The RPS Summer Games: Fan Art-stravaganza!

The grand finale of the RPS Summer Games is the Fan Art-stravaganza! This is also the part where you get to weigh in and cast a vote for your favourite RPS artist. In an ideal world you’d be voting for the best artwork inspired by a videogame so try not to fall victim to any emotional blackmail or lobbying for the pity vote!


  • No cosplay [N.B. This isn’t actually a rule, but an attempt to stop Alice just submitting a selfie and pretending to be cosplaying someone from the cyberpunk future when she was actually going down the shops. I figured just putting the rule in might avoid the inevitable argument about “but what even is a costume, Pip?”. It didn’t AND she submitted the picture anyway. INTENT MATTERS TO ART, ALICE.]
  • You must clear up any and all craft supplies when your project is finished. If I come in and find PVA glue and pasta shapes all over the chatroom again I’ll ground you all.
  • Results:


    [DID NOT COMPETE. He’s off at Gamescom and apparently forgot to take his watercolours and easel, the big silly! If you still want to vote for him anyway, just treat his silence as an artistic statement.]


    Alec says: I briefly considered attempting a watercolour of an Sectoid-infested X-COM cornfield, but the lure of the Cacodemon was simply too great. Honestly, I did not conscript my three-year- old daughter – and noted Cacodemon fan – to assist me. Any childish aspects to this grand design are, I assure you, 100% artisanal Alec inflections.

    Obstacles to this creation, my own trembling hands aside, included the discovery that young Connie had recently raided the Playdough tin and mushed almost all of it into a phlegmy green-brown – as of course is the ultimate fate of all Playdough. It took quite some time to carefully prune away small blobs of distinct colours and then reconsolidate them into meaningful quantities, but sadly streaks and blemishes were unavoidable. Let’s just call them ‘battlescars’, eh? Additionally, the pink Playdough was long gone, having been pressed into service as lumpy, flaky ballgowns for charity shop Disney Princess dolls, so I was forced to carefully colour a white strip by hand in order to form Ian Cacodemon’s muzzle.

    I am oddly proud of my pet demon. I’m happy with his green eye and monobrow and exactly correct number of horns, though I confess that the teeth are not what they should be. Let’s all agree that, in addition to sporting war wounds, this particular Caco has missed several years’ worth of dentist appointments.

    Unfortunately, the aforementioned three year old spied my loving creation upon her return from nursery. The cry went up: “I really love smashing things!”, and there were the terrible sounds of ripping and tearing. I was too far away to intervene in time, and my heart was broken. My singular creation was lost. My Cacodemon is dead. Knowing my pain as you do, I trust that I can depend on your vote.


    Alice says: Pip’s barbaric anti-fan art rules are a sad reflection of the modern corporate RPS Summer Games. The ancient RPS Summer Games had a full spread of arts, respecting such proud disciplines as modding, trolling, excuses for why it wasn’t really you trolling that server so REALLY you should be unbanned, and cosplay. I’m sorry if it doesn’t fit your sanitised Mountain Dew view of the RPS Summer Games, Pip, but I am taking a stand: I am cosplaying. As myself, obvs. Look, given that I’m pretty sure one Deus Ex: Human Revolution dev slipped in oblique references to some bants I once japed, I am in the game and therefore this old cyberselfie was definitely intended to be some sort of Deus Ex cosplay. If I am video games then what even is a costume, Pip?


    Brendy says: I call this ‘Sonic On Lined Paper’. The two mouths symbolise Sonic’s dual nature, violence and sarcasm. The lips extending to the left, smoking an unbranded cigarette, are pursed, perhaps prepared for some glib remark or wry observation. The gaping maw of bristling fangs is open and awaiting its next meal. Sonic’s strong right arm clasps a can, maybe beer, maybe a caffeinated soft drink, while his famously weak left arm idles at his side, forever limp. His Eye of Eyes is composed of many animals – an owl’s, a goat’s, a cat’s, a spider’s, a snake’s, a human’s, a mantis shrimp’s, a frog’s – stitched on with precision by a surgeon of unknown origin. The bone protruding from his neck represents decay.


    (The gif may take a few seconds to load in, but you can also view it here.)

