Month: October 2016

Arcades and Save the Children

Dank Art from the Arcade Superplay Expo Charity Event

I flew out to San Fransisco this past weekend to participate in The Arcade Superplay at Twitch headquarters. I was awake for most of the event which ran non-stop from October 21st to 23rd where some of the top Arcade players gathered to show off the games and help to raise donations for the The Save The Children charity.

We helped to raise $47K+ to help children who need help by transforming their lives by offering them protection from harm. Over 80% of Save the Children’s funds are spent on programs and services for children and families in need, and helping a child in need is one of the simplest yet biggest things anyone can do. I am a huge supporter for children’s rights, needs and safety so I was not only happy to donate my time and skills for this event, but I also made donations.

It was a crazy few surreal days where I left the colder comforts of my small town of Milton and made that trip to San Fransisco. One of the first people I met was Murphagator in Chicago O’Hare after noticing a tweet he made where he said he had a few hours to waste waiting for his connecting flight. It was amusing to me that I had originally looked into taking the same connecting flight as him but went with an earlier one instead. Trap15 picked me up from the Airport in San Fransisco but was almost an hour late due to traffic and just as we were pulling away he messaged me saying he had landed. We looped the terminal for a while until we could pick him up and take off to the hotel where we would not be for most of the time we were staying in the city. Also I want to point out Trap15 was listening to hardcore punk in his car which was awesome.

 

The hotel we stayed at was an original hotel of the city that survived many earthquakes and even the biggest one that ravaged the city almost a century ago. It was cool to see such splendour though I have my own reservations about staying in hotels. However most of our time was spent in the staff kitchen at Twitch headquarters where the actual marathon was taking place. After arriving at the hotel we met up with PJ, LordBBH & DevilREI who I was also meeting face to face for the first time. I broke the ice awkwardly by pulling out the ol’ selfie stick.

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Don’t be scared, it’s just a AnnK with a selfie-stick

I had my station set up on a table just in reach of where the hosts were sitting for the entire 3 days we were live making all my Dank Art for the event. I tried my best to make art for almost all the games featured for the event and made sure to try and give those pieces to the players who donated their time to be there. We even made donation incentives for people watching at home to get in on the fun and put donations down on original Dank Art I am currently making. I was a constant creating force that entire weekend painting & tweeting out all the Dank Art I could all for the event and to help make it just a bit more special for everyone, players and viewers.

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Total Dank

There was so much that happened and so many people I got to meet that it would take too long to mention them all. To keep things quick, I’ll list all the neat things that happened in point form:

  • One of our Hosts was DeadFlip who’s personality is almost on par with how tall he in
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    A wild Dead_Flip

    IRL. I made a warm up Dank Art of him playing pinball to help get over my nerves and to kind of introduce what I do as I was the only guest there tha
    t wasn’t playing a game or part of Twitch staff.

  • Kevin DDR was probably one of the most interesting persons I met there & his enthusiasm for playing games and collecting arcade PCB’s is like nothing I have ever seen. I drew him like a busy beaver eating a PCB because thats exactly what he was- busy and enthusiastically addicted to games.
  • Totoroslayer asked if I needed anything on the second day we were there. I put great thought into this question & said “Bubbles. Lots of them. Preferably a bubble pipe.” He actually found me one.

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    OOOH Bubbles :3

  • I shared a room with Aquas and Softdrink but we barely slept there. I think my stuff got better rest at the hotel then I ever did.
  • PJ broke the baggage security system at the airport when he flew in and continued the ongoing theme with him where his presence alone is enough to make things break or catch on fire, hence his comical Dank Art.
  • There was a lot of technical problems involved with doing a marathon that I am sad to say were not all PJ’s fault. We were lucky to have so many dedicated players who knew their stuff to be on hand to help out that weekend preparing boards, figuring out capture card issues, swapping out sticks and so on. We all worked effortlessly behind the scenes.
  • All I wanted was a hamburger & I didn’t get my hamburger until DeadFlip & I went to catch our return home flights at the airport & he was kind enough to buy me dinner. Thanks, good buddy!!
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Burger Time!!!

