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x About Me Portfolio Games Doodles x

I'm fully trained in classical animation, and have over a decade of experience working in the games industry.
During that time, I've worked on a lot of different games.
Mostly, I've worked as an animator, but also have experience doing Backgrounds, Storyboards, Game design, and in-game scripting.

I have experience working in Photoshop, Flash, ProMotion, and numerous other software packages as well.  
below are most of the games I worked on before starting Studio Piña.

Here's a chronological list of Video Games I've worked on:
Some samples from this game:
IGN Pocket's "Making the Game" project.
Developer: Craig Harris/IGN
Platform: Gameboy Color
Role: Lead/sole artist
Status: Unfinished, Unreleased.
Notes: This un-named game had little chance of being published, mostly due to the Gameboy Color's impending demise, but it got me into making games!  The game was going to be a semi-overhead sandbox style Rampage re-envisioning.  This was a fun project, and I had the opportunity to add a lot to the game design and had near total control of all the art.  Here's a link to the original articles on IGN: LINK!

Powerpuff Girls: Mojo-jojo-a-gogo
Developer: Sennari
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Role: Cut scene artist, animator (Mojo taxi boss only)
Status: Released
Notes: At best, this game was mediocre.  I believe I did a decent job, but the other artists on the game didn't really have any animation experience.  How did I, the only trained animator on the team, manage to get so little animation on this project?  Perhaps it was because they needed someone to do awesome cut-scenes...

Night Stalker
Platform: Cell Phones
Developer: Sennari
Role: Artist
Status: Released, I think.  Cell games are downloadable, so there's really no physical product to confirm this.
Notes: Converted from the Intellivision classic.  Now at an even LOWER resolution.  I'm surprised I was able to downsize 8 pixel wide sprites to an even smaller size and still retain the look of the original, but I did it.
Powerpuff Girls: Shock of Ages
Developer: Sennari
Platform: Gamecube
Role: Character/prop design, Storyboard artist, preliminary dialogue writer
Status: Unfinished (somewhere around alpha/beta stage), Unreleased
Notes: Ugh, So many storyboards...  BAM (our publisher) started way too many projects at once, and then ran out of money to pay their developers. Thus, the game died, and my short stint at Sennari ended.  Cartoon Network themselves supplied the voice overs (at their own cost), we received the recorded dialogue just as the studio was shutting down.  One thing I really liked about this project was that the description of the cut scenes were so vague in the design document, that I got to write a lot of the dialogue and jokes, most of which stayed in-tact even though Cartoon Network sent the script out for approval from two different writers.

Lizzie McGuire
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Role: Artist for the Virtual Pet portion of the game.
Status: Released, but with all of my stuff cut out.
Notes: Disney decided that Lizzie McGuire didn't have a cat, and thus all my hard work was for nothing... well, almost nothing.  I did this game as a contractor for DESI, and they liked my stuff enough to hire me on full time! I think the build that had the virtual pet in it may have been shown at E3.

Tiger Woods 2004
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Role: Artist, Backgrounds mostly. Did some reward animations that got cut from the game.
Status: Released 
Notes: Not a very taxing project, spent a lot of time towards the end play testing.
I didn't save any examples from this game, no big loss as most of the assets were tiny, tiny trees or basic HUD elements.
Spider Man 2
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Role: Animator for a myriad of enemies who were all basically the same. (and a few who weren't)
Status: Released
Notes: This was my first game at Desi where I only did animations.  I learned a lot, and got seriously bored at points, but I became stronger because of it. (seriously, every enemy had the exact same set of animations, how boring is that?)
Lizzie McGuire 2
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Role: Animator, enemy character designs.
Status: Unfinished, unreleased
Notes: Just 2 days before the E3 demo was to be completed, Disney took the project away from us and gave it to a different (cheaper) developer.  From what I've seen from screenshots, it looks like they copied our design and made it worse. That makes 2 lizzie McGuire games I've worked on, and NOTHING to show for it.  This would have been a fun project to complete, oh well...
Jakks TV Games Spiderman
Platform: Jakks TV Games
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Animation in-betweens/ finishing
Status: Released
Notes: Just helping out on this one, really.  Took another animators key frames and did the in-betweens. (platformer section of the game).  About this time, the company's name changed from DESI to Backbone.

