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Painting Sentinel Attack
May 18, 2022
Our latest game in development, Sentinel Attack, is inspired by games of the 90s. Specifically, games from the library of the Sega Genesis. We use pixel art for all of the in-game graphics, and an original soundtrack has also been composed to align with the characteristics of the Sega Genesis sound chip.

Box art for these games were painted in a pre-digital age and have a very distinctive look. How great would it be to have one of the artists from that era break out the traditional paints again? Where would we even find one of these artists?

It turns out that our question was perfectly timed with the release of a new documentary “Video Game Box Art: The Stories Behind the Covers”. It introduced us to a selection of the best artists of the time with incredible stories behind their art. The portfolio of one artist in particular really aligned with our interest in a space battle scene for Sentinel Attack. That artist is Roger Loveless - we finally had a name connected to the artwork we were inspired by. Many games of which we have in our library.

Interview with Roger Loveless from the “Video Game Box Art: The Stories Behind the Covers” documentary.
Visit https://www.nacellecompany.com/catalog/video-game-box-art-season-1/ to find out where you can watch the series.

What were our chances of him being available and interested in creating a new piece of game artwork using the traditional methods of the past? We sent an email not knowing if we would get a response. To our surprise, within 2 hours we had an email exchange going discussing the details of the project.

A description of the game was sent, along with some early draft artwork of elements from the game. Primarily an early look of the main ship and some of the enemy entities. Roger provided many examples of his past work - most of which we had already in the form of the game boxes on our shelves. From those examples we determined the best match for the style we were looking for.

It wasn’t too long after this exchange we received the first sketches of the scene. One with the hero ship facing forward and another facing back into the action. We decided on the facing forward version of the first sketch and the title treatment of the second sketch.

Once the scene was confirmed from the sketch we were ready to proceed with the final painting. We received updates throughout this process as various elements were painted into the scene.

We now have our final artwork for Sentinel Attack and couldn’t be happier with the result.

We recently checked in with Roger Loveless to get his thoughts on the project. Here’s what he had to say:

“Working on Sentinel Attack was a fun trip into my past. When presented with an illustration commission, my thinking process has never really changed. I find out details about the job and what is going to be needed, and produce a couple of rough sketches to get things rolling. But this one gave me the chance to put my mind back twenty-five years into my old studio and think like a young illustrator again.

The only difference today is instead of drawing with pencil and paper, I draw with a digital tablet and stylus, but the rest is the same. I then prepare my Crescent illustration board (No.100 weight), and have the drawing printed on it. Then I start to paint using Liquitex acrylic paint. Just like the old days. It was fun to be able to use my old game art as inspiration while completing Sentinel Attack!”
- Roger Loveless

If you would like to contact Roger Loveless, or find out more about his artwork, you can find everything at his website: rogerlovelessillustration.com.