When I was growing up, I would spent a lot of time with any new arcade games that showed up in my town. Even if I didn’t have any money. I would stand around, watching others play or waiting for them to show up to play. This left me with a lot of time to kill and I would often stare at the art on the machines, constructing fantasies around the characters that went beyond what was presented in the game.
Wizard of Wor was particularly compelling. Dragon aliens, space wizards and suited space warriors just fired up the imagination and propelled the game into my pantheon of favorites.
Because of these formative years staring at art, I am always on the lookout for fan art or art for games I have never seen before. Recently, while reading an old issue of Computer and Video Games, an early European magazine dedicated to video games, I stumped across an article about Wizard of Wor. The article was interesting, but I was really taken with the art for it.
The art, which I believe is by house illustrator Gary Scrace, is straightforward. A clean, yet compelling illustration of the game with just the right amount of detail without being underdesigned. It reminds me of early work done for Dungeons & Dragons. A fantastical illustrations done by a talented artist, that is not trying to be hyper-realistic, but is more evocative because of it.
This is just the sort of art that I would try and fail to copy in the notebooks of my youth. It would make an amazing design on the side of a van and I daresay the perfect tattoo for any hardcore Wizard of Wor fan out there. For those shopping for van designs who might need convincing, here is a mockup of the concept.
Not a lot of information on Gary Scrace online, but now that I know his name and that he is a contributor to Computer and Video Games, I will see what else of his I can dig up.