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Interview with the Captain of the Skies, Nick Sherman!

Yes indeedy! In honor of the recent remake of Hot Streak Solitaire at GamesvilleChris Cummings let me badger the Gamesville artist, Nick Sherman!

nickprofile He also likes to fly planes.

Mira: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! ^_^ I know you’re a busy man, so let’s jump right into things. Hot Streak Solitaire currently has three worlds released and two more worlds hidden in the shadows. Where did you get inspiration for each world?

Nick: Each world was a combination of both Chris’ and my imagination.  There was nothing set in stone when I started to dive into this project, we just let the ideas flow out as I created each scene.  Poke has been a character of Gamesville for a long time, so there was a lot to reference about him.  I took my inspiration from his existing appearances, and tried to create an environment that I felt he would belong in.

map Even Poke needs a map!

Mira: The current worlds look fantastic, btw. I keep spotting more details every time I play! Any idea how many images/animations are in a single world?

Nick: Each world has an array of different animations.  They each have 3 unique “You Won Sweepstakes Entries” animations, along with other background animations (such as clouds, birds, tumbleweed, fog, etc.) to make it look alive even while nothing is happening.  There are also a number of animations within Poke that are shared across all of the scenes like his walk cycle, idle animations, turning around, etc.

Mira: Wow.. So many things I never even thought about! How long did it take to create all of that?

Nick: I would have to say it took me between 2 and 3 months to complete everything.  That includes the game and all of its assets, 5 scenes (including the 2 that are coming soon), the foldout map, and one other fun feature that had yet to be revealed ;)

Mira: You’re such a tease! :P Now I want to know what the fun feature is. I guess I’ll have to be “patient,” or something like that. So, what was the process like for creating the images?

Nick: First, I make a rough sketch, on either paper or on the computer, and try to figure out where everything is going to go, and how to fit it all.  When the layout is there, I can then trace over it and clean it up.  I like to have the background and characters pretty finalized before I start animating them, so I have a clearer picture for what it will look like.  After all of the art and animation is done, I can take a step back and make sure everything is there that is supposed to be, and touch up any thing that looks a little off.  The final product tends to look much different than the initial sketch, as we’re always coming up with new ideas throughout the process.  Here are some of the original sketches for Hot Streak so you can see how much it evolved.

hssOriginalSketch1 Poke ponders how to cool off.

Mira: That’s really cool! (Pun totally intended.) What was your favorite image/animation to create?

Nick: Man, that’s a good question.  I had fun creating all of them!   If I had to pick, I would say that the barfing penguin was especially fun.  It’s not too often that your boss tells you draw a drunken penguin that throws up a fish.  I also enjoyed making the desert scene because of all of the different characters involved in it.

Mira: Yeah.. I can see why a barfing penguin might not be a common request. ^_^ What was the most challenging item to create?

Nick: I don’t want to give anything away, but I’d have to say the final level in scene 4.  Keep an eye out for it when it arrives!

Mira: Again with the teasing! :P I’ll be on the lookout when scene 4 comes out. Are there any plans for limited edition, holiday themed worlds? 

Nick: Well the great thing about this game is that more can always be more added to it.  A holiday themed world is a great idea!  There are also the 2 more scenes that we’ll be adding soon.

Mira: What’s your favorite world?

Nick: All of them!!   I do like the first world, because it was the first one that I created, and it brings me back to the beginnings of Hot Streak.

Mira: Honestly, the first world is my favorite too. It’s just so cheery! ^_^ And I think.. *flips through pictures.* Yes! Here’s the concept art you sent me for World 1.

hssCitySketch1 Idea

finishedworld1 Reality!

Mira: I love that I can see the penguin ice-cream cart that rolls in at the end. ^_^ Out of curiosity, what drinks are served at the penguin pub and may I have one?

Nick: I believe they offer shrimp martinis, krill shots, and squid beer.  Not quite my cup of tea, and I hear they’re quite pricey.

Mira: Squid beer? That sounds.. different. o_O


Not squid beer.

Mira: Back to Poke. I'm a little concerned that he went from the desert to a graveyard. Is he dead? (World 4: The Afterlife!)

Nick: Haha, no no, he just took a wrong turn somewhere.  Poor Poke is always getting in trouble.  When Franken Penguin scares Poke off to Scene 4, I think he’s going to find himself in a very strange place!

Mira: I can’t wait to see it! And now the last two questions: What's your top score in Hot Streak Solitaire? Top streak?

Nick: My high score is 498,370 and my best streak is 13.

Mira: Awesome!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions and share some of the sketches. And a big THANK YOU for contributing unique artwork as a prize in Points4Prizes! I know that whoever gets it will be really excited. ^_^


Want to learn more about Nick? You could always read his blog or check out some of his non-Gamesville art! It’s cool!


Somebody get me a blanket!

If you could interview anyone at Gamesville, who would it be? What would you ask? And in case you missed it, here’s a link to the interview with Chris Cummings!


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