I caved in and bought Diablo 3 for my Mac Book Air.
The art direction and artwork is so well done, I was convinced I should take a closer look.
I started the installation with 19gb free space – the installer says I need 15.1gb free. The installation kept failing saying I don’t have enough hard drive space.
The solution is that you need at least 5gb free in addition to the installation space. I freed up 21gb and installation is proceeding smoothly.
Hope this helps someone.
The story in Nimian Hunter Salvation is communicated to the player by ancient statues and a series of megaliths, giant standing stones with inscriptions on them that illustrate how the player can progress.
I decided to create very low poly rocks and give them a unique texture. The rocks themselves were created as low poly chamfer boxes – boxes with a beveled edge. Then the vertices were pushed and pulled, using reference material from stonehenge and other standing stones, until each had a unique look and shape. There are six stones in general. At first I was going to create 3 and duplicate them. But I decided that it would be more interesting if each stone told it’s own story and had it’s own shape. They are so low poly (50 vertex each) that it would not affect engine performance.
Simple objects need complex and rich textures to make them look interesting – the visual punch is in the texture. i find that it is always worth it to take some time and see what you can create texture wise. Not only will you end up with something uniquely you, it will often end up giving your creation a very rich and interesting appearence. My texture was created my layers, chopping, duplicating and overlaying many pictures of cracked rock, moss and stone. The texture was then made seamless in GIMP (goto filters > map > make seamless and voila!)
The UV maps control how the texture is placed on the object. I manipulated the UV map – rotating them, enlarging them – to try to hide seams in the texture and create some texture variation between stones. I wanted to use only one texture and share it between the stones so that i could increase game performance (one texture is less intensive to render than many)
The final objects are collapsed (simplified into single objects) and exported as .fbx files for import into Unity 3d.
Visit the Nimian Hunter Salvation Facebook page to see what they look like in the game:
After much deliberation I have the final logo and name for the Nimian Hunter sequel. Introducing Nimian Hunter Salvation:
and a few new screenshots to celebrate – including one from the games opening scene:
These armored creatures are the first designed for Nimain Hunter Salvation. they’re based on Baedul, a giant earth-cracking beast that was featured in my earlier game Nimian Hunter Legends. These creatures are her descendants.
Part of the game design process is coming up with a name, and while I know full well what a MENTIPEDE is, most people wont. After talking with a friend of mine, I’ve decided to try some more dramatic thematic names for Nimian Hunter. Here’s some pics:
I’m leaning towards SALVATION – it has that Assassin’s Creed Revelations feel to it and might resonate more with the action gamer. Salvation is also a strong theme in the game – as a Hunter tasked with changing the balance of life on a remote island.
Aside from the name this is the near final logo. Nimia, the fantasy world that Nimian Hunter is set in, has a motif of plants/life growing/cracking through the stone – life from death. I’ve continued that concept in the logo.
The plants are form photos I took in St Annes, west of Montreal, during a sunny bike ride. When i took them i didn’t know if I’d use them for anything – I just thought they’d look beautiful.Snap those photos – you never know when a texture will come in handy.
The background is a mix of many rock textures, a photoshop created crack (using a stroked path and bevels) and a beautiful rock photo by coVasderooH. you can see more of her beautiful work here: http://covasderooh.deviantart.com/
Google’s in the News Again
Google’s in the news again.
Some include the concept that if Google is using your information to alter your search results to ‘fit you’, you might never stumble across things unknown. If all I’m served up is what i want to hear, i potentially won’t get much variety as I explore the web, or come across as many viewpoints that differ from my own. The other is the well known concept that having one company control and access such a large amount of your personal information is just bad sense. Yet another is advertising. If Google is using this information to better target people with advertising, I’d like them to just come out and say it clearly. “We will use this information to target ads to you and make a profit so we can keep offering you services”. Better yet, how about giving us a piece of the profit for engaging in this grand information collection experiment? I think eventually some brave company will tell it like it is, and I suspect I know why companies don’t have the vision to be honest and up front about this today.
Credit where credit’s due
In general I like Google. The company has definitely paved the way for better services like Google earth and Gmail, and smartly bought out some of the good ones like You Tube and kept them going. This isn’t a witch hunt. This is about even companies with the best intentions sometimes going down paths that may have bumps in them. We as consumers need to be savvy about our responsibilities and rights. And while I immensly appreciate all that Google is doing for the web, even Google employees can benefit from a critical look at what they’re doing. After all, they don’t have All The Answers any more than you or I do. We have to figure this out together.