    Graham says: Everyone loves funnily-crap MS Paint drawings, but I reckon the one that wins this is clearly going to be some sort of clever, crafty use of minimal materials. Unfortunately I’m not that clever. I did recently buy a cheap, off-brand GoPro-style action camera though, which I can just about hold in my mouth. Maybe I could do something with that?

    And so a GIF was born. I thought about setting fire to my hedge but splashing Irn Bru on my floor was as far as I was willing to go for my art.

    (The game is Firewatch, if my non-beefy wimpy bone hands cause confusion)


    John says: I do worry that everyone else will do No Man’s Sky too, but I hope the wise, beautiful reader will recognise that this multi-media extravaganza is deserving of recognition in a potentially crowded field. The canvas is a paving/concrete mix, with my work delivered in chalk, vegetation and human flesh. And if you don’t vote for this one, my tiny one year old boy will be emotionally destroyed.


    Pip says: I, Pip, decided that since we didn’t have long an oil painting was out of the question. In the end I went with fast-drying egg tempera – a medium in which I am surprisingly proficient – and painted a tribute to Aphrodite from the MOBA Smite.

    And so, it falls to you, dear readers, to cast the deciding votes! Pick a favourite (or pick a least-worst artist) and we’ll announce the winners in a little medal ceremony on Monday! 12 points are up for grabs so you can see from the current standings that the gold medal is anyone’s for the taking…




    [The vote has now closed!]

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    1. Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      Graham’s doesn’t seem to be there, but it doesn’t matter because John’s clearly tops anything else.

      • Mags says:

        It’s there now though, and strangely hypnotic.

      • Graham Smith says:

        It takes a bit to load! All votes are void if my GIF doesn’t load.

        • Premium User Badge

          Oakreef says:

          It’s there now but it wasn’t just a case of the gif failing to fully load – I inspected the page source the first time and there was nothing there at all in the html.

        • gi_ty says:

          The Atlas of Remote Islands! What an awesome book to keep around for light perusing from time to time.

    2. Xocrates says:

      “terrible sounds of squashing and rending”

      Ripping and tearing, Surely?

    3. iainl says:

      I clicked John, but only on the understanding that all credit is due to Toby, and not him.

    4. Premium User Badge

      Cooper says:

      Okay, so the young’uns cheat, throw up a selfie or produce an (albeit terrifying) doodle whilst the oldies actually produce something that took effort?

      Grumble, grumble, social media, short attention spans, something, something, the fault of an education system that rewards minimum effort for check box exercises rather than ambition and hard graft, mumble grumble, something about seflies being the fall of civilised culture…

      • Alice O'Connor says:

        Only philistines and fogies believe art is ‘created’ – art is life.

        • Premium User Badge

          Cooper says:

          Succinct answer with clarity of argument, though somewhat lacking in depth in places. Evidence of individual thought and a critical approach, though lacking in references. In the future, aim to substantiate your claims more fully through the use of examples.


      • Philippa Warr says:

        Mastering tempera is actually really difficult.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Yeah, I’ve heard trying to master it can drive you crazy, or as psychologists like to call it: tempera-mental.

          • Koozer says:

            Dear God.

          • Premium User Badge

            kfix says:

            You monster.

          • Chairman_Meow says:

            People throw about the term “hero” with little regard for it’s true meaning. I think I can say without hyperbole that you, sir, are in no way a hero. Evil genius? Maybe.

      • Brendan Caldwell says:

        Some art is clearly too raw for the common man.

        • gi_ty says:

          You get my vote for your awesome RimWorld-ish art description which clearly is the true masterpiece of the overall submission.

        • Premium User Badge

          kfix says:

          Needs a staring eyes tag though.

          For the nipples, mostly.

          Those are nipples, right?


      • jon_hill987 says:

        Artists have been doing selfies for countless years. They just used to be called Self Portraits and you had to be able to paint to do one.

    5. Haplo says:

      But I love you all equally, how am I supposed to choose :|

      • John Walker says:

        By choosing me.

        • Haplo says:

          Can’t argue with that.

        • shde2e says:

          Can we choose your little boy instead? Because he looks adorable in that outfit :D

          Although if Alec edits in an extra picture of his kid in a Playdough Cacademon outfit, I will switch faster than a bunnyhopping circlestrafing Doomarine punching a dozen demon-infested lightswitches.

