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Dec 31, 2012

Corridor Class Pictures Set #1

I've been getting into graphic illustration a lot lately! It's just fun to see my mundane G2 doodles turn into full-color shaded masterpieces.
These are three classes from Corridor, which I've illustrated and added a description to that will be in the manual. While writing the descriptions, I decided to give each class a motive for entering the Dungeon, such as a desire for riches or glory, that corresponded to that class. I have no idea how far Corridor will go, but I'll probably just post the manual online so that the full color pictures can be admired.
Anyway! Here are three of the sixteen classes playable in Corridor. For the purposes of limited font symbols, Attack = , Defense = , Magic = , and Magic Defense = ☯.
berzerker warrior class
 The Barbarian enters the Dungeon with the sole desire to prove himself stronger than the creatures of the darkness within. The very thought that treasure is being hoarded by monsters weaker than him fills him with rage, and his goal is to liberate it as soon and as powerfully as possible. Barbarians believe that the best defense is a good offense, preferring to seek  the most powerful weapons available rather than weigh themselves down with armor. In this way the Barbarian can cleave his way to the top of the pyramid of brute strength and power.


defensive warrior class
STATS:  ♜♜
The goal of the Paladin is to expel evil at any costs. Harboring a strong grudge against the creatures of darkness, the Paladin seeks to illuminate the Dungeon with the light of vengeance and retribution. Armed with a strong devotion to the gods and a knowledge of armor and weapons, the Paladin’s ultimate goal is to do his part to rid the Dungeon—and the world—of all forms of evil.

magic-offensive rogue class
STATS:  ☆☆
Wielder of the mystical ormerods, or weapon-conjuring artifacts, the Spellsword’s motive in entering the Dungeon is as much a mystery as is his entire race. Hailing from unknown lands, the Spellsword seems to gain satisfaction merely from practicing his deadly fighting arts and reaping the glittering rewards from his defeated enemies.

Dec 29, 2012

Personal Avatar

I've been looking into Graphic Art ideas lately, and this is one I've been meaning to do for awhile. I've admired customized avatars on online communities, and decided to make my own.

This is basically just a self-portrait. I especially like the shirt, because it looks exactly like the actual one. I'm a generic-looking guy, so the only distinguishing features I could think to put were my squarish ears, my bushy eyebrows, and my twizzy (soul-patch).

If you ever happen to subscribe to or follow me on YouTube or deviantArt, this is what you'll see.

Dec 18, 2012

Ancient N.E.C. Facsimiles

Whenever I stay over at my parents' house in Idaho, I try to find time to look through the archives of my ancient tablet stash. In these two or three large boxes are contained the vast majority of my best doodles that have been preserved for decades. There are standalone pages of graffitied classroom notebook pages, actual formal colored drawings on printer paper, and makeshift "tablets" made from the backs of hundreds of used worksheets stapled together (my dad used to be a 5th Grade teacher). It seems like every time I skim through this treasure trove I find memories inscribed in markers, ink, and colored pencils. This time I found these gems, and I figured if any of you have read through the Never-Ending Comic I uploaded this past summer, they may be interesting to you.

Some of these color schemes surprise me. Zabo, for instance, I thought would have an inverted form of the color scheme that he has above. And Manto looks more like Mewtwo than I think I intended with those gray colors. You can also see an interesting assortment of characters that were never seen. Mercu, which appears to be the Chaun-evolved form of Geo, as well as Red Zabo, "Pall" (an obvious clone of Palmon from Digimon) and Spikehare.

Anyway, it's mostly just fun to speculate what might have continued on on NEC. It's interesting that these drawings seem to be from when I was at least in 7th Grade, which was a year after I stopped making new comics.

Dec 10, 2012

AustinCraft Spotlight: Paintings

In Minecraft there are paintings you can use as decoration, and the file that generates the random paintings is editable! I've been having fun personalizing almost every aspect of my texture pack, and this is no exception. I decided to use the paintings as a way to celebrate many of my interests, whether in projects, video games, memories, etc.
Here is a sample of some of the paintings. Shown from left to right going down columns, there's a painting of Brai from the Never Ending Comic, a Brazilian Flag, A painting from Heroes of Might and Magic III, a panel from the Wormie Graphic Novel, the Fate icon from Argaenothruzil, a picture of a sandwich (I like food), a screenshot from Runescape, the Super Smash Brothers logo, the Triforce, Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and a portrait of me (I had to have at least one of those). The large painting to the right is a photo of a park in my hometown of Rexburg.

