Monday, 16 December 2013

THE POWER OF AN OWL IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

As well as being a writer, illustrator and (questionably) decent sort, I am also a caster of PC gaming-related pods at www.crateandcrowbar.com, along with several other lovely folk: @pentadact@gonnas, @cthursten and @PCGLudo.

It's a lot of fun, even if my liver doesn't think so.

Also, I got to make some t-shirts in celebration of it, which you can buy from here - crateandcrowbar.spreadshirt.co.uk - and see details of below. Each is based on the title of an episode of the podcast, which is why they're so odd.






Wednesday, 4 December 2013

GRAND THEFT SUFFRAGE

Emmeline Pankhurst holding a machine gun - not exactly a high concept take on Leigh Alexander's recent column, I admit, but it was exceedingly enjoyable to draw. See also: old man with hot dog, creepy pod person, Gone Home fan art and these other assorted scribbles for Edge Magazine.









Wednesday, 23 October 2013

DEAR SIR

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a game in which you are chased by robots through procedurally generated rural British bleakness. Its development is ongoing, but you can buy early access to it from Steam and thus afford Jim Rossignol another solid gold dirigible. "They just won't fly," we tell him, but he just shoots another hapless aeronautics engineer and gestures to his manservant to find a replacement.

Anyway, I helped with some of the 2D art on the game and drew a lot of stuff for the forthcoming tabletop version. Here's the cover I drew for the boardgame - an interesting challenge because the same picture had to work in multiple aspect ratios so it could be repurposed for other paraphernalia. Blogger has also endeavoured to make the colours look shit. Thank you, Blogger.



Inventory is a big deal in Sir - your survival depends on the random drops you find. I drew lots and lots of inventory items, and here are some of them. The scale is not always realistically uniform, as they had to fill inventory slots of a certain size, regardless of the items' comparative sizes in the real world.




I have no real idea how the boardgame works, but it is comprised of a large number of tiles that can be slotted together, recreating some of the computer game's procedural feel. Here are six such tiles (though there are many more).




And here are the player standees:



Finally, hi'-rollin' kickstarter backers got a portrait of themselves as a robot. This handsome chap is Minecraft creator, Notch. (The frame is unrestricted stock photography by a very generous DeviantArt user called Black-B-o-x. What a hero.)


It's been pretty incredible witnessing the gestation of this project. Thanks to Big Robot for letting me be a part of it.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

REDGE DEDGE REDEDGEMPTION

Edge Magazine is twenty years old and its marvellous birthday issue is now on sale. It's got twenty different covers by different artists, each depicting a different game! One of which is by me, for the game Red Dead Redemption, and featuring a disembodied, ugly, glowering, beardy man who looks like he might smell a bit and/or shoot you in the knees and/or steal your horse. That's not typically a surefire sales strategy when it comes to magazine covers but luckily there are nineteen much prettier covers, all of which you can preview by laboriously scouring the Edge website.

Happy birthday, Edge! May you continue to cast the beam of your terrifying red-glowing compound eye over gaming culture for a further twenty years.



And here's what the paper version looks like. Wood-imitation flooring not included.



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

TOUGH AT THE TOP

Edge magazine is twenty years old this month and a suitably celebratory issue hits shelves tomorrow. In fact, it comes with twenty different covers, one of which Edge kindly let me draw. This is not that cover, but it is something else I drew from that issue to illustrate Edge's status in print game writing. Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel a sudden hunger for capons.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

WILL SELFPIC

It's a picture of Will Self in a viking helmet. I don't recall exactly why, but I'm pretty sure the answer can be found in Steven Poole's tremendous collection of essays, Trigger Happy 2.0, for which I also had the pleasure of designing the cover. If you need to know why the essays are great, Chris Donlan's review of the book says it all - and is a joy to read in itself.


Monday, 26 August 2013

GREYHOLME OF THE NIGHT'S WATCH

Game journalism is rife with naval-gazing histrionics and in-fighting. But whatever absurd scandal is causing the latest Twitter meltdown, PC Gamer's writers are just quietly, stoically carrying on, Doing Good Stuff. PCG, like the Night's Watch, takes no part. And standing on that frozen, lonely wall, staring with grim defiance into the darkness as it swells across the lands of print journalism is PCG's mighty leader, @gonnas.

He also has a really admirable beard density.


