Originally Posted: May, 1st 2020
I decided to do a contest for best eInk labels for my up and coming HyperFlash32 cart. This contest was posted at PlanetVB.com in their forums here. The main intention was to encourage artists in the VB community to generate some cool labels for HyperFlash32. I knew they could do a much better job than I could, and boy did they!
Originally I posted that I’d pick my top 3 favorites and then give the 1st place prize a free HyperFlash32 cart. The 2nd and 3rd place prizes would be things like a free link cable or VB controller USB adapter. As I started down selecting the winners, three categories naturally emerged. Given that, I’m giving a free HyperFlash32 cart away to the 1st place of each category. Each category also has a 2nd and 3rd place prize. Those are still intended to be something like a free link cable or adapter. I’ll work it out with the 2nd and 3rd place winners. With 3 categories and 3 places each, that’s 9 free prizes to people. In total that’s about $900 in free prizes. Maybe I over did it…
Everyone did a fantastic job. Please don’t take it personally if you don’t see your labels here. They’re all amazing and I hope the VB community continues to make and share more labels.
Lets get to the main point then. Three categories are presented below: Original Art, Label(ish) Art, and Borrowed Asset art. More descriptions on each type are given below in their sections. The borders between categorizes are soft and I placed entries into the categories I thought gave them the best chance. Categories also stand on their own. They’re presented below in no particular order.
This category is for original art generated for the eInk displays.
1st Place: RMZK
This label surprised me when I first saw it because it looked like it could have been an original Nintendo label. It uses all of the 4 shades of gray, uses shading, nicely outlined text, great alternating colors, and uses small very sharp text. Really impressive. I hope to see more labels from RMZK.
2nd Place: ghosto95
This ghosto95 label shows very nicely on the eInk display. It has a great balance of the gray levels available. The use of dithering also gives it the appearance of additional gray levels. It just looks great on the eInk display. Everything is sharp and it has a balance of grays/contrast.
3rd Place: Morintari
This is just some great original art. I could have easily chosen the Morintari Panic Bomber art as well. Great gray level usage, lots of original art, and a very unique style. Impressive.
What’s meant here is any eInk label that looked like it could be (or already was) a label on a real physical VB cart. This was the hardest category for me to judge. There were a lot of good ones.
1st Place: VirtuousRage
The VirtuousRage Virtual Bowling label is a great example of a VB physical cart label that uses the gray levels and dithering really well. Dithering is used to create the illusion of additional gray levels in the bowling balls and in the background textures. Outlining of text is well done. When I originally thought of changing out eInk labels, this was the type of label that came to my mind. His Innsmouth Mansion label was also really good. This VirtuousRage label also happens to be used on carts in Virtual Bowling CIBs runs sold by UncleTusk.
2nd Place: Mumphy
The Mumphy labels could have qualified as both original art and label(ish) art. There’s a whole series of these and they all look fantastic. Great gray level usage, dithering, nice texturing, and some 3D perspective tricks. Just well done. I could have put any from the Mumphy series in the images below. I hope to see a lot more Mumphy labels on HyperFlash.
3rd Place: KR155E
These labels also use the gray levels nicely, have some dithering, and the Spong letters have a nice 3D pop to them on the label. There are three versions of these and they all look great. KR155E has also graciously allowed his VB guy (Do-Do, as my 4 year old calls him) logo version to be used as a default label on HyperFlash. When a ROM filename doesn’t match an image name, then the KR155E label will be used. Great clean looking labels.
Borrowed Asset Art
This category is meant to address label art that looks great and uses art assets borrowed from existing VB labels, box art, manuals, or even in game screenshots. The emphasis being they were “borrowed” assets.
1st Place: TheRedMenace
TheRedMenace has by far created the most eInk labels for HyperFlash32 at 60+. I very much like the Innsmouth ones, as they have a lot of detail and after some updating, mapped very well to the display. However, the Virtual Bowling label takes the cake because of its nice gray levels, and great use of dithering. I spent many hours looking at this label and the VirtuousRage label to get an understanding of how dithering could help with graphics on the HyperFlash eInk label. Again the outlining of graphics and text shows really nicely here.
2nd Place: VSNES
This one was my favorite for a long time. It was one of the early ones to use gray levels really well and did a nice job with dithering. Just a simple clean label. Gives HyperFlash an almost elegant look.
3rd Place: tydyedsyko
This one stood out to me because it is another example of a great simple clean looking label. Gray levels, dithering, and shading are all present and look great.
And there you have it. I created this page to document the results of this contest and to showcase peoples great work. I’m really excited to see what people continue to make as HyperFlash starts to ship.