Category: Inspiration

Supplice spriting timelapse #1

I’m busy with all kinds of projects as usual, however I thought recently that I could record myself working on some game artwork and create a kind of time-lapse video with some commentary what I’m doing and why. :) And while it’s not a proper tutorial, a look into someone’s workflow can still be interesting and helpful. Here’s a first video where I clean up and paint-over the 3d renders of the weapons to create proper gun pickup sprites for the Supplice Doom project. I plan to make more soon, covering making sprites and textures from scratch.

Thanks to James Paddock for the great music I could use in the video!

Artists who inspired me – Henk Nieborg

Welcome to a new column where I will write about artists who I admire and have been a great influence on me. The name of the article may, or may not be a reference to a certain spy movie. ;)

For the honourable first, I’ve chosen Henk Nieborg. While his name is probably only known by pixel art enthusiasts, this Dutch artist was my first big inspiration, somebody that I looked up to, both in the terms of actual level of skill as well as future career – I was a teenager back then, still early on the road to find my way. Fascinated by game design and pixelart (Which at the time, seemed easier than other types of art, which in my opinion now, is very far from truth and I don’t know how I did get that idea – I think that each medium or art discipline has it’s own specifics and it’s not possible to objectively say that any is easier or harder over the other.) Henk blew my mind when I discovered him and it’s very likely I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for his work.

Contra 4
Contra 4 (Nintendo DS/2007)

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Milestones


No wonder I hid the Manticore’s paws behind the logo…

Learning something, increasing your skill takes time and sometimes feels like a struggle – there are moments when you just don’t feel you’re getting better. Usually, for most people, progress comes in increments or at least feels that way – long peroid of working and then those short nice moments of “Oh hey, I’m suddenly better at this!” ;) If you wanted to visualize this somehow you could imagine it as an slowly ascending staircase.

What you can do, to check how are you doing, is to just dig up some of your old artwork and simply re-do it. I have to admit, I didn’t attempt to do that it until now. Since we’re preparing Monstro for it’s release, as part of the improvements on the game, I’ve decided to redraw the artworks for the monsters. Here’s a before-after – there’s a 1,5 year gap between those IIRC. I think I’ve really improved a lot and it really feel like the practice wasn’t wasted time – hopefully this comparison will inspire and motivate you to keep going on your journey as well! ;)

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Good looking old games: Amiga first person shooters

This is the first entry to the series! From time to time, I will write about games I consider good looking and why – not limiting myself to first person shooters, or the PC platform, stay tuned!

In the second half of the 80’s and in early 90’s, Amiga was The Computer. Until IBM PC’s started to outclass the Amiga, it’s multimedia capability was unmatched. The games offered great graphics and sound for it’s time. It was also a platform for the creative individuals because of the available software for creating your own art (Even 3d models and renders!) and music. The software and hardware expansion Video Toaster improved the 3d rendering capability and allowed the Amiga users to work on video post production at home, which was quite revolutionary at the time – it had a lot of features which were available only in the expensive studio equipment by that time.

Being a strict PC gamer for a long while, I’ve discovered plenty of interesting stuff later, in the age of internet. ;) The first person shooters really kicked of in the 90’s, which was a time when the PC started to outrun the Amiga in the “arms race”. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are Amiga exclusive FPS titles, most of them arriving late to the party (1995-1997). Of course, I’m thinking about “3d”/2.5d shooters, not the ones of “moving crosshair” kind, or the 90 degree limited, faux 3d environment – like in plenty of RPG titles like, for example, Wizardry. Technically, there’s plenty of games on Wolfenstein 3-D tech level, and some are a little more advanced – keep in mind that the non-upgraded hardware wasn’t suited too well for 3d/2.5d games. I’ve picked some titles I consider visually, or technically, most interesting/inspiring.

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The idea of capturing motion

As far as graphical tasks go, I think animation may be the one of the hardest, and most time consuming of all. To improve the workflow, animation work is well planned ahead, heavily organized, with plenty of staff working on it most of the time – just read the credits for any animated movie. ;) Even now, with the improvement of technology, the only thing that is really easier, is the preview/test screening. However, somebody came up with the idea, that you could take an already recorded, acted performance and incorporate into your current medium. I’m sure many of you remember those guys:


Prince of Persia (1990 version), Another World (1991), Flashback (1992)

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