Friday, 23 August 2013

BABY CTHULHU AND THE HEADLESS MENACE

A series of illustrations involving multiple decapitations, dismemberment, two kinds of undead, Cthulhu and fruit. For Edge magazine's excellent columns, of course.









Thursday, 22 August 2013

JOURNEY TO INDIE MOUNTAIN

Here's a thing I did for PC Gamer's recent Indie Issue, which may still be on shelves. It is a most excellent read - even more so than usual because this particular issue comprehensively demonstrates the thrilling amount of NEW there is in games at present, much of it billowing from the indie community. Mr @rotational wrote the fine words for this particular article, but there's a lot more good stuff besides. It also marks the last issue of PCG's beloved dep-ed / man-monkey hybrid @richmcc, since departed for adventure in Japan. Who will force us to go to thrashcore clubnights in squalid, sticky basements now? Who?!




Oh and also:



Friday, 26 July 2013

REGGIE'S PERFECT TEN

Sticking with the theme of videogame execs, here's a drawing of Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime which I did for Edge magazine. Reggie's one of the more benign gaming suits out there, I suppose - ponderous and vast, with a halting, jargon-heavy stage manner that suggests he's somehow ventriloquised by a text-to-speech robot scanning the pages of Marketing Horseshit News. He's also said some amusingly daft things about review scores, such as: "Reviews of a system or reviews of a game really come down to the quality and capability of the reviewer." Oh, bless.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

SHUHEI YOSHIPSTER

I'm a big fan of Shuhei Yoshida. I've met him a few times over the years to ask him probably quite unpleasant questions about whatever controversy was then embroiling PlayStation. He always responded with magnanimity and humour, which is much more than is warranted when accosted by a jet-lagged, snarling gnome waving a dictaphone. And unlike other execs in the videogame business, I never got the impression that he was, say, a golem conjured from a soup of blood and teeth to serve the purpose of diabolic masters, or likely to peel off his face to reveal thrashing mandibles, or would simply dissipate in a swarm of beetles when the questions got tough.

I'm also a big fan of this column by Brian Howe in which he imagines Mr Yoshida's increasingly demented efforts to court indie developers. Brian's columns are feverish causal avalanches - he takes one variable, pumps it, deflates it, pops it or twists it, and then watches as the butterfly effect shudders through the rest of reality. They're also very funny.

Here's the pic I drew for the column:


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON

Everything I know about George Washington comes from Assassin's Creed III DLC press releases and this video, which is actually the best video on the internet, or perhaps simply the most important single human-created artefact, greater than the Rosetta Stone or the Easter Island statues. It is in this video's honour, and also because I was coincidentally paid to illustrate a column of unrelated words for Edge magazine, that I created the below image.


Monday, 15 July 2013

LAKITU: HELLMOUTH

I can't even remember the context of this illustration now, except that it was for a column in Edge magazine. It shows Lakitu, one of the most irritating adversaries in Nintendo's roster, as the Hellmouth - a common medieval depiction of the entrance to hell as a multiply mawed and very hungry creature, stuffing itself with hapless butt-naked men. Yummy!


Friday, 12 July 2013

PLUNGE POOL

I swear, this was a topical reference when I drew it for Edge magazine. Gaming icons depicted as the then-famous Olympian divers - gurning faces, clingy swim-shorts and all.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

BALLMERISED

My friends at Edge magazine understand that there are no more sinister and fascinating creatures to me than the CEOs of large tech and videogame corporations. It has always baffled me why they are allowed on stage at consumer-facing events, where their antics betray a complete lack of humanity. Witness the chittering, insectoid disquiet of Don Mattrick, as one of his several tongues flick out to tease the meniscus of his pearl-black third eye, or John Riccitiello's baleful gaze, which scythes through the audience, turning attendees into clouds of ash.

Anyway, here's a picture of Steve Ballmer eating a bedpost, which I was actually paid to draw, improbably.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: MEN IN TIGHTS

Here's a something I put together for Official Nintendo Magazine, depicting @mrbasil_pesto and @2plus2isjoe as Link. Links. They're both very funny men - follow them on Twitter, or, indeed, buy the magazine which they write. These days, I believe you can even download it and pay for it with electric money. Fancy that!



Friday, 5 July 2013

WEDDINGDONG

Two of my good friends got weddingerised a weekend or two ago. I drew some very severe-looking Victorian-style portraits for their wedding invitations.



They got married on a boat! It was awesome, just like they are.