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Author Topic: A stupid twist on the Nintendo cab that was fun to draw: Pokemon Red and Blue  (Read 605 times)

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TheGreatRedDragon

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(and Green)

This is purely hypothetical, since dedicating an arcade cabinet to a Gameboy game is pretty dumb and dedicating three (or more) cabinets to Gameboy games is absolutely ludicrous (hence it being here instead of in Project Announcements). But Wyo's excellent NES-based designs inspired the hell out of me to try my hand at something similar, and the idea of applying that concept to a shrunken down bartop (Haruman's Minitendo to be precise) to represent the portable Gameboy stuck in my brain. That, combined with a desire to work on my Illustrator skills with lots and lots of tedious vector tracing and a childhood admiration for the early work of Ken Sugimori led me to by far the biggest game of my childhood.





I started with just a general "Pokemon" theme, but that quickly transformed into designing three sets of artwork for the first three versions. From there I decided on a monochromatic theme for each cabinet. Thinking back to the marketing of the time, the greatest appeal of the first generation was the novelty of the Pokemon themselves and how many of them there were. Aside from that there wasn't much theme or narrative to the games other than a quasi-futuristic setting, so I stuck with bold colors and long lines, leaving it to the Pokemon art to be the real eye candy.

Deciding what Pokemon to use was an ordeal. I limited myself only to the art Sugimori created for Red and Blue, which is the second batch of Gen 1 art he drew, because they're the most dynamic drawings he did, and I didn't want any duplicate Pokemon to show up. I also wanted to avoid legendary Pokemon for being too obvious of a choice, I wanted to focus more on the grunts. The three box mascots were the obvious picks for the sideart, but the bezel and marquee art was wide open. When I figured out the basic design for the bezels I knew I needed fifteen Pokemon. Since there were fifteen types in Gen 1 I decided that each type should be represented. I also wanted to respect the original version exclusives, so for example Magmar could only appear on the Green bezel (I went by the Japanese distribution). Juggling that with color coordination and pose meant it took a while to figure out what I wanted there, and some of the art I made went unused, but I'm happy with the end result.



The marquees were easier to figure out. The three starters on the left, and on the right I used the rival's non-starter Pokemon of the same type. Fitting everything into such a narrow band was dicey but I was able to make it work without much compromise.



I considered putting the second form starters on the control panels but I couldn't make it work. The overlay art is based on the Donkey Kong design but tweaked to feel more modern, metropolitan, fast, pop, etc. Figuring out what how to label the buttons was tricky, because just putting a letter in there didn't look right but with the games being RPGs there is no set command either. I went with labels I found in a manual that made enough sense. For the instruction box I tried a few things but just pulled the original blurb from the back of the Gameboy boxes for that extra shot of nostalgia (with a few tweaks).



I still have to do some tweaking, and I want to make labels for the two admin buttons ("Exit" and "Turbo"), but so far I'm really happy with how they look. Will I ever actually make them? Maybe, maybe not. With some mulling and experimentation the idea of adapting the games to an arcade isn't as dumb to me as it was before. It's not like a console game where it's meant to be played with a controller. I tried them with my fightstick and the games play about as well with arcade controls as they do with a keyboard or controller, none of which are really like playing on a Gameboy. But playing on a Gameboy has numerous disadvantages, so why not make something special to play these games on? And for a while I've wanted to make a personalized ROM hack of FireRed/LeafGreen to, among other things, make it possible to complete the Pokedex without trading. One of these cabinets would be a fun venue for that: "Pokemon: Arcade Version." Still pretty dumb, and there are greater priorities right now, but I think it's a fun kind of dumb. Others may not agree, and I know I may be facing excommunication for even bringing it up.  :lol

Malenko

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They all look great, the only thing I'd change is to drop the word "version" from the marquess.  :cheers:
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TheGreatRedDragon

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They all look great, the only thing I'd change is to drop the word "version" from the marquess.  :cheers:

Thanks!

I wanted to put the actual game title somewhere on the cabinet and it didn't look right on the CPO, bezel or sideart. Not that it's really necessary, because you can take one look at the cabinet and know what game it is (kinda like the White Album), but I liked incorporating one more little piece from the box art.


Malenko

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I wanted to put the actual game title somewhere on the cabinet and it didn't look right on the CPO, bezel or sideart. Not that it's really necessary, because you can take one look at the cabinet and know what game it is (kinda like the White Album), but I liked incorporating one more little piece from the box art.

