Name: Kjell Bunjes | Freelance VFX (2D/3D) Artist | E-mail: Kjellbunjes(at)gmail.com Discord: ph4ntomz #6257
... is my next project!
This project is all about the community! I'm interested to see, if it's possible to create a full (simple) game while letting the community decide on core features. You can read more about it right here!
Let me know what you think!
...after years of development!
It took me quite some years to learn game development and finish and release my first game, but the day has finally come!
It's an adaptation of the old lights-out classic. Your goal is to solve puzzles and become more skilled in doing so by solving harder and harder puzzles. The game is definitely far from perfection, so I'm really interested in your feedback! Please, let me know your thoughts after playing in the comment section!
... of game development!
As some of you might have already noticed, I'm currently working on a music game prototype. The prototype is going to include a fully playable version of the game, but with a small scope of game features. Depending on the impact of the game in the community, I'm going to add features to the game or move on to another project.
The last milestone I hit was finishing the new version of the level editor. This is going to help me a lot in the future to translate the music files into level data for the game. There are already new ideas for the editor, which I want to implement to make the next version even better, but this has low priority right now.
A couple minutes ago, I've also finished the design concept for the level selection screen1. I'm going to move on to implementation of it tomorrow. I've also finished a starting screen and the biggest part of the main menu. I'll probably re-design the starting screen and main menu, though.
I have also tweaked the game engine here and there to optimize the performance of the engine. Most problems should be fixed and the game is now running much smoother than before. There's a new teaser video aswell, which is showing a little part of the first official track (composed by Tom Klanthe). There are some little graphical changes to the notes and the key effects in addition aswell, which are going to more visible in the next gameplay video, I think.
I'm going to publish further snippets of the game development progress now and then on my profile, so make sure to track me for notifications, if you are no watcher yet.
1 I'm not the artist of the background images. I've added them for presentation purpose. They are not going to be used in the final prototype. You can find the artwork right here:
...have to be set!
The co-leader of Mindworld: Shattered Dreams and I have just decided to cancel the project. I currently don't have the time nor the energy to continue the leadership of the project. The priority definitely is set on uni at the moment.
In my free time I recently did a little bit of painting again, but nothing worth showing. In addition, I'm working on a little dice game, which I'm coding in java. Also, my girlfriend and I are working on refactoring a java project, which we did for uni. This means that we want to write the code again from scratch, because we learned a lot in the process and now we want to clean it all up and publish it for android on google play. It's going to be a little logic puzzle game, but stay tuned for more.
Otherwise, I'm doing vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator, which you can see in my gallery and some 3D stuff for uni, but I'm not that interested in CAD anymore. The most interesting thing to learn for me at the moment is java, because it's quite easy to understand and even with basic knowledge, you can pull off some little games.
I'm going to open up a games page when a project reaches around 80-95% of completion.
There are currently positions open for the following jobs:
• VFX Artist
• Texture Artist
• Graphic Designer
• 3D Hardsurface Modeller
• Concept Artist (Weapon Design)
• Concept Artist (Character Design)
• Concept Artist (Environment Art)
• 3D Character Artist
• Sound Designer
• 3D Organic Modeller
• Male Voice Actor
The project Mindworld was started in January 2011 and is thus already over one year old. With the new changes to the development cycle and the new talent in the team, I'm very happy to see that a lot of progress is done in a really short timeframe.
The amount of quality this project calls standard by now amazes me and goes way beyond my own artist abilities. Today, I have written around 5 denials regarding the positions for concept art and around another 5 to 3D artists with the reason of not meeting our quality standards. It was the moment I realized that this is a luxury I haven't even thought of in the beginning of Mindworld.
One major thing I've learned throughout this adventure already is to not give up and look for alternative ways, if there are unsolvable problems. I think the change back to the Source Engine was the best thing that could have happened to Mindworld.
Another thing I've learned: don't be afraid to get in touch with amazing people and just try it and show the project around. Up to here, the most experienced individual has joined the team after I have contacted him and not the other way round. I wasn't too optimistic, because I was responding to a thread regarding job hunting for commercial projects, but the mail and the project triggered his interest and he is now part of the team.
