MakegamesSA.com – Don’t Hate, Pixelate competition

A quickie:

SA’s game developers’ association makegamesSA.com (read: Indie hangout) is running a cool little comp inviting peeps make PIXEL ART out their favourite characters, and it’s looking like tons of fun!

There are some cool talents here, and lots of people learning. Have a look at just some of these great entries, both in technical flair and spirit!

Edit: Sorry, the gallery’s been obliterated in the Great Blog Crash of 2013… Please head on ahead to the entries thread to check out the good work!

 

Noone’s playing to win, because there’re no prizes besides a good communal pat on the back and the warm fuzzy feeling that you’re among people with interest. And participating means you’ll get eyeballs on your work, which means an awesome opportunity to learn how to do Pixel Art 🙂

It felt like just not a month ago that I started doing some pixel art for fun, it’s really cool seeing other people learning with me 🙂

Full entry detail thread

All entries in the competition category

 

rAge 2012 cosplay (part 2) – more awesome not-winners

Welcome back to my little show-and-tell of the 2012 rAge cosplay. Just to recap, having been one of the four judges, I started, in part 1, going through the awesome not-winners of the cosplay competition who all deserved recogntion.

By the way if anyone wants a linkback to their facebook page or some making-of blogs or something, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll happily oblige 🙂

(And apologies for being so late with part 2! I’ve been really busy with… This and that. Hopefully can share it with you soon :P)

 

 

So let’s go through more awesomesauce:

Adventure Time – Finn Fiona (thanks again KomboKitten :P) Ahhhh Adventure time. Look at the original material and then look at her – it’s not bad at all is it, from an accuracy perspective. But with a few more bits of detail like the pet and the green backpack, it would have been MEGA epic 🙂 Kudos for the work on the headgear – it looks super fun (and warm!)

 

King Bradley from Full Metal Alchemist – wow this guy was impressive. Great performance, good getup, it was all pretty good. Unfortunately the eyepatch was on the wrong eye and he needed a bit of a moustache. Unless of course he was cosplaying someone other than King Bradley, in which case I shall fall on my sword after you correct me 🙂

 

Pikachu and Ash – Seriously, these two were fun 🙂 Here’s a lesson to be learned – if you’re supposed to be a pair, enter as a pair! The costume were pretty much spot on, and all that was really missing was performance (I dunno, call forth some lightning or something :P) and a little bit more attention to detail. And we didn’t confirm whether the Pikachu suit was home-made – if it were it definitely was one of the better pieces 🙂 Also, popular, simple cosplays tend to be overlooked. This one was good, but it fell into that category.

 

Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4, again, thanks to Samantha Watts) Fate/Stay Night? Not sure where this one’s from, please inform me so I can correct this, but that is very indicative of the genericness of the character chosen – maybe she had something that made her stand out as a character, if so – use it! Otherwise a nice school uniform, well executed, well detailed.

 

Dragon Ball Z girl – the nostalgia value was off the charts according to the Scouter! A fairly impressive cosplay that wasn’t as detailed as the others, but REALLY REALLY FUN 😀 If she had a Scouter it would have rounded it off very well. Excellent performance, it was a shame she couldn’t surround herself with some yellow aura 🙂

 

Bridgette from Guilty Gear – while she ran on and off the stage fairly quickly, her cosplay was one of my favourites of the competition. The details were great – the yoyo even had all the correct markings, and she even managed to go the extra mile and made the giant cuff thing. If she did something with it all on the performance side it would definitely have come out tops (that, and there were simply really really tough competition in the gaming category this time aruond!) Come on, isn’t that just the coolest costume to make? 🙂 Check out the cool cosplay analysis I found someone make online, it’s really pretty good 🙂

 

Scarecrow from Batman movie – The costume was good on first impression, but the detailing let it down. And personally I’ve never remembered the Scarecrow character all that well from the movie.

 

The Joker from Batman movie – you gotta be REALLY REALLY ambitious to do the Joker, what with the legendary Heath Ledger to live up to and all, and unfortunately the performance was just not as good as the silk shirt! It was a good and fun attempt – but again, more stage time would have been great!

