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Art Competition Entries

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PsychotronicNow that the winning artwork is on display, I know that many of you would like to see the other entries in the Artists Ahoy! Challenge, so we set up a gallery with all the images we received. We've assigned the entries code names instead of the artists' names (this is how we discussed them in order to keep them anonymous), so if you are one of the artists, feel free to claim responsibility for your work.

Click here to see the gallery.

Many thanks to everyone who entered this competition. It was a very tough decision, and we had to consider our choice from several angles. Since the rules of the contest were not specific about what kind of art we were looking for, we received work that was strong in different areas. Some images were good from a graphic design standpoint, some were elaborate, some had creative interpretations of the themes, some were more polished than others. There was little agreement on the JIG team about the very best entry, and there were cogent arguments on various sides. Art is a very subjective thing.

In the end, we chose Serena's tribute to On because we felt it best represented what the game design competition was about in terms of creativity and mood, and because it just felt right on the page. Please offer your own perspective in the comments here.

Once again, thank you all so much for entering. The road from the initial theme nominations, to the first cut, to the second cut, to the graphics design, to the final contest announcement has been fun and re-invigorating for everybody here. Now the ball is in the game designers' court, and we can't wait to see what they come up with.


nate8nate August 27, 2009 5:23 PM

I like dandelion and my own.


wow, i have a greater appreciation for how hard it would have been to pick a winner now.


I really love dandelion a lot. Is that made by someone at Nitrome? It has that style. The winner's is also very good, though I had a weird moment where I looked at it and thought, I swear I've seen something very similar to this. Then, of course, I realized it was the one that was chosen. A couple others were quite nice, but those two were exceptionally well done.


Gah, I feel majorly outclassed here on the layout by pretty much all of these. I spent all of my time on the graphics and it shows. At least I made the deadline. Here's to next year and better planning! Congratulations guys, you should all feel proud!


Well, I think I'll be the first to reveal myself here; I made the eggplant one, and am proud of it. :D If I had to change one thing though, it'd be to move that blue six a little more to the right in the third image....

I also really enjoyed dandelion, and I held a fondness for aqua as it had a great Paper Mario-esque feel.


These are fantastic!

My favorite, hands-down, is Mulberry. I'm sad that they didn't do an Explore one, just a Failure one, because the pallet and humor were spot-on. Awesome.

I also loved Asparagus's "Breaking the Fourth Wall" image, although I wasn't as big on their overall design. It cracked me up.

I think my favorite-that-submitted-an-Explore was Aqua. Aqua, if you're reading this, did you do the paper graphics in Photoshop or did you physically make them and then photograph them? Either way, ace.


Yeah, dandelion is great. I'm also fond of almond minimal style.
Those lavender Breaking the 4th wall and peach Failure are really adorable, I actually saved them on hard disk.
And all the other entries in general are very, very good.

Unfortunately I don't have a talent to be a part of these kind of competitions, but I hope we'll see more of them in the future.


PLEASE NOTE: All images are copyright their respective owners.

Just because they appear here doesn't mean you may download them and use them for your own purposes.


I was mad because I realized too late I submitted my Failure with a mistake in the second one (the drips are too far left). But now I realize that hardly matters because wow these are great.


Those are AWESOME. Seriously, I have no idea how you guys manage to something so good on the computer. I can barely build a pentagon on MS Paint!

From all of the entries, I'd say my favorites were Aqua, Burgandy, Dandelion, Plum, Razzmatazz and the first Fern entry. Ghosts beating up Pac-Man with baseball bats: priceless.


Wow, so many great entries; now I'm even more ashamed I had to submit mine so unfinished. I got a late start, then I moved to college, had band camp for 13 hours a day, and then lost my stuff and missed my bus on the last day of the competition. I got back in time to hit submit at 11:58 PM. Though in retrospect, it was worth the adventure. :)

Okay, I would also like to know how Aqua did the paper effects. Very awesome.
Now to comment on some of the ones that haven't received any attention yet:
Fern's style and humor really got me, especially the main banner.
Plum is beautiful, and I love the use of the JIG swirl.
Razzmatazz has such a neatly rendered look, and I quite like the subtlety of the 4th Wall entry.


I rather like shamrock too.. simple and funny.


I very much like the winning entry, but it reminds me oh so much of the work of ON maker of eyezmaze games, which begs the question is maize in fact ON? If not then, is JIG awarding ripping off a truly original artist-designer? Not that it makes the entry less cool, still...

So many good entries. I like this competition very much. Are you going to have a music/sound competition for this games competition, Jay?


I do not feel anything was 'ripped off' and there is nothing wrong with one artist's work inspiring another. In fact, it happens all the time.

