Figuring out what the logo for J.S. Joust should be, through experimentation (from 2013)
A year ago I broke up with my girlfriend of three years. I moved out. I ran away from who we had become, from the terrible emotional mess I had become. Terrible start for a tumblr post, I know, but bear with me for a while, if you have a bit of time. If you don’t, it’s okay too.
So, a year ago.
I was doing freelance at the time, working weird hours, balancing between long periods of paralysing self-doubt and forced overwork to make sure I’d deliver on contract work. I had been hiding anxiety crises for a while, never telling her or my friends about it, except maybe when it was painfully obvious - then I’d just say I was just a bit tired, that it was very rare. I was ashamed of not being okay, so I hid myself away from everyone, therefore I became even worse, so I had to crawl even further in my metaphorical hiding hole. I became distant to my girlfriend at the time, so she got frustrated and became distant, so I got frustrated at her and became even more distant. I probably made no sense, constantly switching between looking for attention/love and hiding from attention/love. I was a mess, and I never talked about it clearly. I never really asked for help, because my problems were a big knot of unimportant problems and unexplainable anxiety.
So anyway, we broke up, I moved out, I moved on.
Now a year later, I started over. I’m with a wonderful girl, an amazing, lovely, caring girl. She’s had a concretely tough year, but we took care of each other as best we could. I got the best job ever, working with super talented friends on a super inspiring project. I’m confident in my art, somehow, and it’s weird. In the past year, I’ve been myself more than ever. My life is full of positives, and it’s great.
I’m broke because I didn’t do much work during the “crisis” and poorly managed my money. I still have a few anxiety attacks here and there. I stress out about work, have moments of jealousy, get struck by impostor syndrome. I avoid sleep to not have to deal with some of my thoughts. My mother is on leave because she’s not feeling great, and it worries me. I’m not in good physical shape, I eat too much and don’t work out often enough. I’m afraid my emotional weakness will scare my fantastic girlfriend away. So, still kind of a mess?
Feels weird to say those things out loud and in this case to write them so clearly. I’m not okay, but I’m sort of okay with it? Now the hard part - I hope YOU are okay with it. I’m not asking for support, at least not in the “transfering some of my weight to you” sense. I hope we can all be okay with not being okay, together, by listening to each other. Sympathizing, loving, hugging, high fiving, congratulating each other. Make it okay to not be okay by saying it out loud, by smiling at how fucked up we all are, by laughing at how we have no idea what we’re doing.
tl;dr - It’s okay to not be okay but it’d be cool if we, all together, were okay with not being okay
What is your quest?
Posted this late last night, as I was wondering what an adventurer’s goals are. I think this game I’m working on will let the player find his own objectives, even if it goes against basic game design principles…
What is your quest?
Cover to Disasterpeace's soundtrack to Monsters ate my Birthday Cake. The game is really neat, and the soundtrack is coming out soon!
Visual development for a game project
My contribution to the Mercenary Kings artbook features my favorite bosses in the game - Alpha & Munsterlander!
Getting closer to a final look for this giant illustration/book/game/I dunno!
Did a very botched job on the shading here, last minute, just to see, I might redo it this week-end.
Work in progress of one of our Neverpants game. Currently modeling assets to populate the world.
I’ve been working with Blender so far and it works great with Unity. Only had one major issue with the importation. The diffuse materials were much darker once inside the engine. Finally found that the Display Device inside Color Management needs to be set to None. Voila!
Poster for Electronic Super Joy - Groove City! Get the game here if you’re interested in tough platformers and groovy techno/dance music!
An illustrated and animated interactive application exploiting the new structures of storytelling to unfold a world full of marvels.
A friend of mine is doing this kickstarter for an interactive book about fantasy and folklore, thought I’d try to help! 3 days left!
Dom2D’s official E3 2014 Conference mood charts, for Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft! :D
BigSushiFM x Without Question
A whole podcast episode dedicated to the silly card game Damian Sommer and I are making! Sweet! We discuss the origin of the game, the reasoning behind the art and a bunch of weird dumb things too.
Damian’s wrists had to stay connected. Landon’s arms couldn’t bend. I had to draw everyone their card while saying “Butts wang.” This is the scene where a dozen GDC attendees sat around a table and lost their minds. This is Damian Sommer and Dom Ferland’s card game, Without Question.
Several months ago Damiantold us about Without Question. At GDC I was able to play it and it turns out, it is exactly the kind of game I enjoy the most. It’s a card game where players apply rules to each other resulting in absurd situations. As players break the increasing amount of rules they incur wounds or infractions. After a player incurs a set amount of wounds the game is over and the winner is the player with the fewest wounds. But winning honestly doesn’t matter. The game is about the act of playing it. I love games that force you to behave outside of your normal character. I don’t often yell “Butts wang” or include the word “dong” in all of my sentences, but in the game I played it was a requirement.
The origin of the game was from an art exhibition that Damian was included in. The artist statement he had for the game followed this discussion he had with a friend about the military. Supposedly, the military is using game technology to detach soldiers from the actions they are taking. (Ex. Controlling a gun turret through a camera using a XBOX controller.) Damian realized that games are powerful; when you give players a world and the tools to do things they are going to. All games have rules that you abide by, Without Question is about forcing players to obey rules for things they would never agree with normally. As players you are complicit in the rules that are played on you and others.
Damian and Dom met while Dom was working with Renaud Bedard and Devine Lu Linvega (aliceffekt) on Dilivuim. Their collaboration started similar to Renaud’s and Devine’s, in that they both admired each other’s work. Damian made a prototype of the card game that Dom thought was interesting. So naturally, Dom asked if Damian need some artwork done. Two weeks later, and tada! They had a mostly finished game that needed 2 years for play testing.
Two years seems like a long time but they both are working on their own projects. Without Question has been this side project for them. They take it with them to conventions and meetups and play it. They are trying to find cards that need reworked or dropped.
In that time the game has changed for them. Originally it was just an expression of a complex topic that Damian had been thinking about. Now Damian feels that the game has become the next step in his professional portfolio. Friendship in Four colors is about forcing players to communicate to complete the game. The Yawhg’s ideal play session is the play sitting around with their friends talking about what’s happening in front of them. Without Question feels like the next step in that process to get interesting player interactions. “Which is odd because I’m a huge introvert and I really suffer through interaction,” Damian said.
Dom’s last two games he worked on were all attempts to make a game not about violence or confrontation. “Without Question is the perfect board game for this, because you’re always interacting with other players in a positive way,” Dom said. Even if you are yelling and cursing the game points you away from being frustrated but rather to enjoying how absurd it all is. Many board games are all about individual player strategy but he wanted to make a game that is purely about player interaction and this does it.
This boiled down approach to player interaction is exactly what I love about the game. Hopefully soon it will be available for purchase. However we do have some time to wait for that because they don’t seem too eager to self-publish. Publishing video games is one thing, the logistics necessary to publish a physical game, even a deck of cards, is more than what they want to get involved in. They haven’t solidified any deals yet, but they are looking and in talks to find someone to partner with to make it a reality.