God damn. I finally finished a new short. I have been working on and off on this Contra short for a year. When I say on and off, I mean there were month spans where sometimes I didn’t even look at this thing. In fact, I had all but given up on it during the summer and started working on another short. I decided to get back into it though because of the amount of effort I had already put into it.

I know it’s not much of a narrative or anything, but I’ve had this Contra idea floating around in my head for ages. I mentioned it before in other blog posts, but originally in ‘How to Hook Up the NES’ Jacquo was going to play that copy of Contra that came with his NES (which is why it came with Contra and not Super Mario). He was going to play with, you guessed it, another Jacquo! Eventually the two would end up fighting during the grueling game. It didn’t play out like this short, but the basic idea is the same, and it started brewing from that point.

My what a different a few, GASP, years makes. Even last year when I was working on this short, it was almost completely different. For one, it was MUCH longer. I chopped the absolute shit out of it, and I think it’s better for it. The idea of putting my dog in there as Player 2 actually spawned last week if you can believe that! It seems like such an important part of the short, and it is, it’s basically the pay off, but I was still foggy on the whole joke up until the very last minute. I basically just worked on all of the action and was just hoping things would fall into place. I think they did!

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Happy Easter everyone! Guess what? The Lord wasn’t the only one that rose from the grave today, as the Shamoozal Radio Podcast has joined him.

I know it’s hard to believe, but Frank, Sithlord, Joe and I got together this weekend and cranked out the latest episode, the first one in nearly an entire year. Steve or John unfortunately couldn’t make it during the busy weekend.

Since it’s been so long I thought it would be best if this was more of an off the cuff episode. I went in there with no notes and zero intention of doing our regular segments. Instead I thought it would be a good idea just to do an episode about catching up, so if you want to hear lots of crying and behind the scenes stuff about Shamoozal and us in general, then this is the episode for you.

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It’s been quite a while since I did a Nerdlog post. Around this time last year, I came up with an idea for a ROM short that would be about Pit from Kid Icarus. This was before the 3DS was announced I think. Kid Icarus Uprising was announced when I was doing the roughs for this line test, and I thought to myself, “nice! I’ll have this done by the time the new game comes out!”. Well, Uprising was delayed quite a bit, and I never got beyond this point. I have a dollar bill, the same dollar bill that inspired me in the first place for reasons I won’t go into without spoiling the short, sitting on my desk that is a constant reminder to work on this. Alas, I’m working a full time job, freelance at night, the baby is about to pop out of wife any day now, and I’m neck deep in house hunting. Time is precious these days. That said, enjoy the clip and hopefully some day we’ll see the rest of it!

Whoa, been a long ass time since I updated the blog.

As you probably know I’ve still been doing Game Club with Steve and Randy over at Elder-Geek.com. In addition to that, I’ve also started helping out Randy with his daily game news show on YT called Elder-Speak. I’ll be doing every other Thursday on that one, so the weeks where I’m not recording Game Club, I’ll be recording Elder Speak. Here’s the first episode I appeared on.

After the video was posted I was called out for not knowing anything about video games and once again the way I pronounce words was also commented on. I guess it’s a South Jersey thing I’m completely unaware of? I don’t know.

Sticking with Elder-Geek for a minute, I’ve also done a bunch of written reviews over there recently. So if you’re curious, go see what I thought about the following: (more…)

I come down hard on myself a lot, but you know, sometimes that’s a good thing. Take for instance this background I’ve been working on for the Contra ROM that I’ve been working on for… I don’t know, on and off for almost a year.

So I started Contra right after Howard & Nester (which is getting close to being a year old, ouch) and I was able to do boards, and a scene that involved a heavy amount of animation work. I decided to do that scene first since it was the most involved one. After that I was trying to tackle the main background. This background would be used greatly during the duration of the (probably) 30 second short. I struggled with that freaking background so much that it essentially derailed me from working on this short. Now it’s not fully responsible, but it was enough to make me question what the hell I was doing.