It's not the first time that we have been able to create such a connection. Now, after the change to the modding community, I can also give out the information that we had contact to one of the senior technical artist at Ubisoft in Paris. Using the Source Engine and not developing a next-gen title made me decide to cut him loose from the project though, because he was looking for a complex task with the UDK engine. Other than that, people working for Sony Online Entertainment and Sony Australia said that it was an interesting project and they'd keep an eye on it.
I find that extremely cool, because I've never imagined to have such contacts with my first indie title. However, it seems like even the high-end professionals are only human and most of them aren't arrogant, but really friendly. Thus my advice to not be afraid of high skilled individuals with decades of experience, they usually are happy to give some feedback, if approached in a nice manner.
The 10 page long guide about team leadership in the Indie-/Modcommunity didn't receive too much attention and almost no feedback, which I found unfortunate. I'm currently thinking about writing another one, once I find the time to do so, which isn't soon ahead, because of the current workload on Mindworld.
I really hope that we can meet the deadline of Q4 2012 with Mindworld: Shattered Dreams, but according to our level designer it should be within reach. You can expect some very beautiful art coming soon for the mod and also the so often requested in-game screenshots (although those may take some more time due to quality assurance).
• Texture Artist
• 3D Organic Modeller
• 3D Hardsurface Modellers
• Graphic Designer (Company and Game Logo Design)
• Concept Artist (Environment Art, Character Design, Weapon Design)
• Male Voice Actor
• New project name -> Mindworld: Shattered Dreams
• New individual modpage
• First out of three chapters
• Half-Life 2 Modification
• Free to play
• Estimated release date: Q4 2012
As some of you already read in the last blog entry, there's going to come some big news for Mindworld. Today is this very day. The original Mindworld, developed with UDK is no longer in production. We are going to switch the engines to adjust to the current market situation. This means that the first chapter called Shattered Dreams is going to be developed as a Half-Life 2 Modification.
Mindworld: Shattered Dreams is the first out of three chapters that is going to be developed. There haven't been done any changes to the original story layout, it's still about a surreal dreamworld that our protagonist Katherine Evans experiences via lucid dreaming.
Nothing regarding the content has changed. We are still going for a very dramatic approach to story telling and use the magic of excellent soundtrack and voice acting to create a fitting atmosphere. The only thing that really has changed is that our business model is now set for sure with this change. We can already promise that the first chapter is going to be absolutely free to play.
It's true that the Unreal Engine would have given us the possibility to go for next-gen graphics, but I've already mentioned it in earlier official news on the Mindworld page that we don't really care about graphical standards. One of the reasons why we develope this game is to proof that graphics don't matter at all, if the story is pulling the player in, the gameplay challenging and fun and the atmosphere stunning enough to forget about time. We are not going to go with the trend of developing almost finished games with great graphics and nothing else, but bugs like many big companies do at the moment.
There have been quite a few changes behind the scenes. I've developed a new concept for a more efficient workflow in overall game development that we haven't used before and the results are clearly showing that we are on the right way with this. Since we set the estimated release date to Q4 2012, the pressure really is on. Working with weekly schedules and doing massive amounts of organization in the background is absolutely necessary and has already proven to be very useful. Also, the team rooster has changed and was adjusted to the new goals and limits that we have.
We are currently looking for a Half-Life 2 Level Designer, check the Job Advertisement in the forums for more details: Moddb.com
There hasn't been a blog entry for quite a while already and some of you might have wondered why there haven't been any news article for Mindworld. The reason for that is because we were looking for 3D artists all the time and couldn't manage to find the desired amount of artists. Therefor, Leiste and I have been discussing other possibilities for the concept of the game and it took us a few days until we finally made our decision.
It's actually not such a big change as it might seem at first, but we are going back to the Source Engine to develope the first chapter of Mindworld with the beautiful name Shattered Dreams. We are currently in the phase of prototyping and alpha level design. I'm currently doing the level design myself, because it's not as easy to find source mappers as I thought it would be. Looks like I have to develope another talent of mine here. My experience with the hammer editor is close to zero, but it looks like I'm still good enough to block out the prototypes to make the ideas more visual to the audience. I hope that even, if we don't find a good level designer soon, we might increase our chances of finding one, if we can present some prototypes.
