Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Summer Girl - Drawing

Hey there. Today i want to share my recent drawing of a hot summer girl.

Here she is (18+ as usual):

Summer Girl - Drawing / Econ Dude

Resting on a beach

This image took me a record amount of time, more than 8 hours in total and 2 days of work, but overall i am quite happy with the result.

As a basic reference (body position and clothing) i used a photo of insta model @lexivixi, but i changed a lot: eyes, legs and many other things.

Colors and the general style are also different from the original photo.

I struggled a lot with legs and high hills, because i wanted to used a picture of them which i made separately before, so integrating them was quite fun. I worked on shadows and colors a lot, but because i am still a beginner, i couldn't make everything perfectly.

I could have added a few other details in addition to two rocks and a lighthouse, but at the end i decided to concentrate on the physical body more.

This is one of the best pictures in my collection, but i am far from the level i want to achieve, although i can see a slow progress.

Also here is the step by step GIF animation of the drawing process:

Summer Girl - GIF animation / Econ Dude

As you can see i changed my mind many times in the process

You can find more about this drawing in my Russian Blog.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Drawing - Hot Eastern Girl

Hey there. I have a small update for my blog in English, a drawing to be precise, a drawing of a hot eastern girl. Here she is:

Drawing - Hot Eastern Girl / Econ Dude

This picture took me a while

Overall i am happy with the result you are seeing, but obliviously it is far from a good work or a decent piece of art. It's just another image during my practice.

As a basic reference here i used a real photo of an Asian Insa model - @missrosiely, because i felt like she is going to be banned very soon for photos she is posting (they are too provocative), so i felt that i should draw here before it is too late :)

I used only 10-20% of her photo as a reference (basic body shape and a dress), then i went with my own imagination.

I am not satisfied with the way i completed eyes and lips, this part was very hard for me and, as always, proportions is my biggest struggle. Although after all i look at the result and... i am fine with it, actually this is one of my best drawings of all times.

It just my general level of skills is low.

As you can see she is sitting on a rock and in the reference she had glasses on, but i couldn't draw them in a good way. I added a necklace too, which wasn't necessary.

This image took me 6+ hours, which is a lot by my standards, i was making it using sai 2.0 and my cheap and basic Wacom Tablet.

It is supposed to be an Asian beautiful girl, hot, but cote, the perfect combo, but on the half way i decided to re-brand it as an Arabic female. I just added a tattoo which says "Jamila" (beautiful). Also green eyes was my idea, of course.

There are some Arabic woman with green eyes, it is rare, but they exist.

Almost forgot, here is the GIF (animation) of the drawing process:

GIF and Animation - Hot Eastern Girl / Econ Dude

Even if a drawing has a poor quality it's quite fun to watch, isn't it? 

You can read more about this drawing in my Russian blog:

And here is the list of links to some of my work in English:

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Tribes Arena Game Update (New version 1.5)

I made a new version for a strategy game which i am developing for a long time. In this version (1.5) you can find an important bug fix and a few more fun things.

Tribes Arena Game Update (New version 1.5) / Econ Dude

Tribes Arena

The main guide for this game can be found here:

Also you can check what i did in the last version (1.4).

Here is the list of changes in 1.5:

  • New reform - careful fishing
  • Small fix of reforms view
  • Renaissance bug fixed
  • Library building cost increased
  • Boats repair cost increased 0.15 => 0.3
  • Boats wood price increased 25 => 75
  • Pick a religion reminder
  • 10 names for quest traders
  • King Glory prefixes
  • King age prefixes
  • 30 new names for cities
  • Small design updates

I fixed a big bug with the renaissance event and added one new reform, which allows players to use lakes forever, with this reform fish there in never going to expire.

You can find the game here:

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Why do Indie game developers quit?

Today i want to talk about something which was in my mind for a long time. For more than 7 (or even 9+) years i had a hobby of making games with Game-Maker studio (GMS). I started as a child with drawing games in my school notebooks and then, when i found out about GMS, i was amazed with this platform. With simple tools and without any knowledge of programming i could create games of my dreams. Later, of course, i learned its language (GMSL) and i think now i know pretty much everything about this platform.

So i was making games for PC when i started, when they added tools to compile it into Android apps i started to make games for Android.

Those who know Russian can visit my blog or YouTube channel where i was making educational videos about 'how to make games with GMS'.

All my games are stored here.

Why did i stop making indie-game? / Econ Dude English

This story is a bit depressing, so i made a depressing drawing for it

Now my YT channel has 4.5k+ subs, but it is abandoned. I am still occasionally writing stuff into my Russian blog which has a big section about gamedev and game development as well as many other sections about other topics i am interested in.

