Tag Archives: joseph culp

Let’s Design (a Helmet)

I am in search of a helmet design for a guard character in a comic book I am working on. My personal design process for doing a character is to rough in some panels with a general action silhouette. This way we can get a feel for the spirit of a character in the story, which serves as the initial inspiration for the costume.

1charactersilhouette

As you can see, we get a view of the front and the back of the guard’s head with these panels. This is useful, because I know I’ll need to understand the helmet’s structure in the round. Already I can see that he has some sort of face mask with big bunny ears or horns, his costume is dark and robe-like, and he is looking around alertly.  I’m imagining some sort of visored animal mask.

Let’s take this as an opportunity to learn from the classic famous master examples of visored animal helmets:

2mightymorphin

Continue reading Let’s Design (a Helmet)

Today We Give Thanks

ocarina party

Bethany is thankful for:

 

Brett is thankful for:

  • Nintendo – I bought a Wii U in March. A month or so later, so did one of my best friends. Then our other best friend bought one when he came in from Korea for the summer. We reunited with an old friend from school last weekend, crammed into my room, playing Smash Bros and Mario Kart while reminiscing. I haven’t really gotten excited for games in a long time, only buying one or two things a year for a while now, but the Wii U really reinvigorated me, and I’m so happy that my closest friends own one too so that we can all play and laugh with one another, even if one of us is currently in another country. And if we aren’t playing together, we’re usually sending obscene messages to each other in the Miiverse. Nothing says friendship like crudely drawn penises, right?
  • Anita Sarkeesian – For making awesome feminist video critiques. Also, thanks to loudmouths who hate her for making it very clear to me that I should avoid you. It’s good to know up-front you’re an asshole that I shouldn’t bother with, saves me so much time and energy.
  • Bethany and Jennifer – For being totally cool with letting an idiot like me contribute to such a great gaming site with my inane rambling! [Eds. Note: Awww! ♥♥]

 

Hannah (who is currently in Korea visiting family) is thankful for:

  • Portable games, such as Nintendo 3DS series and mobile games. My airline and train travels are not boring anymore!

 

Jennifer is thankful for:

  • Bethany Bryan and her twisted amazing hilarious brain and her beautiful bottomless heart. Y’all know Bethany is the reason this website still exists, right? When I grew too weary of shouldering the burden on my own and nearly abandoned it, Bethany trekked out to find G-vesc and me lying lost and almost dead in the wasteland and carried us back out again (true story!!). If you enjoy reading Gamervescent, you should send her a card, or at least a Facebook wall post of naked Alistair. [Bethany Note: This seriously made me a little teary. You’re too much.]
  • …and the rest of these jokers who contributed to this post and contribute regularly to this site. Luv u guysss, you are the best people who exist, seriously.
  • And also the best person who does not (yet!) contribute to this site, my wonderful friend who works at GameStop and made sure my guy and I got a Deluxe Edition of Dragon Age Inquisition even though we didn’t pre-order it. That’s love, man.
  • The vastly improved make-out physics in Dragon Age Inquisition’s romance cutscenes in comparison to those of previous DA games, dang!
  • Troy Baker’s vocal cords.
  • Admiral David Anderson’s never not hilarious workout plan.
  • Jake Muller’s henley.
  • Geometry Wars.
  • The Riot Gun.
  • Ghost Grant Collier, who watches over us all.
  • Photoshop, god bless it.

 

Joe is thankful for:

  • blocks that spit out mushrooms
  • the Tanooki Suit
  • bananas
  • barrels
  • Lon Lon Milk
  • Adam Jensen’s dialogue in Deus Ex
  • Dagoth Ur and the Sixth House
  • that there are two Warthogs accessible in the beach level of Halo: Combat Evolved
  • the eternal challenge of Trials HD
  • the wrench of BioShock
  • the combat tonics that improve wrench combat in BioShock
  • the way Mario does flip jumps in the Tanooki Suit if you get a star

 

Justin is thankful for:

  • that my birthday is so close to Thanksgiving I get a new game EVERY TIME
  • [relevant to the above:] Bizarre Creations’ newest Geometry Wars 3!!! I LOVED the first two in the series and now in 3D? Let’s do this!
  • Light bridges. When traveling becomes a bore, run across a bridge of pure light and try to complain – can’t. lightbridge
  • Yoshi plush toys. Because… this: yoshis
  • Dragon Age Inquisition’s in-depth character creation! I have never been able to make a believable Asian character until the new DA came along with its healthy number of toggles and swatches! Yeah, Haeinous has whitish-blue hair and more face tats in DA than she does in real life, but still. THIS IS AMAZING! IMG_1350

 

Kaylan is thankful for:

  • My boyfriend being patient with me whenever a new game I am super into is released.
  • My poppa bear always asking what games I’m into now (even though I know he has no idea what I am talking about).
  • That my friends understand how angry I get with multiplayer gaming and don’t bother me to join them.
  • Those who keep creating amazing flash games that have deeper meaning and challenge my thinking.
  • I am thankful for Gamervescent allowing me to geek out all over the place, as well as learning more about my friends and what gaming means to them. So thank you, loves! [Eds.: Awww, again! ♥♥♥]
  • Happy Turkey Day!

 

Laura is thankful for:

  • Cooperative games, because I love playing with my friends. My favourite evening is a Mario Party evening.
  • Having enought money to play World of Warcraft every month. It is such a great game.
  • I am thankful for the new versions of old games. Especially the Legend of Zelda games! Does anyone really have enough space for all the old consoles and the old games?
  • The rainy days. They are the perfect excuse for a gaming day. We don’t have many of those in Madrid, so that makes it much more special.
  • I am thankful for portable consoles. I used to have a Game Boy and it was huge, heavy, and the battery was shitty, so I couldn’t really play outside with it for a long time. Now I travel a lot and the Nintendo 3DS is perfect even for a 6-hour trip.
  • Finally, I am so thankful for those who make walkthroughs of difficult games and share them online. You guys are heroes.

 

And we are ALL thankful for you wonderful weirdos who visit this site! Have a great Thanksgiving, dudes.

Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, a dark legacy indeed

It started with an Angry Orchard Ale display stand at Sam’s Club, the old tree howled when I walked by, “Se-k t runestones a-d -ri-e Skorne frm is d-sol-te -a-d.” I had no clue most of the words meant, but the sound profile immediately awoke some dim part of my brain.

display

It was the voice of the yellow-robed wizard, Sumner of Gauntlet: Legends, and immediately after he spoke the tree made that spiraling sound you hear in the game when you get sucked into or out of a level.

My friend Justin perked up when I told him what happened in the store. “Damn, dude! Really?! I’ve got the Xbox version of Gauntlet at my house somewhere!”

xbox_805

We found it in a pile of dirty clothes and trash in his laundry room/basement area.

findsgame Continue reading Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, a dark legacy indeed

Halo 4: Tutorial Time

Previously, Joe Culp‘s Game Tours: Halo 4, Part 1 & Part 2

Starting off:

Environmental concept art is a type of developmental painting used in video game production as a way for painters to visualize the ideas of the creative team. If it weren’t for these great painters in the industry, then there would be no unified vision to lead the increasingly complex demands of modern level design. The production team would be doomed, dead in the water; their game would start looking cheesy and ill-designed. This would be all right if we were still in the 90s, or if a “generic fantasy anime” look was the goal, but we are dealing with 2013 AAA gaming! By now concept artists of all stripe have found an important and greatly romanticized role in the video game industry.

So, at the end of my last “game tour” of Halo 4 I said that I would take what I learned about the level design and reverse engineer some mock concept art out of it. What an absurd idea, concept art fan art! Really I just wanted to paint a laser floor.

Here is what I came up with (click for embiggening):

what I came up with Continue reading Halo 4: Tutorial Time

C.A.T.H.A.R.S.I.S.

CATHARSIS: A Kunzelman Trip

I was very excited to hear about the impending Halloween release of “CATHARSIS,”  the latest “trip” from hard rock game designer Cameron Kunzelman.

ROILING HORDE

So basically in ages past, a corrupt mage named Garm used a set of Runestones to summon a demon named Skorne. However, Skorne crushed Garm and imprisoned his soul in the Underworld. Skorne, fearing the power of the Runestones, scattered them throughout the four realms, so that they could never be used against him. So in comes Jeff, the cleanup guy. His job is simple: kill Skorne. The Runestones don’t matter.

Oh, and did I mention? Skorne comes with a roiling horde of demons. Continue reading C.A.T.H.A.R.S.I.S.

Game Tours: Halo 4 (Part 1)

Joe Culp's Game Tours: Halo 4So the other day my girlfriend was at Sam’s Club and bought Halo 4. I thought it’d make for a great game tour, ’cause I grew up with Halo. It’s an absolutely beautiful game, but I’m not sure what I think about it… I really wanted to like it. I tried to like it. Getting into Halo 4 was kind of like this:

THE BOSS“I AM HALO 4, PATHETIC FOOL! YOU MUST EARN THE RIGHT TO LIKE ME…BUT I WILL FIGHT YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.” Continue reading Game Tours: Halo 4 (Part 1)

Alpaca Run

Alpaca Run

Gamervescent friend Cameron Kunzelman has released a new game called Alpaca Run, in which you help a running alpaca jump over obstacles and collect apples throughout a series of different landscapes to the accompaniment of a delightfully oddball song by Samantha Allen and Guy Conn. The lovely background images come from the brain and doodlin’ hand of the one and only Joseph Culp.

Cameron on Alpaca Run:

Inspirations for Alpaca Run include: the Soundplay series that Kill Screen sponsored, the Bit Trip Runner games, running alpacas, and the feeling of absolute joy you have when you embody a jumping alpaca.

Notably, there isn’t a fail state in Alpaca Run. I want everyone to complete it. I want everyone to have a fun journey and to get to listen to a cool song without failing over and over again.

I died 27 times on my first playthrough, and still have a persistent case of the giggles. (Note: giggling madly does not do much to improve alpaca leap timing, does result in falling off of cliffs.) Leaping alpacas, man, they really can’t help but brighten your day. Go give it a try!

Visual Tour: Donkey Kong Country

Tree Top Town Level Sketch
Tree Top Town sketch by Joseph Culp

Donkey Kong Country. Everything about it—the flowing gameplay, the strangely appropriate music, the 3D-rendered style of the characters, and the world maps combined to create an experience that hasn’t really been seen before or since, tied together by the amazing environments that DK and Diddy blasted through on their quest for the stolen banana horde. In this post I’m going to discuss the design of some of these levels and try to identify a few of the factors that made them so great. Continue reading Visual Tour: Donkey Kong Country