Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Digital painting: Totemly Awesome

I managed to get myself along to HYPERJAPAN this year and picked up a very awesome book on the history of Sonic.

I got all inspired and stuff and made a tower of less popular Sonic the Hedgehog characters that are very popular with ME.

Although character design is my great love, I always feel better about a piece when it doesn't feature my own characters. Probably because it removes the internal criticism and I can just enjoy the work.

Jet the Hawk
Nack the Weasel
Espio the Chameleon
Silver the Hedgehog

Saturday, 20 July 2013

CFMS glass wall art

Based in the very cool Bristol & Bath Science Park, simulation and visualisation company CFMS are looking to make their space a bit more, well visual.

As part of the exploratory process, I spent half a day drawing on one of their glass walls in white chalk marker, to give an idea of what an overall illustrated effect might look like. The brief was loose, broadly based on the idea that they want to signify that this isn't just a space for engineering and aerospace, but for creativity, design and eco-stuff too. So rockets, cogs and a chameleon demonstrating the Fibonacci sequence then. Lovely.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Illustration: Redfront

I had the pleasure of playing with service design company Redfront's logo as part of their redesign. I've worked with these guys providing visual note-taking at their workshops, so it was great to have some fun with their brand.

A cat video on the internet

Yep, I did one. For my cat's 2nd birthday no less.

A Day in the Life of a Kitten Owner:

Eat Play Lift

They say a desktop wallpaper is a reflection of the soul. Well maybe they don't, and if they did mine would be more like a dinosaur who farts kittens riding sliding down a rainbow that's made of cakes. That's a messy design though, so I made this instead.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

TEDxBristol 2013: Failure

I couldn't be more delighted and excited to be organising and curating TEDxBristol this year. TEDx events provide a unique opportunity to engage people from a wide range of fields and industries that, in my reckoning, lead to the most interesting conversations. Bristol is resplendent with creatives, technologists, scientists, makers and all manner of talents - all of which I intend to draw on for a rich and varied line-up.

I'm extremely fortunate to be surrounded by my enthusiastic and capable team - who are also the perfect companions for pizza-eating - as well as partners and sponsors volunteering their time, skills and services to make sure we have an outstanding event.

Our theme this year is 'Failure', a loaded word that's caught people's imaginations and prodded at their experiences for some interesting stories. We’ll be inviting speakers, performers and our audience to share tales of failure in order to generate insight and dialogue around a subject most would rather not think or talk about.

TEDxBristol will be held at Colston Hall on 11th November 2013. Keep up with all the latest news here.

Academy of Medical Sciences: Wall art

I recently had an awesome opportunity to slam my twin loves of science and design together and smoosh them until some art came out. The Academy of Medical Sciences commissioned eight pieces for their office walls, to be printed on 2×1 canvases.

The criteria for each piece were that they should be a distinct style, incorporate the AMS logo, and prominently use the gold and navy colours of their branding. AMS are situated in a period townhouse in central London, a wonderful piece of architecture and I couldn't have been more delighted to have work within its walls.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Global Game Jam 2013: Deadbeats

Last year I participated in GGJ 2012 to produce the pun-tastic Heaven & Shell. This year James, Ben, Owen and I from Opposable Games worked together at the 2013 Global Game Jam, run by Explay and held at the head offices of Creative England in Bristol.

For those unfamiliar with the game jam format; it consists of a theme, a team and 48 hours to make a game. Global Game Jam is a bit special in that it happens simultaneously at 300+ sites around the world, with over 3000 games produced by more than 10,000 insane, sleepless developers.

This theme this year was the sound of a heartbeat, which we were keen not to interpret too literally, and after much deliberation the idea of Day of the Dead characters came up and no-one can really remember why.

James Parker: code, Unity
Ben Trewhella: code, Unity
Owen Davies: code, Unity
Nat Al-Tahhan: Art

We also had experienced jammer Gaz Williams providing sound ('Hello, we need a Mexican heartbeat please'). I haven't done artwork assets for 3D in a while, resulting in James, with increasing weariness, explaining that things that are smaller are further away.

48 hours and a considerable number of Jaffa Cakes later, we had Deadbeats, a competitive multiplayer platformer where the goal is to be the last skull standing by jumping on each other's heads. You can change planes by standing on moving platforms which switch in time with the heart beat, resulting in really nice perspective changes and allowing for tactical gameplay (if you want. I prefer the 'run around frantically pressing all the buttons' style myself).

Here are some screenshots, you can view the GGJ entry and download PC version here or play the web version here.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Clockwork Racers for iOS

During testing of Clockwork Racers I got my mum and teenage sister playing, and within 5 minutes my sister was on the verge of nutting my mum for driving into a the side of a giant lollipop for three laps.

Now YOU TOO can have the dysfunction in your family disguised by cute clockwork toys and oversized confectionary, just in time for Christmas too. Available to download for free on iOS. More info here.

Big thanks and congrats to the rest of the Opposable Games team, it's great to finally have this out there!

Develop's 30 Under 30

Holy crap! I'm on Develop's 30 under 30 list this year! For the unititiated, Develop is a games industry trade body and each year they put together a list of 30 devs who are under 30 years of age who they deem to be worth knowing about. Big congrats to everyone who made the list.

"Develop’s annual talent spotlight has returned to shine a light on the young talent of today; those people on the frontlines of development who are shaping the games industry of tomorrow."

Shaping the games of tomorrow? Responsibility! I'll take it. Here is my top 10 list of things I want to achieve in the games industry in the not-too distant future:
  • Do more science games.
  • Keep game jammin'.
  • Encourage the development community in Bath.
  • Hire a lady coder.
  • Continue working and socialising with amazing devs.
  • Storm SEGA HQ, commandeer Sonic Team and make good Sonic games again (I understand this is a long-shot but it's good to stretch your ambitions).
  • Play more games. Yeah.
  • Go to Tokyo again and BUY ALL THE THINGS. I mean DO LOTS OF RESEARCH.
  • Become a dinosaur/cyborg. That's not really a games dev mission as much as a life mission.
  • Oh yeah, make some more games.
If you're too lazy to click links and scroll down then a) shame on you and b) here's my entry:

Director, Opposable Games

27-year-old Opposable co-founder Al-Tahhan defines the visual quality and feel of her studio’s output, and was instrumental in creating the world and characters for their first release, Clockwork Racers. She has a history in print and product design, and is a regular on the games jam circuit. Her ‘blisteringly quick’ output has also led to her providing live drawing for meetings and conferences with clients including TED and the Wellcome Trust.