Monday, after a long weekend. I think I wrote in here the other night, after I got back from vegas - I don't even remember! it's all a blur, man...
I have been grinding pretty heavy at work lately. so much to do and so little time. I am kind of a stickler for quality, no matter what I am working on and if there's a motto I will have is "if you are gonna do it, do it right..." and that's just how it has to be.
Man. I hate next-gen. I think it's going to make me lose my mind. there was a time, not long ago, when I was salivating at the thought of "ohhh i cannot wait, all this extra memory to throw around, i can finally make big huge texturemaps all over the place, just dripping with gorgeous detail.." Well sir, that day has finally come (or so it would seem) and the verdict is.. bittersweet. i do live having the extra space, (no more compressing everything to 256 colors? 128 pixels, at BEST?) but the flipside of it is - it takes TOO DAMNED MUCH TIME to make all the tiny details now! It's true - our memory went up but our allotment of time hasn't. they aren't exactly hiring armies of artists to make stuff yet (unless you're EA, or someone) and so this translates to "if you wanna make stuff look pretty, go ahead, but do it QUICKLY." The game biz has always been about speed, no matter where you were - but now it's just mounting. Can I hack it? Sure you can, any good game artist worth his salt is gonna have dozens of shortcuts up his sleeve. Honestly, one of the great things I love about this job, I have to say it's extremely rewarding to develop your personal process, your work method. Everyone has their own repertoire.. I am no different. You share stuff, you pick stuff up, but you always have your own tricks and shortcuts that you rely on to get the shit done.
By the same token, there's always gonna be some pratfalls that everyone's gonna fall victim to. Sometimes it's a huge pain in the ass.. sometimes you get so burned out on the little details that all the time you made up earlier is gonna get gummed up on something stupid. well, this happens all over the board, unfortunately, in any department of any job.. the key is getting better, more efficient, so that you can cruise smoothly thru the troubling BS with relative ease and get your stuff out the door looking as nice as can be.
Overwork.. late last week I was sitting at my desk pulling apart lightmap UVs for what seemed to be endless time. jus tpulling stupid little boxes around.. placing them in ornate interesting patterns that matter to no one at all.. so long as my shadows don't overlap and bleed. i wonder how many hours of my life i have spent staring at UV maps, nah better not to think of it!! When I couldn't drive to vegas anymore, i handed the wheel to my copilot and drifted in and out of sleep from the passenger seat. you can bet that as my eyelids sunk hellward, i was having visions of those same UV maps being unwrapped in my mind.. the white lines and red dots, pulling and sorting and scaling and placing and resorting and offsetting... i could see it clear as anything. As the driver spoke to me about.. i don't know what, my mind drifted on the brink of oblivion as my attention was concerned with the nonexistent UV maps manufactured by my subconciousness. I tried to snap out of it and rejoin the conversation, but i would mentally pull a couple more boxes over to the right "just because it felt good."
So I need a vacation.
I got my Gunner's Heaven game running on the Test PS2. Glad to see it works! I want to make a 2D run-n-gun! I missed out on a bid for the other PSX game I wanted, and it relisted for about 20 or 30 dollars more. I will have to wait for that thing to slip back down into affordability (isn't it a test kit, can't I just run burns on that thing!!!) In spite of my DC piracy noted earlier, I really don't mind shelling out a little cash for some of these games, really. Somehow it's less of a hassle.. or something. I guess so many of them cost so little anyway. Almost all the Saturn games I've bought cost me practically nothing. Well okay I DID shell out megabucks for that --one-- title (you shmupos can guess which one) but if need be I can always sell it back for the original investment. Sigh. I should just trade it in for the Zanac game, shouldn't I..
Watching myself type this (extremely nerdy) hot air, I gotta say it is nice, for a change, to spend mental energy worrying about simple shit that DOESN'T EVEN MATTER.
Alright. I want to finish up my current workload tonight. If i go on a tear I might be able to pull this off. Off I go...!