New Perler bead art! (Pokemon, Splatoon, and Legend of Zelda)

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been a while since my last post, and I was hoping to have one final book discussion before 2016 was over. I read through the ttyl series (or Internet Girls series, as it’s apparently been called) last month, but it took longer than I thought it would. I just finished the final book the other day and I’m hoping to have a post about it before the week is over.

However, I’ve also made some new Perler art in the past month that I wanted to share! The first three were made as Christmas gifts for friends, so let’s take a look!

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The first one I made last month was the Pokemon Espeon, who was first introduced in Pokemon Gold/Silver. It was one of the new Eevee evolutions, and a counterpart to Umbreon, Eevee’s other new evolution. While Umbreon was one of the new dark types and represented the moon, Espeon here was a psychic type and represented the sun. The friend I made this for loves Espeon, so I looked through sprites of it from different games and chose one I thought she would like. This particular one is from Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, and I chose it because it looks like a meowing cat, which my friend is also a huge fan of.

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The next Perler project I did was another Pokemon one. Here I made Vileplume and Oddish attached to each other. The friend I made this for loves Vileplume and used one in her party when we played through Pokemon Red/Blue together last year, so making this particular project held double the meaning for me. I made an Oddish with it because I had an idea to make a mommy and baby Pokemon together and wanted to see how it came out. I was originally going to have Oddish on top of Vileplume’s head, like it was riding on the petals, but I thought it wasn’t going to look good so I ended up putting Oddish slightly in front of Vileplume instead.

These particular sprites came from Pokemon Silver. An interesting thing about the entire Oddish family in the earlier games is that although their artwork depicts them as having grayish-blue body tones, some of their sprites depict them as all black. These sprites did something interesting and kept hints of the blue in the otherwise black bodies, and I thought they looked really stylized and pretty badass. I knew my friend would appreciate something like that, so I chose these sprites to go with.

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My next project is the squid mascot from Splatoon, a team-based game for Wii U. I finally purchased one last year, my first new video game console in eight years. One of the games I’ve really enjoyed is Splatoon. You’re paired up with other players to form teams of four, and your goal is to cover the most ground with a paint-like ink. You play as Inklings, characters that look mostly human with the exception of their hair, which are squid tentacles formed to look like hairstyles. However, you can turn into a squid at anytime, which is mostly used to travel quickly through ink you’ve splattered on the ground.

One of my friends and I have been playing Splatoon online together once every week or so lately, and I thought he would appreciate a Perler piece from that game. Since it’s an HD console game, however, there are no sprites to use, so I took an image of the mascot squid and put a grid over it like I’ve done a few times before. I think it came out rather nice, although I think the spots on the bottom came out a little too blocky.

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Finally, I made some smaller Perler art for myself. These are some characters from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. Link’s Awakening is a game I haven’t played through entirely since I was a kid, despite being a big Zelda fan. There was no real reason why, either; for the past few years especially, I’ve always said I should replay it soon but for whatever reason I never did. Three or four years ago, I started a new file but stopped halfway through, again, for no real reason.

So about a week before Christmas, I was getting nostalgic for some of the games I got for Christmas in 2002. That was probably the best Christmas for me for a number of reasons, but gift-wise, I got very lucky and got three Game Boy Advance games and four Gamecube games. I wanted to play one of those Game Boy Advance games again, and I chose the port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, originally for the Super Nintendo. Now, I’ve played through this game many, many times since then, and although I always enjoy revisiting it, it’s unfortunately one of those games that I’ve played to death and feel like I just go through the motions while playing. I beat it in a few days, but I was still feeling nostalgic and still in the mood for a 2-D Zelda game. So I finally decided that this was the perfect time to finally revisit Link’s Awakening after so many years.

