Finishing The Tasks

Hooray! I’ve finally finalized the logo for my current indie game project, Truth. Well, not exactly “finalized”. I still need to decide between a couple of minor design treatments, but at least the general mood is down. I’ve settled for a neoclassic + light grunge mood, evoking stone and rough textures against a dark background.

I’ve also done my Patreon posts for next month, which is an awesome thing since it has been bugging me for a few weeks now. The art took quite a bit of time to complete so I was only able to complete them now. I still need to type out my $5 article, but I hope I can finish it by day’s end. I made this surprise minigame extra too, so I’m excited how that will turn out.

I hope whoever’s been reading my blog don’t mind these update-y blog posts. I’ve been quite busy the past couple of days because I’ve got to get a lot of stuff done by the month end.

Overall, I’ve finished most of the tasks I’ve set out to do, with two more days to aim for 100%. It’s a good welcome to the next month!

Anyway, it’s back to work for me!

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The 20th post agenda

It’s the 20th post! I hope nobody minds that I celebrate every other milestone of posting on my daily blog! I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to a blog this long! *trumpets blare*

Let’s see, so what is the agenda today?

  • Finish the brainstorming for Truth’s visual framework
  • Finish Truth’s demo chapters
  • Write posts for my Patrons
  • Renew lease
  • Pay bills

I’m hoping I could finish these before April is done. It’s a very tight fit, and I’m worried I might not be able to finish the Truth tasks before the month ends. The past few days have been pretty hectic with personal stuff, and I need to catch up with my projects soon.

Yesterday I’ve done some research on what kind of design I want to implement for Truth. I read up about different art and design movements, trying to think of a solid core concept for it. A part of me knows I might be thinking too much. It’s part of my nature to be fastidious. When I don’t know how to start, I make a plan. The plan gets out of hand most of the time. I get too nitpicky and end up exhausting energy on the “plan” alone. I should just get my butt moving and work.

Oh but there’s gonna be MERMAY art prompt for May *gets distracted by shiny thing*, maybe I can do a little doodle of a mermaid a day hehe! That would be fuuun!

Tiny Update

We are nearing the 20th post on our daily blog and it feels good to be sticking to something this much!

These past few days I’m just finishing up on my drawings. I wanna draw more everyday, along with writing for the game, but before that happens, concepting for Truth’s UI comes first. Hopefully, I get to finish all the art I’ve started and start with the game soon.

I’m having a hard time thinking of a concept for Truth’s UI. It always starts out pretty clunky and unattractive (as all art does), so as usual, I’d have to brainstorm for a day or two. When I’m done with it, I’ll post an in-depth process on Patreon and on Fervent’s devblog how I brainstorm a UI concept.

I’m also trying to figure out how to put a newsletter in my blog, but it seems WordPress (the poor one) doesn’t allow outer html to work. Hmm.. I guess I have to start thinking of cheap website options.

As for now, my entry is going to be short! *Rolls up sleeves* Let’s get to work!

 

Last week of April!

It’s the last week of April and also the end of the first quarter of the year. That’s right folks, we are now entering Phase II of 2018. Doesn’t it feel a little too fleeting?

I’ve always got mixed feelings about endings. I never know what to do with such a fragile thing. There is a sense of accomplishment, however. Seeing something through to the very end is a rare reward for a fickle mind like me. Slowly and surely I’m building up my “focus muscles” through these daily blog posts and joining groups that keep me accountable.

Speaking of which, I’m happy to report I finally finished the April book for a book club started by Glaiza, which was “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz. By 70% of the book, I was itching to read the reveal, to know the mystery about the last book the fictional author wrote before he died. I ended up thinking “this better be worth it in the end” since the pace and set up was well done. Kinda reminds me how we look for meaning in our lives and liken it to fiction. Reality is messy. There’s just too many possibilities. Maybe we need stories to inject the necessary meaning in our lives; that wholeness that’s often obtuse in our day to day struggles.

Anyway, I have also finished the artwork I made for my Patrons! They turned out pretty good, and I offered to make some more for my other friends to get me to practice drawing again. Maybe I could offer it as a commission when I gain more confidence

I only have one week left to finish the UI for Truth though, so I better get to it.

I’ll put my fingers in all the pies, come and stop me

Yesterday I wrote about the different kinds of pressure and how it can impede the creative process. I posted it on my Discord channel, surprised that almost everyone related to the flightly, bipple-bopple rumba of jumping from one interest to the next.

I talked about this with The Wise One (my boyfriend, obviously, since he’s just so full of witty-isms), and we discussed what it means to have several interests. Unlike the rest of us mortals, le wise one has problems focusing too much on one given thing that he has little interest on others (thank goodness I’m one of them *sweats*). He started learning art when he as 14 and has never looked back. The results speak for themselves, as his art is amazing! I’ve been jealous of his continued rise to power and it’s a good thing he has an 80-year-old man’s opinion on social media, or else he will be too powerful to stop.

