framebunker is an
independent game studio
based in copenhagen

sketching cyberpunk faces

by Charles Hinshaw
May 13, 2013

One of the really cool things about a microstudio like Framebunker (it is just two of us) is that you get to wear a lot of hats. This is probably something that many indie developers are already quite familiar with — one day you’re a level designer and the next you’re writing code. The day after that you’re sketching concept art.

A few weeks ago, I posted an update with some conceptual character art of an enemy guard in Static Sky. I probably wouldn’t have posted it publicly if not for Nich’s encouragement, but as I mentioned in my blog post, working through visual details helped me think more deeply about the concept and how to communicate it. On that level, it was a successful exercise. It also made me realize that it has been years since I did enough drawing to really feel proficient at it — I’m horribly out of practice and I need to level up.

Since grinding is the only way I know to gain experience at this, I’ve started doing a lot more sketching. My initial focus has been on cyberpunk faces. As always, thinking through the problem space from an additional direction is proving to be hugely valuable. Since the point of doing a development blog is to be super open and share in the development of the game, I thought it would be good to keep things updated here and share some sketches. The same caveats about this being programmer art* apply.


cyberpunk ipad game character face concept art

I’ll keep sketching and will do another post when there is more content — I’d like to start doing some full-character stuff and take some of it through to production art and share the whole process. That is obviously further down the line though.

In the meantime, I’d love feedback — either in the comments below or by emailing me at I can grind on my own, but I know that receiving insight and critique will help me level faster.

* “Programmer art” feels like a dangerous expression to use in indie development. It is basically saying “Please excuse my crappy art — I’m not really an artist”, but there is such a slippery slope between making excuses to others and making excuses to yourself. With very little effort, that excuse becomes “I don’t have to worry that my art is crappy — I’m not really an artist”, which is pretty much the only way to guarantee that you don’t improve and that your game looks bad.

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