Road To Wembley: The Video Game (Making of...)

If like me you've always loved the retro pixel art style then you'd think it'd be easy to learn how to draw pixel art. The truth is it really can't be taught, I watched a few Youtube videos on the subject and realised that you really have to keep playing around with the pixels until it starts to look like something. Below are some early sketches and tests for the RTW Level one characters based on Donkey Kong.

We settled on these designs to show BBC Sport and they loved them. It was an important learning process that would help me with designing the Level 2 characters.

Early designs for the Level 2 Sonic inspired characters had massive heads and a small spin run cycle.

A blurry spin cycle was then considered but there's no blurring in 16-bit games so I animated a new clean spin cycle that would work with 3 main colours.

 Bukaya Saka was really the character that helped me nail the designs. All the rest of the designs took inspiration from this character build.

With both levels once the character designs were signed off and approved the animation part was relatively simple. I had a blast creating energetic animations from these fun characters and the extra time on the designs really paid off.

Once my pixel art power was at full strength I tackled creating portraits of two legends of that sadly left us this year, John Motson and Ronnie Radford. I was familiar with John Motson but I had to do a bit of research on Ronnie Radford. I watched some Youtube videos of him playing football (and scoring possibly the greatest FA Cup final goal ever...

... and after a few sketches (which I can't find) made these final designs to be approved.

The final task was putting together designs for the teams managers, Erik ten Hag and Pep Guardiola which I used a combination of photoshop and procreate for the sketches.