I'm now back from Thanksgiving break, and I ended up getting a lot done! Some of which I still can't show yet, but overall, the projects I was able to get some work done on that I'll be showcasing here include: Notion pages to organize projects, prototypes of OC Cards printed (and played), a Twine story uploaded, and my Art Journey video finally finished.
I've been working on a lot of mini-projects, some of which I'll show once they're finished, but for now, I've been organizing a lot of this into Notion pages, which has really helped me refocus and start to see what needs to get done. So while there's not a lot of art to show for this time, there is a lot of Notion progress that I can share here!
So I started off by organizing some Notion pages. I made pages for each of my OC cards so that I could store the inspiration images that I wanted to reference for the style, as well as the current card that I have. I figured this would be a good way to keep all of this in the same place!
Then I realized that a big blocker for me when drawing is having to stop and look for references. So I decided to make a Notion page for The Nays. I know... I have a massive Google Drive of documents, but I think a Notion page to keep track of a few things will really help. So I started by making a Characters page, and from there, creating a Gallery where I have a page for each character. I already have my Weebly and Google Sheets to store a lot of those specifics, but I wanted one massive list that I can just quickly Ctrl+F the page to find a character and see their most recent design/image without having to click through a bunch of pages. And then I have links to the Weebly and Deviant Art searches if I end up wanting more. I think this will help me be more productive and able to draw without the dread of having to search around a lot for references.
And then I took that even further to be able to sort by Eventures that they appear on. I know I already have a Google Doc for this, but being able to open up that Eventure and quickly sort to see references of every character involved on that Eventure will help me a lot, especially when I'm doing storyboards for these scenes. So far I've only done this for the first Eventure, but I plan to update this whenever I start writing a new Eventure, so I can have it open while I'm writing.
After that, I ended up getting pretty carried away and deep into Notion. I started to convert my massive Google Drive worth of documents into Notion pages to more easily link them all to each other. And through this, I found myself accidentally creating a full Wiki for The Nays, which I honestly had always been wanting to do. This will make updating data a lot easier than updating a bunch of different documents. I still have a lot of work to do in terms of adding everything from Google Drive to this Notion page, but I'm having fun doing it, and I think it'll be a great resource in the end.
I realized another area that has been making me unmotivated to work on projects is a lack of schedule. Through this, I decided to break down the tasks I want to do before the next CUPdate and scheduled them out on a calendar in Notion. This way I can have a goal for each day, or push them back if I need to. And once the day is complete, I'll either check the Complete box to mark that I did it, or move it to another day. I think this will help me stay more organized and on top of my tasks.
Another Notion discovery I made was the ability to connect Discord to Notion! Using Zapier, I was able to set up a connection so that whenever I post in a certain channel, it creates a new database on Notion. I started out by just using my channel where I write my dreams on my personal server and populating it from there, and it works out really well! I'll have to utilize this more in the future.
After all of the Notion organization, I also started to work on some of the tasks I planned out. I started by reprinting my prototype cards after doing some research and figuring out what the best method for printing is.
I discovered that we'll want to make the text size a bit bigger on the cards themselves since they're still pretty small. Then I realized that printing PNG files are not ideal; the quality is very blurry on the text and overall not great. When I printed them as JPEG, they came out much better. And when I printed as TIFF with no compression, they turned out the best, so that's the best method to print at.
After those print tests, I cut them out and placed them into card sleeves in front of Pokemon cards (as one of my coworkers recommended!) and that method worked out great for prototypes so I can shuffle them and they'll feel like actual cards.
I got to actually try out my prototype game with my brother when I visited my family for Thanksgiving. There were a few cards that I wanted to change mechanics for that were too overpowered, the wording was unnatural, or some cards that needed specifications when played together. But the main changes involved Support cards and how often they're drawn, since they were definitely skewing a lot of the game with how we played it. Also, I want to add more strategy by choosing what positions you play your characters on the first turn, and specifics on how to shuffle cards or refer to specific slots on the board. So overall I learned some things and I do want to try playing it again with some of the overall changes like with Support cards and strategies to see what further changes might need to be made in relation to the specific cards.
And then I finally finished my art journey video! I recorded this back in the spring of this year, but I didn't actually edit it all together until a few weeks ago. I had to record some additional footage from old art that I had at my parents' house, so I took some time to do that when I visited for Thanksgiving, and collected a lot of old folders and notebooks to bring with me for future reference. This was fun so I might end up doing more of these kinds of videos in the future to kind of change the focus of my channel.
While I was looking back on some old projects I did in the past, I realized that one of the Twine Eventures that I made never got uploaded, so I uploaded the Pubby & Lonny Reunited Eventure on itch.io here!
Also a bit unrelated, but I did want to share a discovery I came across the other week. I've been having an issue in Photoshop where I couldn't turn off Windows Ink or it would also get rid of pen pressure, but thanks to this blog post, I was able to figure out how to do that, and my line quality is SO MUCH BETTER! It's such a relief, because this Windows Ink issue has really been demotivating me to draw since it's been a struggle, but now with it all working, I'm enjoying drawing digitally again.
And lastly, I spent a little bit of time making some Notion databases to help one of my friends organize her to-do lists. The one pictured above is a daily task tracker where you can set the visible dates and archive old tasks.