onsdag 28 november 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

… 51k and done. Unless I get a fit later, before the month is out, and press on. Could reasonably happen, truth be told, because Nri is in a good place and I know where to take him, Solique is opening up, and Shmil is moving too.
Not a single word was written about Catlas, Ghysantrine, Nasreen, Dinatus, or Yselle. Which… well, I miss them a bit but Nri was on a roll. He makes up approximately 2/3 of those 51k. And there’s still more happening, just around the corner for him.

But for now… a little rest and a lot of learning Maya. Despite the book being the worst educational book I have ever had. Ugh.

But! Today the Think Ink exhibition starts! So that's something to look forward to at least :D

måndag 19 november 2012

Such a headache

It's been lasting for... oh about 3-4 hours now. The pills haven't kicked in and I just want it to stop so I can get back to work. So, while I wait for that to happen, an update.
Amanda and I finished and updated the admittedly not beautiful comic review of the Bioware dinner last week.

Think Ink has an exhibition coming up on the 28th (more about that here, Swedish only though) and so I sat down and finished that Shmil piece in a hurry, before sending it off to the printers and... it's possibly the source of my headache. But it's done! With a background!
Now... I should probably cook something. Maybe that will help.

söndag 4 november 2012

Bioware dinner and Gamex 2012

It's no secret that I'm a huge Bioware fan. Baldur's Gate was the first game I really loved and it sent me headfirst into fantasy and Viconia and the trip into the Underdark in the sequel made me fall in love with drow for what seems to be for life. Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Star Wars the Old Republic have eaten large chunks of my life (I regret nothing).

Three weeks ago Amanda and I got invited to a Bioware fan dinner by Lion Martinez. I reacted like the mature adult I am (read: got silly excited, climbed walls and ran to the cloth store for cosplay materials) and tickets were ordered and preparations started. So, despite both of us studying full time and having such a short deadline we sat down and made Mass Effect costumes. I once swore I would never do a cosplay on short notice ever again. Well. Let's not go into the stress level any further than that.
Amanda went as a random scientist and I went as Shepard in her dress blues because I absolutely adore that design. Granted, I love it somewhat less after making it. Easily the most complicated piece of clothing I've done due to the two different cloths and the folding overs and the gold bands and... yes, yes, carry on. I will say this though: it is probably the most comfortable cosplay I have made in a very long time.
And comfortable clothes that look nice are awesome. I wish to extend my 'thank you's and 'good job' to the artists here. I'm not certain about how easy it would be to mass produce though. Still. I've cosplayed Orochimaru. Any cosplay that doesn't cause me pain and prevent me from moving brings me joy XD

Having been so focused on getting the cosplays ready in time, we were completely oblivious to the fact that SM in cosplay was taking place at Gamex and ended up getting dragged in while utterly bewildered. Either way, lots of fantastic costumes! It was wonderful to see such a high standard wander about the building. Sadly no pictures, because I didn't bring my camera.

We also met up with the rest of Svampriket (at long last!) and made some videos with them which are up on the site now.

As for the dinner itself we were lucky indeed. The Skype connection was unfortunately not the best and Amanda and I ended up being the last who managed to get a reply to our questions to David Gaider and Mike Laidlaw. The connection with Mark Meer was better, and by then the speakers were working well enough that we could hear most if not all even in the back of the room. Not going to deny that I smiled a bit extra, hearing his preference for dressing as villains and history of D&D playing XD

The locale (Sjätte tunnan) was oozing with charm, but sadly was not the best for such a large crowd to have conversations in. Throats were sore at the end of the night, but plenty of game discussions - mainly Dragon Age and Mass Effect - were had, from whether or not the genophage really needed curing to tips on how to beat Loghain in a duel (with added pleading from me that they at least consider sparing his life).
We got the request that we'd draw something while at the event, and we were only too happy to agree. A comic diary of the day will be up... maybe next Monday if all goes well (I need a scanner that works with my laptop. Garrus the ever calibrating scanner is too old and incompatible with anything younger than ME1). Until then I just want to add a thank you to the lovely people we got to meet, the people who surprised us by being familiar with the Champions and Heroes comic, Lion who invited us, Jessica Merizan and Chris Priestly for coming, and the Skype guests too :D I would definitely do this again, and I hope that this sort of thing is something that Bioware continues to do - it was great and I saw nothing but smiles.

