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Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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I'm looking for some input. I'm a long time illustrator, and in my younger days was responsible for quite a few paintings for video game packaging. I have a series of high rez transparencies that I shot back in the day, prior to delivery to clients, showing the game art complete, and clear of any design elements,ie.:Title, crawlers, crop outs., etc. I want to gauge whether or not there is any interest in my possibly creating signed prints of these images. I know it's tough to even find good quality visuals of the old boxes, much less hi rez and great color on the actual art. These 25-30 images include early and later games by the top 8 makers.



Any thoughts?

Re: Vintage game art

vedder (54662) on Mar 16, 2012


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It's a niche market, but I'd definitely think there would be people interested in buying such prints!

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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Thanks for the input. I didn't think younger gamers would be into this, but felt the over age 25 guys might be the demographic.

Re: Vintage game art

Zeppin (8409) on Mar 16, 2012


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I'd like to think that there would always be an interest in vintage cover art. It tends to bleed character.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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That was the name of the game in the early days. Take a look at the pixels, sit down with the packaging guys and sort out a compelling image in sketch form on the spot based on the developers narrative, then have at it back at the studio. Try to give the game play a visual construct.

Re: Vintage game art

Pseudo_Intellectual (63606) on Mar 16, 2012


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While you're at it, have a look to see if games you made the art for credit you as illustrator here, and help us get your name on file for those games that don't list you 8)

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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I'll check that out. Thanks./

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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Pseudo, I've spent today plugging my name into the games I was involved with. Thanks for the tip. Love your avatar.

Re: Vintage game art

Pseudo_Intellectual (63606) on Mar 17, 2012


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When you love videogames and play accordion, there aren't too many choices 8)

Re: Vintage game art

Lain Crowley (6783) on Mar 16, 2012


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It might also be worthwhile to print some posters as well if your stuff has that kind of 80's retro kitsch aesthetic. That stuff is big these days, and the audience is larger than you might expect.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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It's definitely Kitschy in feel, but almost all blastorama stuff. Mostly airbrush. Racing Aces, The original Choplifter, Super Baseball 2020. Boat Wars. Did a lot of Toy packaging as well. Star Ship Trooper lander, jumper. Magazine covers for GamePro, In fact, their cover for Issue 1.

Re: Vintage game art

Rola (8277) on Mar 16, 2012


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It depends on many factors. If the game itself had a cult following, surely any memorabilia will find its buyers.

Did I miss something - did you mention any titles?

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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Thnx Rola. See above. Did some stuff for SSI and 360 too. Das Boot Simulator...V for Victory Velikye Luki. Military Background was useful.

Once the animators reached the fantastic levels that allowed them to simply place their own incredible art on the covers, we all put down our brushes, but it was great fun while it lasted!

(Edited by Marker (557), Mar 16, 2012)

Re: Vintage game art

Rola (8277) on Mar 16, 2012


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Then I guessed right. By the way, I always liked the covers for V4V series (being a history buff et all...). Remember the first "Secret Service" issue cover (gaming mags always make them up from a collage of game artwork).
And I hate most of today's "5 minutes in Photoshop" covers. When I was working on my flight sim add-on, I wanted to hire this guy for the cover artwork.

Why so shy? ;)
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,25/

Ask vedder to link your MobyGames profile with your developer bio.

(Edited by Rola (8277), Mar 16, 2012)

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 16, 2012


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Yeah, The V4V stuff was some fun work.

They had a strong design sense in their layouts, and I worked out the 'V' logo for them. We were working on "V" II which was going to be the Pacific theater. I never got to work on those titles. Did that go anywhere?

They did some Dale Brown Old Dog (B-52H Hybrid) programming. I did the Old Dog Flying low over some Siberian mountain pass, as I recall. Wonder if I still have those transparencies... Think they finally ran out of funding.

Re: Vintage game art

vedder (54662) on Mar 17, 2012


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I linked your user account with the developer profile Rola mentioned.

