Zeboyd Weekly Art! (1/9/2013): Nemissa, October, Cthulhu!

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Jan 092013

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the 2 week hiatus – the holidays are actually extremely busy for me with family in from all over; and then I had to spend the following week trying to make up some time working on the game maps.

I should be back on track with the weekly art article now though!

So this week I drew Nemissa from Soul Hackers and I’m sharing some cool art of October (CSTW) and mighty Cthulhu (also CSTW).

SMT Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers - Nemissa (Bill Stiernberg)

SMT Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers - Nemissa (Bill Stiernberg)

Nemissa, a female devil that suffers from amnesia, is the protagonist’s partner, key to the work the group is doing. Because she has no physical body herself, she inhabits Hitomi’s body. The instant Nemissa’s soul takes control Hitomi’s hair turns silver.  She’s selfish at first, but over the course of the game she begins to learn empathy.

In this pic I tried to avoid using too much detail in the clothing and face and coloring.  It may sound counter-intuitive but if you’re going for a clean, simple look as I was here, having too many folds in the clothing matched with too simple a drawing of the face, it can clash some. So here I tried to keep it consistent and fairly simple and I think it turned out well enough.

So Soul Hackers comes out for 3DS in April, I believe. It’s one of these really cool first person dungeon crawlers with random encounters. It was originally released in Japan on the Saturn in ’97, but with some upgrades the 3DS release should look and play pretty solid. As a spinoff of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise so it ought to have a following once it gets here.

Hope you like Nemissa! I should draw Hitomi next..

October, Cthulhu Saves the World (Katoons88 on DeviantArt)

October, Cthulhu Saves the World (Katoons88 on DeviantArt)

Here’s a really cool fan art of October from Cthulhu Saves the World by Katoons88 on DeviantArt.  It appears she did this as a commission for another fan of October.  She’s got a really clean, cartoony, colorful style to most of her art.  Anyway, October’s a really popular character from our games, so it’s fun to see more fan art of her!

Cthulhu Law (Postman6611 on DeviantArt)

Cthulhu Law (Postman6611 on DeviantArt)

So here’s another CSTW fan art!  I really enjoyed seeing this one.  It’s a sketch and inking on legal paper by Postman6611 on DeviantArt.  He seems well practiced at comic style sketching and inking, and it shows both on his DA page and this sketch.  He doesn’t often do color pics though but I still enjoyed seeing his gritty mighty Cthulhu sketch!

That it’s for this week, hope you enjoyed seeing the art article back in action.

Happy 2013 woooo!

-Bill Stiernberg (bill_at_zeboyd on twitter)

Links to previous Art Columns:

Zeboyd Weekly Art! (12/19/2012): Fiora, CSTW plushie, Anne sprite stuff

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Dec 192012

Hey everyone!

This week we have a fan art I did of Fiora (the Courtesan) from Assassin’s Creed, a really cool plush of Cthulhu someone did in his CSTW getup, and something I felt like sharing about spritework.

The Courtesan - Fiora Cavazza - Assassin's Creed (Bill Stiernberg)

The Courtesan - Fiora Cavazza - Assassin's Creed (Bill Stiernberg)

Fiora Cavazza was a courtesan recruited into the Templars; the Captain-General then used her as an envoy between his many Templar agents operating throughout Rome.

Fiora was eventually betrayed, and after surviving an attack from a murderer, she joined forces with the Assassins, and helped them take down the agents she had once collaborated with.

Fiora is a really cool Assassin’s Creed character.. but she doesn’t get a lot of lime light!   In fact I’m not exactly sure what game(s) she’s in.. haha.  There’s also not a lot of fan art of her out there, so I felt like doing one, and it was fun.  She’s got a really cool design, I think.  Anyway I drew her in a sort of cartooney style.  I’m still experimenting with different styles and ways to do things.  I kind of want to develop a cartoon-style of my own so that I can do neat, colorful art.  I’ve done some more detailed stuff in the past like Dude on a Walrus and it’s still goofy but man it took quite a bit of time to color that!