 

Rikku from Final Fantasy X – Full disclosure – she’s my girlfriend and I had no say in her judging 🙂 But if I did, I’d say this was among the toppest cosplays at the show, with a great costume with very cool detailing, great first impression on stage, and best of all a stellar performance fully embodying the character of Rikku. Seemed like everyone at rAge stopped her for a photo, which was just testament to the cosplay. That she’s damn fine and not afraid to jump around a little (a lot) didn’t hurt either! Fantastic stuff, finally 😛

 

Hellsing – Well, I really did enjoy the details on this one, the glove had a glyph on, and it seemed everything was in place, and hand-made, it seemed. If weapons were involved and he had more performance, it would have been incredible. Hellsing should have been more vicious and demonic, but picking a high-challenge staple character like this was never going to be easy! Good effort!

 

Ghost from Modern Warfare – an iconic character and a great costume. Sure everything was probably bought from a wargames or surplus store, but the detailing including the mask was impressive. The performance was great, it was a fun cosplay.

 

Vin Venture from Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson. (Thanks Mahomed Bilaal Baksh ) Girl with massive sword from series unknown – sorry  here’s another one I don’t know, but it was really impressive! That SWORD! And the way she handled it! Definitely plus points for those! The costume wasn’t bad too, if a little rough. Overall GREAT 🙂 Love that sword. Love it 🙂

 

Tobie from Naruto – great cloak, shame the mask was probably two times too big for his actual face. But it was a great presentation, and I do wish Tobie had more performance or iconic things besides the mask. Pretty great 🙂

 

Itachi Uchiha from Naruto – really? I couldn’t tell. But besides that, I really enjoyed the interpretation of the Akatsuki cloak into a nice gothloli-type vibe. Or at least frilly vibe 🙂

 

SeeU from Vocaloid – Full disclosure again – we’re buddies and I didn’t really judge her piece either, but to be honest it was REALLY REALLY GOOD. Look at the source material above – check out the accuracy! Great details abound: She had speakers in her headset thing (sewn-in Shox) that played the Vocaloid’s tune, all the buttons were custom-made, and every bit of clothing were hand-made. That wig could have been thigh-length but really that’s just nitpicking. Fantastic cosplay, it was a really tough battle in the pop culture category since Vocaloid was technically not anime (even if she looked completely anime!) Her performance was also good, great poses, didn’t rush off, etc. Good stuff 🙂

 

Kaito from Vocaloid – accompanying SeeU was another Vocaloid guy – apparently that’s his signature pose. Cool stuff, cool details, nice way of making ready-made stuff work for him. A note on that blue – if he said he was Doraemon I’d have believed him 🙂 Fun stuff 🙂

 

Anti-Mage from DOTA (I think. But as discussions uncovered, it could be Illidan Stormrage from WOW or Anti-Mage from DOTA. NOT Demon Hunter as I first said :P) – This one was pretty good! The weapons were nicely detailed and shaped, the body paint was pretty much on the money, he even managed to blindfold himself without tripping. Those armour pieces were well put together, too. His performance was worth mentioning too as he did a little one-legged curtsey thing that was in the game, and generally just a lot of fun. Could maybe have done with a bit more adornments like cool hair gear or something, but what’s here really well presented!

 

Haruko of Furi Kuri – really cool outfit – one of those recurring classics in cosplay. Can’t say much except it was pretty good, and would have benefited from more time not running away!

 

I don’t know who this guy’s from and I’m inclined to say Sitar Hero or something. But it was plenty fun and he – despite running on and off the stage probably because of time constraints – performed admirably. Superb fun 🙂

 

Snow White. When she wasn’t yet hot. Or had jet black hair. But she was very cute 🙂 Just to end things off, we have this little gorgeous girl who was very reluctant to face the crowd 🙂

 

OK that’s it for now – that’s all the non-placers – if you haven’t seen someone yet, it probably means I’ve either missed it due to my super large number of dudes to go through, that they didn’t participate, or that they’re among the winners and I’m gonna write them up later 🙂

As always, any comments welcome, I’m in need of just as much education in this as anyone else! And we’ll make this cosplay stuff even better next time! 😀

