Tacoma History, Dinos, and Game Dev

I’ve been looking up the history of cool Tacoma buildings I want to reference in my game and did some digging into what used to be an old theater in the Lincoln District.

When it was first built, the owner made it so that women (not men, mind you) could have a separate nursery area for caring for their kids and still see the screen. It closed in 1958, became a theater not at all appropriate for kids, then a church. It’s been boarded up for a while, now.

While I usually change the names of buildings/ businesses to dinosaur/prehistoric puns, I think I’ll keep the original name in this instance.

A challenge with drawing from historical references from this game has been to not be too literal in the design process. I’ve taken some liberties with background art design for the purpose of keeping with the game’s overall style. For example, looking at my illlustration and the historical photo of Rex Theatre side by side, it’s easy to see that my version is a little taller and less rounded on the top than the original. Another difference is that while the original theater had 650 seats, I don’t think 650 dinosaurs could fit into the original theater.

At least not 650 adult T-Rexes. The building itself is only 6,000 square feet, and T-rexes could grow up to 40 feet long and 12 feet high, and that’s not accounting for width…

So rest assured, my overthinking friends who also get caught up in historical details, I am overthinking this, too, and we’re just going to let some things slide. And the other details I can’t let slide will be dealt with in the game as awkwardly as possible. Like what happens when you try to jam as many dinosaurs as you can into a theater.

I’m grateful to the Tacoma Arts Commission for supporting this part of the game research process through the Tacoma Artist Initiative Program (TAIP). You can learn about other TAIP projects by clicking here.

9 year anniversary of No, Mine! Studios

Social media reminded me that 11 years ago today, I made the announcement that I was expecting my Junior Tester, a.k.a. “Kiddo,” and 9 years ago today, I started this website, nominestudios.com, borrowing the then 1.5-year-old’s favorite phrase.

Inspiration. 2013. Photo by Suzanne Skaar.

The development of this website inspired me in many ways to make the switch from painting to digital art. The need to keep two cats and a toddler out of my ink and paper supply also provided a lot of motivation to this end. I started off doing animations using a mouse and an old MacBook that kept dying. I was finally able to update my equipment two years ago to a computer capable of running current forms of Windows and a Wacom tablet after the pandemic once again necessitated a shift in work styles.

And now, I’m fortunate enough to be developing a game, experimenting with music and sound effects, and doing research/ background art with support of the Tacoma Arts Commission Artist Initiative Program.

Here’s a look back on some of my work through the years. Apparently WordPress is still glitching on mobile apps with some of the animations :(, so if you can view this on desktop, it will hopefully work better.

Thank you all for your support!

Suzanne

Click on any photo below to expand to slide show view.

Screenshot Saturday

Happy Screenshot Saturday!

This week I’ve been building out the game environment, adding details, and working on sound design. Here’s a peek:

7 15 2022 in game engine clip. Visual and sound design by Suzanne Skaar, 2020-2022. All rights reserved.

As a reminder, it’s not too late to add your voice to the game as a background character! Please click here for more details, or email nominestudios@gmail.com with questions.

As always, thank you for your support!

Suzanne

Call for Audio Submissions

Hi friends!

My 43rd birthday is on July 26. While many people use their birthdays on social media these days to solicit funds for charity, I am collecting impressions of dinosaurs.

In 2021, my indie game was accepted into the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program for support while I focus on research and designing the background art. One of my other goals for this project is to include as many voices from the Greater Tacoma Community as I can in the game. As such, I want to include others’ best (and even worst) dinosaur impressions in the game’s soundscape.

QUESTION: Is there pay for participating? No, there is no pay. But if your audio clip is used, you have the choice whether you will be included in the credits or not.

Don’t live in Tacoma but want to participate anyway? Not a problem!

If you are under 18, please get permission from your parent or guardian prior to participating.

If this sounds like fun, please check out the application form for complete details (Word/ PDF). Submissions are due July 26, 2022.

Please note that submissions may be shared on social media. If you don’t want your submission shared, please don’t send it! And if you do share your submission on social media, please tag @nominestudios!

Thank you for your support!

Suzanne