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A challenge with drawing from historical references for this game has been to not be too literal in the design process.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.

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.]

If you buy a dinosaur a coffee …

Then the little dino is going to want a bubble tea… and maybe a vegetarian taco, too.

2D pixel art dinosaur holding a pink bubble tea and eating a taco. Suzanne Skaar, 2021. All rights reserved.

The process of building up a studio and developing a game can be long and lonely. It can especially be challenging as a mom to network through the normal avenues when many are not welcoming of children, and the pandemic has made it more difficult to depend on already limited childcare resources. Thank you everyone has cheered me on and jumped in to help along the way! I am especially grateful for the support received from the Tacoma Artist Initiative Program to focus on building up the environment of the game. [Much of the game’s background art is loosely based on real places in Tacoma, WA.]

Concept work for as yet untitled dinosaur game. “Boop’s” is based on Tacoma’s iconic Bob’s Java Jive. Suzanne Skaar, 2021. All rights reserved.

If you would like to help offset some of the costs of running a small business (business licenses, equipment, software, food …), consider buying a dino a coffee (or a bubble tea, or a taco). I do have a limited run of work up on Redbubble, as well as buttons and stickers ready to be placed in local retail stores.

Random sample of buttons featuring artwork from No, Mine! Studios.
New buttons by Suzanne Skaar, 2022. All rights reserved.

If there is a design on my site that you would like to purchase that is not on Redbubble yet, email nominestudios@gmail.com.

You can also help No, Mine! Studios reach a larger audience by following on these platforms:

Instagram

TikTok

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Thank you for your time and support!

Suzanne

Sneak Peek

Here’s a look at the latest progress on the interior of “The Very Diverse Society for Old Dude Bros” from my as yet untitled dinosaur game. Enjoy!

Work in progress: “The Very Diverse Society For Old Dude Bros.” Graphics and sound by Suzanne Skaar, 2020-2022. All rights reserved.

For more content, please like, subscribe, and follow No, Mine! Studios on the following platforms:

Instagram

TikTok

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Thank you for your support!

Suzanne

Audio Design

I started adding sound effects into the game engine (Unity) last week. It took me a long time to get into audio design projects, but now that I’m here, I’m having a lot of fun.

Stegos are peeping. Trilobites are shuffling. Volcanoes are blorping.

I could have been blorping volcanoes for decades!

I never felt like I knew enough before I could start, but this approach is backwards. I’ve learned so much more from the actual doing than the researching beforehand. There need to be more spaces for women and girls to fail and be encouraged to move forward anyway.

Video: in game engine clip of black and white dino walking through underground tunnel system past trilobites. Multiple pipes of varying hues (gray, yellow, blue, and orange) are seen in the foreground. The concrete walls lining the tunnel are greenish and braced with rusted orange steel beams.
Graphics and sound by Suzanne Skaar, 2022. All rights reserved.