Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pixelus Maximus

Copyright 1993 TecMagik

I couldn't resist. Back before I became the mighty gaming magnate I am today, I was a humble pixel jockey. I worked on a number of games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System at a small development house in Issaquah, Washington. The company was called Manley & Associates (later the late EA Seattle). It was my first job in the game industry.

This is from the Pink Goes To Hollywood sidescroller Manley developed for TecMagik, starring the license-alicious Pink Panther. I noticed most of the development credit on the web is incorrectly copied from the Sega Genesis port by a different studio, which was in fact based on Manley's SNES version.

The picture is made up of sprites and background tiles I created for the Robin Hood themed level using the venerable workhorse of game art: Deluxe Paint from Electronic Arts. This dates from 1993, the heyday of 16-bit consoles.

Just look at those luscious pixels! Ye gods, they're huge! They could put an eye out. These are pixels to be reckoned with. I used to name each of them. The one in the upper left is Chet. A family of five could live inside pixels like that. Each 16x16 tile only had 16 colors, all of which strained my 386 running Norton Commander to the limit. You had to make each one count. None of this willy nilly RGB stuff. There was no spooling your bloated assets to a hard drive. Nosiree.

Screenshots were usually pretty lousy back then. By the time they were screengrabbed, separated into CMYK and printed in magazines (there wasn't much of an Internet yet), you usually ended up looking at a mushy little postage stamp. So, here is some stuff from the original assets in all it's glory. Savor the days when game art was like a mosaic floor in a very fancy bathroom.

Heeeyyy... There's an idea.


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