Despite his razor sharp focus, he acknowledges our differences, and he’s the first one to encourage me about my changeable tastes.

There is an idea about nurturing this spontaneity, embracing the multi-faceted levels of your interests. If you want to do both art and writing, you can. If you want to do both music and bungee jumping, you can! The world is not limited to just one thing, and with our world bombarded with so many cool and interesting ideas, it needs this creativity more than ever. Originality is mixing two different concepts to come up with a new homogeneous mix after all, and maybe your hodgepodge of eclectic tastes will inspire a new genre. No matter what you do, I am also in the belief that all those things will have a unique touch that tie them together as yours. It will have an identity.

The caveat of course, is if you want to do two things at the same time, you must do both things at the same time. This means double the effort, double the time. It will probably take you longer creating a career out of “playing saxophone as I paint a portrait with my bare foot” than pursuing either one.

Still, this does encourage me to cultivate my different tastes. I don’t have to feel bad for my changeability. I won’t punish my fickleness. I am a changeable, moving, living, breathing thing, and I can move anyway I want. Instead of fickleness, let’s call it curiosity, let’s call it being open-minded. In your twilight years, what really matters is if you’ve lived your life to the fullest anyway!

Pressure: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

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Around two years ago, I’ve decided that  I wanted to be an artist. I signed up for an online art program, got oil painting lessons and filled out sketchbooks of drawing studies and notes. When I told my closest friends and family about it, they were a little concerned. I understood it. After all, just about a couple years ago, I was fronting a band. We had a few gigs around the area, it had a facebook, youtube and an online profile, won a few contests, got a handful of followers and slowly but surely, died a natural death of neglect.

But surely art is different! I’ve been drawing since I was a kid! I love looking at art and I want to be paid doing it too!

Unfortunately for that young naive girl, she will soon discover visual novels and games and realize NOW she wants to do that. She’s sure of this one this time. Take back another five or so years ago, she wanted to be a jeweler. Another two years before that, she wanted to be a graphic designer. And if you go even further back another five years, she wanted to be a mangaka. She’ll learn Japanese and everything! She’ll fly to Japan and make it happen!

None of those things came to pass. But wait, there is a lesson in this drab, depressing story and it’s this: Pressure is all in the head, and there are different kinds.

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La famille

I never felt like I’ve belonged anywhere. Not to any one place or person. I’ve been uprooted and replanted many times, shifted affections from opposing ideals to another. I experienced a kind of mental whiplash that I only notice now, having been brought up as a polite Asian kid. I have to accept things given to me without wanting them. Hand-me-downs, gossip, attempts at religious conversions, etc. I took all of these with confused gratefulness. I must be happy people give me stuff, right?

Broken homes and warring parents, painful words that melt skin. “I never bad-mouthed her! anyway, she used to flick your lip without any reason”, what does bad-mouthing mean to you anyway? No. No. I’ll break your belongings since you didn’t do what I say. Oh but I love you. I love you. Pick her and her toxic ideals. Pick him for his cowardice. Pick the other person because you have to.

I’ve only yet realized that I don’t have to accept things given to me without my consent. I didn’t want them, so why is there guilt in inheriting the bones of unearthed blame and hatred? So I took them because they were handed to me, locked in this cycle of accepting “rewards”, keeping them for the sake of waggling tongues, then realizing they are much too heavy to bear, discreetly discarding them, losing them, shedding them like skin. I feel much freer, but then people will come along to chastise me for doing it.

Why are you so ungrateful? They helped you a lot, you know? You accepted them. Now you don’t want them. It’s part of you. Take it. Take it. Don’t you dare run away. Don’t you dare hide.

In a culture where the ties that bind are so tight they stifle, there is no sympathy for people who dare break away. But can they blame me for running? I am a simple person. Most of anything, I want a happy life. I see something toxic, I avoid it. I don’t confront. I have far better things to do. I’d rather cultivate a life of choices, of people I want to be with because they enrich my life. This may be a form of cowardice, I have accepted this. I am not nearly strong enough to face it. But perhaps, this is me growing the strength to say no, I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to be subjected to mental torture, to exhaust my good cheer, to poison my well of good nature and expect me to want more. I don’t want to be guilt-tripped into doing things I don’t want to do. I don’t want to sit in a chair and forced to drink poison that change me into a monster. It isn’t about the fights or the opposing ideas. There are simply, people who suck you dry.

So can you really blame me for running?

The funny thing is yes, in fact they could. And they will.

