Updating the NFG Book

| #books | #thebook |

You might remember I wrote a book on video game sprites and pixel art. It was fairly well received, and for a while sold on Amazon’s famously fucked-up marketplace for half a thousand dollars. Or over seven thousand dollars if you are unlucky enough to land on this Amazon page. And then it peaked at twelve thousand US dollars. Insane.

Well, I’m re-writing it, hopefully with a lot of better words, and a surprising number of new ones. There’s a ton of all new sprites, updates to old game series’, and an all new design. Here’s a preview! Please let me know if you like it (or if you don’t)…

Well, I’ve given up on it. I’m putting all the pages online as PDFs, SVGs and some of them as plain ol’ mobile-friendly webpages. Scroll down and clicketh ye some links.

Current page count: Newest pages at the bottom!

This is the WonderBoy sprite history:

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And this is Castlevania:

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Full version (web page & PDF)

I finished four pages of Bonk tonight. Lots of new text and sprites!

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Full version (web page & PDF)

Sonic the Hedgehog sprite history:

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Full version (large pages & PDF)

Shooting game heroes! There’s over 500 sprites on that last page. have a closer look.

This article is now online!

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Here’s the first draft of 4 pages of R-Type:

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Full version (large pages & PDF)

Five pages on isometric graphics!

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Still beavering away at the pre-rendered graphics segment, it’s really kicking my ass. In the meantime, here’s a page on sprite flipping:

It doesn’t get any bigger.

Finally, the pre-rendered and digitized sprites segment is finished! It took a week and five whole pages to say “Don’t do this, you game-dev fools!”

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April 4, 2014: the old book is currently $11,700 on Amazon hahahaha

April 16th: finished 8 pages on Assault Suits, Metal Warriors and Gun Hazard:

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Full version (large pages & PDF)

April 24th: Old book price: $10,249.

Finished 4 pages on arcade 8×8 pixel fonts! Man, I love fonts.

Click for slightly bigger!

Full version (web page & PDF)

[ Feb 25 2014 ]



Mar 1 2014

Do like. Do want.

I’m looking forward for the release of your upcoming book. Especially since I wasn’t able to get a copy of the old one at a reasonable price.


Mar 19 2014

hey cool! i am interested in this
some of those page backgrounds are too much though :( that set of shooting game heroes would be better off with a simpler bg


Apr 20 2014

This looks absolutely fantastic.

Just wondering if it’s possible to get a version of the book (or simply that 500-sprite shooter page) without a drop shadows. It would make it easier to analyze some of the design.

Terrific work!


    Apr 21 2014

    Thanks! Glad you like it so far.

    1. People are split on dropshadows. I like them, it is an effective way of separating the design from the background. Even a white background will fail on so many sprites because they have white elements. Something has to be done, and a subtle dropshadow (more subtle than what is used here, which was intentionally dark) is the only real solution I can think of. You’re welcome to suggest other ideas if you have ’em.

    2. I am thinking of doing a proper poster of the shmup sprites, which should give you ample freedom to really dig into the design.

    3. I’m planning to release them as a digital collection too, once the book is ready. Think that’ll work for you? =D


Apr 22 2014

Oh, both the digital collection and the poster would be amazing!

In regards to the drop shadows, I can see sacrificing a little fidelity for a nice page layout. Especially since you’re right: w/o drop shadows the outer pixels are pretty much damned by whatever the background is.

If I can think of any possible solution I’ll let you know, but the sprites look fine the way they are.

Federico Mazza

Oct 2 2015

Great work!

Any news on this project? When (and if) it’s out, I’ll be definitely in for a copy.

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