 

As usual, photo credits:

NAG’s rAge 2012 album

Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr’s photos

Morgane T Leleux’s photos

Legion Ink’s rage 2012 album

IT News Africa’s article: Cosplayer Characters at RAge

Chanel Rossouw’s rAge 2012 album

Chanel Rossouw Photography page’s rAge 2012 Cosplay prizegiving album

Ruth Shand’s rAge 2012 album

 

rAge 2012 Cosplay – a judge’s eye view (part 1)

Here’s the TL;DR for those with ADD (whether you know it or not)

  • Thanks to the organisers and sponsors for being AWESOME!
  • Thanks to everyone who participated and was AWESOME!
  • A few awesome cosplayers who were late or couldn’t join in – you’re STILL AWESOME!
  • I want to offer a few humble tips for people who cosplay to become EVEN MORE AWESOME!

So, on with the show 🙂 I had the honour and the pleasure to be part of the 2012 rAge cosplay as a judge together with three other awesome and knowledgeable people:

  • Jack aka ZeroJ my brother-with-a-different-father-and-mother Otaku Magaziniest
  • Angie Hattingh aka Electrra the Fashion Designer and Digital Director
  • Margan T Leleux who is among the top cosplayers in SA

The cosplay was organised by the good people at Legion Ink (page and group) as has become the tradition for rAge, so a massive big thank you must go out to them. Of course most of the cosplayers are part of the Cosplay South Africa group, so they all deserve one big hug!

Expected: 30. Registration: 79

As you can see from the little statistic right there, we had a hectic time. And cosplay seems to have taken wings (at least for a few) and went bigger year-on-year. I want to stop writing and start offering up some photos of some awesome cosplay. Disclaimer – I didn’t take any of these photos – all I could do during the cosplay was take crappy photos from my iPad to try and keep a record of who was officially entered, since the entries expanded so much at the last second, and mr iPad has never been known for its quality or grace. Full photo credits to come at the end of the post 🙂

Criteria

The judging fell into 3 criteria this year, and we thought they were really appropriate. They were:

  • Impression: how impressive was it without going into the nitty gritty?
  • Quality: Quality of the build? was it made or was it bought?
  • Performance: Not necessarily a song and dance like Idols, but whether you’re in-character.

While each cosplayer excels on one part, they often stumble at the other. I’ll try to explain why and how as we go through the cosplayers.

Performance

This one’s so important I thought it deserved its own heading. The majority of cosplayers are running onto the stage and dashing off. I hadn’t even had a chance to take a snap for record-keeping yet, nevermind getting a good look and studying the cosplay. So, there are a few things that I wish all cosplayers would take into heart:

  • Get on, strike your poses, HOLD THEM FOR A WHILE. A good guideline is to see/hear the cameras go off, and when they calm down a bit, do the next one. 5-10 seconds per pose is good. 3 to 5 poses is also good.
  • Check out the judges – by this I mean make eye contact, and hold it, and see if they want anything – like turning around, etc.
  • Engage the people too – they are who you’re doing this for after all!
  • Be in-character. Don’t know your character? You should. Research! The top cosplayers ALWAYS do this, and it’s FREE 🙂
  • Don’t be shy! You’ve already spent so much time and effort on your cos, make the most of it! Enjoy it! Enjoy the hell out of it!

First, the NOT winners (who were awesome)

There were really so many great cosplayers that we were all very sad that we didn’t have more prizes – something that’s already been much better than the past (this time we actually had 13 prizes!), but still there were people who really should have been recognised but hadn’t, officially anyway. Here they are in all their awesomesauce (in order of their appearance on-stage):

Remember to click on images to enlarge 🙂

 

First off was Ray, and his picture-perfect Vash of Trigun fame. It was simply great! The details were wonderful, that stuff on his left arm, the knee-pad, the perfect hair, everything. GREAT impression, great quality, even the performance was great, as you can see in the cool poses struck. He does the team organising the whole shebang great justice 🙂

 

Natsu from Fairytale! (Thanks KomboKittenThen this guy… I think he’s from Bleach. Do correct me if I’m off the mark! Apologies for not being able to hear the announcer at the time, as well as not really following Bleach after chapter 4577421 😛 IT was pretty good, the hair is a great effort, and it was overall pretty clean. Decent performance, but not awesome.