Besides the ones shown, I also have paintings that reference Terraria, Commander Keen, World of WarCraft, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and several others including Homestarrunner.com and even Pretzel Lectern! (the glowy teal plasma thingy in the background)

In short, it's been a lot of fun to make this project as enjoyable as possible for me personally. I'm sure it'll be fun for anyone who knows me or shares my interests as well. And if not, then at least the paintings are a relatively small part of the game. And they still look nice, at any rate. I tried to balance the colors and whatnot.

Anyway, AustinCraft'll be up for download soon! There are only a few things left I need to do, including having some actual people test it out and get some feedback. Until then, later days!

Dec 4, 2012

Project Finished: The Search for the End

I finished a project! I know, right? Pretty out of the blue. That's because I started it a year ago not really considering it as a project, and decided today it was and finished it!

The Search for the End is... well, a fictional glorified documentary, I guess, of a Minecraft campaign I played in 2011. It started out as a "Race to the End" with my friend Jon, to see who could get to the End Realm first and beat the end boss first. I won by a landslide because Jon slacked off on his writing. It was a lot of work to play the game, take cinematic screenshots, separate the mission into segments, come up with a literary way to explain what happened, and in my case, Photoshop some of the screens. But I still bug Jon to finish his story.

The thing I like about this story is the way I tried to 'translate' the odd mechanics and culture of Minecraft into a story with lore that made sense. For example, I keep the origins of the player (In this case, a man actually named Abelhawk based on my Runescape toon) mysterious, but I leave hints as to his origin. Take the first line of the first entry for example: "I awoke in a forest this morning without knowledge of what happened to my ship or crew. It appears that I will have to go on in search of 'The End' alone." This is rarely spoken of again, and adds to the effect that every singleplayer Minecrafter feels while playing: that he is absolutely, terribly, alone.

I also allude to other aspects of the game through storytelling. Of course I take liberties, but most of the story is accurate. I even explain away my character's knowledge of the game as something he gets from books he finds. It was really fun to make this, and I still treasure the world that was built out of it. I intend to make a sequel now that it's a year later and there are other stories to make up about it.

A couple regrets: Each entry begins with "Day #:". I wish I would have just put "Entry #", because the timing on some of them is messed up. I eventually just forget about it anyway and say "Months ago..." even though there are only 35 entries, and thus days, total. I also came up with names for the entries, which I put in the alt text of each entry. So you can see them just by hovering your mouse over them.
Also, there is a continuity screw-up that I might fix involving a desert. That's all I'm gonna say. If you don't notice it, it won't bug you like it bugs me. Yeah, I'll have to fix it sometime.

Anyway, enjoy The Search for the End by clicking the photo above! (It's available on the Pages list to the right as well)

Dec 2, 2012

Super Leafblowing

I think it's funny how I keep uploading videos months after actually filming them. Hopefully this won't make you miss the green grass already. It's barely December!
This is a secret technique to use when mowing churches with thin grass. This was probably during my last week of mowing this past summer.

Dec 1, 2012

AustinCraft Spotlight: Armor

The classic, pixely look of Minecraft was always charming to me, but the armor always got on my nerves. I often forgot while playing that I was a block in the midst of so many other blocks, but wearing the game's blocky, square armor made it very obvious and kind of ruined that aspect for me. This is one of the latter things I've been working on on AustinCraft (It's almost finished, as far as it can be for this version of Minecraft), and here is a sample of what the armor of AustinCraft may look like.

As you can see, there are a couple of things I still may need to modify. For example, the brown parts of the dyed leather armor may not look good with all colors, so I can do some tests to see if I can at least make it look good for the majority of them. Also, looking at it modeled on my avatar, I don't much like the 'nosepiece' on the iron and diamond helmets as much as I thought I would.
But for the most part, I think this gives the armor a much better place in the Minecraft world. Gold armor, which is mostly used to be enchanted and not as much for protection, is mainly for looks—jewels, flashy red trim, and the helmet is a jewelled crown! On the other hand, the diamond armor's shoulders, helm and boots cover more. I also liked my chainmail sleeves and collars for the main armor sets as well.