I think I maybe got 20 hours of sleep the entire weekend I was there. I also messed my back up really bad sleeping on the floor the first night. My flight home was rather long and I tried to sleep thru most of it, but as soon as I touched down in Canada I was careening towards Milton to get to my job as I had promised to my boss before I left. The days that followed have been somewhat hard on me trying to get back into the swing of managing what happened on the week.

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Reflecting back I am so happy we all got to participate in a marathon such as this and I hope that have it again next year but bigger and with more guests from other courtiers to make this more of a global effort. It was all for the children and for the love of the games and I think overall the +$47K that was raised that weekend was a huge achievement for Twitch, Save the Children and all of us who were part of it. Thanks guys!

Don’t be afraid, it’s only a risk

A WEEK IN DANK ART

It was another busy week for almost everyone including myself. BBH only had his Roulette stream on Monday as to prepare for this arcade competition he was traveling to on the weekend and announced that he wouldn’t be streaming anything later on in the week. This week was also special for those in the arcade community because Twitch was hosting these players on the main page to help promote the Arcade Superplay event coming up on October 21, 22 and 23rd. It was an amazing chance to showcase a glimpse of the arcade community to the rest of the Twitch community and a great way to let people know about the event. There were points where there were over 1,000 viewers watching so it was a very exciting and nervous stream. Probably the hardest thing to do when you are featured on the main page of Twitch is to be doing something like a random roulette stream of arcade games most people haven’t heard of, but I felt it worked out great and people seemed to have enjoyed the broadcast. I was excited because a Street Fighter game came up and I got a chance to re-visit those characters again with the Dank Art.

Almost all the people I follow in the twitch arcade scene were featured on the main page that week but with time restrictions and working all my jobs I could only catch a few. I was able to catch when Funkdoc was on the main page and captured a few of the games he will be playing in the Superplay. I’m a huge fan of Knuckle Bash as some of my first incarnations of Dank Art feature characters from this obscure wrestling arcade game so I have to give some Elvis love whenever that game is playing. As soon as FD was finished, Macaw started up a stream playing a Castlevainia style game for the PC 98 called Rusty that featured this cute looking green haired anime girl with a whole cast of strange and crazy monsters to fight. The neat thing about these obscure games is it’s a great chance to see something you wouldn’t regularly.

Aquas had a few major changes this week- if you have been following him you’ll notice his page is coming up blank if you are typing in “Aquas_”. That’s because he recently got Twitch to change his nickname to just “Aquas” without the “_” at the end, so update your bookmarks. I’m super excited to see Aquas do his Ghouls n Ghosts run this weekend as it’s probably my most fave game he plays next to Batrider. He’s come a long way with his games and it’s really rewarding to see a good friend take something to such an intense level of skill over the years.
There was also more bird fan service for Macaw who seems to be back doing streams regularly. Part of the problem with Australia is that it’s so far away and the internet isn’t as great, but when it works he’s always got a few cool gems to share in his streams. Area 88, or as I knew it as UN Squadron on the SNES, is another cool game that I think almost everyone I knew was addicted to when we were kids. I own the game myself for SNES but I need to get more hours into it. That’s the great thing about watching others play as you just want to play the game yourself and soon other people are streaming all these neat obscure games again and sharing them with an audience.

ARCADE SUPERPLAY THIS WEEKEND

superplay_logoOriginally I was just going to sit at home and watch but I had a chance to get a really cheap flight so I pulled a few favours and now I’m going. I hope to be able to do some live Dank Art when I am there and help cheer on my friends in the arcade community when they are playing. All the money raised is going to an amazing cause, Save the Children so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make a donation. Make sure you are watching this weekend and look for my Dank Art popping up on Twitter while it’s happening!