What did bother me is that my account could be suspended with little recourse and no explanation. A quick search revealed that there are many people who have the same story. And for those who wonder, I’m no spammer or click frauder or off-shore tycoon - just an artist who likes to make games and great designs.
Then last year stories began to surface about Google disabling peoples Google accounts who had not used their real name on Google plus. Frustrated after frustrated blogger wrote about the situation, and it re-affirmed my concerns about relying on something that can so quickly and unilaterally be taken away. You don’t miss it ’til it’s gone.
Problems Not Unique to Google
Just prior to the AdSense cancellation, I had been getting ready to move my company emails to Gmail. The AdSense incident though made me realize the dangers of relying to much on a single company for your services. So i ditched my plans to go with Gmail for my company and went about my way. Then the other day, I was speaking to a friend who an open source version of Facebook would never succeed because Facebook does everything so well. I told him my theory: That yes, as long as Facebook respected everyone’s privacy and did not exploit their position, they will be number one. But i suspect based on world history that at some point they may exploit the wealth of knowledge they have accumulated as a private company. At that point, if it ever happens, an open source version will take on a new benefit that Facebook will not possess: the power to limit exploitation by virtue of belonging to all and not one company. At that point we might begin to see a shift in what we desire out of our social media services and a change in what services we use.
Google Dashboard – Your Digital Identity Center
So, armed with a healthy does of paranoia (or is it just common sense?) I decide that it’s time to calmly at least assess my digital identity – see what’s out there and clean it up where I can. A great place to start is the Google dashboard: https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=datasummary&passive=900&continue=https://www.google.com/dashboard/&followup=https://www.google.com/dashboard/
Google Dashboard offers you a birds eye view of your Google services and the information stored with them. I rarely surf the web signed into Google but I’ve noticed that some of my friends do. Take a look – you might be surprised at what you find. At the very least it’s great to have an overview of your information, and it’s good sign that Google offers this service in the first place, so +1 for them.
What surprised me in Dashboard is the number of services I’ve used with Google over the years – Gmail, Youtube, Docs, Calendar and more. What stood out was my AdSense account. It’s still there, disabled and floating somewhere in digital limbo. “Great place to start” i thought. I’m going to delete my AdSense account since it’s no longer used. There are have been a few road block though:
Easier said than Done
So, how do I contact AdSense support?
I defy you to find a contact email on this page: http://support.google.com/adsense/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=9722
I eventually figured out that I needed to post my question on the forum (unless I am missing something). A simple email or form would have been nice, but it’s also nice to share the answers with people who might have the same question, so I posted it:
I made sure to search the FAQ and Help first.
So far I have one answer: “I think they can’t be removed. They are kept in the Google directory forever. May be I am wrong.”.
I’ve asked if a Google Admin can verify that and will keep you posted. In the meantime, strike one for being able to easily delete one of my defunct services.
What has this taught me?
It’s a case of convenience versus control. It’s very simple to have one company control all of your data, unless something goes wrong. It’s like making a run to the corner store when you know the Grocery store has healthier, cheaper items just a bit farther away. So far we haven’t seen the Big One – a major blunder by a corporation holding our digital data, one so vast that it makes even the mainstream user avoid this companies services. But given the wealth of literature, novels, stories, predictions and history, I think it is bound to happen eventually. In the meantime, I’m going to keep examining my digital life bit by bit.
Our digital identities are new – they’ve only developed in the last 20 years or so, and we as a society don’t have a lot of experience dealing with them. I don’t think we need to run screaming for the hills from every digital service and profile request that comes our way. We just need to practice good new fashioned common sense when it comes to keeping track of our Digidentities, maybe spread out our services between different companies, embrace open source services when available, and as we go, learn from our mistakes.
I’ll keep you posted.
A quick update on Moti Voto, a slick corporate climber, sniffing his way up the social ladder in the sky high towers of Junx City. Here is the latest version, lovingly rendered by Geoff Carley.
When i set out to design a logotype (a logo consisting of letters only) for my Science Fiction world Junx City, i put together a list of requirements first. I had already created preliminary logos using the Typefaces Klavika and Neutra, but I hadn’t decided on one final logo. Since I was moving ahead with my new projects, I decided it was time to come up with a finalized logo for Junx City once and for all.
