Tacoma Arts Commission Meeting

In this picture: Text: “As Yet Untitled Dino Game; 2021-2022 TAIP Funded Project; Suzanne Skaar.” Background art: screen capture of black and white pixel art dinosaur peering over green brick wall in underground environment. Different colored pipes form networks throughout the foreground and background of the picture. Pink No, Mine! Studios logo is in the bottom right corner.

I’ll be presenting at the next Tacoma Arts Commission meeting!

Join us online on Monday, September 12, 2022 at 5 p.m. I’ll be talking about my experience as part of the 2021-2022 Tacoma Arts Initiative Program Funded Cohort and progress on my first game. Information is available on the City of Tacoma’s website.

Thank you for your continued support!

Suzanne

Tacoma Arts Month Kickoff Party!

No, Mine! Studios will be at the official kick-off party for Tacoma Arts Month! The Kaleidoscope Opening Party is free and will be hosted at Tacoma’s STAR Center on October 5 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Stop by and test the latest progress on the as-yet-untitled dino game.The last public demo was at the October 2021 Arts at the Armory event. There’s still so much to do, but I am excited to share the progress made since then!

For those interested in being included in the game as an NPC, I’ll have audio recording equipment and permission forms on hand as well. 🙂

I received support for the research and development of game background art from the Tacoma Arts Commission through the 2021-2022 Tacoma Artist Initiative Program. (While the Kickoff Party will mark the completion of my participation in the program, I’ll definitely be working on the game for the foreseeable future.) For those who would like to learn more about this program, I’ll be talking about my TAIP experience at the September 12 Commission meeting.

You can help support this small, Tacoma-based business by liking, following, and sharing @nominestudios on the following platforms:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

TikTok

YouTube

You can also buy a dino a coffee here.

Thank you!

Suzanne

Work in Progress

Good morning!

My next live demo is at Grit City Comic Show’s Artist Alley in October, & I’ll be announcing my TAIP artist talk soon, so I’ve been hard at work on background art, secondary character design, & animations.

In game screenshot of as yet untitled pixel art dinosaur game. Small black and ivory T-rex sitting in between two buildings looking up at a green brontosaurus peering from behind building. On top of the building to the right is a sign which reads “The Very Diverse Society for Old Dude Bros.” Pink “No, Mine! Studios” logo in bottom righthand corner.
Art by Suzanne Skaar, 2020-2022. All rights reserved.
In game screenshot of as yet untitled pixel art dinosaur game. Small black and ivory T-rex sitting in bush in front of brick building loosely based on Tacoma’s Armory (“The Rawrmory”). Cannon on top of roof to the right. Small triceratops sits atop a tower to the left. White “No, Mine! Studios” logo in bottom righthand corner.
Art by Suzanne Skaar, 2020-2022. All rights reserved.

I’m open to other opportunities, too! 😊 Email nominestudios@gmail.com.

If you’d like to help this project reach a wider audience, please follow No, Mine! Studios (nominestudios) on the following platforms:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

TikTok

YouTube

You can also buy a dino a coffee here.

Thank you very much for supporting a Tacoma-based, woman-owned small business!

— Suzanne

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 for 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 illustration 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

Minizine!

Yesterday I did a test run of the 1st minizine from “The Pink Series.”

1st mini-zine based on The Pink Series by Suzanne Skaar, 2021-2022. All rights reserved.
1st page from 1st mini-zine based on The Pink Series by Suzanne Skaar, 2021-2022. All rights reserved, even those SCOTUS tries to steal.

Not sure where these will land yet, but I’m open to suggestions!

Suzanne

Game Progress and Other Updates

In game screenshot. Pixel art dinosaur standing on wooden fence looking up at sign which reads "Magma Lava Fired Pizza." Sign on righthand side of fence reads "Closed for repairs." Sign on leftside of fence reads "Cook Wanted No Exp", but "no" is crossed out with red letters. A tiny volcano is seen behind the fence.

Happy Wednesday!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared new game updates on the website. Allergies really kicked my butt these last few weeks and I’ve been in a bit of a fog. Fortunately, we’re just a few days away from the official start of summer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and the pollen count is only going up from here! Yay! [Wait.]

Part of my absence from posting on my site was that I was working really hard on a project for an organization that, in the end, was not set up to properly support content creators. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Not every effort is going to pan out in the end, and sometimes, the best option is to reroute our energy, especially when we don’t have much energy to begin with [see first paragraph] and mom duties call.

[Ha ha, duties.]

I also tried my hand at standup comedy for a few months, which was more an exercise in remembering what it was like to interact with other adults outside of formal meetings. For now, I love the writing aspect of standup, but not so much the standing-up of standup. I’ll give it another go again somewhere down the line, but for now, I’m gleefully back in the safety of a late Cretaceous Era Tacoma.*

Here’s some of the game progress I’ve shared on other social media sites so far. If you want to support No, Mine! Studios in the goal of reaching a wider audience, please like, follow/ subscribe, and share No,, Mine! on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and even the dusty old YouTube.

If you have places in Tacoma you want to ensure are in the game, drop me a line in the comments below, or email nominestudios@gmail.com.

In game capture. Play-testing by No Mine, Studios Junior Tester Isobel.
Animation and sound by Suzanne Skaar, 2020-2022. All rights reserved.

As always, thank you for your support! And thank you to the Tacoma Arts Commission for providing support for this project through the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program!

City of Tacoma Arts Commission logo.

Suzanne

*[I realize Tacoma would have been completely under water 66 million years ago and probably did not have any decent places to get falafel.]