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Space Quest 5 Design Sketches > SpaceQuest.Net is proud to offer you a large amount of exclusive Space Quest 5 Design Sketches. This page also includes an interview with Sharp Sharp, Art Director for Space Quest 5.


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Space Quest 5 Design Sketches
Shawn Sharp is a refugee from the world of advertising and graphic design. He hopped the fence from commercial storyboarding and junk-mail design to greener pastures at Dynamix in 1990. Shawn, Art Director for Space Quest 5, penciled over 200 sketches in a two month period (around februari or march 1992). I'm very proud to present a great deal of those to you.

"I'm now living up in Seattle, Washington and working on a MMORP for a company by the name of Arena.net (we're part of NC Soft). With Dynamix closing years ago, the team that did Space Quest 5 has of course all gone their own ways. But still consider SQ5 to be one of the most fun titles they've worked on." - Shawn Sharp in an e-mail to me (October 2003).

Characters:

Roger Wilco (68 KB)
Roger Wilco 2 (72 KB)
Roger Wilco 3 (40 KB)
Roger Wilco 4 (56 KB)

Roger Wilco "Blast" (32 KB)

Droole (32 KB)
Droole 2 (40 KB)
Droole 3 (48 KB)

Cliffy (56 KB)
Cliffy 2 (64 KB)
Cliffy 3 (48 KB)
Cliffy 4 (36 KB)

Beatrice Wankmeister (52 KB)
Beatrice Wankmeister 2 (52 KB)

 

Other Cool Stuff:

Transporterroom (100 KB)
Engineering Room (88 KB)
Goliath
(44 KB)
Main Rotunda (68 KB)
USS Sanitation (48 KB)
Attack from Earth (64 KB)
Box Sketch (92 KB)
StarCon Uniforms (72 KB)
Thrakus (92 KB)
Thrakus 2 (84 KB)

Characters:

Flo (44 KB)
Harry Kerry (24 KB)
Misc Characters (64 KB)
One of Roger's class mates (36 KB)

Pukoid (72 KB)
Pukoid 2 (60 KB)

Captain Quirk (20 KB)
Captain Quirk 2 (52 KB)
Captain Quirk 3 (40 KB)

WD-40 (40 KB)
WD-40 2 (64 KB)
WD-40 3
(56 KB)
WD-40 4 (36 KB)
WD-40 5 (50 KB)

 

Exclusives:

Exclusive WD-40 (36 KB)
Exclusive Spike (40 KB)
Exclusive Roger (28 KB)
Exclusive Quirk and Bea (68 KB)
Exclusive Pukoid
(48 KB)
Exclusive Flo 1 (24 KB)
Exclusive Flo 2
(32 KB)
Exclusive Droole
(36 KB)
Exclusive Beatrice
(28 KB)

Shawn agreed to do an exclusive interview with SpaceQuest.Net. It was conducted in November 2003 as part of the Shawn Sharp Special.

Shawn Sharp, could you please introduce yourself to the fans out there? Who are you? Where do you live? What kind of work do you do?

Shawn SharpWhy is this suddenly sounding like an AA meeting? Hi, my name is Shawn Sharp, I’m a gameaholic… Ok, anyhow, yes, I was an art director at Dynamix for 9 years and in that time did Space Quest 5 along with a slew of other PC games. Dynamix is of course, no more, and, after a three year stint in hell, um, I mean Texas, I’m back where I belong: in the Pacific Northwest – Seattle specifically – and still doing games.

As far as the kind of work I do. Damn good thank you very much! No, seriously, the role of art director (AD) really varies a lot from project to project and from company to company. It’s also changed as the industry has changed. Back in the ol' days (he says with a 49er accent), for instance, on SQ5, I was doing the look and feel stuff, drawing backgrounds, designing characters, scheduling, animating, and managing the art staff. In the later years of Dynamix many of the projects were big enough that I focused mainly on the look and feel and other people handled the staff and asset management stuff. However, after Dynamix I moved down to Austin to do PS2 titles and was once again doing all of the above as well as modeling, producer-like stuff, technical R&D and, I dunno, sweeping floors or some such. Whatever it takes to get a project out of the door. In my current gig I’m focused entirely on the production design aspects as a concept artist.

 

How come you got landed working on computer games?

Hmm, it’s a long ugly story full of treachery and deceit. Or, not so much. Actually I was working in graphic design and advertising and had been doing free-lance illustration for Iron Crown Enterprises (a pen and paper RPG company) when Dynamix contacted me. Randy Dersham called me to see if I wanted to move down to Eugene, Oregon to art direct computer games. We had just moved to Portland, Oregon from Pittsburgh, my wife was in school and we really didn’t want to move again so soon. Besides, I had no idea what a computer game was. A year later he called again and we decided the money was right and did the move.

 

Shawn a few  years after SQ5.Got any wifes/kids/dogs/water-buffalos or grandma's roaming around your slummy hut... er, I mean manor?

Yes, I have two wives and one kid. Wait, reverse that: I have a wife and two boys, a really cool cat and two evil jack russells, the bane of my existence. How I hate them.

 

What kind of work did you do with Sierra? Your most important projects? How does your avarage day looks like?

Art directing. I could glut your site with describing just what that means so I’ll spare you, but the Reader’s Digest version would be to say, “make the art go.” Actually that sounds more like Homer Simpson.

Most important project? That’s hard to say. I suppose the biggest anyhow would have been Tribes and Starsiege; I was the senior art director managing the look, feel and much of the creative direction of those two titles.