So there are a couple of things I need to fix, but for the most part this project is going by extremely smoothly. I'll definitely have it up for download soon. Well, later days!

Nov 26, 2012

New Project: AustinCraft

I've enjoyed the popular game Minecraft since its pre-alpha days, and I am very impressed with its amazing potential, scope, and replay value. It's especially fun multiplayer. But this weekend my brother and I got into exploring another aspect of Minecraft: Its customizability! The game has the option to add downloadable Texture Packs to the game, and I hadn't realized until this week how easy it was to make your own texture pack.

My brother and I are each working on our own texture packs now, with several things in mind. First of all, I don't mind the original texture pack of Minecraft. I actually prefer it to even the high-resolution texture packs available online. The classic look of Minecraft is what I began playing, and besides its timeless "cartoony" look I really like, I also enjoyed not having to worry about updating the texture packs as new items and blocks became available.

Despite the classic Minecraft look, there are some things about it that have always bothered me, and this is my chance to not only fix them, but add my own personal touch to them! For example, clay in the game is gray, and hard to distinguish near stone, gravel, and other gray blocks; so I'm coloring it red, like it should be. One of the things my brother and I had fun thinking about was more practical ways to construct tools with materials at hand.
Some of the other things that I've changed are the faces on pumpkins, the saturation of lighting blocks such as Glowstone and lamps, and the coloring of ripe crops. My brother's even changing diamond completely to emerald, making for an Elder Scrolls glass-like array of weapons and armor. I'm excited to be able to play Minecraft with the same gusto as before, with the exception of the blocks and items that always bothered me. It's going to be a fun project! I'll keep you posted with the details, and I'll of course publish it for you to download (provided you play Minecraft at all (I recommend it)) once it's done.

EDIT: Click the link in the sidebar to download it, or click here!

Nov 10, 2012

Role-playing Life

I made this a few months ago as an experiment. Not much meat to it, and I wish my wife had been home in the last shot so I could've done some sort of dialog sequence. Heh, you can even see me looking around for her.

EDIT: I have no idea why the quality is SO CRAPPY. Working on it.

Nov 8, 2012

Wormie Page 4 - Conclusion!

It sure was fun making these. Hope you enjoyed them as well, and I hope to come up with more projects like this in the future. Lots more!

Download the RPG game of Wormie here! I'll be doing an actual spotlight of it sometime in the future. Thanks for reading!

Nov 6, 2012

Quite Small Tales volume 3

I need to do these more often. I keep forget to copy them down when they show up.

Jango and his family had been living in New Hampshire for three months. It was wintertime, and they were amazed at how cold it was getting, especially when the sun went down. Despite turning their heater all the way up, they still had to put their kids to bed in snow clothes to keep them from freezing. Jango called the landlord, who couldn’t guess what the problem was. Finally, one day Jango was looking at the windows and realized that in New Hampshire, some windows can open from the top or the bottom. The windows were all cracked open at the top behind the curtains. Jango realized that every day a train came by, vibrating the windows and sliding them down. Jango closed all the windows, and within five minutes the house was boiling hot.
Timbo was an American who lived in Germany. One day he and his friend got on a train with their bicycles. The driver kicked them off, saying there was not enough room for bikes. Timbo was an irritable person, and went to the customer service desk to rant. Being American, he instinctively used formal German pronouns during his venting. There was nothing they could do, of course, because the train had already left. So they went on the next one. Later, Timbo’s friend Tümbe said that her neighbor worked at the train station and said that she had talked to them. Her neighbor had said “They came to me with a problem about our service, but they were so polite!”
“Open your mouth and say  ‘Eee’!” said the worst doctor in the world.
“Everybody say ‘Choose’!” said the worst photographer in the world.
Domba went on a date one night with a young man she knew from school. At the end of the date, he sent her a text message that read “Thank you for going out with me, Domba! Want to do it again sometime?” Having also had a great time, Domba replied with an appreciative “No, thank you!” The boy never called her again.

