have you played atari today?

The Atari 2600 Project

This was a weird one. A number of years ago someone discovered an unreleased prototype Activision game for the Atari 2600 called Kabobber. I was following the Atari 2600 scene via AtariAge for a while and thought it was pretty cool that a game so far along in development was lost for so many years. AtariAge held a contest for someone to write up the instruction manual for the game and a winner was chosen. Dave Giarusso's work can be seen here.

Well, the Atari gaming community now had a new game and instructions done in the style of Activision's prior works, but what about the physical cartridge itself? The poor neglected thing was crying out for a cartridge label, so I took the job upon myself. I grabbed my Activision cartridges, some graph paper, pencils, my type specimen book, and a metal ruler and set to it. I needed this label to be indistinguishable from the labels of yore.

The project seemed to be a hit with the community, so I followed up with another Activision prototype called Thwocker. That project led to my recreation in Illustrator of print-ready blank label artwork for every variant Atari produced. I used those templates to create labels for fictional games, which probably sets this project apart as weirder than my other art. I also used it to create box and cartridge art for Ken Van Mersbergen's Swordquest: Airworld project, which look(ed? s?) to complete the quadrilogy once and for all. With the assistance of The Atari Museum, I obtained very high resolution artwork of an unpublished painting, created by Atari all those years ago for the cover of their never-completed game. To do justice to the fact that I had the actual artwork Atari would have used, I spent over 15 hours redrawing the Swordquest logo in Illustrator for press-ready artwork should a production run of the game ever see the light of day.


These Games Do Not Exist (mostly)

Swordquest: AirWorld Akira Astro Boy Combat Two Evangelion Macross The Powerpuff Girls Robotech Transformers: Battle for Cybertron Transformers Urusei Yatsura Kabobber Thwocker Kabobber