March to June 2016

Continuing the most literal of post titles.

I wasn’t originally intending to do another post in the same vein as January to March 2016, but it certainly was a lot of fun to write and more than likely helpful to readers to highlight some of the better parts of the last three months. It’s definitely following suit with the three months before it by being quite creative. We’ve seen a few gaming posts sneak their way in, though.

One particular post slipped past the previous summary, too.

Which would be the announcement that Duriel was now on my personal site (complete with an eight year comparison). That was quickly followed up with a couple of posts talking about new techniques and/or approaches, in the form of both Painting Pencil and Bleeding Ink. The next piece to come to the site was the heavily detailed Slasher, which was followed by a celebratory post highlighting many of the styles I’ve used in the past titled (rather aptly) as Diversification. We weren’t quite done with the new pieces as Draenei Paladin followed soon after.

Taking a step back from new pieces, we saw the release of Unnatural Entities which highlighted some recent pencil and ink approaches to scenic/landscape elements. I then decided it would be a good idea to call it a day with One Horn Bill, and get to work on the next conceptual piece through the digital demon featured in Glossy Eyeball. It wasn’t long before Toothy Grin signalled the release of that particular piece, too. Following that was a discussion of materials and new ink pieces through Ink Reaver. It’s been an interesting few months which has yielded an increasing amount of creative posts, which I’m really proud to say has been the case as that was one of my goals throughout this year.

I had a case of the Interstellar Blues as I fired my thrusters into the great unknown in Rebel Galaxy, which was soon replaced with confidence as I had a comfortably successful Diablo III hardcore run in The Storm Breaks. That was followed by an entirely accidental supremacy victory in Endless Legend as I travelled Across Auriga.

We also saw the return of an old friend.

World of Warcraft made a surprising appearance for a free week of mayhem, soloing, flying into the wrong places, attempting raids, and other tomfoolery which is highlighted over Nostalgic (Pt. 1) and Nostalgic (Pt. 2). We then looked at a recent acquisition in Loyalty Discount, only to follow that up later with a full review detailing how I felt about Hard Reset Redux. Early in July I’m looking to put out some more gaming content, too. Should be an interesting post if you’re interested in Moggie history.

I’ve yet to do a post about it here on WordPress (and likely won’t), but I’ve also updated my personal site to have a little more information (especially surrounding what each piece was made with) and I’ll be doing some more updates going into July. So, if you notice anything looks different- that’s supposed to be different. Unless the site completely disappears. That would probably be the result of the younger of the cats pressing her paw down on a key and erasing my code. In which case, please e-mail me! I’ll forward it to her even if she can’t read English. That’ll learn her for trying to find somewhere warm to sleep while I’m doing my typey internet business. (Just kidding, she keeps me warm as well.)

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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Toothy Grin

All smiles and sunshine.

Here’s a rather unconventional short post announcing that Revenant has made its way onto my personal site. If you’ve read Glossy Eyeball then you’ve got about as much information as I have on this piece, hence the lack of a full focused announcement post. I would’ve ended up repeating a lot of what was said previously and so I don’t feel that such a post is necessary. There are also very few changes between the version in the previous post and the version on site.

It’s still one of my better digital efforts in any case.

It was something that became more frustrating to work on the longer I worked on it. However, that is largely due to the fact that I had very little idea of what it would have eventually ended up looking like. Or, most importantly, how to reach that stage in the first place. In fact, several times I sat down to work on it I felt it would’ve been easier and made more sense had I used one of the many traditional materials I have. It certainly was an interesting and unique journey, though. One which was highlighted both here on WordPress and over on Twitter. I’d just feel like I’m cheating you all out of content were I to replicate a previous post with a fancy announcement thumbnail.

I don’t really have much else to talk about at the moment, either. I’ve been thinking about doing some minor site updates and/or improvements, but these are very much a work in progress at the moment. Whether I will actually make the changes, how much impact the changes will have, and whether they’ll get their own post remains to be seen.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Glossy Eyeball

Bulbous and glistening in the light.

As you’ve probably noticed by now I’m always scribbling something somewhere. If this year has been good for anything it’s just that. It’s also a trend I foresee a continuation of, which is an incredibly good thing as I’ve been itching to do some new things here and there. That could also be where one of the cats bit me the other day- only time and possible infection will tell!

Curse these annoying itches and their itchiness.

This is a return to the delicious monstrosities of Doom (2016) in the Revenant. A ghastly cybernetic abomination who seems to have wires poking through their skin in all manner of places- even their intestines- which is probably awful for their digestion. Not that I’m sure they eat anything any more. However, unlike recent pieces, I went for a style quite unlike anything I’ve done before. Inspired by the sketchy rough-yet-detailed style of the original Guild Wars’ concept art which I’ve always loved.

