Monkey Island Wiki

Mark Ferrari was an artist at LucasFilm Games.

He worked on 'Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders', but as an artist used to paint and real colours, he found the 16 colours available for EGA games very limiting and frustrating. He was especially disheartened by the poor selection as most colours were bright which made it difficult to portray subtlety or depth.

Due to this, he pushed for an art style called 'dithering', which could mix the available colours to create better visuals. This was a problem however as dithered art could not compress, so he had to make do with what was given.

After Ferrari created a landscape image that showed what dithering could do, Ron Gilbert and his team worked out how to adapt the SCUMM engine to allow it to compress correctly. Ferrari then took the lead on art as the one who best knew the dithering technique. This style of artwork won awards for the game 'Loom' and was used for titles going onward, the next being The Secret of Monkey Island.

When it came to Monkey Island, one of the first things chosen to animate was the Lookout Point where the game begins. Ferrari wished to animate the bonfire, but due to file space restraints he was advised against it. Ron Gilbert pointed out a feature of the program Deluxe Paint called colour cycling. Ferrari mastered the use of this feature to make still images look as if they had movement.Ferrari drew the exteriors for Melee Town.