I made an ARPG! Saints of the Shadows! Open Beta Oct 17th!

Phew, where have I been?! Jumping around from project to project and in general just doing busy work this year so far, but I have a real tangible thing to bring to you all now, and I’m super excited to share it with you!

Announcing the newest ARPG, Saints of the Shadows!

SotS! A game of shapeshifting Saints living in two worlds. Heroes of their world (whether big or small) who journey into the Shadows to retrieve the abundant Soul within it’s labyrinthian landscapes. During the Open Beta you’ll be playing as a Fatalis from The Village. A picturesque and peaceful town nestled in a verdant valley in the world of Peace.

We are launching a FULLY PLAYABLE Open Beta!
Over the next week we will be migrating onto our group: SaintsoftheShadows! Our Artist and Co-Founder darkmoondancer will be putting up all our Day 1 Adopts on October 17th to coincide with the group members gaining posting permissions! Keep an eye on the Group and the DevUser SaintoftheShadow to see everything as it goes public, in real-time! ( Hit those Watch Buttons! ;D )

    Opening week adopts will be coming as Free Raffles, First Come Flats, Flaffles, Auctions, and each player’s first adopt will be 50% off!

    We also have a make-your-own system that you can start playing immediately on the 17th regardless of when you get your first Adoptable. All our make-your-owns have both in character and out of character ways to transition to Adoptable characters with little to no progression loss!

    Unlike other ARPG launches, Saints of the Shadow isn’t promising anything that isn’t already complete. Co-Founder Strikingcrayon has built an entirely unique and robust RPG game engine to handle the implementation and playability of SotS branching quest lines, its four loot systems, the multiplayer “Clan” content, the growing story arc, and weekly events; Hybridizing the free-form roleplay of typical ARPGs, the old school flair of choose your own adventure games, and the principles of modern TTRPG algorithmic structures.

    You’ll level up your characters Statistics and increase their Rank by submitting your creative works as descriptors of their grand adventures! The choices the community members make as a whole will shape the direction of the grand overarching story! You’ll collect all kinds of loot for your characters, join multiplayer Clans to take on the biggest challenges, and trade with other players to collect all the Traits to customize your Adopts to your heart's content!

    It’s our hope that this Open Beta, launching on October 17th, will culminate with full player-facing automation on our offsite web game (in-development) but we’ve created SotS to run natively on DeviantArt indefinitely, regardless of that goal.

Please come hang out in our discord: discord.gg/8q6B4wW to keep apprised of all the comings and goings during our pre-launch week.
Also, did we mention ALL systems of dice rolling will be public in our discord!? Come watch those sweet loot rolls ;D

See you in the worlds of Peace and Shadow!

Action Headshots

I'm working on stretching my fingers toward doing more impactful, meaningful or just fun personal art. Decided to kick it off with some 'action' headshots of two of my critter characters from the Bagbeans ARPG, Antheia (left) and Flint Boulderbane (right). 
Antheia is a contract devil, and is a scheming if flirty gal. 
Flint Boulderbane is a smol angry dwarf, specializing in combat with hammers, and of course looking after that glorious beard. 

Self-Reflection + Bucket List

I've been neglecting my blog and art-progress in general lately because I've been working on solving some emotional and mental puzzles. As is in my nature, I tend to deep-dive into solving a problem when I allow myself to start unraveling one. I hyper-focus and often leave everything else on the sidelines while I sort things out. Amid all of this I dove into a lot of self-reflection, searching for answers to many personal questions, and re-affirmed that I land squarely into the INTJ Personality type. I have made great strides toward understanding myself from this research and self-analyzing, which I feel is the most important part of the journey; to keep learning and moving forward. 
Now, as is the case with all science and theory, nothing is absolute but we can draw general conclusions with enough information, and even detailed conclusions once enough data is gathered and analyzed. More importantly we can learn a lot along the way, even drawing new conclusions from failures or generalizations. But enough of my rambling. If you want to look into what I'm talking about more, I will give you a very short summary with some links that I found helpful. 

There is a leading theory in psychology that all people fall into psychological types, originally introduced by Carl G Jung in the 1920s, and later developed by Isabel Briggs Myers, with research ongoing to this day, through a tool that is named MBTI Instrument (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). ((More info directly from the source, here: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ ))

Out of the 16 personality types, I land in the rarest sliver of the population, as an INTJ, and even more rarely as a female INTJ. Instead of making this self-reflection drag on for much longer, I am embedding a helpful info-graphic that is by no means comprehensive, but at least lays down the basics (at the very bottom of this blog post), and if you're interested in reading more, I found that info graphic as well as many other articles from www.intjvision.com to be very insightful and helpful.
*Please note: (The INTJ 'Facts' that this particular infographic lists are of course generalizations, but I'm sure anyone that knows me would agree that I fit the overall picture being painted to a T.)

 

Now that I've explained a bit more about myself, I can share with you my ironic and spot-on behaviour when I was faced with some recent life-decisions. I dove straight into making myself an organized and prioritized list, as if it were the only natural course to take. We had a good giggle when Shane pointed out just how me this was. 

