The “C” Team – Peanuts

How are you doing? I’m quite well, thanks for asking.

I watch The “C” Team on Twitch every week (right here, every Thursday at 3:30pm PST, or Friday 8:30am my time) and it’s one of the highlights of my week.

To celebrate the show, I decided to draw its colourful cast of characters in the style of Charles M. Schulz, after doing the same thing for my own D&D group. Let’s take a look…

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Chara’s Year in Review – Anime Edition

Well, now that the global nightmare of 2016 is finally behind us, it’s time for me to look back and review the anime I watched.

Erased
僕だけがいない街
Erased started off well and kept me watching every week. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really left a lasting impression. It’s a little too straightforward for such an interesting premise.

Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
暗殺教室 第2期
Ever since the first season, I was hooked on this series, and the second season did not disappoint. There’s a few things I could criticise, but that would just be nitpicking. I enjoyed it enough to buy the manga, and it gets bonus points for introducing me to Great Teacher Onizuka.

Dagashi Kashi
だがしかし
A nice, relaxing series to look forward to every week. The only downside is that it doesn’t really have a lot of substance, which is not surprising, but it does leave you kind of unsatisfied when it’s over. Somewhat like cheap sweets…

Konosuba
この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!
Konosuba is stupid fun. There really isn’t any better way to describe it. Even the fanservice was dumb enough not to bother me. Well, except for that episode. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next season.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable
ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ダイヤモンドは砕けない
You either love JoJo, or you haven’t watched enough JoJo yet. Diamond is Unbreakable was just another fantastic chapter in Araki’s ongoing fever dream.

My Hero Academia
僕のヒーローアカデミア
So I’m not a huge fan of comic books, but I was willing to give Academia a shot anyway. In the end, it wasn’t bad at all, but it’s definitely not without its flaws. Hopefully the second season won’t have as many flashbacks and recaps.

Re:Zero
Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活
Let’s forget the hype for a minute (and the cynical, excessively long essays). This was a genuinely enjoyable series that wasn’t afraid to show its protagonist at his worst, and didn’t take any short cuts when redeeming him. I was hooked, and I’m ready for more. Also, Ram is better than Rem, fight me.

New Game!
This was required viewing, since I’m a game developer myself (though I’m a designer, not a character artist). It was a nice change of pace to watch something set in an office instead of high school, and it was the perfect way to relax after the more stressful episodes of Re:Zero.

Danganronpa 3
ダンガンロンパ3 -The End of 希望ヶ峰学園- 未来編/絶望編/希望編
There was a lot to like about Danganronpa 3. It managed to be a prequel and a sequel at the same time, it introduced a whole new cast of interesting characters and it even tied up all the loose ends. Sure, it can’t stand on its own, but it works well as a conclusion to the Danganronpa story.

Sound! Euphonium 2
響け!ユーフォニアム 2
The beginning of this season was a little rough and didn’t feel as focused as the first season. Luckily, it came together at the end for a satisfying conclusion. As always, KyoAni puts in a mind-boggling amount of detail. I particularly enjoyed the complete performance of “Crescent Moon Dance” in episode 5.

Flip Flappers
フリップフラッパーズ
Flip Flappers certainly stands out as one of the more creative anime released this year. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe a rainbow. Just… go and look at it first, then we can think about how it works. What I can say for sure is that it has fantastic ED.

 

Next, I’ll be looking at some of the games I played in 2016. Which ones were stars, and which ones were demoted to dwarf planets?

K-ON! Clubroom – Donuts!

Hey everyone, it’s donut time!

k-on-82-donuts

But only if you select Jun as your character. My goal is to have at least one special item for each character before the first release, and even more in the final version.

What kind of secrets do you expect to find with each character?

k-on-78-cassette-player

The cassette player has been finished since my last post. This is probably the most accurate model in the scene so far, thanks to all the reference images I had.

k-on-79-cassette-player-front

Interacting with the cassette player will play any files you’ve put in the special “Cassette” folder. The needle on the top right even tracks the level of the music!

k-on-80-cassette-player-side

k-on-81-cassette-player-top

Every side of the player has the same attention to detail, but the top is especially cool thanks to all the fancy controls. Every switch, jack, button, dial and slider is labelled accurately. Naturally, this is a SOWY brand player, just like the show.

 

If there’s not a donut constellation already, I’m going to find it. See you soon.

K-ON! Clubroom – Cassette Player!

Phew! It’s been a while since I last posted. I picked up a cold from PAX and haven’t been feeling well since then. Even so, I’ve made some progress on the clubroom and still intend to release a beta version before the end of the year.

Let’s look at the features that have been added recently. First up: realistic refraction.

k-on-76-refraction

I cannot take full credit for this effect; my brother did most of the programming, I only had the idea.

Most game engines like Unity can’t do true refraction, since it requires ray tracing. If you’ve seen refraction in games before, it’s usually an approximation that works well enough for effects like water ripples and frosted glass, but cannot accomplish what you see in the screenshot above.

To achieve the effect, every side of the tank is equipped with its own virtual camera, which projects an image of what it sees onto the water surface. The virtual camera is deflected from the player’s viewpoint according to the refractive index and the distance from the tank.

Since adding more cameras reduces performance, I have decided not to enable this effect in VR (since it would require twice the number of cameras).

Speaking of performance, the soft shadows under objects now use decal textures rather than projectors, which is a huge improvement.

k-on-77-cassette-player

I have also been hard at work modelling the cassette player, which you can see above.

After a lot of research, I discovered that the player was based on a Sony CF-1980Ⅱ. You can see a photo of the real-life player here. I actually found a lot of great reference photos by browsing Japanese auction sites, including close-ups of the control panel.

As of today, the model is 99% complete, and I’ll be starting the textures soon. The cassette player is the last major 3D model that will be added before I release the beta.

 

Thanks for sticking around like Sticky the stick insect after getting stuck on a sticky bun.

Aside

PAX Australia and Cosplay!

I’ll be at PAX Australia this weekend, so I won’t be posting a progress report on Sunday.

I’ve been to every PAX Australia since it began in 2013, and cosplayed for the first time at last year’s show (as Yu Narukami from Persona 4). This year I will be wearing a different costume each day.

My first costume is Luka Urushibara, from Steins;Gate. It’s her casual outfit, featuring a handmade black shirt (with white trim and bow) and red pants. I’ll also be wearing a black tank top underneath for the shoulder straps, a black necklace (tied into a bow), and a silver wallet chain. Joining me for this one is a full-size huggable Upa.

My second costume is adapted from last year’s Persona 4 costume. Basically, I’ve just added Naoto’s hat and will be wearing the jacket closed. It’s worth mentioning that my costume has two custom embroidered patches on the Yasogami jacket collar, which feature the kanji for “fool” and “world”.

Finally, my last costume is Kurisu Makise, also from Steins;Gate. I’ll be wearing the lab coat version of her outfit, complete with a FGL Labmem pin on the lapel.

 

El Psy Kongroo.