I could go on about my recent experience playing Link’s Awakening, but that’s probably better saved for its own separate post. The short version is, I loved it! It was so charming for a Zelda game, and since I haven’t played it fully since I was a kid and only had vague memories from then and a few let’s plays I’ve watched, it felt new. Anyway, I really wanted to make some Perler characters from this game, so I made a bunch of either my favorites or from characters I thought looked interesting. I think my favorite part of making these was that I had found this slightly off-white, almost ivory colored bag of Perler beads that I usually reserve for shades of gray, but here it’s perfect for how white appears on the Game Boy, making these Perler pieces feel extra retro. πŸ™‚

Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my Let’s Talk Books on the ttyl series, and possibly even a Link’s Awakening post shortly after that! Thanks everyone for reading, I hope you’re having a great week, and I definitely hope you’re going to have a great year! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler art and InkTober drawings!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

I feel like a broken record by this point, but once again… I don’t have as many Halloween Perler projects to share this week as I wanted to. In fact, it’s one again. :/ It took a lot longer than I anticipated, and it was sort of complicated too. But it’s better than nothing, right? So here it is, the last Halloween Perler project until next year — Death, from Super Castlevania IV!

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I’ve never actually played any Castlevania games before, so I can’t tell you much about Death here. It’s the Grim Reaper, and… well, I hear he’s super hard in the first game. I’ve seen some let’s plays of a few different Castlevania games though, and I know from those that they’re full of spooky monsters that are perfect for Halloween. I browsed some sprite sheets and went with Death because I just thought it looked cool.

Super Castlevania IV, like the Donkey Kong Country games, is one of those SNES titles with more complicated graphics. A lot of different colors, more realistic looking sprites — that sort of thing. I’ll admit, I was hesitant to even do Death. Honestly, I just wanted to make Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar from Pokemon and call it there. But I forgot that there aren’t many shades of purple for Perler beads, and I knew I was going to need more than was available, so I went here instead.

Which was stupid, because I ran into the exact same problem here except with blues. 😦

Yeah, I run into this problem a lot. And I’m still surprised, since there are actually a lot of blue shaded Perlers out there. But I never find any blueish purples or blueish grays, and those are the ones I always need. In this case, I had to improvise about half the colors, so it doesn’t look exactly like the sprite. I still think it came out all right, but it’s definitely one of my pieces I need to step back from to actually appreciate the details.

I’ve also got some more InkTober drawings. I didn’t hit 31, but since I started halfway through the month and still did at least one a day, I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m actually going to keep going with the InkTober challenge even though it’s over, so expect to see more in November. But here’s the next batch:

Anyway, Happy Halloween everyone! Dracula‘s about three quarters done, so hopefully I’ll have a review of it next week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler art! — Muffet (Undertale)

Hey everyone! I was planning on having more stuff made for this week’s post. I was originally going to do more smaller projects, but at the last minute decided I wanted to go back and do something Undertale-related. I was originally going to do Muffet, the spider that runs the bake sale, for one of my spoopy Perler projects anyway, so here she is a little earlier than planned!

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Muffet’s one of my favorite bosses in the game, and one of the most fun. I love how she’s using four of her arms to hold teacups and teapots; I always love when multi-armed characters do a bunch of things with their hands simultaneously (the boiler man fromΒ Spirited Away immediately comes to mind). Her eyes also wink both in unison and from left to right during the battle with her, so I gave her a couple of winking eyes to make the project a little more interesting.

I had some issues ironing her together. I had a feeling this was going to be too big to iron without problems, so I did the head, legs, and body (with arms attached) separately. I should have done the arms separately too, however; a decent number of beads didn’t fuse right away and it took a little more effort to get everything connected. Some beads also tilted somehow while I was ironing, leading to some awkward bead clusters that I decided to cut out and replace. I think I did a good job saving it, though; I’ve been through worse scenarios where entire sections had to be redone. Overall it’s pretty nice, but the arms are a little flimsy because they’re so thin, and the head definitely feels top heavy.

I feel a little bad for two short posts in a row, especially coming off from posts every other week or two, so I’m gonna share one more picture today:

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I’m very late to the game, but I decided to participate in InkTober this year. If you didn’t know, the goal of InkTober is to make one ink drawing per day for the month of October. I started yesterday, and ideally I’d like to make one every day for the rest of the month, but I might try for more than one to try catching up. The first prompt was supposed to be speed themed, so I drew Sonic. I’m going to try doing these drawings a little more from memory and by copying as little from a source material as possible, although this particular pose still ended up being very similar to one of the official art pieces from the Genesis days.

