It was during the Monster House shoot that we lost the Library sequence, and the character of Skull became the wisened sage. It was decided to parallel DJ, Chowder and Jenny's conflict with the Monster House to Skull's ultra-violent arcade game, Thou Art Dead- introducing the concept of the "Domus Mactibilis." I started off designing characters for what we thought might be a Dragon's Lair-style animated arcade game. We had even discussed putting out a mini-comic book about the game, and I came up with the hero, the princess and a horde of creatures- all done in the vein of Bruce Timm's Batman/Superman cartoons. That went away pretty quickly. We decided that it must be a 16-bit arcade adventure, a bit of a blend of Ghosts 'n' Goblins and Castlevania. Since I had all the characters already, I went ahead and began designing the cabinet art for the game (see above). Then I had the task of figuring out how to create something that looked like 16-bit, but do it in Photoshop. Not an easy task. I studied screen layouts of our old-school models, figuring out just how many pixels are required to get a 16-bit look. Once I got that down, designing everything was probably the MOST fun I had in my two and a half years.
Here you'll see all the character designs, as well as simple keyframes for movement and death animation. I did two tiers of background levels, both of which were simply animated, and the Game Over screen. The animation was done by the amazing Stuart Allan, and can be seen in the film. Neat!
The designes were used again by Sony to create a three-level online game that can still be played at the Monster House site. THQ, who created the Monster House console game, used my designs as a basis for an unlockable Thou Art Dead game. That one's fun, even if it is hard as hell. Remember how frustrating Ghosts 'n' Goblins was?
Robot Operator Manuals ©2008 Simeon Wilkins