Next up is a really cool plush someone made of Cthulhu. Not just any Cthulhu but actually from CSTW:

Cthulhu Saves the World Plushie (mariosonic on DeviantArt)

Cthulhu Saves the World Plushie (mariosonic on DeviantArt)

Not only is it awesome that someone did a Cthulhu plushie (such as the excellent ones by CthulhuChick), but I LOVE how they put him in his CSTW in-game garb, and even gave him that furrowed-eyebrow scowl.  Awesome.

And finally for today I thought it’d be neat to share some preliminary sprites I did for Anne’s character in Rainslick3.

When I do a sprite, I have 16×24 pixels to work with (in Rainslick3 that is).  The issue with most spriting at this size is how to convey the character’s appearance, face, clothing, etc. with such limited space to work with.  Each dot, each shading on each dot, makes a huge difference.

So when I initially did Anne, I sorta instinctively tried to cram in as much of her character as I could.  The problem of course is that I wound up filling up the entire 16×24 space, making her look as tall as Gabe and Tycho.  The result is that she looked much older than her character ought to be.

Afterwards, I toyed with the height and narrow-ness of her face on the sprite to try and see if I could adjust the appearance of her age.  I would up with a really young Anne, a kid Anne, and basically a young adult Anne.

Anne's Sprite; range of ages

Anne's Sprite; range of ages

So just a few tweaks to her height and face made her look three distinct ages of the same character.  I took a poll and we decided that the middle-Anne sprite looked most appropriate for the character.  Not a little tiny kiddo but not a 20-something, but in between.

Hope ya find that sorta interesting 😛

I might have done a Holiday-themed artwork this week but I can’t think of what to do!  Any suggestions, maybe I’ll do it for next week?


Links to previous Art Columns:
Dec 122012

Hey everyone!

This week I’m posting a couple of requests (Jean and Jim) and some really cool fan art of Umi (CSTW) by Rue of Blue Breeze.

Jean, from Lunar (by Bill Stiernberg)

Jean, from Lunar (by Bill Stiernberg)

Jean is a skilled dancer and martial artist.

As a child, Jean was brought up by a mysterious masked man who taught her the Shadow Dragon Fist. She escaped and lived as a dancer, but her past soon catches up to her. In the course of her adventure with Hiro, she once again finds herself face-to-face with her old master, who is still raising children to become assassins in his cult. She seeks to take him down!

She dresses as both a dancer and as a martial arts fighter.

So obviously I drew her in her dancer get-up! Actually it was a lot of fun drawing her.

Hope you like it! I should play Lunar one of these days.

Gotta love the classic Working Designs Sega CD rpgs.

Umi, CSTW (by Rue of Blue Breeze on DeviantArt)

Umi, CSTW (by Rue of Blue Breeze on DeviantArt)

Umi is sort of a ditsy girl whose obsession with the sea and its creatures is matched only by her obsession with Cthulhu himself!  So she joins his party out of love and affection.

This fanart pic is fantastic, I love how Rue really emphasized the ocean-nature of Umi’s hair.  I also love the simplification of her dress and the color scheme of this pic.  Great job!

Jim, Skull in a Jar (B. Stiernberg)

Jim, Skull in a Jar (B. Stiernberg)

Jim is a skull in a jar.

He was once a man, but he has since died. Some sort of dark mystical powers keep him conscious as a skull in a jar of some horrible green bubbly substance.

He joins the Startling Developments Agency as a guard, but fails to protect the Necrowombicon from theft by Dr. Blood. So Gabe and Tycho have little choice to trust him with anything… so they make him join their adventuring team to do battle! Of course.

This pic I drew a long time ago and isn’t high-res the way I normally post my pics here. It’s also not the best, so maybe one day I’ll do a better Jim!

