Time to Spare

Have you ever said you were going to do something, and then didn’t actually follow through with it? That’s me, but only when it comes to my own projects, aspirations, … and bed time.

Last week I posted the line art for my Tracer piece with the promise of colour. Which I did (see: below). At the same time I also told myself that this would be the last drawing of the year, to give my hands a break, catch up on some sleep, and charge the creative batteries.That lasted all of one day.

What I’m Drawing

After finishing Tracer I jumped right back into it with another drawing: Jinx from the game League of Legends, or more recently, Netflix’s Arcane.

I’m really please with how these two have turned out. Definitely ending the year on a high note. With Tracer I started working with line colours and adding more texture effects, such as the diamond patter on her tights. Fun experimentation. With Jinx, I was confident in my pencil layer that I didn’t even do an ink layer, just jumped right into colours. Also tried a different technique with colouring. Typically will put down base, flat colours, and then start adding the shading and lighting and rendering. This time I just painted over the whole drawing and started rendering. Different PS brushes, more painting style. Looser. And I’m really happy with the results. Also played with some sprays on the skin and clothes and grain/noise to add a more textured feel to it. Surely knocked off a few hours of processing time off the final product, eliminating Ink pass and Flats pass.

I think next I will draw Zoe Kravitz Catwoman from the upcoming Batman movie.

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What I’m Playing

Quiet week in games as we’re getting closer to Holi-daze. If I’m not drawing then I’m doing some family activity. The wife and I played our first It Takes Two session last Tuesday and the game is a lot of fun. Unfortunately we are playing through her PC, and the game plays through the EA Origin Game Pass and not Xbox, so no achievements are unlocked for this play through, so I might have to play through it again with Illestrader. The game is fun, each level introduces a new co-op mechanic that tests our capabilities of playing the game as a couple. I’ve been downloading the twitch streams after the VOD goes live with the hope of turning them into a highlights or funny moments type of video for YouTube to help her promote her stream (when I find time). Also I’ll be making her some emotes for her channel.

Speaking of Illestrader, we played some more Borderlands 3 in our co-op game night. Maybe I’ll add the two Borderlands Sirens to my drawing queue. Maya and Lilith would be fun to draw.

Played a bit more Watch Dogs 3, and Rain on Your Parade came out with a DLC and unlocked some achievements there.

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What I’m Reading

Last weeks indies finally arrived so I was able to grab those, which I’m thankful for, and then this week’s pull:

Adventureman #7
Batman the Imposter #3
BRZRKR #6
Robin & Batman #2
The Walking Dead #29
Wonder Girl #6
King Spawn #5

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I think that catches us up on the week that was. Another busy week ahead before Christmas, and some not-so-relaxing 4 days off work.

I’ll try to get my “Game Review Done Quickly” post in before the New Year, where I quickly write about every game I played in 2021. I didn’t finish mine from last year…still sitting in the Drafts folder :(.

Happy Holidays,

G309,551
iRogan

One For The Road

How ’bout them Game Awards? Guardians of the Galaxy taking home the surprise “Best Narrative” award. And It Takes Two taking home Game of the Year. Most impressive.

The wife and I plan to play this game on her Twitch channel during our couple’s gaming nights. (Typically Tuesdays). twitch.tv/cro0kedj. We played through Morkredd last time, and I have the VOD downloaded and plan on editing that into a fun “highlights” video for Youtube.

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What I’m Drawing
Speaking of the wife… she said I’m not allowed to draw anymore Gwen Stacy. And I see her point. 15 variations is a bit much. I’ll be sure to draw more next year though 😉 .

In the meantime, I drew Tracer, from the game Overwatch, to add to my collection of those characters. So far I’ve drawn Widowmaker, Moira, Brigitte, Mercy, Sombra, D.Va and now Tracer.

Colour version coming soon.

As I continually add and reference my art, I should probably just create a dedicated section for it. With proper folders. Project for the new year.

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What I’m Playing
Played Unpacking for the achievements. 1000G in about an hour. A little bit of Dirt 5. Rain on your Parade has DLC launching next week which I’ll be playing through. Played a little bit Halo Infinite Multiplayer, but have not tried the campaign yet, now that it has released. It’s on the short list but after recently starting up GTA 3 and Watch Dogs Legion, those two are my immediate priority before starting anything new.