    6. Shakes999 says:

      Voted Alice. It’s important she finishes crushing her enemies, sees them driven before her, and hears the lamentations of their women

    7. RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      The winner is OBVIOUSLY Alice. If Alice is videogames and videogames is art, then Alice is EMOSHUNS. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    8. Durkonkell says:

      As one of the OFFICIAL JUDGES I must say this has been a hard decision. I am most impressed with John and Alec’s efforts, and they gain some points for actually making something.

      Pip has cheated AGAIN and so only her red “By Pip” can be considered her own work. It is a decent enough By Pip, but the dot on the i is well off-centre and the placement against the background is suboptimal.

      Alice has also cheated, but in a somewhat more satisfactory fashion. I’m not sure what she’s trying to convey by using a sub-1mp early digital camera, however, and she didn’t make a single acceptable Deus Ex reference. Not a solitary A Bomb. No sight of never asking for this.

      (I feel like this event is terribly unfair to her as she got the most points in the ACTUAL GAMES, but here we are)

      Graham’s entry is missing and I assume he’ll later claim there was some manner of “technical error”. DNF.

      I do not want to look at Brendon’s.

      • Durkonkell says:

        (actually I quite like Graham’s entry now that I’ve seen it)

      • Premium User Badge

        Oakreef says:

        “and she didn’t make a single acceptable Deus Ex reference. Not a solitary A Bomb. No sight of never asking for this.”

        What a shame.

      • Admiral Aitchbar says:

        I quite agree, but would dare to go further still, to propose that Brendon’s entry provokes such a repulsive reaction that it simply cannot be ignored. It’s mere existence is a statement of intent, and the notion that it came to being purely for our amusement, an affront.

        It must have my vote. Indubitably.

        • shde2e says:

          If it makes you back off slowly to the nearest exit in confused horror, it must be Art and therefore the greatest thing to ever grace the earth.

          Or a Great Old One, but thats basically the same anyway.

      • Haplo says:

        His abomination reminds me of one of the horrific NPC aliens from some minor game called Gazillionaire Deluxe. All just… Those, really.

      • Keios says:

        I humbly have to disagree with you on Pip’s work. Clearly what she has produced here is a postmodernist statement on the cyclical nature of art and artifice. By coupling the recurring theme of Aphrodite in her various guises and the contrast between the classic rendering by Botticelli and the cold, dispassionate rendering it takes when viewed digitally with the smirking, conceptual statements on art as innovated by Duchamp in the latter twentieth century she has created something that truly elevates a classicist piece of retinal art into the ethereal heights of the truly thought provoking and cerebral.

      • Fnord73 says:

        Sir. You obviously dont follow the modern art-standards very well. What Pip has done is called Apropriation, and as such is hyper-modern. By adding her telltale signature red textual element, she adds a layer of autonomity to an otherwise classic image. By linking it to a modern medium, a MOBA she has made us see the original masterpiece in a new context, and this is OBVIOUSLY the winner.

        Or some other generic art-bullshit :-)

    9. Premium User Badge

      Spottswoode says:

      Graham’s GIF doesn’t seem to want to load for me, and lovely though Toby’s masterpiece is the photo doesn’t show it off well enough for me to properly judge it.

      Pip and Alice are awful cheats, and Brendon’s Sonic scares me, so my vote goes to goes to Alec for “Portrait of a Cacodemon” in Playdough and pink felt-tip pen (2016).

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I also voted for Alec, because it’s a really nice cacodemon. Another reason it got my vote is because it looked edible, as if it were made of coloured marzipan and that made me want to eat it. Reading that it’s playdough still makes me want to eat it, but I’ll settle for just eating a big lump of marzipan directly from the package.

    10. The First Door says:

      My vote also went for Alec, partly for the lovingly rendered creature he made, and partly for overcoming the adversities we all must have felt when using Playdough.

      I will say, however, that I’m properly jealous of Graham’s digs! That is one cracker of a view to have from your office! (My jealousy in no way affected my vote, honest)

    11. RaoulDuke says:

      Is this the camera you used to take your picture, Alice? (link to

      Or is that a filter or something? Did you want it to look like that?

      • buttsparks says:

        I think its a form of hipsterism where being made fun of for taking a picture with a cellphone from 2006 got old so it spun around on its head and now its cool again.

