The Fully Illustrated Blog

The site is quiet but there’s LOTS going on!

February 16, 2017

Hey Everyone, 

You may have noticed that the site has been sat without any updates for a good few months now, sorry about that! Reason being is that there is a LOT going on behind the scenes. Alongside the multitude of great projects that I’m working on I’m also working on the all new version of this website! Added to that is the upcoming release of Wulverblade too! 5yrs of hard work is getting ever closer to completion and 2017 is going to be an insane year!

  • Projects: I’m working on a vast array of projects right now including some fab new mobile games, a console horror game and a swathe of fun branding, UI and website projects too. Its crazy busy at the moment. I’ve got about 15 new projects to add to the site including the UI work for Farming Simulator 2017!
  • New Site: The all new version of Fully Illustrated is well into development now and just needs the content adding, a few final features adding and final testing. When the new site launches its going to be 100% mobile friendly and rammed with all sorts of new and exciting content. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
  • Wulverblade: After 5 years of love and attention Wulverblade is now on the final stretch. We’ve completed all the levels and are now going back through to put all the finishing touches in, final content and testing. There is lots of news on this front to come soon so watch this space.

And last but not least, 2017 marks Fully Illustrated’s 10 year anniversary and what a year its going to be.

Thanks for following the site for so many years!

Mike.

 

Exploded View Cover Art Featured on Barnes and Noble!

July 11, 2016

fully-illustrated-exploded-view-cover-art

Hey Everyone,

Posts are thin as usual recently but needless say, I’m working hard as always on both my awesome contract jobs and my beloved Wulverblade. I just wanted to quickly share a post over on Barnes and Noble that features the cover art I’ve recently completed for the upcoming sci-fi novel ‘Exploded View’. I’d never done a book cover before so got rather excited about this job. Bizarely after 16 years in the industry and only just doing a book cover project, another one has just appeared too. More on that soon.

Anyway, here’s the article:

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Exploded View by Sam McPheeters

More updates soon!

Mike.

 

Busy, Busy, Busy.

February 7, 2014

Hey Everyone,

WOW, September was the last time I posted anything on the site…this is shocking!

In short, things are insanely busy at the moment. 85% of this years available space has already been booked up, which is fantastic, but also crazy at the same time. I cant believe how far in advance everyone is planning in 2014. No complaints though.

My current projects are amazing too, lots of really, really exciting stuff to show over the coming months. And there is SO much more coming this year, its ace.

I’ve got a bazillion new projects to add to the site including UI design, character design, branding, site design, motion graphics you name it, but time is against me as I’m also trying to juggle the new re-design of the site as well…oh, and then there’s also a little something called Wulverblade too ;) Wulverblade has a whopping 12 people on board now, all working busily in their own areas, art, animation, dev, sound, voice overs, cut scenes…wow.

So in short, expect to see looooooooooooooooads of new work and hopefully, if the gods of time feel kind enough to bestow me with some free time, an entirely new Fully Illustrated too.

More to come soon.

Mike.

 

 

Updates and a Little Lego Side Project

July 19, 2013

Hey guys,

Since the recent birth of my son, my blog and site updates have been minimal, in fact they’ve been none existent.  So, today I’ve added a mammoth 16 projects to the site, including UI, icon, web, branding and 3D design! To add to this, I thought I’d add in a fun blog post about my latest little side project…which is project related would you believe!

Say hello to my Lego Roman Century!

Lego-Rome-01

Lego-Rome-05

Lego-Rome-04

Lego-Rome-03

Lego-Rome-02

 

This 80 soldier strong unit has a badass horse mounted Centurion, a small outpost and a wonderful countryside setting! Couple that with some cinematic photography and you have the setting for a new stop motion film…only kidding, I’m not doing that.

This little scene is a test set up for a game tie in I’m working on, so watch this space for some future game scenes mocked up in the Lego world!

Oh and I’d just like to add that this isn’t linked to Lego officially in anyway whatsoever, its just for fun. But Lego, if you’re watching, please make it so :)

Mike.

 

Wulverblade Reveal

December 21, 2012

wulverblade-teaser-trailer-blog

 

Well, you’ve all been waiting very patiently over these past few months while listening to me harp on about ‘THE GAME’ and now, after quite some time, I’m revealing it…albeit in the form of a teaser.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present to you, Wulverblade! (Select 1080p HD!)

So, you’ve been asking for the name, you now have it. You’ve been asking about the art style, you can now see it (EVERY element of that trailer is made with in game assets) and you’ve been asking about the genre…which if you’ve been following me on twitter, chances are, you’ve guessed it…a classic side scrolling hack’n’slasher!