Watch Dog has been pretty fun. It is definitely a nice looking game, and I’m getting the hang of the team setup, where you have multiple agents to pick from. Its kind neat actually because they all just roam around the city, and act almost like fast travel points if you don’t mind swapping.

In the co-op zone we’ve started up Borderlands 3. I’ve always loved the Borderlands games. Played 1 and 2 thoroughly, including the DLC. The Pre-Sequel I didn’t quite finish. But 3 has been been pretty fun so far in co-op.

And a huge bonus: it comes with a Photo Mode. And not just any photo mode. One that plays in-real time with your online co-op buddies.

Also tried out the Matrix Awaking Unreal Engine 5 tech demo that was announced at the game awards. It’s kind neat. An impressive showcase of what the new UE5 can do. Obviously limited in scope. Its an open world city where you can walk around and drive showing off the lighting and damage body engine, but not much beyond just looking pretty. The initially opening sequent is mostly just quick-time events to show off the particle effects and visuals, but it is all on rails to hide the limitations of the demo.

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What I’m Reading

Crossover #10
Dark Knights of Steel #2
Soul Plumber #3
The Walking Dead Deluxe #28


Quieter week this week on the comics front as I actually only got 2/4 of my expected pull due to Diamond delays getting the indie books in. Hopefully they’ll arrive for next week.

Achievement of the Week
Borderlands 3: Tips Appreciated (15G)
Tipped Moxxi

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More holiday shopping on the horizon, and a few more weeks of work. A couple more snowfalls and Spider-Man: No Way Home to look forward to as well. Festive times.

Happy Holidays.

G309,401
iRogan

Peeker’s Disadvantage

“Back smacked” with a ton of games and gameplay this past week, as we gotta talk about Forza Horizons 5’s awesomeness, GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition’s not-so-awesomeness, Halo Infinite shadow dropped, and maybe a touch of Watch Dogs Legion; so let’s just jump right into it.

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What I’m Playing

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite multiplayer dropped on us this week, releasing early on the Xbox 20th Anniversary. This was just the Multiplayer component and not the campaign. And its basically the beta, only a full release where the developers are asking the players to treat it like a beta as they are still ironing out bugs and server load. They are expecting the player count to drastically increase around the proper launch date of Dec 8, but wanting to surprise players too. I’m sure EA is none-too-pleased to have the early competition to BF2042.

I guess because the game hasn’t officially launched, Xbox is like “no achievements for you!”. But also, sure, you can have achievements.

600G are included with the multiplayer component, 50 or so, so I’ve been burning through those as I can. A chunk are training/tutorial related, and then customization, and then gameplay.

From what I’ve read, a large chunk can actually be unlocked when playing on the bot list lobbies, making them significantly easier to acquire. I won’t argue that.

Impressions: It’s fine. It’s Halo. It’s what you’d expect.

Forza Horizons 5

As you’d expect, not reinventing the wheel here, Forza Horizons is great. Another meaningful step forward for the franchise but nothing new, aside from the locale. It is amusing to me, to see that they were able to finally pull off the “seamless multiplayer integration” which they touted for 4, but weren’t actually able to pull off.

Impressions: The game is beautiful and plays amazingly, performance mode or quality mode.

Grand Theft Auto Trilogy – The Definitive Edition

Definitely not definitive. But still fun. Still a nostalgic trip back in time. From my initial experience, aside form the awful rain effects (since fixed), it actually looks quite good. The lighting is impressive in the evenings, standing amongst the vehicle headlights. And the game is just as quirky and goofy as I recall. Currently playing through III.

I’m just going to tackle these as a campaign playthrough, and not going to go after 100% completion. Just focus on the bulk of the achievements, but I don’t need to find all the hidden packages or anything. Ain’t no one got time for that!

“What are you plans for the weekend?

Well, I have a family… so I don’t make plans.”

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion? Really? Where did this come from? Well… see… I beat ME: Shadow Of War, and needed another open-world game to fill the void. I wasn’t ready to tackle Assassin’s Creed Valhalla yet. So… Watch Dogs? Right? But GTA is open world. Yeah I get it, but I started this before that came out and now I have two on-going and I don’t want to talk about it.

Watch Dogs Legion has been pretty fun. I’m not too sure how I feel about the “no main protagonist” angle, but it works with the whole DedSec movement; No leader, No Problem, etc.

They brought back Aidan Pierce as a paid-for, playable character, so I suppose I could just play the whole campaign with him, but he also has his own expansion, so we’ll leave him to that.