Hope you enjoyed the article!  I’m still taking requests so if there’s a character from one of our games or some other game, let me know and if it sounds fun I’ll do it!  Also submit to me your fan art if you have any and I’ll post it here!
Links to previous Art Columns:
Dec 052012

Hello again, this week I did 2 requests.

Robert requested that I draw Raquel Applegate from Wild Arms.  It was fun!  She’s got a lot of detail and there’s not a lot of fan art of this character out there, so I enjoyed doing it.

Raquel Applegate (Bill Stiernberg)

Raquel Applegate, Wild Arms (Bill Stiernberg)

Raquel is a tragic heroine, afflicted with a serious and incurable disease since she was a child. She is one of the few survivors of the disaster that annihilated her hometown. Since then, she’s embarked on a mission to live life to the fullest and see as much beauty in the world as she can.

It was quite fun doing this pic, but wow, all those belts and clasps.

Not a Kitty!  - Paws, CSTW (Bill Stiernberg)

Not a Kitty! - Paws, CSTW (Bill Stiernberg)

Paws is the love-able alien from Cthulhu Saves the World.  He is some kind of morphing green alien.. he takes great offense to being called a “kitty.”

We gave Paws his name was based on RPGamer staffer Anna Marie Neufeld’s avatar. PAWS!

Incidentally, she requested I draw this for today’s Weekly Art.  I drew him kinda cartooney because I thought it’d be cute and/or funny.  One day I will do a fanart of Paws that I really like, I feel like this one turned out okay.

All right, that’s it for this week.  Remember to request whatever characters if you like, and also submit to me (by link, or email) any of YOUR fan art and I’ll post it here in the column!
-Bill Stiernberg
Nov 282012

Hey everyone!  Today we have one pic I did of a potential Game of the Year contender, and I’m posting fan art from two of our previous games.

Kat - Gravity Rush / Daze

Kat - Gravity Rush / Daze (by Bill Stiernberg)

Gravity Rush / Daze is on a lot of people’s potential Game of the Year lists. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I really like the characters and concepts!

Kat is the main character of Gravity Rush / Daze. As a shifter, Kat has the power to manipulate gravity, letting her perform gravity kicks and gravity slides.

The game seems to be an excellent action / beat’em up in an open world with a really cool gravity mechanic, and a host of RPG elements (level ups, side quests, new abilities, etc).

I did this pic in a more cartooney style / coloring. The game is cel-shaded and looks great, and the main character has a neat look to her, so I wanted to draw her.

Cthulhu - From CSTW

Cthulhu - From Cthulhu Saves the World (by Rue-of-Blue-Breeze)

Here we have some excellent vector style fan art of Cthulhu from CSTW.  This was done by Rue-of-Blue-Breeze, on DeviantArt.  I love his interpretation of Cthulhu, with all its extra details and slightly greenish-bluish coloring, as well as excellent contrast.  Great work.  Check out his DA page here.

Sara - Breath of Death VII

Sara - Breath of Death VII (by Choark, on DeviantArt)

Here we have a pretty cool interpretation of Sara from Breath of Death VII.  I like the cartooney, goofy, over-exaggerated features of this artist’s style.  It matches Sara’s personality pretty well I think.  He’s got another Sara or two on his DeviantArt page, among a number of probably NSFW images of various pictures :P.

That’s it for this week, seeya next time!

And please request any characters you’d like me to draw, from our games or any other!


Zeboyd Weekly Art (11/21/12): Breath 7 Crew!

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Nov 212012

Happy early-Thanksgiving everyone!  I totally should have drawn a Thanksgiving themed pic this week, but I did this last week so it wasn’t on my mind:

Breath VII - The Crew!

Breath VII - The Crew! (Bill Stiernberg)

I felt like drawing this cast in a very cartoony and simple yet colorful style because I feel like that reflects the game and the characters better than a more realistic style.   Also wanted to try a new cartoony style that isn’t anime-esque.

Also I wanted to try out inking in Paint Tool Sai again and this is the result. I think I’m going to switch over to painting in SAI as well once I break it in.

