Game Over

 Posted by at 12:56 pm  4 Responses »
Nov 112018

Due to a severe clash of personalities and wildly divergent goals and priorities for Brackenwood, the working relationship deteriorated beyond repair and I made the decision to end the Dashkin project on Oct 24, 2018.

At its heart, Brackenwood is the story of the last of his kind; a lone dashkin exploring an empty world. Over time, the Dashkin game had become something I never liked and the fans never wanted: a multiplayer football brawler (I know… me too.) This happened gradually at first. I was led to believe the multiplayer was more of a mini game, and that the single player story-driven platformer would be the main game.

One night after a particularly heated email exchange, it became clear to me that the promise of a single player, story-driven game was about to be broken. Story has always been my ultimate goal and Brackenwood has never been about making money. Going through with that Steam launch would have shackled the team together for at least another year, but worse, devastated the Brackenwood story that the fans adore.

In terms of art, it’s been an extremely productive 661 days. To those who joined me on the journey by watching the streams, cheering me on and waiting for more story, I thank you for the past 22 months of love and enthusiasm and hope you’ll join me on the next project.

What’s next?

Almost every live stream, someone mentions how much they loved Brackenwood and ask if there’ll be more Bitey stories when the game is finished. Well I have some very good news.

The game assets have been split and I will be taking the art and animation back to my own Brackenwood projects, beginning with a Prowlies wildlife documentary. Below is a screenshot of work from the past few live Twitch streams. Drop in and watch the progress as I embark on a new animated short in Unreal Engine, combining 2D animation with lush 3D environments.

In game development, it’s necessary to optimise everything for performance on low spec hardware. In other words, to have the most people enjoying your game, it needs to look good and run smoothly on the world’s worst computers.

The great thing about making a movie in Unreal Engine 4 is that it only needs to run smoothly on my own machine. I can go absolutely crazy with materials, lighting, foliage, particles and reflection. The above scene mostly uses optimised assets, but particle numbers, shadow resolution and density of geometry are far higher than it would be in a game.

The main challenge from here will be adding the 2D animation for characters. As you can see, the 2D prowlie in the grass (animated in Toon Boom Harmony 16) fits the scene very nicely. This will be my focus from here on. Join me on Twitch!


Unreal Brackenwood

 Posted by at 6:08 pm  8 Responses »
Jun 082017

As you may know, Brackenwood is a 2D animated series created in vector animation software. I started making early Brackenwood in Flash (Adobe Animate) and now in Toon Boom Harmony. Like most cartoon-style 2D, characters are generally outlines filled with colour. The result is often called ‘cel-shaded’ effect. I’ve been super excited about the prospect of dynamic ►►

Moving a castle

 Posted by at 2:20 am  3 Responses »
Apr 282017

If you’re a member of the FX course or an otherwise regular castle visitor, you may have noticed some things have changed in the past few days. An ex-colleague has kindly taken some time aside from his work to help me move the site. As anyone knows, when you roll a huge old castle to a ►►

Dec 022016

Most weekends I stream my current projects on Twitch. In December 2016 I conducted a couple of Q&A Toon Boom Harmony demonstrations, aimed at those Flash animators who wanted/tried to learn Toon Boom but never quite clicked. This stream covered almost all the basics, but there are still many features to see. One thing I ►►

Patron rewards

 Posted by at 10:28 am  3 Responses »
Apr 092016
Patron rewards

The Brackenwood Patreon continues to grow and real progress is being made on the Last of the Dashkin sequel. Here are two of the physical rewards I’ve been working on for the Brackenwood patrons. The video below is a short time lapse of the card ink process. I’m using metal Hunt nibs and black Parker Quink.

You’ll Never Guess!

 Posted by at 7:46 pm  15 Responses »
Mar 222016
You'll Never Guess!

If you follow me on Newgrounds and social media, you might have seen that Brackenwood is making a return this year. After the cancellation of the Dashkin game and me being promoted at work, Bitey seemed to have no future. In years past, he was so real in my head that I could even have ►►

Dashkin dies in the end

 Posted by at 9:30 pm  54 Responses »
Jun 232015
Dashkin dies in the end

2009 In December 2009, I released The Last of the Dashkin and promised fans that it wouldn’t be another 3 years before the next Brackenwood story. 2010 In November 2010, I messaged Sean McGee to ask if he was interested in working with me on a Brackenwood game. My plan was that the game would be the next ►►

Amateur to Expert

 Posted by at 11:50 pm  8 Responses »
Dec 152014

I recently received an email from a young fella who said he was feeling out of sorts for a direction in life and he asked me about how I got to where I am today. In fact over the years in emails, conversations and interviews, I’ve answered this many times in different ways so I thought ►►

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