Currently on art: Bad Feather Day out!

Hi everyone!

It’s been 1.5 months since the last update again, so it’s time for a new one. This time, I have some exciting news!

In the previous post, I mentioned that I was on a game project course. Well, at the time of writing, I still am, although now we’re wrapping things up. We’ve now released the game we’ve worked on throughout this year: Bad Feather Day, a small low-poly 3D adventure game in which you control Tengu, a wizard who has been turned into a bird with human arms. By punching and throwing bananas, you need to defeat your enemies in order to obtain the means of turning back into a human. You can download the game for free on itch.io here: https://windysilver.itch.io/bad-feather-day

This project course has been quite a ride. I’ve learned a ton of things both about developing game in a team and about doing code for Unity games. Out of the three programmers in the team, I was the least experienced and I’d be lying if I said that impostor syndrome didn’t haunt me in the beginning. Now, however, I can fortunately say that the impostor syndrome is only a distant memory as copious amounts of Google Fu and a bucketload of successes have built both my skillset and confidence. There’s so much I have learned that making a list of it would take a lot of time and space, so I will not go into that.

Honestly, this course is definitely among my favourite courses so far. Although we’ve had crunch days when we’ve worked on the game for hours at a time and even times when something vital has broken – for example, the first time we were supposed to have a testable prototype out, we were crunching on the same day as the testing event, and our main scene broke twice not long before the event was supposed to start – we’ve also had fun together. We actually got to meet up one day to record audio for the game (and also play some games afterwards) and it was a ton of fun! On a side note, I actually ended up giving my voice to the monkey and parrot enemies during that meeting!

Such a great team that we formed was a true blessing, since it made the weekly meetings and, actually, everything about the course far less of a chore. If I were to change something about how things were done, I’d change something like how we operated in the beginning – such as better communication on who’s working on the scenes – but not the team itself. Despite of the challenges, we succeeded at finishing the game on time and I, for one, am proud of it (the code could be better, but for a product of a learning process, it does its job well enough). The end result is quite different from the ambitious idea we started from; in the original concept, Tengu was meant to gain his human parts back one by one, with the game’s emphasis more on exploration rather than action and the prototype having at least the level after he had regained his arms – but it is one I am proud to say to have been a part of making. I may have noted to someone aloud that it’s a game I am proud to showcase with my own face (as opposed to just hiding behind the picture of a windy silver banana as I tend to do).

Now that this project is done, now what? Well, this is the penultimate course for me this period, so once I’m done with the other course, I’ll focus on two online courses that I need to finish in order to get my Bachelor’s degree (given that two courses I’m still waiting to hear about and the last course of this period yield me passing grades). As for my paper for the degree, I got the results yesterday: it’s passing with the grade 3 (on a scale of 1-5, where 5 is the best). If everything goes well with the releasing process, it should become available online in a few days. It’s written in Finnish, though, so I may opt not to share it since I reckon most people who are reading this don’t know the language.

Aside from the courses, I’ll put more focus on my art projects; I’ll resume working on things that have received little to no attention for the last weeks and finish my next FFM collection (which is, by the way, pretty close to being finished, so I might very well be able to finish it within May). On the hobbyist IT side, I’m planning to do some web programming things to get a firmer grasp on full stack development and have something to show next time I apply for jobs since I was unable to get a summer job this year. Hopefully when I have my bachelor’s degree and some more experience and projects under my belt, I’ll have better luck finding a job. I’ll probably find myself in the grasp of impostor syndrome once again when I venture to the job market, but my experiences with the game project course have taught me that I am capable of learning enough while working on something to leave that pesky thing to bite the dust. Once I get my foot between the door and get some work experience, thing will start coming along from there for sure.

The experiences I’ve gotten from this project course are valuable, but the hope and confidence that have come with those experiences are invaluable especially in these trying times. Although things are starting to look up at least here where I live, the pandemic is still ongoing and will most likely be for some time. It’s easy to lose hope when the end isn’t clearly in sight, but it’s there. We just need to hang on for some time more before things get back to normal. They will definitely get back to normal someday, and I’m definitely looking forward to being able to return to the campus and see my friends.

Onwards to new experiences and successes!

