting previews for the next year's worth of material, however I've noticed I never have time to finish them all. So starting this year, I'm doing previews for the next three projects on my queue (followed by three more when those are done, etc). Anyway, I've noticed every year has kind of been taking on a 'theme' of sorts. 2009 was almost entirely dark/horrory stuff and 2010 involved a lot of water. 2011 is going to be MORE EXPLODEY THAN AN OCULAR DYNAMITE ENEMA.

Valentine's Day 2011
As usual, I can't really talk about this here! The only thing I'll say about it is that I think this one is probably the strangest one I've done so far. It's also probably going to be a bit simpler/shorter than last years (by request).
As of right now I've finished the keyframes and have gotten maybe a fourth to a third of it penciled? Not really sure, HENCE THE QUESTION MARK.


Empire of Sock

I already previewed this last year, but it's really happening this time! "Dawn" was largely a standalone piece that introduced everything, "Advent" was Sock's plan being set into motion, but finally, "Empire" is going to be where the exploding colons really collide with the various blowing apparatuses. If you read "Genesis of Sock," you may have a fair idea of what's coming.
This one is going to contain some of the most entertaining action sequences that I've ever done. It's going to be difficult to animate, but I'm really looking forward to drawing loads of reality defying madness.


SuperVillain 6
Throughout his makeshift career, SuperVillain has encountered resistance from various, incompetent forces attempting to stamp out his calling in life. However the biggest threat to his livelihood is about to arrive in the form of one of his own kind, and a rather psychotic one too. To worsen matters, a returning enemy has been thoroughly upgraded and is back in town in response to recent events. In order to survive, SuperVillain will have to take on two powers that are far in excess of his own.
I've been sitting on this idea since I was making SuperVillain IV and I am extremely excited to get started on it, although it is going to be murderously difficult to produce.

"Hitting Stuff at a Building" might crop up at any time too. But there are no predictions being issued on account of my estimates always being horrifically wrong. A cat passing through on my keyboard had this to say: "p0---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------loooooooooooooooooooooooooooo vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Return of SuperVillain

It's been over two years, but SuperVillain has finally returned! I apologize that this is coming out a month and a half later than expected. Some very unfortunate things happened during the time I was working on this which delayed production considerably.

I really enjoy animating big robots and explosions and all, but for this installment I wanted to get back to the series' roots of simply running around and generally ruining everything without some major threat to fight. I especially wanted to do this to break up the enormity of SuperVillain IV and the upcoming SuperVillain 6, which is going to be gargantuan (stick around after the credits for a teaser trailer).

I actually did my first ever pickup shots on this project (meaning I finished production and had to go back and animate new shots). The baby/shark fishing sequence wasn't initially planned, but as I neared completion I couldn't believe that I had forgotten to include a token infanticide scene. I MUST BE GOING SENILE IN MY OLD AGE OR SOMMFING.

I've really missed working on SuperVillain, and so I'm making a serious effort to do an episode in both 2011 and 2012. The large and tedious amounts of work that goes into every project gives me a lot of time to think about what to work on next, and so I have pretty solid ideas of what I'm doing with both the sixth and seventh installments.

Anyway since this year has been overflowing with delays, setbacks, and bitter disappointment, I'm going to get started on Valentine's Day 2011 now in order to get going on Empire of Sock early next year. I'll update this blog at least once more this year to give a preview of the next couple of projects I'll be undertaking.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This year is kind of a gravy train, but only in the sense that it's really slow and keeps clogging your arteries.

This year has had this irritating release schedule pattern where I finish a project and then its release is delayed until I finish the next project (whose release is then delayed until the completion of the next project and so on). HENCE THE TRAIN MADE FROM GRAVY.

Remember at the start of the year when I said 'SuperVillain V' was going to be this fun, short, little project that I could speed through before starting on 'Empire of Sock?' Between the tears and frustration sometimes I can too. It's going to be (probably) of average length (3-4 minutes), but it has got an obscene frame count that dwarfs all other SuperVillain projects to date.
The project is about half way through inking after two weeks of delays due to lots of stuff going on in my life. I'm plowing through it again and hopefully will finish in November. "Well butts," you say, "doesn't that only leave a month for production on Empire of S-," to which I would reply "MOTHER OF BALLS I AM COMPLETELY AWARE OF THIS." But I've got a plan, which I will detail in a paragraph or so.

The other question you might have is why 'Hitting Stuff at a Building' has been at 95% completion for a couple months now. Basically, I've completely finished with all of my work on this game, so it isn't something I'm having to put time into any more. However I have no idea how to estimate the amount of work necessary for programming so I just stuck the progress bar at some arbitrary number.

