Yesterday, while thinking Deep Thoughts and working diligently on my comic art load, I started thinking about puzzle books, and how badly I’ve wanted to make one for a few years now. Honestly, I’ve wanted to make one ever since I saw Ben “Neb” Girven’s Stomping Ground Activity Book that he made.
I’ve been a fan of logic puzzles ever since I first discovered them, even thought I’m not the best at most of them. I don’t really care for things that are too “mathy” because I always feel like I’m being tricked into school work. But the other types of puzzles? The ones where everything is written out and you just have to follow the clues and pay attention? Or even better yet, the ones with hidden codes that you crack to find out hidden information? Those always made me feel like a Super Seekret Spy kid, and I loved them!
So, even though I’m behind on all four comics* and two prose stories** as well as a comic script for a friend*** as well as a few other projects (doing character design for alien plants springs to mind) I decided yesterday at 3:30 to spend the next seven hours working on a puzzle book, set in the world of Era of Great wonders.
What does seven hours of non-stop work get you these days? Not as much as you’d expect. A few hours in I did find a really great site that helps do the heavy grunt work when it comes to designing things like crosswords and mazes. The mazes weren’t quite what I was looking for though, so I’ll be drawing those from hand. I want something more organic and feeling, that looks like a path through a destroyed city.
Seven hours also gave me enough time to lay down the bare bones of the story: you help Amelia, a young girl, find her way through the torn up city-state of Pangaea as she searches for her missing family. She has to solve a series of logic puzzles in order to build up enough clues to solve a logic grid puzzle that will tell her where her family is, and who they are with (whether they’re with good guys or bad guys.) The more puzzles the reader completes, the more clues Amelia has to work with.
I am hoping that I can get done with my comic work early enough today that I can get a little deeper into some of the riddles and clues, and still actually make it to my aikdio class later tonight. (I totally missed classes last night – I sort of “woke up” from my work around 7:15pm, and realized that even if I did rush down to class, I would get there as it was ending. Super embarrassing.)
But I have no idea why I do this to myself, why I can’t just sit and see one project through all the way, and then start the next, like a sort of artistic clockwork. Instead I sort of hover around from one project to another, working on them all at once, and it never seems like I make any progress (and yet, I am always creating stuff!)
* Growing Things, Era, Vagus, and I’ve been wanting to clean up Namio and get it up and running
** One of which is a smutty follow up to a story that will be published in January, and another which is NOT smutty in anyway, shape, or form
*** Something in the vein of Blade Runner, except I’m drawing a blank and really want to write a love story between two soldiers in a futuristic war torn world. Maybe I’ll write that, and then write the Blade Runner thing? See? This is how I get into trouble!