What's the point of this Customizing Minecraft camp?
Customizing Minecraft is explained in more detail on the Specialty Camps page. It's suppose to be fun, because people love Minecraft. However, other benefits may not be immediately obvious. As this camp is geared towards younger kids, parents especially are curious if their kids are just playing a computer game for 3 hours, or if there's more involved.
For starters, we take several breaks to stretch and get our eyes off the computer screen, so no one is staring at a computer for hours at a time. While everyone has the opportunity to explore the game for a portion of each class, most of the time is spent doing digital art creation in a powerful, professional program. Next, we can address some common stereotypes about gaming in general.
Can you beat my score?
Remember, after Level 10 our difficulty doesn't change. I lost my second life on Level 11, but I was able to reach Level 20 with that one life before I stopped playing. Once you have the "rhythm" down, you'll be able to go as far as you want. Besides losing focus, what could cost you a life after Level 10?
Our spawn location is any random point at the top of the screen, and our spawn time is randomized between a small margin as well. So, the greatest challenge for the player happens when a troll spawns on one side of the screen, and then in the shortest spawn time possible, spawns on the opposite side of the screen. Think you could get them both? Email me a screenshot if you beat my score!
Download Guardian of the Garden (14.2MB)
My untitled action adventure game *is* still in development!
Things are just going slower than expected... which has actually been great! My super observant eyes finally noticed that I hadn't posted anything since October, and I thought it was time to put out some updates. First, I'll talk about the Digital Den. Look out for another post about my game!
The Digital Art Studio, the Digital Den, at the Seminole Recreation Division
In October 2016, I signed a contract to teach Digital Arts at the Seminole Recreation Division. The Holland G Mangum Recreational Complex had just added something called the Digital Den, a unique Digital Arts Studio unlike anything else you'd find in a recreational environment. The Digital Den has a strong focus on serving a generally unfilled need in recreational settings. That is, geeks like me having way more fun on a computer than a basketball field, or soccer court! Just messing with ya. Seriously though, if you'd rather be making comics, games, posters, or music than playing sports, this place was built for you!
Funded by donations from the city's Director of Community Development, Mark Ely, the Digital Den offers 10 high end computers, a gaggle of Wacom tablets (ranging from Draw, to Intuos Pro, and even a couple of Cintiqs), music equipment, and just about every professional piece of software you could ever want to get your hands on. The goal of the Den is to offer a fun, safe environment to learn Digital Art, in the same way the recreation center offers a fun, safe environment to learn sports and fitness. Among the sophistication of the equipment, and incredible variety of software, it is also a goal of mine to quietly put out an important, subtle message. A message with a purpose.
You can watch only my part of the interview with PLuGHiTz Live!, if you prefer.
I guess I just needed to be patient. It's pretty cool that they separate out the different interviews.
I share exclusive details about my current indie game project, plus you can learn more about the awesome, local Pinellas Comic and Maker Con!
My part of the interview is about 2hrs and 8min in, but this interview has the only details of my current game project.
The Legacy Quest Demo is now available and all resources are now provided with a Commercial Use License!
See the video showing the changes from 2011:
Faber-Castell Polychromos are about twice as expensive as Prismacolor Premier. I took the leap to see if the cost of these colored pencils are worth it.
I've been pretty happy with my Prismacolor pencils for quite a while. It's really enjoyable to grab someone's box of RoseArt or Crayola colored pencils, lay down some color swatches, and then put down some Prismacolor swatches right next to them. It's immediately obvious why the Prismacolor pencils cost 4 to 5 times as much, and I wouldn't hesitate to say they're worth it.
I was excited to receive my first set of Faber-Castell Polychromos recently. I've seen a lot of reviews recommending these pencils and I was ready to see what all the praise was about. My Prismacolors come in a tin, but the lid is a separate piece and it's occasionally annoying to pop off. I much prefer the tin compared to the boxes RoseArt and Crayola come in. That said, I much prefer the Faber-Castell tin to the Prismacolor. It is sleek, beautiful, and well designed. It has an attached lid that keeps the pencils secure but also opens easily, with a quick flip of the thumb. In practice, the only thing I prefer about the Prismacolor tin is that the detached lid allows me to place it under the tin, so it takes up less space.
Who cares about the tins?! Yeah, you could keep them in a cup or bin, no big deal. I just geek out over sweet tins. Presentation is everything, right? Sometimes. In this case, performance is everything. After all, you're not presenting the tin when you sell your artwork. So, unlike putting down a swatch of Prismacolor next to a swatch of Crayola, the performance difference is here is kind of subtle. There's definitely a smoother, more consistent application of color in the Polychromos over the Prismacolor, it's just a bit subtle. The feel of the Polychromos as you lay down color is a little more buttery than the Prismacolor, whereas the Prismacolor is a little more scratchy. You can hear it and feel it, but again, it's subtle.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Nothing is Original", or, "Steal Like an Artist"? Well, let me tell you something extremely important. Both of those statements are nonsense!
I mean, what a horribly contrived message! Steal like an artist? I'm guessing this is meant to be partially humorous and partially a metaphor. Artists don't steal because their inspiration comes from existing ideas, that's just not what steal means. Just because I've seen a cat and a fish, it doesn't mean I stole the idea of the catfish. That's absurd. As absurd as saying I stole the idea of the sun by drawing a sunny day, or even by drawing the Sun.
Attempting to alter the context and meaning of "steal" causes confusion, and sends a less than ideal message to people. It's not okay to steal, and moreover, being inspired by something doesn't make you a thief. Also, there is no verifiable evidence that Picasso said, "Good artists copy, but great artists steal". Sorry, Jobs, I'm also still not an Apple fan. In actuality, versions of this quote have been manipulated and contorted over time, with the earliest quote being more along the lines that imitation is worthy of praise, but stealing/copying is unworthy of praise. And that wasn't attributed to Picasso.
Fan art can be a real trigger topic for some people and it seems blatantly confusing for most. I want to talk briefly about it.
When you find someone contesting their right to distribute and/or sell fan art, it usually comes from a place of ignorance, naiveness, idealism, or nonchalance about copyright law.
When I confront someone about it, the response is almost always combative and I think there's a reason for that. No one likes to be confronted about doing something wrong, especially if they don't think they are doing anything wrong.
Before I give you the simple explanation of everything you need to know about fan art, I want to make one thing clear; I don't have a problem with fan art. There's nothing inherently wrong with fan art. However, that notion seems to be warped and manipulated by either a lack of concern or a lack of knowledge for copyright law. So, it's time to set the record straight.
Digital Arts Instructor