"ENOUGH ABOUT THAT BUILDING GAME," you cry hysterically, "WHAT ABOUT EMPIRE OF SOCK?!" to which I reply with sedatives and deportation notice to the moon. And by that I mean either a notice to deport you to the moon or a notice to deport the moon which will flood you out of existence so I win either way.
With that all cleared up, basically all I can say is there is nowhere near enough time to undertake the monstrosity that is 'Empire of Sock' in a month and a half (or less). So I'm going to start 'Valentine's Day 2011' early once SuperVillain is done which will allow me to get an early start on 'Empire' in 2011. Valentine's Day will probably be a bit simpler this year as well because Danielle has complained that apparently it's really hard to match a gift that took several hundred hours to make.

The good news is that I hope to get a Sock project done this year. "HOW THE F-" you begin to scream, to which I ponder how you are communicating with me from either the moon or from under all this water. Unfortunately the only mystery I'm capable of solving today is what's going on with Sock this year.
The 600th Tales of BarfQuestion comic is coming up, for which I previously planned to make a second chapter of 'Syphilis Rice.' I wrote the script out for it, but I really don't feel like doing it at the moment. All was lost until awesomely, I remembered my long held ambition to make a prequel story to the Sock series. This was either going to be a movie or a game, but I realized it would work much better as a short graphic novel type thing. So there you go moon dwellers/drowning victims. There should hopefully be some new Sock material (laden with plenty of blatant hints about the plot of Empire) coming in the next month or whenever.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FIGHTAN' SOME DRAGONS

The official music video for "The Faster the Treadmill" by I Fight Dragons is out! Watch it here!

I began work on this for the band shortly after completing Grumatorium and later finished it in April. I Fight Dragons utilizes a lot of game controllers and NES era material into their music and performances so I approached this video from a similar perspective; I started by designing and animating gameplay footage from a fictional 8-bit game that the video would take place in.

The result was "the Adventures of Puddlenaut," in which a shark-armed diver hero does battle with deep sea creatures in order to mine mystical power crystals that are abundant in the underwater kingdom. The main grunt enemies, one of which is the protagonist of the video, were modeled after drowned fetuses since I couldn't find any deep sea creatures to fit the image I was looking for. Thus I ended up calling the main character "Fetusaur" throughout production.

After designing and animating the fake game footage digitally using a set of hand drawn sprites, it was a long process of animating the rest of the video traditionally and then compositing the two types of animation together where they overlapped.


There were several games that I drew inspiration from/stuck homages in for, but people's guesses as to what these are have been all over the place. To clear things up, the following are the only ones I intentionally inserted homages to:

Super Mario Bros
Inspiration for the level design, plus considering its status as the best known 8bit platformer, it seemed wrong not to include it.
Megaman
The original series is a favorite of both myself and the band. I included homage to these games in the final boss scene, in
which the chamber has the same time pausing shutter style doors.
Final Fantasy
A favorite of the band, but a game I know hardly anything about (on account of my distaste for RPGs). Every game seems to
revolve around magic crystals according to my brief research, and so the story of "the Adventures of Puddlenaut" is centered
around glowy crystals.
the Katamari series
The first two games are some of my favorite, if not my favorite, games. In a group shot of enemies there is a vaguely Katamari
shaped, green plant in the back (unfortunately it got pretty cropped out in post production).
Portal
The sequel looks like Pixar-inspired garbage, but I adore the original. There is a certain cuboid cameo for all of two frames
during a camera movement early on that is virtually invisible without obsessive pausing.

This is the first and last time I'll ever incorporate video games in my work however, as the internet's over-saturation of crappy video game animations is frankly nauseating.

Stay tuned for BarfQuestion Games debut title "Hitting Stuff at a Building" and a new installment in the SuperVillain series during the next few months! Check out the previous entry for more information because I am all full of hectic and busy and it is difficult to write more things for you when I am moving around this much.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

HOLDUP, WHAT IS THE

People seem a little more panicky than usual about there not being any updates, and with reason, because there haven't been any updates. Contrary to assumptions however, I have been hard at work this entire time. What's the deal then? After Valentine's Day 2010 was released, I ended up working on two projects that (unbeknownst to me) wouldn't see release for a long time. 


The first of these projects is the music video I was commissioned to do for I Fight Dragons. Production was finished in late April, but it's been stuck in Atlantic Record's "Marketing Hell Zone of Ultimate Apathy" ever since as the suits decide how best to 'utilize it.' The joys of professional work!