 

Ah Chainsaw Lollipop girl. Check this direct comparison out – the accuracy in her cosplay is stunning – pretty much every detail had been covered, and if she had a head dangling from her belt I’d have totally bought it (not the head, the cosplay).  The performance could have been a bit more dramatic and true to the source though.

 

Izumi from Full Metal Alchemist. She was actually pretty fantastic, everything from the braid in the hair to the stellar no-smile performance to the presentation. Aced quality and performance, but the nature of the cosplay was that it was less impressive than elaborate ones.

 

The Kingdom Hearts cosplay was pretty damn good, nice details, cool keyblade. It was a shame that we only saw it for like 5 seconds because she dashed on and off the stage as quickly as Kingdom Hearts gameplay.

 

The pixel-perfect Grim Fandango cosplay was really cool, but just not quite impressive 🙂 Nice little jig and jive on the stage too. Don’t know if Grim did that in the game 😛

 

Two My Little Pony cosplays, which was very difficult for me to comment on as I had no idea how olden equestrian children’s cartoons had become a 2012 sex icon. Really nice outfit, cool interpretation of errrr, THOSE (above). Stunning. Kim did do that stunning Portal Chell last year, so the pedigree is there :), and the Rainbow Dash (I think that’s her name) also had a nice vibe with the rainbow hair.

 

Death Note is always easy and fun to cos, and this one had plenty of personality. He was going around writing down people’s names on it, and he had an apple, and he threw it into the crowd. Hope noone got hurt 🙂

 

Team Gintama’s support had a quality outfit and a stellar performance, too. If you’ve watched the anime/read the manga, this would have brought a smile to your face.

 

Kooh, from an Online game called Pangya (Thanks LeLani Kate) I cannot for the life of me remember who this was supposed to be, (I’m guessing someone from Sucker Punch) and this demonstrates one of the pitfalls of cossing someone who lacks distinguishing elements plus coming from a very obscure reference. Looked nice, and she seemed to have had fun. BUT staying on the stage for a bit longer would have been good!

 

Sherlock Holmes. Or Watson. I enjoyed it, including his limp, and he reminded me more of House than Holmes, but it was pretty fun, but he was running on and off stage pretty fast with that limp (MORE PERFORMANCE PLEASE!).

 

Final Fantasy 9 pair: They worked great as a duo, and individually the detail holds up. The performance was ok, and kudos for trying to cosplay chibi-lised characters whose heads are supposed to be bigger than all the rest of them.

 

Queen of Hearts: She had a fantastic costume, which looked to be hand made. If she made it herself then +20 points. However, the Queen of Hearts really shouldn’t be dishing out cupcakes. So even though Morgane took one and enjoyed it thoroughly, we were in two minds over that bit of performance. Plus point for crowd pleasing, or minus points for off-character? Hmmmm?

 

Ezio of Assassin’s Creed: MAN this was actually pretty impressive. Obviously lots of love and attention went into it, and we could see the shoulder-cape could conceal the weapon hand, and the harness for the hidden blade. It was good… Except for the better Ezio that had appeared too. Kid, you did great 🙂

 

Scout – part of the Team Fortress trinity of Pyro, Scout and Medic present, he was actually pretty cool. Scout by himself, details were almost all there, and if he had a metal bat and bashed it till it bent it would have been super bonus points. Otherwise it was an accurate and fun cos.

His brethren (sister) was even more awesome though, they’re still coming up, but if the trio did some kind of interaction that would have been awe-waitforit-some 🙂

 

 

The League of Legends duo had great impressive silhouettes, and we were plenty “ooooh”ing “ahhhh”ing at simply that despite detailing falling just short (for example, why not make the dual-blades come to a point instead of squared?). On that though, the LED lit bow was a GREAT piece.