Anyway, thanks for reading everyone! I hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler bead art! — Boos (Yoshi’s Island)

Hey everyone! It’s October, and you know what that means! It’s time again for spoopy Halloween crafts! I have a lot of ideas for what I’d like to work on this month, but to start I made some new Perler bead art of the little and big Boos from Yoshi’s Island on SNES.

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I think most people that play games know Boos from the Mario series. But for those that don’t, they’re cute ghosts that are very shy. When you face them, they cover their faces and stop in their tracks. But when you turn around, they chase after you. I’m really happy with how these came out. They’re more detailed than the ones found in previous Mario games, including the Boos I made last year from Super Mario World.

Unfortunately, that’s all I got today. Normally I would have waited until I had more done, but I wanted something to post this week since I’ve been spacing reviews out a little longer than usual lately. It’s been taking me longer to read books, so unfortunately I don’t have as much to talk about. I’m reading Dracula right now for Halloween, so hopefully there will be a Let’s Talk Books about that before the month is over. But in the meantime, October will probably have more craft-focused posts.

Anyway, hope everyone’s having a great week! πŸ™‚

Let’s Talk Books — How Games Move Us: Emotion By Design by Katherine Isbister

Today’s book is different from the usual stuff I talk about in these posts. This time I’m going to be discussing a book that’s more like an analytical essay. And normally, I probably wouldn’t cover something like this since I don’t have as much to say (I normally wouldn’t read something like this, for that matter), but considering the subject matter I wanted to not only read it, but at the very least briefly talk about it.

First though, a couple of random things about me. I like to read. I also like to play video games. Despite most of my posts discussing books, if I had to choose I think video games hold more of a place in my heart. For better or worse, at the end of the day my video game related experiences stick out to me more than my reading ones. I don’t really know why, because both are important to me. Maybe one of the reasons is because I’m more of a visual and audio person, so when something particularly interesting or moving is happening in a TV show, movie, or video game, it naturally grips me more easily. That’s not to say there aren’t moments like that when I read, but I’ll admit that between a reading year that’s usually providing me with experiences that are mostly only okay at best and maybe even how quickly I go through them, I’ve been finding it more difficult to get those same memorable moments from books alone.

Maybe it’s also because of my current surroundings. When I was in high school, most of my friends were into video games so naturally that played a bigger role in my life. When I studied creative writing in college, books were naturally more of a focus because the people around me all had that in common. At the moment more people I know are into video games than reading books, so I guess as a result I’ve started leaning towards that side of the spectrum again.

But that whole time, I always thought it was weird that most of these people in my life either liked one activity or the other, but rarely both. And I can’t help but ask, why? Both are on the nerdier side of life, and I can get why hardcore readers and hardcore gamers might not like each other, but it always struck me as kind of weird there isn’t more of a shared interest.

Which brings me to today’s book, How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design. I felt like the title said it all: a book showing how video games can be as emotionally captivating as any other medium. I was pretty interested and hopeful that maybe this would be something that could show other people that video games have more potential than they may give them credit for.

How Games Move Us is separated into four main sections. The first takes a look at different parts of game design that help create a meaningful experience. Katherine Isbister talks about things like how player characters and the role they play within each game affect how the experience impacts the player.

The second section is about playing with other people and how that leaves a lasting impression on people. Whether it’s with people in the same room or one person playing online with many, the author explores how playing with others affects us.

The third section is more or less about motion controls, or using movement to play a game. Different examples of games show how physically moving contributes to a more immersive experience and how there’s more potential to connect with others through games like these.

The final section discusses examples of how video games build intimacy between people, but honestly it feels more like an extension of the second section. At the end of the day, all of these sections basically try to apply how emotional reactions can stem from game experiences. I think as a whole, it accomplishes this. But like I mentioned before, this book is more like a big analytical essay. And I think it kind of loses me there.

