Sunday, January 22, 2017

Curse of Enchantia - first game I worked on

Here's another bit of reminiscing...
When I was starting out trying to be a freelancer, I'd done a few book covers and video covers (yes, I said video covers, VHS things that used to be rented once upon a time) but even though I was signed with an agency in London I hadn't done much work. I saw an ad in an Amiga mag for a game by Core Design it was a cool bit of airbrushed cover art for a new game called Thunderhawk. I contacted them and sent them some samples. Core were in Derby not far from me in Nottingham, so they called me in for an interview. They wanted me to do a whole load of hand painted backgrounds to be scanned in. I said great, could I work from home freelance. They said no and threatened to tell my landlord I'd turned down a full time job. Terrified, I accepted my first ever real job and got sucked into the games industry. I then learned that this was going to be a point-and-click adventure game, in the style of an established genre including (already) classics such as King's Quest, Monkey Island, Space Quest and the like.
Back then there was not much in the way of "game design", much less "concept art". I was shown extremely brief paragraphs or diagrams of each scene/puzzle and given full latitude to make up pretty much whatever I wanted. It was a lot of fun, although I found myself questioning some of the gameplay choices. I was told thanks for your input now get back to doing art, something I'd get used to for the rest of my career. ;)
The game was originally called "Lenoria" I think, but I wasn't sure what that would convey to a potential audience so I suggested Enchantia. The boss liked it and went with Curse of Enchantia.
(I also later named Killzone by accident, but that's another story).

The game turned out... well it got a mixed reception. But eventually became "famous"  - or infamous- when Yahtzee Croshaw reviewed it, the very first game he ever owned on the Amiga:

Yahtzee's Curse of Enchantia review 

Original wraparound artwork:

Poster / box cover art. (Did the hand-drawn & airbrushed title graphic myself):

A few backgrounds:

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