I designed the logo for the Imagineering Pavilion at Disney’s D23 Expo. The theme was “Carousel of Projects”, a play on the old “Carousel of Progress” attraction that used to be at Disneyland back in the 1960s. The theme of the whole thing was retro 60s, which I tried to incorporate into this logo.
Here is a video of the logo “in action” (which I didn’t create.)
Launched on August 24, 2009, Wishing Stars is a GPS-based game for Disney Park visitors. Guests search for hidden (virtual) treasure by following clues awarded by the game. I created the game concept, the iPhone app, and all related graphics.
For more details, visit the Wishing Stars web site.
My first iPhone app. Click for details.
An invite I created for my 40th birthday party at a local tiki bar. Click to expand it to full-size.
For my personal portfolio, a Space Mountain attraction poster in the style of ’60s-era Disney posters.
Want a copy? Visit here and download.
Disney hired me to create a series of illustrations to be used in the attraction poster for Hong Kong Disneyland’s upcoming “It’s A Small World” attraction, opening in 2008 (click to enlarge):
I joined Bunchball in January 2007. As the Vice President of Design, I was tasked with styling our products and communicating the corporate story.
BEFORE: Here is the corporate web site when I came on board, emphasizing the company’s then-message around online social gaming:
Link to archived site.
AFTER, Part 1: Here is my quick-and-dirty update to the web site, giving it a slicker look and emphasizing the improved appearance of the re-styled game lineup I spearheaded. The corporate positioning is the same: online social games.
Link to archived site.
AFTER, Part 2: Here is the latest iteration: a dramatic shift for the company to its new product, Nitro, and the company’s new “science & technology” positioning. Games are no longer the focus. Instead, the new product, Nitro, is a tool that drives online user behavior via gaming principles.
Link to actual site.
As Vice President of Design at Bunchball, I (and my team) restyled our game line-up to give the games a world-class appearance. Among the games I styled myself, a retro-themed pool game…
…a ’70s-inspired vector graphic shoot-’em-up:
…a game designed for people to socialize, themed like a nightclub:
Then, some games I art-directed. A football gamed themed literally as a chalkboard, where the players are X’s and O’s:
…an arcade trivia game themed like an ’80s-era handheld electronic game:
…a renaissance-inspired Chess game:
As my first task at Bunchball, I was asked to create business cards for each employee that utilized the existing company colors and logo, with each featuring its own, unique character, selected by the employee. (Mine is the tiki.)
(As the company got larger we fortunately abandoned this strategy, as it would have taken a lot of time to create custom cards for everyone!)
An Imagineer I met at Disney mentioned that his first assignment at the company was to design a popcorn cart. He shared this in an effort to make the work sound not-at-all-glamorous (it didn’t work), and it occurred to me that if I wanted to get into the theme park business, designing a popcorn cart was probably a more typical task than, say, designing an entire park or attraction.
With that in mind, here’s the popcorn cart I created, themed toward Tokyo DisneySea’s steampunk-inspired Mysterious Island. What you see here was not created for Disney, but instead done for my own portfolio.
I like how it turned out, though my one critique is a fundamental one: it looks a little too much like “a popcorn cart themed to Mysterious Island.” A stronger approach would have made it look like some other piece of hardware that’s been converted into a popcorn cart. My approach almost implies that Captain Nemo (Mysterious Island’s “creator”) spent his spare time designing popcorn carts…unlikely. Far more likely that someone else take one of his creations and turn it into something “trivial.”
The most exciting theme park attractions do something to fool my eye, whether it’s the ghosts of the Haunted Mansion ballroom, Roger Rabbit’s “Portable Hole,” or the Tower of Terror’s infinite hallway. Given the extreme control theme park rides have over the speed and direction of the guest, it would seem like there are rich opportunities to use a parallax scrolling technique to make an interior space seem dramatically bigger; unfortunately, this trick isn’t used nearly as often as I’d expect, especially in low-budget rides, where I think it could add a lot at a very low cost.
Here’s a decidedly not-low-budget concept I drew up for a way to employ the trick in a large circular space:
Click to download a PDF
So: will this actually work? I’m not sure; it’ll take some 3-D modelling of the space to really figure out. But I think the idea is promising.
This is a blog post I wrote that got quite a bit of notoriety back when it was published at the end of 2006. It details my experience of working at Apple Computer on a doomed technology called OpenDoc, and I think a lot of people took interest in it because it talks about one of the real –yet underreported–reasons Apple was failing in the mid-’90s.