I enjoy a lot of analytical reviews on YouTube, so I don’t think being analytical is solely why I didn’t like it more. It’s more because this is like a scientific analysis. Despite talking about emotions and connecting with people, the entire book has that robotic feel you might expect from reading someone’s school essay on any given subject, filled with source listings in the middle of the read and everything. It feels like a formal presentation, and for a book about emotions and connecting with others I don’t think that’s the best approach. Like I said, How Games Move Us technically tells us how games connect people. But the way it told us could have been a lot more… moving.

The best parts were actual stories told by people. For example, a couple people that played the online game City of Heroes wrote about their experiences. There was a mother and daughter that played, for example, and it was a bonding experience. One of them gave the other a bunch of items in-game, and even though they weren’t great items she kept them the whole time they played because they viewed them as sentimental gestures. Another player wrote about how when the servers were going to shut down and the game would be finished forever, he reflected on all the friends he’d made and unique backstories for characters he’d seen, and how a bunch of them played until the last moments before the game shut down for good for one last hurrah. That was sad and a little moving, and I wish there were more personal stories like this in the book.

I want to say I was expecting something different, but realistically I guess this is the only thing the book could have been. After all, even though I’m sure a lot of people want to hear more personal stories about how video games affected them, a collection of them from random people probably wouldn’t sell as well as this academic essay on how game design affects people at an emotional level.

For that matter, I’m not really sure how well something like this sold. Despite coming out this year, I couldn’t find a copy in my library’s district or in any bookstores; I had to get this one online. I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but if you happen to have a copy in your library or know someone that has it, How Games Move Us might be an interesting read if you’re into this type of essay format.

The thing is, I don’t know who I could recommend this for. Gamers will probably appreciate some of it, but it’s mostly stuff they probably already know. And people that don’t play games might be interested, but I don’t think they’ll be able to fully appreciate what the author was trying to convey due to the mostly scientific tone of the book.

It’s just a shame because I was really hoping this book could have brought a common ground between gamers and readers. But in the end, I don’t think it will.

Or maybe it will. I don’t know. Who the hell am I to say?

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

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Info for my edition of How Games Move Us: Emotion By Design:

Published 2016 by Mit Press

Hardcover, 192 pages

ISBN 9-780262-034265

New Perler bead art! (Undertale part 2)

Warning: Undertale spoilers

Hey guys! This week I have a few more Perler projects I recently did, and they’re all Undertale-related again. Here we go!

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First up is one of my favorite side characters, Napstablook. He — or she? I don’t think Napstablook was identified as any gender. Anyway, Napstablook appears early on in the game, trying not to be noticed by you. You can visit their house later in the game and lie on the floor with them, getting lost in a relaxing trance while listening to music. Napstablook has extremely poor self-esteem, resulting in one of my favorite lines that goes something like, “after a meal I like to lie on the floor and feel like garbage.” Naturally, a truly relatable character. πŸ™‚ Given the nature of their character, I felt it appropriate to have them lie down on my music collection.

I was recently at a convention where I met another Perler artist that gave me a great tip about ironing beads. He said instead of putting the beads over the pegs on the pegboard, put them between the pegs instead. I didn’t know if that would make a huge difference or not, but Napstablook was the first project I tried this with and HOLY CRAP it’s so much better! The process of ironing is significantly more smooth, even on my warped pegboards. The beads even fuse more quickly and easily. White’s always been the color that gave me the most trouble when ironing, but Napstablook came out very nicely, very quickly. I’d highly recommend trying it this way if you don’t already!

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Next up is another one of my favorite characters, Undyne. (Honestly, there’s too many characters from Undertale that qualify has “one of my favorites.” I genuinely enjoy so many of them equally.) She’s the captain of the royal guard that Papyrus desperately wants to join, as well as his good friend. Initially she hunts you down close to the halfway point of the game as a mysterious, armored badass. There are a few scenes where she attacks and you barely escape, but once you reach a certain point she takes her helmet off and vents some steam. She hates humans and is determined to kill you and take your soul, the last one needed to break the barrier keeping the monsters imprisoned underground.

If you choose to save her life after the fight, and if you haven’t killed any monsters, you can join Papyrus later to hang out at Undyne’s house. She’s angry you’re there, still being sour that not only did she lose to a human, but that the human also saved her life, but Papyrus challenges her to be your friend and leaves you two to get to know each other. She’s in casual clothes, which I chose to make her in.

