Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pixel Days

My graphic design background landed me my first job in the game industry. I worked on mobile games creating the HUDs and menu interfaces. It was super fun but it still wasn't fulfilling my passion to draw and paint. This was for the Kingdom Hearts 3D mobile adventure, a rare chance to illustrate back then. It was used as a loading screen before the 'Alice in Wonderland' level. Painted at the size you see for pixel crispness.

These are the HUD and menu interface designs and animations I did for The Incredibles 3D game. The thing about cell phone games is that they have to work on a variety of phones with a variety of screen dimensions so I always had to come up with designs that were scalable. The first image demonstrated how that screen would scale because it was made up of four corner pieces and tileable pieces between the larger graphics. I'd have to show you for it to make sense unless you've done that sort of thing.

This was a design for the main menu of a snowboarding game. I was provided with a temp background image and told to create a menu on top of it. The title was to come later but I left the company before we came back to this game.

Lastly we have a nice baja desert racing game. Initially I was asked to create the HUD and an example of how to go about creating a tileable isometric graphic background (example above). Another team was going to be doing the graphics. When that wasn't working out so well I took over all the graphic responsibilities from the tiled background to the car animations. The top two images show both the entire range of car states I created for the animations as well as the full set of tiles layed out in a possible track shape. If you've never worked on pixel games and haven't had to create a rich world from something like fifty tiles I'd recommend it. It's incredibly challenging and satisfying. Or maybe I'm just funny that way. I wish I were given the opportunity to design and layout the tracks but the designers in Moscow were given that privelige. In the end I got producer credits on the game and learned a whole lot about making a sprite based racing game and managing a team located in Moscow while I sat in an office in southern california. Those were really fun days but like I said earlier, not as fun as now.

Actually I lied. Here's one very last background I did for the village level in Van Helsing. This entire level was limited to seventeen tiles so there wasn't too much to work with. You know, these probably suck and a real pixel artist is probably laughing at them right now but boy were they fun to figure out. For an artist I'm incredibly left brained.


Anonymous said...

Man! All this creativity and awesome work blows my mind! Really, I didn't know you were so skillful on pixel art, besides the pencil, and the illustration, and everything. Wonderful!

cdeboda said...

Cool. Nice to know a little bit of the history behind "Hethe".

Roc said...

good ol' pixles. . . . .but seriously your work is amazing, man. keep pupmin' out the greatness.