This makes it something that’s quite difficult to talk about as I can’t really say what it’s supposed to look like. Or how it’s supposed to work. I’m pretty much going through this one completely blind while assessing the results as I go, making changes where necessary, and trying all manner of new things in the process. Not that it’s ever a bad idea to try something that you’ve not tried before. In fact, it’s been quite the learning experience for me as to what my digital style will likely end up being. I’ve always loved mixing colours on the canvas. This version of that is much more versatile as I can continually experiment with colours, brushes, and other elements and easily revert any unsatisfactory changes.

Look at those pearly whites.

Look at those pearly whites.

The lack of understanding (and/or confidence) in my digital style has definitely been a problem with these pieces. I initially felt it was a matter of having more experience with traditional materials, which it is to a certain degree, but it’s also that I’m more confident with what I’m going for with traditional materials, and so an understanding of my digital style is great.

I’ve also been questioning whether I should share this work in progress.

There are already a couple of work in progress Tweets over on Twitter detailing where the piece started and how it has evolved. However, I did say that I wanted to bring more interesting creative posts to Moggie @ WordPress. Those Tweets don’t explain my thoughts and methodology behind the piece, either. You might think I’ve gone plum crazy. Not that I think I’d ever go crazy for plums. Watermelons perhaps- but not plums. I’m also not entirely sure when this piece will be finished (or if it will ever be finished) and so I thought I’d share what I have.

If I have anything to say about this piece it’s that it’s unique. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever done anything like this before. It’s kind of funny but I’ve been through this process with the other materials over the years, and yet, in this case, I’m going through different styles and techniques rapidly. For instance, with pencil, I probably changed styles and techniques a few times over the course of five or six years. With digital that has accelerated to a few times over the course of five or six months. Either I now have a problem with consistency (I need a high fibre diet) or I’m able to visualise new ideas much quicker now. Or I’m not satisfied with anything I do.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Doom, the UAC, Doomguy, Pinkies, Revenants, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by id Software.

One Horn Bill (Ink) – 2016 – Ink – click for full view on site!

Don’t ask what happened to the other one.

That said, I’ve always questioned how such things occur. Do they naturally grow like that? Do they shed their horns after a certain point akin to us losing a tooth? Will it grow back? Are there any specific tribal or ritualistic reasons you’d want to have a broken horn? The questions are endless. It must be awful if you’re a fan of hats, too. Always having to make horn holes in everything.

This is an addition to the site I’ve been hesitant in making.

Not because I don’t like the piece- I do- it’s just that it was intended for other things. As explained in Bleeding Ink, this was a piece that was originally meant to be thrown together quickly to test some new marker styles. However, as time went on, that hasn’t really worked out as intended. Mostly because I can’t decide on what marker style I’d like to use. I would usually move onto something else at this point, but this does still hold a degree of significance as it is the bridging piece between Duriel and Slasher.

It also has a number of redeemable qualities of its own. So, while I am reluctant, I would prefer this to have some use rather than none, which is how we come to this point. I’ve also got a section on the site for just this sort of thing that I always forget about. It’s not entirely dead, either. I may come back to this with a digital coat of paint at some point. However, if I do, I’ll likely mention it in passing rather than dedicate a post to it. I am appreciative of each and every reader here, and I’d like to make a conscious effort not to waste your time with fluff posts or reiterations of existing content. It might mean a little less content than if I were to highlight each change- but I believe it’s better this way.

One Horn Bill (Ink) – 2016 – InkSo, what is there to say about this piece? It’s a demon. That’s about it. I’ve always wanted to do a high quality illustration of a bipedal hulking mass of demonic muscle since the early days of the first Diablo. The horns were important to the composition as I’d like to get better at rendering textures. The fact he’s missing one is… unfortunate to say the least.

I also don’t know why he has such a stylish beard.

I suppose when you spend your entire day maiming adventurers, carrying large quantities of gold around (which you will drop on death), and holding onto weaponry that you clearly never use (which you will also drop on death) you need to feel good about yourself. Probably get an awful lot of razor burn, though. I can’t see the denizens of hell having a highly sophisticated distribution system for cosmetics. But maybe I don’t know enough about them and so I’m prone to prejudice. I am the person tearing through their flesh and stealing their loot after all.

Don’t ask about the name, either. I figured I’d repent for some of my prior prejudice by giving him a nice homely name. None of this Bloodgorger the Impaler (with random affixes attached) nonsense. Not too keen on his nose, though. How does his nose smell? Like brimstone. Most likely. Then again, maybe I’m just fuelling my prejudice even further by believing these stereotypical things of him. Maybe he has a comfortable office job to support his growing family. Maybe he doesn’t even go to those parts of town where bad things happen. Maybe he’s the force of change hell needs but doesn’t deserve. Or deserves but doesn’t need.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Unnatural Entities

Never trust anything with that many limbs.

