Sunday, January 03, 2016

Castle Crashers

Happy New year! 

2015 was a crazy year. To keep things rollin, I want to start 2016 with a crazy drawing! I owe my buddy Jon Jelinek an image of one of his favorite games, Castle Crashers!


I tried this a few months ago and failed miserably because I didn't have a good plan. I just started with the 4 main guys and kept adding more characters. It started feeling really random because it had a few bosses and some of the enemies I liked the best. My kids are huge fans of the game as well so they wanted me to put other characters in. After trying a few different things, I gave up and decided to reboot and come up with a better plan...

New plan: Draw every character in Castle Crashers in a single image. How many can there really be?

STEP 1: Play through the whole game and document every character

Since we have played a ton of CC in my house, this was really easy. My kids all have high level characters so they just mowed through while I wrote it all down. After tallying it all up, including playable champs and pets there are about... 90 unique characters in the game... DOH! Too late to change my mind. I'm going to try posting my WIP regularly. I find this helps me stay focused on finishing something. :P

I like to start with a super rough idea of the full composition. I have the dragon on the upper left, the painter boss on the upper right, the catfish boss on the bottom... super clear, right? Then I will create my main grounding element that is the anchor for everything else in the image. In this image, I want to have the 4 main characters with their elemental spells in the center. 


Next I decided on weapons and abilities for the different characters and refined the sketch and composition a bit. Poison fish weilder FTW!

Here is the more refined guys for the center of the image. The VFX will change based on whats around them. Now the crazy part begins...

Here is my first stab at getting in all the bosses and most of the unique enemies. I always start ultra rough so its easy to iterate. I already moved stuff around for a while and I am overall happy with the basic layout. Things will inevitably move around as I start refining the character sketches. 


First major change to the first sketch is adding the Barbarian army. They are the main instigators at the start of the game and the enemy you fight the most. So I decided to add them to the front/center.

So I got some better sketches in. Medusa, the Corn Boss, Catfish, Cyclops and his best friend on the cannon piano. My favorite boss the painter and a couple of other things. I had to make a few layout changes for the Necro and Sandwitch bro. Still keeping things rough enough to make big edits. I think I will be able to get most of the other characters blocked in tomorrow. 

Here is the 90% finished comp. After putting the big and small versions of the barb and the theif, I decided it would be pretty annoying to have big and small versions of every guy. I'm still missing a few characters like the bee keeper and the fish man, I will get them in the mix after I get some of the linework tighter. The little circles are possible locations for the 28 pets. 

Now for my favorite part. The line art! This is a huge image so its going to take a while. :)


Ya gotta do what? I gotta believe!



Here are a couple of my favorite characters: Corn & King! I love that the king looks like an old prospector with missing teeth and a crown. A boss that is a cob of corn... completely absurd or pure brilliance? I think this proves that you can have both. :)


Time to start sprinkling in some of the 28 pets.



Ink job about 70% complete. If the business gets too crazy, I will start dropping in some quick values to make sure the composition is all still working well. 



Shut up Dragon! You are probably my least favorite boss in the game. Don't make me erase your punk ass! I'm almost done with the lineart. I'm working on a few other projects so it's taking a while, but I should be finished with the drawing and moving into values and color by the end of the week. 



Added some of the last characters: Open visor knight riding poop deer, Treasure Imp, Pet Nurse, Bee Keeper, Industry Prince with his epic hand machine, Brute, Forest Knight and a few others... this game has so many characters. Only 4 to get in to be finished with that. Still need a bunch more pets to be done. 



I took a break from that crazy drawing to try a quick color test on the main guys. This is a technique I pulled from Jouste, the lone artist from the indy crew at Slick Entertainment. They are working on a sweet Castle Crashers style game called Viking Squad. Check out their Dev Blog here:

He paints everything with a solid flat color then dupes the layer, darkens it and erases out selections to show lighting. Super quick technique that gets him some pretty amazing results. He runs a stream on Wednesdays at 4pm where he works on art for the game. GG! 


More pets! 18 down, 10 to go.



Here it is so far. Line work is 95% done. Still missing 10 pets and 1 character. Easy mode hint: Its a playable character. I will update when someone figures it out.  :)



I will updates this post every couple of days until complete.
See ya soon :)




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hilda of Lowrule

Now that Majoras Mask just came out. I figured I should finally get through Link Between Worlds. I am liking it far more than I expected. The rented items system and the 2D painted Link mechanic are brilliant additions to the franchise. So far its turning out to be my favorite Zelda game since Wind Waker. (2003)  Tornado Rod OP!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Summoners Rift

I havent updated my personal blog for a while. Here is a couple of shots from the Summoners Rift update which went live a few months ago. I had the incredible honor of leading the art team on this epic project. Mega props to the crew for all the great work! There is still a lot of work left to do, but its really come a long way. GG all!

Here is an amazing scrolling map that you can zoom in to see it all:  





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gamer for Life


We lost a good friend today. Kevin was a brilliant and unique character in every way. Visually, he was a large hairy white guy with tiny Asian eyes hidden under dark framed glasses. His straight, teethy smile and his crazy ass hair always made me laugh. You could always tell what he was thinking or about to say based on his posture and animation. I'm going to miss that kick your shins walk cycle and his awful impersonations. 

Kevin was a true gamer. We could argue all day about which classic Squaresoft characters were the best both in terms of story and mechanics. His love/hate relationship with Everquest, WOW and other MMOs was always entertaining to listen to. Weather he was bitching about losing another hardcore Diablo character or talking about the awesome new things happening on his amazing Minecraft server, he always had something entertaining to talk about.    

