When I was younger, I always loved cartoons and drawing. I would often draw and create characters straight from my imagination. I believed in these creations of mine and wanted them to have their own animated TV shows that I would create myself – in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Even before that, when I was very young, and quite new to computers, which I’ve been around all my life, my made a little drawing called “Square Goes Wrong!”, depicting a square with a face and stick limbs running about in a mad panic because he was painted the wrong colour and it was turning him evil or something.
Back in 2005, I created a “cartoon series” in PowerPoint devoted to Square. The formula was that Square would always overcome his circular rival Circy by transforming into a big block and squashing him.It was supposed to be a kids’ show, which is why it was so vapid and pointless.
Anything that happened on Square’s so-called adventures had any kind of meaning, conveyed morals or abided by any kind of sense. He wasn’t even perfectly square. But I’ll cut my past self some slack – it was only my imagination doing its thing, and I just simply wanted to personally experience the joy of creating something based on the cartoons I’d watched with my own material, regardless of its quality. If this hadn’t happened, Square wouldn’t be one of the most recent of successes, and still hold a special place in my heart today.
My brother shared with me a fascination for all things cartoony, and was an avid Doom modder and community member – he had experience with editing software and created cartoonish assets for DooM that he then fully coded into the game. Out of his massive repertoire of mods, one based on Square started, but was only very limited. The mod would go on to be fused with my brother’s other works and then undergo a massive aesthetic redesign to become The Adventures of Square that we know of today.
I mostly left my brother to his own devices, as he made huge progress on this mod – it was clear that Square was going to be the next big thing in his repertoire, on a far larger scale than anything he’d done before – Square was going to become its own game. We tested it together, and my brother eventually asked me to provide Square’s in-game dialogue, saying one-liners after despatching his foes with his arsenal of paint-flinging guns. I threw myself into the role and after several long recorded sessions, I had revived the old character of Square and become him. From then on I felt more intimately connected to the project than ever before.
Furthermore, I was asked to draw cut-scene art for the game, as the project’s previous artist had left. So it was up to me to draw Square for the first time in nearly ten years:
Just took me a while to get a design that I liked. Here are the graphics that made it into the game:
I didn’t stop there. Square proved to be so fun to draw that I made several of my own drawings, marking special occasions, such as The Adventures of Square being awarded the Cacoward by the Doom community.
It still baffles me that such a simple concept with such… humble origins can become the newest, most exciting thing. It really goes to show the power of imagination and creativity. Square could well be my oldest creation, as that first little drawing dates back longer than I can remember, and I may never find it again. But with the Adventures of Square, he is now my latest triumph.
“Titlepic” art by Slax.
Square’s original concept and cutscene art by myself.