Early Winter Gift/tbt


A surprise package arrived at the compound a few days ago. After it passed the security screening protocol, I was surprised to discover it contained a game I had worked on six years ago. Not only did Watermelon ship two physical copies of the game (Dreamcast and PC versions), but also they included a variety of merch and a hardcover, full-color strategy guide.

A spread featuring one of the bosses I made for Pier Solar.

Inspired, I cracked open the vault and dug through project archives for more images to showcase from the game.

This environment serves as a backdrop for battle scenes. While you observe a jungle, I only see a jungle of graphical restrictions.

Because the game was originally created as a Sega Genesis cart, I was limited to a 16-color palette (the pink designates transparency) with a 3-bits-per-RBG-channel color depth.

In addition, the background had to be built from 2 layers of 8x8 pixel tiles with a maximum of 255 tiles per layer. Fortunately, I was able to mirror individual tiles, which allowed me to get more mileage out of them and conserve the total tile count.

Layer 1 and its tile palette

Layer 2 and its tile palette

As a bonus, enjoy another battle background that my friend and former coworker, Andrew Bado, crafted for the game.

Live Event: Blackwell


On October 16, Museum of the Moving Image, as part of its ongoing "Well Played" events, will turn the spotlight on an adventure game franchise made and set in New York City: Blackwell. I plan to attend, so it'll be a good opportunity to get my new business card or maybe talk about annular fusion. Admission will be free, so pocket the excuses!

Many credit the Blackwell series with spearheading the revival of the point-and-click adventure genre. In contrast to many mainstream titles, its episodes grapple with philosophical questions surrounding identity, loss, and closure. A dash of the supernatural rounds out its blend of urban fantasy and sleuthing.

I contributed art to three out of the five episodes: Legacy, Convergence, and Epiphany. In fact, I still get flashbacks from Legacy's development, when I regularly worked until 3AM to meet deadlines before sleepwalking to my day job mere hours later.

I plan to share some Blackwell art I unearthed from my archives in a future post, but until then, enjoy the following comparison.

The Evolution of Rosa's "Snarky" Expression

Blackwell Legacy (2006)

Blackwell Convergence (2009)

Blackwell Epiphany (2013)

For more information, see: