Astrobase Command Character Design Update

The Astrobase Spring 20,114 clothing line melds stylish and utilitarian to make you the most popular sentient being on your block.

This week’s Astrobase Command blog update discusses some of the character design ideas we’re knocking around. Swing over to the Jellyfish Games developer blog to read it in its entirety.

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The Uncanny Valley just got a lot narrower

The Uncanny Valley has long been a challenge for artists trying to depict realistic human characters. There are so many subtleties that make the difference between allowing us to perceive the human face as being alive or dismissing it as some macabre and slightly creepy mask. Significant strides have been made in the past few years, and it is clear that NVIDIA and Activision have invested heavily in developing new technologies to breathe life into the next generation of characters.

This certainly leads one to wonder how long it will be until computer generated characters will be completely indiscernible from live actors? Not long, I’ll wager.

Sketching – Nasty Grunt

A nasty grunt.

A nasty grunt.

This charming chap tumbled onto my electronic sketchbook a while ago. The sketch arose as part of a stream of consciousness exercise I was running on a page to help me come up with some ideas for a story. As I doodled on, the concept for my upcoming book took form in my mind. A little cross-disciplinary creativity can work wonders for generating ideas.

Writing Tips: Naming Your Characters

Here are some great suggestions for coming up with great names for your characters.

Shannon A Thompson

2 days until the Minutes Before Sunset release! I’m feeling pretty supercalifragilisticexpialidocious about it all 😀 [And definitely not sleeping due to excitement] And I have one more announcement!

Minutes Before Sunset will be available as an e-book through Barnes & Noble and Amazon for $6.99 on May 1st! Please help spread the word :] The first day of sales is often the most important, and I really appreciate everyone who’s helped (and encouraged) me on here, Facebook, and Twitter. 

I’ve also received an author review for Minutes Before Sunset: “An exciting mixture of paranormal, romance, and page-turning action. Can’t wait to see book 2.” – Raymond Vogel, author of Matter of Resistance, a YA Science Fiction novel.

And the first chapter was published in The Corner Club Press yesterday! You can open an online version of it by clicking here. And congrats to the founder, Amber Forbes

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Turning the tables: Aaron Diaz’ Zelda as a a protagonist

Dresden Codak artist Aaron Diaz explores Zelda as Link in this stunning illustration inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s Video Game Tropes vs Women.

I think this clearly illustrates that there is plenty of potential to create strong, engaging characters that can appeal both to men and women in games. Exploitation of the female form in games is a crutch, not a mark of talent. It may certainly drive sales in a certain demographic, but undoubtedly turns off many more players (a hint for dudes: it’s the other 50% of the human race.)

It’s time for the entertainment industry to move beyond trying to appeal to the inner teenage boy’s sex drive and start delivering stories and games that can stand on their own thanks to substance rather than T&A.

Uber’s uber-solid model design

I am always awed by the beauty of strong design. The folks over at Uber recently released a new batch of imagery for their upcoming game, Planetary Annihilation.

Uber Entertainment’s Planetary Annihilation blog

They convey so much information through the use of simple shapes and strong textures.

All I can say is ‘wow’!