Let me park my Sinclair C-5 and quickly plug my new project before I embark on an adventure in my blimp (dinosaur sightseeing).

CNES-88 project

Can't unsee blue "teardrop" bikini bottom

Some thoughts on the Mighty No 9 design. It's a tricky situation to do Megaman without doing Megaman, of course. They wanted to keep the silhouette and decided to change the internals, but... I think it's too much of a haphazard mélange of color fields, panel lines and mystery function knobbery. When designing characters for old games they had to be iconographically strong (strong silhouette and simple flag-like coloring) (consider Samus or the more obscure Marina Liteyear), because there was little or no space for embroideries... or rather, the embroideries were subordinate to the general masses and relegated to the side-art in manuals and such. Internal details can be useful, but anything which draws attention to it and takes up valuable space, has to be functional and not merely area-fill, I think. All this is easier said than done, of course.

Anyways, here's my take on a "Mighty". It's just a quick sketch of course and can't rival anything with weeks of iterations behind it, but I haven't posted any art here in a while, so...

Super Mario Land graphics tweak

Here's the latest project:

Super Mario Land

I redid the bulk of the graphics and injected it into the game using a tool that I developed. An IPS patch is available for download on the page.

The graphics are 2 bitplanes (4 colors) just as in the original, but you can choose your own palettes for foreground and background objects if you're playing the game in a more modern environment, giving you 4+4 colors, minus one for transparency.

It would most likely run on the original Game Boy (using a flashcart), but the original high contrast graphics were probably more suitable for that screen than mine are.

Kawaiik trailer storyboard

I read something about Doom 4 and got in the mood to draw something new for my Kawaiik project, so I drew a storyboard for a trailer which hopefully is effective at conveying the general idea of the setting. 

Only minor changes to the old Kawaiik project page.

Space Dragon

If I had the dough I'd do a pinball machine. I love the clean look of the 70's and 80's boards (Dolly Parton, Captain Fantastic, Lost World), but the machines in the 90's had more interesting features perhaps. Retro EM chimes here and there would be snazzy, along with some steppers. I think pinball loses its charm when it becomes too... unmechanical. I haven't seen a board with manga style art so that would be interesting. Music, something along the lines of TX Sector and Elvira and the Party Monster.

Space Dragon!

Phantasy Star

I never owned a SEGA Master System, but I fondly remember some of its games which I played at a friend's place. The SMS hardware was pretty good so it's a shame that the system has such a small library and never go to realize its potential in the way the NES did.

One of the best games for the system was, almost without question, Phantasy Star, an RPG released in 1987. It's similar to the forerunner Ultima in its presentation, with the first person dungeons and a mixing of fantasy and sci-fi. Of course, Phantasy Star's graphical presentation has more meat to it than Ultima's, but I think it also bests its contemporaries, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Makes me wonder how Toriyama's excellent Dragon Quest designs would've looked if DQ had been released on the SMS...

Anyways, Phantasy Star project page in the works.

Space Orc sculpt

I've been scratch sculpting! Work log over at: Cool Mini Or Not

Tangent: I've generally liked GWs sculpts and how their sculpts are very direct, use simple shapes, leave space for labels and user funz, have a clearly established language and suggest function for many components. I've seen other companies who just appears to be stacking "cool" shapes, without much rhyme.

Well, that's what I used to think, anyways. Then I saw this skaven guy which will serve to illustrate what has been bothering me for a while about GWs current style. Zig-Zag hair, like how a child draws it. There's no clustering or tip curves. And that robe (and rat leg) is made out of unstructured angular flakes, an element which is present in many of their other sculpts as well. What's more, their indents are these... soft valleys (shrink wrapped?), which leads to a sort of pillow shading, which is made worth by the lifeless smooth painting (washing?) style.

Again with the skinsack shapes: Ogres , and the zig zag and angular patches return. Those lifeless monocolor pants. These Ogryns are a different thing from a different era. Haphazard, yes, but with a certain... illustrated storybook feel to them, with plenty for the eye to explore.

And their Orks are all teeth and plasticard now. I miss the "clowny" Bonner orks with their more rounded forms. Well, mostly the art that is. The sculpts were so-so. I guess I could buy some old EPIC Ork vehicles though.