At first i showed my games to my friends (because the internet wasn't as big as it is now back then), but later i uploaded them to Google Play and shared them on my platforms (YT and blog). The biggest success i have had in those years was a game about Math which had 50,000+ downloads and average rating of 4.5+ on Google Play. Unfortunately i had to remove it from the market because Google has one billion rules and restrictions and it constantly updating its requirements for the games. I just had no time to follow on all updates and then they would just remove the game. This happened with many of my games, so to stay current on the market now you have to watch and update your games quite often.

I still have some games published there (here), the best one has 10k+ downloads and doing well (this one), but i couldn't make any money with it and again, google released some new rules, so they might remove this game too after a while.

Time issue

I enjoyed making games, but as you get older you just can't spend all your free time on it, making games requires a lot of time, people who never did that can't even imagine how hard it is to create even a simple game by yourself.

The graphic part itself can take you 50% of the time and like 30% of the time is about some weird stuff like uploading the game, promoting it, etc. The codding and programming doesn't take as much as people might expect, i can create a working prototype for some games for like a day (8-12 hours), but the rest few weeks or more would be about something else.

I made this Battle City remake for like a day

The time was my biggest problem and the reason i quit gamedev. You can't afford to do something and spend like 8 hours a day on it if it doesn't pay you any money. You can do that when you are 18, 22 or even 25, but later it becomes impossible.

I know that many people managed to find time on regular job and kept doing what they like, but i couldn't managed it, real life required all my time.

Money issue

As a said earlier money is also a problem. I'd tell you a funny story. I was making more money on teaching how to makes games than on the games themselves. And this was like 50 to 1 ratio. I made some money thru YouTube ads, and on my blog, but i barely made any money with my games directly. I tried to integrate ads there (they were generating a very small money and they are very annoying to players), i tried to released not free games, but obviously it is very hard to charge people even $1 when there are 100+ similar free game on the market.

So i came to a simple conclusion that making games doesn't worth my time.

I think it is a huge problem for indie-developers.

You have to learn. Always

In gamedev you can't just learn one language and stop, you have to always learn something new. People asked me like: why don't you learn Unity, C++ or something else? Well, it took me years to learn even GameMaker, how can i make myself to learn a completely new language? Plus, as you get older, your brain is not as strong as it used to be, so learning gets harder. Sure, i still can learn new things, for example i am practicing drawing, illustration and graphic design, this is a fun thing for me and a new hobby, but learning a new language is not a piece of cake.

I am writing this article in English, but my native language is Russian. It took me like 5+ years to get to this level of English, and even my current level is not good enough to compete with natives. I think computer languages are similar to this example.

One of my prototypes. It was online 1 vs 1 duel

Yeah, one more thing. To be successful in gamedev you have to know English, this is the must. You can't make games in your local language because there is no big market for it, plus codding is in English anyway so you have to know it.

It is amazing how much you have to know to make games as an indie developer. Learn a foreign language, learn a programming language, learn how to draw, learn how to write your own music and sounds, learn how to advertise your game, learn how to test it, etc.

It is loco.

And what do you get with those amazing set of skills? Nothing.

You have to work in the industry

If you don't make good money being a sole developer, maybe you should try to find a job in the industry? The IT sector is booming, we hear stories how people are making crazy money there, so why not to go to work in Google or Blizzard or something?

Well... I think you know the answer already.

They don't need you most of the time. A person with low level skills in all fields. Sure you know this, you know that, you can draw, you can write music, but do you have a real life experience working in the industry? And did you study computer engineering at your college? Nope, most of indie-game developers did not study it in an institution, they learned it by themselves as i did and their profession might be totally different (mine is economics).

Plus, there is another problem.

A company wants a niche specialist. For example they want a guy why can do only testing and who does it well. But it is too easy and boring for an indie developer, right? We can do everything! Well, they don't need those geniuses. They need a person who can do one thing, but do it well and have proven experience in it. That is why even if an indie-guy finds a ob in the industry, he would need to specialize and start from the bottom.

It is quite depressing especially for those, why already had some success with their games. You think like: i made much better games than this company is making and i did it alone, so why would i even work for them? Also they are just trying to make money, they make boring cliche games and think only about monitizaion.

I'll go back to indie and make my own games with blackjack and...

At some point i even tried to make something like SimCity

So you go back and forth, after all you can't stick to one thing and fail.

I was lucky to work in the industry a little bit, i worked in company called Virtonomics, it is an online business simulation game.

