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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Friday, March 31, 2017

And So It Goes

It's been many years I maintained this blog, but like Zuma Blitz, it's time to set sail to something new.

During this time back in 2009, I created this blog, in an hopes to join my other friends who were on the blogging platform as well during college, with posts serving as conversation pieces. It has within that same span also become a hub for Zuma Blitz related material, as well as other games I supported, putting my blog on the map.

Now with college long gone, the major games this blog centered on its way out, and my exploration options limited with a fulltime job, my topics I cover is limited to places and events I have time to go to, as well as commentary, and my reach is based on how well it does on search results.

I realize that the amount of people irl who actually knew about the existence of this blog was much less than I hoped to expect, especially post-college, where none of the people who I met would know my username, much less this blog. The audience was intended to be those who found it either from searching for certain topics (by chance alone), or my username from facebook / twitter when trying to find me on other sites. But after I find the majority of people who I know irl that it was intended to reach were skipping right past this and my content was not being factored in either what they know about me or their posts, I realize this has lost its true purpose, and as a result I've decided to retire this blog.

I'd like to thank the readers that have followed and gave me the motivation to continue posting about things.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Render: Stockton in Krita

One of my first in progress drawings for the year is using Krita to recreate a shot from a picture that I recently took. Of course after several attempts I couldn't get it looking how I wanted it to be, so I focused on something smaller instead in order to get this post out. More specifically, the downtown BofA building that's set to close in Jun 2017. I'll try to focus more on recreating the entire picture in the future, but I don't know when.

This took much longer as usual because of having to learn perspective, and the sheer difficulties in allocating time blocks to do these things (In reality it is much busier during my off-time then at work). Since it's hard to have completely free weekends, I have many days where I don't have time to even pick up the stylus, much less plan something out.

I've been thinking of the events that arose earlier this year for weeks, with a lot of theories made on this (a full list on the read more section), and I've come to these conclusions: Regardless of what caused it, it was inevitable, and ultimately there wasn't anything I could've done to change this. It brings a lot of unanswered questions, but it wouldn't matter since I would never be able to ask anyways, and because there are much bigger issues that I need to deal with.

I've probably gone over my head on setting this goal, but I have reached the point where I cannot walk away from this, so I must deliver something, regardless of how I might be judged. I may not have the capabilities to make things that appeal to the thousands on a regular basis (assuming I have enough luck to reach them in the first place), but I have to be timely and ensure that they meet minimum quality standards.

I probably have some leeway here since I can backdate posts and update images server-side but I won't be able to do that once it goes on tumblr/twitter.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Stockton Chinatown Exhibit - Lion Dance Opening

The Lion Dance group on the parade route at the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum; they were opening their new Stockton Chinatown exhibit, which goes on from January to May; admission was free today but parking is not.

Some other events going on here include Mah Jongg, Tai Chi demonstrations, Arts and Crafts, and Lunch.

There is an article about this event here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 in Art

With a fulltime job, I can spend less of my free time focusing on various programming languages and more on pursuing creative projects. My goal (and new year's resolution) for 2017: Produce as much quality artwork as possible during the year.

The goal is designed to achieve the following things:

  • Put a new tablet to use and establish expertise in Krita
  • Improve my own drawing skills (from almost nothing)
  • Turn text-only concepts into something that is more 'visual' and 'creative'
  • Produce an alternative set of sprites for Americana Engine
  • Learn Speedpainting
  • Get better known out there to the general public
  • Get out of the few active followers hole on Twitter

I'll probably put up a dedicated page for this, but for the most part these images need to be present on tumblr / twitter with the proper tags to be effectively visible to the proper audiences*, so I'll put the better ones up there, and include all WIPs and commentaries on this blog.

