Posted Tuesday, Mar 26th 2013 @ 0:55

I want to talk about process, and I want to talk about fear. Oh, and I want to preview our second tabletop game: Galapagos! This image will be your new desktop background until further notice:

That is, if you want cookies. You think I can't back that up. I can. I can bake you cookies and I will.

Galapagos is a resource management game in which players take on the roles of competing species in a rainforest. Each turn, players will harvest genetic material: the currency with which they may buy mutations to change their species or propagate to increase their presence in the ecosystem. Players must balance strategy, tactics, and guile to compete in the pursuit of several unique win conditions; ultimately to ensure the survival of their genetic footprint.

Dan designed the game and I'm taking the lead on the artwork. This is of course incredibly foolish of me, as I have amassed an insurmountable quotient of fear with regards to the completion and release of visual art. And you can't blame me, either. I work with Wilson. If there were an Art Hunger Games he would be in, like, District One. With his stupid perfect hair. So I have to release this thing, soon, and I'm terrified of anyone seeing my artwork. Bit of a conundrum?

Okay, well I do like talking about myself, so I'll start there. With regards to visual art, I am a mixed-media cell illustrator. I work in a Sunday Comics style heavily inspired by the work of Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim) and Mike Krahulik (Penny Arcade). I'm somewhat in the process of developing my printmaking process, but I can tell you what it looks like right now. This shot will be a decent start.

Instead of a preliminary sketch, I like to rank ideas on scales of quality and weirdness. On the left, you can see some ideas for the brush. I went with the Mickey-heads-melted-together approach for this piece. Sound. I wanted the brush to look like ribonucleic acids and the trees to look like a double helix. It was the weirdest concept, so I guess it won. I don't have a rubric. To get to the image on the right, the process is as thus: sketch, scan, print, ruin, print again, paint, scan again, ponder, Photoshop tricks. After an additional litany of Photoshop trickery, it ends up looking something like this:

For Galapagos, each creature I create has some genetic trait gone seriously wrong. And a fantastic name. Ask Dan: I'm the business at naming things. The butterfly in the top image is Phillip J. Fly. He's radioactive. Frederick and Francis are today's creations. See if you can spot their mutations.

So I guess the objective here is to overcome my fear of comparison by making this game so unequivocally strange that it elicits no comparison. It's not marketable, but it is mine, and you can't stop me.

xoxo (CW) Alex.