Kingdoms of Immacus: Anything Worth Doing is Hard AF

Kingdoms of Immacus: Anything Worth Doing is Hard AF

I wanted to take a break from the standard updates and also change the format in which I deliver information. Gone will be the dated updates, instead they will have a title more relating to the topics discussed in the post. Anyway, the set is done! Well kind of. There is still plenty of tweaking to do with the changes that were made over the course of development, but now all that remains is art and ungodly amounts of play testing. Now the fun stuff…

I’m a self-taught vector artist, and it took me years to get to the point I’m at today. And though I feel I will always learn more and gain some new techniques, I am comfortable enough in Illustrator to push myself to what I feel the limits of the program are. Now that I am moving on to the art, I feel I have hit a wall with Illustrator. The wall that I feel like I’ve hit is a stylistic one, not necessarily a processing or technical one. Illustrator has a very difficult time with soft painted edges, quite frankly because it wasn’t made for that. Now I can fake it to some extent, but to do that would require way more time on each piece than is worth investing. So though I want to stick with a cell-shaded look for characters of the game, backgrounds seem better suited for a softer Photoshop look, and who knows, maybe I’ll feel that way about the foregrounds of the cards as well.

Growing up, I never had access to a tablet to paint digitally – I just didn’t have the finances. It was bad enough I was teaching myself the ways of Adobe on the pirate seas. So using the mouse and working in Illustrator just felt natural, and I have avoided learning digital painting like the plague, instead opting to dig deeper and deeper into Illustrator. But now I realize there is a style gap. I can’t create certain images with Illustrator alone, and because of that, I need to delve into digital painting. This will slow the progress of the art dramatically as I learn. In the meantime, I will work on play testing and tweaking the finer details of the cards – that was the original goal anyway. I wanted to design, tweak, play test, and art away all at the same time, and as I hit certain progress walls along the way, change focus accordingly.

I started teaching myself digital painting and boy howdy is it hard. In many respects it feels unbelievably counterintuitive when compared to traditional art forms. It doesn’t help both that I’m a lefty in a right-handed world and tablets aren’t catered to us poor left-dexterous folks. It is the most painful experience to spend several hours on painting a damn spoon that looks horrid. I know it’s practice, but with what limited time I have to work on the game I get frustrated with the unproductive time dumps. Avoiding such a time dump is partly why I am writing this – trying to save myself the feeling of defeat from badly drawn digital line work.

Speaking of line work, I am not that great of a line art artist. This is because Illustrator has allowed me to be completely lazy with my work. A few scribbles were enough to create a beautiful vector that I adjust and manipulate on the fly.

I am now faced with the reality that I need good line work to make good digitally painted Photoshop images, which leads me to the title of today’s blog post. Anything worth doing is hard AF. I need to work harder. I believe in this game, and I want to create something I, firstly, can be proud of, and secondly, players will enjoy playing. I try to remind myself I am not creating a game. My goal is to create a franchise – that’s what gamers deserve. Too many card games are made as quick money grabs with no thought of creating something for the long term. This is it for me, I’ve committed and I need to stick to Kingdoms of Immacus until it’s completed.

So here’s to hard work, and hopefully I can push myself past the idea that it won’t pay off.


-Jonathan Flike

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