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2009 July | PencilGym.com

Archive for July, 2009

ok this is a rant … thoughts going through my head as i was working on my painting homework all day.

earlier yesterday was spending time on another of those MMORPGs (massive-multiplayer-online role-playing-games)..yes i could rant another whole post just about my take on MMOs.. but yesterday, i happen to be chatting to one of the players (usually target audience for these game developers are teenagers if not younger), who happens to be just 13 years of age.

what really started me thinking is just how much our society now has changed, we are in the age of “the computer”. My parents and your parents didn’t have the privilege of being able to “send mails electronically at the clik of a button”, they never had the opportunity to “google it”. They were, as i quote from my other literature i’ve read regarding Video Games & our modern society, the Baby Boomers, and we’re Generation X!

alright so back to my chat with this kid..this game has an “Upgrade system”, which is pretty much what all MMORPGs thrive on and are designed around. The player has the opportunity, not forced upon, to further enhance his character/avatar of himself, making his/her virtual self stronger, more respected, etc. A “sword+1″ is not as impressive as a “sword+3″. And upgrading it to a “3″ is, a simple feat within the game. You are allowed to enhance your item up to a “10″, which will be the maximum power your character can attain. However, as logic shows it, the further you upgrade, the tougher it will get to achieve that level of power. Getting a “5″ to a “6″ might take you only a few attempts, and going from “6″ to “7″ will more than likely double that number of attempts to achieve.

Majority of the players in the game boast anywhere from a “sword+5″ to a “sword+8″. This kid had a fully upgraded item “sword+10″, he had “beaten” the game system in a sense, achieving the highest goal within the game(well there are plenty other goals to achieve within any given game, this was just one). The game designers dont wish for players to be able to reach the max. They want you to keep “trying”, buying upgrade-recipes over and over again, giving the developers your money & time.

I talked to him, asking how many times he had to try, to upgrade his “sword+10″. He replied “hundreds”. I asked him “why did you decide to spend your money (virtual game currency) buying upgrade-items to attempt that? You could have just spent your money else where, for example buy a new pair of boots for your character..afterall, everyone in the game knows it’s ground breaking hard to achieve a “+10″ item…you would be left with nothing if you did not get the 10, since you’re spending everything you have to get this 10.”

He replied confidently “yes i know, i heard it was a 0.1% chance of success going from 9 to 10 alone…”
“…but there [is] that chance right? so it’s not impossible. it’s not a 0% :D i wanted to take that chance.”

that’s it right there. that’s what sets children these days apart from “us”.

He’s a risk taker. He’s 13, a very young age, and he’s already developed a mindful for taking risks. Yah sure, to him its all just fun and games, but subconsciously, he’s already grasping important life skills that will take him beyond his “friend in the next cubicle”. He did not know how many times he would have to attempt to achieve that “item+10″, he simply went for it, disregarding other temptations or distractions (like a new pair of boots) or that chance that he might come up empty and fail it all.

Now compare that to a real life scenario. A good example will be that movie “Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith.

He struggled at the beginning. He failed some times. It was all not easy.

But he had it in him. He was one of the very few at the time to be able to solve a Rubix cube puzzle. Everyone else gave up on the puzzle. Everyone else gave up on life when they ran into troubles. Everyone else gave up on “upgrading that sword further” to get to the top.
But.
He made it. He didnt give up, he promised himself and his son to be successful. The other candidates trying for the job were white men, he was black.

He saw that “small chance”. This 13 yr old kid saw that “0.1%” chance. There is a chance. Now are you bothered enough to pursue it? How far you going to go.. how much you willing to risk..how many times are you willing to fail..? There’s a chance in life that me, Sam, will achieve my personal goals for life. I’m willing to go all out for it. There. is. a. chance.

While the normal-day-average person will settle for a comfortable job, earning in just about good to support his family comfortably, there is that minority that is willing to take risks and push it further. While the average MMORPG player may simply settle for a “sword+8″, there is that minority that will choose to go for the “10″ and risk it all.