First I took a look at what I wanted from my logo and what I had achieved already. I stopped thinking about the metal texture and the styling of the logo for the time being. Once I created a solid logo in black and white, I could decide the styling afterwards. I wanted a logo that was modern so i knew I wanted to use a sans serif typeface, one without the flourishes and edges you’d see on many older typefaces. I wanted a bold typeface that looked sturdy, plain enough to be flexible in many different scenarios and easy to read from a distance. My first step was to try several different typefaces and see if anything jumped out at me.
Personally I like the font chooser at http://myfonts.com. After looking through many typefaces for inspiration i realized 2 things. 1, I wanted to use a very simple font as the base for the logo, rather than a wilder display font. And 2, i liked some of the details that the more varied fonts had and wanted to incorporate them into my design. With that in mind I noted the following:
1 – I liked the Klavika font as the base. Facebook uses a modified version of Klavika and I decided to take a similar route. Klavika gave me a solid base to start from, but on its own I found it too anemic and plain.
2 – I liked the shape of the ‘X’ here and found it very mechanical
3 – The division of this ‘X’ had a nice stencil feel to it
4 – I wanted to try something different with the ‘N’ like this
Using Klavika as the base, I made a few modifications quickly to get an idea of what I could achieve:
I choose to dd the slices on the X, the different X shape, and the new edge on the ‘T’. I also customized the letters so that they had even widths, something Klavika didn’t have but that I wanted here. I constructed the letters from scratch, paying careful attention to alignment, using grids and guides to help. I straightened out the edges of the ‘C’ to run parallel with the ‘I’, and very subtly rounded the corners. Klavika has sharp edges and I wanted a touch more friendliness:
Finally I had my logo base ready for the final touches:
I liked that it had more substance and sturdiness than my previous logos. And the customization made it uniquely mine. Next I carefully added in the elements of white trim and slices to the ‘X’ and the ‘T’. Although these are small details the add to the uniqueness, also the sliced ‘X’ gave me opportunities to use the center of the ‘X’ as a pipe, a very industrial element that fit right in with Junx City.
Finally I adjusted the spacing between letters to be more balanced and equal:
And here is the final product:
From here I can apply styling (rusted textures, metals, etc..) that will fit in with Junx City. But that’s a story for another post. In the meantime if you like this one, follow me on facebook – I appreciate the supoort:
I thought it might interest some of you to see the process by which I create my characters for Junx City, my Sci Fi satire universe. Moti Voto is the owner of Bullsh!t – Junx City’s largest Public relations firm. If you have a problem, he can put a good spin on it. But originally Moti would go back and forth in my head between this job and others. What I knew most was that he was a high powered executive type with not much of a conscience. So when I created my First person shooter game ANDAGEL, I used Moti as the lead villain – Owner of Junx City’s pollution powerhouse CHEMICOY. For the game I knew a few details about his appearance. He had pale skin and dressed well. At that time and in game, the character looked like this:
Skip forward a few years and I decided that i was ready to have Moti Voto as a prime time character in Junx City. First I had to clarify who he was before he could be drawn. I knew he was a pill popping social climbing sneak with a high position at Bullsh!t. He liked good clothes, was extremely clever and disarming, and was from a race of genetically bland overlords I called the Yanta (named after my brothers middle name – although he’s nowhere near bland). Once I had this, I contacted artist Geoff Carley who had done other characters for me, and set to work. First I created an Idea Board that put together many of the concepts I had about Moti Voto in my head. That board looked like this:
I knew that the Yanta were gentically pure species that used dna from other species to fullfill what they were not born with. Toothpaste and general goop came to mind when I thought of how there bodies would be composed. Geoff took this and after some refinement we came up with a few versions:
Geoff captured so much of my vision. But the style was a bit threatening and angular for Junx City, which I had always seen as more satirical and toungue in cheek. The next version came much closer:
We were almost there. I added a few notes and sent back the sketch, mostly about taming his hair. I also wanted some sci fi additions to him. Moti Voto was also a bit sexier – he could disarm you with a smile, useful when climbing the corporate ladder. The third version nailed it:
The floating wine glass gave it the sci fi touch and the 3 fingers established him nicely as alien.
I’ll post an update when the final color version is ready. As you can see character creation is really about gathering your ideas and figuring out how to express them. It can take a few tries to really distill the ideas that are in your head. In Moti’s case, he’s a nasty creature and I can’t wait to formally introduce him to the rest of the cast in Junx City.