I enjoy sketching out ideas quite quickly and throwing them in to Photoshop to explore colours and various other details surrounding the game’s final appearance. I’m a huge believer in having plenty of inspirational material to hand.

Merlin - The Sword in the Stone

Merlin from Disney's The Sword in the Stone

For Castle Quest I started off by scanning a few Milt Kahl sketches of the wizard Merlin from The Sword in the Stone.
I have always adored Kahl’s drawing so this proved to be hugely inspirational in setting the scene and mood for creating my game.

The more I played with the game’s design the more I figured it ought to be about fighting back. I’d always considered Castle Quest as something of a Pac-Man romp in a Gauntlet style setting. So combat could very well slot in to the design since the appearance would lend itself to it.

Wizard Sheet for Castle Quest

So I reimagined the wizard. As a kid I wanted to draw like the Disney artists and devoured countless books and magazines in my pursuit of their unique style. When I could afford it I bought The Illusion of Life – a wonderfully detailed guide to the Disney process of creating animated cartoons through the eyes of two of it’s original 9 old men. Milt Kahl’s drawings featured heavily in this book and have been a great source of reference to me for years.

So here you see my own battling wizard. Granted he probably turned out to be a little too much like Roy Wood than Merlin but the general feel of the character is pretty much what I’m after.

I’m looking forward to designing the game’s creatures and ghouls next. Then it’s down to work to tighten up the controls and design a few levels !

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