It’s been nearly a year since my last post, and in that time so many things have changed. Let’s play a game of catch-up, shall we?
First off, let’s talk about Dichotomy. Ever since my graduation from RIT in May — oh, by the way, I graduated from RIT in May — the Dichotomy team has been sort of scattered. Most of us moved back to the towns we came from, which puts me about 600 miles away from everyone else. Add in the sudden stress of job searching and a dash of unreliable internet connection and it was clear what needed to happen. The Dichotomy project is officially on hold. We have discussed the possibility of re-starting development in the future once the dust has settled for all of us, but for now we have to focus on building our post-college lives.
Speaking of post-college lives, I got a job! For the last eight months I’ve been working at Eight Bit Studios in Chicago as a designer. My duties range from motion graphics to graphic design to front end development. Working at Eight Bit has been amazing so far and I’m really pleased to be here. I am still available for freelance work on the side, however, so don’t fret if you were hoping to work with me on a project.
I’ve been working on a lot of random side projects lately. Everything from websites to posters to woodworking and 3D printing. I’ll try to keep posting regularly about my random doings but be sure to keep an eye on my dribbble and tumblr pages for snippets of what I’m working on.
I’m also working on some updates to Illogical and how it ties in with my personal work, so keep on the look out for more information soon.
As predicted, this past week was pretty crazy. I spent a ton of time rendering, editing, re-rendering, finding inspiration, tweaking, more tweaking, even more tweaking, a bunch more rendering, and not sleeping. But the result was worth it. My presentation went well, I got some good feedback, and I got a chance to show off my work. And, as promised, here’s the video I created as part of my presentation:
But despite all the craziness of last week, I can’t slow down. Next Saturday is Imagine RIT and, as I mentioned two weeks ago, we will be showing off the game for the first time at the event. So this week I am going to be splitting my time between working on promotional materials and finishing up/implementing the assets that will be included in the demo. This is, of course, a very early and rough build of the game so not everything will make the cut. Additionally, many of the things that we are going to include, especially FX and sounds, will be temporary as we have only barely touched on those so far. Still, it’s really exciting to get a chance to put the game out there for the first time and to see how people feel about it.
Be sure to visit us Saturday, May 2 at RIT James E. Booth Hall in Webb Auditorium.
This week I was all over the place. I worked a bit on modeling, a bit on texturing, a bit on graphic design, and a bit on UE4 experiments. We are starting to think about promoting the game, and starting this week there will be a push to create renders and other images that can be used to show it off through a variety of mediums.
While I’m not ready to show off most of what I worked on this week just yet, I can show you guys this:
The grenade has textures! First draft textures, anyway. The material is missing decals and I also plan on creating a special animated texture for the liquid to make it more visually intriguing. I’ve also started working on particle effects for the game, and the grenade will need at least one (possibly up to 3, though).
You may remember my post from a few months ago about the difficulty behind designing a new “save” icon. But that’s not the only icon that has issues. A designer by the name of Min Ming Lo has a fantastic article comparing the different “share” icons, including the difficulty of describing such a vague and general event using a single symbol.
In the last few day’s I’ve added 3 branding/web design projects to my portfolio. Have I finally decided a direction and started focusing solely on those forms of media? Well, no. The honest truth is I’ve had those projects finished for a while now and I’ve simply been procrastinating on posting them. But with all of the exciting projects I’ve been working on lately, can you blame me? Check them out on my website.
There is a debate among UI and icon designers that has been raging for decades. The question is simple: Do we need a new ‘save’ icon? For those who think we do, there is a second question: What do we replace it with? The answer isn’t as simple as some people think.
The main argument for proponents of designing a new ‘save’ icon is simply that the current one is outdated. It’s based on a technology old enough that some readers may not know what is depicted in the image above. Floppy discs, they say, had their time as the predominant storage medium but have since been antiquated to obsolescence. And with more focus being put on modernism and good design every day, it’s not surprising that there would be many who are opposed to having such a relic as one of the most commonly used symbols in computing.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that the origins of the icon no longer matter. Like many symbols before it, the icon has left its origins behind and become an abstract-yet-recognizable glyph that can be learned and used without historical context. Those who argue for keeping the symbol as-is might compare changing it to be as damaging to our culture as changing a letter in the alphabet, especially given the increasingly technology-dependent nature of our culture. Could we learn to live with a new symbol? Surely, they argue, just as well as we could eventually overcome the changing of a letter, But why bother? Would it be worth it to try and change such a universally-recognized symbol simply because we think it looks too old?
Remember in my last post when I gave a sneak preview of what my new website/brand overhaul may look like? Well it turns out that may was a key word in that sentence because while I have started working on a brand adjustment it is nowhere near the direction that my small preview indicated. The reason? Simplicity. I decided that instead of building my brand around the idea of having memorable colors and styles that stood out to people I would design it to be simple and unobtrusive and let my work take precedence. I accomplished this on my website by doing two main things:
1) I completely eliminated all colors from the website design. The only elements that aren’t simply shades of grey are the items in my gallery. This helps them stand out better. And since my work is what really defines me as an artist it is important that it be the most prominent thing on peoples’ minds.
2) I simplified the layout of the website to the max. As soon as a visitor arrives they are presented with my gallery. That’s it. The only thing on the screen that isn’t part of the gallery is a 50-pixel-high nav bar that serves a the hub for functions such as returning to the top of the page; opening the “About Me” drawer; and providing links to email me, download my resume, and view this blog. Every item in the gallery is large and prominent. Not only that, but I eliminated all text from the page (except for my name, at higher browser widths) to allow the imagery maximum focus. Project titles and media are still visible via hover animation. Besides allowing me to play around with CSS 3D transforms this functionality also allows users to focus on a single thing at a time without being distracted by other text.
I hope to slowly migrate my whole brand to this new, simpler version. Thankfully one of my courses this semester just happens to be entirely dedicated to portfolio and personal brand development so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunity to work on this project some more. I just hope it doesn’t prompt another web re-design just yet (but you never know)!