Interview with Rico Holmes - Art and Animation Designer

 

Here are the results of the questions that I sent to Rico Holmes. Thanks to Rico for answering these questions, and also for producing some nice new fan art for us :)

 

1) Who told you that you were to come up with the design of the Superfrog character?

No one- it was a case of doodling characters and seeing what we came up with. There's something about frogs that makes them automatically appealing. You can't go far wrong with a frog.

Unless you lick the wrong ones of course...

Superfrog after being licked the wrong way

 

2) How did you originally think Superfrog should look? Was it the same as your end design?

He developed quite a bit along the way. Working with the wonderful icon of the time; Eric Schwartz, also meant we sort of fed off each other's style a bit.

 

3) Did you design Destructo Spud?

He's Spud. Nobody designed Spud. Spud is just Spud.

(Spud is my favourite character ever.)

Spud after being told he's the best character ever

 

4) Roughly how many images did you design for the original sprite screen? How did you manage to animate the characters?

Ohhhh, wow! It was a LONG time ago and I can't remember exactly how many. There were a LOT of animations though, and yes, they were all hand animated with Dpaint Animate.

 

5) Where did you get the ideas for the enemies (snails, hedgehogs, birds in planes, etc.)?

Newcastle Brown.

 

6) How come the trees have eyes?

You've never seen the Wizard of Oz? Trees have eyes.

Proof. Trees do have eyes!...

 

7) How did you manage to design and implement the backgrounds to the different worlds? How did you create the 'eyes in the darkness' effect of World 5?

All animations were sprites, so in the background an animation was a tile. The only problem with these kind of animations is that they were stationary on screen. An animation, in other words could never move from where it was pinned down on the background.

 

8) Is that enemy in World 5 Jack Frost, or is it Sonic the Hedgehog? ;)

Sonic the who? It was Jack Frost! Honest.. We'd never even heard of Sonic until after Superfrog. Honest, honest, guv! (or was that too desperate?)

Who?

 

9) How did you design the character of the Witch?

Wizard of Oz again...

Ding! Dong! The witch is... uh, freaky?

 

10) Who was your favourite character to design, and why?

Spud, because he's just so cool. That enigmatic -yet mischievous- look in his eyes. Too cool.

 

11) Were you assisted or aided by anyone during the arty stages of Superfrog?

Not really. Eric Schwartz beavered away on some of the intro anim stuff, but all in game artwork and animation was done by myself.

 

12) Were you content with the finished product? Was Superfrog what you had imagined it would be?

Absolutely. I'm extremely proud of Superfrog even to this date. As a game it looks REALLY dated now, but I'm still proud.

Dated?!

 

13) Briefly, how would you describe designing art and animation for a computer game? Is it Great Art, or merely something you feel uniquely qualified to do?

Ohh! I'm afraid I lost you on that question? I don't want to reply with some farty answer there.

 

14) Do you actually like Lucozade?

Hate the stuff - always have done.