So. The end of 2016. What a year, what a year. It’s truly been one of the busiest years I’ve had. Went overseas. Disney trip to LA where they kept telling us we’re the future but we’re wondering if they really mean it, a road trip with buddies from LA to San Francisco over a few days, Joburg and Cape Town a few times, Afrika Burn, Otter Trail, I put in 2 offers to buy a house but both were refused (kind of thankful for that, but also it had an amazing big study with a view. Hmm), Mauritius to make video games, and loads of kiff stuff inbetween. I also reconnected with an old flame which was quite amazing, and though it was brief it was nonetheless special.
Firstly, some artwork from my ‘Dogshow with Cat’ show mini pitch bible that Disney and Triggerfish invested in, and is now being shopped around to various interested parties and distributors.
I guess this is the part that’s called ‘Production Hell’ because Disney will only invest further once a distributor’s on board, so with so much money at stake, I guess it’s tricky to ensure returns and to instil that confidence. All I know is the show is amazing, it’s changed a lot since the 2-min pilot, it’s got a killer pilot script, the characters are awesome, they have a great thing going between them, and we’ll see if the distributors see the same kiffness that I do. I have a couple regrets I guess, that’s letting my guard down once or twice with decisions made to what should be included in the show bible – I did a great cactus dude that was taken out, I was tired by the end of it so didn’t challenge the decision enough to get him back in. A few silly jokes that I thought were funny that I’d have wanted to include but didn’t because I wondered if others may not get it. The whole experience was a fight from start to finish to get what I wanted and to protect that still small voice / flame that can so easily be destroyed by louder voices or blown out by committee-decisions, and it left me exhausted for a while. If nobody buys into it, s’all good, learn from this, move on to the next thing and make it even better.
With my brief experience on Moosebox and Dogshow with Cat, I can boil down the advice to this. People can explain away anything. ANYthing. And they’ll make it sound like something should be this way or that way. Don’t listen to them. AT ALL. IT’S A TRAP. They’ll lead you down the garden path, YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT, EVERY TIME. Even when everyone else thinks you’re wrong, YOU’RE RIGHT. It’s your show and you KNOW when something should be this way or that, you don’t need to explain it. Better to fail on your own terms than try and get a better chance of success trying to please everyone else, and still fail. It’s also easier for everyone if you just say THIS IS THE WAY IT IS and leave it at that. Trying to be a gentleman / nice guy / people pleaser and going ‘hmm that’s an interesting idea’ when you KNOW it’s wrong for your show is a BAD IDEA and WRONG, unless you’re into wasting yours and everybody else’s time. If you bend easily you’ll end up with something that isn’t a unique point of view, but rather a generic idea that’s fine for a committee. I’m going for that unique point of view, and that may mean saying ‘no’ a lot.
Now we’re in December, we made a bunch of Kiffness t-shirts to sell, they sold well at gigs. Though I’m probably going to keep KIFFSTUFF.COM for my own wares, you can still buy the few ‘Brokaleh’ shirts I have!
I’ve ordered a Yoco credit card machine that I ended up not using due to me not really being part of The Kiffness merch situation, it feels like I should step away from that. In all fairness though, the shirts are cool and I’m glad I decided to print the ‘Brokaleh’ design because at first my brother was going to pass on it and I decided to just print some anyway. It’s been a best-seller. Earlier in the year I’ve met with Clayton, the owner of Surf Cafe in Plett to have my bro play some gigs there. We eventually got it together and the first Kiffness this last Friday was sold out! Great success.
I’ve been busy with a couple projects for this end of year. I finished a new animated Goldfish music video a couple weeks ago but it hasn’t been released as their record label has a release plan for the song, and that impacts the release of the video. Here are a few sneaky stills:
I’ve also been doing this fairly big project, a 6+ minute retrospective narrative story from a previous Olympics 400m relay silver medalist. It’s all been done in 8-bit pixel art style. I’ve brought on Ben Rausch who I (finally) met in Mauritius who did some great stuff, and unfortunately another pixel-buddy from the US who’s previously done some great work for me, let me down after repeatedly assuring me he’d send through the remaining big 16-second shot, and then going silent. Anyways, I’ve done the shot myself this last weekend, learned some Aseprite (a pixel program) in the process, and the short is pretty much done, and THAT is my final commercial gig for the year!
Here’s some footage of a game called Yojimbrawl that I helped with in Mauritius. I did quite a few pixel animations of the fighter, and 2 backgrounds – the brown forest with a Buddha levitating, and the brown bridge with the bell.
I’ve put a pencil-line through Jan to work on Bru & Boegie 🙂 and I’m looking forward to that. I’ve made enough tom this year to support myself for a month or two, and for a holiday to Japan next year hopefully, so, that’s all worth looking forward to.
Here’s also some footage of ‘Frog Smashers’, a game I made with Ruan Vermeulen from Free Lives. It should be getting a public release as soon as I can finish off some of the art for it:
It’s flippen’ fun to play. The idea is to try hit the other frogs out the screen. Local co-op. Here are some videos of us playing it in Mauritius:
Also, they filmed a documentary while we were there in Mauritius and I starred in a few of them! It’s worth watching the whole series (link) from start to finish as it gives a great behind-the-scenes peek into videogame development:
I did these 10-second shorts with my buddy James Wolfaardt for a company in Boston called ‘Cartuna’ that were doing them for a company called ‘Brother’ for SnapChat. I got a few lines brief for each short, explained to James the tech specs, he drew the still images, I added animation frames and got stuff moving, my bro David Scott aka The Kiffness did the sound, and there ya go:
All in all, busy year, really looking forward to resting. Already been surfing these last few days, has been lovely. Even tried stand-up-paddle boarding in the sea, and my partner and I did an evening Moonrise paddle board with a buddy and a crew he took out which was nice. Unfortunately a Great White Shark took a big chunk out of someone’s canoe recently in Plett, so, that’s been a bit of a cooler for the surfing. Damn. I thought the shark activity had died down a lot.
Games-wise, highlights are Rocket League, Batman: Arkham Knight and INSIDE on PS4. Worth a mention – other games I enjoyed a lot this year: Parappa the Rapper 2, Grim Fandango Remake, Day of the Tentacle Remake, Journey HD, Wipeout 2048. Got a PS Vita and recently got a 32GB card for it, so I can install more of my library onto it. I just got Overwatch for PS4 but haven’t really tried getting into it. My next game is prob ‘The Last Guardian’.
Thanks for reading, even if it’s only my friend James and my mom that comment. They’re da bes.