But this will be no ordinary side scroller, oooooh no, Wulverblade is going to be truly cinematic in every respect.  The game is being illustrated, animated and built in glorious 1080p HD! It will be adorned with breathtaking cinematic cut-scenes presented in tandem with a truly epic soundtrack and full voice acting throughout.  I aim to level up on everything I’ve ever created with Wulverblade.

The core underpinning of what will make Wulverblade special will be its attention to detail on EVERY level. The story is so deeply routed in British history and folklore that it draws on historical fact, historical theory and truly breathtaking classical folk stories.

Its coming to PC (and if the gods are with me, Steam), iOS GameDock, iPhone and iPad, and last but not least, Mac.  Prep yourself for everything I have ever dreamt of making!

And just in case you need any links…

Last but not least, a quick thanks to the amazing chaps at Verbal Vigilante for scoring the trailer (and the rest of the game) and to Noni Lewis for her superb voice acting!

Keep watching for more info soon!

Mike.

 

THE GAME Update 4 – Research Road Trip

November 16, 2012

Hello!

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know all about this story as I posted a step by step photo guide yesterday, but for those who don’t, this post is about my research road trip that I finished yesterday evening.

In the intent of getting truly inspired for this game, I decided to take 2 days out and take on an expansive research/location road trip to visit some of the most ancient sites in Britain. This trip has been little short of epic…and I don’t use that term lightly. I covered a whopping 700 miles to visit 6 amazing locations connected to the story of my game. This journey took me through valleys, over treacherous mountain trails and to the edge of the known world! All will become clear as you read on.

Day 1:

Its 9:00am and I’m packed and ready to roll. I’ve got more kit with me than a film crew! Ok so that’s over exaggerating, but I had a lot ;) I hit the road with a full belly and goal to reach what the Roman’s called ‘the edge of the known world’ or to modern day man, the incredible one of a kind, Hadrian’s Wall. This was the only wall of its kind in the entire Roman Empire, and spanned the entire 80 mile width of Britain. It was touted as a showing of Rome’s power, but was inevitably seen as a showing of fear as it was the only part of Europe that Rome just could not conquer. After roughly 100 years of continual fighting with the northern tribes, the Roman’s accepted defeated (something they’d never done before) and drew a line in the sand…a 12ft high, 8ft thick and 1500 soldier manned line! These guys were certainly scared of what lay beyond!

After 4hrs I arrived at my first location along the wall, the amazing Roman Army Museum, which had recently commissioned a superb short film (with very high production values I must say) to re-create life on the wall in 120AD. This film and museum gave me a spectacular insight into the world back then and really got me in the mood.

After a short walk it was then onto site two, the Vindolanda Fort ruins and attached museum. This place was awe inspiring to say the least!

Vindolanda Fort

Vindolanda was the most expansive Roman outpost to the north and was home to what equated to not only a full garrison but also an entire village. It was gigantic! I actually recorded some video here, but the howling wind and driving rain made it all but inaudible. Doh! What this site brought home to me was how much the Roman’s meant business. They set up shop here and weren’t budging…or so they thought. I can’t imagine how desolate it must have felt living up here during winter as these people would have been weeks’ worth of a trek away from the nearest town. No wonder the fort walls were immense. They even had specialised turrets to hold catapults! So that goes to show how much they lived in fear.

After this the light was starting to fade, so I figured I’d best take a quite jaunt down a section of the wall before the light died out entirely. I drove for another 30 mins to a great spot, donned my walking boots, packed up the camera kit and set off…20 mins later I was back in my car, dripping wet, freezing cold and calling it a day. The wind and rain was intense and I was soaked to the core. I did get one reasonable photo though.

Hadrian's Wall

Oh and before you think me a big softy, I’m a northerner, I’m used to our weather and I do a lot of walking/mountain biking, but the weather today was just too much ;)

So, after a very long day I started the long haul back to my hotel. Steak pudding, followed by sticky toffee pudding rounded the day off nicely, warmed the cockles of my wintry heart and sent me off into a solid nights sleep.

Day 2:

EPIC is defined by today’s planned excursion! Its 8:30am, I have belly full of locally farmed eggs and Cumberland sausage and am ready to take on the Hardknott Pass in search of Rome’s most remote outpost, the Hardknott Fort! This pass (unbeknown to me at the time) is widely known as one hell of a mountain trail to take on, on your own. Especially in the pouring rain on a cold, howling winter’s morning! But being set in my ways and warned by the hotel manager that this pass isn’t for the faint hearted, I started up my Land Rover and set forth!

