Friday, May 17, 2019

Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart: Super Mario Kart Characters Pack

A while back you probably have seen me mention a game called Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart. A while back I was routinely creating characters for the game until I decided to go on hiatus to focus on other projects, including but not limited to trying to work more on artwork, produce more sprite sheets for a site known as The Spriters' Resource, and work on my Splatoon 2 skills. Plus my workspace (aka my bedroom) was renovated over the course of eight days, resulting in me having to abandon it for almost all of the previous week.

Now I'm back, and my time has been swallowed up still by other things, but I'm still not feeling the drive to work on more SRB2Kart characters. Yes they're in production, but lack of motivation is leading to them taking longer than I hoped to finish them.

Anyways, back on topic. Before announcing the semi-hiatus I was suggested by my friend MMG Mike to adapt all eight of the racers from Super Mario Kart into Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart. Normally, something like this wouldn't be allowed on the SRB2Kart message board thanks to them being sprite rips, so I had to rely on other means of getting them out into the wild, and I figured this blog would be perfect place to host the project.

So I took a sprite-rip of the eight Super Mario Kart racers I had on hand (but don't remember where I got them from), carefully aligned them, gave them recoverable bits, Mario Kart 64 voices, and (courtesy of community member Tiniest Turtles) mini-map icons, and then declared them finished.

All the characters are given stats that best replicate their stats from their source game, though they should be easier to control now that you're dealing with a more modern, less dated drifting system.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Otaku Ball Public Beta Build.

Greetings, readers.
A while back you may remember a project of mine that has gone between being worked on and going on hiatus. It did get a release some time ago but since then- many, many more features have been added to it since then.

Of course I'm talking about my Otaku-Ball (or of you wanted to be technical, Geek-Ball or Nerd-Ball) project, a love letter and tribute to a plethora of Breakout and Arkanoid clones, worked on by Mr. Block (seriously, give him all the credit for the coding, the guy's a genius and deserves all the respect) and myself.

If you're wondering what has changed, lots of things actually. The title screen got a big overhaul, some new sound effects and sprite work were added in, new enemy varieties based on the original four Arkanoid enemies now join the Menacers, and the single-player campaign now has 96 total levels to explore across multiple pathways (it would have a NG+ with all new worlds/levels but that will be for a later release) Plus a few squashed bugs/issues.

So yeah take this as a treat from myself to show what has changed since the project's humble beginnings in 2014 (and pre-planning going to as far back as 2007 before the project had a definite name in 2011) and the first public release in 2017.

Take note that this is technically a beta, so expect there to be the occasional game-breaking bug looming about, but for the most part it should be stable and perfectly functional. Plus my social media links and e-mail are always open if you catch a bug.

Download the current build here.
You will also need LÖVE.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Business Cards?

Yup, you heard that right. Around the time of AnimeNYC last year I developed a prototype design for a business card I could pass out.

I haven't gotten around to giving them a test print run since admittedly I don't really have much a use for them just yet (and I'm not sure what I would use to get them printed).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

10 years of Super Justin: the Blog

Well I can't believe I'm saying this, but Super Justin: the Blog is now just about a decade old- this month will be the tenth anniversary of the site's launch back in 2009 (as well as my DeviantArt account). It's been quite the ten years, with Super Justin coming to an abrupt end after being my childhood dreams for all of the 2000's and the launching of Aozora's Adventure, WARMAN, and many other projects.

So what's in it for this blog? Well, not much, except maybe the removal of the art widgets on the sides of the blog since I don't update much (and the removal of some links to reduce clutter as I don't use most of them these days). Otherwise, I'll keep making stuff as fast as I can produce them.

In other news I'm also planning on doing more streams to Twitch once I get myself a good microphone. In the meantime you can check out my Twitch page here.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mario Hack Series Recordings: Final(?) Release

It's been roughly eight or so years since the day I started ripping a plethora of music from various Super Mario Bros. ROM hacks. Dubbed the "Super Mario Hack Series Recordings" since its creation in January 2011, this project set out to record the best musics across thirty different hacks, resulting in an impressive count of 95 tracks total.

Last updated in 2017, here's the latest version of the project for your listening enjoyment:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Con schedule: 2019

Hey there, SJB here with all the conventions I plan to visit and the exact days I plan to visit them on. I won't be selling at them, just going as an attendee, so I'm only posting this this if you want to contact me (email, PM's, whatever) and meet up somewhere during convention hours for a chat, a selfie, a cosplay shot, etc.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Photoshop, why.

