HBPC Postcards

The Homebrew Players Competition (HBPC) was a year-long gaming event run by Orab Games. Each month, players had to compete for high score in a different NES or Famicom homebrew game (independently developed titles released outside of the console's original lifespan).

For each game in the contest, I illustrated an A6 postcard, often depicting the game in an unexpected manner. Aside from dimensions, these depictions are also unified by the use of isometric perspective. These include some of my personal favories 

Study Hall
Developer: KHAN Games
Get the Game: Retro USB
As the game takes place on the pages of a student's notebook, I chose to exaggerate the imagination-gone-wild aspect of the tile, with 3-ring binder-style prongs bursting through the pages, and . Heavily influenced by Chuck Jones' daydreaming Ralph Philips.

Although stick figures, the blonde-coiffed, green dress protagonist shown is an option available through the game's character customization features.

Developer: Faux Games
(after Mr. Podunkian)
Get the Game: Faux Games
Drawn as 3.75 inch scale action figures (although most commonly Hasbro's G.I. Joe scale; there were more Lanard The Corps! toys in my household.) Struggled with coloring line art for the transparent portion of the blister pack, but am pleased with the end result. 

Chunkout 2
Developer: James Todd
Get the Game: Retro USB
There's only so much to do with colored blocks. Here, I thought it'd be fun to show sand explosions. Structures more compact than sand castles; less compact than sandstone, just bursting away. As the game plays on a black background, went with a black beach setting, like those seen on Jeju's Samyang beach and elsewhere.

The Rise of Amondus
Developer: Sly Dog Studios
Get the Game: Sly Dog Studios
One of the few games I chose to depict straightforwardly. At the time it came up, I had long wanted to create work for the Candelabra Epic of which the game is part. 

With three unique characters plus some baddies, it was ripe for illustration. The biggest challenge was showing "razor-edged" leaves, but I'm satisfied with how they turned out.

Developer: Nessylum
Get the Game: Retro USB
Loved the organic implications of the spaceship design in this game. The bands give the impression of a ribbed airsac of some sort, very much like a creature seen in the background of the Bomber King MSX box art

Taking that billowing organic starting point, I fleshed out the ship with some detail inspiration from shiitake mushrooms. It wasn't until watching play throughs during the competition that I realized Notzilla shows up later in the game. So, I had to do my best James Stokoe loveletter here.

Lawn Mower
Developer: Shiru
Get the Game: Shiru's Stuff
A classic title, Shiru was putting out extremely polished small games years before anyone would use polish to describe NES homebrew work. I couldn't help but visualize the game as a Super Punch-Out-style arcade cabinet. Not shown: the force feedback of that mock mower jerkin' around. 

Although a departure, I tried to stick true to the source material through choice of mower model and details like the pattern on the base and the marquee lettering coming from the game's title screen.

Mystic Pillars
Developer: Sivak Games
Get the Game: Retro USB
Again, there's only so much to do with colored blocks. Here, I challenged myself color wise by pushing the hues even less saturated than I usually work. Plus, a little kudzu overgrowth on the side to make it mine.

The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure
Developer: Łukasz Kur and myself
Get the Game: my Itch page
A super fun one, as I'd already done all the production and promo artwork for this title. Here, I daydreamed some merchandising opportunities I know we'd never see: a Polly Pocket/ Mighty Max-style clamshell playset. 

The case itself is a gold nugget from the game, and shown is a mashup of features seen in the game's mines. I imagine a second case as the game's diamond would be used for the tower setting.

Action 53 Postcards

Action 53 is a multi-cart anthology of NES homebrew titles. At the time only two volumes had released, and I drew the postcards below as fan art. They were received well and opened up the opportunity for me to handle cover art and packaging design for the following two volumes in the series. 

Forehead Block Guy
Developer: NovaSquirrel
Get the Game: Nova's Site
I went in a prison break direction, inspired by the orange jumpsuit of the original character. Had a lot of fun fleshing out the robotic enemies, bringing in inspiration from 1967's The Prisoner and 2013's Oblivion. Plus, another shiitake mushroom appearance.

Munchie Attack
Developer: Joe Parsell
Get the Game: RHDN
A very early title in the NES homebrew scene. I just wanted to get all gross and grody in the teeth and tentacles and whatnot.