Nov 1, 2012

Wormie Page 3

Page 3/4 finished! I was drawing this one not really expecting it to be a good one, but I really like how the art turned out. When all these are done I'm going to fix a few of the frames and put them on their own sidebar page.

Oct 24, 2012

Wormie Page 2

I may modify this one in the future... I had a hard time fitting the letter in without covering up parts of drawings I was proud of. Either way, this is when the story gets good! Can you possibly wait for the exciting conclusion next week?!
Just a reminder... If you CTRL-click the picture you can zoom in and see it better.

Oct 17, 2012

Wormie Issue I p.1

Behold! My first attempt at a graphic novel! Page 1 of the firstand only—issue of Wormie!
(for best results, open in a new window to enlarge)
 I just made this comic as a practice for the real graphic novel I have in mind, which you can see a sample of here. I learned a lot of techniques while making this, which took about 8 or 9 hours total to make from start to finish. It's basically nothing more than the introduction to the Wormie RPG (see the Project List) my friend Jason and I made. I plan on finishing the intro with two or three more pages of the story, and you can plan on a project spotlight for Wormie soon.
This was a lot of fun and I'm glad to have discovered a new form of art that I'm capable of!
P.S. I would love your feedback. Enjoy!

Oct 16, 2012

Abelhawk Hand update

So, I found a program called Font Creator that looked professional and easy to use. Unfortunately, on the 30-day trial they don't actually allow you to save your font! What's the point in having a useless program for 30 days? Anyway... I'm trying out a new online thing that seems to work... okay...

Basically it has you fill out a form, scan it in, and then it somehow converts it into a vector font. Pretty complicated, so I give it some credit. If I can just reorient the characters on my computer itself it may work for something.

Oct 15, 2012

More Samples: Wormie Intro

Hey there! I was thinking of ways to practice sketching, inking, coloring, paneling, shading, highlighting, and lettering (making a graphic novel's hard work, yo), and I thought of the story of an RPG project my friend Jason and I worked on years ago (see the Project List for details). I've finished 3 of the 5 panels, which is on the first of 5 pages. But it's going very well and I'd like to present you with an unlettered sample of the first panel.

Oct 10, 2012

Graphic Novel Sample Art

Hey! I'm really excited about this new art style I'm practicing. I remember always shunning pencil sketching as a kid because I felt like I knew how to doodle well enough freestyle on my own. I think I missed the point though. This way I can plan where lines would normally overlap; for example, if there's a straight spear that someone's holding, I can draw the hand and the spear and the spear will always remain straight. Before, I ran the risk of having it jut out at a weird angle because I drew it after the hand.
I also really enjoy coloring pictures on Photoshop. It's been a lot of fun to be able to experiment with colors, shading and lighting so far. I'm sure my graphic novel will need a lot of all three, though due to time constraints I may just draw out the entire story and then color it.
Anyhow, here are a couple of art samples from my graphic novel concept, starring the main villain Bancotha and another character yet unnamed. Feedback is appreciated!

Oct 9, 2012

A Discussion on Handwriting

Recipe written in Old Austinian, c. 1996
My childhood handwriting was like most children's. It was loopy and awkward, and I would often mix up the lowercase 'd's and 'b's. I would also flip my 'z's and '9's backwards. I kept this handwriting throughout Elementary School, and though it got steadily better, it died out completely when I got to 5th grade.

In 5th grade, I began writing the Never Ending Comic. Since the words in comic books are in all capitals, I adopted this new system as my handwriting for everything. Naturally, my teachers were bothered by it, especially since that was still in the age of cursive.

Personal narrative written in Middle Austinian, c. 2000
On a slight tangent, have you noticed that cursive is pretty much dead here in the United States? Its dying out has been so gradual that I didn't notice until I went to Brazil, where it's still a common practice. I think it's an interesting development for America to kill the loopy, connected type of writing in favor of simply printing. I'm not sure if this is contributing to that one type of people who basically contorts their hand into a knot just to write (You'll know this when you see it. Watch people (particularly girls) when they write, and there's bound to be one who it's a wonder doesn't have carpal tunnel), but that's that. My opinion on the death of cursive? Good riddance.