It’s also my first time visiting San Fransisco though I am unsure if I will have enough time to visit everything people have been telling me to go see. I will be taking my camera to document the event and I will be posting the photos on this blog so you’ll all get a chance to see the event from my perspective.

There is a schedule here so make sure you try your best to be awake when your fave games are on!

DO THE EVOLUTION, BABY

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OMG look at how fab we look with that purple fin 

I have been dabbling with my EVO game for months but I think it’s come down to where I just need to sit down and play the game thru all the way to the end. EVO is one of the few games I own complete and it’s one of the gems in my personal gaming collection. It was also one of the very few and rare SNES games I played as a child and it haunted my dreams for years until I was able to emulate games using a computer.

 

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Celebration after murdering the Queen Bee!! Now I’m Queen Bee!!!

EVO is a 90’s era enix game which originally saw a release on the PC 98 system as 46 Okunen Monogatari: Harukanaru Eden e (Translates to 4.6 Billion Year Story: To Distant Eden”) where it’s more of a life game then an evolution game (though evolving your character is a key element to the gameplay). The PC 98 version is a holly grail game for myself and a few friends and someday I would hope to play a fan translated copy if that’s possible. The major differences between the two games are many where the PC98 version goes off with a more wild story where choices you made through the game will impact life itself on the planet and with your own character. I’m not going to pretend that I am an expert on the PC 98 version but if you are curious you can check out the amazing write-up on it on Hardcore Gaming 101 here.

I have always been obsessed with dinosaurs, evolution and world history and though this is a 100% fantasy game it plays to those obsessions I have. It’s not the best game and has a lot of major flaws with it such as enemies being able to constantly hit you with no invincibility time, the long and constant grinding and the stiff controls, but you get used to it. It’s a game you take your time with and explore, unlocking all sorts of crazy evolutions and monsters you can be while you follow the crazy storyline that runs for billions of years in this fictional planet.

BIG PAINT

screenshot-2016-10-17-11-30-11I finally got the courage to work on something large and not game related on my painting stream. I had this huge commission I need to finish so I decided it would be a great way to try out a few bigger projects on Twitch and show people how I pull together one of my traditional styled landscapes.

Screenshot 2016-10-17 11.31.24.pngWhere I live I am known more for my larger acrylic paintings that feature the beauty of the natural landscape around me where I live. I mostly focus on buildings and nature when I paint these larger pieces and they are always done in acrylics. I used to paint live at the Farmers Market for the last 10 years, my community has my work displayed publicly along the Main Street as banners that celebrate the Downtown, I have won awards, I made an interactive picture history book, I’ve done so much with my art in my short life that sometimes it boggles me. I love my projects and I always want to work on them with enthusiasm and great excitement.

screenshot-2016-10-17-11-31-36I am heavily influenced by the Group of Seven work, some of the most iconic painters in Canada of the late 20th century, though I try to incorporate my own style and colour themes in each piece I do. When I was younger I was always advised to go to a great art University and get a job doing graphic design, cartooning or working commercially though that never appealed to me. I always saw those jobs as a way to learn someone else’s style where it was always a huge emphasis by my father to develop my own unique style that would be recognized and loved. The only formal instruction I’ve had outside of public school and a few figure study classes has always been from my father and mostly it was just me hiding in my bedroom painting and drawing and dealing with my insomnia and my need to create.

I don’t know what people really thought of me as I was always known for being this very creative and artistic type but I gravitated towards computers, communication and literature when working on my studies. Once I was given a chance to enrol for this Electronic Engineering course for Wilfred Laurier University. I still have the acceptance letter after all these years but since money was never accessible to me and I wanted something more than sitting in a classroom for the next 10 years. I wanted this and I sacrificed a lot to get here and this isn’t even my plateau. I’m still starting out in my eyes and looking forwards to new excitements with my projects.

The secret to art is to remember that art isn’t competitive. People who want money and fame are quick to see the major downsides of wanting such things and they only lead to problems and depression.

