Friday, August 16, 2013

Manila Train Guide

So this is partly why I've been away from the blog so long.  As well as working on Elevator Joe with Erick Garayblas and my now semi-regular gig doing artwork for Prison Architect I've been working on a train guide to Metro Manila with Julius and his girlfriend Jean.

The whole idea started about a year ago, but had been percolating in my head for years.  You see, my wife and I love to travel, and thanks to budget airline Cebu Pacific we've been to places like Beijing, Shanghai, Busan, Seoul, Taipei, Osaka, Kyoto, Hong Kong, KL, etc.  Places that have excellent public transit and terrific guides to help you get around the city.  Everytime we would come back home we'd be frustrated at the terrible state of public transport.

I know I can't solve Metro Manila's transit woes, but I wanted to do at least one thing to contribute to better public transit.  So I decided to make a train guide for Metro Manila.  Other countries always have train guides, and Metro Manila's 4 train lines have none.  I pitched the idea to some friends and luckily I found a few like-minded souls to help me make this happen.  Now Manila has a train guide, albeit one that's incomplete and still needs tons of work.  Help us make it better by visiting and leaving us some feedback, liking our Facebook page, and following our Twitter feed.  This train guide is a band-aid we've plastered on the cancer that is public transit in Manila, but let's make it the best damned band-aid we can!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Urban Sketching : South Korea

Some of the sketches about are now available as prints on society6, as well as other sketches I've made over the course of our travels.

Aissa and I went to South Korea last May, but it's only now that I'm playing foreman for our condo renovations that I've finally had the chance to sit down and blog about some of the sketches.  The sketch above is of the entrance to our guesthouse in Gyeongju.  Gyeongju was Korea's ancient capital, not unlike Kyoto to Japan.  It's a small city by Korean standards but it has that lovely juxtaposition of old and new that I love.  This sketch was done right outside our door, and took me maybe 5 hours over the course of 2 days to finish.  I kept hoping that the proprietors of the guesthouse would offer us free accommodation in exchange for the sketch, but they never even commented on my sketching.  I generally prefer being anonymous when I sketch, but this time I think I felt a little bad that they didn't notice.

There was a street market just a few minutes away from our accomodations in Hostel the New Day (stay here when you are in Busan btw, immaculately clean and lovely staff).  After walking back and forth for a little bit Aissa and I settled on a stall that was selling hot noodles and steamed dumplings.  There's something intensely enticing about food being steamed i front of you, especially during the cold Busan nights.  I sketched a group in front of us while waiting for our noodles.  Turns out the man sitting at the table next to us noticed me sketching, because he complimented me in halting English.  I thanked him, but then didn't offer to show him the rest of my sketches (which always seems the right thing to do) which I felt bad about afterwards. We had coffee afterwards at an "Angels in us" cafe, which is where I sketched the metrosexual man.

This sketch was drawn at the Haedong Yonggung Temple in Busan.  It's unique in that few Buddhist Temples are built by the seaside, offering fantastic views.  This is a sketch of one of many small buddhas scattered around the "Divine God of the East Sea".  They seem to be buddhas where one prays for children or for good grades.  There are little tokens like children's toys (see the tiny monk statue at the foot of the buddha?) nestled next to them, which I presume are offerings.  I tried using my colored brush pens here, with mixed results.

This last little sketch is one of my favorites.  I did it while warming up for my sketch of the entrance.  The family who's guesthouse we were staying in have a cute dog that reminds of Otousan in the Japanese Softbank commercials. He was moving around a lot, but I think I was able to capture his esssence just right in the one full sketch I have of him.

South Korea was a wonderful place to visit, and because I'd managed to teach myself some very basic phrases like "how much?", "thank you!" and "where is the bathroom?" it made our trip much more pleasant. We're definitely looking to go back sometime next year and maybe stay longer in the Seoul area.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Simulating Parallax Scrolling in 8 Frames

Experimenting with the graphics in our game Elevator Joe.  I was thinking of writing a longer post about how I did this in case anyone was interested, but who has the time?  Maybe I'll do it after after the game launches. Till then, I thought I'd post this since it suits the weather.