My short stint as a graphics artist

Way back in the summer of 1989, while on a vacation in Düsseldorf, I worked as a backup graphics artist at Rainbow Arts on the promotional (AdWare) game Sunny Shine on the Funny Side of Life – then called Sunny Shine: The L&M Game. It’s a long story. I created one of the locations and a lot of the animations, somewhere between 20% and 30%. The producer of the game felt that my location didn’t look cluttered enough, so he had the main artist (Ramiro Vaca) add some random stuff. We used an Amiga 2000 for all graphics work because it had the best paint program – Deluxe Paint III – into which we imported an EGA palette to remain compatible with the DOS version.

If you’re wordering why the objects are duplicated in the image, that’s how it used to be done: it was usually not possible to have multiple files open because of memory constraints, so we copied all the elements into spare spaces. They were needed as it was always possible that some things would need to be moved at a later stage – to make room for other, more important items, or simply for aesthetic reasons.

Apart from it being a fun diversion while I had nothing else to do, Peter Thierolf, who later co-founded Kaiko, was impressed just enough to offer me the job as graphics artist for a project he had been working on: a shooter taking place in a prehistoric world, with dinosaurs and animals as the enemies. I started working on a few proof-of-concept images when I got back home, but quickly found that I was too slow and had too many limitations when working on my own. I never sent my samples to Peter, and he never asked for them. A few years later, one of the first Kaiko games to come out was Apidya, which had evolved to an anime-style fairy tale story with the help of the new graphics artist, Frank Matzke.

Finally, over a period of a few years in the early 90s, I worked on three games altogether with some friends, but none of them came to anything.

And that’s the whole story of my short stint as a graphics artist.

(The featured image is a lighting experiment not related to any game.)

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