If you are a source mapper or know someone who is, please get in contact with me, if you or that person might be interested in working with us. We are happy to have any helping hand in that section right now.
Personally there is not much new stuff going on, I'm still waiting for the reply of that game studio I made those concepts for and I hope to get an internship there. I'm currently working full-time on Mindworld: Shattered Dreams on weekdays and only take the weekends off for some quality time with my girlfriend. Still, working full-time on the project isn't even enough, I'm currently nowhere near running out of things to do, having a schedule for each week helps to not get too demotivated. God, such a good feeling to cross out things on the weekly to-do-list. Today is Friday and writing this blog entry was the last thing I had to do for this week.
I'm most likely going to start college in September and make my bachelor of Computer Science at a university in Germany. Not sure what is going to follow after that, but according to the website I could get a job in the games industry for mobile phones and app development, sounds interesting to me. It's about programming for the most part and since I have close to zero experience in that field, I'm learning HTML and CSS just for the heck of it (and to finally have my own portfolio). Always wanted to learn coding and use it somewhere in the game scene, but somehow never managed to get started with it really.
Not so sure why, but I'm starting to lose interest in creating concept art. I usually had a sudden desire to create something when I had a little break here and there, but it seems like that is slowly fading away. I'm still interested in graphic design, though. For example, the new "logo" (not really a logo) for Mindworld: Shattered Dreams was quite fun to do actually and I still love to learn new things about Photoshop. It's quite hard to decide what road I want to go, I see all those people around me, who are really focussed on things and they make incredible process and get really good at what they do, but I find it hard to focus that hard on one field. On the other hand, I'm a bit anxious about never learning anything in-depth and then ending up being mediocre at many things.
Mindworld is quite the exception here, because that project is running for over a year already (Happy Birthday to us in January by the way) and I still have the willpower and desire to finish that even though it currently looks like that is going to be one tough badass of a challenge. Not like it's never been quite the challenge, but it's not going to get easier, right?
The official launch of the new modpage is coming soon together with an official statement on the indiepage and a private message to every tracker of both current sites (early HL2 Mod and Indie Game). Again, if you guys know any good site for recruiting/finding level designers for Half-Life 2, don't hesitate to shoot me a message or a comment. The job ads are currently running on Polycount Forums, Game Artist Forums, ModDB Forums, ModDB Job Section and World of Level Design Forums. If I've missed any good site, throw it in my face, please.
I've just finished writing a guide about leading a team in the game development scene. Has been a little side-project of mine and took me about a week to finish (around 15 hours). I hope that people respond well to it and maybe even help someone with it. It was definitely a good practice for me too, to just think about what makes me believe to be a good leader.
-> The Guide <-
With Mindworld I've definitely found the right project to work on. And like I've mentioned in one of the interviews for Mindworld, I feel like I've been working on it forever. This night is another example why the project is so interesting for me.
-> The Interview <-
I've been having another lucid dream. Yep, finally a new one to write about. Been thinking about getting back into actively triggering lucid dreams regularly, as I think that it's been getting easier. The reason for that is that I wrote some dream journals here and there, which were as detailed as I could describe them, and it definitely helped my dream recalling ability a lot.
Also, in the dream, I didn't use any lucid dream technique or anything, I just noticed it by the feeling of the atmosphere around me. I'm feeling confident about noticing the dream world a lot easier in the future. It probably was my first step to regular lucid dreaming. I'm very calm when I find out about the surreality of the dream, which makes the dream world a lot more stable, by now.
The first dream starts somewhere on a construction yard or something, I can't remember anything of that first one and it wasn't lucid, either. After some time, the dream brings me to another location. I walk straight forward and meet a group of four or five girls. They tell me something, but it's not relevant right now, the dream is still not lucid. I keep on walking and notice a feeling building up in my body. It feels awkward and the best way I can describe it is the feel of surrealism. The dream now turns into a lucid dream.
I'm making my own decisions and have control over my thoughts and movement. A few things happen in between here, but aren't worth mentioning right now. I think about taking control over the dream world itself and try to make the girls appear who I met earlier to talk to them. Unforunately, no matter how much I concentrate, they don't show up and I notice the lose of control over my mind, but can't fight against it.
