Commissions Open for GearHead Caramel

In order to fund the hiring of some C++ programmers to write an open source PyGame extension for recoloring sprites, I’m opening social media avatar commissions. Want me to turn you into a zombie? Draw your OCs? Show what you’d look like as a post-apocalyptic hamster? Get in touch. And please, spread the word.

Fine Tuning the Portrait Generator

I’ve spent most of today fine tuning the portrait generator bits, moving the anchors around a pixel or two at a time, and I am now so burnt out on faces that I don’t even want to look in a mirror.

While researching how other artists draw cartoonish or caricatured faces, I found something that I hadn’t noticed before: many Japanese cartoonists draw the cheekbone really low. Instead of placing the sharp point of the cheek just under the eye, they’ll move it to under the nose or even beneath the mouth.

Left: Ataru Moroboshi from Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi;
Right: Konata Izumi from Lucky Star by Kagami Yoshimizu.

I realize that this stylistic feature is probably old news to most people, but I am partially faceblind and this is a way to abstract faces that I never could have imagined. Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi does a lot of creative things with faces, and her use of this style is pretty interesting. For characters who are young or cute, she typically draws the cheekbone beneath the nose.

But for characters who are older, more serious or statuesque, the cheekbone rises to the level of the nose or all the way up to a realistic position right under the eye. I suspect that the lowered cheekbone resembles chubby cheeks, making a face look younger, rounder, and cuter.

I found some nice evidence for this theory in the character designs from Mobile Suit Gundam.

Cartooning is complicated stuff, especially when it looks really simple.

New GearHead Caramel Character Creator

I’ve been working on a new character generator for GearHead Caramel. This one is completely widgetified, and can be accessed using the mouse or the keyboard. Take a look at the video to see everything it can do.

I’m hoping to make the first release of DeadZone Drifter, the GHC endless play campaign, before the end of my February vacation. We’ll see how it goes.

GH1v1.310: Thin Walls for All!

Mauna Cavern

I’ve just uploaded GearHead-1 v1.310. There are some bug fixes, some UI tweaks, and some new graphics. Also, I have updated the release-packing script so that it automatically sets the version number. How fancy is that?

You can get v1.310 from or GitHub. If you enjoy the game and can afford it, a small donation would be greatly appreciated. As mentioned in yesterday’s post I need some development funds for GearHead Caramel. Every little bit helps.

Happy New Year, and Happy New Year

Happy solar new year! Also, happy lunar new year! I’ve been out of it for a while.

Starting from December I’ve had sinusitis followed by pneumonia, which is not good, but the doctors assure me it is not going to kill me. In addition, for Christmas I was given the Kill Team rules and have subsequently fallen off the 40k wagon hard. So I didn’t get as much work done on GearHead as I would like. But, I do have a few things to report.

That’s about it for now.

GearHead Caramel Progress

Work has been continuing on GearHead Caramel. The next scenario, DeadZone Drifter, is quickly approaching playability. There’s a random building generator and the random NPC generator has been significantly improved. The Mechanical Tarot scenario generator is working. Things are starting to look pretty good.

In DeadZone Drifter the player character travels to various towns in the deadzone and helps out with their problems (maybe). I’m hoping to release a playable version before Christmas.

GearHead Caramel Cosplay

The color editor for GearHead Caramel is up and running; it still needs a bit of polish, but it shows off how much nicer the new color switcher is than the GH1/GH2 version. Just look at how glowey everything is!

Random Portrait Generator

I’ve been working on a paper doll type portrait construction system for GearHead Caramel. This is the first randomly generated portrait created by the system; the player will also be able to use the portrait generator to customize their character. Once I have randomized NPCs up and running I’ll be able to start work on DeadZone Drifter, the next adventure module.

MOG-07 Haiho Papercraft Model

The MOG-07 Haiho papercraft model is now available at¬† This one is at the same scale as the BuruBuru, 1/144, and comes with a small habitat dome. There are a variety of decal options for the front armor plate if you don’t care for the smiley face.

GHC v0.130: Father’s Day Deployment

I’ve just uploaded a new release of GearHead Caramel. This release finishes off Winter Mocha, at least for now, so I can move on to creating the first real scenario.

Six months after the Typhon Incident, you are invited to a charity mecha tournament at the newly built Mauna Arena. ‚ÄčIt should only take ten to twenty minutes to play through Winter Mocha, but thanks to the random story and puzzle generation you’ll have a different experience each time. Characters can be imported from GearHead1.

Try it out and let me know what you think.