Enjoy!  Click the image to go to my DA page to download the full image (link at top right) if you like.  Do let me know if you want a wall paper version of this too btw.

Garrus Vakarian

Garrus Vakarian - Mass Effect (Bill Stiernberg)

So I wanted to draw something from Mass Effect and someone requested Garrus, so here he is!   It was fun to do something out of the ordinary of what I usually do, and I wanted to paint something out really quick so this was good practice.  Instead of painting each segment of the picture individually as most artists and I usually do, I just laid down the flat colors and did shadows and highlights all at once.  So it might look a little rough, but I probably cut my painting time in half this way.   Next time I’ll try a method to maintain cleaner inking lines.

Happy pre-Thanksgiving again, everyone!

 Posted by at 9:20 am
Nov 142012

For today’s art column I had to try a new way of doing coloring.

So, last week’s Dude on a Walrus piece took about 6 hours.  I really wanted to take it easier this week and try a style of coloring that takes far less time.

The two following pics I did took about 2 hours each.  I focused more on lines and bright colors rather than a lot of minute details and lighting.

The first one is a popular enemy from Rainslick3, called in the game, “Epochosaurus.”  (or Epochasaurus?)

Rex Ready aka Chronosaur aka Epochosaurus

Rex Ready aka Chronosaur aka Epochosaurus (Bill Stiernberg)

You may recognize this character as Rex Ready, the Bond-esque time travelling action hero from Penny Arcade.

He’s awesome! So I drew him like James Bond. The way he should be.  I also put him in the Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3 game.

Since Rex Ready doesn’t exist in that universe, we changed his name to Chronosaur.  Turns out there’s already a game company with a character called Chronosaur who does, happen to be, a time travelling T-rex. We and PA decided to change the name of our enemy character to Epochosaurus as a result.

But at PAX, someone from the company who had been working on the Chronosaur game came up to talk to us. She said that they were actually really excited to see a time travelling T-rex named Chronosaur in our game, and would have liked if it made it into the final version. It’s good to know that not everyone is ready to attack any other dev who coincidentally comes up with the same basic concept for a character :) Anyway we changed the name just to be safe, of course.

People love this enemy in the game though, so that was another reason I wanted to draw him!

OK next I basically tried a new style of drawing and coloring.  I wanted to do this one quick so I redrew the bromide for Elona / Elonalina from CSTW:

Elona(lina) from CSTW

Elona(lina) from CSTW (B.Stiernberg)

Elona, aka Elonalina, is an arrogant member of the hero team that seeks to save the world from the terrifying monster, Cthulhu. You get her on your team in the Cthulhu’s Angel’s mode.

This pic is essentially a high-quality version of the bromide I did for the game…

I used a simpler, quicker drawing/inking style on this and did a much quicker coloring job. I was trying to see how quick I could produce something in a decent style semi-quickly. Still need practice though.

Anyway I’m still practicing and trying different styles and techniques.  Hope you enjoy these weekly art columns I do!


 Posted by at 8:14 am
Nov 072012

Today I have for you a piece of art and a short story that I hope you enjoy.

Dude on a Walrus.  Wait, what?  (Bill Stiernberg)

Dude on a Walrus. Wait, what? (Bill Stiernberg)

“You gotta wonder what’s going on with these two.” – Rain-Slick 3.

This is one of the top fan-favorite enemies in Rain-Slick 3. It’s probably THE top, with only the Chronosaur (er, I mean Epochosaurus) as a potential runner-up.

This guy.. his design came about when I was digging through all the past decade+ worth of Penny Arcade comic strips looking for ideas for enemies. One of the comics featured a peek into Gabe’s mind, where he was riding a walrus and eating ice cream.

Specifically:  Looking Glass Forever!

We decided we had to do SOMETHING with that, and so I figured that only the most gentlemanly and dapper of individuals would best befit riding a walrus whilst eating ice cream.

