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Mighty Jill Off - PART 3 
22nd-Mar-2008 03:41 pm
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
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Mar-2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
22nd-Mar-2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
I love this! She is so cute and it's so much fun to see the work in progress :D
22nd-Mar-2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Hey Bet, I have some news that may excite you!
22nd-Mar-2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ooh? Tell tell!
22nd-Mar-2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
22nd-Mar-2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
But but but...
How can it be a secret but also be news? *cry*
22nd-Mar-2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
22nd-Mar-2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Can I has password? o__o
22nd-Mar-2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ok, the password is 'Turtles'

that's all you're getting!
22nd-Mar-2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Login: dreamt
Password: Turtles

22nd-Mar-2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
nice game. but yeah fucking hard.
I dig the astro boy tezukaness of your drawings in it.
I imagine I'll keep at it until I can beat the bastard.
Think of all the swearing you've inspired.
22nd-Mar-2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks! I love Tezuka! Toriyama is also a big influence on me right now.

Can you ask your mate Corey Lewis if he got my colouring sample?
23rd-Mar-2008 02:22 am (UTC)
Old Toriyama stuff is like gold only better.
I'm outa town right now but I'll see corey in a
week or so. I will ask him.
23rd-Mar-2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks!

Toriyama amazes me. I don't know how someone can be so inventive and original and yet so content to rehash himself ad nauseum! That stuff he did for Blue Dragon, it's like man, he doesn't care anymore.

I love that he's got like 5 different styles and they're all brilliant. Have you read my blog post about early Dragonball?

24th-Mar-2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
nice, Reading that made me need to go out and get the old stuff. I also read sandland recently he seems to have recaptured some of that 80's magic he had in that.
And reading Dr slump makes me realize how much of Mario games they ripped off from Toriyama.
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Mar-2008 05:40 am (UTC)
that movie is great.

what are your favorite prince songs?
23rd-Mar-2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
"this will be hard to draw and not make it look gross" haha.

i'd say you succeeded, but then, i'm kinda into that kinda thing anyway so i'm probably not the best judge of that.

i'd love to see more of your preliminary work, it's always interesting to see someone else's creative process.

i do have a pc laptop, but they really need to make game maker cross-platform. it's the reason i'm considering going with torque for my next project, though i resent having to learn a more complex and otherwise useless scripting language.
23rd-Mar-2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Hah, thanks!

What was your last project?
25th-Mar-2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
oh man, don't go torque. i'm working with it now and it's a headache to implement even the simplest things. i hate that game maker's not cross-platform but it's just so much more stable and well-considered than torque.
27th-Mar-2008 06:16 am (UTC)
ah, good news! turns out they should have a beta mac port of gm by the end of this month! i can't yet decipher if the games you make with it can be put to either windows or mac or just mac though. if it's the latter, :\ but otherwise, yay.


let's just pray the framerate on this is the result of poor video capture...
24th-Mar-2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
I love eet!

This is inspirational. It makes me want to draw fun things. I wish I had time.

So the queen initially had a veil?
24th-Mar-2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I decided it was a pretty superfluous detail, though. The spikes are more befitting of her character, I'd say, and a veil is a bit too girly.

Hey I'm glad you feel inspired! I'm going through a really lazy patch. I'm bad! I'm an awful procrastinator. I have all these ideas for things I want to make, but there's no fire in my soul! I need to snap out of it and get invigorated somehow!
24th-Mar-2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Here you go, have some matches...FOR YOUR SOUL
Or, you know, just go out for a while, whatever works for you.

Ordinarily I'd be all over the veil, since veils are dramatic, but you're right that it doesn't suit the queen. She's too badass for a veil.
25th-Mar-2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Hah, I read that back. FIRE IN MY SOUL, what the heck am I talking about
25th-Mar-2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
the game is really cool!
a bit hard but cool :)
nice to see the rough work of this game! your style is cool and has this flow to it. as if it all could jump outa the paper in ya face haha!
i think you art is fantastic!
25th-Mar-2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks!
25th-Mar-2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
hey! no problem :)
im glad to have you on my watch list!
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