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Post Tagged with: Czepta Gold

Ludum Dare #28 – Road To Zion Part 01

Ludum Dare #28 – Road To Zion Part 01

This past weekend I participated in the popular game jam Ludum Dare. It is a competition to build a game in 48 hours to a theme that is voted on and presented at the beginning. All assets from sound, music, art and programming had to be created within the 48hours by one individual with whatever tools they liked. My goal for the jam was to simply participate and try to complete the most basic thing possible. I had not yet made any finished games and am still learning programming so I knew finishing a game of any kind was going to be a challenge.

DAY 01:

The Jam started at around 2pm on Saturday and I got started at around 4:30pm as I had been at a Gnostic meetup for most of the day. The theme was announced and it was an ambiguous one:

‘You only get one’

My initial Idea came fast – within the first 10 minutes of starting: An atmospheric auto-runner with a Rastafarian theme. I quickly sketched out how the game would look:

concept

I envisioned an epic widescreen slo-motion shot of a tiny character running across the screen with a trailing Ethiopian flag behind him and holding a crucifix scepter and crown. Most things I make have pyramids so a chucked a few of them in there to create a psychedelic African landscape. The specifics of what would happen in the game other than running was still a mystery but I decided to just dive into Gamemaker and start creating it.

I started in Gamemaker by just getting some blocks moving. I created the ground object and built a crude level including the pyramids.

spr_block_0 – Ground Object

Next I programmed another block that would be the character. This was relatively easy as I have been doing alot of this already in my Shark Slam game and all I really needed to add was a jump button and some gravity and collision detection. When the character was moving sufficiently I added in some temporary graphics for the sky and made a rising sun.

spr_sun_0- Rising Sun

I made most of the graphics in Gamemaker and with the mouse. I thought I might go back later and do some better ones but decided to finish the game first and do it only if I had time. Although part of me was really interested in achieving an abstract beauty by just using really raw pixel art.

Next I spent way too long trying to get the aspect ratio right. I wasn’t fully conversed with how Gamemaker’s view system worked and ended up with some warped screens. I noticed most of my problem was due to an optical illusion that made my square character look squashed as it fell out of the sky. This caused me a lot of headaches until I realized it was correct after all.

Once the aspect ratio was sorted I moved onto the next crucial component – the drifting flag. At this point I was starting to get tired as I had had and early morning. I got a particle system going for the flag but it wasn’t working correctly. I was trying to get it to look like it was waving in the wind and also had physics for when the player moved. This turned out to be a major pain. I tried for about 2 hours to get it working how I wanted but it just wasn’t happening. I was getting really tired and frustrated and suddenly felt a panic coming over me. I felt like I was going to fail and wouldn’t be able to finish anything in 48hours. I had a feeling like I really hadn’t learned anything this year and I was useless and this jam was really showing my how incompetent I really was. I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit.

I went to bed defeated.

 

 

 

20 December, 20130 commentsRead More
More his story, randomness and tutorials related to the learning of video game creation.

More his story, randomness and tutorials related to the learning of video game creation.

Morrowind-coverA few years ago I decided for a reason I have since forgotten to give up on being an animator and film director and decided to go to university. I never finished high school. I left when I was 16 to study animation in Auckland. Luckily in New Zealand one is able to gain entrance to University once they turn 20 if they do not have the required qualifications usually needed from high school. At the time I was obsessed with playing a couple of the Elder Scrolls games – Morrowind and Oblivion had just been released. These games really got to me. The depth of the world and the freedom was something that I had never experienced before. Then I discovered the Mod community which led me in even deeper. At the time there were many discussions about how to bring the world of Morrowind into the Oblivion game (which has since been done I believe) and I began digging around in the level editor and discovered how to bring the assets in. I began thinking of what I could do with this new found knowledge and made a failed attempt to create my own story based mod.