There will be no sound/music element to this competition.

ZebraEarrings August 27, 2009 9:56 PM

Wow, these are AMAZING.It must've been hard to choose XD I made Mulberry, myself. I was so pressed for time I didn't get a chance to make any for the other themes. Maybe next year? It was fun :D


I think they made the right choice. The only other one I liked as much was dandelion's. Lots of good entries though. Nice work everyone!

nate8nate August 27, 2009 10:26 PM

I was the artist behind Razzmatazz, the coolest sounding one :), and thank you for commenting on it. When I submitted it (within 24 hours of the announcement) I though it looked pretty good, but looking at it now it should have more art and less text.

Anyone is free to use my artwork for anything non-commercial and crediting me would be nice. If you want to contact me for the source files or questions/comments/hatemail or hatmail/love letters/or advertisements for free ladles feel free to at (My Jayisgames user-name)
(no "(" ")")

Fun Fact: My artwork was created in 100% open-source software, specifically Ubuntu (OS), Blender (Modeling the pixel art), and GIMP (Background and some post-processing).


I didn't do Aqua, but I can pretty much say that it was done in Photoshop or a similar program after the paper textures were scanned in. The shapes and the shadows are too regular to be much of anything else. Not that it detracts from it in any way, in fact aqua was one of the entries I was immediately impressed with. Very original direction!

alisonofagun August 28, 2009 12:41 AM

What a great competition! So fun to see everyones artwork. I love plum- definitely my favorite. Been following this website for awhile now- first time to post a comment! Keep up the good work!!!


I like dandelion a lot too :D

I'm glad jig released the gallery of artists. (ya'll did a good job!) And you're anonymous names make me wish I had entered... I might have applied myself a little bit more if I knew that I could have earned a cool color name!

zbeeblebrox August 28, 2009 2:07 AM

Awww, this makes me especially disappointed that "Breaking the 4th Wall" wasn't the chosen topic, because Fern's entry under that one is hand's down the most awesome.

I was also impressed with Dandelion's work - it evoked memories of Monkey Island. The aliasing is spot-on.

There were a number of other really good entries: shamrock and plum, for two. Though I can understand why many of them weren't chosen, since raw talent is only one factor that needs to be looked at for this kind of thing. There're all sorts of requirements a given banner has to fullfill, to get its point across quickly.

Still, great job guys!
I would've submitted an entry as well, but I was stuck in the middle of moving to a new apartment. So bravo to everyone able to even get their submission through!


Great entries.

In brief I liked:
Aqua: Creative! Love the dragon and burnt paper.

Asparagus: Especially the breaking the wall theme. Overall theme was pretty good too.

Dandelion and Maize: Pretty much agree with all the comments above. Very polished and good interpretation of the explore theme.I think both had a good chance at winning.

Navy: I like the take on breaking the wall.

Periwinkle: The Failure theme had me in fits.

Plum: Gave me the urge to explore dark mysterious caves. :)

Scarlet: Simple and nice design but too general for this competition I guess.

Shamrock: Lightbulbs! Clever message.


...I really hope someone makes a game based on maize's and dandeilions art, because maizes is "eyzemaze-y", and an explore game like that would be so cool.
and dandelions, just seems lik it would make a great game, where you start on a planet or something, and you explore others and what-not, but with that graphical style
anyways these are cool



I was the one who did aqua. I'd rather just lurk around, but since people have been asking.. yes and no.

I used a combination of photoshop and illustrator CS4 for all my work. The paper effect is a physically scanned crumpled paper chopped up with photoshop and blended with a drop shadow.

No, because I am not the one who scanned it. There are quite a lot of free crumpled paper textures readily available for use if you just search google for 'paper textures'. These are the ones who should be credited for all the hard work of scanning and making available the high res. ^^

Thanks for all your kind comments :)



Wow. All these are amazing. I think Plum, Fern and Navy were my favorites.
Can't wait to see the games, if the art was this inventive!

jestlessjess August 29, 2009 4:13 PM

Wow, I agree, can't wait to see the games.

Lots of these are really cool. I especially liked-

Aqua's design (I preferred the welding image to the crumpled paper - both are great, though!)

Peach's robot (I like the simplicity and the robot is funny in being so pathetic... not sure what you mean by the drips...)

Shamrock's (especially the one that's just failure with the light bulb - great font, and a witty idea!)

In general, i think that the simpler designs are the most successful for banners, but there's a lot of really good stuff here!


Argh, the more I look at mine, the more frustrated I get that I didn't have more time. Please take down the theme image for burgundy, I really didn't want to submit it like that.

[Edit: Done. -Jay]


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