Nothing available.
Jakks TV Games World Poker tour - Texas Hold'em
Platform: Jakks TV Games
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist (Character portraits)
Status: Released
Notes: Made lots of character portraits for the game.  Most people like the sea captain the best.
Grand Theft Auto Advance
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist (cars)
Status: Released
Notes: The guy who did the cars on this game screwed up pretty bad, so myself and another guy had to fix them up at the last minute. A lot of the previews for the game, even the screenshots on Rockstars own website, showed the old cars.
Nothing available.
Time Play
Platform: unique
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist for the "Booty Looter" minigame, and the quiz game.
Status: Unreleased
Notes: This was an interesting project: using a TV Games style processor and a cheap LCD screen in combination to create a wireless handheld unit for movie theatres.  With this device, you could play a multiplayer game on the big screen before the movie started, or play a minigame / order food on the built in screen. The demo used the Pirates of the Caribbean license, and Booty looter was a Puyo Puyo style puzzler.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Animator. (oompa loompas and various enemies and pickups, and some other stuff)
Status: Released
Notes: Yup, another GBA platformer...  The Oompa Loompas' idle started off with them looking around, pulling out a lollypop and eating it, but the licensor said "the oompa loompas don't eat candy", so I changed it to having them operate a chocolate digger/jack hammer.  Again, they wanted something different, so I made them do a stupid dance, and that's what went into the game. Interesting note: I thought the chocolate river in the early stages of the game looked like crap, so I asked the art director if I could have a go at improving it. My chocolate river's in the game, and the old one can be seen in the instruction manual.  This was a pretty fun project, aside from all the last minute changes.
Winnie the Pooh: Piglet's Special Day
Platform: Jakks TV games 
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist (animation, backgrounds, etc.)
Status: Released, but the game-key is unreleased.
Notes: Jakks developed more TV games systems than the market could support, and so this one took over a year to be released.  During the production, we fired our assistant art director (our official art director quit several months prior), one of our lead animators left, our background guy was churning out utter garbage (later fired after going on to DJ2), Disney and Jakks constantly wanted changes to stuff they already approved months earlier... and who was left to clean up the mess?  That's right, Me.  Because of all the publisher indecisiveness and changes, the game went 4 months over schedule, and a lot of the fun stuff was made to be lame. (the ice cream game, where you had to remember the order and make it was replaced by a simpler and lamer "what color honey pot did they want" game, because: "Pooh doesn't eat ice cream".  Well, I can show you half a dozen examples of Pooh eating ice cream, and I can also show you Tigger saying he hates honey... but he sure does love it in this game.)  Eventually though, we did finish it, and it turned out pretty good, but we all hate Pooh now.  This game was designed to use a Game Key that would hold 3 games:  Hunny Pot Hunt (platformer), Roll Race (lame side scrolling race game), and I think the last one was called "sweet treat" (the ice cream game - turned honey pot game).  The final released version doesn't have a game key port, so those 3 games will never see the light of day.

Dogz
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist
Status: Released
Notes: Takes the honor of being one of the only games I worked on that I actually saw a commercial for on TV.  Took about a week to do, just simple localization stuff: erasing the Japanese text and replacing it with english.
Nothing available.
Sonic Riders
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist 
Status: Unfinished, Unreleased
Notes: We were doing a GBA port of Sonic Riders for Sega USA on a pretty tight schedule, and when Sega of Japan saw the game and insisted we add some 3D to it, but still keep the same production schedule, Sega USA canned it.(we were using an Out-Run style game engine)  There was no way we could re-write the engine and add all the features necessary and still have it on store shelves the same time as all the other ports.  Still, Sega liked what we did before they killed it, and it got us some more work with them.
I mostly cleaned up 3D renders on this one.  Below is the only original animation I did on the project.

Charlottes Web
Platforms: Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Character animator, Minigame Director
Status: Released
Notes: I did a lot on this game: half of Wilbur's animations, 90% of Templeton's animations, 11 out of 12 of the minigames (and some work on the 12th one too), the health replenishment animations (except for the feed bucket part), and a lot of misc. other stuff too.  I think I could have done a better job on some of the minigame art, but when you've got that many things to do, you don't have time to sit back, take a close look and discuss what could be improved to make it look better; you've just gotta' get it DONE.
By the way, there's a small bug in the game, but it's kind of hard to pull off, so I never reported it, but it's kind of cool:  jump off of a platform or ledge, and just as you hit the ground, hit jump again, and you'll spring up to the height you jumped down from.  It's really cool if you can do it from a big fall, you'll be like super-pig!