I noticed that in your e-mail your last name ends in -sen, while the developer name we have on file says -son. Should that be corrected?

That being said; is this also you: http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,133690/ ?

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 17, 2012


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That's not me Vedder.

It's not surprising that there are hits close to my name like this. As semi unique as we all like to think our names are, it seems there are tons of near-me folks out there.

There's even a very nice guy who does fine art right in SF near my old studio with the same name. We've shared a few confused clients, had a number of beers over that one.

Re: Vintage game art

Rola (8277) on Mar 17, 2012


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Marker Wrote:
Did that go anywhere?

Sadly, "V For Victory II: The Pacific Campaign" got cancelled in 1996. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzigMgpOAKA

(Unfortunately we do not have the means (yet) to track unreleased titles in our database).

I found that you also did "World at War" series covers.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on Mar 17, 2012


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I did a complete illustration for the V4V Pacific series that was never used that I'd be happy to share with you. Is there a category for games that never were? There's also a color rough for the V4V II Logo.

(Edited by Marker (557), Mar 18, 2012)

Re: Vintage game art

Stefan Lindberg (18) on May 01, 2012


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I would be interested in prints :-) I even have bought a couple of original artworks that was made for game packaging http://hem.bredband.net/b159170/misc/boxart_collection.jpg

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 25, 2012


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Sorry for the non attention. I've been gathering my titles and working really diligently getting my credits for my game art up on Moby. You'll find me under Marc William Ericksen on this site, and Moby has credited me around 13 games at this point, with another 30 or so pending. I did nearly 80 titles in the 80's and 90's. I've also mocked up some posters which you can see, and if any of you would like to give me feedback, I would be very appreciative. I'd like to know how veteran vintage gamers feel about the whole thing. These aren't super high res, and they're watermarked, but you can clearly see where I'm headed.

Thanks.

http://www.marcericksen.com/7ericksentestprints.zip

Re: Vintage game art

Игги Друге (46321) on May 27, 2012


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You'll have to wait to be fully credited, since we're loathe to add non-complete credits.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 27, 2012


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So should I delete the credit entries that haven't been responded to for a couple of weeks?

Re: Vintage game art

Patrick Bregger (264276) on May 27, 2012


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The policy has changed a year ago or so. If no complete credits set can be acquired, single credits can be submitted. I can't find the discussion anymore, but it was in the context of Pseudo_Intellectual discovering some cover art artists for games without credits listing.

Credits approvals usually takes a while because they are often very time-consuming, especially for newer games.

(Edited by Patrick Bregger (264276), May 27, 2012)

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 27, 2012


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Thanks Bregger,

That explains the lag time, which is certainly no problem.

I had hoped to build up some game cred through my continued credit applications. As I've mentioned, I did around 80 games, and would never try to steal credit for any game I didn't do, but I also recognize that provenance is critical, and MG's rep is on the line with each credit.

Re: Vintage game art

Pseudo_Intellectual (63606) on May 27, 2012


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The problem is this: often artists sign their covers. Often, nobody else who works on a game is credited on the box, in the manual or in the game (... where the cover artist is often omitted) as publishers often liked to keep their stable of talent unknown to prevent other publishers from poaching them. We don't have a system to prove the absence of something (a problem atheists are posed with by creationists also) so for someone who knows of a game's artist it's hard to know the difference between "this game has a credits set listed somewhere that no one has submitted yet" and "there are no other known credits for this game." ... at least, to the satisfaction of an approver here.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 28, 2012


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That's why I've been sending in files showing my signature on the original art. Only the illustrator would have a record of the art as it existed fully edge to edge, before cropping and placement by the game companies.

In every circumstance the game packaging designers lopped off large segments of the original art. In Maxis "Full Tilt! Pinball" They covered over the entire top panel above the pin ball machine, which they had expressly asked for.