We came home from Stockholm again last night, having had a wonderful time and having met a lot of wonderful people. I think we've earned some extra sleep, but I've got catching up on Maya to do and NaNoWriMo has started without me for the first time since... 2001. This will not do.

But yes, as earlier stated, no pictures of the actual event - sorry. Have some strong female Dragon Age poses.
It's part of a bigger picture where I abuse the spines of male Dragon Age characters. I lovingly refer to it as 'the butt picture'. More of that in the future.

måndag 1 oktober 2012

One month in

And the Game Assembly is... so much work. Rewarding work, but so much work all the same. I am so very, very tired when I get back home and just want to go to sleep. Suffice to say, I can think of very little to say, other than, here is a completed former WIP and some new WIPs.

Dasin and Thendys Noori, all done. All cheesy. But all done, just before the course started I think. Something like that.
Then we have Orianne, a roleplaying character in a Vampire: Dark Ages game, just the quick sketch of the base. The hand got fixed pretty quick XD But it's the first time I've actually liked a quick digital sketch I've made, so! Here it is! I've gotten further on this but... it still needs a lot of work.
And finally we have a Shmil WIP. Shmil who is a character in my continuing NaNo fantasy story. He'll get hair, I promise. And a body too. Maybe even a background (gasp!). I only just started on him last night though, and managed to sneak in some fur and seams work during breaks today, but I'm liking his angular face. And I'm looking forward to November and NaNo, because he's finally going to be a point of view character, bumbling around the Heartlands being socially awkward and eating babies. As you do.

lördag 11 augusti 2012

New tablet and other things

As I've gotten accepted to the Game Assembly (hooray!) I've been left with no choice but to buy a new tablet. Cdon was awfully efficient, having it arrive less than 24 hours after I ordered it, forcing me to leave the apartment when all I wanted was to slouch about. Oh well XD
So, evidently I'll be spending the rest of august getting to know the new tablet. As it is, it's... huge. And not as smooth as my old tablet, which sadly seemed to get screwed over by the installation of the new one. Your tablet is old indeed when Wacom doesn't even have a picture of it on their site... That mess got sorted out though, and now it's up and running again (it's small and light and I'm considerably less afraid of damaging it, so it comes along for trips while the new one gets to stay shiny at home).
So! Some WIPs are in order, I believe.

Dasin and Thendys Noori, an npc in Star Wars the Old Republic who I really liked and had high hopes for. In cheesy pose. Originally meant to be little more than a sketch but it's escalated and... yes.

Her gear took forever, but I recon it's his that's going to be a nightmare once I get into the shading and detailing stage.

And then there was this Mass Effect 3 comic thing that I started to work with before going to Scotland (which is absolutely beautiful, and with temperatures and a sun that even my pale skin could handle. Hooray!). 8 pages, trying a new 'sketch all pictures separately traditionally, piece together, ink and shade digitally' way of working and I'm liking it.
And those of you who have played Mass Effect but haven't heard Reignite by Maluka, well. I suggest you do something about that, because it is a beautiful song.

tisdag 10 juli 2012

NaNo and swtor

June disappeared far too quickly, while at the same time seeming to drag out forever. Let's just say that writing NaNo in a month that was not November was more difficult than I would have guessed. The fact that camp NaNo divied you into groups of six or so, rather than letting you see how everyone were progressing didn't help. I compete when I NaNo-write, and when I have no competition... well, my progress slows down. I managed to reach 50k, though the good writing only came the last 3k or so when I completely gave up and handed things over to my oldest character. At least he knows what's going on here...