As a game dev, Kevin was a pillar of the best type of culture in our industry. He was a great, no bullshit communicator and a fantastic problem solver. He accepted peoples flaws and weaknesses and would help out in any way he could. Kevin always pushed us to improve and make our community stronger. He set up sketch groups, epic partys, gatherings, etc. He included everyone and made it cool to be a geek.

While I am sad that we were unable to deliver a hard copy of the Artbook to Kevin, I am glad we finished it and gave him the digital version so he could see all the great works that everyone contributed in his name. This image is how I will remember him. A great character who shared my love for making and playing great games. KKG, the great Cow and Cheese will be missed but never forgotten. Rest in piece, my friend.  


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 20

Im still a week behind on the July Sketch-A-Day. I should be able to catch up durring Thunderdome this week.


Here is a quick sketch of my second favorite character in LOL. Orianna is an incredible champ. Everything about her is so unique and interesting. If I did not suck so bad with her, she would definately be my main mid. As it stands, she is far too skill based for me. I will stick to my Ziggs and Lux mid picks for now. :P



Day19

I have played thousands of games. There are maybe 100 that I have had a wide range of emotions about. Of those, there are maybe 15 that I have laughed outlound, been upset and even angry about. Of those, Katamari has pulled off the greatest range of emotion for me. No epic storyline or dramatic million dollar cutscenes needed.


I have had extreme fear of the giant monster dog that keeps knocking things off my katamari and the incredible joy of finally being large enough to scare him and make him run away. Then chasing him across the level and finally cornering him. I laughed maniacally as I run him over and watch his now tiny legs flailing around in my giant ball. BWAHAHAHA! Then I look at the timer and realize the level is almost over. I panic as I think about how disapointed my father is going to be if I dont acheive a decent score or pick up enough 'shiny things' or whatever the goal for this specific level happens to be. Its mad dash time picking up everything I can. Suddenly I realize, I have already surpassed the target goal and Im on one of the best rolls in a long time. I find a swimming pool full of mirors, diamond rings and other shiny things and roll them all up with 2 seconds to spare. YES!!! The level ends with my fathers emotionless face summoning me home on the royal rainbow. I wait patiently through the loading screen feeling pretty good about my performance, then the King of the Cosmos speaks... "This is quite pathetic. Did you even try?"

I felt happiness, fear, excitement, panic, nervous, stress, pride, suprise, anger and sadness all in the span of 3 minutes playing Katamari. GG Namco.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 18

The final line art version of the Final Fantasy Trio image for the KKG artbook. These are my 3 favorite characters: Relm, Gogo and Mog. After nearly 20 years, this still has some of the best characters in games. GG old school Squaresoft. :)


Day 17

Chibi Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Yet another quick image for the KKG artbook. 


Day 16

Last weeks sketch group theme:  Guitar Mansion Zeppelin... definately some of my best white board work.


Day 15

The best villain in all of gaming: Kefka. Another Final Fantasy 6 image for the KKG artbook. 


Day 14

Sorry I have been slackin on posting. Just past the deadline on the KKG artbook. The laft few days were epic. We ended with just under 450 submissions! I will try to get back to posting now.

Graphic Frog from Chrono Trigger.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 13

Continuing to work on the FF6 piece for the KKG Artbook. Making some progress on Gogo.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 11

MOG!  As stated in the rules of Sketch-A-Day, it must be a new sketch every day. So of course this is definately not the same image I was working on yesterday. :P



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 10

Kind of cheating here. Not a new sketch. Working on the Final Fantasy 6 image some more today. Starting to detail Realm.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 9

Its...that weird... pink beaked creature that was in both Altered Beast and Golden Axe... 
Best sketch evar... Dont judge me, im trying to catch up.  :P


Day 8

Already the 11th? Managing the last few days of the KKG artbook is crushing my time. 
NO EXCUSES! I will catch up! 

Here is a sketch of my 3 favorite characters from Final Fantasy 6. Gogo, Realm and Mog.





Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Day 6

Kintaro from Mortal Kombat 2. I always thought the 4 armed tiger ppl was a much cooler version of the Goro race.


Day 5

Skeleton Archer from Minecraft. I will color this one later. 


Friday, July 04, 2014

Day 4

Another fun Mortal Kombat sketch. My favorite of the ladies, Katana. I'm a big... fan.
(this terrible pun is dedicate to Justin Albers)


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Day 3

Trying out a few different brushes today. Here is a simple Rydia (Final Fantasy 4) sketch. 



Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Day 2

Wednesday is always a feebee for sketch-a-day because we have Sketch Group! 

Tonights random theme: Cheese Bottle Badger!  

Check out the rest of the crews images here:  More crazy cheese bottle badgers!


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Day 1

JULY SKETCH-A-DAY is on! Post a new sketch every day on your blog if you want to join. It doesnt have to be anything fancy. If you only have time for a quick scribble, do it! :) I'm going to start a bunch of sketches for the KKG arbook. Here is a quick Mileena from MK2.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Altered Beast fanart for the KKG artbook

We are still having a tough time filling the Altered Beast section of the KKG artbook so I have been doing some sketches to help out. I recently watched a 13 min playthrough of the entire game and I must say, I remember it being much longer, more challenging and way more awesome. hehe. :)
Check it out here:  13 min of amazing!

 If anyone else knows the joy of Altered Beast and wants to contribute some art, please do. Check out the details and proggress of the book here: KKG arbook.com :)







Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summoners Rift visual update WIP


Its great to finally be able to show a preview of the work we have been doing. I'm incredibly proud of the team for all the hard work and itteration that has gone in to this so far. We still have a long way to go. We will continue updating in the coming months as we progress towards shipping to live. 

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Annie Sketch

My buddy Tim Hill asked me to do a quick Annie sketch for a friend who is leaving Riot. Tim is an awesome guy who is all about helping others however he can. He never asks for anything, so it was great to finally be able to help him out with something. :)