Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Tue, 20 Jan 2015
This is the cover art I've just painted for DRM (Death Ray Manta), a new game by Rob Fearon (and friends), coming to Steam and Vita early this year.
I've never done cover art for anyone else before. In fact I've only really done it for our own games in recent years, as back when we were making games for publishers we (the devs) were always kept at arms length from promotion and publishing. I could do the in-game graphics but I wasn't allowed near the cover art or the adverts.
Rob kindly asked me to do something for his game late last year, and that was the first time I've ever been commissioned to do a painting for somebody else's project. It was flattering, and quite exciting, but mostly really scary. Would I be able to do anything good enough? Could I even draw anything big enough to fill the screen? (So many of the graphics I draw end up at about 32x32 pixels on screen, and most of my comics are just a string of very small drawings.)
I think it's come out pretty good and I'm really pleased with it, although this was one of those projects where it looked awful for most of the time I was painting it. As I was adding layers and layers of swirls I kept alternating between thinking 'this is going to work' and thinking 'this is dreadful, you're wasting your time, you need to delete it and think of something else'. Only yesterday afternoon when the space background went in did it all click into place and look like I hoped it would.
I wanted to capture the bright neon colours of the game - so as not to mislead anyone who was attracted to the image on the Steam storefront - but I didn't want to just duplicate the in-game graphics. I was also aiming for something like the spirit of 60s and 70s sf book cover illustrations, or early video game covers / cassette inlays.
In the end I think I've sort of duplicated the idea of the Feud Amstrad loading screen, but in space. With a fish.
I might look into getting some nice prints of it made as I want it on my wall now.
Click on the image to see a bigger version.