I also updated my Star Wars: the Old Republic account, because I missed Sha, my chiss agent, waaaaaay too much to be healthy. I mean, way too much. Like, I spammed art with her and Amanda's Sullivan like no tomorrow for a moment there.
I had previously gotten stuck at the final battle for the agent's story, which I am now past with a little help (the game is not kind to snipers, let me tell you, everything is more difficult than it should be). I have since then made a chiss bounty hunter (the chiss are more commonly referred to as 'my people'), Dasin, who is set as the brother of Sha. The game has a 15 character limitation on the name of your character, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you research chiss names and realize that they are typically at least 17 characters. So, Prard'asi'nuruodo is now a mangled mess of letters with nothing to hold them apart, and spoken of as his corename Dasin. I absolutely love the name system of the chiss and how different it is.
The bounty hunter's story is not as engaging as the agent's I must say. The male voice is so over the top butch and action hero-like that it clashes horribly with Dasin's cuddle-foo, über-lightside nature. ALL the flirting options are painful to watch, either because they are so awkward or because they are wandering into sleezebag territory, but luckily most women react with that genuine "uh, no, ew" to them. As they should. Only sith seem to be ok with this, but since they are sith I suppose they get a freepass or something XD

For the Empire! (but really, for the Ascendancy!)

torsdag 31 maj 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo

Speaking of original characters... 10 hours to go until Camp NaNoWriMo 2012 starts!
First time writing NaNo outside of November (people who know me: I am sorry for disappearing/becoming too involved in a world you find confusing again), but my eternal fellow NaNo-er Bre dragged me into this. Obviously my response was not only agreeing to do it, but to drag others with me. Duh. Misery loves company. So does wordcount competitions.

I am going to continue the novel from NaNo 2011 rather than start something completely new (big old cheater, yes, whatever) because I need to continue it (of course, it is a continuation of 2010's No Coffin Needed, and uses 2001 and 2002's NaNo novels as a background, but shhhh). I need to continue and eventually finish it. It still doesn't have a proper title, though the working title has changed from Pieces of the Empire to A Murder of Swans.
Now, I do believe there is some plot I need to sort out before all of this gets moving.

tisdag 29 maj 2012

Working digitally

So, yeah, I've been doing some digital coloring lately, and primarily using original characters for practice. Because they need love too.
So here's Vadoma from the Vampire the Masquerade roleplaying game I'm running:
I mainly colored her for the dark skin-grey eyes combo, so I did get a bit lazy on the hair and clothes... if you can even call it clothes XD
I've also done my NaNoWriMo novel character Nasreen, after a description of her traveling clothes in the novel that I worked on last November. I then did some variations on that, and... I think I'll be doing some regular clothes too for her (and others) this way. It gives me a better idea of what I'm writing, if nothing else.

måndag 30 april 2012

After SPX 2012

Ok... the layout of blogspot has gone through some drastic changes and I'm... completely lost. I am not a fan of change in my technology.

Regardless, the SPX in Stockholm has come and gone and I have returned home after all the exitement, and I'm looking forward to a few days of doing nothing useful whatsoever. Four out of six members of Think Ink were there and we had a blast. We sold our fanzines, among them the latest Think 6.
Fanny sold her books and post cards and made adorable bookmarks. She had also remade a My Little Pony, and we had a 'name the pony' competition! Diana pimped her online-comic-in-print and a short story called Sägner (rough translation, 'folktales') which you should keep an eye out for. Amanda sold her sketch fanzines, and the two of us also sold Champions and Heroes fanzines for the first time.
May I just say that it was so much fun to meet Champions and Heroes readers, old and new?

And a huge thanks to the awesome cook Gilbert who came by our table with delicious cookes! (also, go check out his stuff - lots of curvy ladies in there ;))

And... Think Ink now has a joined blog which you can find right here. At long last!

fredag 13 april 2012

Dragon Age fanzine

Got home at ten past ten... having spent the entire day printing this:

Half color, half greyscale, all Dragon Age. It's some 40 pages, and has a younger sibling that we sorted out at the same time. They'll be ready for SPX at the end of the month :D

And now... I am going to tend to my headache, drink some tea, watch some Supernatural, maybe read some fanfic and generally take it easy for the rest of the night. Back to work tomorrow.

torsdag 29 mars 2012

One year of dragons

I just realized today that on Saturday Amanda and I have been running the Champions and Heroes comic for a full year. The updates have varied between once a week to twice a week, depending on how much time and inspiration we've had, but even so it has kept updating regular as clockwork. Neither of us were sure we would be able to keep it up for so long in the beginning, but by the look of things it will keep going for quite some time still.