I'm waking up in my bed, have a look at the alarm clock, it's 1.34 midday. My room is very dark, just like at night, but the curtains are not closed. I wonder why the sun isn't shining yet. Am I in a dream? I check the clock again and it's past 2.30pm. However, I'm not sure, whether I just didn't check right at the first glance and get up.
The jump in time keeps me worried and I can feel how the dream is getting more and more lucid the longer I think about the time jump. But, before the dream turns lucid, I run into my dad in the living room. He's asking me why I am acting so weird. I lose all the control again and doubts strike my mind. The nervousness punches me in my stomach, leaving a strange cocktail of emotions that I can feel.
I keep on walking through the living room and enter my father's room. He is sitting in front of his computer and turns around. "Is this really not a dream?", I ask. He ensures me that I'm in the real world and I start to trust him, even though there are little doubts left.
He starts walking out the room. "I'm going to check the clock again to check for another jump in time.", I'm still not letting go of the idea and start to follow his steps. Right when I finish that thought, my father turns around and looks at me. I immediately realize that it's not my father, his face has changed. "I got you!", I'm screaming it right at him.
The body of my father disappears and I continue walking out the room. I wonder, whether I've also screamed that sentence out loud in real life. Pictures of me laying in the bed flashes in front of my eyes. I continue walking. My way leads to the bathroom door, which has a mirror on the outside.
When I reach the door, I warn myself to be careful with looking into mirrors, because what it shows may scare me and the dream could turn into a nightmare quite easily. With all my confidence, I look into the mirror. I can see my face clearly, my hair looks a little bit more messed-up than in real life, but that's it. I can claerly feel the relief, my body relaxes. Suddenly, I can see my art teacher right behind me. It's shocking, but I keep my cool and convince myself that it's just a dream.
The body of my art teacher disappears in the mirror, but fear slowly rises in my whole body. Time seems to speed up. The dream world gets more and more blurry. Things spin, I lose all the control I have. I wake up.
Thinking about the dreams I had right after waking up, I can still feel the fear that built up in the last dream. It gets stronger and stronger, leaving me in a very strange atmosphere. I close my eyes and go through the dreams again, trying to memorize as much content as possible.
Interesting about this dreams were the length and intensity of the feeling of control I had. The dream in my house was very dark and spooky, there were no lights turned on in the house, it was night outside. However, I fought back against the rising fear and strange atmosphere in the dream. It worked until I saw my art teacher in the mirror all of a sudden.
Unfortunately, I still can't take control over the environments I am in. I still didn't find a way to change my surroundings and only have control over my mind and movement. However, I firmly believe that it's possible with practice. I'm now continuing my dream journals for every dream that's ahead of me. I'll also try to trigger as many lucid dreams as I can to exercise my techniques. I hope to finally be able to talk to specific persons in the dream, to find answers in my subconscious mind.
After listening to some of my favorite tracks and looking at some great work of other artists, I felt inspired to write another blog entry. Listening to my favorite music always gets me to a special place that I really like. A mixture of enthusiasm and a great feeling of admiration overcomes me and it just feels very positive and again, peaceful.
The title of this blog is "The reason behind it all?" and I think that's a question that I can fully identify with at the moment. A question that not only has been sleeping inside me for many years already, but a question that seems to be a bigger part of my life with each and every day I live. It describes my personality quite well, as curiosity about everything in life is getting more and more dominant. I feel like the more time I spend soul searching and learning to understand human (inter-)action, the younger I get.
Children are blowing my mind away and I'm asking myself why we have developed into such creatures as we call "adults". When I've been dealing with my own personal development, I heard about that great fact that being happy is the default state of human beings. That's something that struck my mind, as it's something very easy and yet I didn't see it, because I was distracted too much.
Simply imagine a young kid (maybe even yourself) who has just learned to walk and is now going on that great adventure to discover the world. Of course, we even do that a lot before we learn to walk, but being able to go on our own feet gives us a lot of freedom and independence, therefor own choice. In that phase of life we are eager to learn new things and suck up every information around us with all our given senses. It is the most amount of curiosity you can probably find in any state of a person's life.
