Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hello internets!

My life has been changing quite a lot recently. Firstly I just got slammed with comments about wasting time and not improving all that much. It's the truth and if they used up their time to write that I believe that's because they care about me. Among those were a lot of positive messages and resourceful web links. The one that helped me the most was "Do It Now" by Steve Pavlina. There were things I already knew but the way he put them made me look at them differently and actually apply a few. I changed several things about the way I work, including the area in my house where I do so. I'll probably write about those changes too, if they prove to be really positive.

There were also comments about the flash gallery I used in my website. Luckily Rui Martins, known in the internet as rmsm was already helping me to create a new one. He did most of the technical part and I truly owe him one.

Some people suggested I get in touch with a team so that I have direct feedback and, most importantly, deadlines. I started looking for a mod and right now I am waiting for a team to tell me if they're interested in what I can do. I am also working on my submission for the G-Switch art competition at Gamedev-PT and just finished getting references for my next model.

There are some new projects in the works but I'll only write about those when they're ready to be announced.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lowpoly Littlebigplanet

After all this, I forgot to post it here.

This is my mockup of how LittleBigPlanet could look like if it was on a portable console like the PSP. That would make me buy one.

Total triangle count for the scene is 3172 and I used 4 point lights.

The only thing I added to the Maya screengrabs is the gradient frame in each picture.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What do you get when you pay for a game?

This is something that's been bugging me for a while.

I had recently bought Counter-Strike Collection and when I started installing it a pop-up showed up prompting me to register in "Steam", something I had read about some time ago. The purpose of this was to make me log in everytime I wanted to play so they could make sure I was using a legal copy of their software.

Fair enough, I paid for it and it was an online game so it wasn't that big an issue.

Sometime later I bought Valve's Half-Life Anthology. The main game I wanted to play using it was the original Half-Life. I started installing it on my computer, which wasn't connected to the internet and at that time simply couldn't be. Suddenly a pop-up showed up. "Register your copy on Steam or you won't be able to play the game". I couldn't.

It was a singleplayer game, I had paid for it and it was there in my hand but they wouldn't let me play it. What had I just bought?

Apparently I had just bought permission to play the game but only if they were watching.

(I'll probably write more about this in the near future.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have started rolling the dice about two weeks ago.

I sent out CVs and portfolios to some companies I was interested in, mostly for the jobs of Junior Artist and QA Tester. I know I still lack a LOT of practice but I feel that I need to start sending all of this stuff right now. I might get a positive answer.

So far I have recieved some negative answers and one that sounded positive but some time later was denied. Right now there is another one that I feel optimistic about but will not detail further on this post.

Time to work on my texture painting skills.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Portable programs

I found something cool today and I'd like to share it with you guys. It's free.

I don't know if you know portable programs but the name is pretty self-explanatory. These are programs you can use without an installation process. This means you can carry them around in any data storage medium and use when needed.

I've had issues opening exotic format files in other prople's computers, or trying to open videos encoded with strange codecs and this makes these things a lot more interesting.

This website developed a system wich allows users to integrate those programs in an easy to use interface, which helps if you want to teach a computer newbie to use it. The basic platform lets you build your own little system and add or remove programs at your will, making it as heavy as you want it to be.

Honestly, after trying it for a while I thought I don't really need all that and just kept the executables I thought were useful. Bye platform but hellooo programs.

The programs I found are web browsers, internet messengers, image editing software, games (of course!), openoffice, media players with several codecs, file compressors, pdf readers and editors. There's also a portable version of Blender if you're interested. Here's some more.

It's pretty nice, I feel like I have a digital swiss army knife now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

London Game Career Fair: Day Two Report

This was a quiet day compared to the previous one. We had already talked to all the companies so we spend a bit more time at the games' part and some more swag-collecting action (Lionhead "Fable 2" mugs and yo-yos and Relentless "Buzz!" t-shirt!). They had some games that weren't there on the previous day and sometimes they changed their places, refreshing the layout of the place a bit.

I only noticed that one of the zones was a "+18" area now because it really wasn't obvious. We had already played some of their games (Fallout 3!) and we saw nothing shocking except the usual videogame violence and the occasional swear word.
I think marking the area and not really caring about the people who go in makes the whole thing a bit useless. And about those swear words...the players themselves curse way more than those games whenever they see something really good or really bad, it doesn't matter.