Things I will probably be working on (will add to later):

  • Profile / Cover image
  • Hard Drive icons
  • Chibis (including paper ones)
  • Drawings to explain various posts
  • Shadow casting
  • Rare pairings
  • Beancoons
  • Water Effects
  • Glow Effects
  • UX stuff
  • 3D display effects (Wiggle and Split Depth)
  • Some things from 2011
  • Zuma Blitz closure

Notes:

  • I can't be truly motivated unless I base my quantity / quality of work off of someone who's active and who I've knew or seen IRL, so I set my benchmark against Tv's artblog in 2016 (around 170); picking up this speed should allow me to fulfill deadlines on a more timely basis and participate in collabs without holding anyone back*.
  • I will probably focus on a variety of topics; the general idea would be to plan ahead substantially to avoid running out of ideas.
  • This post will be updated in the future, and this post may include its own image as well.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Heading Into the Unknown


When the walls fell

Today marks the end of the first week of a new year - 2017. And today marks the end of a major original-content artblog that I was following for 2+ years, as well as the end of an era where the people I knew from college posted on tumblr on a regular basis. It became empty, filled with posts from people who I could care less about. More importantly, it marked the complete end of new OC content from people I knew IRL who I could get ideas from, which took priority over all other things - it's now completely deserted.

I would be better off explaining my relation to Tv and any commentary on internal things as well as any anon asks that I did / did not send off at some point in the future (I had various ideas from 2013 that I could finally get to now), but I will provide a summary here.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Return to Twitter


So I can see all my five year old posts at a glance.

As I begin to transition up to the smartphone era, I may be getting back to Twitter. Now that I'm back to a fulltime job, my smartphone will probably get significantly more usage time than before, and I'll need to find new ways to be informed about current events as I can't use RSS feeds here (I've used this since 2009 to keep me up to date, and I have no fewer than 70 on my main computer).

I have had worse experiences there when I was active five years ago with more spam accounts following my twitter than there were actual ones; however, there's probably a better chance of people noticing content there (with mentions / tags / media) than on this blog, which actually takes me longer to write these posts than the total time people spent reading them, so it's probably worth another go.

Unlike the past, twitter posts will now focus more towards what (and who) I care about as well as topics that interest me the most.

My next goal is to figure out what to start posting on a regular basis; most likely it will contain content I would normally post here (but are too short to be considered a post), any art posts, as well as commentary on other posts.

Process:

  • Wipe old posts that were more intended to be towards closer hs-era friends
  • Unfollow inactive, empty, or spammy compromised accounts (may be archived to list if I need to refer back to it later)
  • Like any posts that interests me, based on my following list (or accounts I have viewed) - this is approximate due to searching for various keywords for each person I was following, and I might miss posts that I might otherwise like. I won't hesitate to like posts retroactively (up to a max of two years). No retweets will be done during this time.
  • Create private lists, add people to list, and unprotect the list (accounts are not notified they were added during this phase)
  • Unprotect Twitter (most follower requests will be accepted). I may or may not have recent posts up for a short period of time after this happens.
  • Follow a lot more people. My twitter suggestions list is bad enough that I wouldn't follow a single one there, so I'll figure out who to follow manually - this might take some time. Most sites and people whose posts I'm currently reading on a regular basis (via RSS) are also followed if possible. They might be added to a side list instead (that I check regularly) if they don't fit who people expect me to follow, or they consistently occupy too much or too little of my main timeline.
  • Will start retweeting at 50 followers.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Americana Dawn: (Old) Official Soundtrack

The old Americana Dawn soundtrack used in the RPGMaker/C++ engine era has now been recently released on Soundcloud, with commentary and the cover art for each of the songs from screenshots spanning between the two eras (including songs that didn't make it between the transition). However, what's more interesting is the backstory regarding the release of these tracks.

The soundtrack descriptions might reveal spoilers and important plot points about the game, though it may not be relevant anymore considering the fact that AD may be headed into a new direction. Notably, this includes Cadence; despite her appearing in various pieces of concept art in 2013, her character bio included in the soundtrack was never publicly released.

It is worth noting that as the result of this music no longer being used in the game, none of the original assets as seen in the original (2012) Kickstarter trailer will be part of the final product.

None of the official game pages have made mention of this album release.