Katamari Damacy artwork shows dozens of Easter eggs

[Ed. note: For the second issue of high-end independent game magazine A Profound Waste of Time, illustrator Doug John Miller, editor Caspian Whistler, and game designer Keita Takahashi put together a fold-out cover packed with references to Takahashi’s career, featuring games like Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy, and Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure.

We loved the art, so we asked Whistler to provide the full image and dig through it to point out some of the best Easter eggs, which you can find below. A Profound Waste of Time is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund reprints of its first two issues.]

Characters from Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy, and Wattam walk around San Francisco

Keita Takahashi’s profession flows by way of this fold-out paintings from the second subject of A Profound Waste of Time.
Illustration: Doug John Miller for A Profound Waste of Time | Katamari and Noby Noby Boy characters: Bandai Namco

The duvet of APWOT’s second subject was the results of many months of labor and preparation, and required an enormous quantity of backwards and forwards to get proper. It’s stuffed to the brim with references to the work and worlds of Keita Takahashi, however somewhat than spell out each single one (I’ll allow you to uncover all of them for your self), I’d wish to allow you to look backstage on a number of key areas that we gave explicit consideration to.

The prince from Katamari stands on a giant hand

The prince from katamari rolls up some buildings

The Prince – The Pea-sized Princeling

Are you able to see him? We play with scale rather a lot on this picture, but it surely was essential to everybody concerned that the Prince remained small, particularly relative to different characters. It’s really fairly simple to overlook him fully now. Having him be tiny not solely felt true to the supply materials, however meant we might have more room for surroundings and different characters on the primary face of the duvet. There’s rather a lot occurring already within the picture, so it was actually helpful to have the ability to combine him on this unobstructive approach.

By way of finalizing the scale, we simply wished to make it possible for he was proportionally right subsequent to the King of All Cosmos. He wanted to be sufficiently small to have the ability to stand comfortably on his father’s palm, as he does within the authentic Katamari Damacy when a degree is accomplished. The Prince has such an iconic design it was nearly a disgrace to make him so exhausting to see, however we made positive to get his cute face shut up on the illustrations contained in the journal.

Noby Noby Boy moves around San Francisco

Noby Noby Boy eats Keita’s interview

Noby Noby Boy – The Longest Boy

We actually wished to make it possible for the ‘massive three’ video games that Keita is understood for — Katamari, Wattam, and Noby Noby Boy — all had illustration ultimately on the primary ‘face’ of the picture (what journal readers would see earlier than opening the problem). When it got here to Boy, from the great 2009 PlayStation 3 sport Noby Noby Boy, it felt like a superb likelihood to do one thing artistic.

With the duvet having gatefolds and panoramic artwork, it meant that we actually wished to do one thing attention-grabbing with these parts. Boy really stretches the entire width of the duvet from one gatefold to a different, together with his head being a whopping 600 mm away from his decrease half. It’s very satisfying to comply with his physique all all through the picture, and I’m glad we had sufficient canvas area to point out him off correctly! With this method he’s technically on the entrance of the publication, however solely part of him. Hopefully when folks see his rainbow physique stretching throughout, they’re inspired to truly unfold the journal and reveal him in full.

He’s a implausible character to work with that we had been in a position to have a variety of enjoyable wrapping him round corners and textual content within the inside pages. We had been even in a position to have him eat a number of the interview textual content with Keita, as he might work together with letters in an identical approach within the authentic launch.

In the event you comply with Boy’s physique on the duvet alongside to the very finish, you may after all additionally discover the Boy Home subsequent to his decrease half, one other reference to the unique sport. A lot of the buildings within the picture are very lifelike relative to the characters, so it was good to have somewhat contact of surreal, playful structure in there as effectively.

A silly building blows bubbles

An early mockup shows how the magazine cover image came together

Structure – structure from throughout

Talking of structure, it’s an enormous theme of this cowl. Doug John Miller, the artist answerable for this behemoth, teaches at UCL’s Bartlett Faculty of Structure. His follow signifies that he’s adept in 3D modeling, and in reality rendered the entire cowl in 3D software program historically used within the occupation (Rhino 3D) earlier than drawing his line artwork by hand on high of it. Right here you may see an early model of the duvet picture again after we had been nonetheless figuring issues out in August 2019. In the event you look intently, you may see the King of All Cosmos was initially going to be a lot greater than he’s now.

We had been serious about a world the place Keita was in cost, and what a metropolis designed by him might seem like. We had been additionally brainstorming alongside the theme of utopias and solarpunk visions for the longer term. Consequently we determined that the cityscape shouldn’t solely be optimistic and plush, but in addition be a mashup of structure and visible influences of Keita’s dwelling of Japan and the place he at present resides in San Francisco. Wattam is a sport very a lot about bringing the world collectively, so it felt becoming to replicate Keita’s outlook on this approach.

Keita himself was adamant that there wanted to be numerous vegetation within the metropolis. One of many first bits of suggestions he wrote early on with these renders was merely:Oh seems to be cool. A Keita metropolis wants extra bushes although haha.”

A present sticks out from behind a building

Royal presents – cosmic presents

Having so many densely positioned buildings meant that it was simple to cover numerous enjoyable little touches amongst them. All through the duvet there are 4 hidden royal presents, in reference to how you’ll unlock numerous cosmetics within the authentic Katamari. It may be surprisingly difficult to seek out all of them.

Different buddies!

In fact, it’s not simply presents which might be hidden on this artwork, as there are additionally references to Keita’s work past Katamari, Noby Noby Boy, and the over 50 Wattam characters dotted round!

Crankin is a personality from a sport that hasn’t fairly been launched but (for the upcoming Playdate console), Crankin’s Time Journey Journey. We thought it will be enjoyable to emulate Playdate’s display by having him be decrease constancy ultimately. Doug determined to render him fully on a 2D aircraft, which got here out actually properly.

In the event you look intently, you may also discover somewhat dice with a face. This character is a reference to Woorld, an AR sport Keita made with Funomena for tango know-how. You’d really scan your surrounding surroundings to show it into an interactive AR playground utilizing this pleasant dice character.

I do know I stated we’d be wanting past the ‘important’ console video games, however I do additionally wish to give a particular shout out to the household from the unique Katamari Damacy, who scaled this huge skyscraper to benefit from the view solely to get blinded.

I’ve solely actually scratched the floor right here by way of the work completed for this cowl. I might go on for ages however I believe there’s been greater than sufficient waffling from me for one article.

This was a ginormous enterprise, so I wish to take this chance to say thanks once more to Bandai Namco, Keita Takahashi, Funomena, Doug John Miller, and everybody else who made it potential. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to work on one thing as bold and filled with element as this picture once more, however I’m very pleased with the ultimate final result and grateful for the chance.

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