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Vol. 2, Issue 1
November 8, 1999
Under Cover :
Christopher "Derelict" Greenhaw

by Rowan "Sumaleth" Crawford

What better way to kick off the new season of loonygames than with a nice little story that may well prove, once and for all, that our path through life is completely predetermined from the start, and that free will is nothing more than an illusion! What am I going on about? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Our story begins a pair of months ago, back when serious brain energy began to be expended in an effort to get a second season of loonygames off the ground (faster, stronger, better!). Our esteemed feature editor, RadPipe, enlisted the efforts of a young lad by the name of Christopher Greenhaw, a young lad who had an artistic style that seemed like it might be suitable for the first feature article of the new season, Through the Looking Glass.

Chris, or as he's affectionately known by those who are...uh…affectionate, Derelict, was, at the time, completely unaware of the path that this image was about him on. But lets rewind a bit;

After first securing a Major in fine arts at the University of Texas, Derelict's first real taste of game creation came in the form of Defusion, a popular Quake mod that saw players tossing around an active bomb (being the one left holding it when the fuse ran out was Not Good). Then, soon after Defusion came further Quake mod work, albeit this time for a project that (due to copyright issues) was never completed; Castle Wolf. One hit and one miss to start things off, but it was all good experience regardless.

His first break into the larger world of commercial game projects again came by way of his Defusion team friends. Some of the old team had hooked up with Zero Gravity Entertainment, an Australian development team, on the commercial Quake TC, X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse, for which Derelict became the primary texture artist. Meanwhile, he was also working on another commercial Quake 2 TC, Vengeance, which saw him create some 700 map textures in just two and a half months. The great number of textures and limited amount of time on these two projects meant that originality may have been stunted, but as with the previous projects, the experience proved to be invaluable.
Since then, Derelict had kept himself busy working on numerous projects for a variety of companies. He produced some textures for a technology demo of a 3D engine being created by Gary McTaggart and Charles Brown soon after they left Ritual Entertainment. After the project folded Gary and Charles went on to do some hired coding on the ill-fated Prax War and are now working at Valve Software.

Derelict continued to work with Zero Gravity as lead 2D artist right up until just recently, and produced around 100 textures for a Quake 2 mod, Shattered Illusions. He has also did work for Stream, Down Under Interactive, and Sandbox Studios (making textures for a undisclosed Playstation game), essentially taking up any project that gave him the opportunity to practice and seriously hone his texturing skills. He has also won some significant art awards over the years, including the Lena Turner Foundation Scholarship for the arts ($10,000), and Best of show, 2nd place, 3rd place and honorable mention UT at Arlington Annual Arts Festival.

It was while Derelict was working on the Alice cover for loonygames that Rogue Entertainment (the company producing the game) announced that they were in search of a new texture artist to work on said game. Derelict painted up some sample textures, as did a lot of other artists, but of course (you've worked it out already, haven't you?) Derelict just happened to have something else to go with his submission, something a little bit special and a little bit related to the game in question; the loonygames cover! Word is that American McGee was particularly taken with the piece and now uses it as his desktop image.

And so, as the opening season 2 issue of loonygames goes online, Derelict has now been working at Rogue Entertainment for several weeks, actually working on American McGee's Alice. I'm sorry, but there's just no way things happened like that by sheer chance - "God playing dice," as Einstein put it - the whole story just reeks of design! Am I right or am I right?

Derelict's approach to art has barely changed since he first loaded up Photoshop all those years ago. Recently he has been digitally coloring some drawings that he did way back in high school, but generally he produces everything inside Photoshop and with no use of filters at all, although he does "use layers like crazy".

"My first influence was Salvador Dali," he says, talking about where his 'look' comes from, "whose style, as a kid, I wanted master. I'd been to his museum in St. Pete when I lived there and it blew my mind." Salvador Dali was, you may remember, that crazy surrealist artist of droopy clocks and long legged elephants from earlier this century that essentially killed himself through self-dehydration (apparently, and this comes from an autobiography, he was fascinated by the way that you could dehydrate animals like small frogs, and then bring them back to life by re-introducing water, and he thought he'd try it himself!). And further, "[H.R.] Giger was also a big influence - his style has pretty much driven me to where I am today." Giger is, of course, the man synonymous with the Alien.

If you'd to see more of Derelict's work, have a look at his home page at http://derelict.yossman.net.

And now, back to your regular programming...

- Rowan "Sumaleth" Crawford is loonygames' Supervising Art Director.


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