Developer Diary: 4 Months

4 months ago I started developing a 2D pixel art game by myself: the artwork, the writing, the music, and building the project in Unity. I’m still in the early phases of my project timeline, but I wanted to share progress so far.

Thank you to everyone who has given advice and support. If you like what you see, please drop a line in the comments and/or share this with friends.

Onward!

Nerd Badge

Sometimes, when conversations in this house get weird, they end up inspiring new artwork. Yesterday led to the creation of the nerd badge, which I added to my online Redbubble shop.

With the exception of one other design, I removed everything from the shop on Redbubble. I hadn’t been giving this endeavor the love it needs, so I’m doing a full reset. As it’s election season, I did make my more popular offering, “VOTING IS SEXY,” available on a few more items, including on masks.

As Redbubble makes kids masks too, I may end up making more designs available there again. Fun artwork has made getting my child to put and keep her mask on much easier. [It’s still no walk in the park, but…] If you’re having troubles finding designs you’d like to see for yourself, friends, or little ones, email me at nominestudios@gmail.com.

Stay safe, read good books, and get those ballots in!

Dinosaurs and other Updates

Summer has been fairly busy. On top of entertaining a kid during a pandemic and planning for homeschool, I’ve had other projects in the works. I was asked to submit work to a by invitation-only call for cyberpunk stories to a journal overseas. Regardless of whether my story gets picked up for publication, it was an honor to be asked, especially as I haven’t written in this genre before. I’ve been volunteering locally as I’ve been able. Remote meetings are a lifesaver for individuals with chronic illnesses/ conditions like migraines, arthritis, and motherhood (ahem), so I hope this trend continues after the pandemic. The ability to turn off the video and audio functions is especially appreciated. A laughing, streaking kid in the house did elicit momentary panic at one point.

In the relatively quiet moments and through the chaos, I have begun to make significant progress on my biggest project to date [Master’s thesis be damned]: an indie narrative game combining many of my favorite subjects.

Here is a peek at the main character:

Mini Dino Pixel Art.
Mini Dino Pixel Art (side view). Suzanne Skaar. 2020. All rights reserved.

Dino Front view Idle 8 19 2020
Front view Dino character, idle. Suzanne Skaar, 2020. Animation/ pixel art. Work in progress. All rights reserved.

My last programming class was in high school, more than 20 years ago, so I have been teaching myself Unity, a development platform which is free to users up to a certain revenue bracket. Brackeys tutorials on YouTube have been on repeat for months in the house. They are awesome: go check them out! Thanks to the site Beepbox, I have also been working on digital music composition for the first time. I first started using Audacity for podcasts a few years back, and it continues to be a great tool for artists. [While I’m not ready to share some of my serious attempts yet, my co-conspirator did willingly lend her vocals to this “parenting dance anthem.” It was created using Beepbox and Audacity.] 

Other snippets of the game art are up on the No Mine! Studios Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. I’ve set myself a soft deadline of December (6 months from when I started) to get basic art in place so I can focus on research, writing, and mechanics. This game is a one mother show. If you are on the above platforms, please follow for updates, like, and share. Your support means a lot!

Gay Propaganda

Straight out of Russia, a specific brand of ice cream has caused an uproar because it’s rainbow colored and rainbows are “gay propaganda.”

It would be funny if the bigots behind these idiotic tirades didn’t put so many people in harm’s way in the process.

Anyway, here is a completely innocent gif of a stegosaurus I made today.

Stego_Rainbow
“Stegosaurus.” Animated gif. Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved. 2020.

Cheers,

Suzanne

 

Answer the Phone

When your long-time friend/ collaborator texts you to call then doesn’t answer their phone, sometimes you just need to take a moment and animate your response…

Answer the Phone!
“Answer the Phone!” Animated gif. Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved 2020.

Tacoma on a Gray Day

I took advantage of yesterday’s moody weather to shoot photos in downtown Tacoma.

Here’s a selection.

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East 21st Street Bridge, Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

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Tacoma rail yard. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

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Last of the leaves on a tree. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

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Tacoma Glass Museum and Downtown Marina. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

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View from under the Glass Bridge, downtown Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

I’ll post more later. Stay warm.

Suzanne

Jet City Comic Show

Photograph: (Child dressed as) Batwoman on swing. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved. (Photo shared with Batwoman’s permission.)

It’s official: I’ll be moderating a panel for Tacoma’s Jet City Comic Show!

Panelists Alease Frieson, Anna Nepomuceno, Naarah McDonald, and Stephanie Anne Johnson are on board to discuss the topic “Making Space: Accessibility and Diversity in Geek Culture.” We’ll talk about the importance of making space for diverse content creators, new narratives, and a wider range of characters, as well as how to create accessible and welcoming environments.

Mark your calendars:

11 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019

Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Room 405

 

Tickets are available at http://www.jetcitycomicshow.com/ and at the door.

 

See you there!

 

Suzanne

Write Anyway

I took a break from working on projects this morning. I was really motivated, but I forced myself to take a break for health reasons. Then the doubt seeped in. I caught myself questioning myself, and I knew the self-criticism was without merit. But I lost a little steam.

I dawdled on Facebook, when a post sparked a need to look through some old belongings I hadn’t touched in years. In the process, I found my copy of On the Road by Kerouac, which I had thought was lost. Inside the book, there was this postcard from my writing mentor, Ray Kelleher. He wrote it in 1996 explaining he would be gone and when he would be back, and ended the card, “Write Anyway! Be-bop lives.”

 

He died several years back. I didn’t learn until well after the fact. Sometimes signs from him pop up. Like this.

I’m back at the computer. I’m sharing because there’s probably others who need a kick from the other side to get back to working on what you love, too.

 

Be-bop lives,

 

Suzanne

Weekend Illustrations

On Saturday I trekked around town with my favorite local dance studio and took pictures. Due to concerns about copyright infringement/ intellectual property theft based on recent experiences, I am being more cautious about sharing photos. So on Sunday I began working on some new watermarks for my images. From doodles to digital versions, here’s some of what I came up with. {Considering a lot of my work is typically serious in nature, I have a few more designs in the works as well.}

Cheers!

Suzanne

Watermark Option 1
Illustration of coffee mug with heart and No, Mine! Studios. Suzanne Skaar 2019

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Illustration of little thunder cloud, cloud with No, Mine! Studios written inside, and sunshine peeking from behind. Suzanne Skaar 2019

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Illustration titled “Some Days”, originally drawn in 2014 but reworked into logo which reads: “Suzanne Skaar No, Mine! Studios nominestudios.com” Suzanne Skaar 2019