The second project is nearing completion on my end, and it is a game that goes by the title of "Hitting Stuff at a Building." I bumped the adventure game off my immediate list of projects in favor of this, and it will be BarfQuestion Games premiere project. I'll finish working on this in a few weeks and then it'll be sent off to programming. Have a teaser!


Within a sprawling urban landscape, an enormous complex is being constructed. Truly a pinnacle of both human engineering and lust for packing miserable people into constraining spaces, the tower (even while under construction) stands out as an unprecedented achievement upon the horizon. That is until a BarfQuestion with a badminton racket discovers the construction site.

The gameplay is the resulting chaos of this chance encounter. It's racquetball meets badminton meets breakout, all while dodging avalanches of potentially lethal debris, evading the cops, inflicting misery on the construction workers, and finding new and interesting things to hit at the building (and everything else in the vicinity). Features could potentially include unlimited randomly generated gameplay, thirty unique cutscenes, mini-games, and multiple endings.


In other (older) news, I also designed this poster for Sulek as they've got a few upcoming live shows. Check out their Myspace for more information on show times! Additionally, they now have an official website at http://www.sulekmusic.com which you should also visit!


I apologize to everyone for not knowing in advance that these would be slow moving projects, but I assure you that I've been working my crapping facilities off to get them completed. However, if you were understandably disappointed by the first half of 2010, holy-scalding-pants-zipper-fresh-out-of-the-dryer, the second half is going to be more exciting than jet skiing into a volcano filled with those little plastic ball-pit balls. Behold my new queue of projects that I'll be starting on in a couple weeks:


1) SuperVillain V

2) Empire of Sock

3) Short toon, TBA


In addition to this, the slow-butt projects from the first half of the year will be showing up sporadically as well. I hope it will be exciting and not in a "I'm so disappointed that I'm excited" kind of way.


Friday, April 30, 2010

INSUBSTANTIAL UPDATIN TIME

The update hiatus is fortunately nearing an end, as things are beginning to bear some semblance of sanity again. I've been spending every waking minute on the new music video, but now that's it's completed I can start to relax and resume activities I enjoy like sleeping.

So you're probably wondering that, if the video is done, why it isn't online yet. Like with the last few music videos I've done, the band who commissioned it (I Fight Dragons) wants to delay the release for a week or two until we can do one big coordinated release. 

However, I Fight Dragons is currently on tour and in about a week or so there's a good chance the video will be playing live during their performances. If it begins playing live, I'll post an update on the comic with details of when and where they will be showing it. If the internet was an old radio with a bunch of stations you'd probably rather be listening to I'd tell you to stay tuned! BUT I DON'T HAVE TO BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO ANYWAYS. THIS ISN'T A RADIO.

Oh yeah, and the comic will start updating again this Monday (May 3rd).

In older news, the Wisconsin Film Festival was really neat. Watching an enormous projection of something you made with a live theatre audience is intense. At one point I think one of the jokes went over the audiences' heads but about five seconds later one person abruptly went "HAH" very loudly. It was awesome.

So now I begin on the next group of projects! In the sidebar where I list my current projects, you'll notice that the two new game projects now have working titles! These are subject to change but I suck at coming up with titles so they'll probably just stay as they are. I'll talk about these more after the music video is released. 

After the games page is populated a bit, there are going to be loads of series updates for the next 12 months. If you're only sticking around for SuperVillain or Sock episodes, they sure are on their way.

tl;dr- Music video is done and will be out sometime in the next few weeks with a possibility of live showings, the daily comic is coming back May 3rd, plus new games are now in production, followed by more series updates!

In the next post: ACTUAL INFORMATION

Saturday, February 13, 2010

VALENTOON


Valentine's Day is here and so is a new Valentine's Day cartoon (Also on Newgrounds here)! You should maybe be watching that RIGHT NOW if you haven't already. This one picks up immediately after the one I did in 2009 on the evening of the zombie invasion, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to have seen that one previously.


I need to find a way to write down all of the info on all these randomly appearing species in my work. I inadvertently come up with backgrounds on all the creatures while designing them, but there's no subtle way to include it (as they are probably better left untouched). Though if I were to clarify all of this lame continuity junk, people might stop assuming SuperVillain to be a child. 


The cow was made by my mom for my birthday last month! (It doubles as a box)


Anyways! I will now be launching full speed into the long delayed I Fight Dragons music video, whilst occasionally in my incredibly limited spare time, be working on the 'secret project' you might have seen pop up in the progress meter section on this page. My fiancée discovered she was incredibly talented with Flash recently, so we are giving making games a try! The pilot game doesn't have a title yet, but I'll post more about it when I can.


Hopefully I'll be reporting back in a month or two with a super neat music video (and possibly a game)! Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day!