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Brian O

New Packaging/Labels for Common Carts

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It seems like Atari 2600 common carts don't get a lot of respect, and I started thinking "Maybe it'd be cool to give them a new coat of paint." For a while now, I've been kicking around the idea of creating some very minimalist box art, that leverages the main sprite graphic from some of the older Atari games. This works best for the older games, since the sprites used in those games are more abstract, and generally one color.

 

 

Combat Box:

 

jxAIe.jpg

 

Space Invaders Box:

 

lQZYt.jpg

 

Some more:

 

Dig-Dug

Yar's Revenge

Pac-Man

 

 

Here's the Space Invader Cart:

 

iPteb.jpg

 

 

And here's how the spines would line up on a shelf:

 

fsCuF.jpg

 

 

JUST ADDED:

 

Crazy Climber (First one with 2-color sprite):

 

FRgc7.jpg

 

Also:

Missle Command

Raiders of the Lost Ark

 

 

Any feedback is welcome.

 

Thanks!

B

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Man I really like those. Almost an Atari spin on the N* black box craze. It would be cool to do a black background poster with those oversize block characters as well.

 

AX

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I think the Space Invaders and Pac-Man ones are the strongest, because of how identifiable the characters are. The Space Invaders one is really striking.

 

I think the Combat one would be better if the tank faced to the side. It looks like a random assortment of pixels at first glance.

 

Yar's, despite being a character driven game, is probably the weakest of the batch. Even knowing exactly what the graphic was, it still looked like a random pattern. The overall design is fine, but the character just doen't look distinctive enough to work.

 

I think Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indy on the front would work. The Pac games are practically gimmies. Missile Command wouldn't work with this at all, or would be fairly difficult to make fit.

 

What would the backs look like?

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Man I really like those. Almost an Atari spin on the N* black box craze. It would be cool to do a black background poster with those oversize block characters as well.

 

AX

 

Thanks, Ax! Yeah, a poster would be sweet. I may have to try that.

 

-B

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I think the Space Invaders and Pac-Man ones are the strongest, because of how identifiable the characters are. The Space Invaders one is really striking.

 

I think the Combat one would be better if the tank faced to the side. It looks like a random assortment of pixels at first glance.

 

Yar's, despite being a character driven game, is probably the weakest of the batch. Even knowing exactly what the graphic was, it still looked like a random pattern. The overall design is fine, but the character just doen't look distinctive enough to work.

 

I think Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indy on the front would work. The Pac games are practically gimmies. Missile Command wouldn't work with this at all, or would be fairly difficult to make fit.

 

What would the backs look like?

 

Thanks for the feedback. Haven't designed anything for the backs yet. I'm aiming to keep them very minimal, like the front. I'll have to play around and see.

 

I agree that some of the characters work better than others. I was going to do the Combat tank to the side, like you suggested, but switched it up and used the diagonal. Figured it would be more dynamic. I'll try that one with a new tank image. Space Invaders is definitely my favorite one.

 

I think I can make Missle Command work. I'll have to look into that. Going to do one w/ Indy too :)

 

-B

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These are cool. Nice work. You know what might make great packaging for 2600 carts? Just a clear plastic storage case with a slot in the front for the game manual, and the front of the manual would double as the artwork for the case. Instead of a light cardboard box that gets crumpled/torn.

Edited by gps_trekker

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These are cool. Nice work. You know what might make great packaging for 2600 carts? Just a clear plastic storage case with a slot in the front for the game manual, and the front of the manual would double as the artwork for the case. Instead of a light cardboard box that gets crumpled/torn.

 

Thanks, GPS. That would be pretty sweet. I wonder if there's anything available that would work...I'll have to do a little searching.

 

-B

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These are cool. Nice work. You know what might make great packaging for 2600 carts? Just a clear plastic storage case with a slot in the front for the game manual, and the front of the manual would double as the artwork for the case. Instead of a light cardboard box that gets crumpled/torn.

 

Check this out:

 

231530002.jpg

 

Linky

 

 

If my Millimeter to Inches conversion is correct, then this box is 6" x 8.5". Bigger than a standard Atari box (5.5 x 7.5) but only by a little.

 

-B

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I like 'em. They look sort of classy. They remind me of those Lego "Architecture" boxes, compared to standard Lego packaging. And I think it's okay if the pixel-art isn't immediately recognizable: It can be appreciated on more than one level. The only thing I'm not wild about is the color assortment when they are displayed side-by-side. But individually the colors look great. This would be good art for some kind of special-edition set.

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I like 'em. They look sort of classy. They remind me of those Lego "Architecture" boxes, compared to standard Lego packaging. And I think it's okay if the pixel-art isn't immediately recognizable: It can be appreciated on more than one level. The only thing I'm not wild about is the color assortment when they are displayed side-by-side. But individually the colors look great. This would be good art for some kind of special-edition set.

 

Thanks, Ranthulfr. Like the Special Edition set idea.