First of, since I forgot to make a post on this blog for New Year's Day, Happy New Year to the small number of readers of this blog and hope your 2019 is a good one.

Now back to the topic at hand. Since last night I have been running into severe issues with my copy of Adobe Photoshop CS5 running on my Mac OS X, which I've owned and proudly used since late November 2010 with little trouble.

My current situation is the following: If I open a project and proceed to click the project window with any sort of move tool, or click the top part of the toolbar to move it to a different part of my screen, Photoshop completely self-destructs and closes itself. I can click around on things like the layers window, swatches, and use shortcut keys to change my current tool, but if I do anything that involves clicking a project window with a tool that moves layers and other parts of an image, even after opening multiple windows, Photoshop can't handle it at all and just gives up.

This effectively means I cannot do any form of art-creation or sprite work, which is a shame because I wanted to return to doing art today after slogging through a Splatfest for several hours last night. My current options are either to somehow get these issues resolved, or go and buy the newest version of Photoshop which is locked behind a subscription. Until then I'm pretty much forced to go on a hiatus till I can work something out. Sorry, everyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

SRB2 Kart

So you may have heard me speak mention of a game called Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart on Twitter a few times the past few weeks.

I guess you can say I've been addicted to it and went through the trouble of forwarding ports just so I could host a custom server with all the characters I created for it so far. And that includes the original Super Justin trio of Justin, Roger, and Zax.

To my surprise, the server gathered quite a bit of traffic last night, and while everyone stuck with mostly Sonic characters, there were a few brave souls that tried out one member of the Super Justin trio each. I stuck with the trio pretty much the whole server, though unsurprisingly Justin became my most used in the server.

Everything was chaotic and everyone was trading positions through the tracks like crazy. Heck, I'm not ashamed to admit that I got whooped quite a few times myself.

Hopefully I have enough motivation to continue making characters- it's a very time-consuming project just to finish one character- playtest them, and submit them. Sure I could crank out characters pretty quickly, but now that I have other things to contend with, including the holidays, working on Aozora's Adventure characters and lore, and doing sprite rips, you may have to wait a bit longer until my next character is complete.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Anime NYC 2018: Cosplay Photoshoots + the future of cons

For all the patient souls out there, here it is: all the cosplay photos I took during my 10-hour(!) stay at Anime NYC 2018, the final convention of the year too as a matter of fact.…

If you're wondering, yes, this is only the first day- I could not join the second or third days because of personal schedules conflicting with the con's.

Otherwise, there you have it. The convention season of Fall 2018 draws to a close (including two major ones and two... admittedly lesser conventions (one of which I'd barely call a convention to begin with)), so I can finally get back on track with my personal arts and other projects until the spring/summer con season starts with Castle Point Anime Convention 2019. Other than that, expect me to make grand returns to AnimeNEXT, EternalCon, Long Island Retro Gaming Expo, New York Comic Con, and of course AnimeNYC next year.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Splatoon IRL | Inklings paint the world blue

This commercial had more to do with shapeshifting cephalopod kids painting everything in ink than any kind of soda.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Getting ready for Halloween like

You know for what's supposed to be a PG-13 blog I keep putting lots of stuff from M-rated games on here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A small talk about conventions and VGC tournaments.

Hey there. Of course I made sure to make a post for this month before November so I thought I'd update you all on what's up first.

Firstly, NYCC went flawlessly well. I was able to bypass the hell of a line on Thursday and properly attend the convention that day and that day only. Apart from my legs once again starting to give in at the end of the day (and believe me I'm going to bring that up in just a moment.), everything went well. During the visit I acquired a few prints, a figure of the main character of an artist I follow online (that I met back in 2016), and a free (signed!) poster featuring Mega Man 11. I would have loved to come back the next day but of course I was already burnt out.

So that makes a grand total of seven conventions attended in total this year. CPAC, EMCon, AnimeNext, EternalCon, CradleCon, LIRGE, and NYCC. The only other major convention I'm planning on going to this year is AnimeNYCC in November, though there are two smaller conventions I'm going to this weekend which are probably going to be so minor that there's no reason for me to mention it here. And then there's DerpyCon. After some thinking it may not be possible for me to attend after all, especially since I need to also get to AnimeNYC which is the next week after. After that, there's no other conventions for me throughout Winter and the first half of Spring until Castle Point Anime Convention 2019 in April next year. From there I'll try to re-attend all the conventions listed above unless I'm forced to drop a con or two because their timeframes happen to land within the same weekend, as was the case with CPAC and EMCon last May.