A redesign of the web site for my film The Future of Pinball (now named TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball) with a cleaner back-end architecture, a “Latest News” column, and a Flash movie.
The TILT 27″ x 40″ movie poster, used at film screenings and as a souvenir available for purchase:
I was commissioned by Walt Disney Imagineering to illustrate the front and back of a 24-foot billboard used in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Autopia attraction. The basic design had already been decided by Imagineering and Honda, the attraction’s sponsor, but it was up to me to create the finished work.
You may or may not be familiar with MAME, an absolutely amazing piece of software that lets you run on your PC or Mac virtually any arcade video game that ever existed, from Space Invaders to Pac-Man to Mortal Kombat. Seeing MAME for the first time inspired a deep, deep desire in me to build an arcade cabinet that could play all video games known to man, which I did. The only problem is that MAME is very tricky to use…and arcade games shouldn’t be. To help solve that problem, I wrote a piece of software in Java that makes it easy to run MAME video games, displaying them as if they were songs on a ’60s-era jukebox. Click on the image below to see what the front-end looks like, or visit the Jukebox web site for further details.
As mentioned in this post, inspired by MAME, I decided to purchase an old arcade cabinet (Tetris, in this case), gut it, put a PC inside, style the outside, and write a custom software front-end to allow it to play over 1,000 classic arcade games, Atari 2600 games, ColecoVision…you name it, it plays it.
It’s designed to have an early ’60s jukebox aesthetic, and I have to say that it all came out looking pretty great. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to photograph in a flattering way…but in person, it’s cool.
Design for a web site to teach math to elementary and high school students. (Though you can visit the site, it isn’t working well at the moment. Don’t be too disappointed!)
Ever read the dedication plaque at Disneyland? I hadn’t in quite a while, and a quick review of it revealed something surprising. I wrote about it in this blog post entitled The Meaning of Disneyland that has gotten a lot of attention across the web.
A trailer for my documentary, The Future of Pinball (as of 2007, now entitled “TILT”.)
I was hired to create two sheets of stamps commemorating the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland on September 15, 2005. Both sheets were issued by the Hong Kong Post Office in various presentation formats, including the “nighttime” one with Mickey in a gold leaf sorcerer’s coat.
Based on some faux-Disney attraction posters that I had created on my own, I was hired to create a set of seven posters for the Hong Kong Disneyland park opening on September 15, 2005. The producer that hired me wanted to preserve the silk-screened look of the original 1950s-era attraction posters, and though we had to make a few concessions I think we came pretty close to succeeding.Actual size of the posters is 30 by 45 inches. (Attraction posters are a long-standing tradition at Disney theme parks: they’re placed in the entry way to the park to promote the exciting things to see and do. They also decorate the occasional blank wall within the park.)
It never occurred to me that I’d have the occasion to draw fried chicken, but I found the opportunity when Disney asked me to create five outdoor menus for restaurants at Hong Kong Disneyland. Three of them consisted mainly of laying out already-illustrated food items, but the two shown here were created entirely by me.
I developed some “widgets” (tiny programs) for Yahoo!’s Konfabulator and Apple’s Dashboard. Countdown Calendar is one of the more popular widgets on the Mac, and Steve Jobs demoed it in his “Transition to Intel” keynote.
“Rubik’s Cube” game. Download it here (Mac OS X only).
“Countdown Calendar” widget. Download it here (Mac OS X only).
“Look It Up” search widget:
A pair of holiday cards, one for a couple moving into a new loft, the other for a small consulting firm.
A wedding information web site designed to match pre-printed invitations. Click here to visit the web site.
I created this animated sequence in TILT in an attempt to shorten a three-minute-long discussion of the structure of the pinball industry into about 15 seconds. Like other graphics in the film, it utilizes a ’60s-era pinball aesthetic.
I wanted to create a blanket brand for my graphic design and film work, and thus came C3 Images. Though the brand has gone largely unused and the site has remained small, the design was inspired by 1930s-era German graphics.
Click here to view the completed title animation for TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball.
A business card designed for myself.
Just a few random illustrations:
A Disney-inspired attraction poster that I created on my own. Posting this online led to me getting a job with Disney to do these “for real.”
Back when I was thinking of starting a casual games company, I created this mock-up for a word game based on a metaphor of an eye chart. The Jobim music in the background is an attempt to make the music sound like “waiting room” music at a doctor’s office. I also created a custom “Snellen” font that looked like eye chart type (Snellen charts don’t use all 26 letters, so I had to make up an appearance for some of them.)
Click on the image to watch the video: