Fox Plans

Fan art of Spearhead Games’ fabulous “Stories: Path of Destinies”.

“Stories” is cynical, world-weary, charming, and intimately aware of How Stories Work. It’s a very grown-up game. And as a game for grown-ups should be, it’s very respectful of your time – I finished it in about eight hours, and felt very satisfied. It’s also the first game whose characters I’ve cared about enough to do fan art of in years. Highly recommended.

It’s got two major gameplay loops: fast, simple combat that politely suggests maybe you want to learn some finesse by ranking every encounter on style, and a really neat spin on “Choose Your Own Adventure” storytelling – you’ll make about four story choices during the course of a 20-30min playthough, and probably get a Bad Ending. But you (and the player character, he’s explicitly being reset back to the beginning with new knowledge) will learn a Truth about the way an important character or item behaves, and take that (along with whatever combat skills you unlocked) into the next playthrough. So you begin paying attention to the story, and trying to guess which choice will result in a happy ending for that old scoundrel Reynardo, or at least one that’s a really entertaining fiasco.

There’s a lot of ways to fail in this game, and only one good end. Unless you make a deliberate choice to avoid the Good End, you’ll probably get it in 6-10 runs. It makes a lot of coy references to other stories and other games that come off as witty cracks rather than “hey look I made a reference you should laugh”, because it’s very much its own coherent vision.

I got it when it came up as one of December’s free games on PSN. I wish I’d gotten it sooner so I could give the folks who made it more money, because it is delightful.


This drawing was done almost entirely with the Mobile Studio – pretty much everything except for adding the text (I haven’t copied over all my fonts yet) and doing some final tweaks happened there. About halfway through it I got the Twiddler keyboard set up, which rapidly went from “slower than poking at icons and my big page of RadialMenu buttons” to “about 75% as fast as working with a full keyboard under my left hand”. So that’s pretty cool.

Vectober 10: Abyss.

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, falling fist-first into an abyss.

Mike’s work is a masterclass in chiaroscuro, and in saying “fuck it, this part is hard to draw, I’m just gonna leave it out/drop it into silhouette/cover it with something else”. I leaned on both of these skills while drawing this.

(Where’s Vectober 9? I did it on the floor of Geek Girl Con, but it got ambitious, and it’s not done yet. It’ll be up when it is.)

Dr. Ivana Robotnik

Dr. Ivana Robotnik

 

Yesterday morning I decided to ask Google if there was any Rule 63 of Dr. Robotnik. There is some but not very much of it, and most of it looks more like a skinny sexy anime babe cosplaying Robotnik. This one is still probably too damn skinny but there’s actually SOME weight to her, damnit.

Terrible Halloween Ideas

Sexy Technopriest Costume

was planning on just sewing a bunch of LEDs into my black coat and going as a Blinky Witch, but I think I just came up with a much more beautifully stupid idea. All I need is a few layers of red lingerie, black goggles or wraparound mirrorshades, an emblem sewn to the uppermost layer, a black beanie, and a black balloon full of helium!

Bonus points: persuade someone to dress up as John DiFool, and make a Deepo by attaching some stuff to a white balloon.

Nobody will get this. Except for that one person who is quite possibly a NEW BEST FRIEND.

I’m really tempted to do this. And still keep on sewing LEDs into my coat, of course, because, hey, who doesn’t want to high-tech multicolor witch coat?

 

Lashina

Lashina

Another one of the Female Furies.

For Lashina, I felt I had a tight edge to walk – I wanted to keep what is, quite honestly, the BDSM flavor of her outfit, but de-objectify it a bit. Those rings around the tits were cute, Jack, but kinda blatant. I took it down to one simple signifier: she’s got a collar with a ring on it. Also she whips people with the steel ribbons she’s tied up in but that’s nothing new.

 

 

Big Barda

Big BardaBig Barda: looks like Lanie Kazan, acts like Roz Kirby. And kicks all the ass. As with my previous redesign of Orion, I tried to take Jack Kirby’s original design and strip it down to an essential. Barda’s fish-scaled armor has turned into hex-scaled armor, and the hexagon theme of her belt in some of Jack’s drawings has been extended to the red bands on her limbs. The panties-over-leggings look is gone because the ‘circus strong man’ resonance it conjured up in the fifties is long since gone for modern people like me.

The floating bits on her powered-up Power Rod are held there by gravity manipulation, and can be extended very rapidly. Not that she needs it to kick your ass. But it comes in handy when she’s beating apocalypse-sized gods down to size.

 

Piranha

Piranha

 

Piranha from “Jet Set Radio”. Guess who I pretty much always played once I’d unlocked her?

This is a simplified version of her look from the first game, with a tiny bit of her costume in the second.

Edit: Oh yeah. I keep kinda wanting to cosplay as her but keep on being concerned that (a) race issues make it Problematic and (b) white just doesn’t look too good on my pale pasty flesh. Maybe some black edging for contrast would fix the latter.

Ever So Sensible

Congrats ursulaHaving someone who came up through the same weird little sub-fandom as me win a frickin’ Hugo – when she was up against a couple books that have been failing to beat out Girl Genius for all three previous years the graphic novel category was awarded – makes me REALLY HAPPY.

And maybe a little ambitious. Back to working on the Rita book.