Another chance at greatness

A Week in Dank Art

Not all the games I watch get Dank Art. Much of that has to do with my energy level but the games overall enjoyment is key to its chances of inspiring Dank Art. Games that are also played out for a while will get more art for them as there is more time for me to get screen shots, research a flyer or try a few practice sketches. I try to keep things as spontaneous as possible as that’s part of the fun as well.

I mailed off a bunch of Dank Art this week trying out some new things with envelopes and postcards. If the new postcards I bought hold up well when in transit they might be something I’ll try to use more often. The smaller 4×4 pieces of paper really work well for what I’m doing when I’m making Dank Art, but every now and then it’s nice to do a bigger piece and have a bit more fun with it.

If I havent mentioned this before, when Trap does his stream it’s being captured straight from his arcade cabinet. Theres a few streamers I follow with this kind of set up as it’s probably one of the more difficult setups to do for Twitch. It’s one thing to just own a machine but another to set everything up for capturing. I tend to enjoy streams that are different or unusual simply because the streamer made the effort to get things working so they could share that game with others.

On Saturday BBH did his Viewers Choice Extravaganza when I was…

…Visiting a Good Friend.

A few items for my trip.img_4600
I went to go visit my friend Jeff on Saturday. He wanted to go to this new restaurant he found on Yelp that looked really decent and asked if I could bring over a few NES games to try out. I asked if I could bring my paints so I could make some Dank Art while at his place. I knew BBH was doing the Viewers Choice show and since Jeff said it was OK I packed the Russian semi moist, two travel brushes and a pack of paper in a padded envelope.

The restaurant was located in St Jacobs which is a huge tourist spot so we got to stop inside the Antique shops and Farmers Market right after our lunch. They didn’t have any video games here, but they did have a few things of interest that I took photos of as well as a Bulk Barn. I got a few snacks here and we headed back to Jeff’s Apartment where he hasn’t been in a while.

It had been so long since Jeff had been there all his house plants were still gathered together on plastic in the livingroom. He explained to me it’s easier to keep paying the rent then to put everything into storage and then look for a new place later. In one corner he had his modest collection for Earthbound including the original game he had as a kid. We plugged it in and were surprised that all his original saves were still there, that battery still doing its job after all this time.

I made some Dank Art while we all played video games or looked online for really cheap Monopoly board games. It was nice to just hang out with no real big expectations and I had fun trying to make the Dank Art really cute and derpy looking to get a bunch of good laughs going. When I got ready to go, I turned and gave him the art I made that afternoon and he was so happy. “They really are the perfect size,” He said and we left for the bus.

Earlier on Friday morning I met up with Michelle and we took the girls out to the local farms to get a pumpkin. In town things were just grey and covered in this thick fog here-1

here-1-2it blasted away once we got to the side of the escarpment. It was like waking from a gloomy dream and suddenly minutes away from the good country where we’re going to pick some stuff and then eat it later.

here-1-5It’s so beautiful here and it doesn’t take much to notice it. It’s so close you could reach out and touch it as it passes by your window.

Bought and sold and bought again

A week in Dank Art

Over the weekend I busted into some special paper that I had which is designed to be postcards. This paper is the same texture and consistency as the Dank Art paper so it works quite nicely. I’m not sure how they will hold up against the elements in travel if that happens, but I guess I will need to try and mail them so I can find out how they hold up.
Most of this week was all practice streams by other people participating in the 1CC Marathon that took place on the weekend. I tried out the paper for both Trap, Fantastic Planet and BBH’s Arcade Roulette. I should mail these out to people & see how they hold up.

Later in the week, Funkdoc was learning a new strategy to play X-Men using a character he wasn’t used to as to improve his chances for getting a one credit clear for the Marathon. It’s really nice when you can see someone work really hard for that pay off, which was the really fun part of following an event like this. I made some really amusing Evil Zone art for Planets stream and notable was Macaw’s crazy delivery of old Windows 95 games from Japan. Everything was building up for the end of the week when the 1CC Marathon took place.