Anyway, this "all-caps" style of writing lingered as part of my comic-drawing personality throughout Middle School, but as Junior High time approached, I decided that I needed to stop writing in all capitals. I distinctly remember the interesting day when I made a conscious decision to design my own handwriting. I sat down at my desk, thinking of various options I had for various letters in the alphabet. I decided that I liked my lowercase 't's to have tails. I decided I liked simple letters like 'p' and 'b' to be drawn without the little foot at the bottom, drawn with a single looping flourish. I designed my handwriting that day in late 7th Grade and have used it ever since.
Early Modern Austinian creative writing exercise, written c. 2003

I am admittedly rather proud of my unique style of writing, most often written with a G-2 07mm black pen, and I decided recently to begin working on an "Abelhawk Hand" font that I can use for my comics, graphic novel dialog, etc. There may be other uses as well, such as cutting corners when having to handwrite something, but for the most part this is just going to be a fun little scheme to add to my list of personalized creative projects.

The font will be available for presentation soon!

Oct 7, 2012

Anticipated Projects

I made an Anticipated Projects post, but I decided to make it into a page instead so it can be updated. Click it on the right, or if you want, just click the word "here" here!

Sep 18, 2012

A Mowing Veteran Retires

This year I retired from a nonconsecutive five- or six- (I still can't really narrow it down) -year seasonal summer mowing job, and I consider it the end of a large aspect of my life. Besides my two-year Brazil trip, every summer I can remember since becoming a teen was spent around lawnmowers. The pleasantly warm sun, the smell of motor oil and the fresh, dry Idaho air are things that I'm definitely going to miss, and I think my entire experience is something that deserves a nostalgic flashback.

I began working for an Idaho business my grandfather started when I was in junior high school. At first I mostly just did odd jobs—inventory, sweeping, vacuuming, and my least favorite, washing fixed lawnmowers with a pressure washer. I remember walking two blocks after school to the shop, donning a stained blue jumpsuit, and heading out back to the Hotsy washer and the endless row of dirty lawnmowers. I would jack up the mower decks, and the washing would begin. Washing lawnmowers definitely is not a cakewalk. It's more like a poopwalk. The green gunk that comes splurching and plapping off of the crusted mower blades has the tendency to accumulate around the washing area. Once it has sat in the sun for a few days, it has externally gone through the stages that an average cowpie would—Chewed up grass mixed with water and digested with soft, slow heat and whatever enzymes care to stop by. But it was a job, and it helped me learn the value of work. It also helped me look forward to the next "level" of work at the shop: mowing!

I can remember my first summer mowing only vaguely. The common mower-operating mistakes I see others do today were a problem for me. The awesomeness of a zero-turn radius 72" Toro Z Master 6000 dazzled me after using a push-mower during my pre-teen chore phase. But once I got used to it, the Z became like a second body for me. I could tell whether I could fit into certain spaces, turn and maneuver with effortlessness, and sit comfortably for hours on ball fields. And after the work was done, there was a satisfying work of art to admire every week.

There's something special about waking up early on a summer morning, and spending the sunny hours sitting on a humming Z. The sound of the engine was soon replaced by thoughts of life, nature and time; the smells of dew, freshly cut grass, and motor oil mixed to form a medley only the summertime could produce; and my eyes were presented with all the color green they could eat. I would often take a pocketful of BottleCaps to suck on, since I discovered they're the only candy that didn't coat my tongue. The mower was also the ideal environment to snack on BBQ-style Spitz sunflower seeds, and spit the shells anywhere I pleased. I also found out that, after I got tired of listening to music on my iPod, the mower was the perfect place to listen to audiobooks. I would go through a book every two days; the Harry Potter series took me two weeks. I listened to books by Dan Brown, Terry Pratchett, Suzanne Collins and Orson Scott Card. I would look forward to going to work just for the time to think and read, and get paid for it! When my sources of audiobooks were exhausted, I turned to podcasts—old radio dramas of the 40's and 50's, science and history shows, and hilarious radio trivia broadcasts. I would distract myself from my physical exhaustion with mental stimulation. Mowing was a treat.