Now, let’s have a look at how things are going with my projects, as per my project widget:

  • Exceptional Jedi: Chapter 4 of Aces is in progress. All writing is at 1788 days. Jedova’s reference has been at a standstill most of the time because more often than not I haven’t found the time to work on it. I need to make a comic about Valentine Clanker and lots of other drawings. I’ve been creating data on Scrivener to build a wiki of sorts there so that I can flesh things out for writing. It hasn’t been progressing at all recently, though. Revising is still in a standtill.
  • The Fate’s Way: Chapter 44 is in writing. I still need to redraw the regular Alyssa and also Alyssa’s friends and family and the other important people, like Matti, someday. Revising needs to be done.
  • Off-DA projects: As detailed above, the game project course’s game, Bad Feather Day, has been finished and released! Woohoo!
  • Greenfield: Due to studies taking too much energy, I haven’t edited this much. I’m currently working on editing chapter 3. Read more about the project here.
  • Lyokostar: The translation of Lyokostar 1 progresses: Part 10 of story 6 is in betareading. The monthly Lyokostar 3 oneshots in Finnish are on a hiatus because nobody cares. References need to be done.
  • A Wandering Aura: I worked on this a little because Pokémon Masters EX‘s Father or Foe event spurred me to do something, but I didn’t get around to posting anything. I might have gotten more done by the end of the quarter.
  • Gaming: Habitica, Duolingo, Pokemon GO and Pokémon Masters EX keep on going. I played a little of Subnautica Below Zero, but I decided to say the rest of playing after the out-of-Early-Access launch (which was earlire this month). I’ll probably play it more during the summer. I also dabbled a little with Tabletop Simulator with hopes that I could use it for hosting some Star Wars Force and Destiny RPG sessions online, but otherwise not much has happened.
  • Other stuff: I’m still pretty badly behind with literature deviations because I can’t read them on DA without getting a headache from the eye strain, but I have gotten some FFM stories read. I’m working on my fourth FFM collection. Reading is still in a standstill on the book side since I’ve spent my reading time online, but I hope I’ll be able to pick up the remaining Death Note volumes and read them in the summer. I’ve been doing stuff on Unity because of Bad Feather Day and I’ve learned a ton of stuff, and I also did one animation on Blender for Bad Feather Day. I should get back to video editing.
  • Personal life: As usual, I’ve been drowning in studies as I’m trying to finish my bachelor’s degree during 2021, so there isn’t much to tell. COVID is still going on and I’ll continue waiting for the vaccine; it’s very likely that I’ll get my degree before I have a proper reason to go to the campus again since I have hopes that I’ll be able to get the degree during the summer period.

Thanks for reading this post! Take care!

Project Moonshot – prototype out now!

As promised, I got something playable out of my Game Off 2020 project, Project Moonshot, before the end of the month! Yay!

On the other hand, because life happened, the results of my ambitious project are far from what I’d hoped from the prototype I was planning to get out. What you got is barely serviceable, but it works (mostly) and doesn’t crash, so it’s fine.

I’m going to continue working on this game after Game Off, though, so if you see potential in what’s currently a mess, you’ll eventually see something better. When? I have no idea since the inventory system requires a lot of work before it’s good enough, but someday for sure.

In other news, I also made a tiny game with Bitsy this week for one of my courses: No Escape. If you feel like it, do check it out too!

You can play the games here:

https://windysilver.itch.io/project-moonshot

https://windysilver.itch.io/no-escape

A released game: MathQuiz

I don’t know if new portfolio posts trigger any notifications, but I figured that an announcement would be good in any case.

Anyway, a sequence of events involving forgetting to copy my current Twine project into cloud before rebooting my laptop from Ubuntu to Windows for an extended period of time ended up leading me to finally looking into the game my boyfriend and I made two years ago for our programming course, MathQuiz. After a night and a morning’s work with things, I got it released on itch.io!

In the MathQuiz, you need to solve (more or less) tough equations with or without a timer, depending on the mode you choose and get as many points as you can.

You can download the game here: https://windysilver.itch.io/mathquiz

It’s currently only available for Windows, as the Android version we made lacks in functionality due to the limitations of Jypeli, which we used in addition to C# to make this game. A Mac version will not be made because we lack the means to make and test it. When it comes to the Linux version, the answer is “perhaps someday”. Tools for making it exist, but we are unfamiliar with them, so for now it’s not on the to-do list.

Unless of course there is demand for it. Then it will, naturally, be added to the to-do list. ;)

Please check out the launch trailer as well!

Like I mentioned above, I’m working on a Twine project at the moment. There will be more info about it when I’ve gotten it finished and released, so stay tuned!

Course 1, Diary 14: Conclusion to course 1

9.10.2015

I really don’t know if this one is necessary, but I put it here anyways.

The picture analysis is done. I think I did it well enough. The course is over now. I will update this entry once I’ve got my grades for this period and tell my grade for this course.

