Contact Info / Websites
you should check out the blog I started last night. I figured it'd be cool to update stuff there on things I'm working on and also share whats on my mind. I'm also trying to link up a Ustream to it so I can film me and my friend Carlos live working on the final stages of Ace Pilot live, get your guys two cents and stuff. Or just have fun!
I'll be starting up a Live stream soon too. it's linked on the right of the blog page. you can see us working on upcoming projects like ace and stuff.
Back in 2006 i started off making this simple defense game with MCSM studios programming called DEFENSE FORCE. we were on a role and it was turning out pretty cool. i had made hundreds of sprites and enemies and guns but in the end, through complications, the programmer had to back out and defense force laid untouched for a whole year.
fast forward a year, i met Bas in het veld who programmed the pico game we made "Pico's Blam Jam". During the making of pico i showed him the canceled defense force and he really liked the sprites and told me he'd like to finish defense force for me. I was super excited. thrilled even. not only was it going to be made but he remade it and it looked absolutely beautiful and performed amazingly.
however as we worked on the game we kept getting ideas. and throughout the excitement it kept getting bigger and bigger with bas fueling the addition of new things we had a full blown trilogy planned complete with a story and cutscenes. i got flashbacks to the previous programmer and struggled to animate cutscenes. I had already made so many sprites and such before that had gone down the toilet for a whole year. I was willing to finish the cutscenes once he finished the 10 levels. he had everything he needed to do that. but instead he disagreed to proceed unless i finish all the cutscenes first.
i didn't find the sense in that. for his work flow was foreshadowing an incomplete future. this guy just kept adding. finally nothing got done. and the project has been frozen for about 3 years now.
I recently got into contact with him again and asked if he could send over the files and code so a friend of mine could just turn it into a survival tower defense rather than such a story driven level based game. but Bas continued to tell me that was my problem that he would only finish the game if it was done his way.
Seeing the pattern of his work with me and others i find that to be a very inefficient approach to solving the problem. it really is a great game and should be shown to the public. perhaps too much time has gone by, and i just cant find myself to have the energy to finish it. that's why i would rather just put it out in a more simple form. it still is effective.
so he just removed the files from the drop box leaving me no access to the game files. But i am using one version of the file to submit to newgrounds. you can play that here so you'll at least get a hint at what it could have been. click here to play.
thanks Bas, you are a real blind and stupid selfish asshole.
it has been utter hell working with you.
-Hans Van Harken
As Ace gets closer and closer to finishing, I am knee deep in the process of moving to a new apartment here in San Francisco. I'm moving into the Japan Town area with my room mate (who is making the music for ace pilot). It's exciting and nerve racking at times. Moving and finishing Ace that is.
If you are curious to follow the last steps of finishing ace pilot. You can follow 'brigadesoftware' on Twitter. That account is lead by Justin Pruitt who is co directing the project with me. On that note, you can also follow me on twitter (user name: HaVaHa). I will be updating that myself occasionally with big and juicy ace details. I suggest you follow if you are interested in some of the planned future contests I have in mind to hold once Ace is released.
For now, here's the first contest!
THE ALIEN DESIGN CONTEST:
In the first scene following the intro credits, Ace will be in a space, biker-type dive bar. Your goal is to design a crazy, punk, criminal style mean looking biker alien that will be sitting at the bar facing right. basically profile. you can have him smoking a cig, cigar, or something and holding a mug if you want, the point is have him sitting on a bar stool facing right. don't worry about the stool just draw the alien. Make it in flash, photoshop will not be acceptable. we need this to be vectored so we can scale it in place correctly.
EXAMPLE/ WHAT TO DO:
By clicking here you can see some of the existing alien species in ace pilot. In this image you can also see the coloring approach and style. Ideally it'd be cool if you could kinda match it just so it blends a little better. but to be honest, don't feel too limited. as long as it isn't Rembrandt over Picasso. We encourage you create a back story and name for your species to add to the lore of the Ace Pilot universe. We had fun doing that with our species. But if you don't feel like doing that. it's not too important.
WHEN YOU ARE DONE:
Once you're done. you can upload it to the art portal, but in the description that it's for the "Ace Pilot Alien Design Contest" and then PM me the link to your art portal submission. Once we've chosen the winner we will pm that person and ask them to give us the .FLA for it. We ask for CS3 or CS5 those are the versions we are working with for this game.
July 15th, 2011
The winner will be fully credited in the end credits.
I'm sorry to disappoint those money hungry ones but this has no cash prize. the prize is to have your creation as a cameo in this game. it's mainly just for fun.
post your submissions below!
Unfortunately Mike Horowitz will not be able to join the Ace pilot team this episode due to some scheduling problems. However, my good friend Carlos Ubillos told me he would be up for providing the backgrounds.
Carlos is an Awesome artist who has relatively recently graduated and were college buddies back when I was studying at Ex'pression College of Digital Arts. Not only has Carlos been up for providing the backgrounds, last night he even modeled Ace Pilot's ship "The Vast Mentula" in 3D to facilitate having different angles of the ship for the cutscenes! You can check it out here:
Yes, Carlos has in a way saved the project. It was by chance that he needed to stay at my place for a while cause he's performing in a theatre show near my house. Thats when I asked if he could take Mike's roll in Ace, shortly after Mike was unable to continue.
