Back to Work

Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! The holiday break was a good one for us. We braved -20C weather and snowy mountain roads to visit some family and friends, ate probably twice our body weight in food and dessert, and introduced Rochelle to the war documentary "Canadian Bacon."

Then, I partook in Steam and GOG's holiday sales, and bolstered my game library with the first new titles in almost a year. For about the cost of dinner at a restaurant, I picked up FTL, Morrowind, Heroes of Might and Magic III, Age of Empires III, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I figured I'd catch up on some classics, and sprinkle some new romps in the mix. So far, I'm really enjoying them!

Alas, I had to get to work some time, so today was my first day back. I had to update the website for a security patch, and then spent the rest of the day working on an encounter painting for the DMC gates.

The painting is really starting to look better today. I finished all of the skyscrapers in the backdrop, and started working on detail for the gate itself, and traffic entering/exiting. I also started applying lighting to the scene, adding shadows to ground the pedestrians and vehicles, and glows over sources of light.

I still need more detail on the gates, namely to make them more cluttered and lived-in. They're too clean right now. And there definitely has to be more traffic. It's not the only gate into the city, but it should still be busy.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with where it's going. I had some lack of confidence before vacation, but I think a lot of that was due to the image lacking shading and light. Now that things are starting to reflect and shadow each other, it looks more like a painting, and less like a bunch of random objects collaged together. The added detail helps too.

Tomorrow, I'll likely pick up where I left off: on traffic detail. I'll see what I can do to weather the walls and gate, too. And I'll likely need to step back for a bit, and see what I think about signage and color in the background. It looks pretty good right now, and has some good variety in detail, but it's a bit monotone. A splash of colored logos or neon might be in order.

Have a good night all, and see you tomorrow!


UltimaVirus's picture

Welcome back! I don't have the slightest clue why you'd be lacking in confidence. You're doing an excellent job doing something very difficult. This game is, as far as I've seen, very unique and encompasses a lot of very particular game mechanics that I find to be excellent. You honestly have no other direction to go but forward with this project.

drakcothedark's picture

Ah Morrowind... The amounts of hours I spent combing through planetelderscrolls for mods to try was ridiculous! Glad your vacation was good Dan!

dcfedor's picture

Lack of confidence comes with being an artist (visual or otherwise), I think. It's easy to look at one's own work and notice the faults, especially if it's a work in progress. However, that same self-consciousness is what drives us to create better art, so it's not all bad!

And I went the lazy route with Morrowind: MGSO 3.0. So far, I'm not disappointed. The visuals hold up surprisingly well, and many of the tweaks I looked over in the config menus seemed really cool. It's hard to say how much it improved over the vanilla install, since the last time I tried that was years ago. But I'm enjoying it, and that's what counts!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Nickboom's picture

Dan you should so do a run on FTL and post it here when you have some off time see maybe if you can beat my scores :3
Anywho could you possibly relese one of the pictures or part of one that you think is good so we can see

Official Trained Dogman

JohnPalb's picture

Welcome back, Dan. Sounds like you had a good time running around in the snow. We got hit with about a 2' total accumulation over the holiday where I'm at, and that's always an adventure. Good time to hunker down and fatten up, if you got the resources. Just gotta be careful with whom you do it, as every family has it's own "dogman" or two(you know, those special people who're just waiting in the shadows to bite your head off, if given half a chance. :).

I ended up plunking down the sale price Steam was offering for FTL as well. Nice time waster, that. I enjoy the fact that as you start to unlock ships in that game, it drastically changes the way you approach encounters, which just enhances the replayability. It also tends to be very unforgiving of bonehead moves, same as your work here.

I chose not to look at the artwork you posted, as I would rather save that for an in-game experience. I would say that the artwork, while pleasant when it pops up, is not my main draw to this game though. It's the game mechanics, as well as the general ambiance you present through story and setting and sound. The feeling of danger and struggling through life in a survivalist mode is captured very well.

So, again, welcome back! I'm definitely looking forward to whatever new developments you have in store for us neo scavangers.