Why painstaking processes make this hand-drawn platformer more authentic
Jay Trent has been developing NekoNecro for three years now. An “illustrator first, game developer second”, he has assembled the levels of his 2D platformer from pieces of art drawn in ink on paper. Each individual element is scanned in and cleaned up before he drags it into position.
“It’s essentially my sketchbook come to life,” he says. “The disparate and unique styles I’ve seen in independent animation and comics have heavily influenced my illustration style over the years. It made sense to channel that into my game development.”
It has, inevitably, been timeconsuming work – laborious enough for Trent to take breaks to pursue side projects, such as speedrun platformer Quickly, Quackley, which takes visual inspiration from Sinclair’s ZX Spectrum and is available on Steam now.
NekoNecro won’t be with us for a little while yet, but Trent isn’t about to change his approach. “I feel I’d lose some of the game’s visual je ne sais quois if I went digital,” he says. “Nothing else looks quite like this game, [so] I’d be remiss not to bring this into the world.”