words by Warren Scheske
In 1991, the computer game SkiFree was released by Microsoft along with the operating system Windows 3.0a. It was a very simple game that was fun to play and managed to keep me and my friends entertained at night waiting for the next ski day to come along. The simple mechanics of the game, the field of open objects dotted across an expanse of white, and the hope that your run might never end; they all captured the essence of skiing in the most basic way. I wanted to create a graphic that could create some of that magic.
With this goal in mind, the premise was to make a snapshot of how the game might feel if it was recreated today. Imagine SkiFree for your iPhone. Most importantly, I wanted to make the jump from a 2D world to a 3D world. Once this idea was established, it was simply a matter of interpretting the various objects which appear in the original game and casting them into this new world.
Once the mountain and the obstacles where created the skier was the key element used to bring the story and the mountain to life. In this version, I have chosen a line for the skier and created snapshots to capture him across the slope. However, I believe the graphic is successful if the viewer finds themself combing across the mountain trying to piece together their own line. Of course, it wouldn't be a true homage to SkiFree if that damn abominable snow monster (aka, yeti) didn't make an appearance. Above all, I wanted this graphic to be fun and engaging to look at - to provide an opportunity for the viewer to capture some the fun from the original.