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I also made a huge Undyne from her battle sprite. Well, not exactly her battle sprite, but the one used on the battle screen before the final fight at the end of the Pacifist route. I always liked Undyne’s many expressions. Her huge smile and frustrated faces are probably my favorite, but for this I chose the huge smile. Like the other two projects, I tried the new method of putting beads between the pegs instead of on top, and it continued to amaze me. Normally I’d separate something this big into different sections to fuse, and then fuse those sections together afterwards. But for this I only did the head and the entire body. The entire body was six whole pegboards and I didn’t have one issue fusing them. Maybe it’s because Undyne is incredibly thin, but I was so happy I was able to finish something this big so quickly.

My only real problem is with the sprite itself. This sprite makes it look like Undyne’s not wearing any pants. :X I mean I guess I could have made a belt or something but… ah, I don’t know. Didn’t really want to mess with the original sprite. πŸ˜›

Anyway, that’s all for today! Hope everyone’s having a great week! πŸ™‚

New Perler bead art! (Undertale)

Warning: Undertale spoilers, I guess

Hi everyone! I didn’t get to finish the book I wanted to talk about this week, so instead I’m going to share more Perler bead art I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. And this time, it’s all Undertale related.

I’d be willing to bet that even if you’re not into video games, some of you have probably run into something Undertale-related on the internet. It became insanely popular last year and if you didn’t see a shitload of praise for the game, then you probably saw a ton of hate or criticism. Personally, I love the game. It’s still stuck in my head even months after I played it. I can see how it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think most of the hate for Undertale comes from the overwhelming amount of praise and fandom people run into on the internet. Too much of a good thing can always sour someone’s experience, after all.

Anyway, after making a bunch of complicated projects for my friends I was really looking forward to something simpler. Undertale has pretty simple graphics; I guess it’s something between what you’d expect from an NES and SNES game. I was in the mood for simple and still had Undertale stuck in my head, so I just started making them.

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I started off with Sans and Papyrus because, well… c’mon. They’re Sans and Papyrus. They’re one of the best parts of the game. When I didn’t know anything about Undertale and first checked out someone playing it, Sans and Papyrus’ banter after the first area was the point I realized I would really like this game. Papyrus is deluded with ideas of grandeur and wants to join the royal guard, while his brother Sans slacks off and doesn’t take anything too seriously. They’re both supposed to capture any humans that fall into the Underground (i.e., you), but Papyrus is the only one really trying. He enthusiastically leaves simple puzzles to block your path while trying his best not to solve them for you. They become pretty good friends after a while… if you let them, anyway.

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I also made Temmie, one of the random enemies/NPCs. Temmie is an adorable, derpy dog/cat thing. Most of them don’t speak particularly well, but I find them adorable all the same. The one running the shop in the secret Temmie Village is trying to save “muns” so she can go to “cooleg.” πŸ™‚

Something I didn’t know until after I finished the game was that this character is based off of Temmie Chang, one of the character designers and artists that worked on Undertale. I think it’s really cool she got to include herself in the game like this. I think it shows a nice appreciation for her work. πŸ™‚

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After that initial batch, I kind of decided I wanted to make all the characters at some point. So next up is Toriel, aka “Goat Mom.” She’s the sweet woman that finds you after you fall into the Underground and adopts you. She leads you through the Ruins, solving puzzles for you in an attempt to protect you. She’s very sweet and motherly, and the music that plays when you reach her home is incredibly relaxing. Go look up “Home” from the Undertale soundtrack on YouTube if you’re curious. This Perler piece is of Toriel reading in her chair by the fire, something I thought would look very appropriate hanging above my bookcase. πŸ™‚

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The last character I made was Flowey, and as you can probably tell, this isn’t the only Perler piece I made of a character’s boss fight. Flowey is a particularly interesting character in the context of Undertale’s story. In a game that treats each particular playthrough as its own timeline, Flowey is the only character (other than Sans) that’s aware of each timeline. He breaks the fourth wall in this way, and even talks about it with you.