Anyway during this experience I became interested in the idea of learning computer science and so that’s what I enrolled in at Auckland University. It didn’t last long but I managed to complete the 101 course and so had my first experience programming. I enjoyed it a lot. We made a bunch of small games and I found programming itself a lot like a puzzle game whereby manipulating various  phrases you could make all kinds of cool things happen.

Now back to the present. My brief stint at Uni gave me a leg up now when I was starting to learn to code again. The basic concepts of how it works were still there so learning the language (Lua) was not completely alien. As I began to type it felt good like a fond memory and I began learning the language as quickly as a three year old. Although, what I’ve learned so far is just the basics.

This is what I have so far… ready for the app store right? My progress so far. I have my character (blue box) with controls working (swipe up = jump, swipe down = slide, swipe forward = attack), there is a random level generator, a “focus” bar that decreases over time and triggers a game over when it runs out. There are a few objects – blue orbs add focus, red ones decrease it. The red blocks are obstacles you must attack to pass through. There is also alot of collision stuff in there to make it so you have to slide to get through tunnels and so you can’t slide through obstacles etc.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Below are a couple of tutorials I completed to learn some of what I implemented above. Definitely worth doing if you are new to programming and learning corona.

Tutorials

Mobile tuts+: Corona SDK – Build and Endless Runner From Scratch!
Corona SDK – Game Tutorial

 

15 July, 20130 comments
History and SDKs

History and SDKs

It kind of happened suddenly. I was busy working on comic pages at my desk listening to indie game dev podcast when the host mentioned an SDK (software development kit, I had to look it up) named Corona. Enthusiastically he commented that ANYONE could make a game with it and perhaps a successful one at that. I’ve been doing comics for a while but knew that it is becoming more and more and niche medium and that if I was going to do them, they would have to be digital. There have been many different ways of doing digital comics but none of them felt quite right for what I was interested in doing. At some point I started listening to podcasts and watching videos of people making games and slowly the idea began to creep up on me. Here was a medium that used pictures and required interactivity where the only limit on what you can do is your imagination.

I’ve been a gamer my whole life since playing ‘Shufflepuck Cafe’ on my Nanna’s Amiga. Another early memory was playing ‘Jill of the Jungle’ off an assortment of floppy disks. I remember playing Doom, Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem 3D on friends PCs whenever I got the chance. My dad would occasionally bring back games from over-seas travels such as Myst, Grim Fandango and MechWarrior. On weekends it would be Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Tony Hawk once the Playstation came out.

I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own art in most mediums, film, music, comics, novels, but never considered making a game before. Games alway seemed like they just showed up from the aether, handed down by the gods of entertainment. When I got older it was obvious they required a tonne of technical skill, a lot of money and a lot of people.

Well, those days have changed. It is an incredible time to be making games right now. The tools available allow small teams and even individuals to create their own games without needing to be rocket scientists. And not only on the development side but the market for games today is ravenous. People cannot get enough of games and now more people than ever can and want to access them. Suddenly making a game seems like the most obvious thing to do.

corona2_GzOLbIAfter looking at the various development kits available such as Unity,  Cocos 2dx, Love, Gamesalad, GameMaker and Stencyl, it turned out that the one I had heard of originally, ‘Corona‘ was the right fit for me. It is cross platform for iOS and Android, has a built in Box2D physics engine and uses a simple language known as LUA. I was interested in learning to program so wanted an SDK that would allow me to learn which knocked out the ‘drag and drop’ engines like game salad. I also knew I wanted to go 2D so I could easily create the art myself so that ruled out Unity which is a 3D engine. After the last couple of months of learning in my spare time I’ve started to get the hang of Lua coding and started putting the foundation of my game together.

In the next post I will talk about how I began learning the basics of coding and making games and how I decided on what kind of game to make first.

Peace!

