Monday, January 05, 2015

Different versions of Crash

One of the things that makes Crash Bandicoot an interesting character is in the varying ways in which his design can be altered. It's one of the unanticipated aspects of his look that has fostered different approaches to his appearance and something I like to experiment with on occasion.

Here's an example. I sketched these concepts last evening for some drawing practice. I used a straight ahead drawing method I call free form which utilizes a non-erasable medium such as a simple ball point pen. This is what I came up with...


Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

Really interesting designs, they look very different from the classic Crash look, and they also seem a little difficult to animate due to the big limbs and the chubby look.
The first one is really cute, the second one looks like one of the "willy wombat" early designs and the third one is the more closer to the classic look of them all.
Anyway nice to see always new great Crash art.
I still think that you and Joe Pearson are the perfect choices for a new project involving the Crash franchise. I always think that Crash could be as popular as Sonic, maybe even more: Sonic gets at least a new game every year, a new cartoon just came out, a live-action movie is in the work, new toys, something like 3 different comic book series, and Crash has the potential to do that too! Crash's world and characters are way more interesting and fun than Sonic's in my opinion, a comic could retell the story from the original game but with more details and backstory of characters and places.
Too bad the franchise is in the wrong hands for all of that to happen.

Matt said...

I'd like to add Dave Siller to that duo and make it an awesome trio!

Gribouille Smiley said...

Indigen Crash lol

Gribouille Smiley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charles Z said...

I feel the biggest mistake that was made concerning Crash was losing Joe Pearson and you can follow that up with my non-involvement after Crash 3. Joe and I were brought together with Nitro Kart but imagine what the property would have been like if we were on board for each subsequent game and given the chance to fully develop it even after the Naughty Dog era.

I can tell you with all confidence that Joe and I would've created classic after classic at least as far as what we could conjure concept wise and design wise.

It's a shame really. But embrace what's there none the less everyone. It's still a great franchise and who knows. Maybe someday we'll see some Crash action again.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

Speaking of Nitro Kart, how much were you and Joe involved in the developement of the game, like character's ideas and personalities, story, and so on?

Charles Z said...

We were very involved once the word came from Vicarious Visions what they were looking for. Also the design / development crew were hired by me through my school since it also functioned as a production company.

We had a first rate group of artists in addition to Joe and myself. Plus VV was great to work with. None of the side issues that went along with ND.

I have a lot of the original development art for the game. Someday and one way or another I'm going to get it out there for all to see.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

I didn't know that students from your school were involved.
Speaking of the game itself some of the character design is a little different from the original Naughty Dog designs, also the design of the aliens that appear in the game don't look like yours or Joe's style at all (Here are the aliens from the game by the way:,,,
Did you or Joe designed them?

Charles Z said...

It was mainly Joe Pearson, myself, John Nevarez who later went to Pixar, Alan Simmons who works at Warner Bros, Snakebite Cortez on our end and artists on staff at Vicarious Visions.

The images you posted Gabriele are characters I designed for the game. They were modeled and colored by Vicarious. I don't know if the crew at VV was at the level of technical expertise that one would find at ND but they were a lot of fun to work with. We had a very positive relationship with them. There was a lot of art created for the development of the game and I wrote into our contract that my school would own the original art once the game was published.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

It's interesting because to me they don't look much like the other Crash characters that you and Joe designed in the past, maybe the blue monkey that looks a little like Papu Papu.
IO played all VV'S Crash games, the ones for the Game Boy Advance (That used graphics and gameplay elements from the original trilogy by ND) and CNK, that is their first and only home console Crash game. CNK was supposed to be a sequel to Crash Team Racing, in my opinion not only the best racing game in the series, but one of the best kart racers of all time (I even like it more than Mario Kart). The game itself is, sadly, not that good compared to CTR: It's slow and some mechanics don't work as they should, also it has less characters and tracks, but I see a lot of effort in that game, I eard that they tried to use the original CTR engine for the game but it didn't work out.
Anyway, speaking of VV and Crash, some time ago this was found:
It was in a picture in VV's official Facebook page. We never knew if it was a cancelled game or what else for sure, and after the fans asked VV themselves, they canceled the photo and in the next ones that poster was gone.
What do you think about that?

Charles Z said...

I don't know the story behind the Crash poster at VV other than some took it to mean the possibility of a new Crash game which wasn't the case.

As far as the difference in CNK from what ND established it comes down to a different developer in Vicarious. They had their budget and their way of doing things which were beyond what Joe and I and the rest of the team were involved with. We did concept design with characters, backgrounds, vehicles, also back story etc. The emergence of the idea and adapting the work towards what would be needed in production which was VV's realm. That included color on the characters. Although we worked up color keys for backgrounds and environments they did the color for everything else.

I did the character concept designs, Joe, Alan and John were on BG's , John did the kart concept designs, Joe worked with VV on story concept and cinematics, Snakebite on BG color keys in Photoshop.

Charles Z said...

Also worth mentioning is that CNK was to be the last Crash game. If we didn't do a good job and helped to revive the franchise it would have ended there in 2002 - 2003.

Gabriele Fiasconaro said...

I think I eard that: The Crash franchise was in bad shape in that period and needed something good. CNK maybe wasn't as good as CTR but it's ok for what it is, but Crash Twinsanity was the one that really revitalized the franchise (even though I don't like it that much). It's a shame you and Joe couldn't work on that game, I think if you were more involved like in the ND era (but with the right credit this time) you would have done a great job with it.
I know that Joe's company worked on the cinematics for that game, and in fact they look similar to the ones in CNK.

Charles Z said...

There probably would not have been Twinsanity except for CNK. Joe is the creative core of Crash. He has a genius for this kind of thing.