Press crunch to play

Back in November 2020 I was contacted by Austin Kelmore to illustrate his article about crunch in the games industry. The article is still not available but it shows many of hte problems in an industry with little regard for worker’s rights and conditions while giving tools for overcoming tricky situations like entering crunch or its consequences.

With a total of six illustrations for the article that had to accompany or visually aid the text, I wanted to build a narrative so I centered the illustrations on a character: David Bowlie, a bowl-headed folk.
As the topic in hand is not quite so cheery and there’s no way to embellish labour exploitation, I used monochrome, dark settings contrasted with RGB/HEX palettes, fully saturated or more pastel, depending on the topic at hand.
Then sharp edges and a reminiscence of low-poly 3D to make it unsettlingly friendly, kinda like Happy Tree Friends episode directed by David O’reilly. Glitched patterns and textures to give it a more digital feeling.

In the first illustration we see Bowlie being thrown in a Crunch cereal box.
David wants to make it to launch but the goal seems kinda far. Will they make it?
But of course, we’re not usually working alone, right? There’s a bunch of us crunching to make the game happen on time. Why not pospone it? Why can’t we work at our own pace? Well, ask the briefcase maybe.
Hang In There! while your souls leave your bodies. Lots of hidden puns in this one.
Can we make it out alone? depends on how you want to leave the box and how long it’ll take you to recover.
This is not the “power of friendship” trope, but the power of organisation one.

El Bon Temps – Environments

On 2018, walking home from work, I stumbled upon the statue on Gaudí Avenue in Barcelona by Apel·les Fenosa titled “El Bon Temps Perseguint la Tempesta” (Good weather chasing the tempest).
I got a bit of an eukera moment looking at it, I thought of a game, a repetitive, cyclic game that could explore emotions and ideas such as loneliness, solitude, change or stability using reinterpretations of Catalan folklore and fables.

I wanted to use Mediterranean ecosystems as setting for the game and even though the Mediterranean is terribly endangered, its biodiversity still isn’t completely gone.

Pyrenees, Mediterranean jungle, salt deserts or dunes and beaches.
In order to get the feeling of being there and gather some visual resources, I had planned to go to several natural reserves, like the dunes on Delta de l’Ebre, but since covid-19 it has been impossible.

El Bon Temps – Characters

On 2018, walking home from work, I stumbled upon the statue on Gaudí Avenue in Barcelona by Apel·les Fenosa titled “El Bon Temps Perseguint la Tempesta” (Good weather chasing the tempest).
I got a bit of an eukera moment looking at it, I thought of a game, a repetitive, cyclic game that could explore emotions and ideas such as loneliness, solitude, change or stability using reinterpretations of Catalan folklore and fables.

These are some of the creatures that pupulate the game.

Most Catalan myths and fables are negative and/or of evil, which probably is because they were pagan and Catholics wouldn’t hear of it. I wanted to rethink the fables and make them a bit of my own in order to “un-christianise” them.

These concepts are meant to be used as a visual guide for 3D development, though the final art will probably be low poly. As a 3D artist working alone, I rather have more details and curves available on paper and remove any unnecessary geometry in production, so that’s why I went for smooth, round renders. Having a tendency to work with flat colors and minimalistic textures, what I use most is PBR materials in simple 3D, like with the Víbria, a criature that is supposed to have a reflective surface on its back; or like the pesanta, a character that won’t be more than a silhouette filled with stars that move.

My goal with this project is to have fun creatively and maybe, help someone on the way.

Fontana by Night VII

At the end of 2020 I was commissioned by Consell de la Joventut de Bacelona to make an illustration for their event Fontana by Night online.

It’s about video-game and alternative entertainment, so of course I put all the references I could: Pokemon, Among Us, Final Fantasy, Portal, Pac-Man, Tetris, Mario, Kirby… even some indies like Mackarelmedia Fish.

It was so much fun doing it! ✨

The Pizza Situation UI/UX design

The Pizza Situation is an over-the-top simulation of social networks where the surreal narrative is complemented by the main game mechanics: stalking, scrolling, investigating and manipulating through social media.