Eventually, the season would end, and I would be ready for another year of school. But always, after the snow came, I would find myself longing for the color green; the hot, dry sun; and the smell of motor oil again. Despite being retired, it still feels like I'll be returning to mowing again next summer. It hasn't dawned on my mind that the yearly routine has finally ended. Whatever internships or jobs I find myself in in the summers to come, I'll always have a part in my soul that feels like something is missing—Like a season-long holiday that is no longer celebrated. Whether I get the same satisfaction from mowing my own lawn years from now or not, I will always be grateful for the hours I spent thinking about the mystery of time, the comfort of nature, and the beauty of life.

Sep 13, 2012

Abelhawk's Story sample

I have finally decided to defeat my year-and-a-half long Writer's Block phase with a new goal: Writing 300 or more words per day, 5 days a week! So hopefully at least some unfinished material will start showing itself on the blog soon. For now, here's something I wrote in high school—the actual story I had planned for my made-up character Abelhawk himself. It's based in the world of Argaenothruzil, which, now I come to think of it, I should probably be explained here on the blog for easy access. Anyway, there's so little written on this story so far none of that should bother you.

by Austin Ballard

Sep 11, 2012

I want to make more webcomics.

I decided to give all of you the benefit of seeing something like this a day or so before I post it on Facebook. n_n

Aug 28, 2012

Poem in Amoledhese

Hey, I promise I have some cool stuff planned to post on the blog soon. Just looking for time to put it all together now that school started up again. In the meantime, I translated a stanza of one of my poems into Amoledhese! It's a lame excuse for a post, I know, but Amoledhese hasn't been seen in awhile, so I thought I'd bring it back for a bit.

Ezh-yerr Arr Yildh Iyzh 
Mu bleonsh ib zhyonzhu woalc ansh e
yolo yardhenth enn ko semm.
Yo zhalosh azh arr ko semnazhec
ansh arr ko dhinzhlavzheinj kou yolo enn..
//E nopol dhiysh yildh iyzh redho gej.// E jaesh..
Ansh thapo a do’oved thlenn..

As always, go here to look up pronunciation (If you know IPA) and translation.

Jul 29, 2012

A nine-month project finished, an eighteen-year project begun!

Well, Pretzelheads---just kidding. Can you freaking imagine if I jumped on that bandwagon??--- I haven't posted anything this month out of sheer lack of free time. My wife just gave birth to the adorable daughter you see above, and we love being parents. She came on July 10th at about 6:00 in the morning, as the rising sun seemed to symbolize the dawn of a brand new life. Seeing her face appear out of nowhere after nine months was the most miraculous event I have ever experienced. I couldn't believe that such a perfectly beautiful little creature had somehow been constructed inside my wife's body. The moment of her birth was as if God Himself was unveiling a glorious painting and saying "Here it is! What do you think?"

The human body itself is a miracle. I have been listening quite frequently to WNYC's RadioLab lately, and though I agree with the scientific findings of evolution, genetics, biology and psychology, I also know that there is a God who organized it all. There are those who don't believe in Deity who would claim that, in an infinite universe with finite possibilities, anything is impossible within an infinite space of time. Logically, that may make sense, but it does not taint my firm belief that God is the true Architect of the universe, and the Father of our spiritual selves.

The feelings I experienced as my daughter was born confirmed this even further. As terrestrial life was created from nothing more than love, I thought of my own birth, an eternity ago for my finite brain to comprehend, and yet a small moment's time in history.

I am very grateful for my daughter, and try to savor every day with her on the earth. I can't imagine mistreating her even in the hardest of times. If Providence permits, may she remain on this earth healthy and happy, with friends and talents developing, and someday pass on her own seed to generations unborn.

Jun 30, 2012

Spotlight: Final Quest

Usually after working on a project for a certain space of time, I get bored and discouraged at the amount that I have to work on, and I put the project on hold. Usually the hiatus for that particular project can last for months. However, about a month ago I got into working on my role-playing game, Final Quest, and I'm happy to say it's been weeks and weeks of nonstop work! Though the plot is still very hard for me to rough out, I just have kept pressing on and not worrying too much about the bugs.

The story of Final Quest begins in a way slightly similar (in mechanics anyway) to some Metroid games. You begin with an immensely powerful character with all of the abilities you will have someday, only to lose him after a single quest. I did this because I think it's fun to have a taste of amazing abilities that you will come upon again later, to give you incentive to raise your level as high as possible.