    12. Premium User Badge

      Quistie says:

      Wow this is really close between the really good chalk No Mans Sky with added 3D(VR?) procedurally generated lifeform and Graham’s excellent “look I am walking in a video game” hand movements. Damn you single option radio buttons!

      After seeing John’s No Man Sky naming strategy I am worried that Toby may be scarred for life with a potty mouthed new name!

      The Summer Games has been great fun to follow as it was played in the true spirit of these things, nice work all.

      • April March says:

        You could even argue that Toby was, in a way, procedurally generated.

    13. dahools says:

      I think graham nearly had it until I read it was fire watch and not rural mirrors edge.

      John’s procedurally generated dressing gown wins my vote. (If only his grand strategy reviews were as good as his chalk drawings … !)

    14. ghallberg says:

      I was so prepared to vote for one of Pip’s famous MS Paints, and then she comes up with this crap? What even is tempera!? Knock of frying batter? I’m not having it. Here’s a vote for the baby.

    15. Premium User Badge

      X_kot says:

      This is hard! Can I be the corrupt judge who gets a kickback and tries to rig the vote in an obvious way?

    16. shocked says:

      Art is temporary, that’s why Alec wins.

    17. NetharSpinos says:

      Despite Alice’s reign of brutally crushing all competition thus far, I am highly tempted to vote for Pip just for the fact that her increasingly grandiose and desperate attempts at cheating have been quite adorable.
      Graham and John have put in genuinely strong attempts, though. Can I vote for all three if we agree that Alice is altogether a bit *too* good at This Sort Of Thing?

    18. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

      While the dickhead within me was softly whispering: “Adaaaaam…” I managed to shrug that particular devil from my shoulder and I’ve struggled for minutes to pick between John’s procedurally generated effort and Graham’s meticulously crafted experience.

      In the end, while Graham’s work is certainly deserving of praise, with a literal twist at the end that took me by surprise, my vote goes to John. It’s amazing what procgen can do nowadays: it fucking BREATHES, guys. It breathes, eats following a very specific diet, poops and presumably talks.

    19. Jreengus says:

      I voted for Pip because she has far and away the best name out of all the RPS crew. I was also inspired by her current tactics to vote twice, once from work and once from home. I then realised I could vote again from every browser installed on my home PC so enjoy your four extra votes Pip and please don’t ask why I have so many browsers installed on my PC.

      • April March says:

        Pip does have the best name, if there’s a medal for that. I think of her every time I roll a non-nerdy die.

    20. GameCat says:

      I’ll vote for Graham, Nice view and moves.

    21. TheAngriestHobo says:

      Pip gets my vote.

      I mean… look how much work she put in, you guys. Alec’s cacodemon may be more aesthetically pleasing, but Pip at least deserves credit for all the effort she went to to paint that scene.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        That’s what I thought too! She painted an exact reproduction of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus just so she could write her name on it, make a photo and post it here. That’s impressive! One vote for Ms. Warr!

    22. pistachio says:

      Playing the cute infant card is clearly cheating which makes me wonder if he did the street art himself, so my vote goes to Pip for being more trustworthy.

    23. FreshHands says:

      I don’t like children.

      So close call between Mr. Graham’s solid entry (those hands!) and Lady Pip’s admittedly rather pedestrian use of colours.

      Jealousy of his living environments and respect for cheaters with panache tipped the scales in the end.

    24. Stevostin says:

      I thought this was going to be a hard voice, then scrolled back up, then saw Alec’s submission back and thought “Naaaah, this is easy”.

    25. froz says:

      Everyone should vote for Pip, just so the person with the least points so far wins.

    26. Shazbut says:

      Only Alec and Brendan did it properly. The rest copped out or did some multimedia bollocks or something. I’ll go with Brendan as his work has the striking physicality and rawness of Frances Bacon.

      Vote for Brendan

    27. Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      My vote goes to Alice’s Ma and Pa because daaaaaaaaaaa-umn!

      (But really, Alec)

    28. DaniloR says:

      I voted for John, chalk drawing alone was very nice, the other elements just made it more fun.

    29. Premium User Badge

      moms says:

      Selling my vote to the highest bidder. PM me.

