Can I flog this mangy pony for much longer ? Probably not , so here is the final part in my look at the art I did for MIGHTY JILL OFF
, a game which critics are already describing as 'a textbook example in good level design'
and everyone who I show it to is describing as 'really fucking difficult'!
I scanned these in straight from my sketchbook so you can get an idea of how I work (haphazardly, mainly). On the page below you can see the storyboards for the intro sequence. I'd just been reading a whole bunch of Cerebus comics, and I like the way Dave Sim's background artist Gerhard used architecture to emphasise the drama of a situation, or to expressionistically symbolise the characters in the scene. I attempted that in the first shot, trying to use the brickwork of her castle to emphasise the Queen's coldness and her grandiousity. I like how the archway frames her in her throne. It didn't really come off so well in the final product, mainly because my background drawing muscles are pretty much atrophied. This is something I hope to address!
In scenes two and three I used a rose tint to symbolise Jill's blissful display of affection for the queen, and then a grey wash to show her sadness at being shut out. Dessgeega told me I should limit myself to black, white and red for the cutscenes.
Above you can see the Queen's tower from the title screen. Because I wasn't really satisfied with my first take on that scene but I didn't have time to do the whole thing again, I ended drawing the title screen in a bunch of seperate parts and then collaging them in the computer.
Above is my first take on the title screen. This is the first time I properly drew Jill's face close-up. Her character really evolved when I was making the storyboards, so by the end of development this picture seemed incongruous with the rest of the game. Bottom right is a replacement face I drew right at the end of the project, and it's this you see in the final.
As for the Queen's castle, I'd always envisioned it as just a smooth straight tower simply because of how the game is laid out, but ultimately I decided it was too phallic, and this is not a game about dongs, after all. On top of that, in the game there is a narrow bottleneck just before the 'torture chamber' at the top of the tower so it wouldn't make sense drawn as a single cylinder anyhow. Since it wasn't really working I'd considered leaving the title screen out, but ultimately I felt it was important that players should see the castle from the outside, so I threw together the replacement face and tower and coloured in all in the last few hours before the deadline.
Below, you can see the storyboards for the outro sequence. I did a bunch of different takes on the first shot, since I realised there were a lot of different ways you could play it. Dess chose panel d.). I like this way of working, since you get to explore every possibility for a scene, and your finished product is only ever as bad as the best thing you throw away. That's the theory, at least.
Below- inked final artwork. I'm still a novice at this whole inking malarky, and sometimes some of the nuance and life of the original pencils gets lost in the inking process, so I scan in the pencils before I start inking. That way, I can use photoshop to make a composite of the best bits of the inked and pencilled versions. Ideally, I will become good enough at inking that I won't need to do this, but until then this is a good safety net.
Notice how much rubbing out there is. A lot!
I sensed this was an important shot, because you get a lot of Jill's character from the way she runs, so I did quite a few takes on it. Hard to say if I made the right final decision! I pretty much nailed this run in the storyboards, but we'd decided Jill would be depicted as more grown-up than she appears in the boards, so it was hard to translate to the final artwork.
Right, that's it! Again, go and play the game if you haven't already! It's PC only, though, so Mac owners can go do something else, like eat organic museli or knit yourself a iPod cosy HOW DOES THAT SOUND