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I "fake-joined" the Seriously 3D ATC Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating it for yourself. The "Fake Swap Craftalong" at Craftster is intended for people that really want to participate in a particular challenge, but, for whatever reason, can't (lack of funds for shipping, having already reached their quota limit for active swaps, wanting to make a certain object/thing but their partner(s) aren't interested in the subject matter, etc.) In my case, I've just been so lazy about producing any kind of artwork lately that I figured having some deadlines hanging over my head would force me to get to work on something, anything, and, thus far, that motivational strategy is working.

The object of the swap was to make a 3-Dimensional Artist Trading Card (ATC), which are typically more 2-Dimensional/flat in nature. Indecisive as usual, it took me a long time to settle on what I wanted to create, but I ultimately elected to go with Descrypha, a demonic tome that appeared in the "Lingering Curse" layer of "Death World" in From Software's 1998/1999 Shadow Tower Sony Playstation 1 video game. I reasoned that the rectangular shape of an opened book is just about the right size for an ATC's standard 2.5" x 3.5" (6.4 cm x 8.9 cm) dimensions, and it was.

Taking aim at a Descrypha with bow and arrow. If the librarian asks, you didn't see anything!

Descrypha entry from the in-game Creature Book.
Note that there's a typo: its' height should read 2' 11" (0.89 meters), not 2" 11' (3.4 meters).
That'd be one gigantic volume!

I began this project by making the ATC's base (the book's front/back covers), which consists of three sheets of cardboard, from a cereal box, glued together into a layered sandwich.

Next, I designed, cut-out, folded-up, and glued-together the geometric shapes of the book's open pages, using 4-ply newsprint/notebook paper. I intentionally shot this photo with one stack fully assembled, and the other still open and flat, so that you could get a better sense of how this was done. Initially, I had intended to leave these hollow, but, later, I slit the bottom vertexes open and stuffed them with tissue paper (like pillows!) to help support the weight of the arm and to prevent them from getting crushed during handling.

With the core elements of the book roughed out, I turned my attention to the arm. I took measurements from my own limb and then scaled them down to the size I needed. The demonic appendage is made completely out of papier-mâché (glue-covered strips of newsprint wrapped around a cardboard "skeleton" and bunched-up tissue paper "muscles"). I began with the fingers and worked my way backwards to the shoulder, leaving a small tab free at that end to insert into the middle of the pages of the book. The game model only appears to have four digits on its' hand, but, that was likely done to keep the monster's polygon count down (remember that we're talking Playstation 1 here). I felt that five fingers would look better, so that's what I did.

At this stage, I also embellished the covers and spine of the book a bit by gluing on various 2-4 ply paper cut-outs. Those details are completely made-up on my part, because, in the game, the creatures float high in the air, near the ceiling of a shadowy, vaulted room, and rain magical destruction down upon your head if you draw too close, so, it's kind of tricky to get a good screenshot of a Descrypha's covers in the wild (the Creature Book entry, posted above, is really the best view you ever get). I briefly contemplated making things even fancier than I did, but reasoned that the viewer's attention is going to be drawn to the interior of the book, not the back, so, I kept the covers relatively simple.

This is what all of the individual pieces looked like together, mock-assembled, just prior to painting.

Finally, here's the finished product. I didn't take any photos during the process, but I wrote/drew the page's text/art by hand, on seperate paper, antiqued them a bit (I even accidentally ripped the left page in half while I was erasing some pencil marks, which actually adds to the effect in my opinion, rather than being disastrous like it normally would), and then découpaged them onto the book's coordinating 3-Dimensional surfaces. If you're wondering, the words are just gobbledygook, they don't say anything (although I did print my name, and the edition size, 1-of-1, underneath the illustration on the right page). So, sorry, if you were hoping for step-by-step instructions for summoning a demon, I'm afraid that I'll have to disappoint you.

On a final note, here's Descrypha pictured with all of the ATCs that I've received from other Craftster members to date. Alas, Descrypha doesn't play well with others and needs constant supervision--I already caught the fiend trying to trick the always-too-trusting Strawberry Shortcake into signing away her soul.

Cardboard (from a cereal box), newsprint, lined/white paper (from notebooks and junk mail), tissue paper, white glue, acrylic paint, ink, and graphite/colored pencil.

8.9 cm (3.5") wide x 8.2 cm (3.2") high x 9.5 cm (3.7") deep.
And, of course, the book base has the standard measurements for an ATC: 8.9 cm (3.5") long x 6.4 cm (2.5") tall.

One evening/night on June 14st, 2015. I managed to finish it just before the stroke of midnight!


  • various Shadow Tower guides/walkthroughs.

  •   Hardcore Gaming 101 King's Field article.

  •   Kings Shadow Tower bestiary. Unfortunately, it appears that this web site no longer exists, however, I saved all of the monster image files to my hard drive, so, I can still make use of them offline at home.

  •   Shadow Tower Sony Playstation video game.

  • « Return to my Miscellaneous Video Game Artwork Gallery Index Page

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    The midi music playing is the King's Throne theme from King's Field: The Ancient City.