Many “Life Lessons” in my terms, can be learnt, from playing video games. You just have to Game Responsibly. When i have kids next time, i already know, i’m not gonna be that parent that says “GET OFF THE XBOX & DO YOUR HOMEWORK”.

There’s a good book i read a couple years ago now, Got Game, a study about this growing Gamer Generation and how it has changed our society significantly. We can’t hide and lie to ourselves anymore. Video games are, part of our lives now just as much as television and radio is. Embrace it. Everybody wants to win..no one wants to lose. If you want to win today, it’s no harm to pick up 1 game quietly and sit down one evening, give yourself a chance to experience the fun.

Good Luck & LOL. :D

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Started work on an outside project with Kike...

been asked to animate his artwork/illustration he did.

this is what we have done today..his illustrations, my animation works. :D

Original Art Scan Page
(clik for fullsize)

Animated Version (Requires Flash Player to View)

Enjoy & Comments welcomed [:

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Wooo … yes, again a console development, this one for the Xbox systems..

This is Bennu, for the Xbox Live Arcade. (i think hehe)

but it looks like an interesting game design. Casual, yet still seeming to offer a good depth of gameplay..it says it’s unreleased yet, but it looks great so far for a ‘work in progress’ …

check out the gameplay videos, its really cool. I digg! :D

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hummmm … the gift of programming… or shall i say .. the art of programming.
writing code, and giving pixels, life..animating them.

3d modeling/digital Art is a different field from coding/programming. It takes alot alot of dedication and skill to become a strong Technical Artist (i belive is the name crowned for digital artist that have strong programming skills simultaneously).

i’m certainly far from that. And at the present moment, i’m beginning to truely appreciate the people that do understand coding and know how to write code.

sure i can model, texture, and maybe rig, the cutest looking piglet.. but that piglet wont oink if there’s no commands given to it to make it oink.

i need programmers..or software engineers! friends that are interested in starting programming for a game development career, please drop me a note/email :D

this is not a ‘game studio recruitment’ … its a casual, indie development startup project. The terms of the project are still only in pencil & sketch book, i’m just looking for a team of interested artist. Yesh, this will be a fun process, the goal is to completely build a fully playable, online/multiplayer game, current design plans include porting this game onto the iphone (granted the tools i’ve found are indeed the correct tools for such a task).

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my work from the last semester…improving on the technique/basics of workin in Maya, but art-skill still just amatuer and growing..one day..i’ll get there to that level of demand.

Room Environment project, base model given to us to texture. Texture budgets were determined before beginning the project.

Munny project, base Munny models were given to us to texture. Munnies (or Munnys) are vinyl collector toys made by KidRobot. They are sold as white/unpainted toys, where artists take ‘em home to create their own characters, coloring them with any available media (crayons/sharpies/paints/etc).
We did ours in 3D … hehe. Fun project i loved it.

(clik image for full size)

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Hmmmmm …. there doesnt seem to have been much “epic” game titles released for the PC in the past couple of months.. the recent big hits have mostly been just for the console side of the industry, which is a good thing too, finally the PS3 is getting some thing worthy to talk about.

Alot of the upcoming games that has my attention are all console-based, be it xbox, xbox live arcade, ps3, ps3 network, wii … where’s the PC family at? :( I’m not saying there hasn’t been any new games for the pc, but there’s very very few pc-exclusives lately.. oh well .. looking forward to hear more ’bout the new Blizzard games (you guys know which titles alrady).

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2 months since i wrote anything… shows just how much of a vacation i’ve been on … well kinda.. been very tied up with my project development with the Torque engine, and most recently the start of my Summer Class, painting my heart out.. it’s a very tough and tedious class. It grades particularly on how perfect you can get..gosh.

anyways, gearing up for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations…enjoy the weekend everyone (: Have a safe & fun July 4th!

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