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.

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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.

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