Day 182 (Great Art)

Thoughts:

Great art with a powerful message isn’t created with the message in mind. That is backwards.

The most powerful lessons we learn are not learned through words, but through experiences. My parents told me many wise things as a child, but it was only after I experienced these lessons in the real world that I came to understand just how right they were.

It is the same with great art. The focus is not on telling the message as clearly as possible, rather it is on creating the clearest experience that brings you to the message. If the situation is captured as vividly as possible, the viewer can’t help but learn the same lesson that the person in the movie or book learned.

That is a beautiful thing. I just watched Dunkirk a few weeks ago, and it perfectly captured an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness. Day after day, waiting for someone to come rescue you trapped on a beach while you are being picked off by bombers overhead. These soldiers endured weeks of that tense, meaningless torture until one day salvation arrived.

The sight of civilians risking their lives to rescue those trapped soldiers brought tears to my eyes. At once I understood the beauty of courage and self-sacrifice.

To risk your life willingly (and often for no purpose) to save another is a beautiful thing. After watching Dunkirk, I will have a completely different perspective on Medal of Honor recipients and stories of bravery in war. Heroes are real.

This is just one example of hundreds of movies and books that have changed my perspective on the world. The best ones don’t attempt to preach a message. They put you through an experience and let you grow with the characters in the story. This is what happens when you experience loss of a loved one, this is how it feels to be at the edge of science, this is how it feels when you risk everything you know to save the world.

That is true influence and communication. Create the experience, not the message.

Time: 26:38

Commit

I mostly felt compelled to write that piece about art today. That will likely be refined at published to Medium at some point.

I also fixed my mis-colored sprites and it’s on to the book’s speech options tomorrow.

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Day 182 (Great Art)

Day 179 (Pixel)

Going to render the pixel art the right way and then look into making my NPCs wander.

Time: 25:33

Commit

Rendered my sprites correctly.

Overview:
-Set Pixels Per Unit to the largest dimension of my characters. All of my characters are 32×32 pixels, so this was 32.
-Set Filter Mode to Point (No filter). This prevents Unity from averaging pixels together to keep our art sharp.
-Set Max Size to the size of our sprite map rounded up. This was around 512.
-Set Compression to none. Compression only works properly with photos and the like where there are a wide range of pixel colors and high resolutions.

Found the NPC wander tutorial. Will continue implementing tomorrow.

Day 179 (Pixel)

Day 177 (Pixel)

I want my characters to face each direction and eventually move around aimlessly.

Time: 24:38

slime (4).gif

Experienced the tedium of duplicating frames in different directions. Pixel art can sometimes feel like moving sand grain by grain, but the results are satisfying.

Also noticed that while the character switches direction, the highlights and shadows stay in the same place. Little detail I never noticed.

Slime moves left, right, down and up. Next make the book do that.

Day 177 (Pixel)

Day 171 (Start Again)

A few days ago on Reddit, I wrote about two mind-shifts I made while making this blog that allowed me conquer my mental blocks and continue posting here regularly.

There is a third mental shift I had that I wanted to flesh out in greater detail today.

You Can Start Again

When I started this blog, I was on a roll. I posted every day religiously for about 40 days.

Then life went crazy.

Over the next two months, I went to a music festival, I traveled to Japan, I went partying, I tried tons of stuff. And by the end of this fun, but chaotic time, I had lost the habit of posting to my blog. I probably posted 3 times over that time period.

After that span of time, I would wake up every day and make the decision that I would post when I got back from work. And most days would pass without a post to show for it.

This kept on happening until one day, I decided to sit down and reason through what was causing this mental block. I wrote my way through my feelings until I finally found the conclusion: I was trying to continue where I left off.

Here is that post.

I was on such a huge righteous push in the first 30 days that I had started stretching my posts to very high average timers. 20 Minutes A Day had become 1 Hour A Day.

Once again, I was setting the bar too high for myself. I was like the guy who returned to the gym after years away expecting to lift 2 plates just like the old days.

I had grown accustomed to doing nothing for the blog for a month, how could I expect myself to suddenly output so much again right away?

So I reset my goal to only 20 minutes a day and was able to post once again.

Reset

I think this happens all the time in life. People don’t realize that if they’re starting over, they have to reset their expectations too.

Athletes come back from injury expecting to do what they used to do right away and either re-injure themselves or quit because they get impatient.

People fall off their diets and gain back 15 pounds. Now in their minds they have to lose 15 pounds AND the 15 extra pounds they just gained. The bar is even higher than it was before they did anything at all.

That thinking is false. You aren’t more behind because you used to do something and then stopped. You are simply where you are now.

In fact, you are still ahead because now you know exactly what it takes to get back to where you were when you stopped. So go ahead and take those first steps again. Start again.

Time: 23:05

More work in dialogue. Used this tutorial.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.16.34 PM

 

Day 171 (Start Again)

Day 169 (Pixel)

Pretty positive reaction from Reddit 🙂

Thoughts:

The interesting thing about expanding your comfort zone is how quickly it expands your reality.

When I first had the crazy idea of posting my blog to Reddit, I wasn’t expecting much. “Hey, maybe I’ll get 5 upvotes, 30 views,  that sounds pretty good.”

But I got 35 upvotes and almost 1000 views, which smashed my expectations. I was overwhelmed. As I write here today, I am starting to accept that this is possible and think of ways to reach even more people.

Can this get 500 upvotes? Can this get 5000 views? More? Why not?

It all boils down to that same principle this blog is based on. I left my comfort zone and it expanded. Right now, 10,000 views sounds impossible. But I thought 1000 views was impossible yesterday. Now, I’m starting to believe.

Think about an example like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has 4.3 million followers on Twitter. As a teenager in Austria, he would never have imagined he would one day have millions of people reading his words. But today, he is comfortable with it. He believes it. He is probably thinking of ways to grow that to 10 million. Your comfort zone expands to your reality.

It is reassuring to know that my experiment isn’t just crazy talk and has inspired others. I am even more motivated to keep going. Here’s to another day.

Time: 29:23

Commit

Implementing dialogue boxes following this excellent tutorial. I still can’t get the box to show on action, so debugging that tomorrow.

 

Day 169 (Pixel)

Day 167 (Pixel)

Let’s take a little time to reflect on what I want to do next.

Some possible routes:

  1. It’d be pretty interesting to make that video series about how to build Zelda. And that will help me revisit my Unity skills in preparation for the next project. In addition, that will develop my presentation skills so I can make this blog a little more entertaining for you 🙂
  2. I can wrap up the pixel art “game” which I intend to be a simple room with my three animated characters and a conversation among them.
  3. I can try a Pico-8 project to allow me to dive into a more holistic approach to games. I will have to develop music, art, and programming to make that. That sounds awesome actually.

To keep myself from getting too bored, I choose to bounce between the three for now. I will tag each series so you can track it in the future.

Today, I will dive in to Unity and get the art into the game.

Time: 20:01

Have to head out, but I got the characters into Unity. Video coming later.

Day 167 (Pixel)