Adventure II
Platform: Atari 5200
Developer: Ron Lloyd
Role: Artist: Sprites, backgrounds, maze design
Status: Released
Notes: 4 years in development, that's a lot of time for a mere 32K of ROM!  This game is a homebrew sequel to the Atari 2600 game 'Adventure', and was a lot of fun to make.  Note: The sword's handle was supposed to be a 2 pixel wide 'missile', but it never got implemented correctly in the game, thus making it not look as good as I wanted.  I really like how the 'snow level" turned out, but I wish you could have made your own footprints like originally envisioned.  I also created a cool looking wizard boss and large red dragon that never got used.  Creating art for such limited hardware and pushing it's limits can be fun.
Dogz DS
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist.
Status: Released
Notes: Another Dogs game, and more quick and simple localization.
Nothing available.
National Treasure: Confederate gold
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist, mostly animation
Status: Unfinished, Unreleased
Notes:  We got about 4 months into this one before it was canned.  Disney cancelled it because they pushed back the theatrical release date for National Treasure 2, and still hadn't finalized their script.
Our game was an original story based on National Treasure, and had Ben Gates and Riley tracking down a lost cache of confederate gold.
Anyway, Disney was really pissing us off: they wanted a more "realistic" look to the sprites, which meant give everyone a beet red skin tone and run the animations through a heavy photoshop blur filter.  They also kept wanting to change the speed at which Ben would walk, while keeping his walk animation "casual".  This resulted in Ben walking nearly as fast as he ran. Later they wanted Ben to run by default, and have him walk when you held down a shoulder button.  Seriously, they're complete idiots.
Anyway, the finished stuff we did looked fantastic (except for the extreme level of blur on the sprites), and if the game wasn't cancelled, I probably would have gone mental from the INSANE number of hand drawn, hand shaded sprite animations the game needed.  Oh yeah, and mini games... can't have a game without a ton of minigames... I hope to never work with Disney Interactive again.
Spiderwick
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Artist.
Status: Released
Notes:  They gave us a pretty tight budget for this one, but wanted a big, high-quality game.  We basically came up with a cool game and cut back on assets as much as we could while still keeping up the quality.  This game was a fun change of pace after the stress of fighting with Disney on National Treasure 2.
Astro Boy
Platform: Next Gen
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Concept Artist, Game Design
Status: Cancelled
Notes:  As a huge Astro Boy fan, I was so psyched up to work on a game based on the upcoming Astro Boy movie.   That is, until I saw the butchered character designs... and then read the abomination of a script.  I'm very glad the game was cancelled, and I really wish that the movie had been cancelled too.
Nothing available.
GI Joe
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Role: Animation, In-game scripting
Status: released
Notes: This was my last game with Backbone.  I animated several characters, and later switched to in-game scripting to make sure the animations were implemented correctly.  Before the project was finished, a bunch of people were laid off, myself included, so I couldn't get a copy of any art that I did.  No big loss, as all of the animations were simple overhead walking and shooting cycles.  The only thing I did that I think looked interesting was Shipwreck's Parrot.
Nothing available.
Powder Keg: the adventures of Little Barrel
Platform: PC
Developer: Dr. Pineapple.com / Keith Erickson
Role: Art, Animation, Game Design, Programming
Status: Cancelled?
Notes:  Before I started Studio Piña, I began work on this, a game I had wanted to make for a long time. Somehow I got burnt out on the project and shelved it indefinitely. Maybe someday I will finish it. Anyway, the game was an action platformer in the style of Taito classics where you played as Little Barrel trying to rescue Dr. P and Toby.

I have worked on over 40 games during my career, more than 15 of which were designed and produced by me.
My own games can be seen HERE and HERE.

For other examples of my artwork, check out Studio Piña and my comic book Dr.Pineapple Intergalactic Privateer.
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All content © Keith Erickson