See, not only do I suck at backgrounds, but I also suck at perspective drawing (which is probably why I suck at backgrounds), and I’m not really great at painting with Photoshop either. Take a look at most of our shorts and you’ll see that the backgrounds probably aren’t the greatest, and if there is a good one, my brother probably made it. There is something about perspective drawing in which my brain just sort of shuts off, I don’t really know how to explain it. I also get frustrated somewhat easily, so when I have to deal with these hurdles, I try my hardest for a bit, and I eventually just give into me “sucking.”

The Contra background started out like this in the original storyboards I made, which I’ve posted before back in May of ’11.

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Despite the fact that I feel kind of like dog shit, I totally intend on heading out to MAGFest tomorrow morning.

If you don’t know, MAGFest is the annual Music & Games Festival that takes place around this time of year. If you recall, I actually attended one with a table two years ago. I missed last year because things were extremely busy with the twins still.

My original plan was to get a table this year, but I waited to long (I had to make sure I had the funds in place) to book a table and that fell through. It’s probably for the better though as I actually thought I’d have some product to promote, but alas, I don’t. So instead I’ll be headed there tomorrow as a regular joe, exploring the floor and hopefully meeting some cool people along the way. I have a room booked for the night and I’m going to head home early Saturday morning.

Anyway, be sure to say “Hi!” if you’re headed there and just so happen to recognize me, which I doubt you would.

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I have been wanting to do video reviews for Shamoozal for ages, so it was fun to finally get the chance to make a video review of my own, even though it’s for Elder-Geek.com and not for here. That doesn’t mean I can’t share it with you folks though, so here it is.

What do you think? This was actually much harder to put together than I anticipated, and it unfortunately cut into the time I had planned to work on the new ROM episode. Remember that free weekend from the kids that I wrote about in the last post? Yeah, that was this past weekend and my time was dedicated to putting together this review. It was good for me though, it’s been a long time since I’ve edited a video together, and it was a great exercise in doing voice over work for this sort of thing.

Reading a review is much harder than it appears! I’m much more accustomed to recording a few lines of dialogue as a character. I put together two versions of this review, the first of which I read my written review almost word for word. It just didn’t sound very natural, so I went back last night and re-recorded my audio, instead trying to do the review as if I were having a conversation with someone about it. It’s not perfect, but maybe I’ll start to get good at these sorts of things if I keep up with them.

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So I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet (we still have a few days) but since this is the only time I’m going to update the blog for a while, I figured I might as well say happy Thanksgiving… so… yeah, Happy Thanksgiving!

Since my latest post I’ve done a bit of work on the Zelda short. It’s not a crazy amount of work mind you, just some really loose roughs for two of the more complicated shots. Of course as I’m working on these shots I realize the flow of the storyboards isn’t quite right, so I have some rethinking to do on some of the scenes.

Speaking of rethinking, I also haven’t forgotten the Contra short. It still pops up in my mind from time to time and I think I’ve actually come up with a solution for it. The day I thought of the solution I almost considering jumping back onto it to wrap it up, but that would be too much bouncing around. My goal is to hopefully see this Zelda thing through. I’d LOVE to have it done by early January. I’d have to kick it into high gear (and with the holidays coming it’ll be busy!) but I might have some nights and days where I’ll really be able to give it my all. The week before Christmas I’ll have the place to myself for a few nights, so I totally plan on banging out a lot of work then. Assuming I have enough PTO at the 9 to 5, I also plan on taking off Christmas week. Sure I’ll spend some of those days with my girls, but I’ll ship them off to the baby sitter so I can really put a lot of effort into the Zelda short. I am *thinking* those few days will really make quite the difference. I’ll hopefully have most of my roughs done before those days, so it’ll be lots of clean up animation and all that good stuff.

In the meantime, the gang plans on getting together this Friday (this Black Friday) to record what could be a final episode of the Shamoozal Radio Podcast. We haven’t done one of these since the summer, and quite frankly SRP just really isn’t part of the big picture anymore. In my letting go of most things Shamoozal, SRP is pretty much part of that. I don’t want to say it’ll be gone for good, but I will say I don’t really have any intentions of doing more past this one. Things could change though.

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