Restoring the long lost artwork of Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party (NSFW)

The folks over at the Nokia N-Gage discord have been busy researching long lost N-Gage games that were never released, in the name of game preservation. Check out this write up by Michael Fitzmayer on the interesting backstory of this games troubled development.

My contribution to this project was ‘remastering’ the games original artwork from a low resolution, fuzzy image.

Here is the source material:

And here was my final output:

As you can see, the final output is satisfactory. However, not without some minor blemishes. The tricky part was removing the IGN watermark in the bottom right, and also finding the logo for this game was pretty much impossible. So it needed to be recreated. Here are the steps I took to produce this artwork:

The process

  1. Started by cleaning up the source material manually in photoshop. Mainly with the brush. I also removed some of the standard N-Gage branding, and also the ESRB rating. These would be replaced later with vector assets.
  2. Bump up the resolution. Sounds counter-intuitive but it will help us later on.
  3. Remove IGN branding using some manual airbrushing and AI fill tool (content aware fill), and the original LSL:PP logo, which needed to be recreated.
  4. To recreate the logo, I needed a starting point. I found an old Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude logo online, that was relatively clean and high resolution. It just needed to be image traced in Adobe Illustrator, then I removed the ‘Magna Cum Laude’ text. I found a suitable replacement font online to recreate the ‘Pocket Party’ text. The ‘theta’ symbol was created by adjusting the paths of the ‘O’ by hand, and drawing the dash in the middle. Colour and size matched the text, and swapped it in.
  5. Next, placed the logo over the original artwork (in place of the removed original logo).
  6. For the box art branding (N-Gage strip, player count, only on n-gage, etc) I ripped this from a PDF of another N-Gage game manual, Colin McRae Rally. This game had like-for-like box branding
  7. For the artwork / illustration itself, used an AI upscaler which did a fantastic job. The tool I chose is bigjpg.com. It provided the best results. My settings used were ‘Artwork’, ‘Medium noise reduction’ and 8x resolution scaling, FYI.
  8. Next, some manual adjustments in photoshop, and two passes of the sharpen filter. Replaced the original, fuzzy artwork in Illustrator with this upscaled version.
  9. Lastly, sourced a vector ESRB logo and dropped into place
  10. Exported as PDF and the rest is history.

Grab the PDF here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.