Flowey was the smallest of these pieces representing Undertale’s battle sprites, but he still took up the better part of a 2×2 grid of pegboards. He ironed fairly well, but the others took a bit more time.

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And of course, Sans and Papyrus. By the way, sorry that some of these photos are of the projects tacked up on my wall. I kind of forgot to take pictures for some of them on the counter I usually use and didn’t feel like taking them down. πŸ˜›

Anyway, Sans was okay. Since battles sprites are mostly black and white, fusing the beads was interesting. Normally black is easy to fuse and white is hard, but since the entire projects are just black and white they fused more easily than I thought. Sans took up a 2×3 grid of pegboards, so I fused three sections (2×1 each) and then fused those together (since I’ve found bigger projects to fail fusing properly if done all at once).

Papyrus is a pretty lanky dude with a pose I can’t help but fall in love with every time I look at him. There’s a lot of white here, and even with the black beads surrounding them I had some trouble fusing everything together. Papyrus took up 10 pegboards and had to be ironed in several different sections until he came together, and even after he still feels a little flimsy because of how thin he is in certain places. But in the end he’s definitely one of my favorite pieces, possibly my biggest to date.

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Toriel is about as big as Papyrus, but considering her shape I used the same fusing methods as I did with Sans. It took a particularly long time to fill in all the black beads on her muumuu. I ended up trying to make small random patterns out of the black beads just to help beat the mundane nature of filling it all in.

One thing I’m not sure of is why Toriel has red eyes. I thought it might have been a mistake on her sprite sheet, but I looked at a video of the fight against her and they’re there. I think it’s a nice touch of color, but does anyone know why it’s like this?

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And of course… Temmie. :3

Thanks for reading, everyone! Hope you’re all having a great, creative week! πŸ™‚

New Perler bead art! (Donkey Kong Country, Pokemon, and Harvest Moon)

GEEZ. I don’t know what’s been up with me but I’ve been avoiding posting anything here for WAY too long. And it’s not like I don’t have the time. Just haven’t been feeling up to doing social things, lately. Or maybe it’s laziness. I dunno.

Anyway, as promised almost three freaking weeks ago, I’ve had new Perler stuff I’ve wanted to show off for a while now. I had a lot of downtime this past winter after the new year and I was trying to put a lot of effort into making things I’ve promised my friends for a while now.

One of my friends and I are huge fans of the Donkey Kong Country series on Super Nintendo. He asked me if I could make him the four playable characters from those three games, and although I said yes, I put it off for a while because the Donkey Kong Country sprites are more complicated than your average Super Nintendo sprite.

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The first character I made was Dixie Kong, first introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2 and then starred in her own game in Donkey Kong Country 3. She’s got a helicopter spin to slow her fall, making her great for gaining a lot of horizontal movement across pits and other hazards. This sprite is from Donkey Kong Country 2, when she completes a level and rocks out on an electric guitar with her hair. You could say she’s playing… hair metal. πŸ™‚

I’m not sorry.

Anyway, Dixie was the easiest of the four Kongs to make, mostly because there were more yellows and purples to mix things up. As you’ll see from the other Kongs, the hardest part of these characters was staring at sprite sheets zoomed in at 800% and trying to differentiate a hundred different shades of brown from each other and deciding which of the five or so shades I had to use and where. All right, there weren’t really a hundred shades of brown, but there were a lot more than I was used to.

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After Dixie I made Diddy Kong. He first showed up in the original Donkey Kong Country and then starred in Donkey Kong Country 2. He’s probably the most nimble and fastest of the four characters, so players that enjoy faster moving platform games with greater control probably prefer playing as Diddy Kong. The sprite I used was also from Donkey Kong Country 2, when Diddy finishes a level and beat-boxes with a boom box in a very 90s style.

Honestly, I’m not too happy with how Diddy came out. Something just looks off, both with the colors and the shape. Diddy probably took me the longest to do because of redoing him so often because I was unsatisfied. He had more shades of brown than Dixie and I didn’t have enough to match, so I had to make some decisions about what to use and where. The sprite also, strangely enough, didn’t have Diddy’s shirt. There was just this awkward brown shadow where it should have been. I filled that in with dark reds for his shirt instead; he just seemed naked without it.