So if you would like to follow along, you can find it by clicking this button >

 

I would like to work on blogging more often, and while I prefer to focus on my art because opening up is hard for me, I think sharing my personal growth is important even though I find it hard to do. This is one of my small steps toward learning how to open up and express myself, so I will occasionally post rambling insanities and insights just like this. (I will make sure to tag them all into the 'Personal' Category to stuff 'em all into the same corner of the internet.) Hopefully the next one is more informative, since this one dragged on as a stumbling introduction. ^-^

INTJ personality type

Esk + Griffia Commission Sheets

Find more information about Esk at: https://thosewhowentmissing.deviantart.com/

Find more information about Griffians at: https://bagbeans.deviantart.com/

So over the last 2 years I've been playing a lot of ARPGs on deviantart.com, which are Art Roleplaying Games.

What is an Art Roleplaying Game?
Well, it's a community built up around a species that has incorporated goals and rewards upon completing artwork of your character. So as you complete these goals you will earn experience points in one form or another which will unlock new features of the game, or upgrades for your character. 

Now, I know that this may sound like a strange concept to newcomers, how is it a game when you have to put in work to play it? Well, isn't it work that you put in when you spend hours questing in a video game? It's the same concept here, simply that the effort that goes in is storytelling and artwork which allows players to push their boundaries and develop their creativity as their character grows with them! 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time playing these ARPGs, and I have definitely made leaps and bounds of progress in various art styles due to my participation in them. 

Now that I have gotten comfortable with these particular games, I wanted to offer specialty commissions specifically priced for each including several styles I do not offer elsewhere at this time. So I took into account my comfort zones, as well as how much time and stress any given type of commission entails and put forward a short price list for this year. Putting everything together on one nice neat sheet like this was extrememly satisfying, and I hope it makes everything very clear and straightforward for anyone looking to commission artwork of their Esk or Griffians. 

I have also made myself an ARPG page here on my website to give a quick overview of what an ARPG is as well as links to all the ones I am currently playing! Check it out, > HERE <

Concept Designs - Valkyr's Blessing, Grace and Justice

Hit a bit of an art block yesterday so I started today off by revisiting some old sketches and I decided to hash out a concept I had for a Valkyrie character. So far we've got 3 items in this 'Armor/Outfit/Weapon set', not sure yet if I'll end up making any more pieces to go with them or if I will be using this for one of my other projects yet. But overall I think this was a very productive day and I've hopefully broken my art block. 
 

This is Valkyr's Blessing, a mighty set of copper wings that will deflect attacks or offer flight to the user.

This is Valkyr's Grace, a beautiful and practical mantle that is the center piece for this outfit set. It houses the source gem which is used to activate various abilities in the other pieces.

This is Valkyr's Justice, a swift and sturdy long-spear that can gain a ranged attack, perfect for pairing with a set of flight-ready wings.

Changes and Development

We are nearing the 3 year mark since I launched my website, and boy has it been a wild ride. Ups and downs, twists and turns, and a whole helluva lot of learning experience along the way.

Over that time I have experimented with lots of features, options and offerings, most of which were slotted under the title 'Special Projects'. This was my personal overarching study, or rather, set of studies, where I would offer discounted commissions in any particular style that I happened to be practicing and pursuing. It was an overall aim to expand my skills, and while in theory I had set it up to encourage me to work on them more, I have finally settled that this theory was a failed one. In reality, setting up commissions for styles that I was not comfortable did not end up making me want to push them and develop them better, but instead kind of... resulted in the opposite. I began to dread working on some of the projects because I felt like nothing I produced was good enough. That what I was producing didn't reach that level of perfect that I needed it to be. It was like half of me wasn't conversing with the other half, because I knew that it was for practice on something new, but I also knew that it had to be perfect to uphold it to my other work. This is something I struggle with in all of my practice pieces, in truth, and I'm only coming to terms with it recently. I have to let go of trying to get all the details all the time, and let my practice pieces be practice pieces, and accept that I won't like most of my artwork, but I have to get through the pieces I don't like, to get to those masterpieces that are locked up somewhere in the darkest depths of my grey matter.

So in conjunction with these findings I have finally settled to just close down my Special Projects entirely. I will continue to have commissions open and available in the areas and styles that I am comfortable in. And instead of the Special Projects, I will simply be setting aside some time within my work schedule for experimentation and practice as a part of my daily routine, but having that be on my own whims and wishes, I think, will be more productive in the long run.

 

With that all said, I have created a new section in my Design commissions called Badge Design!
This has actually stemmed from various bits and corners of previous Special Projects, mainly my Chibi and PokeChibi Projects, for those of you who've been following my progress. This Badge Design service is a summary of by far my best development over the last 3 years.
Badges are created with the intention for use as avatars, icons, achievement badges, emoticons, emojis, pagedolls, stickers, etc! As these pieces are smaller and simpler in nature than paintings or full-fledged illustrations, they have their own pricing structure and as such deserved their very own page. Click the giant button to go check out all the details!

 

This year has several planned goodies in the works, so here's to more failures that lead to many more successes down the line.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, and thank you to my beloved husband, who is always there to encourage, challenge, inspire me, and also remind me that I am and always will be my own worst critic.