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  • Writer's pictureBrad

Old Dog, New Tricks

Hello! I am Brad Shuber the Creative Director here at Veridian Forge.


Over time my blog posts will focus on the Art, the Design, the Sound, and the direction of the game. I wanted to say the more creative side of games… but many a person smarter than me (hmm, that’s a lot of people) have reminded me that there is creativity in all disciplines of game development. While it is easiest to point to design and art as the creative side of things, I feel it is necessary to appreciate the vast connections that all people who make games have, no matter how they contribute to the process. Those connections are the things that will help you understand each other and benefit from their experience and point of view for a better product and when you step out of your own comfort zone.


To be honest, this idea was a long hard truth for me to fully believe but was recently reinforced when I stepped out of my Art Director role at Microsoft on the Minecraft franchise to learn all kinds of new things. At that time, I was 45 years old and had singularly focused on art for the last 25 years. I was then faced with the adventure of learning to code, creating my first company before Veridian Forge, legal stuff, and all the things I had always relied on others to do. So many of the “creative” parts of my job as an artist applied to solving problems with code, company details, navigating legal understanding, and figuring out things as mundane as where in my home I could work. Likewise, the way of thinking about code helped me to understand the challenges and solutions of bringing all that together. A point of view I wish I had earlier in my career.


It was / is still a scary thing, but I have found that there are always going to be times when you are asked to accomplish things you do not know how to do. Sometimes that is a small thing, sometimes not. When that happens to me, I rely on asking a lot of questions, moving forward with confidence (even if I do not have it), and just learning what you need to learn. If the end goal is important enough, there is really nothing else to do but figure it out somehow. This is not an easy thing, especially alone.


It is important in those moments to look for assistance, guidance, and often rely on and accept the generosity of others. I simply would not be where I am today, or had the journey I was fortunate to have taken, without that. My high school art teacher Herb Eveland gave me the freedom and guidance to explore the new art form of computer art. My professors and friends at Bowling Green State University explored the frontiers of computer graphics. Since it was the mid-late 90’s we learned together, side by side. At my first job at Image Space Incorporated, they put up with all my mistakes of youth and inexperience. All the inspirational coworkers, talented managers, and the exposure to the diverse disciplines and people who have been along my path, have all left a lasting imprint on my education of experience.


Luckily these days there are many places to look for and get that kind support. I have listed below some of the ones I have (and still do) rely on to help me find solutions to those questions that continue to come up and I have no idea what the answers are and have aided me in the learning process.


Actually enjoying that experience of learning was and sometimes is a difficult thing. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people way more talented than myself, but I was always comparing my results to theirs. This sucked and kept me from wanting to try. I found a book called the “Practicing Mind” by Thomas M. Sterner which described all of that perfectly and talked about enjoying the process of practicing along the way of understanding. I really recommend this to anyone who struggles with the lack of achievement along the path of learning.


I will talk more directly about the game, our processes and philosophies next time, but for know I want to say thank you to those referenced above and those listed below. My hope is that someone might find just what they are looking for in one of these links.


Thanks for now.. I am excited to share more details on what we are doing and how we are doing it next time.



 

Links to Some Hopefully Helpful Resources

 

Classes:

Pixel Art Learning Resources:

Unreal:

Code:

General Game Dev:

Helpful Game Asset Sites:


There are a ton more... these are a few of the ones I have found so far. I will add more as I find them or get more time to organize them.


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