The work was great, they allowed me to test things occasionally, to come up with new game ideas and to work with other developers to implement them. In addition to that this was not just a game, this is a game about economics, which is my major, so there i could combine all my interests. There i also worked on translation, tech support and many other things. After a while i quit due to personal reasons, but this was the best job in my life by far.

Why did i stop making indie-games? / Econ Dude English

Stock-market game simulation which i made a while ago

You can imagine how lucky it is to get a job like this? It is close to impossible, because there is only one economics game simulation in the world like this one, it is just too complicated thing to make. An even they are not super successful, they are not a super-rich IT company. To get this job i worked there more more than 2 years for free as a volunteer.

So, jumping from indie-gamedev to a job in the industry in not an easy task. I am not saying that it is impossible, it is possible if you start from like a tester position or something, but it might be totally not something you have expected.

You'd get tired of games

When for 10 years, or even for all your life everything you do is about games (you play them, you make them, you speak about them and it is all you do), after a while you might actually get sick of it a little bit (or a lot). You'd be so tired of starring at the monitor so you'd rather do literally anything else, but this. So for me i found a job which is not related to games at all, which is 100% in real life and with people, and where i don't even have a PC in front of me.

At some point i just got very tired of games in general, i couldn't talk about it, i couldn't make them, i couldn't look at them. This happened before with me a few times, but at one point i felt like i had to take a long vacation and change my field.

One of my earliest games when i made a melee fight function

Plus with all those games and geek stuff you became kinda antisocial. You totally lose the connection with the reality. You personal life, social skills and everything go down every year, you can't even enjoy simple things like nature, you look at some threes as they are well rendered 3D models. You interact with your girlfriend like with a Sims character, you do exercises and think that you improving your RPG Vitality Stat by 0.01% with each move.

Don't tell me you don't know what i am talking about :)

Games are for kids

At one point i randomly found a picture in Google which said: Grow Up.

It felt that it is a sign from god and it made me think. I never believed that games are for kids only, i refused to believe that. But as i was into this longer i found out that 90% of my audience (blog / youtube) who are interested in games are, in fact, kids. Most of the people who talk about it are kids, and some of my real life adult friend knew nothing about games at all. Games weren't part of their life and their life was fine. They found a job, took a mortgage, got married and knew nothing about Fallout or Victoria 2. When i was younger i thought:

"How can you possibly leave without playing Fallout 2?"

Now i finally realized that most of the people live happily without it. Took me many years to see that games is not the only thing in the world. There is something beautiful about games anyway, the way you look at the world thru childish eyes, it is very free, creative and inspiring, but when you get older you realize that the real world does not look at the world with the same eyes and you have to deal with the real world eventually.

A bad example?

I guess after reading my article some people, who are successful in the industry, would say:

"Well, you didn't make it. It happens and now you are just crying."

I might agree with that partially, but i don't think that me journey was a complete failure or that anyone with a similar story is a loser.

I think it is a story of generation in some sense. After all i accomplished many things not in the world of games or game making and i am generally happy.

And i don't think that all this experience was useless.

To be fare, this was the best experience in my life and it made me as an adult person i am now. After all everything i did was helpful because i developed many interesting skills which helped me in all unrelated fields. I still think that an indie-developer is like a modern age pirate or a Leonardo Da Vinci (also gay, just kidding).

You have to know an enormous amount of things and have a crazy set of skills to create one game by yourself, but it is possible with modern tools and some people became rich by making games. The problem is that now it is more like a lottery due to the tough competition.

You don't compete with other small indie-developers anymore, you are competing with huge international corporations who have unlimited resources.

Would i come back to gamedev? I don't know and i don't think so, but never say never. Maybe after 5 or 10 years, who knows?

Why did i stop making indie-game / Econ Dude English

Made this TD game recently for fun

This is the end of my story in the Econ Dude blog (English version). I hope it was fun to read and that my lessons / experience will be useful for some people.

If you want to make games you definitely should try it, but be smart about it and don't lose the connection with the reality. Good luck!

Drawing of a spaceship heading to a planet

I wanted to share one of my recent drawings here, this time it is something super-simple, i tried to illustrate a spaceship which is heading to a planet.

Drawing of a spaceship heading to a planet / Econ Dude


Although, this picture took me about one and a half hour to finish, which is a lot in this case. The main problem here was the spaceship. I am totally unhappy with the way i made it overall, but for some reason it took me hell of a lot time to complete this spaceship.

I am generally quite satisfied with the way i made the red planet and its satellite, i mean shadowing here wasn't very hard and the final results doesn't look horrible, but starts...

I failed in my attempt to show starts properly. Now i can clearly see that this is not the way you draw them, they can't be this big, it looks very unrealistic.

More about this drawing in my Russian Blog.