Drawing games for HP Champion Club

Hewlett-Packard used to have its own games collection called HP Champion Club.

The games were designed to accompany and represent results of the competition among HP resellers online. Oleg Tischenkov took up drawing images for these and promised to make them fun. All in all, he did 50 games (the client didn’t like only one of them).
And here is the ‘making of’ story by Oleg himself.

Part One. General

First of all, as usual, we defined the task—there is a center point that all the players struggle to reach. A common viewer of the page would see the field with the players. Numbers above some of them meant their relative position to the center. A registered user would see the same, only his character was a little different from the rest. The one with the most points would be the closest to the goal.

I came up with first several themes for the games rather quickly. I would put something in the middle, then add a background and think up the reason why the players were striving to get there. But when I was past a dozen or so of games I faced a difficulty—
I didn’t want to repeat myself.

That’s what Oleg Tischenkov looks like to his screen


Part Two. Technical

  • PowerMac G4 733 MHz
  • 768 Mb RAM
  • HDD 40 Gb 
  • Wacom A4 
  • Microsoft IntelliMouse


  • Mac OS X 
  • Procreate Painter 7 
  • Adobe Photoshop 6 

    Part Three. Practical

  • I drew all fields on canvases 900×900 pixels using Painter. I drew them solely by hand.

    First, I put a cross in the very middle, so that I wound’t forget the initial point while drawing.
    Then, I made a pencil draft on a separate layer defining the theme and the composition.

    Then, I took a pen and introduced colors.
    The next step was blurring it all to create volume.
    And further on, I would draw and “spread paint” like on a real canvas. Repeatedly.
    I did the details with an air brush, crayons and pastel. Sometimes it required textures…
    …and other additional layers to increase contrast and bring out shades.
    Then, I added some reflected color and drew a hole.

    The images were saved in Photoshop format, downsized to 600×600 pixels and corrected.

    First, I drafted a character with a brush and made it the right size of 30-40 pixels.
    The outline was drawn with a pencil. Then, I finished the character with a finger and an air brush.

    It’s important to know when to stop.

    This one is one of my favorites. I drew it very quickly (as a rule, it takes me several hours to draw an image). We were afraid that Hewlett-Packard would turn down such a questionable theme, but fortunately they didn’t.

    And this idea that would come to any mind remained the only one rejected.

    It was also important to think up and design characters. Little cars and space shuttles were easy to draw. I had more trouble with horses and a little less with their riders. They had to be built of pixels because they would be appearing in different places and had to be loaded as separate gif files! A different view for each quadrant (Flip Horizontal is no good in most cases).

    Final Part

    Drawing games for HP Champion Club was pure pleasure.

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