The next visual arts course I have will be during next year. Until then this place will be on hiatus, unless I find something to do with this place for now.

Now that I reflect on this whole course, I can wonder: “What did I learn?”

Part of my mind says: “Nothing.”

Sure, I did learn something about isms (a good amount of them came to being in France), I learned some new trivia, but what about improving my skills? Did I learn something that helps me make my art better at least once I can apply it to my works?

No.

However, this has strengthened both my respect towards traditional artists and my resolve to be a digital artist. On this course I have indeed realized that doing anything complex with anything else than a regular pencil in the traditional way is not for me. My works of art are meant to be done on a computer.

With these words I conclude this course diary. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll be reading my next course diaries on the following years!

EDIT 20.11.2015: Ok, I got the grade: It’s 9! The highest grade I’ve got from visual arts now! I went ahead and asked my teacher the grades of my works, and I want to share them:

Me and Art collage: 9

Self-portrait: 8½

Subvert: 10 (the teacher told me it made her laugh aloud the first she looked at it; Now who was saying I’m unable to make funny stuff? Wait… It was me…)

The vehicle: 9

To be honest, while I deemed my works (aside from the collage which, by the way, has suffered from being in the front of the binder afterwards) kinda crappy, but getting this good grades from them changes my mind. Maybe they are not crap, even though especially my self-portrait suffered from lack of tools for the quality of technical execution I wanted. I have a lot of improvement needed, but I will get to the level I want to get to. I know I will.

I just need to not give up.

This I want to say to all my fellow artists who fight with their limited skills.

Don’t give up.

Course 1, Diary 13: Design a vehicle Part 3

2.11.2015

After a weekend of studying chemistry and physics, Monday and the final double lesson of visual arts was to come. I returned to coloring my bicycle, and I finally managed to finish it during the first lesson. I left coloring the dome the last thing, and I really started to feel even more respect towards those who do art on paper and do it very well at that point. On the other hand I’m starting to dislike colored pencils. The next time I buy any pencils, I’m not buying BIC’s pencils. Unless I happen to find wooden pencils among their products, that is.

Anyhow, here is the finished picture. I marked the text spots with numbers on Gimp in order to make translating easier and more understanble to you:

Vehiclefinal

Does the text even show in any readable form?

And the text in English:

1: The best materials and design guarantee that the bicycle will not break easily in normal use and that its maintenance is faster, easier and cheaper.

2: The metal parts have been processed with the best and most ecological means of rust protection technics

3: Nature and recyclability have been thought about in the production

4: The decent springing softens bumps.

5: Many different colors and patterns

–Personal, unique patterns orderable

6: -The lock is changeable

-The thief block is settable

7: The comfortable, softened parts make riding more comfortable

8: Charging spots for e.g. a mobile phone

9: The basket can be changed to a bigger model

10: Space for charging etc.

11: The basic model has a chain lock and a thief block

12: Lidded and equipped with a lock

13: The plastic, shape-keeping dome protects from weather, is detachable, and from certain points foldable for entry and conservation

-In an accident it protects more or less, depending on the situation

14: The dynamo’s electric current charges the battery of a 7-led lamp just in case the power is cut off

-The lamp is easily settable

15: Spare batteries, to which the charge can be stored to for later use, are installable

16: Inside the frame of the bicycle are isolated dynamos which form electricity along with the bicycle’s movement

I think this is my worst work on this course at least by its looks. I was not interested in this exercise and I believe my lack of interest shows along with my bad colored pencils and minimal skills. But at least I did what my limited abilities let me do, and it is good enough for me that way.

Some others were practicing picture analysis for next Monday, when we will do such a thing for a “test”. As far as the practice exercise suggests to me, it will be quite easy. I better worry more about passing the physics course than this visual arts course. In the meantime I wrote this entry and prepared the conclusion entry. That’s it.

Course 1, Diary 12: Design a vehicle Part 2

29.10.2015–30.10.2015

On Thursday I returned to strengthening the lines with my pen. That pen I used is actually one that I’ve had ever since I began school from the first grade (I skipped preschool since it was optional back then) and it has been used for signing all the tests and all the school papers which required a parent’s signature. Of course there is a pen that has partially replaced it (somehow it usually is easier to find from my pencil-case), but I still have it and it works well. So that pen is nine years old now. A good pen, isn’t it?

