Posted in Gaming

FlowScape: Painting a Digital Environment

FlowScape was a program that I picked up over the Steam winter sale at Syn’s suggestion. It’s not really a game, persay, but it has elements that make it feel game-like.

I’ve spent a little bit of time messing around with it so far – the idea was we could use it to make natural backgrounds for our webcomic art. So, I don’t have a full grasp on what all it can do and what the limitations might be. But from what I have experimented with, it should do what we need it to.

Flowscape isn’t just a digital art or 3D sculpting program. It’s pretty intuitive to use and it has very chill and relaxing background music that accompanies you while you play (some of the tracks were by Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule).

You can start with a random seed that plops down an environment and some animals and edit that if you want. Or, you can make a blank slate and do your own thing.

I rolled a few random seeds so you could see some of the variety in the starter environments you get.

Modifying the environment really is as easy as selecting plants, items or animals and “painting” them in with your mouse. It’s hard to explain, so I’m dropping a video here instead!

Steam reviews note that this is a great immersive program for worldbuilding and often used for creating atmospheres for tabletop gaming. And I can really see that. I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what this program can do, but as the video above shows, there’s quite a bit that can be done with it.

I’m not sure if they’ll ever open it up to something like the Steam Workshop, but having the community create assets for it would be absolutely incredible! While there’s not yet a Workshop built in, the Flowscape Discord has it covered:

I think I need to join this Discord. I’m sure there’s lots of inspiration to be had there!
(Note: And there is.)

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Heavensward’s End (No Spoilers), Level 60 Paladin & Fan Art

Last night, I finally completed leveling my Paladin to 60. Seeing that I hit 50 not all that long ago, and I actually got pretty lazy about leveling for a few weeks, that’s not too bad! I could certainly see myself using this route to level other jobs to 60 in the future.

Speaking of which, I’m trying to decide what job to tackle next. I have Ninja, Black Mage and Warrior all sitting in the mid 30s at this moment. I’m probably going to take on Black Mage simply because it shares gear with Summoner and eventually Red Mage, and that’ll allow me to consolidate gear on down the line. Who knows… I might end up liking Black Mage.

For now, my Paladin’s gear is pretty crappy, so I might still do a few hunts to at least get a set of ilvl 200 across the board. I do have a few higher level drops I’ve gathered, but for the most part, there’s a lot to upgrade.

The End of Heavensward

FFXIV dropped patch 3.56, which brought the end of the story for Heavensward. I won’t go into any details that include spoilers today. I’ll talk more about my impressions tomorrow.

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I’ll just say that finishing up this expansion through story reminded me why I’m still playing this game almost four years after I started. I’m not going to hype the story. I felt like it was a solid ending to one story… but more of a beginning to Stormblood than anything else. I enjoyed it, especially the characterization.

I’m also happy I switched back to a kitty for this before the story dropped. There’s just something about the Miqo’te’s  facial expressions that I missed when I switched to Elezen. My kitty has really grown on me in a short time.

In fact, I even sat down and drew my first ever piece of fan work for FFXIV. There’s something about my kitty’s hair that inspires art.

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Posted in Art, Webcomics

Wayrift – 14 Years of Webcomic Change

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This past week, our ongoing webcomic, Wayrift, celebrated 14 years of being online. This is not just online time, however, but 14 years of consistent updates, 3 times a week (now in full color). Every now and then, Syn and I take a week off for vacation. But even then, she sometimes draws humor comics or I post a sketch to fill in the blank.

Rather than post something sappy about the whole thing, I decide to post an art comparison of my style evolution instead. Inspired by a post about Twitter folks who are showing before and after shots of their work, I chose one of the oldest frames of Ben, drawn in 2003, to compare to one of the newer frames, drawn just a week or two ago.

Before someone does the math and says 2016 – 2003 = 13… not 14! The earliest comics from 2002 were scrapped and redrawn. So I don’t have 2002 stuff to show without digging for it.

Don’t laugh too hard at either of them! 😀