That being said, there's going to be a bit of Mass Effect in the next couple of updates from me at least, due to the release of ME3. It was a lovely game, up until... you know... everything past Marauder Shields and the three Husketeers. Which was essentially the last ten minutes of a lovely series that made multiple gameplays feel pointless and added plotholes for no good reason. Which is a damn shame, because I was halfway through ME2 with a male paragon Shepard, hoping to see how different that experience would be.

In other news, I'm working on a fairy comic (another collaboration with Amanda) at the moment, which is looking to end up somewhere between 12 and 15 pages. I still need to finish the layout, but I much rather just get right to the drawing XD
To do this, I've chosen to start to upload the Red Planet alternative universe/potential future comic Substitute, which was published in Swedish Comic Sin 2, rather than making new comic pages for the Red Planet. That will run until the end of June, at which point I should be done with the fairy comic (well, this part of it). So, more updates to follow :)

And in a completely unrelated note: Game of Thrones season two is coming! Whooo!

torsdag 1 mars 2012

And now for something completely different: Fable 3

I like games. The Dragon Age comic Champions and Heroes that I do with Amanda has been running for almost a full year now, so that is a pretty big hint. And I feel that it's time for an update here...

So... I played Fable 3 a while back. I haven't played the first two games, but it is very friendly to people unfamiliar with the series.
It starts out with your older brother, king Logan of Albion, being an asshat. Now, Logan looks like this:

So, black hair? Check. Backslick? Check. Sallow skin? Check. Villainous beard? Check. Grumpy McGrumpypants expression almost constantly? Check. Position of authority? Check.
So, evidently, he's the villain. And, evidently, he's my favorite character. It doesn't hurt that his hair strongly reminds me of Rui from Eyeshield 21, who was one of my favorite characters.

King Logan gives you an offer of killing either your friend/boy- or girlfriend or a bunch of rebel leaders. You have to pick either, or he insists that he'll kill both of them. In other words, a lesson in how you can't save everyone and how to make hard choices, the asshat way. You make your choice, and someone ends up dead. Jolly good. At this point your main character decides that this is unacceptable and s/he has to flee and lead a rebellion against Logan. Cue adventures.

Now, there are some serious issues with this game.
- To even get to play the game that you've paid for, you have to jump through hoops, because it really, really wants you to take part of Windows Live. Regardless if you want to do so. I was on the brink of just saying 'screw this' by the time I managed to get everything sorted out. Unacceptable.
- It's buggy, and I ended up abandoning my first character and started all over again because I suddenly couldn't interact with anyone.
- Interacting with people is awkward, to say the least. You act like a buffoon, but that is the only way to make friends, apparently. It is also so time demanding that it's not really worth it.
- Interacting with major characters is 100% scripted. You can marry random npcs, or several at the same time if you house them in separate cities, but they have no personalities worth mentioning. There is no way of actually getting to know any character, and everything is kept as superficial as possible.
- One should not be able to save the world by playing the lute well. Really.
- No real replay value, because:
- The script railroads you, and it's not even shy about it.
- The game calls itself an RPG, but it is not.

Roleplaying actually involves making choices for your character and determining his/her personality. This game is so determined to railroad you that it refuses to let you do anything of the sort.
While the prince/ss is outraged and believes his/her brother to be a monster, I the player can't help but to feel that all of this could be solved if the protagonist and Logan just sat down and had a long talk. As the game goes on, you learn things which put your brother in a more favorable light, yet the protagonist seems determined to paint Logan the darkest black.

Some attempt at convincing you that your brother truly is as evil as he is designed are made, but they all fall flat. The main offender is a magical vision that a blind seer, Teresa, gives you. We are supposed to accept it as the truth, but it is a magical vision. It could easily be made up, or simply taken out of context. But no, the main character trusts this Teresa blindly, despite never having met her before, and condemns his/her brother instantly, despite having grown up under his guardianship and evidently lived a comfortable, sheltered life.