CZG

CZEPTA @ International Tattoo Expo Hamilton

CZEPTA @ International Tattoo Expo Hamilton

We had a Czepta stall up at the Hamilton International Tattoo Expo a couple of weekends ago. Sold a bunch of Czepta collectors packs and met a bunch of crazy and cool people. Was also doing a lot of personalized commission sketches and got quite a few interesting requests including a lot of zombies and superheroes. We had a great time and looking forward to doing it again next year.

For those other comic creators out there it is definitely worth checking out conventions that may relate to the subject matter of your comic or project rather than just comic conventions. A lot of the mainstream public has a great interest in art and comics and will be amazed to see it being done as they don’t typically know anything about the culture or comic expos. Therefore you could find yourself a new market and create some new comic fans!

Thanks to all the supporters of Czepta and I hope everything is going well for you and your projects!

Peace!

Czepta G

 

11 March, 20130 commentsRead More
Tools of the Trade: Layout, Pencilling, Inking

Tools of the Trade: Layout, Pencilling, Inking

Tools

Pretty much my complete arsenal for non-digital work:

  1. Triangle Ruler (Used for ruling most lines. Particularly useful for vertical right angles like panel borders)
  2. T-Square (Good for horizontal lines)
  3. French Curve (For inking clean curves)
  4. Craft Knife (For cutting paper to the correct page size: 27.94cm x 43.18cm)
  5. Cheap Technical Pencil – BIC 0.7mm (To do concept and layout sketches)
  6. White Eraser (To erase big areas)
  7. Expensive Technical Pencil – Staedtler Mars Technico (For doing final page pencils 2H-3H leads)
  8. Pen Eraser – Uni Auto Eraser (Erasing small areas)
  9. BIC Red Ballpoint Pen (To make notes on the script and layouts)
  10. Rotring ArtPen (Flat nib calligraphic pen for getting certain ink lines)
  11. Prismacolor Col-Erase Blue (For throwing down sketch lines to work from)
  12. Winsor & Newton #3 Cotman 111 (Just for filling in blacks)
  13. Hunt #102 Quill Pen (General inking)
  14. Toilet Paper (For cleaning ink off stuff)
  15. Water (To wash brush/pen)
  16. Pebeo India Ink (For use with brush and quill)
  17. SCRIPT (Without this there’s not much to draw)

Missing

- Kneaded Eraser (For cleaning pencils off finished line art)

- Paper – Bristol Board

12 February, 20130 comments
Trading Card Memories

Trading Card Memories

C

 

In ’94-’95 basketball trading cards were hot in my school in Papakura, Auckland. For a while we collected these until we discovered the ’95 Fleer Ultra X-MEN cards that you could buy from the new Card Crazy vending machines and stores that were popping up in shopping malls and other places. When I got my first pack of these it was a magical experience. The cards came in a Gold foil package reminiscent of the golden ticket from willy wonka. When you opened it the smell that came out was of newness. Each pack contained 10 cards and you never knew what you were gonna get. Each card had an amazing piece of art with gold foil embossing. And if you were lucky you’d find a rare Suspended Animation card or Sinister Observation. These ones utilised special printing techniques such as chromium, holograms and clear plastic.

I also collected the ’95 Fleer Ultra Spiderman cards which were equally high quality.Anyway It’s been a dream of mine to create my own trading card set. So here is the #0 card for the Czepta trading card set. Which comes with the collectors edition. I tried to replicate the quality of the X-Men cards in my own style, gold foil and all.
17 December, 20120 comments
Back in the day.

Back in the day.

Czepta will be back with major updates over the next couple of weeks. Things have been really busy as we prepare to wrap on Spartacus so unfortunately I haven’t had time to get on with the comic. Good news though is that after this week I’ll be on Czepta full time. I can’t wait! I got so many plans for the story I can’t wait to put em into action!

Here’s a little glimpse of my progression over the years. I drew this picture of a character I invented called ‘Gath’ (haha great name I know) when I was about 15. Back then I was an anime freak. We had just started finding out about stuff like DBZ on the internet (56kb stylez) but these were the days when not many in NZ really had ever heard of anime or manga. We had Pokemon and Sailor Moon but those were their own thing. They preceded the anime onslaught that was about to happen.

