A few weeks ago I took my first foray into pixel art. It was something I always wanted to try, but never got around to. Actually, that’s not true, I used to do it all the time.
Back in like, 1995, my parents bought a computer that had MS Paint on it. I spent hours and hours drawing pixelated pictures with that clunky old mouse. Of course I wasn’t going for a pixelated look then, I wanted them to look realistic. Computer generated imagery was all the rage—1995, it was the year of Toy Story! I had an entire drawer filled with floppy disks, each one packed with goofy pictures (I think 11 year old me called them masterpieces). Sadly that drawer of floppies was lost to time. Sure would love to see some of those pictures again. I remember being particularly proud of an epic portrait of Macho Man Randy Savage.
Anyway, I went back to pixel art for Gamespot.com’s Mass Effect pixel art contest. It was the perfect excuse to give it a go—I like Mass Effect, pixel art and winning stuff. I was super busy with other freelance artwork, so I didn’t get to spend as much time on it as I wanted, but I think it turned out all right.
I discovered while I worked on it that pixel art is a ton of fun. I’m really happy it’s making a bit of a resurgence (for reference see Fez and Sworcery). Making it hits a creative and nostalgic sweet spot. The only downside is that when you’re done, you can’t play it. Once I finished “de-making” Mass Effect into an old school 2D RPG, I was kind of bummed, I wanted it to be real.
I think it might be fun to de-make more games. Maybe I’ll do a whole de-make series and post it on my website. I might be able to squeeze in one or two a month with my other work (maybe, heh). Any de-make requests? Leave a comment of the game, and the genre you’d think it would fit in—like Uncharted might make a good 2D platformer or Call of Duty as a Contra-style shoot-em-up.
Oh yeah, if you have a Gamespot.com account, make sure to swing by here and give me a vote in the comments, mine is Image 2. Thanks!