As I draw near to the main pass I am greeted by a sign pre-warning me in layman’s terms, ‘don’t try this if you scare easily’. Well, I carry on regardless. If you look below in the first image, there is a V shape in the far right on the distant mountain…that’s where I’m heading.

Approaching Hardknott Pass

After 20 mins I’m thinking to myself, this aint too hard, in fact, it’s pretty easy…then I see the monumental climb ahead of me and how I am about to climb a 1,289 ft mountain path. Oh mamma, this is looking scary…but exciting! The path gets narrower and narrower reaching points where its 6ft wide at its absolute widest and in places there are sheer drops literally feet away from the edge of my wheels. ‘What the hell am I doing’ I think to myself. I’d got to a point where turning back was no easy option, so onward I went. The road was THAT steep at points (turning in on itself with crazy hairpins that took full lock in 1st gear to only just manage) that I couldn’t even see the road ahead as it was that high up and beyond the view through my windscreen! Scared? Hell yes, but the adrenaline kept me going.

Luckily I’ve done off road training in my 4×4, so I knew what to do to keep on going safely. I can see why so many cars end up crashed on this pass.

Finally, I reach the peak! Good god, the view back was AMAZING! I’d stuck my handbrake on big time and shoved it in 1st before getting out as I was terrified of the car rolling backward under the pressure of the incline. Just look at that view. See the tiiiiiiiiiny line snaking off in the distance, yeah, that’s the path I just took.

The Hardknott pass peak

As I started my descent, I decided that another shot looking forward was now called for. This looks like nothing I know, but what you can’t see here is the fact that the path drops drastically down, via ultra-tight hairpins right the way to the bottom. So much so I was almost stood up in my car trying to see over my bonnet to see where the hell the road was! It was THAT steep.

Hardknott pass descent

So after this incredible drive, disaster struck. I couldn’t bloody find Hardknott fort! The mist, low cloud and horrendous rain made finding the walk-able/climbable path invisible. Damn it! On the upside, I got a real life experience of what it must have been like to be up there, and man, it was horrible. I sure wouldn’t want to live there through a harsh British winter! I pity the poor souls manning this outpost.

At the bottom I took a moment to rest, reflect on that great hour long journey and then head to Castlerigg Stone Circle!

1hr later I arrived at one of my most favourite places in the entire world. This stone circle is awe inspiring in every respect.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Its location just blows your mind as its set overlooking the meeting point of a number of spectacular mountains. The pilgrimage that the ancient Britons must have made to reach such a place would have been overwhelming. This world has little to no true magic or spirituality left in it (as science makes a point of explaining everything away), and this place can still strike a chord deep inside you! Goodness knows how incredible Castlerigg must have been to the Pagan worshipers back then.

I spent a good 40 mins just walking around here as it was so incredibly peaceful. Quite the contrast to Hardknott!

Onward once more back to Harridan’s Wall. While it was still raining and rather dank, I was determined to walk a section and get some shots.

Finally I managed a 45 minute trek up and down a section of the wall before a bad-ass weather front was threatening to make my walk back rather nasty. I got a few shots, stood in the foundations of one of the watchtowers and just spent time taking in the feel of the land. What an amazing experience. Life on this wall, keeping watch over the barbarian hordes of the north must have been a bloody awful job.

Hadrian's Wall

So, upon reaching my Land Rover again, cold slightly wet and ready to see my family again, I set back on the long haul home. If I could describe the whole experience, I’d say grim, brutal, harsh and depressing…but all in an incredibly inspiring way. I have a solid vision for the game now and cannot wait to get the artwork in full production!

Stay tuned for the next update!

INSPIRED!!!

 

Fully Illustrated’s Big Announcement…

July 30, 2012

 

Well, a few weeks ago via Twitter, I declared that I had some big news to announce, and now I can finally spill the proverbial beans!

As all of you will know, games are my single biggest passion and have been for as long as I can remember.  I live them, I love them and I’ve always wanted to make them!  Now, after many years of working with some of the worlds greatest Indie’s, they’ve finally rubbed off on me and I’m diving in to join them!  That’s right; I’m officially working on my very own game as a true Indie developer!

So how does that work?

In conjunction with the development of the amazing new iOS Game Dock, Fully Illustrated has commissioned Cascadia Games to be the programming powerhouse that brings my dream game to life!  As part of the Game Dock’s Kickstarter campaign, their highest funding option ($10,000) included the glorious perk of getting your game made for the Game Dock! Now, as Cascadia are a client of mine, I had the chance to talk to Chris Jorgensen (founder) directly about exactly what was possible.  It turned out that my dream game, the game that has been toiling in my creative mind for decades was going to be achievable! This was just too good to be true!  Couple this with the fact that my game is going to be playable with an actual physical joypad rather than ‘just’ touch controls makes all this simply perfect.