Now, in my eyes Logan has the best design and is the most interesting character in the game, and I would like the princess to simply marry him in true Targaryen fashion and rule Albion as king and queen. I even adopted a child and named him Logan II, hoping that the game would take a hint. It did not.
However, only half of the game is about the rebellion, the other half is about actually ruling the country. Which was the selling point of this game to me, because so many games are about taking the throne, but practically no games care about what happens afterwards. The scene where you finally confront Logan was absolutely lovely, except for the fact that I wanted to smack my main character silly. Because, again, there is no roleplaying happening here. Your character has decided how this will go, and you are just there to observe, apparently.

On the other hand, it's got some good things going for it:
+ It has beautiful clothing designs. Clearly borrowing heavily from 1700s and 1800s, they are really, really inspiring. The clothing designs is actually one of the most appealing aspects of the game for me.
+ The loading screens have pretty and funny posters, which I must say I really enjoyed. Probably the best loading screens I've encountered.
+ The quest 'The Game'. It didn't really fit the game, but since I giggled right through it I am more than happy to forgive it for that. I fear, however, that as a game master I am Jim.

Characters of note:
Logan - Easily the best character in the game. Best design, best writing, best development. Shitty ending.
Teresa - The blind seer that appears in visions and guides you. I strongly suspect her to be the main villain in the series, and I don't trust her one bit. Voiced by Zoë Wanamaker though, which is a total plus.
Reaver - Probably the funniest character in the game, in that 'necessary evil' kind of way. Also, Stephen Fry. Can't go wrong with Stephen Fry.
The Crawler - Yes. Yes, yes, yes. The oozing black goo - a thousand times yes. But it's still a very 2D villain.

When I really like a game, I make fanart, search for fanfic, and back in the day I'd also write fanfic. There's a period during which I am involved with the fandom, which may stretch on for years. Fable 3? I was pretty over it after a week.

5/10. Would have been a little higher, but I cannot forgive Windows Live.

tisdag 7 februari 2012

Finishing up old stuff

So in the middle of the night inspiration struck, and I HAD TO finish this meme. I haven't colored digitally in a long while, and though it's not the best I can do I still like it.

Of course, the problem with doing anything related to TV tropes is that it eats your life. So it took me a day, with plenty of reading. Sigh... time to do something useful today, me thinks.
So yeah, characters from the Vampire the Masquerade game I've been running since... 2007. Dear lord.

tisdag 31 januari 2012

Back from Angouleme

I returned home this Sunday from Angouleme, France, and its comic festival, but I've been far too tired to do anything useful up until now. So many people, all there for comics! It was quite amazing.
I went there with Amanda, Fanny and Anders and we were lucky to be able to stay with a lovely French-German family <3 We helped out a bit with the Swedish exhibition, but mostly Amanda and I walked around and took everything in.

There are a lot of these in Angouleme, but this one is my favorite mainly because it's Lucky Luke. My grandfather used to read Lucky Luke to me when I was a child, and the Dalton brothers were my favorites. I've always preferred the villains, it seems XD
Still, most of my photographs are more like this one

Gargoyles! Old buildings! They really have some beautiful old buildings in Angouleme, and I'm a sucker for those. Amanda and I also ended up going to a museum for the sake of an exhibition but ended up spending more time in the actual museum ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the old paintings and objects.

I did get some drawing done too, and tried out a new pen which is going to force me to learn to think when I ink. I like the feel of it, but it dries really slowly. One of the pictures turned into a smudgefest, but I can still clean it up digitally so all is well I suppose.

tisdag 3 januari 2012

And... an attentive new year?

A happy surprise awaited Amanda and I today when we looked at the stats for today's update. And a lot of confusion. It's not every day we get 30k+ visitors, is what we're saying. After a bit of unsuccessful googling I got a sneaking suspicion and went to check my facebook updates.
As it turns out, our comic Champions and Heroes got linked on Dragon Age's facebook page. Whoo! Completely random, but awesome :D