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It’s unfortunate that with the recent batch of releases, quite a few games on my list have fallen by the wayside. Far Cry New Dawn, The Ascent, Back 4 Blood, Surgeon Simulator 2. Wreckfest and Dirt 5. Hell, even GTA V was popular all over again amongst my group for all of twelve minutes.

This is why I don’t like starting too many things at once, as it’s so easy to just forget and move on. Sad, really.

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Achievement of the Week

Halo Infinite. You guessed it.

Working from home has its advantages.

You can drop everything at 12pm, nuke some food and load into some afternoon Halo.

It’s even better when your friends are also working form home. Talk about needy.

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Be Good
-iRogan

Aliens, Orcs, and Zombies Oh My!

Games:

Back 4 Blood has been the reliable venture in our latest coop game nights, but its hard to say if I like it or not. Its fun, and the card/desk system adds a needed variable to the game-play, but we haven’t made much progress really. I can say for certain that I have played through the first 4 levels of Act 1 a handful of times, and started the 2nd set, level 1. And that’s it. It seems like every time we’ve sat down to play it, we’re introducing a new team member to the party and it would be unfair to them to jump into the middle of it. But the game is also setup in a way that you can kind of jump into any level and you don’t really need much story explanation. But the levels are harder without your stacked deck building up, so its almost worth playing from the start again as a new run to see how far you can get.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite we beat. I don’t think we’ll be looking back either. The last 3 levels are probably the best but the ending is so underwhelming. Spoiler: you see the queen and you run away. The End. The game-play is fun and hectic at times, fighting off waves and waves of aliens, big and small. But after the story there’s a horde mode, and then replay the story again and again? To unlocked emotes, and cosmetics. And level up your guns. Maybe try a different class? My game time is so limited, I’d rather just uninstall and move on. Maybe there’ll be DLC expansions down the road.

Shadow of War: I’m still plugging away at Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. About half way through. Just fought off the Balrog. Its a nice change of pace from the other coop games. I am looking forward to its completion though as I’m eager to try Watch Dogs 3 – Legion next. A proper new-gen game to finally play on the Series X. Assassins Creed Valhalla is lurking in the sidelines as well.

Art:

My original plan from #drawtober was 5 completed pieces. It will actually be 3.

Magik, Supergirl, and now Wonder Woman. Just a few days ago was a Wonder Woman celebration day, so I’m posting just the line art, and then next week I’ll add the full colour/background piece.

Comic Shout-out:

CROWDED. Picked up Vol 1 and 2 of this series.

“Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days—or their lives—are over.” Seemed like a fun read. 🙂

Be Good.

iRogan

Back 4 Blogs

Welcome back to the working week.

Games:

There’s a new game to play and it’s Back 4 Blood. We tried it for a bit over the weekend to get the hang of it. Made by TurtleRock as a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. It is VERY much like Left 4 Dead, but with a new card-based progression system to augment your play-through. The game’s campaign looks like a decent length and quite challenging from my initial attempt. Haven’t tried the PvP yet. I should have more impressions next week after I’ve had the chance to spend more time within the game.

Art:

Drawtober week 2. Supergirl

I missed last week but the week before was Week 2 of Drawtober and I was able to complete SuperGirl as shown above. I didn’t get any drawing down last week but hopefully will have something for this Friday. I don’t know if I’ll have the energy/motivation to continue my original plan of fully rendered drawings. Maybe one more before the month-end, but I think I’ll focus on something less time consuming and draining. Which brings me to Pouchtober.

Such a funny concept. May try to get a few of these out before the end of the month. Summon my inner Leifeld. Simpler, quick pieces. Lots of pouches. No feet. Pencil or ink. Minor shading. B&w either way.

Comics:

What I’m reading: The Fall by Jared Muralt. “After just losing his wife, one father will have to face a world in freefall; shaken to its core by an economic, social, political and health crisis without precedent. Facing seemingly unreal and very unexpected dangers, he will do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones in a country on the brink of collapse. In this internationally acclaimed series, Jared Muralt not only tells the story of one family struggling to survive, but also questions the very reasons that brought mankind to this apocalypse.”

It’s a pretty dark book. Dire circumstances. Basically take Covid scenarios at their worst and turn them apocalyptic. But he started writing it and working on it in 2016 having no idea what 2020 had in store.

Achievement of the Week:

Be good.

IROGAN