My experience was that the omission of the illustrator's name in most gaming venues has always been standard operating procedure. In certain cases (Tronix, HESware, Avalon Hill) the designers cheerfully allowed my signature to show on the package, but these were the exception rather than the rule. I always insisted in signing my name, generally in an area we all knew wouldn't show on the package after printing.

I always requested a credit in print, but they just never followed through.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 25, 2012


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Stephan, Those are some wonderful classic game-style paintings you have there! I'm curious about how you gathered so many. I only own 6 or so of my own paintings, the others all going to the clients, and often simply tossed into dumpsters. When companies would crash, and employees were desperate and scrambling to find new employers, nobody thought too much about what was in a dusty back room.

I've had certain parties make repeated offers to me to purchase my pieces, but I'm loathe to separate from them. I keep them stored in a safe place. The art that I hang in my home was done for more sedate clients like Southern Pacific Railways, Intel computing, and Dolby Sound Systems. The shooters and creatures were always the most fun!

Re: Vintage game art

Stefan Lindberg (18) on May 27, 2012


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Marc you mean the prints will look like the examples? I mean with text and "final box shot" mixed? Thats not something i want to hang on my wall if i get any signed prints from you :-) I like pure ones.

The Steel Talons artwork looked great, the Lynx boxes are too small to show artwork ;-)

Did you do lettering for any of the gamebox artworks?

The original paintings i bought are directly from the artists that painted them, wich is: Bob Wakelin, David Rowe and Celal Kandemiroğlu.

(Edited by Stefan Lindberg (18), May 27, 2012)

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 27, 2012


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Congratulations on your acquisitions!

I think you will find the paintings will continue to gain in value, because they constitute such a finite era when video games were illustrated by actual paintings. It started around 1981 and by Y2K everything had drifted into photoshop dataland, and it's tough trying to hang those bytes on a wall. Sure, you can print yourself a nice full color copy and frame it, but so can your neighbor, and his neighbor, ad infinitum. Even now there are games that are "illustrated", but we all use PS now, no one paints them.

Only YOU own the original art for THOSE games, by those artists. Good job.

Thanks for your input regarding the poster layouts. Personally I think it would be a shame not to use the extra materials I have in my files relative to each game in different ways, but your post has made me consider offering a clean plate version as well, for gamers like yourself, who prefer only the art. Thanks for your thoughts!

Cheers, Marc.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 27, 2012


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Stephan, In answer to your question about Titles, I did three Title Blocks in Illustration form of which I am quite proud: Sega Genesis "Empire of Steel", Data Age "Bermuda Triangle", and as you noted: Atari Lynx "Steel Talons". ...Oh yeah, there was also the Lynx Title for "Xybots".

Re: Vintage game art

Pseudo_Intellectual (63606) on May 27, 2012


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Heh, I like the little Atari logo on the helicopter's wing for Steel Talons' cover.

Re: Vintage game art

Marker (557) on May 27, 2012


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Thanks, I always slipped in the clients logos wherever it seemed appropriate. You'll see that in Hydra as well.

There's an orphan piece I'm still trying to ID that I know was for Atari (because I slipped in the logo) showing a closeup of a hockey stick in the foreground taking a shot at a goalie, who is very large in the frame, very close in. A short shot. The goalie is facing us straight on, with his glove extended toward the viewer as he prepares to catch the puck, and on the forearm pad of his stick hand is the logo.

Any ideas? http://www.marcericksen.com/atarihockey.jpg

Never mind! Just found it on TinEye.

It hadn't popped up before: Atari Lynx, "Hockey"

Now that I see it I realized that was another title block I rendered. I wanted the letters to look like blocks of rink ice. I did a bunch of covers for the Sharks in the early nineties. Some of you Canuck puckheads would appreciate those: Marty McSorley, Andrei Zyuzin, Patrick Marleau, Kelly Hrudy, Marco Sturm. Probably a dozen color game program covers.

It was a blast going to the scrimmages and shooting the players for reference. They were all great guys. Loved posing for me.

(Edited by Marker (557), May 28, 2012)