    30. Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      In a crowd packed with vying cheaters, Alec and John sneakily sprang to the fore by playing the “cute small child” card. And damned if it didn’t work on me.

      But really, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we readers are the real winners of this year’s Summer Games.

    31. criskywalker says:

      I vote for Alice’s new hairdress as the best piece of art.

    32. Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      I used a second vote for Ms O’Connor, because she’s the coolest cyberpunk.

    33. Velleic says:

      I reaaaally wanted to vote for Adam just to be silly, but int the end Graham’s hand movements clinched it. I think he should also win an Oscar.

    34. manio22 says:

      In the grim darkness of the future there is only Alice.

      • shde2e says:

        What? I never asked for her!

        Only the God-Piperor can save us now!

      • Jreengus says:

        I think you’ll find that in the grim darkness of the future there is only Warr.

        (Geddit? Cos Pips surname is Warr. It’s a joke. Laugh Damn you! Ok I’ll let myself out.)

    35. Talahar says:

      My vote goes to Pip. All the pips all the time. Search your feelngs, you know it to be true!

    36. icarussc says:

      RPS Summer Games Final: Wot I Thought

      Adam: This goes beyond the avante-garde and descends into incoherence and self-parody. A poor showing. Will probably be sold at Christie’s for $2mil, along with a signed copy of John Cage’s magnum opus 4:33.

      Alec: Fine details and a good use of the medium — a three-dimensional creation subtly referencing DOOM’s landmark status as one of the pacesetters in action gaming beyond 2d space. The destruction of the art is also an excellent genre signifier, but the convoluted story of the ‘child’ is unnecessary and distraction. Come on, Alec. Do you even have a daughter named Connie? Keep it simple.

      Alice: Alice, the golden rule of art is ‘don’t be transgressive or anything.’ Cosplay is clearly out. Disqualified.

      Brendy: A piece that starts out promising with a commentary on the distinctive feature of Sonic the Hedgehog – his omniscience – falls down in the later details. What is happening at the base of the page? Is he obese? Pregnant? Does he have really weird bowlegs or something? Also, points off because Sonic is a Sega Genesis port.

      Graham: A fine work on its own merits, but ultimately disappointing for what it could have been. How many viewers, like myself, were disappointed that Graham did not choose Mirror’s Edge over Firewatch and throw himself off of the roof, slide along the patio furniture, and skillfully roll into the hedge? The humorous Irn Bru moment is ultimately unable to push this work to the top place. Gosh, you have a nice view, though.

      John: A strong opening achieved via mixed medium and skillful use of levels builds to an adorable climax. While lesser artists might photograph themselves, John (and another, unnamed co-artist) has created a subcategory of John purely for use in this artwork. While dedication cannot replace skill, the viewer feels John’s dedication to his craft and his passion for the RPS Summer Games as keenly as though she were herself a participant. The standout feature of this masterpiece may be the red spacecraft in the upper right corner. Red spacecraft go faster, reminding us of the ‘journey’ motif at the heart of No Man’s Sky.

      Pip: Predictably, Pip’s downfall is her Trump-like hubris. After an amazing technical display, she mars the final product by signing her name (complete with zig-zag flourish!) in what appears to be pixelated permanent marker, not only drawing the viewer’s eye away from the central feature of the piece, but breaking the color scheme of her otherwise remarkable fanart.

      Final Verdict: John’s little boy is so cute!

    37. Nova says:

      Alec, because he actually put in quite a lot of work. (Assuming he didn’t cheat somehow like the other misfits.)

    38. thedosbox says:


      I did, but only because of the top quality abysmal cheating.

    39. melnificent says:

      Voted Brendan, because it’s saturday and everyone should be having a chill and a drink like his alien/sonic/demon.

    40. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Oh Adam, that’s some clever stuff. By not submitting something you highlight the presence of what’s not there and draw in to full focus the real question here: what is art? Is art intent, or product? By choosing not to make art you have created art, and by forming that in my mind rather than of physical matter, it feels all the more real.

      Really clever stuff, 12 points to Adam.

    41. Premium User Badge

      caff says:

      John’s made me chuckle so that wins my vote. But Pip’s effort was mindblowing. Staggering amount of skill.

    42. Styxie says:

      I applied classic video game scoring to each entry, and Graham won. His first person action adventure gif has the best graphics, and most replayability. 7/10