I drew him up along with many other enemies. I created a text file with a list of names indicating which enemy is which on each sprite sheet so as to keep them organized and let Jerry Holkins (Penny Arcade’s Tycho) know which was which so that he could give each enemy a new name and a funny description.

The temporary name I put on the text file for this one was, “Dude on a Walrus.”

The name stuck!!!!!


There you have it.

 Posted by at 10:27 am

Zeboyd Games Art: Halloween Week (Halloweek?)

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Oct 312012

Time for the 2nd weekly art post!

It’s Halloween!  And I totally forgot.  Huh.  Good thing our games generally have halloween-appropriate characters!  And thus I bring you Dem & Sara:  Into the Caverns!

I’m also posting some amazing artwork by Zac Gorman, who has a very unique and quirky art style that is pretty great for expressionate comic-style characters.  I’ve seen his work posted on Kotaku and other various websites before.  He did an awesome Cthulhu Saves the World “poster.”

  • REMINDER!   If you want your art featured on this weekly column just send it to me!  Post a link here in comments, email me, or contact me via DeviantArt.
  • Also if anyone has any Requests for me to draw anything in particular post it in the Comments!  I’m here to learn, practice, and I’m always up for ideas.  Doesn’t have to be from BOD, CSTW, or Rainslick, can be from anything.
Dem & Sara: Into the Caverns!

Dem & Sara: Into the Caverns! (Bill Stiernberg)

so goofy

Cthulhu Saves the World!  (picture by Zac Gorman)

Cthulhu Saves the World! (picture by Zac Gorman)

I love the chibi characters along the bottom.  And how October has a raincloud over her head!

I got a new drawing tablet.  So as a bonus I’m posting a sketch of Jill Valentine I did on this new puppy (Intuos4).  Maybe one day I’ll color this thing:

Jill Valentine, BSAA (sketch, Bill Stiernberg)

Seeya next week! -Bill

Oct 242012

You may have heard that we’re trying to keep Zeboyd.com updated far more regularly going forward.  Well, it’s true!  And so we are starting a brand new weekly column dedicated to art.  Artwork by myself (Bill Stiernberg) for our games and others, as well as artwork by you, the fans.

I figured that our site could benefit from the occasional visually spruced-up post.  And so every Wednesday, I’ll be posting some new artwork either based on our games and characters or from others, depending on what I feel like doing.

Just as importantly, I have noticed that there is a lot of really great fan art of our games out there!  And more being produced every day.  So with this column I want to invite anyone with fan art of our games to submit it to me (bill.zeboyd@gmail.com) as a link to your image or as an email attachment if you’d like me to post it here in the weekly column.  I love seeing what fans can do with our characters/settings in their own art styles.

To launch the column I’m including a couple of images from Cthulhu Saves the World and Rain-slick 3 that I created in the past few weeks, as well as some excellent fan artwork of Cthulhu Saves the World by Jesse Turner (Slick Entertainment, Shellrazer) and of Breath of Death VII by Michael Edstrom (Tanuki Brush).

I hope you enjoy this column!  I love art!

October in action, Cthulhu Saves the World

October in action, Cthulhu Saves the World (Bill Stiernberg)

Moira Zozan, Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3

Moira Zozan, Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 (Bill Stiernberg)

Cthulhu Saves the World (Jesse Turner)

Cthulhu Saves the World (Jesse Turner)

Dem, Breath of Death VII (Michael Edstrom)

Dem, Breath of Death VII (Michael Edstrom)

I did an art trade with Jesse Turner, and his resulting CSTW art turned out fantastic.  He has a very unique art style.  You should check out the game he worked on, Shellrazer on iOS.

Michael Edstrom also has a very unique, vibrant art style.  I like the dramatic angle on his image of Dem.

That’s it for week 1, I hope you enjoy this weekly column.  Please remember!  If you have some great fan art you’d like to share, send it over to me (bill.zeboyd@gmail.com) and I’ll try to work it into one of the weekly posts!