Todd Astroth

Creative Works

In addition to my conventional self, I enjoy exploring artistic ventures. From design to photography, I like producing work that is unique, colorful, and edgy. In the sections below, I showcase some of my best works.

Iron Pawn

Iron Pawn is an “old-school” RPG created with RPG Maker XP. I started creating this game because I enjoy the style of classic Japanese 2-D RPG’s. In an era of mainstream console wars, many of today’s video games are overly concerned about producing top-notch graphics and movie-length storylines, while much of the fun level design and playability has been lost. Thanks to RPG Maker XP, I have been able to design a game that revisits this lost genre, while managing to add my own twist of humor, intrigue, and character development.

A great majority of my time spent developing the game has been on level design. I am a huge maze and dungeon geek, and I wanted to design the levels to be challenging, with plenty of well-hidden secrets only be found by the most avid of gamers. And since battles are a huge part of RPGs, I included hundreds of items, accessories, and enemies to keep the strategy interesting up until the very end.

Photoshop

In addition to creating an interactive DVD menu in Flash, I also created DVD and Blu-Ray cover art for 'To Rome With Love.' The idea was to create box art based on a movie that was not released on DVD yet, as to not be biased by previous art. Since DVD and Blu-Ray box sizes are different, part of the challenge was accomodating for this subtle, yet important difference.

In a class project, the goal was to create an artistic representation of the Gettysburg Address using Photoshop tools. In my case, I took actual printed text and images, and added custom backgrounds and filters to create an authentic-looking plaque.

Illustrator

One of my instructors was fascinated with the history of playing cards. In response to this, the first assignment was to create a playing card design using Illustrator and Photoshop. Because of Illustrator's inventory of stylistic lines and brushes, I decided to create a card design with a samurai in the style of anime. The back side contains a pattern created out of a single Japanese katakana character.

My very first Illustrator project was to create an art piece based on the theme of Valentine's Day. Having been inspired by a fellow colleague who was also into anime, I devised a design based on a character from the anime series "Naruto." The symbolism in it is very apropos for the character, whose eyes are the central focus of the image.

InDesign

In my first major InDesign project, the goal was to use a CD case template to create artwork for a CD cover and inserts. I designed the images in Illustrator and added the other effects using InDesign. I had a ton of fun with this project. Perhaps a future project of mine could be to compose the tracks for the CD!

Flash

I created a DVD menu for a class project for a movie called "To Rome With Love." This interactive menu uses sample music from the movie's soundtrack, paired with movie preview images. With the themes of 'travel' and 'Italy' in mind, I used stamp images for buttons and red, white, and green for the color scheme.

Definitely a very long and challenging Flash project, I created a Flash animation which tells a short story about a day in the life of a stick man who happens to be a doctor. All of the art was created from scratch, with sounds and music borrowed from external sources.

Photography

When it comes to photography, my philosophy is "If it's cool, inspiring, or symmetrical, then capture it." I most enjoy photos that capture the grandeur of architecture, design, and symmetry, whether it be natural or man-made. Click on the below thumbnails to see some of my best photos.