Thursday, August 11, 2016

Scavenger [Update]


I overhauled the colors on this mock-up a while back, so I thought I'd put up the new version here. I also took out the HUD elements, which were a bit random and incoherent.

By way of a more general art update, I've continued to develop this game idea and style in my spare time over the course of the last month. While this mock-up was an exercise in moving away from rigid tile-based drawing in favor of combining larger, bespoke pieces, I've since abandoned that approach and returned to my beloved tiles. Basically, I decided that I actually wanted to make a game, so tiles were definitely the way to go.

As a result, this mock-up is now slightly dated in terms of style. I've since completed a few new areas and created new characters and animations, which I hope to share once I've nailed down the basic game mechanics.

Until then, enjoy the brighter colors ;)


Friday, January 8, 2016


With another law school semester completed, time for another mockup!

This is a redo of my Base One/Two concepts. However, more or less everything is different except the common core of characters I designed along with those mockups. Here are those characters:

From left to right: Tahliah, Timur Genrich, Wilhemina, Ume (formerly Zoe in my Base Two mockup), Marjah Khan.

This mockup features Tahliah - the would-be protagonist of the game - a scavenger who stumbles upon a dead body in a scrap heap. This unfortunate discovery puts her in the crosshairs of interplanetary ace detective Timur Genrich (!) (also depicted in the mockup), who wants her for questioning.

In terms of style, I tried to move away from a rigid tile-based structure. I had worked on a previous Base One/Two Redesign and when it was about 80% complete, I found it incredibly boring to look at. Here's what it looked like before I abandoned it:

Some of these assets are salvageable, but the overall scheme seemed beyond redemption. It's also rather large for the character sizes.

I'm working on another mockup of this hypothetical game. As you can see, I've made tremendous progress so far:

That's all for now, but stay tuned. I may have another mockup completed this month.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cuong Dojo

I've just finished up my 2L year of law school and have a week and a half before I start work. Naturally, I've been working on some art in the meantime.

After watching Legend of Korra and re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender this past semester, I wanted to come up with an RPG-adventure concept set in a Japanese-inspired environment. The central gameplay experience would be 8-directional, real-time close-range combat and long-range spell attacking, similar to Hyper Light Drifter or Laser Fury. The name of the dojo is an afterthought, but for those interested check out Cuong Nhu martial arts. I came up with an accompanying story to go along with it, but since I start working full time on monday, this is destined to remain only a mock-up for the time being.

Feel free to give me feedback on this blog or on Pixel Joint!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Amy & Claude

I'm finally on break after an extremely busy law school semester, so I took some time to draw my girlfriend Amy and her awesome puppy Claude as a Christmas present. In return, Amy bought me, among other things, new art pencils, an eraser, and a Moleskine sketchbook, so I'm sure 2015 will be a more productive year for me art-wise!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Base One Mockup #2

Finished another concept mock for my low-color, outer-space murder mystery! I'm glad to finally finish this one up. It's been sitting on my computer about 95% done for months now.

I'll post more info about this game in the future!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Proof of Concept

Since my last post was in January, I feel it's necessary to update you, my anonymous visitor, on what I've been doing for the past six months.

After completing my first year of law school at the University of Illinois in May, I moved to Washington, D.C. to intern for a federal judge for the summer. My experience in D.C. has been formative, rewarding, and productive - not only in terms of my legal career, but also in my work in game development.

I am pleased to announce that the game studio I co-founded with my long-time friend and collaborator DJ DeWitt - Yofupo - officially has a website and branding! As you'll notice, while DJ has designed a wonderful layout, there is currently a dearth of content. That will certainly change as quickly as our busy schedules permit.

While DJ has been finishing up work on Ping, I've been mocking a couple different game concepts, to be made in the future. The first concept is our novel iteration on the local-multiplayer arena brawler, inspired by 2013 Indie successes - Samurai Gunn and Towerfall. Since this game is still in the initial gameplay design process, I won't divulge the precise gameplay elements that make it unique just yet.

(Kampft! is German for 'Fight!' Thanks to my brother Sean for providing the German knowledge).

While the two mockups above are fairly representative of what an actual combat arena would look like, I thought I'd also share the very first mock I put together back in March (see below).  Game art, like game design, I find, is a very iterative process. I'll often redo the art for a concept several times before I settle on a style and colors I like. It's rare, in my experience, to get it right the first time. To my mind, art is as much a process as it is a final product, so I wanted to share more of that process with you.

The next concept I've been working on is tentatively titled "Base One." Base One is an intimate, narrative-driven, mystery-exploration game. For the art style, I wanted to create an environment within the limitation of four colors per "area," with exceptions made for character sprites, dialogue references to characters, and specific objects. In the mockup below, other than the text "Sam" and the purple character, the mockup contains only four colors. The gameplay will be similarly stripped down to the bare essentials. This minimalist approach is inspired by games like Seiklus, Sword & Sworcery, and Journey

Again, to show a bit of the process I went through in creating the final mockup above, see the very rough 'first draft' below.

Thanks for reading! I'll post again when I have more art and news to share!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014: Games In Development


2013 was a productive year for me. I was accepted into the University of Illinois College of Law and just completed my first semester there. That's taken up most of my time, but I have been able to continue to develop a few games with my long-time friend and collaborator DJ DeWitt. Here's a quick summary and visual of what games are in development, what they are about, and when you can expect their release. DJ and I currently have full time commitments, which take precedence over our game development work. This makes determining release dates difficult, but I will give my best estimate.


RAILS is niche sport with a cult following. Extreme athletes grind the re-purposed rails, delivering old mixtapes to dropboxes, while avoiding the hard-hitting Rail Pigs. With rail-stadia affixed hundreds, sometimes thousands, of feet above the ground, only the bold and fearless dare to step out onto the RAILS. The rest of us simply watch.

RAILS is currently our number one priority. This game was originally made in 72 hours for Ludum Dare 26. We are in the process of making it a more substantial, polished, and innovative experience. This game will be released in 2014. The platforms on which it will be released are still not fully determined.


What makes us who we are? Can we change? SYNTHESYS is a dynamic narrative-driven game unfolding in multiple domains. You follow a Synthetic Designer as he struggles with his past, present, and future as they begin to converge. In one domain, the Designer must navigate new relationships in an uneasy alliance with an independent group to complete the creation of the perfect assassin. In another domain, that assassin must develop a mind acutely tuned for killing, while managing a debilitating psychosis.

SYNTHESYS is our most developed and ambitious project. We have been working on it since December 2012. Work on SYNTHESYS will resume upon the release of RAILS. We expect to release SYNTHESYS in 2014 as well.


In the culmination of a series of events put into motion years prior, an assassin must reach the top floor of a massive Spacecraper to eliminate his target. The only path is up the ROBOSHAFT, a dangerous service elevator of defense projectiles and deadly security forces. A small community resides below the service elevator. What the assassin finds down there may indicate what awaits him at the top.

Work on ROBOSHAFT has been on hiatus for over a year, however, a substantial amount of work has already been done for it. The narrative of ROBOSHAFT occurs at a time after the conclusion of SYNTHESYS, so we felt it better to complete that game first.

For those interested in hearing more about our games and want to follow our progress -

@jakewiesen - my account
@djdewitt - DJ's account
@Yofupo - our studio account