I’ve collected a fair amount of references. I originally started collecting anatomical diagrams for various bone, muscle, and body structures but I’ve recently expanded that list to include many other wonderful things. Like the numerous high quality renders of/concept art for different video game characters, environments, equipment, and innumerable creatures. But you know what I don’t have any references of? Nature.

There’s no deep rooted conspiracy here, though.

For some reason it never occurred to me that I could employ those kind of references in the same way as the others I use. You see, the above collection of anatomical references (for all sorts of things) are used in the construction of various pieces. I never directly use any reference- nor do I attempt to reproduce it- but I do use them to keep things in proportion. Or to make sure things are the correct shape. Or to make sure all the muscles are where they should be. Following the same line of thinking, I set out to collect a small number of nature references. Trees, rocks, mountains, water, streams, and so on. Things that can help me with the shapes and textures found therein.

One of these is not like the others. One of these is different.

One of these is not like the others. One of these is different.

However, there is a slight problem with this plan in comparison to my current anatomical work. It’s been a while since I last consistently created scenic/landscape pieces, and so many of my materials and styles have changed. Which means one thing- scribbling nature sketches. Nothing finalised yet. Just something to get a feel for scenic/landscape pieces again.

One thing about a few of these is that I used a heavier paper in the form of bristol board (250gsm), which is notably smoother than what I would usually use for pencil work. It also doesn’t have a tooth and so I don’t get the blended shading I’ve come to rely on. That said, the lack of a tooth makes ink work. So there’s a benefit there. Many of these are also employing a multitude of styles in the same sketch, as I’m trying to get comfortable with the new ideas and references.

These are not the only things I’ve been working on recently.

I'm not sure even a mother could love this face.

I’m not sure even a mother could love this face.

I’ve also been toying with a rough ink sketch work in progress piece of Doom (2016)’s Cyberdemon. It’s an interesting monster- as are many of the monster models in that title- and one that fits nicely into this post. It’s following a similar style to recent ink pieces, but this one is much looser and was originally intended to be nothing more than a sketch. But I may work on it further. Maybe even throw some digital paint on it. Not that I would ever advise, nor suggest, you should throw anything at something this huge and menacing. Like I said in Archive of Experiences, I do want to create more interesting and diverse creative posts. I want to share things I’ve worked on that may or may not end up on the site. I want to share my experiences as it were.

I’m not sure when there will be any full scenic/landscape pieces. Or if I’m even going to attempt any. But I thought I’d share these results as I think they’re interesting, they’re different, and they’re not hulking muscular warriors with scars and sunken eyes. I’m sure you’re all getting tired of the half naked men/creatures that keep coming up in these posts. If you’re not- that’s good! It’s all I know how to draw anyway. Maybe I could draw some kind of hulking muscular tree man with sunken eyes…

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Doom, the UAC, Doomguy, Pinkies, Cyberdemons, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by id Software.

Bleeding Ink

You should probably get that looked at.

You should also avoid injuring yourself near any easily stained surfaces. That said, I’m pretty sure my blood is almost entirely black coffee at this point. There’s no way a man could ingest that much and not alter his biology to such a degree. Still not pooping coffee beans, though. If I could I’d be like one of those cats from a tropical climate that poops luxury coffee.

That would certainly be one way to build a retirement fund.

I’ve got a couple of new-ish ink pieces to talk about. The first, the older of the two, was an experimental piece which went in all sorts of unintended directions. I originally intended to throw together something quite quickly as I wanted to test out a new marker style, however, as the piece developed, it took a little longer than expected. Or, rather, a lot longer than expected. I’m still undecided as to how to approach the marker style and so it’s currently sitting in a pre-marker state.

The second, which I started just yesterday, should be finished and find its place on my personal site within the week. This is an update of a piece that is already on my personal site (that I’ve never really liked). I’ve been thinking about replacing it for a while, but, until now, I hadn’t really decided how I would approach it. You can get a sneaky peak of a current work in progress over on Twitter. This is another attempt and experiment spawned from my recent adventures with my 0.1 Copic Multiliner. It’s certainly a different way to apply ink, especially considering the nib is so fine and allows for so much more detail and depth in even the smallest areas of the piece.

I’m starting to lean ever so slightly towards making ink the first choice for many of my pieces. It’s so versatile and the level of detail is almost unparalleled on the same scale compared to pencil, which does have its own unique qualities. Such as heavy shading that blends ever so deliciously together. Still, I’m really enjoying what’s going on with ink recently.

Moggie @ WordPress has seen a few changes, too.

I’ve been working on the various categories on the blog. I’ve set up a category hierarchy which happily nests all of the creative categories under the main art category, while, barring a few issues with tag and category conflicts, I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for the gaming category. Hopefully nesting some additional categories for the most talked about titles under the main gaming category. Just a tiny improvement that will make content (both new and old) readily accessible and appropriately labelled.

