Post-Antigen Blues

So, I haven’t written a blog post since 2014! What have I been doing since I released Antigen?

Well, I have been busy:

  • Learning 3d modelling
  • Improving my art skills
  • Improving my maths skills
  • Learning Unreal Engine
  • Learning Common Lisp

Developing Antigen was a pretty frustrating experience. I had no problems with the programming, but creating the artwork was difficult and took a great deal of time and experimentation. I threw away an enormous amount of crap artwork during the production of the game. So I resolved that once the game was finished, I would spend some time working on art fundamentals before doing another game.

I’ve been working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which I actually find quite difficult. I’ve never been interested in drawing things in the real world or in representing reality; I only ever wanted to express what was in my imagination. My brain goes crazy when I try to draw a chair or a cup or something – its like it’s not interested in purely sensory phenomena, but constantly tries to seek ideas or “personalities” in things. I’m going to stick with it. There’s a lot of value in doing things that don’t come naturally to you.

I’ve also been working on the exercises on Draw A Box which I’ve found extremely helpful in building basic pencil handling skills (Which I sorely need. I have dyspraxia, and had to have a special pen at school!)

Coffee machine modelled in Maya. One of my first models since starting the Digital Tutors course. One day I’ll do a nice render of it

On top of that, I’ve been learning 3d modelling in preparation for my next game which will use the Unreal game engine. I learned to model years ago, using Imagine on the Amiga, but my skills were pretty out of date. Maybe I’ll post some of my models and renders when I start getting good. I’ve been following tutorials on Digital Tutors. The tutorials are very good, but it is a bit pricey, especially as you’ve gotta sign up as a premium user to access the project files/reference images which you need if you really want to succeed.

Imagine 2.0 on the Amiga. I got this free from a computer magazine in the early 90’s. My first 3d modelling experience


Apart from the game development stuff, I’ve also been learning the Common Lisp programming language. I got interested in Lisp a couple of years ago when I first found out about Lisp Machines; high-end workstations from the 70s and 80s that worked in a fundamentally different way from computers today. They offered programmers a positively luxurious environment for building software, and I found them extremely inspiring. I want to do something special with Lisp, but I ain’t gonna talk about that yet 😉