Thespaceinvader's WSAS Project
1.1) I'm Phil, I've been an active member of the Wesnoth community for nearly 2 years.
1.2) barberphil at hotmail dot com
1.4) This summer is the last one that I have free to do what I like, since I'm coming up to my last year of university, and I'd very much like to spend as much of it as possible doing something useful and interesting that will develop my skills, rather than stacking shelves. Since I'm already a contributor to Wesnoth, and have a few major projects in mind, this seemed like an excellent opportunity.
1.5) MSc in Genetic Counselling at Cardiff University.
1.6) Various portraits, sprites and animations both alone and in collaboration with other contributors. Major projects included the Dwarf portraits, the Son of the Black Eye portraits (with Girgistan), the Hammer of Thursagan portraits (currently being replaced by DUHH), Dwarf Scout line units (in progress, will eventually include portraits), and the Water Serpent unit.
2.1) No major projects apart from Wesnoth. I've done some small pieces of design work for local organisations too, and been developing my skills as a pastime for several years.
2.2) Yes, here.
2.3) Open Source
2.3.1) Wesnoth is the only OS project I'm involved with. I'm currently an Art Developer here.
2.4) Gaming experience
2.4.1) Strategy games interest me most, along with less involving, web-based games.
2.4.2) I'd rate them about equally. They're both important to a coherent and enjoyable gaming experience.
2.4.3) Yes, for nearly 2 years (earliest version was 1.2.x).
3) Communication skills
3.1) Native speaker of English.
3.2/3.3) I'm comfortable giving and receiving critique - I've developed my critiquing style alongside my patience, over the past couple of years here.
4.1) I intend for the major part of my summer art project to be a wholesale renovation of the Drake units. These units are the only major mainline group still to have no team colouration, and are in a very outdated style, with little animation. There are some available sprites for all of the level 1 units and a few level 2 units - I plan to first animate those sprites, and develop accompanying portraits in collaboration with Girgistan, who made some excellent sketches for them several months ago. Then once the animations are coming on, I intend to liaise with the orginal creator of the sprites, Neoriceisgood, to see if he can be persuaded to return and finish off the base frames. If he can, then I'll work on animating those. If not, then I hope to be able, by that stage, to work on them myself.
I look forward to developing the drakes as a species in a coordinated and coherent manner, spriting, animating, drawing portraits and writing descriptions all together to create a species with a unique identity and believable background.
4.2) I came to Wesnoth two years ago, and found a fun strategy game with a community which was dedicated and sensible. It was an excellent chance to develop my skills as an artist - not my primary career path, but something which I've always wanted to be better at. I have two main aims for the summer art project - the first is to develop a few specific areas of my artistic repertoire. In particular, I want to dramatically improve my skills as a sprite artist and animator; I also want to improve certain areas of my portrait creation skills, notably metal texturing and decoration, and fine detail such as scales. The Drakes seem a perfect species to develop all these skills.
4.3) Aside from a 10-hour per week job which will take up very little time, I'm free for the whole summer until the end of August, though I won't know the exact timetable for the end of the summer until after 22 June. I would be able to devote basically full-time hours to the project. I also might be difficult to contact for the first week or two of July, since I'm moving to a new house, and it might take a while to get the broadband connection running correctly. I should be able to communicate from university computer rooms during this time, however.
In terms of specific goals, I still need to clear these finally with Jetryl, but my hope would be to complete the animation and portrait needs of at least one level one drake unit per milestone. First would be the Clasher, then the Fighter, Burner and Glider. I'd hope that, as the project progressed, I would increase in speed and be able to re-evaluate these goals as I do.
1 – 13 July
I'm keeping this one somewhat light, since I'll be moving house progressively over the next couple of weeks, and will have more time once I've finished.
I'd aim to have finalised the Drake Clasher animations and portrait. I'd also aim to have applied these animations to the Slasher and Enforcer currently available and, depending on the base frames being completed, the Gladiator and Warden.
2 - 31 July Complete Drake Burner animations and portrait. Apply these animations to higher levels assuming the base frames are complete.
3 – 16 August Complete Drake Fighter animations and portrait. Apply animations to higher levels, pending complete base frames
3 – 31 August Complete Drake Glider animations and portrait. Apply animations to higher levels, pending complete base frames
I'd also aim, by the final milestone, to have completed the Dwarf Scout line animations and portraits, the Dwarf Gryphon Rider portrait, Ancient Wose portrait and Troll Hero/Great Troll animations, working in the down time whilst waiting for critique etc.
4.4) I fully intend to stay with the project for as long as I can, though I may have less time to devote to it over the next year or so, after which I'll hopefully be getting a full-time job. At that point, I'll have much less time, but I still expect to give some free time to the project.
5) Practical considerations
5.1) Windows XP, GIMP, Wacom Graphire tablet.
5.2) Yes - I'm learning the requisite WML as I get better at sprite artwork - I coded the Water Serpent unit myself, and am currently in the process of animating the Dwarf Scout line myself.
5.3) Yes - my username on freenode is the same as my forum username - thespaceinvader
5.4) Usually between 8am and 12pm UTC. The job I'll have will be for the mornings of Wedsnesday, Thursday and Friday each week. For most of the rest of the time, I anticipate being contactable.