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All the latest featured posts in order of appearance. Browse the categories above for more.

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art direction for video games

This saturday September 27th Martin Nerurkar and I will stream a 3hr crash course on art direction for video games.

Here is what you need to know…

This course is intended for…
…small developers, indie developers, students, freelancers and hobbyists who would like to learn more about how to create cohesive and appealing visuals and how to make them work within production requirements and technical limitations. This course provides methods and practices to find and define your artistic vision and to execute that vision alone or in teams.

We will cover research, working with references, establishing of visual language and style, style guide creation and art review.

All tipps and tricks work for a wide range of styles and many practices apply not only to video games but to comics and animation as well.

When you are joining live, you can ask questions or comment on what you see via the chat. The stream will be in an interview/lecture format in which I will hold the lecture and provide the content, while Martin will be in the role of student. We hope this conversation style format will create a helpful pacing and allow for a fun but also comprehensive course.

This is when the stream will happen:
Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

This is where you can join: [Sharkbomb Google+ page]. And this is where you will be able to watch a recording of the stream later: [youtube channel]

Hope to see you there.

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Warning this is a strong rant by an upset person: me. If you are looking for diplomatic problem solving, you wont find it here today. Go someplace else for that, thanks. This article is a dressing-down, not a conversation starter.

So, normally with rants like these I would start by presenting the recent bone of contention first. I would explain what drove me to write this commentary today. What specifically ticked me off?

But I’m just so tired – so so tired – writing up these instances of video game culture treating women like shit.

Read all…



So, yeah, I’m going to be at PLAY14 in Hamburg – the 7th Creative Video Gaming Festival.
This festival is much more player oriented than developer oriented and serves as a nice alternative to industry events, as the PLAY14 will be about playing and talking and creating and experimenting with a focus on games culture.

Last year was a blast and I’m really looking forward to what they have in store this year.

Learn more about PLAY14: [LINK]

I’m an invited speaker as I take part in a panel on saturday about “Doing Gender in Games? Geschlechterrollen in Computerspielen.”. I’m joining blogger Ally Auner and game designer Lea Schönfelder on stage. Learn more about this particular event (German only, sorry):[LINK]

See you there!

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character design for 2d games, sprites and illustration and animation

A user asked:


I’d like to know how to design a 2D character for a poin’n’click adventure and animate it. What techniques and what software would you use? What would be the best resolution for common devies?Kind regards

-Johannes W.-

I’d like to expand on that question and answer this for all genres when it comes to 2D games, since there is nothing too particular about point-n-click adventures, when it comes to the art part. We have to think about two things: On the one hand there is your own artistic/stylistic preference – can’t really say much about that – but there is also production issues to consider.

Form follows function in character design as well…

Read full answer.

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unity beginner guide crash course for dummies

Okay, so a couple of months ago I was a total newbie when it comes to working with Unity. Never did anything in it… I worked with a lot of people wielding the engine, but never did it myself. And then I got together with Martin Nerurkar and he gave me a one-on-one 3.5 hour crash course.

Now I know how to build scenes, how implement objects, collisions, characters, cameras, GUIs, animation, how to draw terrain, how to script, add effects and sound… and even more. The cool thing: We did this via google hangouts,…

…and recorded everything, so you can work along with me and get a grip on how to use Unity.

Check it out the video tutorial…

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bittersiha asked via tumblr:

hi!!! i saw your reply to bones!!! did you have any ideas for my questions?? what do concept ppls need to study really hard to make it in the industry in todays world?

The job of a concept artists is to turn ideas into images. So, you need to have access to ideas, need to be able to translate them into images and also should technically be able to do this in large volumes, while being readable and having the necessary emotional impact.

Read the full answer.

Good monday morning, everybody. Hope you start into a successful week!

Good monday morning, everybody. Hope you start into a successful week!

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Hey, everybody.

This rather huge article is intended to collect and structure a complete overview of how gender design works and how gender design is currently done in games.

We will explore gendering language, connotations and subtext, problematic industry habits and I will also provide a quick guide for instant improvement, all from the perspective of a professional game designer and artist and also design teacher.

…read more.

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This will be out soon:

Nina Kiel Gender In Games

Nina Kiel wrote her bachelor thesis tackling gender in games. And now it’s a book. And I’m excited to be in it along with good company from other voices on the issue. Look at that damn near perfect cover for the whole thing and make sure to check out Nina’s other work on her tumblr.

Also make sure to follow her on twitter or tumblr, so you get notified once the book is available for purchase or preorder.


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concept art tutorials

After my post Let’s get Real About Concept Art from early february Paul Richards – concept artist on the Darksiders series and Halo 4 – pointed me to a tutorial he posted on his blog. Browsing through his site revealed he released quite a few tutorials already… and damn, so much great advice, all with easy to understand samples, nicely structured, step by step.

He focusses on designing with a pen – from drawing basics to complex rendering and construction. The full package for beginners and even seasoned artist will snatch some goodies there as well. Here is a small digest in recommended reading order… …read more.

anjin anhut comments
Due to recent events which triggered a series of events involving a camel, a straw and a broken back, I have to change a couple of things in regards to how I deal with comments and online debates. I kind of regret having to do this, but I hope it will create opportunity for more productive conversations and allow me to focus more on putting stuff out there.

Read more…

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Free Unity Course

Hey, everybody. Tomorrow Martin Nerurkar from Sharkbomb Studios and I are going to host a 4 hour crash course introduction thingy for game development in Unity. It’s free and available worldwide through google hangout.

The time is 14:00h in Berlin Germany – here is your local time, if you are from a different zone: [link]

Check out Sharkbomb’s google+ [link] or youtube [link] page to join.

The format is simple: I don’t have worked with Unity yet, Martin has – a lot. So he is going to walk me through the fist steps, I get to ask noobie questions and you are invited to join us via stream. Everything will be recorded as well for later views.

On a later date – to be announced – I we will stream a free introduction to art direction in games, so stay tuned for this as well.