The portfolio of Chris Wiler, professional game animation and artwork.
Originally I wanted to talk about another game called Siege by Nanostar. I mainly wanted to talk about it because I had played it for a longtime and I think it was relatively advanced for a Facebook. At a time when most games were aimed at the “Big Fish Babes” market, it offered something different. Perhaps this difference came with a cost, as it has been unavailable due to maintenance for the last two weeks.
So instead I’ll cover Digital Chocolate’s Army Attack. Digital Chocolate has been around for quite awhile (since 2003!) and has made games for Facebook, the Android , iPhone and others.
Army Attack is fairly new and offers a turn based military strategy game. You purchase, lead, repair your troops and the enemy attacks them. The game has a modern-ish feel to it, but is set in a fictional country.
The game is fun, especially if you like war games like some of the old Tactics game by Avalon Hill. The graphics are top notch. Game play is balanced enough to keep you going, but not too frustrating. There is even a little story thrown in! Between missions a cast of characters inject a little drama into the game, which is a tad more entertaining than just getting reminders to keep playing. The enemy AI is a bit dimwitted, they won’t be adapting or learning anything from you if you use come up with some clever “strategery”. Instead, they pretty much just keep charging forward, or hold back until attacked. No big deal, really, it is a Facebook game after all. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the game, but I do have some minor gripes with the game. The game is extremely tight-fisted! New units are very expensive. Resources and energy are always depleted faster than you would think. There is always a dozen tasks to take care of but never enough time. That is understandable, as Digital Chocolate is hoping that you’ll purchase credits in order to complete missions, but still, it feels just a little forced. Still, with all those minor complaints, at least you aren’t stuck in a static environment.
After finding some good reference, I went with pencil on paper for this particular project. These days, I’d most likely use Alias Sketchbook if I’m at home since I like the look of their pencil tool. Otherwise, roughing it out in Photoshop would be my second choice. Here’s a scan of my pencil sketch and one of my inked version. Again, these days I tend to “ink” my work digitally.
Here’s an example of one of my illustrations done of historic uniforms. In this case, it was a Japanese tank commander from WWII. I started off by gathering plenty of uniform reference photos. Most people, when pressed for time will grab the first bit of reference off of Google Images. Sometimes it’s better if you look deeper, so as to avoid historical errors or an overuse of stock images. I like to check auction sits such as Bonham’s or Christie’s. EBay is a pretty good source too!