The app was built in Flash which meant the animation could be big and bold and the existing characters were easy to bring in and add to. Luckily the game design was uncomplicated so Sam was able to do a great job within the performance limits you’d expect from Flash.
The music is 8-bit because we needed more of it than we had and 8-bit disguised my lack of expertise well. (Also hopefully it’s a bit funny.) The main menu theme was made with Music Studio on my phone. I probably spent half as much time on that as on the animations.
Hopefully the game is amusing and the safety message comes through.
I read somewhere that train accidents have gone down since the video. I hope that’s true! And what about the rate of space helmets taken off and kidneys sold on the internet? Get on it statisticians.
Well the Internet likes dead things waaay more than I expected. Hooray, my childish sense of humour pays off at last.
The Dumb Ways to Die concept was devised by John Mescall and Pat Baron of McCann Melbourne, lyrics by John Mescall, music by Ollie McGill, vocals by Emily Lubitz, and characters and animation by me. It was animated in Flash and edited in After Effects. GIFs here, karaoke version here, iphone/ipad game here.
A round of applause for the client, Metro, whose feedback included “make it more violent!” and “add a piranha to his private parts please”.
Toybox by me and Sam is out for iPhone. It’s a game about doing 2 things at once.
Oh cool! The Guardian liked it, not sure how that happened. Also it won ‘Best Art in a Game’ and was a finalist for ‘Best Australian Game’ at the 2012 Freeplay awards.
You can download it here.
You can use it by typing (soccer) into a chat if you have a recent version.
Or you can also type (bartlett), since it’s a tribute to a departing Skype staff member and soccer fan named Mike Bartlett. Hi Mike! Sorry I didn’t get to meet you before you left. Hope you like your emoticon.
This is a nice idea: drawing straight onto a portable computer display, with the intuitiveness of pencil on paper, but with helpful computer features like Undo and Save-as and Transform.*
Seems like the ipad isn’t too far away, so let’s have a look at what they need to add:
The Pretty Good model
fine-tipped pressure sensitive stylus
pixel-level stylus position recognition
high ppi screen
thinnest possible gap between tablet surface and actual pixels (esp. if there is no on-screen cursor, so with thick glass you end up drawing in a slightly different position than you meant to)
The Best model
no distance between tablet surface and pixels (like Kindle e-ink screen)
really really high ppi screen
can somehow reproduce the feel of lots of different drawing surfaces and implements. The hardness of the implement, the tip shape and the resistance of the surface all influence visual style. (E.g. drawing on a glass Cintiq with a hard plastic stylus feels too smooth and thus imprecise.)**
tablet is large and light (and cheap!)
Alright Steve Jobs, let’s get on with it. I’m wasting precious years of my artistic life using sub-optimal equipment.
*The Wacom Cintiq is the closest device currently, but it is expensive, unwieldy, too lo-res, and the glass is thick. However I will be surprised if Wacom updates it. It will probably puddle along, secure as market leader, until a tablet-computer-with-proper-stylus comes along and makes it obsolete.
**Kim told me that someone told her that writing on a banana skin with ballpoint pen feels great. They were right. That should definitely be a setting on the Best model.
Update: Hmm, this Windows slate is getting closer. Doesn’t have the specs for making artwork yet but perhaps in a version or two?