The day started off with a quick discussion about the story, which is being continually refined. As organizers, we’ve realized that in future workshops, we’ll have to build in more time for discussing the story and its transmediation (how it will be turned into a game). Luckily, all the 4.0 participants can arrive by 9:00, so instead of starting at 9:15, we are using that nice little chunk of time to fit in these important chats.
As usual, we could have talked for another hour, but soon our guest instructor, Teyowisonte Thomas Deer arrived. His presentation started with an awesome image: a kid’s drawing of the well-known Transformers character, Optimus Prime. Of course, it was his own drawing and it represented not only his longstanding love for comics in general, and for Transformers in particular, but also his persistence in reaching his goal to become a professional comic artist. His story was inspirational. He also shared a little about his experience consulting for Assassin’s Creed 3, then gave us a demonstration of his character concept art, which was full of handy Photoshop tricks. After this, the participants split into their two groups -Visual Artists and Gameplay artists. The Visual Artists showed Teyowisonte some of the character concept art they’d been working on, refining their sketches as he gave feedback. We are getting closer to finding a name for our heroine.
The Gameplay artists learned about sound thanks to Metis participant Travis Mercredi, who came all the way from Yellowknife, NorthWest Territories. This year, for the first time, the Skins workshop has participants who, in addition to wanting to learn game design, also have expertise in one of our key instruction areas. (The other is Akwesasneronon Jeremy Alvarez.) So they will both learn and teach! Travis owns his own company up north, called Outland Sound Design and has done sound design and recording on a number of projects, including the movie, The Lesser Blessed (written by former AbTeC guest, Richard Van Camp!).