Tacoma based artist and writer. Currently working on as yet untitled video game with support from the City of Tacoma Artist Initiative Program. You can follow progress on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok: @nominestudios. E-mail: email@example.com.
It’s been a little too chaotic to post lately, but I hope 2023 is treating everyone well so far!
Quick note: I missed the camaraderie of pre-Musk Twitter, so I joined the Mastodon Games server. Here’s the invitation link if you also need another way to goof off connect with others on social media!
Spring 2023 promises to be a great time of personal and professional growth!
Background on why the following news is so important to me:
Like many other artists, I started drawing, painting, and writing as a kid.
I was also diagnosed with migraines as a kid. More recently, in 2018, I was also diagnosed with both bilateral hand arthritis and early-stage glaucoma.
Ironically, working long hours as a VRC without adequate accommodations became unsustainable, and I left the field in December 2018. For a while, I stopped creating art at all, due to both pain and fear of making the latter two conditions worse.
In June 2020, I started designing my first video game with accessibility in mind. I personally can’t enjoy media with flashing lights (a known migraine trigger), and time-sensitive games can be impossible with hand arthritis, so these were the starting points for determining my design process. Thanks to in person game demos, I have been able to incorporate feedback into making gameplay more intuitive. I have received a lot of support in this project, and I still have a long way to go before I’m ready to release the game.
Yesterday I found out I was selected to attend an upcoming AbleGamers’ Accessible Player Experiences (APX) Certified Practitioner Training session for free through the Developers Promoting Accessibility & Diversity (DPAD) Initiative. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to learning how to better apply knowledge and skills from my previous experience as a VRC/CDMS within the gaming industry.
I am excited to share my latest collaboration with Tacoma Artist Mauricio Robalino. Mauricio was awarded a grant as part of the Tacoma Artist Initiative Program to document his work and processes through a series of short videos. Due to the pandemic, we were only able to meet in person a couple of months ago, but since then, I have helped him with recording audio, editing, and shooting additional footage for his project. This series has been a lot of fun to work on!
Here is the link to his video entitled “Artist Philosophy.” Please subscribe to his YouTube channel to check out other videos in the series and share with friends.
I just received word that the City of Tacoma has approved funding for No, Mine! Studios to start the South Side Animation Club!
This all ages/ all-levels gathering will be once a month, free to the public, and is meant to bring more opportunities in the arts to residents in the South End, East Side, and South Tacoma. (It’s not a requirement to live in these neighborhoods: others are welcome to participate, too.)
A large portion of the funding received will be used to compile starter kits with drawing paper, pens, pencils, etc. and more for participants who need supplies. There will also be a projector and screen on hand so that participants can share works in progress.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work to take care of before the first meeting in the Spring: securing a venue in the South End Tacoma, getting the word out to interested artists, securing supplies/ equipment, and more. If you want to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am grateful to the City of Tacoma for this opportunity. I’ll share more news as it becomes available.
The subtitled version of the first Yeetcosystem Promo is set to premiere on YouTubeat noon today (November 16, PST )!
[Content warning: There is one swear word, and it’s not even my favorite — I mean a really bad one.]
I promise I’ll get back to posting dinos and other work soon — unless some actual investors want to make this project happen. [How much would liability insurance on a project like this cost? Ten dollars?]
Recently, I began pitching my exciting new business venture, Yeetcosystem (TM). The first promotional video is up now. Please check it out, unless you’re not allowed to watch videos with a swear word in them. [I forgot to bleep something. I blame sleep deprivation/ laziness/ being a grown up who occasionally uses mild curse words in public.]
In other news, I am happy to announce that No, Mine! Studios will be back at Tacoma’s Arts at the Armory event on December 10 and 11, 2022! I’ll be listed in the materials under my name (Suzanne Skaar) in case you have troubles finding me at the Armory. The dino game will available for playtesting for those interested in seeing the latest progress. I’ll also have buttons and stickers for sale for those looking for last minute holiday gifts.
A huge thank you to everyone who came by to show their support at Grit City Comic Show! And thank you for your patience regarding our technical difficulties. Who knew affordable access to electricity for vendors would be so vital to a game demo at a convention?
As promised earlier this week and to those I spoke with at the City of Tacoma Kaleidoscope Kickoff Party, here are some resources that I have found useful while working on my as yet untitled dino game.
I am building my game in Unity, which is free for individuals who make under a certain amount of income from games per year. I am brand new, and I have definitely not come close to that threshhold yet. Another engine that other artists like using is Unreal. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking about testing it when I start on my next project. A great benefit of Unreal is that they do offer funds for some projects. Here’s the link for more info.
(NOTE: This is not a paid promotion by Adobe.If they would like to change that, my bank account is all ears.)
I create the initial designs of characters, objects, and background art in Adobe Photoshop. I held on for as long as I could to my 2009 MacBook and hard copy of Photoshop CS 6, but at this point, I am now locked into the full Creative Cloud. It’s expensive, so if others would like to suggest free/ cheap alternatives that work well with Unity, please comment below. The import process between Photoshop and Unity is fairly simple. I can share a sample video of the process if others are interested, but there are also many tutorials on YouTube.
When getting the sound ready for the game, I have used a combination of Audacity (audio editing software), BeepBox(online tool for making and sharing melodies), and more recently, Adobe Audition. The first two are free whereas Audition comes with Creative Cloud subscriptions. I have used Audition more for marketing than content creation so far.
For video, I have been relying on Open Broadcast Studio (OBS)for screencaptures and Adobe Premiere Pro for compiling videos. OBS is free, and I am still figuring it out. For Creative Cloud subscribers, Audition is linked to Premiere, so changing audio levels or doing simple effects like fade in/ fade out is relatively fast.
I started researching how to turn my concept into a game using Unity in March 2020. Since then, I have watched a lot of videos which break down the process of animating sprites, importing audio, and more. Due to updates from game engine platforms, some of these tutorials may become outdated fairly quickly, but I really like the teaching styles of Brackeys and BurgZerg Arcade. While Brackeys is no longer posting new videos, they have a plethora of great ones still up on YouTube. GDC posts a lot of great talks about game design from all angles. From the business side, I recently discovered the Future of Play channel on YouTube. The Publish Me Punish Me series is entertaining and informative.
If you think this kind of post is helpful, please like and share with friends. You can also support No, Mine! Studios on the following social media platforms:
If you’re local to Tacoma, I would love to see you at Grit City Comic Show on October 22, 2022! In addition to having the game progress available for playing, I’ll have a limited supply of merchandise for sale.