Skip to content →

Tag: game art

Broken Forest Progress



I haven’t had a lot of changes to do painting lately, with Sproggiwood nearing finish and all, so I was really happy to get my (digital) brushes out for this one! This is an illustration for a story scene in the game depicting a “horrible future”. This picture was actually first asked for few years back already when we started development on the game, but as the story evolved the need was scratched. Through the magic of iteration it made a reappearance this fall, so I dug out my old sketches and promptly scrapped them.

It turns out I have learned something about painting the past two years, because this time I had the sense to start with drawing before jumping to paint.


This is the thumbnail sketch I picked from my efforts.


Scanned the thumbnail and added digital values. I probably could have gone a bit further with this one, I had a few problems with the value composition later on.


Printed out my value sketch at around 20 – 30 % opacity and drew the final line work on top of that. I’ve found this is a neat way to avoid having to use my light table that I paid lots of money for. Honestly though this is a lot faster, and the slight values underneath my drawing help me to visualize the whole thing in three dimensions.


Here’s the color scheme settled, I knew from the beginning I wanted something that would feel a bit oppressive and strange, so yellow/red/purple was what I had in mind. I don’t usually try out different color schemes for pieces, since my original concept of a piece always comes with color in my mind, then I just need to work at achieving that feeling in paint.


Continued with blocking shapes out and changed some drawing details. Started working from the background out, so that’s almost final at this point.


Giving everything a second pass with more detail pretty much.


Finally added some details, drew the river out and added some line work on top of the piece for emphasis on a whim. Originally when I imagined the piece I saw it as kinda sketchy and scratchy, and the lines seemed to work well to bring that about.


Sproggiwood Greenlit!

Sooo! We launched Sproggiwood over at Greenlight on Monday, and I was planning on doing a nice blog post about it once I got my current gigs finished, but it turns out I can just tell you it’s passed Greenlight in two and a half days! It feels a bit surreal since we’ve been gathering the material for the Greenlight for what seems like ages now to just finish almost at once. My art got lots of positive comments in general – except for that one guy who said it made him feel greasy like the free-to-play games – so I’m feeling pretty gratified. The game design side of the project still has to prove themselves with demos/ actual launch!

Check out the greenlight page!

We started at 80% yes votes and dropped to 75% by the time we got through, which is apparently pretty good. We had an article appear on rock, paper, shotgun and a few other nice press sites, but there was no major explosion of press associated with the release, we sent the material out a little late so articles mostly appeared on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The release is set to fall 2014 at the moment for PC, Mac and Linux, with mobile hopefully to follow. Now we just need to actually finish the game and integrate it to steam – let’s hope all goes well!

My other posts on making Sproggiwood and it’s art.

Comments closed

Art for Level Pack: Hell

Another illustration I did for iBear last year, for display on a level pack in game.


Comments closed

Overtime Rush on Kickstarter


Almost a year ago I had a fun time making graphics for a tower defense game project, and now it’s finally up on kickstarter! It’s an endless tower defense game headed for ios, with various fantasy villains trying to skate their way to the finish line. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to show off some of the art related to the project, so expect to hear a bit more of it in the near future.


Comments closed

Searching for the Sproggiwood Look

As I’ve been posting the occasional art update on Sproggiwood I thought it might be time to give more insight into making art for a game.

Sproggiwood is by far the largest game I’ve made art for, as I have history of smaller mobile game projects. As our personal indie project, it also came with all new freedom and responsibility. Being the only artist with very accommodating team members I was solely responsible for setting up the visual style and managing my workload.

Early prototype screenshot.

I started designing the graphics with a few key pointers in mind. First of all, the character art needed to have easily swappable gear art. To the rescue came Spriter, which allowed us to use bone animations with easy to swap single pieces of art. As Spriter was still very much in development when we started using it I had more than a few frustrating moments when the old files stopped working or the ui changed so that I didn’t know how to use the program anymore. Overall though the project would never have been possible without it, and it made the animation workload much easier to handle.

The final animations in the game don’t feature the pixelation that seems to crop up in the exported frames.


As I wanted to be able to easily add more gear, the animations were designed so that a single image of the item in question would be enough, no different perspectives. For the same reason we also settled on one animation direction with horizontal flipping, no back views.

Spriter also allows for easy combination of frame by frame animation and bone animation, so I was able to do more frames for monsters that didn’t need to have parts changed.


