Retro Arcade Shadowboxes

I could see what the golden era game designers were going for. They wanted depth in their games, but the limits of old-school hardware didn’t quite let their vision out of the screen. They could simulate depth by using techniques such as parallax scrolling—and it was awesome!

I wanted to pay tribute to these designers, programmers, artists, and visionaries. They did so much with so little. They took tiny grids of pixels and turned them into magic—space ships, heroes, monsters—all the wondrous fantasy elements, firing the player’s imagination.

There were a handful of other 3D shadowbox artists, but they were using automatic craft paper cutting machines, leaving the whole 3D effect kind of, well, flat. Plus, their offerings were really expensive considering that the cost of materials was just pennies. Why were they so flat? Why were they so expensive?

We quit our day jobs, and Glitch Artwork was born!

With a whole lot of kind engineering support, we invented a new method to make these designs POP out. Everything’s done on layers of 3/16th inch foamcore board, not paper or cardstock. Layers are built upon one another, until the 3D sculpture inside the shadowbox comes to life. Generally we fill the ENTIRE depth of the shadowbox with layers of art, for maximum “pop.”

(If you’d like more details on exactly how these thing are created, I made a video detailing the whole process. The first photo at the top of the page is actually a video. Take a look if you’d like.)

We love to carefully construct scenes from old-school arcade and console games. At Glitch, all the heroes pop out. You put them on your wall.