Psykan's Thread of Ideas

  • Right, so since I have this endless stream of ideas, I decided to start a single thread to consolidate them as they come, as opposed to making a new thread for each. Since these ideas are mainly just for my own skillbuilding, I’ll keep this thread separate from my Game Development thread–though I’ll draw parallels very so often.


    I’ve had an idea for building a butsudan since before I moved here; a butsudan is basically a small Buddhist shrine found in practicing households. There are many images to be found online and places to read about the butsudan and its significance in Buddhist denominations, so I won’t go into that here. While I was living in Spokane, I made friends at the Soka Gakkai International centre there (they practice Nichiren Buddhism), and though I’m not a practitioner of any established faith, I couldn’t help noticing the resonance between all the SGI members during the gongyo and how familiar it was to me.

    That’s a long story that involves my own journey through life, so I won’t go into that here, either.

    Basically, I’ve wanted to build a butsudan out of respect for the faith and my Buddhist friends; SGI is quite different from many faith-based organizations out there, and a lot of their teachings mirror what I’ve come to understand of my own journey–they simply speak these truths from a different perspective from my own. I have a gohonzon to eshrine in the butsudan, and I’ve wanted the design on my butsudan to convey the oneness and unity of all things. The gohozon is a piece of parchment hung in the butsudan, and so I’d want my design to speak for the natural way and order that all things ad all paths revolve around (in Nichiren Buddhism, this is known as the Mystic Law). The gohonzon would be at the center of all this.

    Her’s an example of a butsudan:

    Most butsudan aren’t anywhere close to being as ornate as this one; as for mine, I would take a very different approach to the design. Instead of a cabinet or cupboard-style butsudan, mine would speak much more profoundly for nature and all things in its design–an example might be designing the doors to look like tree foliage or shrubbery. Pulling them back would reveal the gohonzon; depictions of rocks, rivers, life forms, and weather conditions would adorn the rest of the butsudan.

    It’s really just a gesture of respect on my part, since as odd as it may sound, Nichiren Buddhism–along with all other faiths and perspectives–are collectively my own.

    So, this butsudan project would be a way for me to show respect as an outsider to the faith, yet also as someone who very much understand the spirit of law and the natural way of things.

    Last night, I found myself in the Craftorium, and couldn’t help noticing the pearler bead works. Who’s the coordinator for that room, and who’s doing much of the bead work? As soon as I saw them hanging on the wall, I instantly thought “pixel art.” I mean, since I’m a prospective game developer (among many other things), it’s a little hard to not draw that parallel. I’d like to try my hand at pearler bead work; @Vaughn , who did you say was doing that? Also, who’s the Craftorium coordinator? I think you said it was @megan-fenkhuber , but I just want to make sure, haha.

    Also, that idea you pitched about making a “pearler bead game” was pretty awesome, and I’d like to explore that more!

    Last but not least, I’d like to try getting back into drawing–and expanding beyond my self-taught abstract works. I never could gt the hang of figure drawing, and I think my visual handicap’s played a big role in that. Is there anyone here who might be interested in getting together for a drawing session, particularly focused on characters or figures? I think that might be helpful for me.


    As far as the self-teaching goes, this is pretty much me in my prime (back in 2013, haha). I can’t sit and draw like this anymore, but I think there are a lot of reasons for that–one being that if I’m just doing something for myself, I’ll lose interest. A collab work and the commitment that comes with it would be a MUCH better incentive for me. Also, I never really cared for having an art studio’s worth of supplies, so I taught myself a more resourceful approach to see how much I could get out of very little. For this drawing, I used 0.5mm and 0.7mm mechanical pencils, a click-stick eraser for shading effects and drawing negative space, and a paper towel for smudging/smearing. Oh, and the canvas was a piece of standard printer paper.

    While I do have an interest in literally every art form, developing skills in so many different media would also fall in line with part of my mission and vision for when I start my own business. A lot of it involves a respect for the world and all things, so instead of constantly taking from one area (i.e. paper or wood), I could spread my endeavours thinly enough so as not to take too much from any one resource.
    This is what would be considered a “sustainable approach” – one that allows the environment to recover and replenish effectively and as necessary. Ultimately, every tool, canvas, medium, piece of hardware, and machinery associated with any and every art form are composed of elements of the planet itself.

    So, in my own diverse approach, I will convey the importance of resourcefulness and demonstrate just what one can do by respecting nature and the planet.

    It is by descending into the pits of one’s personal hells to conquer them and make them part of one’s strength that one realizes what is called “true power.”


  • @megan-fenkhuber is the coordinator. Most of the perler stuff is done by @megan-fenkhuber, @KillwithKindness , @Fireball and Tara…

    I’ve seen 2.5D (like a topo map) game boards made out of perlers before. Have you tried tabletop simulator? It is decent for playtesting rules while you prototype.

  • Design Lab

    Love the 8-bit perler look - this could be a cool gimmick for a relatively simple game!

  • The Perler beads look like a lot of fun to play around with! I just went to the company’s website and will bookmark it for future reference. I might be ordering stuff from them quite soon. Also, I’m currently teaching myself C++ for game dev purposes, and it seems fairly straightforward, as far as the language itself goes. It’s pretty minimalistic–mastering its versatility and portability is the challenge from what I’m seeing.

    I have to admit, I’ve been a little annoyed that I can’t find work due to a bare resume, but at the same time, it gives me plenty of free time to blaze my own path. I think the pros outweigh the cons, especially considering what “work” often entails.

    It is by descending into the pits of one’s personal hells to conquer them and make them part of one’s strength that one realizes what is called “true power.”


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