Fully Illustrated has been squirreling away funds for years in the hope of getting enough cash together to fund a kick ass developer to realise my dream.  So when all this came together, and was within my small budget, I was little short of teary eyed.  Actually I was running around like a headless chicken for about 5 days out of pure uncontrollable excitement.

So what’s the game? Can you tell us more?

In short, I’m not saying too much right now, but that’s only to allow me chance to copyright and trademark everything first. I’m going to be launching a dev blog to cover this game from sketch through to release, so you can expect a very candid and open display of the development throughout.  I want this to project to be quite a social experience, so you can expect no stone to be left un-turned.  I’ll even be covering the costs and sales figures once launched (if there are any ;)

As an indication of what to expect though, I’m going to say this. This game is going to be the realisation of a dream, so you can rest assured that this is going to get every last drop of my creative ability and passion. I will make this my greatest work to date, that I can promise.

As far as what I can give away about the game, there are a few things I’ll say now. The game is going to be set in Britain, in a time way before the Roman’s invaded and will be mixed in with a touch of fantasy and old British folklore.  I want this game to have a very gritty and old English feel to it, something that I’ve never seen in any other game. Imagine the visual intensity of open misty moorlands, driving rain, blistering cold and sprawling eerie forests. This country is stooped in myth and magic that spans thousands of years, and I want to grasp the essence of that!

What about the gameplay mechanic?

I don’t want to give this away right now, but if you look at the rough concept image at the top, I’m guessing you can work out the basis pretty easily ;) It’s going to be retro, very retro indeed.

When’s it coming? How will it affect your normal work?

Dates wise, I’m working on it right now in my spare time, and have dedicated November 2012 – January -2013 to work on it full time. Its got a very loose release date of March 2013. So besides that couple of month window, I’ll be taking work on as normal :)

Ok, that’s a fair old amount of babble there; I’ll draw this to a close.

Watch this space over the coming months when I announce more information and launch the dev blog. I hope you’ll all wish me luck as I step forth into realising my lifelong dream…its as scary as it is exciting!

Mike.

 

 

Happy New Year & a little freebie :)

January 13, 2012

Hey Everyone,

Happy New Year!!!  I’m a little late off the mark with that comment, but hey, it’s the thought the counts right!

I’m massively excited about 2012 as there is SO much going on here at Fully Illustrated. Loads of new releases, announcements, you name it. It’s going to be a majorly busy 12 months.

Part of my new year resolution is to get back to the two things I love, fitness and photography, and in view of this, I’d like to share a photo that I took today on a cross country lunchtime trek!  It’s such a still day today so I thought it would be great to get down to a local forest/reservoir and get some great reflection shots around the water’s edge.

If this little shot takes your fancy, I’ve also included a fully functional iPad & iPhone wallpaper of it too. Enjoy :)

 

Here’s to 2012!

Mike.

 

Interview on Start Frag

September 14, 2011

Hey Everyone,

Another long delay since my last post…nothing ever changes does it ;)

I was contacted last month by the very friendly chaps over at Start Frag to see if I’d be interested in a quick interview about my thoughts, experiences and feelings about working within the games industry…how could I refuse.

Why not pop over and take a quick read.

http://startfrag.com/from-gamer-to-game-designer-interview-w-micheal-heald-from-fully-illustrated/

Thanks for the fun interview Start Frag!

Mike.

 

iPad Moods Coming to the AppStore!

May 19, 2011

Hey Everyone,

Well, its time to announce the free app that’s in production for the iPad!

After the 100’s of thousands of downloads of the iPad Moods I created many months ago, I decided that it made perfect sense to turn those little critters into something a little more fun, something a little more app like and something dedicated to the iPad!

I’m sure you’ve got many an idea as to what the app is, or what the app maybe, but I’ll leave you to think about that just a little longer.  The design of the app is now nigh on complete, and is entering development.  So watch this space for some exciting new updates!

Oh, and did I mention that its going to be free? Smiiiiiiile :)

More info REAL soon!

Mike.

FI-Faves...

fully-illustrated-palms-fave

The Palms Hotel

Oh yeah, now this was great, a big glossy casino in Vegas, I mean come on, it doesn't get a whole lot cooler than that! This place is all about partying, glitz, Playboy Bunnies, money and bright lights.

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Toribash – The Trailer

Say hello to Fully Illustrated’s first commercial piece of motion graphics! This was another great project for Toribash, to showcase their ever evolving and highly original beat’em up.

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