Monday, 7 August 2017

Video Nasties

Well, this one was a hell of a lot of work but I think it paid off!
I worked very closely with Duncan Ralston (the authour) on getting it just right. A lot of back and forth. Many, many emails and pictures bounced back and forwards. (Communication is key in a good project- both sides need to engage in prompt and open sharing of ideas and opinions. This is where the creative process flourishes and bears the best fruit. Artists: talk to your clients. Clients: importantly!; talk to your artists! Respond to emails. Acknowledge emails. Share ideas. Listen.)
The logo was the first thing we tackled and I came up with a load of ideas. Half a dozen of them got to be fully fleshed-out and solid designs which all worked really well but we picked the one that really popped out to both of us. It was definitely the best choice for the project (the others are really great- it was a very inspiring project- so I may end up using the designs for other stuff).
We wanted an 80s, retro feel for it. Something visually interesting. From the intial passes we picked the hand coming out of the box. The aim was to suggest all of the evil contained within and to homage Evil Dead a little.
Drawing the image tool a while- those tentacles are fiddly. Then I went in to the painting. Midtone flats (trust your midtones- you pick a base colour for a reason). Shadows (2 layers of these- faded airbrush then a solid one for definition). Highlights. Then put on an overlay layer and wash the whole thing in a fade of 2 or 3 colours to tie it together. Drop the transparency of this overlay down. Don't be afraid to flatten layers as you go- treat it like a real painting.
I hand-painted all of the stickers and textures. Those stickers are some of my most favourite things I've ever made.
I warped the logos onto the box in perspective on photoshop. Warped the whole image onto itself so it looks like it's coming out of the same box image.
I drew a couple of spot illustrations to go on the back. Then put in thumbholes where you can see a vhs tape (front and back) peeking out at the bottom of the box. Then painted on weathering textures with some splattery and cloudy brushes.
Then, after a little resizing to fit, we had our wraparound cover. So many elements and a lot of work to get them all to play together as one piece but I think I pulled it off. I hope you like it.
If you do, you can buy the book here!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Movie Night Resources

Here is a link to the free pdf of Movie Night as well as the Character Sheet, Shooting Script and Clapperboards.

The intention was always that this would be an accessible game. That kids, schools or other groups wouldn't have to worry about money if they wanted to have some fun.

To that end, the pdf is free to all. This is all about people sharing and playing.

If you like the game, and I hope you do, you can buy a copy from Lulu for only £3.99 (the price is kept low as you can see). You could buy one copy to run it and give everyone else access to the pdf if you wanted.

The pdf isn't fancy- it's not bookmarked or hyperlinked. Read it on your mobile device, print copies out if you like.

I hope someone gets some enjoyment out of it.
Please share this with your friends.


Movie Night Clapperboards

Here is a link to the clapperboards for movie night. You can use them to detail your scenes for easy access.

Movie Night Shooting Script

Here is a link to the Shooting Script for Movie Night which you can use to plan out your adventures.

Handy if you want to make something up in a hurry.

Movie Night Character Sheet

Here's a link to the character sheet if you want to print out some more copies.

Have fun!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Movie Night!

Now available in print from Lulu!

Please play around with it, take it apart. Get rid of the stuff you don't like.

It's cheap (£3.99), so don't expect the world from it. It's meant to be a bit of fun.

I'll post up links to character sheets and so on later.

Buy it!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Movie Night

I've made a little roleplaying game.

I was a bit bored of running games like D+D and getting bogged down in round after round of combat rolls and the like. Sometimes you just want to tell and experience a story.

So I came up with a basic system for resolving 'scenes' as a whole. I played it with my daughter, Kitty (who's currently 7, but was 6 when we started). She played a classic fantasy game.

The idea behind the game is a simple way to tell cinematic stories. It's presented as being a way to do classic 80s style films like ET, Monster Squad, The Last Starfighter, Gremlins, Goonies and so on, with a little Stranger Things thrown in for good measure, but includes several story ideas, a full adventure and different settings.

One of my friends is a teacher- he managed to get his kids to play it at school (thanks, Baz!). They enjoyed it and ran it on their own.

I put it through some edits and the like following feedback. The intention is that kids and teachers, etc. can access it at any time. I'll keep the pdf freely accessible and the print version low cost.

It's just over 50 pages of printer-friendly layout. A5 with a full colour cover.

I'm just waiting for a proof print to turn up before I release it to the wild.

The art was done in sketchbook (that's my daughter in silhouette by the way). Logos and layout in inkscape then the textures overlaid in photoshop.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Woodland Warriors

I got a chance to do the cover for the new edition of the Woodland Warriors RPG for Beyond Belief Games (brought to you by the visionary Simon Washbourne of Barbarians of Lemuria, etc.) so I jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity to try something different in a fun style (plus, something I could show my daughter that she might like!)
The concept came out pretty full-formed, even down to the colour palette. I wanted to try and catch an 80s Bakshi, Saturday morning kind of vibe, with a hint of Ghibli thrown in.
The foreground was done with solid linework and mostly flats with one overlay layer of dropshadow. The character designs kept simple and distinct so they would work in a cartoon.
I took the bold step of not drawing the background and fully painted it. Which I think worked out ok. I am really please with those clouds.
There ar a couple of layers of noise and blue over the top for a slight accent to the cartoony feel.
I designed the logo- working up from a font in sketchbook by hand and then converting it to a vector in inkscape.
I think it came out pretty well. I sure had a lot of fun doing it!
You can get a hold of a copy of it here.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

More Monkey

The Monkey RPG is kickstarting now so here are a few little insights into the character design process for you.
With such an iconic character as Monkey, you are blessed with both limitations and benefits. You can get away with leaving out a lot of detail as the character pretty much speaks for himself, BUT you do have to make sure you get a few essential  'markers' in there.
Here is an early first pass at him (my very first pass isn't here- those were pretty hardcore. Maybe you'll get to see them someday if I do an interpretation of 'Journey to the West'..)
There are also a couple of detail shots and a linework pic. It's important to always try to capture his humour. He should always look like he's planning something. Or amused at the prospect of what he's planning.
On the detail shots you can see that his belt is a kind of 'championship' belt. A bit  Hercules meets WWE(/F). It speaks to his martial aspect and it bears the symbol for immortality.
His big loin cloth (I do like these. Belts and cloths. Too much Conan, I guess?) says simply 'Monkey King'. He's THAT guy. He has his own name on his crotch.
You also get to see the legendary cloud-jumping/stepping slippers here. I decided to keep them pretty simple.
He wears his tiger pelt. It's one of those 'markers' that he just has to have. I made it an off-the-shoulder affair and have the tail on so I can play with it in movement.
And his eyes "are lit as if with the fires of heaven". He's a god, remember. The kind of god that knows stuff. The kind of god that f@cks sh!t up. He needs to look insightful, devious and cheeky all at once at all times.
If we get enough backers I'll share some more stuff with you. But in the meantime; check out the link, back the game and spread the word...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


The Kickstarter for this RPG is now live!

Check it out, share it about if you can.

Back it and I get to draw more pictures!