I agree, but colloquially they are known as pokemon red, blue, green just like in your title :p 

I'd replace the nintendo logo on the CPO with "red version" etc , and I'd probably keep the pokeballs red on all 3 as well. Still, they look factory. good clean lines.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 06:39:49 pm by Malenko »
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yotsuya

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Thank you for understanding and demonstrating the intricacies of design concepts instead of just plastering every single Pokémon all over the cab. Kudos! :cheers:
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TheGreatRedDragon

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I wanted to put the actual game title somewhere on the cabinet and it didn't look right on the CPO, bezel or sideart. Not that it's really necessary, because you can take one look at the cabinet and know what game it is (kinda like the White Album), but I liked incorporating one more little piece from the box art.

I agree, but colloquially they are known as pokemon red, blue, green just like in your title :p 

I'd replace the nintendo logo on the CPO with "red version" etc , and I'd probably keep the pokeballs red on all 3 as well. Still, they look factory. good clean lines.

They're commonly referred by those names, but at that point the overall design of the cabinet is self-demonstrating. I could look at it and know it's Pokemon Red, so just having the word "Red" on the marquee is redundant, but if it says Red Version then it's displaying the title of the game. When in doubt I went back to what it would look like from a factory, and I figured the actual game would be identified on the marquee along with the Nintendo logo.

I also thought about making the Pokeballs all red, but the problem with that is contrast. On the Red cabinet they'd be part of the monochromatic scheme, but on the Blue cabinet they'd stand out and on Green cabinet they'd be ultra high contrast. So they'd be the same color across the board but each CPO would have a different feel because of it, when what I'm aiming for is uniformity. I think if I wanted to make the Pokeballs pop I'd use the accent color from the sideart (which coincidentally three of the colors the Gameboy Color launched with :)).

Thanks a lot for the feedback though, and for the compliment.  :cheers:

Thank you for understanding and demonstrating the intricacies of design concepts instead of just plastering every single Pokémon all over the cab. Kudos! :cheers:

Thanks a lot but I'm not sure I really understand or demonstrate anything, other than not to give Pikachu a joystick penis.  :lol

yotsuya

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Thanks a lot but I'm not sure I really understand or demonstrate anything, other than not to give Pikachu a joystick penis.  :lol

You have no idea what an accomplishment that is in itself. ;)
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TheGreatRedDragon

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Thanks a lot but I'm not sure I really understand or demonstrate anything, other than not to give Pikachu a joystick penis.  :lol

You have no idea what an accomplishment that is in itself. ;)

I've done enough research, read enough threads and seen enough pictures to know that it's a low bar to leap over.  :lol

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No Yellow Version? Cool concept, especially if they could link up. ;)

I'm kinda with Malenko, the version on the marquee is about the only outta place thing for me as well. I personally would just remove it completely. The color version isn't on your side-art, why have it on your marquee? I would say if you want it, I would put it under the pokemon logo on your CP. That's a minor thing though. Overall, good clean art.

My son started watching Pokemon on Netflix this week, so today I dug out my old GB cart and let him play on the game boy. He has been getting a kick out of it. Probably gonna get one of those bootleg GB colors so he can play on a backlit screen. (I had an SP, but I lent it out and never got it back.)

TheGreatRedDragon

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No Yellow Version? Cool concept, especially if they could link up. ;)

I'm kinda with Malenko, the version on the marquee is about the only outta place thing for me as well. I personally would just remove it completely. The color version isn't on your side-art, why have it on your marquee? I would say if you want it, I would put it under the pokemon logo on your CP. That's a minor thing though. Overall, good clean art.

My son started watching Pokemon on Netflix this week, so today I dug out my old GB cart and let him play on the game boy. He has been getting a kick out of it. Probably gonna get one of those bootleg GB colors so he can play on a backlit screen. (I had an SP, but I lent it out and never got it back.)

Yellow, you say?



I put the Yellow version on hold to finish up the others. And I was having trouble translating the palette into yellow, because it's such a tricky color to work with. It's hard to get lighter values that aren't neon, midtones that are legible and darker values that aren't brown.

Vigo

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Nice!! And yes, I hear ya! Yellow can be a pain to work with, it can come out weird in printing as well.

Mike A

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That is some nice work.

TheGreatRedDragon

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