This is how far I got on Thursday:

VehicleThursday

A hasty picture, yes. I believe I was in a hurry and just took a picture without trying to get a more straight picture of this…

I finished the bicycle and started to strengthen the text. I finished it on Friday with the very final modifications, so I could start to color the picture. The upcoming test week is putting pressure on me – I’m chalking it up to that! – I ended up forgetting to take a picture of the final lines. I guess I was too busy erasing all the pencil marks I found to recall it. As coloring was still in progress, I did not take a picture of it.

Fine, I’m honest: The thought of taking a picture of it did not even cross my mind, and even if it did, it was about taking a picture of the finished picture. What can I say? The test week is putting pressure on me and even though it’s only about 5 PM/17.00 by the time of writing this entry, I feel notably tired. Adjusting the clock one hour backward last weekend has completely messed my biological clock up, and I am not the only one with that issue. I understand that this Daylight saving time system saves daylight, but I believe that at least nowadays it most likely causes more trouble than benefits. Luckily it’s a weekend now so I can study for the test week during forenoon when I am not feeling this tired.

I have nothing more to say today.

Course 1, Diary 11: Design a vehicle Part 1

26.10.2015–28.10.2015

On Monday we began with an exercise: we had to pick a picture and make a mind map about the people in it. After that we had to make a plan for a vehicle of our own which these people would buy. I decided to make a bicycle for the man of the picture I took. It took some time to actually get a picture of it to my mind and start drawing. I did not get very far with the picture though.

On Tuesday we continued, of course. I managed to mostly finish the drawing and started to write things about the bicycle to the picture.

On Wednesday I fully finished the picture and started to strengthen the lines with a pen. Here’s how far I’ve got with it:

Vehiclesketch

Yes, I forgot to take a picture before starting to strengthen the lines… And this was a rather hasty picture.

I will translate the text in the final course diary on this topic, when I have the finished version.

I admit that I am not very interested in this, but since this is a school work which is required for the course, I’m doing it. And I admit that a bicycle like this would be real nice for a rainy day!

On Wednesday we also watched the subvert made by one of us; he had made it as a video, and it was awesome! I really liked it.

Test week is going to start on then next week, so I need to finish the entries of this week fast. Reading the pages on the test areas (I believe test area is the best word for koealue) of physics and chemistry tests takes some time, so I will have less time to write anything until those tests are over; I’m not worried about the Swedish test which is after them. On Monday we will have a double lesson of visual arts but after that we only have some kind of a picture analyzation exercise as our visual arts “test” on the Monday on the following week. I will write a conclusion entry for this course’s diary then. I believe that all of the courses require a course diary, so I will do them here when it’s their time.

to write anything until those tests are over; I’m not worried about the Swedish test which is after them. On Monday we will have a double lesson of visual arts but after that we only have some kind of a picture analyzation exercise as our “test” on the Monday on the following week. I will write a conclusion entry for this course’s diary then. I believe that all of the courses require a course diary, so I will do them here when it’s their time.

Course 1, Diary 10: Subvert Part 3 & More writing

23.10.2015

Like I had expected, I did not manage to finish my subvert last night. I will finish it today after school. For this lesson I have to do something to pass time.

I realized on this lesson that the fete the students of junior year prepare for senior year students in December near Christmas will be at the same time as my aikido training, given that the sports hall we have the training at won’t be closed at the training’s time then. I’d prefer to stay out of others’ way and go to my training (now who would’ve ever guessed that about me when it comes to physical exercise?), but I cannot decide it. I have to go to the fete to do my work (I will carry stuff before it) even if my contribution could be easily replaced. Gah!

I guessed that all I could do after writing my course diary up to date was just doing some of my writing projects on my phone since I had all my earlier works ready. I admit that I did not make very much progress on it, either, but at least I did something else than just scroll through Facebook. Wait a second, I don’t even have an account there, and even if I had, it would be a trash account for something necessary and which I’d log in to on Google Chrome once a month – or maybe a week if needed – instead of my usual browser, Mozilla Firefox.

Enough about that topic. I managed to finish my subvert. I did it to mock my local newspaper, Ilkka.

Vastamainos

Yesterday I took the picture of the day’s paper and blurred everything else than the banner, to which I put another P to make it Pilkka. Ilkka is a male first name, while the Finnish word pilkka can be translated to the English word jeer.

The text on the left half, from top to bottom:

Subscribe Pilkka!

All the shit from South Ostrobothnia!

Now at the bid price of only 80 €/month!

Subscribe the newspaper today already! * (the asterisk barely shows)

*The subscription cannot be withdrawn, and the payment won’t be returned.

Under the picture:

A referential illustration. The things are much more unclear in the newspaper itself.