While I didn’t like how it came out, everyone else I showed it to did, so maybe I’m just being too hard on myself. :3

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Next I made Donkey Kong himself, strangely only playable in the first game. It’s pretty weird that a series called Donkey Kong Country only has the titular character available to play as in one game. But I mean whatever. All three games are great and I love them and their characters each. Donkey Kong is a bit bigger and slower than Diddy and Dixie, but there’s a few bigger enemies that only Donkey Kong can defeat with all that extra weight. He can also do this ground slap thing to make hidden items unearth from the ground, but I don’t think anyone actually uses it. Not until Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, anyway.

Considering that he’s basically naked except for his tie, I thought Donkey Kong would be the most difficult of the Kongs to make, with even more shades of brown to deal with. But strangely enough, he wasn’t as frustrating as Diddy. There were actually some yellow-oranges thrown in there, so that helped mix things up a bit. His sprite is from the intro to Donkey Kong Country, when he interrupts his father Cranky Kong playing the music from the original Donkey Kong arcade game and busts a move with his own radical jams from his 90s boom box.

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Finally, I made Kiddy Kong. Everyone hates Kiddy Kong. And the only game he’s in, Donkey Kong Country 3. I like him though. He’s a toddler, and I think he’s funny. And this is coming from a person that doesn’t even like kids! I don’t know what everyone’s problem with this character or Donkey Kong Country 3 is. They feel just as natural a part to the series as any of the other characters or games. To me, anyway. Even the friend I made this for hates Kiddy Kong and the third game, so I don’t even know why he wanted me to make him.

Kiddy is bigger and slower like Donkey Kong, and also has some enemies only he can defeat. He can also tumble roll forward, and if you do so off a ledge and just as you’re about to hit water, you can bounce off the surface and reach greater heights (although I could have sworn I’ve done the same thing with Dixie once, as well).

Honestly, I think Kiddy came out the best. He was the easiest, too. The baby blue onesie was a sight for sore eyes. I forgot to take a picture of him at home, though, so I snapped a photo when I gave the Perler art to my friend and he tacked them to his wall.

It was such a relief to finally have these done. I thought complicated Perler art was finally finished. But boy was I wrong.

To be fair, though, my next project was easier.

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This is Dugtrio, one of the original Pokemon taken from the original Pokemon Red and Blue versions on Game Boy. Why Dugtrio, you may ask? Well last fall, another one of my friends felt like playing a Pokemon game. I had also been in the mood for some Pokemon, and we decided that it would be fun to play through a game together. We decided on the original one, as we were both still very fond of it. I played through Blue, and she played through Red. “But wait!” she said. “Since you’re playing Blue and I’m playing Red, why don’t we pursue out childhood dreams and complete the Pokedex! As mature 20-something adults!”

And so, from last fall through the middle of this past winter, we played through the original Pokemon games on Game Boy, on actual Game Boys with non-rechargeable batteries, using a link cable to trade version exclusive Pokemon. It was a long, arduous, unnecessary journey, but we did it. And it was amazing.

I’ll leave the nostalgia and personal gratification for another time perhaps. But Dugtrio was her favorite member of her team so I offered to make her one out of Perler beads to remember the time two mature, 20-something adults played a video game from the 90s and spent too much time capturing every Pokemon because advertising from 20 years ago told us it was the right thing to do.

But I couldn’t stop there. I had to do more. I thought it would be cool to make custom trainer Perler sprites of us in the style of the Game Boy games.

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I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed with myself. It took a loooong time, but after copying sprites for so long, it was legitimately satisfying to gain some experience making a custom project. It wasn’t easy, though.

So from past experiences working on my Princess Kenny project from a while back, I thought the easiest way to make this was to take a photo of my friend, layer a grid over it, and use the spaces in between each line as pixels and create the Perler piece like I was using a sprite sheet. Long story short, it wasn’t working out as well as I wanted. I wanted more realistic proportions so that’s why I was going by the photos, and while I got them the Perler art just wasn’t turning out great. I tweaked bits and pieces here and there to make it look more like a character from the games without having the character look too much like a little kid (since most of the trainers from the games are kids).