Normal day? Ah, really depended on the project and my role on it. At times my normal day was only 10 hours or so, at times it was as much as 56 hours. Typical tasks would include designing locations, characters, vehicles, modeling, texturing (in the 3D days) directing photo shoots, and lots of creative brain storming. All-in-all, a blast.

 

When did you leave Sierra and why?

I decided that when the company closed, and consequently stopped paying me, that it was time to move on. Actually the death spiral was dragged out over a year’s time until Vivendi finally had the good sense to simply lock the doors. Don’t get me wrong: It was a great company and we did some wonderful games over 9 years I was there, but, towards the end it had turned into a political cesspool and when it finally closed I doubt anyone was too surprised.

 

How was it like to work on the Space Quest 5 project? How was it to work with David Selle, Mark Crowe and all the others?

Mark Crowe? Mark Crowe, boy, that name sounds familiar. Is he related to Russell Crowe? Mark was an absolute pleasure to work with. To this day when I’m asked what my favorite project was to work on I always say SQ5 and I feel Mark was mainly responsible for that. It was just fun all around. It was a lot of work too but we had a great team and I think part of it was that it was also at a time when the company and the industry itself was young and maybe a bit cavalier. Granted that was only a few years ago but things have changed a lot in those few years. Also, I was one of the few experienced artists Dynamix ever hired – we mostly hired right out of school – so for most of the team it was the first art job they had ever had and we excited to be doing what they were doing.

Since that time most of the team has gone on to other industry jobs. Rhonda Conely for instance went on to co-design and art direct several of the key titles for Humongous. Sean Murphy is at The Fizz Factor in Austin, Mark Crowe was at Pipeworks last I knew and I think everyone else are now assassins for the CIA.

There was that time Mark, Dave and I were in Tijuana with those women and the fake passports when the Rabbi and the two “farmers” walk in…um, maybe I shouldn’t share that one.

 

Did you actually create and invent the stuff you sketched yourself? Or did you had to work with idea's from Mark? How much "free room" did you have to sketch your own stuff without interference from the team?

I’d say it was a really cool mix. One of the reasons it was such a pleasure to work on SQ5 was that Mark was really good at describing what he had in mind but at the same time was very open to my ideas. Mark started out as an artist so he knew how to describe what he wanted. On many if not most projects coming out of Dynamix we would typically end up producing a ton of work that would end up getting tossed due to an attitude of “I’ll know it when I see it.” Mark, the team and I were able to work together in such a way that we threw out little if any art as I recall. I also want to point out that the team contributed a lot of great ideas as well. This is often not the case on a project.

 

What's the resemblance between Dr. Phill and junk mail, except that both are pure evil?

Funny you should ask. It happens that they are both a conspiracy perpetrated by the government in conjunction with the Illuminati against the American people as a diversionary tactic. Also included in this vile architecture of evil are such things as the infomercial, home owner’s associations, telemarketers, credit card companies and low fat Twinkies. Ya know, I’ve never actually had a Twinkie, low fat or otherwise.

 

According to the SQ5 hint book, you created over 200 sketches for the project. How many survived the hands of time?

Oh good god, I have no idea. I tend to hold on to art from past projects so in fact I probably have most of them. I’ve recently scanned a bunch and sent them your way. Somewhere, no doubt, there are more.

 

If there's any stuff you created that wasn't used later on for the actual game? Do you still have that/those thing(s)?

There were a lot of sketches building up to the final designs but actually not nearly the number of iterations one often sees.

 

How was it creating a landscape like Klorox II, or the Genetix Lab, where everything was desolate and menacing?

Did I mention living in Texas? I’m all about desolate and menacing baby. Actually desolate is a lot easier to do than lush and green. In the game I’m working on now I’m designing forests, swamps and jungles. Man I’m tired of designing trees and plants!

 

The USS Sanitation: not used in the game itself.Do you collect plugs?

I have one of the most extensive collections of nose plugs in north America including one owned by Elvis and one made for Napoleon.

 

Who, in god's name, created the awful Goliath labyrinth?

MARK, MARK, MARK! It was him, all him, not me! Actually I suspect it came down from Sierra. Roberta Williams seemed to be a big fan of mazes.

 

If given the opportunity, would you work on a new SQ game?

Oh hell yeah! Although a flock of wild platypii couldn’t drag me away from my current job.

 

When looking back at the work you've done for the project, what do you think of it?

It’s just ever so embarrassing. Actually some of it wasn’t so bad but it was a looooong time ago. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better.

 

What does it mean to you, that after so long, people still care about Space Quest?

It’s sad really. Well, maybe sad is too strong a word. No, no sad pretty much covers it *grin*. Seriously I think it’s really cool. I have way too many role-playing manuals and comic books to criticize any one else’s hobbies. It’s actually really encouraging. So often we do a game and, once it’s off the shelves or out of the trade journals it seems like it’s just lost to the ether. I’m always taken aback to learn someone is playing a game I did a year ago much less still fans of a game from so many years ago.

 

Any last words for the fans out there?

You mean other than “get a real hobby?” No really, I think it’s great that people still appreciate some of the old games. In many ways I miss the old adventure games and the old days of game development. It was more of a seat of your pants learn while you go sort of atmosphere and could be a real blast. Makes me want to dig out my copy of SQ5 and see if I could get it to run on one of my systems.

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All original content (c) 2004 Frans van Hofwegen. All Space Quest related material (c) by Sierra Entertainment.