Sunday, October 26, 2008


The dot-s website shows a bunch of sets that I probably never would have had a chance to pick up without spending a lot of money to import them all. But it is great nonetheless because it has alternate "recipes" for some basic characters, as well as some lesser pixels such as fruits or bonus items. Pooka here can also be shown being blown up, and I should totally make that version for a later entry.

Pooka uses basic colours, but I learned early on that my Lego collection wasn't as extensive as I remembered. Since I mostly had space and castle sets, my colour palette was very limited (mostly grey and blue). Scrounging together red and yellow for Pooka was fine, but any larger character would require me to buy a bunch more. Luckily I found the solution in Lego Mosaic. More about that next time....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dig Dug

The first one of these Lego creations I attempted was Dig Dug.

He's easy because I already had these colours and looks like an expression-less Smurf. A Smurf that impales you with an arrow and pumps you full of air so that you explode. If the Smurfs had used these tactics against Gargamel and Azrael, there would still be Smurfs around today. I was never really good at this game in the arcade, but I picked up a Windows version years ago and I became quite dominant. Then Bill Gates became evil(er) and wouldn't let me transfer this to newer versions of Windows even though I was using the original floppy discs. I can sort of play it on Vista, but then it crashes all the time. I guess at this point I probably could just play it on my phone....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dots and Pegs

OR, How I Learned to be Pseudo-artsy from Tiny Japanese Products

Welcome to my new blog, placed here just so I can share my slight obsession with old-school video game graphics. It started when I first discovered dot-s at the Giant Robot store in LA.

These little products are self-contained kits that have all the colours you need for a particular bunch of video game characters, and a wealth of patterns to vary your purchase. They're only a few inches high, so the pegs are very tiny and a bit difficult to switch around if you get bored quickly. You can also connect the backboards together and make bigger scenes. The instructions are very simple and have grids on them to make placement that much easier.

Now, since they're imported from Japan and I believe mostly out of production, I started thinking of other ways to create these characters. I've seen lots of people tackle this kind of art, so I got a lot of ideas. There's these things called Pixelblocks that are translucent and do a good job since they're stackable, but I didn't feel like investing in a whole bunch of them. That's when I realised I could pull off the same effect with Lego, and I already had a bunch of those.

So I pulled the boxes out of storage, waded through all the space pieces to get to the basic bricks, and started putting things together. There's plenty of references online, and I took a few lousy pictures with the cellphone camera before I decided I should document these better. So here's a website to stick everything I deem worthy.