Specifically, the story is of Roland, a warrior and prince of the kingdom of Graycrown, who is being trained in the arts of war and questing. He was sent on a quest with Victus, the most powerful paladin in the realm, to capture King Aglis' brother, Duke. As all Jedis and paladins should know, the worst thing to do is lose your temper. But after a long journey of questing and fighting countless enemies pretty much solo, Victus lets his emotions get the better of him and kills Duke. The king is furious, and banishes Victus to the dungeons. He blames himself for putting Roland on such a mission, and sends Roland back to Rayoph, the master of the Adventurer's Guild.

The Adventurer's Guild is one of my favorite areas that I thought up, another being the Grand Laboratory (where health potions are produced for all video games). In the Adventurer's Guild, people can come with complaints about things needing done or monsters needing killed, and for a small fee, the Guild will log the quest so that other people seeking money, glory, and experience can accept the quest.
In this case, you fulfill a boring rat-killing quest first, but are quickly led on to a more difficult quest that becomes increasingly sinister... Or at least, that's what I'm hoping for. It is extremely difficult to come up with a substantial plot at all, not to mention crazy twists. I don't know how authors do it.

Final Quest is available for playtesting, and frankly I would love some help with suggestions for the plot, or any game aspect. Anyone interested can download it here. No programs or specifications on your computer necessary.
On another note, all 52 episodes of The Never-Ending Comic are now available to read. Just click the link to the right!

May 26, 2012

More episodes of N.E.C. online

Episodes 19-36 of the Never-Ending Comic are now up for you to read. This part of the story doesn't really round out the plot very well, but there's some good drawings in there, as well as some interesting battles and whatnot. Above anything else, I'm just amazed I was dedicated enough to draw so many pages of the same story. Continue reading the story here!

May 19, 2012

The Never-Ending Comic!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Never-Ending Comic is open to the public for the first time ever! Join Austin and his friends Nathan and Dustin with their host of monster friends (sounds like Pokémon or Digimon, doesn't it?) as they battle monsters, learn friendship, and go on an adventure that literally never ends!

For information on the origin of this ancient story, click here. For a spotlight on the premise of N.E.C., click here.
To start reading, click here!

I would love to hear your feedback, and because of the limitations of blog "pages" as opposed to "posts," feel free to post comments about the comic on this post.

May 16, 2012

Spotlight: The Never-Ending Comic

I have always, always loved to draw. I don't think there's a memory early enough that I don't remember doodling. My mom has little drawings in my scrapbook that she says I drew when I was two. In 5th Grade, a number of influences (the most influential was Digimon: Digital Monsters) inspired me to begin writing a comic about me and two best friends at the time, Dustin and Nathan. I worked on the comic at school during my free time, reading it with my two friends on the bus ride home each day. It was quite the attention-catcher for my classmates, though I don't remember how much of the story was read by them. I remember bragging that the comic was called the "Never-Ending Comic" or "N.E.C.," and that I would never stop drawing the story until I "got a job" (presumably, this indicated a commitment of roughly 6 years or so). This, of course, did not happen; I think I got bored as soon as summer vacation rolled around.

More likely a cause than my boredom, however, was the story's premise. It was never really going anywhere. It starts off rather excellently, initiating a quest for my character with conflicts along the way. However, eventually the story becomes swollen with characters and unexplained events, and most of all, battle after battle with implausibly hostile monsters. Furthermore, my age-old obsession with food spoiled the urgency and conflict of the story when the characters would spend several pages preparing a meaningless feast and eating it.

Nevertheless, I have recently reread the comic after at least a five-year break, and have been immensely impressed the illustrations and humor of my fifth-grade self. The story becomes mundane after a point, but before this point it is engaging and full of good ideas. It is something that I seem to have grown out of—creative ideas—and something I wish I could recapture.

I anticipate scanning the Never-Ending Comic (aptly named, however ironically) in the near future and releasing it publicly for the first time. Provided with each page will be commentary, and I hope that you will all enjoy an impressively prodigious accomplishment I am extremely proud of.
Stay tuned!