Happy February everyone and Happy Black History Month (of course that's every month, but I digress)! Let's kick off the celebration with a few exciting updates and changes.
Project Wind: Introducing Zar the Wind Master
We have an all new member to the cast for Project Wind, Zar; A fellow Wind Master just like Fly!
Mirae (lead character designer for Project Wind) really took careful consideration of my design specifics and it definitely demanded a little bit of research on both of our parts.
As noted by Mirae, "As he (Zar) is a Scandinavian inspired character (and also a big brother), he’s a bit taller than the other friends. His hair kinda starts as a group of small feathers from around his nosetip and naturally fades into hair towards his back head. He’s got sharp and long nails for talons."
One of the major design considerations we had to make was on how we wanted to do Zar's wings. Part of the design decisions for Project Fly is to give aspects of animal to each character, but also not going overboard in either direction of human or animal. As an example, here in Fly's early concept art, you can see Mirae and I trying to figure out what percentage of each in the design comfortably works.
It's pretty common in anthropomorphic bird design to put an over emphasis on the "bird part"; human body with a bird head, or human body with bird wings and feet, etc. Naturally though, we wanted something that matches up to Fly's design considerations, but still maintains the idea that he naturally rules the skies as a bird like character. If we had over emphasized the idea of his bird like origins, then the contrast between Zar and Fly as well as other characters would have been too great.
Mirae continues, "Originally (I) was going to give another option for the wings… which was to use his arms as wings, but when I tried, he looked way too animal-like in comparison to the other characters, and it was very hard to combine with the long sleeve outfits. In order to avoid all the hardships with the costume design for all Bjarneah residents moving forward, I suggest(ed) we go with the wings on the back around their shoulder."
Zar also serves as an important marker for other aspects of Project Wind's character designs. Zar is a resident of the kingdom of Bjarneah; a mountainous region primarily consisting of Sky Born (ones naturally born with wings). He serves as the key design archetype for all residents of the Kingdom of Bjarneah and other Sky Born going forward. So needless to say, getting his design down is very important.
If you also look closely at his design, there's also another Easter Egg that I will not spoil for you just yet ;) .
Community Hub (Discord/WhatsApp)?
So I'm heavily considering the idea of using either Discord or WhatsApp (maybe both) as a sort of community hub for everything revolving around Key Jay Productions.
Thanks to how this site is designed, I can still maintain some form of email communication, however I think there's something to be said about live chat or chat like environments offered through Discord and WhatsApp, that has a greater effectiveness on communication and interaction.
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of email. While yes, it can/does serve as a nice notification point for everyone, and can be considerably effective with the right audience, I feel on an interactive and community level (and by also thinking of how millennials and Gen Z+ers think of email nowadays...aka the "overly advertised" avenue that isn't TikTok or Youtube lol), we can go much deeper than that.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this though. I do have an existing Discord server, but if that's the direction to take, then I'd of course need to spruce things up a bit.
Thanks to you all, I have a couple of new studio upgrades added to help with content creation, as well as a few more upgrades on the way!
For starters, one of the big ones was lighting as some of my existing lights were simply not efficient enough; either from not being bright enough or simply just cutting out on long use or age.
Enter these, the AMARAN 60x!
I purchased 2 of them. The nice thing about these aside from the sheer brightness, is that they can be paired via Bluetooth for wireless control! I actually used them on a product photoshoot the other day and they worked fantastically!
Combined with these Mini Dome Softboxes, and you get a nice soft but bright light.
You can find both using the links above if you're interested in getting a pair yourself, and hey, I might even get a small kickback if you do :).
As far as other upcoming upgrades, to bolster community even further, I'm making strides to start streaming again; likely hosting updates, topics, and maybe anything else the community would like to do (react, play something, deep dive on specific topics, etc.). For that however, I'm working on a new computer system build specifically designed for camera capture. For this however, I'll still need two more components; a 10G Network Card, and a multi camera capture card.
Still designing the system and network layout and OBS Scene designs and everything, but it's looking like this may end up being a triple streaming system design that implements my existing studio for sound. Honestly with the way this could be set up, that might make for some interesting "How to..." content on the Key Jay KN channel. Noted for consideration!
Project Wind: Roadmap Delay
Finally we can't end this update without addressing the delay in the published Roadmap.
A couple of other projects (both personal and projects to help fund aspect of Key Jay Productions) have caused a minor delay in getting this published; a few projects that will become apparently clear why within the next few months. As soon as I have some further leeway in the production schedule, this will definitely go up.
For now, I appreciate your patience!
Wrapping things up
That about covers the bulk of things at the moment! Smaller aspects include tightening up some representation on other social platforms, as well as a bit of research on Game Audio aspects, but I'm definitely excited for next month.
As always, thank you for all of your continued support and looking forward to celebrating with you still at all of our premiers and such.
Till next time!