I met two of my Escape friends there and it was fun seeing them again. After picking up a couple of free energy drinks (one was orange-flavoured and the other one was supposed to help with hangovers!). Their sense of humor is still the same and we all talked during the whole time they were there. After lunch they left as well as Nuno who had a plane to catch.

Me and CG got back to the event to play some more games.

After we left the event we got back to Piccadilly Circus to see if Tokyo Toys was open and it was. After checking some other places out we walked to Hamley's. That place still impresses me because of its huge size. Didn't find was that I was looking for and got back. CG went back home and I went back to Zavvi and HMV to look for a couple of things which I did find.

Because a game fair without it isn't really a game fair! Here's the best of it.

-2 mugs, a "Banjo-Kazooie" one from Rare and a "Fable 2" one from Lionhead
-"Buzz!" T-shirt from Relentless
-yo-yo from Lionhead!
-pens from Microsoft, Other Ocean, Streamline and Starbreeze
-badges from Relentless and Streamline
-"Banjo-Kazooie" mousepad, from Rare
-awesome "Fallout 3" postcards, from Bethesda
-the smallest pack of matches I have ever seen, from Streamline

All this, the contacts and the advice I got made it a really worthwile trip once again.
I missed London.

(London, 29-10-2008)

London Game Career Fair: Day One Report

I got there fast because I thought it opened earlier so I got to wait in line for a while, looking around trying to find the portuguese people that I knew would come. Outside they had a big Ubisoft place, a Warhammer 40.000 Space Marine Tank, a big Motorstorm 2 car and this place that was giving out free energy drinks.

Nuno Ramiro got there early too so we had time to talk about all the weird things that happen in London all the time. CG was the last one to get there and as such she had to wait longer to get in.

As the doors opened we got our blue bracelets (which probably mean "noob" or something) and saw the littlebigplanet tryout booth. Let me tell you the game is exactly what I expected. It is beautiful, polished and most of all: fun. I don't have a PS3 and this game is the only one that makes me desire it. After about an hour of really awesome co-op play and some creation demonstrations, we remembered why we were in the fair for and started looking for the company booths.

There were none in sight, just tryout booths for some of the most expected games of this season. To list a few there were Fallout 3, Mirror's Edge, Prince of Persia Prodigy, Resident Evil 5 (actually most of the copies called it by its japanese name, Biohazard 5), Endwar, Gears of War 2, Killzone 2 and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts.

After searching for a bit we found out the fair was even bigger than last year and it had two floors. This first one was full of gaming kiosks and the upper one was the one where the companies were hiring, so we headed there.

What a relief, it was bigger than last year! So much people and so much swag we didn't know where to start. As you probably guessed we only talked to game companies and pretty much ignored all the booths that were announcing game-related courses.

The "Most Arrogant Booth" Award goes to Sega for the second year in a row! Showing up at a fair like this, not accepting CDs of portfolios and telling us to apply at their website is even more ridiculous than not showing up. Enjoy your prize guys, you deserved it.

The "Coolest People To Talk To" Award goes to Streamline Studios, with only two people but really nice ones. They asked everyone if they had heard of their company before and apparently we were the only people that said "Yes". The conversation simply flowed from there. They know a friend of mine that works there and once they realised that they got really informal about the whole deal. We went back to talk to them several times because they were that cool. The runner-ups were Rare, Lionhead and Longtail Studios.

The "Sorely Missed" Award goes to Team 17. After some really good advice from them a year ago I wanted to show them what I had done in the meantime. Well, I'll send them an e-mail or something.

We weren't at the lectures because they were almost the same as last year's.

I recognized a few faces. Some fellow Escapees and Paul Wilkes, some people from the company booths and even the "Be my first animation/modeling job" girl from last year! I guess the cherry t-shirt wasn't enough.

The most curious thing about the fair was probably the Live Action Pong. Yep, two guys dressed as the paddles and a girl dressed as the ball were trying to re-enact that famous game.

After everything started to quiet down we left for a pizza at Leicester Square. We were served by a kind italian guy who absolutely loathes Dr. Pepper and when we left we were surprised the whole city wasn't really expecting. Snow. The kind that melts right when it hits the ground. We still had to walk a bit to get to Piccadilly Circus so it wasn't the most pleasant experience ever but it was fun.

(London, 28-10-2008)