Anyway I found this in my backups today and thought I’d draw a little fanart of him.

Enjoy!

 

- Czepta

27 September, 20120 comments
Czepta Daily #001

Czepta Daily #001

During the day I draw storyboards for the TV show Spartacus to make those dollars.

14 August, 20120 comments
Czepta interview on BaseFM!

Czepta interview on BaseFM!

 

Digging Deeper with Czepta Gold by Digidubs On Basefm.Co.Nz on Mixcloud

 

Thanks to Timmy B and Boston Rodriguez of DigiDubs: http://www.digidubs.co.nz/

13 August, 20120 comments
Czepta Behind The Scenes – The Idea: What’s in a name?

Czepta Behind The Scenes – The Idea: What’s in a name?

CZEPTA

The story of Czepta has been manifesting itself in my mind for about two years now. It has become the means for me to express my views on the world and human society today and where I would like to see us go. The story has grown organically, feeding off many of the experiences and lessons I’ve accumulated during this time. Some small and some dramatic. I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life, create my own stories, specifically in comic book form. This is my Dream. My childhood dream, which also happens to be the main theme of “Czepta”, Dreams. What they are, why they are important, and how they are the key to saving ourselves and this world we call home. Dreams are the essence of enlightenment and unless we start living like enlightened beings, our problems both personal and global, are only going to get worse.

The title of this comic, and of the main character is “Czepta”. This is a word I created during a time when I was looking for a new name to go by as an artist. I was looking for something that described and represented all I hoped to achieve and become. So, in effect I would have to rise and embody it. Like Clark Kent, the weak newspaper reporter, I felt I needed to create a Superman persona that could beat my personal weaknesses into submission. Imprisoned by my own personality, I had (and have) many bad habits and methods that were blocking my path to success. Often it seems like only Superman could break through the barriers between me and my goal.  To get all the things done that I wished to achieve, I needed to become someone stronger than my current self.

I wanted a name that would embody all of the positive things I hoped to become. So I envisioned the type of character that would have a name like “Czepta”. “Czepta” originates from an altered spelling of “scepter” and these are often made of gold and held by Kings and Queens. So by analysing these properties, I got a clearer understanding of the meaning of this name. Gold; the precious metal that symbolizes the enlightened self. King and Queen; the masters of their domain. The things I longed for most were embodied in this name. By changing the spelling to something I found visually appealing, it became personalized and made my own. Then by creating a ‘tag’ or signature of it and writing it hundreds of times I bonded it to my subconscious. Now I am the Czepta, and I’m on a mission to live up to, and embody the name. If you feel like you might need a little push to overcome your own personal weaknesses try thinking up your own ‘super-persona’ and ask what qualities they might embody. If you could be anyone you want, who would it be? And most importantly, what’s their name?

Czepta

Czepta: The Prophet Rides again

As I began creating art under the name “Czepta”, I began to have ideas that “Czepta” could be more than just a name, it could be a mythology. A legend about a world where a Czepta was an enlightened warrior who’s mission was to enlighten others and free them from all forms of mental and physical slavery. I had the idea that anyone could strive to and become a Czepta. The image of a girl, physically scarred from a life of struggle, armoured in gold symbolizing her attainment of enlightenment (along with a ‘third eye’ embedded in her helmet), carrying the symbol of her title, a crescent shaped scepter, was born. This was to become “Halima” the character that is the Czepta in my new comic series.

Now I had a character, I needed a world for her to inhabit. My first thought was to create a fantasy world of my own imagining, but then I thought perhaps we could use a hero such as this in our own world or at least my interpretation of the world.

A world that looks like the fabled city of Babylon…

Babylon City, Aotearoa

To Be Continued…

 

13 June, 20120 comments