Yoshi's Island's Hand-Drawn Art Style Was Done Pixel by Pixel

Yoshi's Island's Hand-Drawn Art Style Was Done Pixel by Pixel

And also it took a long time.

Did you ever wonder how Nintendo got that sketched, hand-drawn look in Yoshi's Island back in 1995 on the Super Nintendo? Well it was an arduous task that involved drawing in the game pixel by pixel. And yes, it took a long time.

Kotaku sat down with Splatoon 2 producer Hisashi Nogami who previously worked as an artist on the Yoshi's Island team back in the 90s. His supervisor at the time, Shigefumi Hino, suggested that the art team try for a "hand-drawn" style.

The process to make that happen involved drawing images by hand and scanning them to use for the Super Nintendo. "What that involves is, when we made images for the Super Nintendo we're actually filling in spaces. In this case it was a pixel at a time, basically to match the scanned images we'd hand drawn, and carefully fill them in to make sure they still looked like that."

Yoshi's Island

Nogami likened it do having a "hand-drawing rendering engine" in his head that guided his hands while filling in the pixels. He also admitted that it took a long time to do. Considering the end result, we don't doubt that.

Yoshi's Island first came out on the Super Nintendo in 1995 before getting a re-release as part of last year's SNES Classic. The game features a pastel-like, hand drawn aesthetic that makes it look like a colored sketch. Nogami is currently producing Splatoon 2, which released its newest expansion this week. You can read our opinions of Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion here.

For more from E3, check out our full E3 2018 guide with the latest news, previews, and game announcements.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Related articles

The Console Wars Are Almost as Dumb as Actual Wars

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Phil Spencer says tribalism could drive him out of the industry.

Cuphead's Delicious Last Course Pushed Back Until It's Ready

The final sip will need to steep a while longer.

Super Mario Maker Support on Wii U is Coming to an End Next Year

That means it'll also be removed from the eShop soon.

Microsoft Is Working to "Identify and Resolve" Performance Issues in Xbox Series X Games

A Microsoft spokesperson says that developers are "just now scratching the surface" of what the new Xbox consoles can do.

You may also like

Metro Exodus Is Getting a Next-Gen Version Next Year

4A Games is also working on the next Metro and exploring potential for multiplayer.

Sony Promises More PS5 Supply for Holidays After Record-Breaking Launch

Despite the widespread e-commerce woes, the PS5 had the biggest console debut ever.

Marvel's Avengers Has Yet to Make Back Its Development Costs

Square Enix is saying it will continue pushing toward making the game profitable, however.

Baldur's Gate 3's Next Update Will Have Its First Story Changes

Be sure to read the fine print about your saves, though.