The artwork for this machine was something that I knew I would need help with. When it comes to graphic design I am as green as they come. Ideally, I wanted to find a artist that was familiar with the show. I figured someone with the same passion for it as I had would bring something extra special to the table. That was proving to be harder than I thought. I talked to a few resources and got a few leads, but ultimately never found a GA that was huge Buffy fan and able to take on this project. I do have a lead on a GA that wants to work on the Playfield artwork when I get to that point. He seems really excited about this project and comes highly recommended. In my searches I also found a company that specializes in printing arcade graphics. While looking through their website, www.gameongrafix.com, I noticed that they offered a design service. So, I decided to give it a try. I had them work with me in designing the cabinet and translite art. I can say that I could not be happier with the way it turned out and the price that they charged was worth every penny!
I am not sure how many graphic artists they have working for them, but the artist that was assigned to me was an extremely talented guy by the name of Vlad Strajnic. Vlad was very easy to work with and was able to take my simplistic visions and transform them into to fantastic works of art! I could not be happier with Vlad's work. He is worth contacting if you are looking to have any design work done! He can be reached through the contact page here on this site. Feel free to give him a shout. I would highly recommend him!
All the images used in the artwork for this game were acquired from internet searches. Any images that we used that were "Fan Made" I made every attempt to track down the creator and ask permission for its use. Sometimes I was successful in doing this, sometimes not. So if you see something I have used that you believe is your work, please let me know if you would like recognition for it.
The translite went through a few different variations. I had an image of Buffy that I really wanted to use but couldn't find a high enough resolution version of it. We played around with a few different ways using the lower res picture, but it just didn't feel right to me. So after a bit of brainstorming between Vlad and I we came up with what you see below.
At first I wasn't too crazy about having Buffy on there twice. In the original rendering of this translite the Buffy on the right was holding a bloody stake, which I had issues with for multiple reasons. First off, it was a stake that I don't think was ever used on the show. Secondly, I had issue with it being bloody. This isn't True Blood. When she stakes vamps they turn to dust not bloody masses on the floor. So seeing as this image of her is a more mature "end of series" one, I had Vlad work his magic and replace the stake with the infamous Slayer Scythe. Now having the 2 images of Buffy seems right. The one at the bottom is a very early image from the beginning of the series, and the one on the right is a more mature and powerful image of her form the end of the series.
The cabinet art was mostly on Vlad to figure out. I gave him some basic direction on the logo and main characters below it, and the rest was all Vlad's handy work! I supplied him with a bunch of images from the show and he was able to use them as "background" for the rest of the cabinet art. He even searched and found some images on his own to use. The end result, I think, looks awesome! The more you stare at it the more you see!
The only other things I asked of him was to have the the iconic image you see on this sites home page be prominent on the head art and for the quote "Into every generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One..." to be added to the lower front below the coin door. Below is the completed cabinet art.
FRONT / COIN DOOR
Please check out the Cabinet page to see the artwork installed!
The playfield artwork is the next bit of artwork that I need to dive into. This artwork is a bit more critical as it needs to flow with the game play and rule set. It will be a lot of trial and error and can not be set in stone until the rule set is completed. However there is a lot of prep work that needs to be done before the artwork an be applied, so I will start off with that.
I was able to acquire another fully populated playfield. I did this for a couple of reasons. First off is, the playfield needs to be completely dissassembled to have the artwork applied. This process will take a while and the playfield wil likely be apart for months. So having another playfield here will be crucial in helping me remember how to reasemble it properly. Secondly, this means I can leave the current playfield in the game for continued software testing. This means less down time for me and hopefully a quicker completion time for the machine.
Well I have started the process of tearing down the second playfield. I removed pretty much everything from the top and bottom of it. This is done so the playfield can be digitally scanned. This scan will be used by the Graphic Artist to insure things are properly sized and placed. This also insures the printout of the new artwork will line up with all the cut outs and lenses on the playfield. Below are some pics ofthe stripped down playfield.
Once the playfield has been scanned, the original games art work will be removed. The playfield will then be sanded smoth and all raised inserts/lenses will be leveled. The playfield will then be ready for the new artwork overlay once its completed.
The playfield artwork has gone through many variations. These variations change as we come up with new or better ideas for the game and its ruleset. Below is a picture of just some of them side by side.
As you can see above it has gone through many changes. By expo of 2014 we had chose the image you see below to be our final artwork . Little did we know that it in fact would not be the last time we changed it.
The artwork above was printed out and assembled in the game that was brought to Pinball Expo 2014. It looked really good and received a lot of praise from those that saw and played it.
Even with its great sucess at Expo the game felt like it needed more of a change. The lay out was still an exact replica of the Swords Of Fury that it use to be. Now while it was a great layout, I decided to make some drastic changes to it to make the Buffy pinball stand out even more on its own. This involved quite a bit of work. The lower loop and ball lock area were eliminated. In their place we added an AFM style scoop and a new shot path that would now feed the upper flipper. The far left lane was also altered. This lane would now have an extension that would allow the ball to loop around and back into the middle of the playfield just above the A insert. With these changes in place, we have now completely changed the flow and feel of the lower playfield. They also allowed us to add new modes and ruels. Obviously it also required the artwork to be revised. Below is the final playfield art that reflects these changes.
The above artwork would end up being the final artwork for the playfield. No more changes will be made. This new artwork was printed and installed onto the playfield. I decided to have this one clearcoated before installing it into the game.
And below here it is installed in the game and ready for Pinball Expo 2015.
And here is a walk around video from Expo 2015.