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obscure beast looking thing

This weekend was fantastic. Saturday I got up at the usual time and grabbed a cup of coffee. The kids were running around crazy and I’d worked all week on consulting stuff so I was really feeling down about creative. Funny how sometimes it seems like my being creative is like a friend I’ve let down by not hanging out with.

I pulled out some paper because I just wasn’t feeling the whole WACOM + Photoshop setup (which you’ll be hearing more about later.) I looked in the jar on my desk and I had two pencils. One a Sanford DESIGN 2B (a serious drawer) and a Ticonderoga HB Black (ultra-sweet.) If you haven’t drawn with the Ticonderoga Black yet you are really missing out on one of the smoothest HB pencils I’ve used. The lead is a regular diameter but it makes identical marks to a Staedtler HB or maybe even a 2H. Plus it has an eraser!

Anyway, I started drawing. At first I was just fishing around making marks on paper and then something magical happened.

I don’t want to get into a bunch of details about the material I’ve just spent the last two days working on, not yet, but I can say that I worked on a single concept for two solid days. These were full-days also and not those half-assed I work-from-home kind of days where you spend as much time feeding Netflix as you do actually working.

I burned through the Sanford in the first three hours. The softer lead just wouldn’t keep up. As of me writing this post the other pencil is now just shy of three inches. I haven’t been this excited about exploring a concept since… I don’t even know when. I covered around 20 sheets with final sketches and scanned them all in.

This week, because I still have consulting work that needs to get done, I’m going to be working the sketches down further to start to develop some kind of stylistic consistency. As of right now the end product for all of this is a catalog of concepts for a future game project I’m calling “Project Chupacabra” Some of you no doubt will get the reference and others will assume I’m going to make a game about werewolves.

What I can say right now, I haven’t written the whole thing yet, is that both parties are probably wrong. The game will be high narrative and story driven but that’s about all I’ve got sorted out right now. There are some technical challenges that I need to completely think through before I commit to any specific “kind” of game like how to deal with the lead-in of a deeply narrative concept without boring the player; and without having to craft a completely open-world game with a radar. ie. I need the player to be at a specific place at a specific time and how do I get them from wherever they might be to where I need them so I can move things forward along the main story arch.

If any of you are familiar with cryptozoology I’d love to hear from you. I have a lot of unanswered questions that otherwise I’ll be answering with the internet. (Probably not a great idea.)

I put a question out on Facebook that ties into this project that I figure it won’t hurt to also ask here. What are the names of some of the songs you remember from the 70s and 80s? Stuff you might have heard on the radio, or even those really obscure tracks that stick with you and can instantly teleport you to “that one time” “when you were” “and this happened…” that sort of thing.

In addition to the crazy number of drawings I put together over the last two days, I thought that it might also make sense to write out the whole thing like a story that’d you would see in an anthology. I’ve started that process and I’m at 2000 words already. The material has been trapped in my head for so long that I can’t type fast enough to get it all down.

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