I’ve got a long term goal to make the collection of sites almost automated (for lack of a better term), where they will no longer be changed fundamentally to any significant degree, and where the creation of content is where the majority of time will be spent. Maintenance will simply become just that- maintenance. Making sure that everything still works and improving or adding features where necessary. But, for the most part, the layouts and external links and other necessary information will not change. The primary focus then becoming the consistent creation of quality content (and maybe even some new types of content). I’m making good progress so far, but I’ve got a ways to go yet before the idea is fully realised.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Shadow Warrior

Alternate title: “It’s now acceptable to play with Wang in the company of others.”

So, where to begin? Well I’d seen a little of Shadow Warrior when it was first released and saw it as a Ninja Gaiden type of game which did and didn’t interest me at the time, and it took the demo which I played in the recent Steam sale for the title to slice through my chest and right into my heart- slashing my account balance in the process- and providing me with what I would consider a thoroughly enjoyable gaming experience. It’s not the fantasy epic you’re likely to spend over a hundred hours playing but it brings back the point which so many games are missing nowadays.

Fun! You know when games used to be fun? Me too! It was the best, right?

Shadow Warrior does this very well with quirky humour, fortune cookies, the dialogue, and the fact that can develop yourself in whichever direction you want to without feeling like you’re missing out on something. I particularly enjoy the sword combat as you actually can do more than just left click and swing in the same basic fashion from Chapter 1 to Chapter 17. The introduction of combo-like moves which require to do something along the lines of tap W, W, and then hold left click to charge and then release really spice up the game for melee enthusiasts. Those particular strikes, referred to as Ki Strikes, are then empowered using the Karma you recieve from defeating enemies. Allowing you to steal health, deal more damage, drain their soul, and do any number of other similarly amazing things. It’s a nice change. It really is.

This also allows you to bridge the gap in survivability between the melee and ranged approach. To be honest, the ranged weapons are quite standard when you first get them and you’re not going to enjoy them as much as when you unlock their unique upgrade. Like the ability to fire four shells with the shotgun at once for massive burst damage or the ability to throw molten bombs of volcanic ferocity at enemies with the flame thrower. These things, when you get them, make you wonder if there’s much of a point to melee as they are rightly powerful and pretty cool. But the addition of powers that allow you to steal health and survive longer or tackle more opponents with melee makes both fairly balanced. Of course, there’s less danger with ranged but it’s not as clean cut as some games make it.

The sword itself also has a number of swing options that allow you to either play with assisted swings or to flail widely and slice, dice, maim, and chop in every direction known to man for bloody and gore-filled demon giblets goodness. Needless to say this is not one for those with a weak stomach or who don’t enjoy blood and limbs raining from the sky.

I don't think we're in Japan any more.

I know I said I needed a vacation- but this wasn’t what I had in mind, Zilla!

The story is split into several stages which give you a score at the end of each segment to let you know how many secrets you’ve found, how much money you’ve collected, how many kills, how much damage dealt, and many other neat statistics to help you develop better in the next stage or upon replaying that stage. This gives you an indication of what’s out there but doesn’t painfully detail it so there’s still an element of mystery and exploration even after you’ve finished the stages a couple of times.

Combat is fast paced and tends to be mixed into the exploration elements. At times you’ll wander, explore, climb, and solve puzzles for a while and others you’ll enter a room where everything in the general vicinity will have a taste for Wang. At the end of each round of combat you’ll get a Karma rating which builds into character development and is based on how you perform in that particular fight and what tools, weapons, skills, and powers you take advantage of. At first the combat is slow and easily tackled and you’ll feel like some kind of prodigal sword fighter but you’ll soon face even tougher and more varied waves of enemies. Including but not limited to: big demons, spiky demons, flying molten breath demons, exploding demons, demons that roll balls of green who knows what at you (that also explode), shamans, and necromancers.

Overall, it’s a title that I feel is fluid and fun. The combat is slick, fast, balanced, and you will actually want to use half of the upgrades you get. You don’t get throwaway bonuses to damage and resistances- your Wang is delicate but deadly- but you do get permanent bonuses to improve your already present skills. I wouldn’t say it’s the game for you if you’re looking for upwards of fifty hours play time. I also wouldn’t say it’s the game for you if you want perfectly solid and serious game play. It’s funny, it’s silly, it’s not for the squeamish- but it’s enjoyable. You can dip in and out of the game and always feel good about coming back as you won’t find many games with such an interesting swordplay mechanic. It’s also fairly brutal so you aren’t going to get out of most fights just swinging wildly and praying for the best.

If you ever wanted wholesome, enjoyable, demon-rending fun this could be the game for you!

Have a great day, all!

Moggie.