Fish or Die

I think this was the best I have ever played Sega Marine Fishing. It’s crazy too because every practice take I was doing ended in some disaster and I went into the run without what I felt was sufficient practice. Though somehow the fishing gods were smiling on me that day and I was able to save myself from near close calls that could have ended my game.

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#Sharkweek 

The worst possible situation is when you only need less than 300 points to advance when there is under 40 seconds to time left and thats when the biggest fish on the screen will troll you hard and bite your lure. You have less than a second to decide if its worth keeping it or to shake it off. If you don’t shake it off, the big fish might pull off just as it gets to the boat sucking away any time left for a recovery. I rolled with it and my practice paid off as I was able to bag that huge shark that tried to troll me in the Shallow stage with plenty of time left. I was more than impressed with how I did that I was excited and started to celebrate right away.

I was very happy when I watched the video afterwards and got to see what the chat was saying. I was very happy some of you came out to cheer me on and I just wanted to thank you :3

I made art for everyone who played in the 1CC Marathon! I posted the gallery up here if you want to have a look. Overall it was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time watching these games get played out. Thank you again to Pasky who single handedly put this entire event on himself

Dungeon Crawling

I streamed a bit of NES fun on Sunday when waiting for the 1CC Marathon to start up.

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Garfield is a nice touch

When I buy games I try to pick up 2-3 titles at a time. I like finding strange and unusual titles for my collection and scooping up a bunch of games in the $10-25 price range is way more satisfying then one really expensive gem. One of the games I bought this summer was Arkista’s Ring during a collecting trip in the town next to mine, Georgetown.

Screenshot 2016-10-03 20.40.31.pngThis game is so appealing from the cute music to the adorable 1 title sprite art that suddenly it’s my new favourite for the system. This game has very simple and easy to learn mechanics that you can start mastering it right away without the use of a manual. The difficulty does start to build up as you progress through the different levels of dungeons, however every room has a strategy that can be learned and exploited. Enemies can be killed with the characters bow and arrow or can use one of the magic items picked up after their death.

Arkista came out in 1990 and drew a lot of parallels to Zelda due to being a top down action adventure style game. It also only got a 3.5 rating in magazines when it came out which probably explains why you never saw this. It’s a typically average game and slightly dated next to titles such as Willow by Capcom (which came out in 1989). However, this style of top-down dungeon crawling adventure game is 100% my thing and it’s perfect for just casual play. A great find if you can pick it up.

Another great hit is Willow by Capcom for the NES which I picked up at the trade show for $10 a week ago. I wasn’t sure what I would get with Willow. I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie as I was a very small child when it was in theatres but I remember my parents did rent the movie for my brother and I and I just remember walking away from the TV for most of it. All I knew was that one of my friends told me it was special if I could get a copy of it and for $10 I think I got a deal.

This game is nothing like the arcade (big surprise) yet follows the movie’s plot a bit more closer in story with a very heavy Capcom influence. It’s an amazing RPG style action adventure game that I had overlooked for years because of my Willow bias. What really got me excited to play this game other then the amazing graphics was the enjoyable music that this game is packed with. It’s cheerful and catchy and makes you just want to keep playing and discovering new tunes by walking all over the world map. This game gets a bit technical in the menu system and I would like to put it in the category as Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, but Robin Hood needs it’s own blog post once I re-purchase that game.

I think over the next few weeks i’ll do more Willow play throughs and see what happens. I enjoy a nice little adventure game for my Sunday Streams and this game would be perfect to explore and have fun with for a few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

1CC Marathon Danknes

Here’s a bunch of all the Dank Art made for the 1CC Marathon. Thank you again to Pasky for doing a great job- I had a lot of fun both participating and watching! I also made a bunch of Dank Art durring it.

I’ll post my regular weekly recap soon, so please enjoy this gallery for now :3