Breaking all the rules

So, if you read any dev blogs, they’re always chock full of advice, ranging from the latest tips and tricks on every piece of software available, to breakthroughs and milestones reached; but inevitably there are some rules that people put forth as sacrosanct.

Well, I’ve decided to break a couple.

One that always comes up is: Finish what you are working on before starting something new.

The problem is; I’ve never worked that way. As a painter, I need to have multiple canvases going at once. If I stare at one painting too long, I get drawn into a funk of ‘sameness’ – its the same reason I can’t sit and binge watch a whole season of TV shows. I start over-analyzing and I get resentful.

So, I’m giving myself permission to take a break from BUM and work on an earlier project, an adaptation of the play / short film “Sovereignty” that I had the honor of working on a few years ago. By trying to improve what I’ve started with what I’ve learned working on BUM, I can tackle issues that stalled that project and when I get stuck there, I go back to my other project and the 2 of them become like ladder rungs I can climb at once. Playmaker hasn’t been the magic bullet I had hoped for breathing life into my characters and if I continue to be stuck, I might start trading art for programming…

The other rule that people harp on is: Don’t try and do to many projects at once.

This one might apply a bit more, but I can at least start laying the groundwork for something that might be a breakout piece for me. My eldest child is on the Autism spectrum and is fairly non-verbal. In every other aspect, he’s a normal kid – loves climbing, exploring and watching cartoons, has a fondness for sweets and doesn’t like bedtime. He just doesn’t talk much. One thing he truly is engrossed in (and as an artist I’m thrilled by) is drawing. He has gone through several boxes of sidewalk chalk this summer and every chance he gets, he’s outside covering my garage floor in layers upon layers of drawing. When he comes out, he’s covered head to toe in chalk dust.


But his drawings are compelling. Some are obviously cartoons he’s seen or toys or trains, but others are simply things he’s seen in his day-to-day life. And I think they’d make great sprites for a 2D scroller / platformer.

Iknow, I know – I can’t take on a 3rd project – none of them will ever be finished, but whle I’m cleaning up the yard or watching the kids play, I can snap a few photos and throw them into Photoshop to start prepping them to animate. After all, I’ll need another project as soon as I finish one of them, right?

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