Now then, enough about conventions, let's talk about fighting game tournaments. A friend of mine took me to a fighting game event in March showcasing games like Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball FighterZ. I had fun exploring the freeplay areas and everyone bringing in their consoles (mostly PS4's) for everyone to gather around and try. Someone even brought in a Dreamcast with Power Stone(!) hooked up. But sadly, no traces of Guilty Gear Xrd REV2.

Yes it was a pleasant experience, but I did have a few thoughts about it in the end. At this particular event (which was in a warehouse) the air was extremely stingy with very poor ventilation and no hope for proper air-conditioning- and combined with the odors of many, many people crowded into the area, the place got really smelly. Yes I could tolerate it, but once you take in the scent it's hard to not notice it and it just sticks with you the whole time (And please, if you have access to a shower, use it.) Not to mention, the gender ratio present in the building was 100% men, with no trace of a single female within the building. I get that fighting games are a hobby tailored towards men, but seeing not even a single female during the event just came off as extremely odd. And plus there were beer bottles left everywhere, filed trash cans, and men using the ladies' room because of the aforementioned 100% male ratio (and I can only imagine how bad the restrooms would smell considering the overall scent of the place and the filed trash cans and what smells those could contain). At least the best thing I can say about these tournament places is that seating os readily available, unlike at conventions where you have to leave the artist's alley and dealer's room, which are the bulk of conventions for me, to find seating.

I'm not hoping for the conditions to improve in the future since no one else that goes there seems to mind, but I do plan on going back someday regardless, maybe with a multiplayer versus game that's not very common to demo in the free play area (I'm gravitating towards bringing Joy Mech Fight on the NES/Famicom if I can get a spare NES I don't mind people potentially getting dirty and an NES flash cart cause my original Famicom cart is too prized to demo in a public setting).

Otherwise, that's all for now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Superjustinbros and Newgrounds

Seems like I should get a blog post up on this blog too so this one doesn't end up without a post for the month. Kinda hard to keep the motivation brewing when my main user base these days is Twitter.

Anyways I thought I'd lament a bit on one particular site of mine from my middle school years, a little site known as Newgrounds. Discovered by myself in early 2005 (having already existed for quite some time, back when I was in elementary school nonetheless), I mostly grew attached to the site for all the Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog (and soon, Mega Man) fan-made games but played the occasional dose of original content. I've always thought of contributing myself, but was too young at the time and even now I never had the time or money to afford and make content in Flash. And now with Adobe Flash closing in 2020, it may be too late. The only things I ever submitted were some art back in the days of Super Justin, but since it was all crap, I nuked it. There was some more normal content I tried posting there too, but, well, it's not exactly easy to build up a following on that site if you don't make Flash games and animations.

There was one other element of the site that would catch my attention in the early years of me using the site. For some time I would always question the orange-haired kid that populated the site's (at the time) ratings bar. Aside from looking vaguely like this one kid with literal fire for hair that I would see on T-shirts in the 2000's, that is.

(take note that what I'm about to discuss is a child character doing pretty South Park-esque things (he smokes and uses guns), so if this kind of stuff offends you I suggest not looking up the various games and whatnot the character does; of course I don't mention any of this in the article but whatever)

(Okay, you ready? Here.)
(please respect artists and don't remove their watermarks if possible, k?)

A few months after I started frequenting the site I would end up discovering Newgrounds' mascot, Pico. His games were crude, filled with adult humor, and contain the kind of things ten-year-old me was not used to during the time (or even noticed). But they were fun, if a bit short (but then again these games were old). Then on April 30th, 2006 there was a big event dedicated to the kid, known as Pico day, where fans would upload Pico-related content. 2006 was pretty great, and 2007 hit the ball out of the park, but then 2008 felt a bit lacking in some departments. 2009 was more of the same, and I remember 2010 having a few good hits as well, but then I stopped caring by the time 2011 happened, and with each passing year I simply kept overlooking Pico Day since I had lost interest in Newgrounds as a whole during my last year in high school.

I did buy the stickers long ago before they went out of print, though I have no idea what I did with them.

