Blog‎ > ‎

Coredump Retrospective

posted Aug 1, 2015, 2:53 PM by Jacob Evans

So I've got a couple new pictures to share today – all of these are from Coredump, that cyberpunk/hacking ARG I mentioned I was helping with awhile back, back when it was still going strong. I'd been planning to save these until the game was up and running to preserve the sense of realism the ARG was built around, but it's sort of gone on hiatus now and I'm not sure it will come back, so I thought I'd post a couple of the bits and pieces I made, maybe with a tutorial to follow on how to get same two-tone, Xeroxed-style consistently in GIMP. So for now at least, here's three of them, they're all image manipulations hacked together out of random pictures and blue jeans adverts, with a whole slew of filters thrown on and a bit of drawing on top.

The first one here was an article for the in-game zine, introducing some useful tools and possible puzzles to the players. The game plays with some heavy punk/anti-corporate/surveillance type themes, so I tried to fit those in as I went. Most of the stock material from some kind of advertisement or news article with a few exceptions: the face was made from two different pictures of regular punk-looking folks, with some home-made mirrorshades one of the coredump guys created (they actually work) that I painted over to get the mirrored effect; the jacket is actually mine, with some spikes drawn on, except for the sleeve which came from an advertisement -- I think you get the idea. 

The second one was a response to a challenge of sorts -- the guy who ran the thing posted a link to the imaginary propaganda subreddit (cool stuff), and after looking through it awhile, I figured I wanted to try a sort of David and Goliath type thing. (Purely in-game of course, doesn't reflect my personal opinions, please don't sign me up for additional screening!)

I got lucky and found some good pictures for the big guy right off the bat -- legs, torso, shirt, shoulders, and the upraised shoe are all separate sources, I think -- otherwise I probably would have stopped there. The coredump warrior dude there was much more difficult. I had to draw him by hand and sort of piece lots of little cut-up parts over the sketch to get the pose right. The legs are six or so pieces cut from some skinny jeans advertisement, the jacket is similar, two or three coats total, maybe mine mixed in there, a sweatshirt hood and some biker spikes. The hand and phone are mine -- my old college phone -- and I think I used the same mohawk from the last picture.

The last one was going to be a sort of in-game puzzle for the back of the zine. I modelled it kind of joke after those puzzles you used to find in kids magazines and on restaurant placemats. 

Rev Tinfoil was what they nicknamed the crazy, rambling conspiracy nut voice I used to write the intro to the game for the first 'zine. I had a blast writing in that high-energy, nutjob style, and planned for him to be one of several ongoing 'characters' working on the zine. And when it came time to show a picture of him, I had this kind of grizzled, older hacker dude in my mind, kind of like a cross between Jeff Lebowski and Hobospy (you should probably just read everything on Chocolate Hammer, it's all good). I felt bad about using actual art in an image manip, but I couldn't think of a better representation of the character than Old Man Henderson, so I just went with it. (That's worth the read, too, by the way, especially if you have any interest in RPGs or Lovecraft or humor.)

So yeah, that's it for the more recent Coredump art. Tutorial probably incoming. I think the reason I decided to post this stuff is that I'm considering making something similar for my current project, a sort of Lovecraftian, cyberpunk shortstory novella thing, hacked together from all kinds of sources, that I'm tentatively calling Adblock... until I think of something better. It's nearly finished, just barely scrapes the inside word count for a novella (making it fairly unpublishable, as I understand it), and I'm real pleased with it so far. It should be ready some time this week or next.

And I mean it when I say it's hacked together. It almost feels more like a collage than a stand-alone short story to me... like, fifty percent Lovecraft (minus the big slimy aliens because I was trying to make it scary and center it around the bad science of our day rather than his), twenty percent Snowcrash, twenty percent Transmetropolitan, five percent Gaunt's Ghosts (of all things), thirty percent ideas and themes and scenes I ripped from some of my other projects, and twenty percent my burning hatred of commercials. It's also the first thing I actually planned with an outline, and managed to keep track of the logistics all the way through. It's weird and crowded and I have no idea if it works, but I'm real happy with it, and can't wait to show you folks.

So yeah, that's on the way, thanks for sticking around!