Eventually I started using the rival’s final battle sprite as a reference, since the poses he and my friend were in were similar. That helped, and it was looking better, but still not great. The rival is a guy and my friend is a girl, and I needed help with curves.

After looking through more trainer sprites, I eventually turned to Pokemon Gold and Silver sprites from the next generation of games on the Game Boy Color. They still had the same size and aspect ratio as the original Game Boy games, so they actually helped a lot. And lo and behold, Whitney, the third gym leader, was in an almost perfect pose to use as a better base. I changed the head and clothes up, obviously, but the shape improved a lot after referencing her. And in the end I think it turned out great. My friend loved it, too! I also made an overworld trainer sprite, too, but that was so easy I don’t feel like there’s anything I really have to say about it.

And finally, the same friend actually commissioned me to maker her some custom Perler art. I was very hesitant to take money, considering she was a good friend and I’ve made her stuff for free before, but she insisted and kind of forced me to take something for my time and effort.

She’s a big fan of the Harvest Moon games, at least some of the earlier ones. They’re a series of farming/life simulating games with a cute look to them. She wanted me to make the main character and a cow from Harvest Moon 64. I thought it was going to be complicated, considering the game is from the Nintendo 64 and anything past 16 bits tends to get too complicated to make Perler bead art. But since the game was cartoony and I thought it used sprites, I didn’t think it would be too challenging.

Well as it turns out, I couldn’t find any sprite sheets for Harvest Moon 64. I’ve never played the game before, just seen screenshots. And the game’s characters looked extremely similar to those from Golden Sun on the Game Boy Advance (I think they’re made by the same company?). Now that’s a game I’m very familiar with, and I know there’s sprite sheets for that. So I was surprised there weren’t any for Harvest Moon 64.

Eventually I decided to layer another grid over a screenshot and I worked from there. Except it turns out I didn’t even need a grid, because the screenshot became pixelated enough to work from. Problem was, it was pretty difficult to tell where the character ends and the background begins. This was another tough project. Like the Donkey Kong Country characters, there were a lot more colors to boil down to the few shades available as Perler beads, and nothing I seemed to do looked as good as in-game. Eventually I just started calling my own shots.

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I’m still not thrilled with how the main character turned out. Something feels very off. Maybe the eyes? I don’t know. I really wish there were more blues to choose from so I could have done something better with the hat and overalls. But my friend loved it, and I guess when the person that’s paying you likes it that’s all that matters, right?

 

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I think the cow came out much better. First of all… it’s a cow. Black and white and greys. Even with the bigger color scheme of the Nintendo 64, it’s not that complicated with black and white and greys. But I thought it was boring by itself, so I made a nice little meadow for it to roam in. And I think the meadow helps make this one of the best Perler projects I’ve ever done.

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And finally, partially because I took forever making these and partially because I wasn’t happy at all with how the main character looked, I made a little magnet of the main character, but from the Game Boy Advance game Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. I think he looks much better like this.

And this is about half of the new pieces I’ve made since I shared my latest Perler update almost seven months ago. As you can see, I’ve been stepping up my game with these Perler projects, but I was happy to go back to something a little simpler. I’m not sure if the next post will cover more Perlers or not. I just finished an interesting book – Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami. But it was kind of confusing and I’m not sure if I can make a proper post about it, but I’d at least like to try. If that’s not up for the next post, then expect more Perler stuff, this time focusing on Undertale.

Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

New Perler Bead Art!

Hey everyone! I’ve had a pretty busy week, I’ve got nothing I want to review, and nothing I really felt like making a post about. You know what that means! Time to show off more Perler bead art!

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I recently made three more characters from Final Fantasy Tactics — Delita, Agrias, and Mustadio. I feel like I’ve ranted enough about that game before, so I’ll spare you here. πŸ™‚

Sorry it’s not much of a post. Hopefully next time I’ll have something a little better to share. Hope everyone’s having a good week!