 

 

Time better spent

From this day forward, I’ve decided that I was going to give myself a time limit in writing my journal entries. Usually I spent 1-2 hours just drafting them. That’s all well and good, but if I really want to keep this sustainable, it might not be a good idea to give it a better chunk of my mornings. It isn’t the blogging itself that’s the problem, but I usually lose focus during the writing. I click on this, and then I chat with that. I check my phone. I doodle. It all eats up the time, and on top of that, I have an unfinished entry.

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So now I’m going to use a Pomodoro timer for my daily blogs. If you haven’t heard of it,  Pomodoros are timers that run for 25 min of focused work, and allows you a 5 min break. I’ve always used them to time myself to take breaks every 25 minutes or so, since I use a standing desk to help my posture. I use Tomighty for this exact purpose and it works really well with my workflow. I’m thinking of using it for my blogging as well.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice quality because of time constraint, so I had an idea of typing down the main thought I want to write about the night before. Rough notes, snippets, and things I’ve discovered or done during the day along with any other ideas I have can go in the drafts the night before.

I think time-limiting tasks forces you to focus on one task at a time. If you’re anything like me at all, distraction is a cute and friendly creature. It’ll come by when you’re busy, hang on your head, showing you all sorts of fun things on the internet. It means well, and it’s almost always hard to get rid of (they are the welcome oasis for your pressure-cooked brain), but if I don’t strap on and get crackin’, another day is wasted. I can’t blame “Distraction” as my main problem. It’s always there after all. It’s a permanent fixture in life.

I really like Pomodoros too, because you’re given that five-minute breathing room to recuperate and prevent mini burn outs. Going over a certain limit also helps you let go of an entry. It’s done. It’s out of your hands. Don’t over-edit cos it’s time to get going! Gotta tackle other important things in your day!

Try it if this method works for you and let me know your results!

Fishies Making Kissy Faces

Ahhh another day saved from going out! My brother called me last second to inform me that an aunt is expecting to come in my place, and the tickets to the graduation is all sold out. Since my mom has the other ticket, I couldn’t go even if I wanted to (and I wasn’t that keen anyway), so I let the adults go and accompany my bro on his special day.

To celebrate not going out (partay like an introvert can!), I did my laundry and did some general cleaning around the house (Uhmm… partay??). After that, my boyfriend and I went out to get some shopping done. I wanted to buy more veggies after I got that cold a couple of days ago. I think my body needs more nutrients and less snacking on that peanut butter jar lol! After shopping, we went and fed the koi fish in the pond in the afternoon.

I caught two of them bumping into each other in a frenzy to get the crackers and it looks like they’re kissing lol!

I spent the rest of the evening tinkering around my Tumblr blog (new blog skin yay!) and brainstorming possible game play ideas for Truth. I did have a breakthrough on it yesterday, but it needs a little bit of fine tuning before I can prototype it. It’s a simple drag and drop mechanic, but with the concept of runes and locks, I think I may have a  mechanic that follows the concept of the game (thank god), and pleasant/interesting enough for a couple of uses. For anyone trying their hand at designing game play, some of the things I had to keep in mind are:

  1. Does it fit with the UI and visual design of the game?
  2. Does it make sense in the story, and doesn’t distract from the flow of the narrative?
  3. Does it add substance to the game?

Whether or not I have succeeded in designing a good mechanic is yet to be judged as things like game play is subjective. We’ll see how it fares when it’s in the hands of the audience!

(Woohoo, I posted this just in the knick of time, 11:59AM!)

Wednesday Free form

If you read my blog entry yesterday, you’re aware that I’ve been sick with fever and colds. I’m happy to announce that I’m feeling much better today. My throat is still scratchy but my fever has gone down and I’m able to hear through both ears ahh.

Usually, I have an idea on what I’m going to write for a blog post. Today, I wanted to change stuff up. I just want to write free form, and let the ideas roam on its own.

I’m on my second chapter of Truth, and I’ve stumbled across a wall called “Gameplay”. I think I’ve got the story down pretty tight, but the game play mechanic is still a bit hazy, apart from the fact I’m not sure if I should even put it in at all. It’s stopping me from actually calling a chapter “finished”, and I still have to do the UI design by the end of this month. Ah… So much stuff to do. I’d have to brainstorm on it today and finally get it over and done with. There are ideas I’ve been tossing around for it and maybe I’ll write them down on the blog when I have a more concrete mechanic.

Tomorrow, I’m going to my brother’s graduation and he wants me to arrive in the venue around 5AM. Dude, they’d better be giving away a house for the first five attendees if you want me to wake up when the rooster’s barely crowed. At the risk of sounding like a complete and utter trash of a sister, I’m not that much of a fan of watching a long line of people walk slowly up and around a huge auditorium. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my brother’s achievements. But 5AM?! He seems to overestimate my fondness of him. (Ahh.. maybe I’ll liveblog the event tomorrow hehe!)

Anyway, That’s all I have today! See you tomorrow!