What also made these Pico Days special to me was that they used special Pico-branded loaders for each Pico Day. 2006's and 2007's went the extra mile and turned their loaders into short animated clips featuring the adult-mind-in-a-kid's-body.

2007's was especially smooth, and it was a bit disappointing to me that from then on, future Pico Day loaders went with static images or simpler looping animations before they seemed to just stop using them altogether in recent years. They're still great images for sure, but they don't have the extra oomph that an animated loader would.

So yeah, that's me and Newgrounds (and Pico) in as abridged of an explanation as I can provide. Now watch as I end up nearly skipping posting anything next month.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Super Justin the Character in 2018

If you've somehow managed to be with me since the days of March 2009 (which I doubt anyone reading this blog is, considering that was nine years ago), then you may remember a little troublemaker of a character named Super Justin.

You know, dark blue hair, cyan shirt, black shorts? Yeah, that Justin.

Back in the day, he could be said to have represented an... immaturity period of mine before I started to bloody grow up. While it was fine and dandy in 2007 or so before I made my online presence known and when I really started to get into art and character creation, it wasn't until 2008 when I started doing the Super Justin thing much more seriously, and 2009 when I did the inevitable: joining DeviantArt.

Since then, myself and my self-named OC went through both ups and downs, resulting in the decision late October of that year to restructure myself and abandon the Super Justin side, and since then Aozora's Adventure took over and became what Super Justin wasn't. A far more creative project with more advanced character designs and characterizations that didn't leech half it's creativity off of some doujin soft game (but still contains plenty of references to mainstream fictional works).

Attempting to make Super Justin it childish-oriented in the case that it did get video games only hurt it more, and the repeated recycling of characters from completely different publications did it no favors as well. Arguments of course erupted over the seven months Super Justin lasted, and I was sick of the criticism and I had two options: Cancel the project entirely, or retool it so it's nothing like what it used to be.

And I picked Option 1, as I felt Aozora would give me much more creative freedom overall than what Super Justin would ever allow, but in the background, in the magical world of offline, I slowly and silently tampered with the three main Super Justin protagonists.

What you see here are the latest versions of the artworks I made in September of 2009, freshly entering 10th grade and during my attempt to, well, git gud with doing art. Compared to months earlier, characters had more realistic anatomy and I didn't simply rush through it all. But before I get ahead of myself, who is this blonde kid just floating around and who is that angry teen with the two-tone lab coat?

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Roger and Zax. These two were originally created to be male versions of two female characters I was once attached to for some time, but in an attempt to distance Super Justin from these girls and their universe (and cause the idea itself caused some level of controversy), I reworked their entire backstories and readjusted their appearances to distance them from the characters that inspired them. I also (not shown) changed Roger's wings to typical bat wings and gave Zax a much less-revealing outfit, with the potential for Roger and Zax to change back to their original designs in colder/warmer seasons respectively (I'll be sure to show off those someday). For the heck of it, I also went and made Sonic the Hedgehog and GBC-styled icons of the trio (the former happening mostly because of the similar chemistries and personalities the Justin trio has to Team Sonic) which I never showed to the public since I made them in 2013.

If Super Justin ever makes a comeback, everyone will get a major re-tool to completely outclass their original incarnations from 2008/09, with brand new characters to replace all the old ones including a new villain character to antagonize the trio. Unlike Aozora, Super Justin won't be overflown with characters from the start and to keep it from getting ridiculous, the roster overall will stay small. And to stay safe, no one from the original run of Super Justin other than these three will be present, expect for maybe Matt, Justin's green-clad brother. As for the general tone of the series itself, it'll stay lighthearted and not get super dark, since Aozora and WARMAN already fulfill that role, but there will be some level of tension here and there.

So will these three get new artwork? Maybe, if I do decide to go through with it, but keep in mind Aozora and co. will still be the main focus overall (and not to mention I have several other projects and arts I want to get to as well, now that I have no more conventions until October if I can make it to NYCC).

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Twitter please.

So for some unexplained reason, Twitter locked me out of my @Superjustinbros account for saying that it "may be compromised by a user or surface not associated by Twitter". Now this would be all fine and dandy, except for one fatal flaw: The "reset your e-mail" command does not send the reset link to my e-mail as it should, forcing me to talk it up with staff until I can get it all sorted out.

For now I'm stuck locked out of my account, unable to view it as anything other than as a guest because of my e-mail provider's broken as heck services.