 

Bane was actually one of my favourites. The head piece was spot on, and the posing was perfect. The only thing that prevented it from taking ace was the lack of a muscle shot – that was what Bane was known for (and that was what made the Borderlands guy’s cosplay – will be discussed in a later post – really stand out for me). And if he could have spoken with Bane’s accent. Whew, then I would have fought for his win 🙂

 

Leia. Oh Leia. Oh my golly Leia. This classic, timeless and legendary character and cosplay was done pretty well as all the pieces (the few that there are) are in the right places doing the right things. It was thoroughly impressive. But there was a sliiiightly bit too much public nakedness for my personal taste – not to detract from it at all – I think it’s fucking awesome that she’s so comfortable with it – and I encourage it 100%, without sounding like a creepy guy. Let me stop trying to dig myself out.

 

Diablo 3 monk was pretty fun, with the right facial hair to match perfectly. The costume was well made and his performance (“RAAAWWRR!!!”) was pretty much on the money.

 

 

This is turning out to be a lot more work than anticipated, first photo hunting, then writing, then fighting this WordPress thing. I’ll continue later. Hope you enjoyed it so far 🙂

 

Photo credits:

NAG’s rAge 2012 album

Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr’s photos

Morgane T Leleux’s photos

Legion Ink’s rage 2012 album

IT News Africa’s article: Cosplayer Characters at RAge

Chanel Rossouw’s rAge 2012 album

Chanel Rossouw Photography page’s rAge 2012 Cosplay prizegiving album

Ruth Shand’s rAge 2012 album

 

Dwarf animation test

I’ve been working on this little dwarf character that will go into my game that I’m planning at the moment, and just discovered the joys of pixel art and animation!

The evolution of Klepto the dwarf:

He started as a pencil sketch, lots of rough details…

 

Then I played around in pixel art…

 

Then thought I’d try my hand at pixel animation…

 

It’s nowhere near finished or polished, and there’s a lively discussion/critique over at makegamessa about it, yet I must say I thoroughly enjoy pixel art and animation! At first it was pretty apprehensive, but it really just takes a bit of imagination to put pixels down where they need to be. I think I’m probably going to keep this approach and pixelify the game 🙂

 

If you’re interested in giving it a shot, it’s really not difficult

For me the most important thing was to just jump in and do it – pixel by pixel. It sounds hard but it really is a breeze! Here are some nice articles to get you going, they’re all quality stuff 🙂

The most sublime iPad game just released: Bastion

 

Not being an XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) junkie had deprived me of some top indie titles, so I’m so glad Supergiant Games have brought it to the iPad – cos it actually fits pretty much perfectly. Sure a big TV would be nice to play it on, but the detailed artwork is really nice up close.

I’m not reviewing Bastion. I’m just going to gawk about some awesome things and how details make a game wonderful:

The narrator

– the entire story is told by a deep, throaty sounding narrator, who commentates on everything you, “The Kid”, does. The Kid has no name, as the narrator, known only as “The Stranger”, never got around to asking. His superb Western twang doesn’t irritate at all, but instead gives what might have been lumped in with every other JRPG a very fresh storytelling approach.

Visual Extravaganza

The world is incredible – right from the very first moment, you’re thrust into a vibrant, colourful and lively world that literally builds itself beneath your feet – the environment rises up from the depths of Calamity to greet you, piece by piece, and the hand-painted art is so detailed and well animated that you’ll constantly want more – and there are much more – as you’ll seldom encounter the same biome twice. This game is 1Gb due to the HD visuals that Supergiant Games have packed into it, according to them.

“I dig my hole you build a wall”

The music – the musical centrepiece is a haunting western vocal, and the way it’s introduced is also splendid. That track is accompanied throughout the game by other awesome scores. You want to play this game with your headphones, for sure. Don’t play it on the iPad’s puny speakers!

Why haven’t you gotten it yet?

Overall, Bastions of such an amazing quality that if you haven’t played it, and do own an iPad 2 and above (Not for the iPhones, sorry), you owe it to yourself to experience it. At $4.99 on the App Store, it’s really better than any macMeal you’ll ever have with that price.

If you need more convincing,

check out more of this gobsmacking art:

Edit: The gallery was met with the Cataclysmic Blog Cataclysm of 2013, and will rest in peace. Check out more Bastion eye candy here.

 

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