There's been lots of ups downs and a little turbulence in the making of this project, but thankfully, its still moving forward, and fast! light speed even! alright. Enough puns for now.
Also, i made Ace in skincraft! check it out below!
Our background artist for ace pilot is Mike Horowitz! An incredibly talented and totally awesome illustrator. We're more than happy to have this guy on the team and want to say thanks for all of you who sent pm's and were interested.
I am about and hour away from heading to the airport to fly back to San Francisco. For the past 6 days I was in Mexico City visiting my family because it was my grandmothers 77th birthday. It was great to see my cousins, uncles and aunts, mom and brother. But I'm more than ready to get back to San Francisco and finish up the first episode of Ace Pilot. We've built an awesome team, and are excited to see what you guys think of the finished product.
See you on the other side.
Of the boarder.
With boybogart (Kevin Tan) on the team, ace is at full throttle in production and is looking super cool and amazing! However, the previously planned background artist who was going to provide the game with simplistic, yet photoshop-painted backgrounds had to step out due to scheduling problems.
However, this means if anyone is up for the job you can show me what you got and we can discuss any details i might not cover in this post.
THE STYLE/WORK LOAD:
Ace's character designs are going for the simplistic flat coloring style with little to no outlines. The backgrounds should nest the characters well by maintaining that simplistic look, but giving it that painted quality would give it a nice feel. Much like traditional animations, where the characters are done cell shaded and the backgrounds are hand painted.
a good example of the simplistic painted background approach is this.
Mainly, there's a lot of space ship interiors and cockpits. but there are a handful of establishing shots that reveal a grand location like a big command bridge or even a space port dock. aside from that a couple of pretty planets and some nebula might be required.
There's some guide lines I will provide as to what kind of colors something should be or how certain things might have to be shaped. but it's pretty basic stuff. I encourage room for creativity and would love to discuss this over aim or skype. to whoever is interested.
Yes this will be a paying job. I'd rather discuss this in private once we've made contact.
please pm me here on newgrounds. I expect you will have some art submitted to newgrounds here. But, if you don't I do expect to see your art elsewhere.
This will be a series and consistency is key. I expect whoever is up for helping out in Ace Pilot 1, will be up for doing the same in the following. any instant messaging form of contact is a must. Aim or Skype is preferable.
I'm really excited to see who's interested and what you guys have. It's an immense project but it's slowly flourishing. Seeing it coming to life is really cool. Everyone in the increasing production will be credited fairly and be welcomed with open arms to the Ace team! We're thrilled to hear from you.
Let's make an epic flash game!
-Hans Van Harken
Kevin Tan, a very awesome and talented individual has been hired as the Animator for The 'Ace Pilot' game series. He is known as boybogart on newgrounds!
It's very exciting news for many reasons. One of them is that we will be releasing sooner than expected. Somewhere around the middle of this year. I'll be more specific later.
I really appreciate all the people who sent me private messages and applied for the job. We should keep in touch for future stuff.
I submitted this old intro titles for a series i had planned to newgrounds a while ago. check it out!
Attention all animators!
After much calculating and realization, the team working on ace pilot concluded that the best approach to the cutscenes is to build a team and create a good workflow of efficient productivity. There are quite a bit of cutscenes to work on, and this is a series. And we want to release the series without a years gap in between.
This is an exciting project my friends and I have been working on for a good while. Very character/narrative heavy game WITH an instant action mode if campaign isn't your cup of teax.
But it follows the story of Ace Pilot, a mercenary hired by the army he used to be in, but was let go because he made everyone look bad compared to him. The closest thing to compare it to is a humorous "James Bond in Space". I hope that paints a good picture.
The animatorwho we'd like to hire should be willing to chat on skype and keep in contact. Part of the reason we're looking for an animator is that a frame by frame heavy approach seemed to be the best way to approach this. And that isn't quite my specialty.
The animator would follow the animatics I've made, the shots are strict, but the character animation itself can be freely interpreted by the animator. I'd be going over your work cleaning and coloring it. so there's none of that to worry about for you.
And yes, you would be paid. You would be paid even if an earthquake hits san francisco, destroys my computer, and i loose everything and the project is canceled. I can assure you that.
if you are interested, PM me.
here's an animaticbit of a scene in the cartoon.
and here are just some vocals for the not quite finished, yet james bond-like theme of the series... for kicks.
the voice cast includes:
and Hans Van Harken
we're excited to meet interested animators.
(below is a movie poster style version of the first ace pilot episode that arvalis did)
So I am back in SF from Barcelona, Spain.
The trip was totally awesome. Really refreshing and im readier than ever to get back here, get shit done, and move on.
As far as projects go, I'm really gonna buckle down on Ace Pilot ep1 and get that done asap. Among other things. But i really wanna get that done. It's like, a baby that needs to be born.
I'm honored to be a judge for the Tank awards this year, that's something really exciting. Just as exciting as it'll be to go to Philly on Pico Day and attend the event. Can't wait to see everyone at the office. This year looks like it'll be pretty damn packed. I'm interested to see how that pans out. I'll be going with Kevin (Buzzwerd) on the same flight and such to Philly.
Anyways, I hope a lot of people were made an ass of on April fools day. That's a comforting thought.