 

As for the colors, I was going to make them all the same color, but I wanted each box to have its own personality, even if the designs are very similar. Oh, well, can't win'em all :)

 

-B

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Wow, I'm not really a 2600 guy, but these are absolutely great! This looks more akin to modern art than the retro (though also cool, of course) original art designs. Definitely a different vibe, and I think it's great that someone is changing it up a bit!

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They are cool.. nice Photoshop skills there.

 

You have a portfolio or anything online?

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I'm having fun with these, so I made a couple more. I also included some box backs as well:

 

Space Invaders Back:

 

vzrCF.jpg

 

 

Pac-Man Back:

 

u5kP4.jpg

 

 

And some others:

 

 

I pulled the game description copy from either existing boxes or manuals. Couldn't find any game summary copy for Indy 500, so just threw some dummy copy in.

 

 

-B

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I like 'em. They look sort of classy. They remind me of those Lego "Architecture" boxes, compared to standard Lego packaging. And I think it's okay if the pixel-art isn't immediately recognizable: It can be appreciated on more than one level. The only thing I'm not wild about is the color assortment when they are displayed side-by-side. But individually the colors look great. This would be good art for some kind of special-edition set.

 

Just to be clear, I wasn't meaning to imply that any of them were bad. I think they're all cool. I was just trying to say that the best ones were the best because they jumped out and me and encapsulated the game in a simple, clearly identifiable, single color image.

 

Perhaps I did stress the idea of recognizability to the non-initiated too much. I was evaluating them with the idea of them being real packaging on the shelf in the early 80s. As purely retro-tributes, they're perfect. In fact, with that in mind the Combat package becomes one of the strongest designs. I think you can certainly get a lot of mileage out of the general template. Viewed purely as retro-tributes instead of alternate history packaging, the obscurity and blockiness of the character used becomes an asset.

 

As for the new ones, Crazy Climber looks damn good too, however, I think the dual color sprite dilutes the simplicity which is the strength of the set. Raiders honestly didn't look as good as I imagined it, but no biggie.

 

Berzerk would be excellent with this. Venture seems to lend itself as well. Star Raiders might be good in the obscurity department. What would you use with that, one of the enemy ships, or the aiming crosshairs?

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I'm having fun with these, so I made a couple more. I also included some box backs as well:

 

More thumbs up from me.

 

Does the E.T. sprite really have that dipping pixel between the legs? I'd never noticed that before. I know that E.T. wandered around nude, but the 2600 version of the character was just letting it all hang out! :D

 

Is the lack of a screenshot on the back a conscious decision? I think they look good without example screenshots, but there's definitely enough space for one.

 

I like the spartan look, though. It's a huge difference from modern games and their overdesigned front covers and absolutely packed backs.

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Those are really nice! Color me very impressed. They'd look great on my shelf and would be fantastic conversation pieces.

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I'm having fun with these, so I made a couple more. I also included some box backs as well:

 

More thumbs up from me.

 

Does the E.T. sprite really have that dipping pixel between the legs? I'd never noticed that before. I know that E.T. wandered around nude, but the 2600 version of the character was just letting it all hang out! :D

 

Is the lack of a screenshot on the back a conscious decision? I think they look good without example screenshots, but there's definitely enough space for one.

 

I like the spartan look, though. It's a huge difference from modern games and their overdesigned front covers and absolutely packed backs.

 

Thanks, Gabriel! I thought about putting a screenshot on the back, but decided not to. I really wanted to keep the boxes as simple as possible, like Apple does w/ its packaging.

 

I agree that some work better than others. I've also been trying to use either the sprite color or box color from the original games, so I'm not just arbitrarally choosing colors.

 

I can't believe I hadn't thought of Bezerk! Now I have to make another one :)

 

B

 

PS - that ET sprite is copied from a screenshots. I guess he was happy to see Elliot...

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Here's a few more. Hope you like them.

 

Bezerk:

 

98fJo.jpg

 

wDUh9.jpg

 

 

Asteroids:

 

lvvpH.jpg

 

KVuSt.jpg

 

 

Joust:

 

eAupW.jpg

 

x86RJ.jpg

 

 

 

That's all for tonight.

Hoping to get some glossy paper soon and make myself up a real comp of one of the boxes and one of the labels.

 

 

-B

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Is the lack of a screenshot on the back a conscious decision? I think they look good without example screenshots, but there's definitely enough space for one.

I was thinking along a slightly different line. For sprites that have them (which would be most of them), use a different position or animation frame on the back. For example, with Combat, you could have the diagonal position on the front and spines, and a straight cardinal direction orientation on the back.

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Looking very good with the boxes!

 

Two small quibbles:

 

1) For Asteroids, I'd use a pic of a asteroid instead of a ship. The ship pixles look terrible and unreconizable from that angle, IMHO.

2) Joust is based off a Williams arcade game, which is not mentioned on the back of the box. :)

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