Now please don’t get the wrong idea about my thoughts. This is purely humor and a school work. I have absolutely nothing against Ilkka. I think it’s a very good newspaper. I do not intend to offend anyone with this thing. If anyone got offended by this, I apologize and genuinely ask to calm.

What was it like to do this? I had some issues with Gimp and my laptop is not the most cooperative one you can find, and doing something like this one is not really like me. But as it is a school work, I did it. I think it’s a bit crappy, but that’s ok for me. This one was somewhat out of my comfort zone, but at least I put some effort to this and did not just randomly make this one with the hideous “whatever” attitude. That’s what matters to me. This week (especially today and yesterday) has been quite full of fail anyways.

We’ll see what’s ahead on Monday, then. At least there is the nice weekend before that. I really want to get some progress on my personal projects now.

Course 1, Diary 9: Subvert Part 2 & Writing my course diary

22.10.2015

I have my subvert thought and planned. I found the picture I need and downloaded it on my phone. I gave some thought for what I will put and where. That is all I could do on my phone, so I decided to start to write the course diary of yesterday and today on my phone. By the way, if anyone needs a simple writing app from which you can copy the text to a computer, I suggest an app named Writer (it’s available on Google Play store, at least). Copying the text is one-way, from phone to computer, though, but otherwise it is very good and very easy to use.

I had planned to do the subvert today, but I am afraid I won’t be able to finish it, as my aikido training takes away roughly two and half hours of my time on my computer. I wonder what I can do tomorrow on arts lesson…

Course 1, Diary 8: Self-portrait Part 4 & Subvert Part 1

21.10.2015

The next topic was making a subvert. Others started to move on to that and I took my black pencil and started to color the background. For the sake of keeping broken parts on chains visible in the dark, I added more blood to them. By the end of the lesson I was ready and I tried to take a good picture of the result. The light in the classroom is not very good in addition to my phone’s camera being quite bad, so I did not get very good pictures. I did what I could to improve the quality with Gimp, but I could not do enough. In addition to that the paper crumbled a bit in my backpack (I did not want to fold it so I could not put it to a binder). It’s too bad, really.

valmis

Now that his is ready, I want to tell you guys what this represents. And here it comes in italic. I have to warn you, that this is a rant.

Like someone who reads this may already know, I have been bullied in my life. Things have been difficult and many scars have been left even though one cannot see them. I still am maybe even more wary than I should about telling some things about myself to people I don’t know. It did not do any good back when this all happened, not at all. It just made the things worse, I believe. Even though I’ve got friends I see daily at school or with whom I talk via the internet, even though I have gained a lot of courage and self-esteem, it does not make anything undone. It does not erase the scars, it does not make those things fade away. Memories can fade, and I admit that my bad memory has lost a lot of those things, but some things stay in mind. Some things I can’t forget. And what’s more, the traces it has left stick forever.

 

Outside, I am not a very beautiful person. I am not the beauty you see in an advertisement or at fashion shows. I acknowledge this and I don’t mind. Please, don’t get me wrong: I don’t think I am ugly. I am something between these two. And, of course, this is a very subjective thing. But inside this skin that covers everything starting with the fingers that press the keys which tell the computer to add certain letters to the text that is formed on Word, is something that is more beautiful than the shell. This is why I drew myself more beautiful than I look like.

 

The girl in the picture is me. That’s simple. The chains represent the bullying. I have been chained, imprisoned, stopped from doing things or going to certain places. It metaphorically represents that. The broken skin that has come from fighting against the chains is the scars I carry. The blood that is bleeding out of the spots previously covered with skin is the hurt I’ve been inflicted to. The shady forms that laugh, that whisper to each other while holding the chains are those who have hurt me, who have wanted to harm me, to degrade me. There is blood on the chains, but those chains have been broken. I am no longer chained by these people who don’t accept me the way I am. It has hurt, but I have broken away. I am putting the darkness of those bad times behind my back. I am walking into the light, and I am not going to turn back. I am not going to even look back, and I am determined to stay in this decision. This maybe even obstinate determination is what shows on my face.

 

This is part of who I am. This is the symbolic meaning of this self-portrait.

I did manage to get the idea to my subvert. We have the option of making it on a computer. The school’s own computers have only Microsoft Paint, which I have not used for a long time, as I moved to Gimp as I started to make art on my own time. Gimp can be difficult to use, but I think it is worth it. I have compared my MS Paint works to those I’ve made with Gimp, and there is a huge difference in quality.

For these reasons I am going to do this subvert on my own laptop – on my free time, of course.