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So, here we are, years later. Have you changed? I have.
This most recent chunk of my life has brought several big changes; I'm not so wet-behind-the-ears as a programmer, I got married, promoted, and blown up (well, maybe not that last part).
I also decided it was time to get back into the swing of things with my game development. Several ideas that were half fleshed-out have had new life injected back into them, and while I won't say they are as animated as I want them to be, they certainly pass as lifelike zombie ideas...
Obviously if my ideas start rising from the grave and working ligitimate jobs at major corporations, I'll post here. Until then, I'm alive, kicking, and warily watching my undead army of ideas out of the corner of my eye.
Seasons greetings to everyone here at Newgrounds! With this being my last work day before the New Year, I thought I'd take the time and post one last update for 2007!
By the time I return, BattleMage will be officially 2 years old! Hard to believe how much my life has changed, and how much I've learned, since that fateful game. I fully credit my flash games here for my current job as a Software Engineer; so thanks to Newgrounds for giving people like me a creative outlet through which to publish their work!
Progress on BattleMage II is at a standstill; it bothers me, because I truly wanted to continue the story in some way through Flash for a number of reasons, but the truth is my coding skills are far superior than my flash skills, and ActionScript isn't my forte as much as C# now. I find myself spending more time looking for an ActionScript equivalent soltuion to something I know how to do in C#, than I do actually coding the game or drawing art. So, aside from some one-hot games I may throw out from time to time, and perhaps finishing the art for level 1 of BMII, I believe my days as a Flash Designer are over.
That said, I'm not the type of person to *not* constantly not need to not be creating something in one form or another (wait... not not... not... yeah.) ;-) The logical path for me at this point is a C# game, and I've already been hard at work coding the shell for a full RPG style game.
Now, where this will take me, I have no idea. I have some functional XNA experience, but for now I'm coding the graphics as simply as I can. My hope is to find a partner for the art, as usual. A logical goal for me seems to be a PC / 360 XNA game, but the only way that really becomes feasable is if I actually do get an artist, it looks great, etc... which is something I'd love, but I'm not holding out for.
So, for now, Sevomasean Productions is hanging up it's hat and saying farewell to all it's fans. Thanks to those who've sent me emails and PMs of encouragement, thank you to the graphical and voice artists who have worked with me on various projects, and a special thanks to Prof. Cumaranatunge for allowing me to help start a genuine Flash Game course at University of Hartford. May it last for many years.
There aren't many ways to keep saying 'art continues'. I've kinda stopped gaming and I'm drawing during shows at night now, so progress has gone up.
On the downside, I fried the OS on my desktop; thankfully I got everything off of it, including the original source files for all my released games on here, which kind of have major sentimental value to me. Plus, if I ever decide to reuse the engine from BattleMage for another game, it's still there - as is the start of a "BattleMage SE" I started a while back to overhaul the parts I didn't like, zoom the play area, etc (plus clean up the remaining bugs like the 2 ninja boss!)
And as promised, since this update is coming from my tablet I can put up a new screenshot - a preliminary sketch of the lvl 1 boss, a troll. It's not much, and there's no shading, but it's something. There's also a bit of the new background. Enjoy.
Alright, so I shifted gears a little; rather than deal with the daunting task of arting the whole thing before sending a private demo, I placeholdered the graphics and shot off the emails.
Somehow doign that simple thing motivated me more, and a much larger portion fo the graphics are done now than were when I send the demo last week. I covered a lot of ground, and I see a good direction for this project. I'm less pessimistic about finishing this phase this year.
Once again, at work, no screens. And also once again, if I *do* put up screens, I'll frontpage this.
Alright, I've fallen a bit behind my 'imaginary' schedule. Partly because I've had less free time than I though, and partly because I've been dividing time on several side projects at the same time. But now, I'm back from DisneyWorld, refreshed and focused and ready to crank out some art!
It's tough posting these updates from work because I have no images to show, but I'll do my best to have another one tonight/this week with fresh artwork; if that happens, I'll frontpage it.
And to those on my private email list waiting, you'll have a playable demo 'soon' (nice ambiguous date there). Actually, with coding as it is I may just stick-figure the missing shots and send it off to you this week.
And that's the news in the world of Arc. Man, I need a new banner. *sigh* For now, deal with this SB clip.
Art continues to creep along; nothing that is worth a screenshot yet, however. Mostly base colorings and redesigning of existing graphics. Not even any real shading yet; in fact, I'm taking OUT shading so I can redo it later and make it better. Kinda feels like I'm working backwards... >.<
I wanted to take a moment and mention other future planned projects, that may or may not occur before a 'full' version of BMII.
...you know, as I write these, I realize I really don't want to say what they are about here in a public place. I'm too secretive and paranoid, I suppose. But anyway, there are indeed plans for these two games, and perhaps more, but these are the two most clearly defined right now and so are at the top of the list. Teddy even had a fully playable demo once upon a time, so I expect that to only take the amount of time needed to clean it up and change the graphics (which is, in the case of BMII, a bigger job than I had estimated originally). Hopefully by the end of the year on that one.
And of course, I plan to end BattleMage II on a cliffhanger, so there will indeed be a third at some point. I wouldn't dream of that until at LEAST mid 08, though. I mean, I still have to finish this one! And I think, like when I finished BM, I'm going to want to set Josh aside for a while to let my brain recoup so that when I do come back, I can do justice to the story and the game.
Well, that's it for now! I was going to post another small sketch, but it turns out I can't get at it from work. So no picture this time!
So, after 18 months or so, I've picked up the pieces and started work on BattleMage II. I'm moving away from the MegaMan-esque style of the first, and overhauling my drawing style now that I actually own a tablet to work with. The new game resembles River City Ransom, or TMNT: Manhattan Project.
Also, taking into account my reviews, I will be putting out a 'beta' of just the first level, so as to recieve feedback and take it into account for the final game.
Once I get something more presentable, I will put up a screenshot of the first stage; hopefully this will be within the week, but certainly within the next few. I have a Disney World vacation planned soon, so that will cut into my Flash time.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to continue the adventures of Josh Haseman!
PS: My included picture is the first tablet sketch of the new Josh; the blue behind him is my 'pre-tablet' character, much rougher and crappier than the current. No shading, no nothing, but it gives you a better idea of the style I'm heading for.
By the way, that's to scale. Much more detail than BattleMage 1.