My job was to design the look and feel of those social networks following the art direction set by the leads for a first prototype soon-to-be vertical slice.

Here you’ll see some of my proposals and the latest implementation.

Skull kiddo

skull-kid50

Did a fanart of all the skull kid versions there are in The Legend of Zelda in one and got lost in the details. It was so much fun!

 

Here you can see bits of the process:

Watercolor bugs

From July 2019 to June 2020 I’ve had several commissions for watercolor bugs, mostly intended for weddings.

These last bunch are some of the bugs I made for Elvira’s and Jaime’s wedding in Cáceres.
Here you have some pictures of the actal wedding:

 

myouroom

This my personal take on AR games.

In myouroom you help me find objects that got lost while I was moving from place to place and that had a special meaning for me.

I did everything, from art to code, except the song and audio.

Music is by Outgoing Hikikomori.

 

You can download the trackers and the app here:

https://mahatmandie.itch.io/myouroom

Te quiero viva, burra

I had the pleasure to work with Círculo de Tiza illustrating “Te quiero viva, burra” by Loreto Sánchez Seoane who wrote about the lives of 27 women that have influenced our culture greatly with their work.

You can buy it at Círculo de Tiza’s store and on Amazon.

On my Twitter and Instagram account I shared bits of their work and their biographies.

 

Bemyhuman Madrid 2018

I was one of the organisers of Bemyhuman 2018, an event where the experimentation with innovative games, challenging devices, fresh drinks and good music are key.

You can watch bits of the event here:

 

 

CulturaFan Branding

In 2018 I did the branding for the podcast CulturaFan.

CulturaFan_logoprop

This is the logo proposal I sent before starting with the final logo and the social media resources. The client wanted something serious but not too formal with some pop elements to make the brand more relatable.

This is the final logo and below you’ll see some resources I did for social media.

Counting Sheep

“Counting Sheep is a stunning, dream-esque game inspired by the music of Shakey Graves in which you explore around a field, talking to sheep and hoping to go to sleep. These sheep have various thoughts – all of which would keep me up at night. You can interact with them and explore around – maybe even talk to their skeletal keeper who wants to know how you may be sleeping tonight.”
-Jupiter Hadley, RockPaperShotgun

I decided to make a game with some bits of Shakey Graves’ music, be it lyrics, colors or imagery from the albums. This walking simulator is what has come out.

I made the art and programmed with Blueprints in Unreal Engine. It was intended for Epic’s Summer Jam but didn’t make it for a couple of hours.

You can download it here.

FrogarOO

Ambient and chill game where you’re a frog that delivers food to characters in the forest.

You can play it on itch.io here.

 

 

I did all the art in the game for the first Game Jam by Talentum, a Telefónica lab.

I wanted to work on blending palettes that would work accordingly with the cardinal directions, as you can see below. That slowed me down a bit, but I feel content of the final result.

 

 

In perspective, I would work a bit more on having animated elements in the background instead of so many props that don’t move. It would make it look more alive.

 

Idearum – Environments

Idearum is a game about Eidos, a lost soul that wants to enter the perfect civilisation of Atlantis and has to go through seven tests to prove their worth.

The game is based on Greek mythology, so aesthetically I decided to keep that mixing it with minimalism and low poly art.

 

The game is progressing bit by bit, I’ve done most of the production work by myself.

 

We already have a demo that we plan to show to whoever is interested.

If you’d like to know more about the project, check our social media and presskit.

Idearum into production!

So far I gathered a team. We are still deciding on how to call the group, but so far we’ve covered narrative and script, game design, art and the rest. We are currently discovering how to use Unreal Engine 4, but it is not so harsh as we could imagine.

This is the first screenshot ever of Idearum!

Hopefully, from now on you’ll have news of it every week.

Stay tuned!

idearum

Eidos

Eidos is the main character of Idearum, a project I’ve been redesigning since summer 2016.