Last week saw the release of The Fullbright Company's fascinating exploratory mystery, Gone Home, in which players spend the better part of a few hours learning about a suburban Oregonian family in 1995 by rifling through their possessions. Some of you may have been quite taken by the story, while others weren't as intrigued by it, but almost everyone can agree that the four-person team at Fullbright can simulate 1995 with the best of them. But like most great artists, they can't do it alone and had help from other industry veterans to complete their vision.
As detailed on The Fullbright Company's blog, most of Gone Home's best contributions were to its fake game cover art on a series of fictional Super Nintendo Cartridges. My favourite was the art for the Bubsy-esque sequel Adventurous The Cat Returns, created by Double Fine's Lee Petty who worked on Brütal Legend and the upcoming Broken Age. The Fullbright Company's Karla Zimonja described the fake game as "a presumably bitchin' sequel to the well-loved Adventurous The Cat we all probably know and love from childhood. Adventurous is all grown up now, and has acquired sunglasses and a motorcycle."
"I imagined a platformer mascot that was one part Corey Haim, one part Vanilla Ice, all parts f****** awesome," said Petty on his blog. As you can see, Adventurous not only has explosions engulfing the background behind him, but there are more explosions reflected in his sunglasses in front of him as well. Explosions all around! That's Adventurous!
Amazingly, The Fullbright Company founder Steve Gaynor told me that Petty created cover art that's the correct dimensions for an actual NES cart, so he could potentially find some crummy old SNES game in a second hand bin and slap this up on it for decorative purposes. I highly suggest he do this with several copies, then donate some of them back into circulation via second-hand stores. If done with a Bubsy cart, do you think the buyer would notice?
Furthermore, Bastion developer Supergiant's art director Jen Zee designed this lovely art for Journey of Crystal, a Secret of Mana-esque JRPG that's presumably the sequel to the also fictitious Secret of Time Crystal. The Fullbright Company is pretty serious about its lore, apparently.
Elsewhere, NYU Game Center artist Rachel Morris contributed by designing her cover to Super Spitfire, a Star Fox-esque space combat game.
Furthermore, Gaynor mentioned on the Quarter to Three Podcast that lead designer of Deus Ex and co-creator of Dishonored Harvey Smith handwrote the "Happy Birthday" card to Sam that was signed from "Uncle Harvey." Smith was a big inspiration to the team that would later go to work on BioShock 2, a second-cousin-once-removed of System Shock's.