Now, many people seem to lose this quality over time and they get somewhat lazy. Not looking for new skills to learn, not going to travel around the world, not learning new languages and just getting into that state of minimalism. We set a certain standard for ourselves and look for ways to do the least amount of work and time to keep up that standard. Pretty much the most obvious sign that a behaviour like that isn't what we are supposed to do is boredom. Even the most exciting thing in the world gets boring after time, because our brain wants to evolve.
Boredom actually leads to unhappiness, which then leads to depression. People who are bored of their current life live like being hypnotized or in a coma. When listening to seminars or people who are living life to the fullest, I always hear them talking about being awake. It's the feeling we have when we do something really exciting, for example riding a rollercoaster, climbing a mountain or being on a first date with the person w always had a crush on. All these have a thing in common: adrenaline, which literally wakes us up. Living life to the fullest or in happiness doesn't mean that you should pump up your body with adrenaline every day, though. Those extreme situations that make our body kick in that drug called adrenaline are just a little part of what it actually means to be awake.
Like I mentioned earlier, happiness is the default state of ourselves, which basically means that we are always happy. Now, why am I sad sometimes then you may ask. The answer is because something happened that made you sad. Of course we aren't happy all day long on a daily basis, but what's important here is, once we solved the situation that made us unhappy, we are happy again. It's something I call the unseen obvious when I talk to people who are constantly looking for things to push themselves into that happy state. People turn up the volume on the way to the club, drink alcohol or even do drugs and when I ask them why they're doing it, they look at me, as if I was the next super moron and tell me they are doing it to have fun.
I'm not judging them for doing that and I can understand their situation. They have to create a certain atmosphere to have fun in and enjoy themselves. Now, I ask myself "What's the reason behind it all?" and the answer is distraction. Does this mean that people who are happy in life don't turn up the volume and drink alcohol or do drugs? Most likely not or at least they're not going over the edge with it. Listening to loud music, drinking a lot of alcohol or even doing drugs is unhealthy and why would a happy person want to shorten their life or lose life quality on purpose?
Smoking is another great example, I think. When I was young my dad promised me to give me a big amount of money, if I never smoke before turning 25 years old. I thought that's really cool, because it's easy money. I've been in the situation where there were some cool kids and they got some smokes and it was passed around, but I denied. Even my best friend tried it and I definitely felt the pressure on me. What made me decline wasn't the money my dad promised me, but smoking literally stinks.
The reason why I think that smoking is a great example for what I've said previously acutally isn't to start smoking, but to stop smoking.
I think, everyone knows someone who smokes or has heard stories about it. The majority of the smokers do know it's unhealthy to smoke and many even want to stop. What's so interesting about it is that some people fight their whole life, but can't manage to stop smoking and some people just stop from one day to another, even if they've been smoking for decades and enjoyed it. I personally believe that emotional addictions are a lot stronger than physical addictions, so I am going to leave out the aspect of the body being addicted to the ingredients of cigarettes and rather concentrate on the emotional side.
There can be many reasons why people are able to stop smoking from one day to another, the main reasons most likely are extreme situations that triggered a very strong emotion like being in life threatening situations because of cancer. However, it is possible to stop any bad behaviour right away whenever you want to, if you're a happy person. I can already see people doubting that and waiting for the catch of it. Yes, there actually is a catch and the catch is that happy people have stopped bad behaviour patterns in order to become a happy person. On the other hand, someone who has always been a happy person wouldn't have started such a bad behaviour.
We stop bad behaviour patterns, if they're no longer necessary for ourselves. I give you an example and stay with the theme of smoking. Imagine I started smoking that day when I was that young kid. The main reason for it would have been to be accepted in the group and be part of the cool guys. Whenever those cool guys would have lid up a cigarette it would also have been my turn to smoke. I simply would have created a mask that covers my real self, so I could be one of them. One day I would have finished school and everyone would have moved to a new town to study and I would find a job somewhere. I would be happy with my colleagues and my work. After some time, I might have been emerging as a leading person and would have been offered a higher position with my own employees. Since my collegues would have respected me for my qualities, the need to put on that mask would have no longer been needed, as the real self is the one that my colleagues would have been interested in.
To see through such things is crucial for those people who don't find the road to happiness themselves. I think that whoever is able to see the reasons behind their own problems and solve those problems, can't get off that road no more. Of course, new problems are going to arrive, but if you really understand the core of what I am saying and believe in it with no doubt, you cannot fail.