For the general graphics style I knew there was no way I’d be able to fit in the painted look I love so much, so I went looking for a more simple style. I was kind of fond of the look of many retro pixel art games, but had no interest in actually pursuing pixel art myself so I ended up adopting a rectangle based aesthetic. I’ve long been looking to try out more simple, graphic design in my other work, so I saw a great opportunity to explore it here.

Early UI mockup.

At first I tried to set myself strict rules to follow, but eventually I just started doing stuff that felt right and good. As time has ticked by everything has been getting more simplified and streamlined, especially the interface.

Final UI in progress.
Final UI in progress.

The game design has also been simplified along the way.

Notice the empty spots that used to have resources/ infiormation.
Notice the empty spots in the UI that used to have resources/ information.

A few lessons I’ve learned along the way:

– Simple things can take more time do than complicated ones, as you cannot hide imperfections in the detail.
– If someone asks you to do a tilable river with animation, say NO.
– Good mockup ui graphics to make iterations easier.
– Tilesets have an unbelievable amount of tiles if you’re doing corners, and making good looking tiles takes forever.
– Things change, and graphics end up obsolete. It’s better to do placeholders instead of finals for big stuff that might change.
– You’ll never anticipate all the little stuff, especially when working with an iterative design.

Overall I’m really happy with the project. I’m proud of the art I’ve created and even though some of the lessons along the way have been painful they will make my work more efficient in the future. Of course the game isn’t quite finished yet, but most of the graphics work is getting there. Soon I’ll be able to count the remaining tasks with my fingers!

We’re entering the dreaded state of game development called “polish”, so in a few more months we might have a completed game.

More about Sproggiwood:



Comments closed

Sproggiwood classes design

I realized I’ve neglected posting about Sproggiwood for a bit, so here are the designs I did for the different classes.

As we are using Spriter as our animation tool all the character consist of pieces being moved according to a saved animation file. The different pieces can be freely changed while using the same “puppet”. We adopted this system in order to easily swap out gear and armor, without totally failing at budgeting for graphics.

In hindsight this has worked well, doing the different clothes for different classes has really been a breeze compared to other parts of the game (river, I’m looking at you). I especially like the big hats! Each class has several sets of gear, though you can only see one here.


icon_farmericon_warrioricon_archericon_wizard  icon_thieficon_vampire  

Comments closed

Sproggi Boss Design

So I haven’t been posting a lot about our progress on Sproggiwood, not because it’s not moving forward, but because most of the stuff involved in the production is kinda boring from the outside. I’ve been spending ages on doing and redoing menus, and in addition to polish work that’s most of the stuff left.

We have finally moved on to adding beta testers though, going through the first wave now! We’ll take more of them in waves, trying to improve on the design in between based on the feedback we get.

Here’s something genuinely fun though, a boss based on the Kalevala monster Iku-Turso. A slightly non traditional interpretation!


More about the game:

Comments closed

Palette Switching Tests for a New Project

So here’s something fun!

monster colors

I’m slowly thinking of a game I’d like to do after Sproggiwood is finished. I’ve actually had this in my mind for a while, since I just love playing the few actual creature breeding games I’ve found out there like Pocket Frogs and Derby Days. I’d like to do my take on the subject, with a bit more gameplay and super cute monsters to breed. So I want to create a game where the creatures are made of of totally individual parts and colors, and you can achieve any combination of them through breeding. The gameplay has a bit more to it than that, but that’s the one thing not liable to change.

So to that end I’m now testing out palettes created for the palette swapping system our wonderful programmer Brian has created. These are total test graphics and test palettes, too bright for actual ingame use, but I thought they came out cute and nicely represent the awesome possibilities of the system! (Still need to be tested with the system itself, this is a simulation of what they are supposed to look like.) I can’t wait to be able to create palettes for everything in the game from backgrounds to other art, every color completely under my control.

I’ll keep you posted as the project at some point starts taking shape, don’t hold your breath though!


Comments closed

Sproggiwood Promotional Art



Finally done! This was a real fight, but now it’s over. A promotional painting for an indie game project I’m a part of, Sproggiwood. As I don’t plan to do a lot of different paintings for promotion, this one is designed in a way where we can take different cross sections and still arrive at interesting graphics that represent the game well. The actual painting has extra space for the title on top, but I prefer to cut it off here, as there is no text yet. I’ll do a post a bit later on the steps this took, but for now I just want to rejoice in the fact that it’s done.

You can watch some steps along the way on livestream

For more info on Sproggiwood see:


Comments closed