Spitting Image (1989)      

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Details (Commodore Amiga) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Domark Ltd
Chris Sorrell


3.5" Floppy disk

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Commodore Amiga

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Your Reviews

Codetapper Interview (Unknown)   19th Nov 2011 12:54
How did you end up working on Spitting Image? Presumably it was your first paid work on the Amiga?

I was lucky enough to hook up with a guy named Steve Bak via the local computer shop where I had a Saturday job. He was already a very established developer with multiple C64 and Amiga/ST titles already behind him. However his talent was coding - he always brought in freelancers to provide the artwork. He happened to be looking for an artist to work on his next title which was to be a beat 'em up based on the then popular Spitting Image TV show. Having always done my own artwork as well as coding I jumped at the opportunity to put together a disk of sample pictures - enough to impress him into offering me the contract.

What kind of a specification were you given in terms of what he wanted you to draw?

We knew we were essentially making a side-viewed beat 'em up, which characters should feature and that we wanted each to have a 'home' background. I don't remember starting with much more than that to go on!

Did you as the artist get to choose the colour palette yourself? Did you have to do rough versions of all characters to see what combination of colours would suit all of them?

Absolutely - Steve left all art decisions to me, just providing the technical guidelines I needed to work within. Successful 16 bit artwork was very much about picking the right palette - focus too much on one shade and things would look very monochrome, aim for too many different hues and you wouldn't have enough of each colour for decent shading, etc. In Spitting Image (as with most of my Amiga work), there was really just one palette that was adapted in subtle ways between locations. This was necessary because any of the games' characters could visit any other character's home location.

Can you remember approximately how long it would take to do the graphics for each fighter?

The whole thing only took about three months - I don't think it was much more than a couple of weeks for each character and their backgrounds, including all character and background animations.

Did you draw them from still photos or video or was there another version you were basing the graphics from?

Everything was drawn by hand using whatever reference I could get hold of. I had two (publicly released) Spitting Image books for character reference but that was it! Anything else was just derived from whatever books I could find... It's crazy to think how much effort it was to muster up reference material back then when now all it takes is a single web search.

What art package did you use? And on what platform?

It was all created in Deluxe Paint (2?) on my Amiga A500. I didn't have a hard-drive so everything was stored on 3.5" disks.

How do you go about drawing the Sylvester Stallone picture that features at the end of the game? Did you have a digitiser? Or work straight onto the computer? It looks amazing for only 16 colours, but the Amiga version should have had 32 or used HAM mode hehe! :)

I'd totally forgotten about ever creating that one! Most likely it was based on a decent photo reference and certainly created straight onto the computer 'by eye' (I'd never used a digitizer until after Spitting Image when I actually bought one with part of my income from the project!) It was indeed 16 colours - like most art I did - because of the need to work on the ST. The Spitting Image title screen was one 32 colour exception; I was actually always pushing to do stuff 'right' for the Amiga but of course deadlines were fairly tight and Steve was a very pragmatic guy with his mind on business practicalities.

Do you recall any interesting stories during the development?

The whole experience was an amazing thing for me, being about as naive and raw as you can imagine (I was just 16 when I started). This was a first taste of the industry I'd been desperate to join for about four years! One memorable point was a trip I made with Steve up to visit the conversion house that were working on the (totally independent) 8 bit versions of Spitting Image. During the same trip we stopped by the house of David Whittaker who was providing the music. It was quite something to be meeting these people who actually made games for a living. (How small and sad my perspective on things seems now of course :)

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This title was first added on 7th January 2007
This title was most recently updated on 19th November 2011

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