Hey readers! It’s been a little while, for anyone who’s wondering about the progress of My Burden to Keep, it’s still underway. I’ll post some screenshots and sprites that I showed to the people over at the Adventure Game Studio forums soon.

As for this post and the new category that comes with it, I’ll explain it in a short and sweet manner. The posts labelled under the new “Digital Workbook” category will be the documentation of what I do during the ongoing fall term of my third year at uni (Blekinge Institute of Technology, to be more precise.) Basically, we’re supposed to more or less create our own courses for the whole fall term, choosing what we want to learn more about and broadening our skills within the program which we chose to study. A compulsory element of these personally modelled courses is the documentation of the things that we do through a workbook. I chose to write mine in a digital form, as it means that anyone can access it and as such, I can share the work I do and the results and observations I come up with.

For my first personally modelled course, I chose to immerse myself in the wonderful world of concept art and its flexibility as a means of visually communicating ideas to other people. Throughout this first block of the term, I will study different methods of creating digital concept art with a drawing tablet, employing these different methods and finally evaluating their effectivity and quality. I e, is this method effective and visually distinct enough for me to use it regularly in my (hopefully) future daily work as a game designer?

Without further ado, here’s the brief summary of the first three days of the course, which’ve mainly been dedicated to the planning of the following weeks of the block.

Day 1 – Monday, September 3, 2012

Not a whole lot happened today in terms of practical work. All of the third year students gathered at uni for a brief introduction to the layout of the fall term and what would be expected of us students. We were then assigned the simple task of reading through the program for the course and the layout of the planning document for each block.
After we were dismissed for the day, the team (us over at Forgotten Keygathered for a quick chat about things to come and the plans for our ‘super secret project’. Not that it’s completely related to the contents of this workbook, but the notion of a ‘super secret project’ did awaken your attention, did it not? Anyhow, that’ll be all for this day.

Day 2 – Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This is the day when things really got started! A workshop was held over at uni during which we could ask the tutors any questions we had regarding the course. After that, we got started on filling out the planning documents for the first block and getting them approved preliminarily. It was a good thing too, as I, like some others, misinterpreted how the formulation of some of the aspects of the document were supposed to be.

I knew from the start that I wanted to work with improving my skills in the concept art department. The tricky part was formulating a question for the planning that was of a ‘general nature’, that still summarized my ultimate goals and purpose for studying concept art. After a few iterations, I finally nailed it. I’ll try my best to translate it;

How can one effectively transfer ideas and concepts to visual form (concept art) and use it to simplify the communication of ideas to others?

With most of the planning document filled out, I felt that my goals and vision of the rest of the following block was even clearer. I can’t wait to get started with drawing!

Day 3 – Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The customary “start-of-school-common-cold” struck early this year. It didn’t present itself an obstacle though, as most of today’s work consisted of polishing the planning document. I also looked up tutorials and methods for creating concept art and motivated briefly how I might come to use them.

During my search of methods, I found that a lot of variations of using silhouettes as a basic shape to start from were very popular. The use of variations of that method is more or less a given part of this first block for me, it seems to be very efficient and still able to yield good results. I have yet to find a more academic and/or scientific document to refer to, but hopefully tomorrow’s visit to uni will help me with that. Me and my bud Casper are basically doing the same thing for the first block, so it’ll be a perfect opportunity to share resources at uni tomorrow.

That’ll be all for these first few days. From hereon, updates will most regularly be daily instead of a cluster of half a week’s worth of work. It’s likely that I won’t have anything visual to show off until after this first week of planning, so preemptive apologies for all the textstuff!

Until next time,
Marcus out.