Misc pixel and hardware concepts


GAME-TAP mockup

The GAME-TAP was Amstrad's attempt to break into the video game console market. The system was powered by a Z80 and had 32 kilobytes of RAM and a matching amount of separate VRAM. Several peculiar choices lead to its quick demise. The joystick, while having many buttons, was awkward to use and there was only one port. The system had several built in palettes (each a set of 4 x 4 colors), but to change them the user had to change a jumper on the back. The cassette inlays would specify jumper position. Fortunately most games used the main palette, consisting of green, red and yellow shades.

Whilst technically being capable of 16 colors, there were actually only 7 available due to repeated black and transparent indices. Tiles and sprites were 8x8 pixels and 2-bit, using one out of 4 palettes (e.g. the red shades). The first palette was a flash palette often used for sprite damage frames.

The motherboard had been placed under the cassette deck, making the system quite tall compared to the C64 datacorder. The custom VDP, though somewhat simple, had been costly to develop and to compensate cheap components had been used elsewhere. Many systems were destroyed due to capacitor failure and a clumsy power circuit design. The GAME-TAP was discontinued after a year.

Caves of Yonok-5, mockup using the default "Earth" palette of the GAME-TAP. The system could only output 160x144 video, but had a fairly advanced built in tile engine.

NES stuff

Attempt to do Sonic graphics with NEStrictions (hoho) (probably a more advanced mapper). Cheated a bit with some overlay sprites (like Megaman's face, or the eyes in SMB2).

Scorched Tanks

This is a re-do of Scorched Tanks for the Amiga (similar to Scorched Earth for PC). I initially used my 32 color "CPC BOY" palette but it has poor coverage of earth tones (and too many greens), so I'll have to modify it.

I'd do this in a software render mode, using various planes for material checks, textures and parallax, similar to Cortex Command I guess. For the excavated texture layer I'd highlight the top rim, and use hollow sphere decals for explosions to make things look nice. Tempted to go for 400x300 to lessen the claustrophobia.

PC Engine / PCエンジン

I like how the PCE is a sort of in-between 8 and 16-bit system. My favourite era perhaps. I think it sponsors a certain graphical clarity. Later in the 16-bit bit era graphics got quite fuzzy, muddy and pillow-shadey (not that they had to, but it's too tempting so do that kind of stuff).

Anyways, the PCE, went under my radar completely! Quite a big library, and with HuC quite easy to develop for it would seem. I'd like to do explore it more in the future.

A Super Famicom inspired case, also borrowing from the C64 DataCorder.

Not a fan of cartridges and flash cards, but here's my take on the HuCard. RIP Hudson.

I don't have a PCE so I just stole an image from an online store to try out a color scheme idea. The mould is pretty good for the original and Core variants, but it lacks a secondary color breaking the... plastic solidity up. I don't like the design of the Duo.

Sega Master System covers

I think the SMS covers are a case of where... homogeneity was taken too far. I wanted to see what I could do, keeping the grid and font, but toning it down a little.

Cover for a clam-box design. Spot art with overlaps is fun. I didn't get farther than this. I noticed later that the carts goes deep into the unit and on the original carts the red top aligns with the red decoration of the unit.

The font used for the early covers is Modern 216 iirc, but I don't have it installed. I think the font needs to rhyme with the grid. The type of font really changes your expectation of the game...

80's Time travel plans

What if your power plugs were shaped and color coded by Voltage and Amps? What if there were standards and inventing your own for consumer-grade electronics got you fined? This is the world I aim to create! A total dictatorship with me on the throne! Below me, cowering engineers! People of the past will have no choice once I tell them of the cable dystopia of the future!

Textmode computer

After seeing the MZ-700 I wanted to do a small graphical font which can be used for game graphics. I came up with the following specs: 0-127 for the character set, with characters 128-255 being rotated 90 degrees clockwise. This means bit 7 selects rotation. An attribute byte contains foreground and background color, and H & V flip (3+3+1+1 bits). There are 8 colors. You can make surprising amount of game figures by flipping, inverting and recoloring. I've aligned the letters to the corners so they can be joined with other tiles. I've made the font fat because single pixel detail is a larger combinatorial art problem to fit into 128 tiles.



Apparently a Raspberry Pi can emulate an Amiga and interface with a disk drive using the GPIO pins. I remember that PC drives couldn't read Amiga floppies but apparently this gets around it. Designed a case for it.



Something for a computer Nintendo never quite made, though they did have some keyboard and BASIC projects that never took off. No, I don't know how many cylinders or whatever these disks have. Data was apparently stored spirally. I suppose this... "Nintendo 64" had 64kB RAM.

It's strange how one can be nostalgic about a disk copying program.

F-COPY pixel art mockup based on Amiga's X-COPY

Famicom replacement box

"Look at my game collection!"

*bunch of loose cartridges*

I somehow find the sight offensive. Who throws away the boxes and manuals? I'm a messy person but all of my original ones are intact. Boxes and manuals are a part of the experience and if you're only collecting the cartridges you're a lower caste of collector... the garbage caste, trash to be discarded once the aliens arrive and demand a CiB copy of Balloon Fight, or else.

Anyways, it's perhaps understandable that cardboard boxes get ruined over time. Lot's of orphan carts now. So sad. I've been playing around with the idea of using a design similar to that of the Nintendo DS clam boxes recently. They are quite rigid and tangible. I don't like jewel cases much as they tend to crack or get scratched up. Something like the CD cases for the PCE feels... cheap.

Famicom box concept

Famicom-sized box, though thicker. Inserts for disks and GB carts, though my solution might be too complex. The disk sleeve can be flipped up on a hinge. Took some thinking to make an efficient 2-half mould design. Shaped it like a little ship. I have this game CiB btw. You don't because you're human garbage who probably sits there with a scratched up copy of SMB1 - US version with the ugly pixel art cover. Probably a dirty, half-torn price tag on it, too. Neanderthal.

Xexyz Famicom box

Manuals had to be pretty small to fit into the Famicom boxes. Note how the front is free from the label-bullshit plaguing us now. Back isn't too interesting though. Box size: 140mm x 97mm x 21mm by my measurements.

Beyond the Overmax

A redesign of the Overmax (OV-TOUCHPLAYER)... one of those obscure handhelds (Polish? < €20). I don't like 4 buttons like most joypads have now, it's too much. Relocating two to the top as L/R makes them more distinct in the mind. Added decorative panel lines. Colored the buttons.

Texas Instruments

Let's not hide the fact that these things are used for games.

TI inspire CX


Regarding the Internet of Things

It continues: MSX page!

Art by Arne Niklas Jansson