This entry is dedicated to all people who are interested in personal development, finding one's inner balance, religious beliefs, spiritual growth or psychology. My previous blogs usually talked about superficial daily-life stuff and the development of Mindworld. The following, however, talks about deeper things that requires you to think about it. If you're just looking for some quick entertainment and distraction, you probably should not read on, because it may leave you like a book with an open ending (or movie, if you're one of those people who are too cool or busy to read books).
A few years back, when I consciously started dealing with personal development (as in getting to know myself and who I really am), I wanted to start a diary. So, one day I got out a few pieces of paper and a pen. That's pretty much the furthest I got at writing a diary entry, because I didn't know how to start. It felt really girlish to even start a letter-like text with "Dear diary..." and I figured it would be quite embarrassing, if anyone found those texts.
Today, I start the blog entry with those exact same words and even publish them on the internet so everyone can read them, because I don't see any shame in it at all. It looks like I've made quite a big amount of progress here. Ever since I was little, I wanted to become a wise old man people look up to and travel to, to get advice. It's actually the furthest I can think back to, it was my first real wish of what I wanted from life and I vividly envisioned it some nights, when I was about to fall asleep. Asian temples and monks who live without any belongings, but their social life and beliefs always had a huge impact on me and still have.
There was a point in my life where I was thinking about throwing my money away. I think I was around 14 or 15 and I didn't feel any connection to money. Questions like "What do to with it?" arised, because I didn't want to buy anything and wasn't looking forward to something expensive either. It started quite early that I only got money at my birthday, because I didn't know what else people could give me as a gift. Many people probably know that and everyone says that it's a good present because then you can decide yourself what to buy and everyone is happy. Bollocks, it's just another sign of how far away people live together with each other these days emotionally.
I'm getting sick of this digitalized world more and more every day. I never understood why all people have cell phones, well, I do understand it, but I'm just fascinated with how people react when I tell them that I don't have one. A friend of mine gave me his old one, but right at this moment I don't even have the slightest clue where it is. It's pretty much the same reaction when I tell people that I'm not using any social networks like facebook and so on. Now, the best effect is when I tell them both things in a short amount of time like in one sentence, for example.
In theory, the road to happiness is a simple way to go. The things you need are around you and don't even cost a single penny. Everyone knows what I'm talking about and happiness is the default state everyone has inside them. The bad news is that since we were little most of us got prepared for the society we are currently living in. We are told to put on happy faces when getting photographed or told to be quiet when Mom or Dad are working at home, if they're even around (we don't even have to talk about divorce here, do we?). We get alienated from happiness since the start and then wonder why so many people suffer from depression, burn out syndrome or why killing sprees happen.
I'm not angry about it, in fact, I don't have a strong negative emotinal respond to that at all. I don't like the society we have created, but I understand why we created it. I have reached a state of total acceptance and tolerance. A few hours earlier, I got out to the terrace and just had this strong feeling of balance and peace within myself. It's definitely a great feeling and I noticed how I can drain a lot of self confidence and self-esteem from it.
Definitely a very interesting point of my life that I'm currently experiencing, I'm enjoying it. The thoughts I had that motivated me to write this blog were a little bit different from what I've been writing about the past hour. I have a very strong belief in the concept of happiness, but I asked myself, whether I shouldn't be more open minded.
It's a paradox: If I believe that being open minded is the only way to go, am I right or wrong?
Sometimes, I get caught in my own analysis. I really like to talk about how one can develope their own personality and I love to help out. But, often I'm very sure about a certain pattern I see in one's behaviour, but that one says I am wrong, while I believe that the one I'm talking with just does not see it yet. When something like that happens I usually say that I may be wrong and everyone has to find their own way, but I'm pretty sure about what I said. And then I start thinking about why I even try to help. Do I help because it's a great feeling to help? And am I now helping just to achieve that feeling in myself or do I help for the sake of helping? Am I just looking for admiration of my skills or am I doing it because I want to do it? Does it even matter why I am doing it at all?
It can get quite confusing and challenging sometimes to live in a world of non-judgement. But, after all, it's a great world to live in and I'm enjoying my stay a lot and that definitely means something.
If you have read this far, thank you and if you haven't, thank you too.
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