Sega Digitizer System: Old Game Art Tools
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I have being working in the AAA industry for tha last 3 years and the crunch is what is forcing me to find something else to do in life even if I love 3d. Some places may be more respectful with their employees but in my experience the crunch is even calculated in advance cause they know the workers will accept that. Some people is very passionate and don´t mind to do it and that is fine but a lot of people have families and they want to build a healthy environment with them or other goals outside the working ours. Not to mention non-payed overtime and other abuses I faced. Hope this industry fixs this problem.

by uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
10 hours ago


by BakingSoda
1 days ago

Those tilesets are sexy. Seeing new tilesets is like getting introduced to a new lego set.

Sega Digitizer System: Old Game Art Tools
23 August, 2016

Making games is not easy, but at least right now you have the tools to do it much faster. And these tools are widely available for anyone willing to pay. Back in 1986 things were a little bit different. It was nearly impossible to get your hands on some piece of software, which was used to create games. There were very little industry standards. Most companies developed their own tools, like Sega Digitizer System.






Sega Digitizer System is a custom optical-pen based setup for in-house pixel artists, who worked at the Japanese company. There were 3 known version: Digitizer System I, II and III.

According to former Sega graphic designer AGE43, it was attached to a NEC PC-98 with an HDD. Since the Mega Drive was based on the System 16 arcade board, the Digitizer System could be used with both types of hardware. This particular software became an integral part of the production of some of the biggest games out there, including Fantasy Zone.






There’s not much known about the way they’ve used this system, but if you’re lucky you might find a documentary on NHK, where they discuss the game industry of that time. Anyway, modern tools are much more accessible and much more accessible to the general public, so you can now start building great games, without travelling hundreds of miles to another country.



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2 Comments on "Sega Digitizer System: Old Game Art Tools"

Aaron B.
Aaron B.

Well, the Genesis is actually greatly improved from the Master System, but it borrowed some concepts from the System 16. The custom graphics logic of the System 16A/B and the Genesis could use the same tilemap data, so the Digitizer could be used to design the graphical tiles for either platform.

All said, I’d love to have me one of those Digitizers, along with the PC-98 to go with it.

Waka Daemon
Waka Daemon

Interesting indeed!