Tim's Collection of Farm Story Art
I have played "Farm Story", an internet game made by Team Lava, for several
years running, probably one of my few concessions to popular video game
culture. The game itself has been all but abandoned by its creators.
However, some of us longtime players of the game have created a
game-within-a-game, showing off artwork in the form of pictures on our
farm created using objects in the game such as hay bales, tiles, trees,
bushes, and an assortment of other things. Every few weeks we get
together and have an "Art Show", where dozens of artists show off their
creations. One person acts as the art show host. Each artist posts a
message to the wall of the host, and the host posts a message back to
each artist. Then any player who knows any of the artists or the hosts
can find their way to the list of artists, and visit each artist to see
their work. The art show concept was created (I think, or at least
refined) by Milty (her screen name, not her real name), who acted as
host for several years.
I have had a blast doing artwork in Farm Story, and am posting some of
my favorite works here for all to enjoy.
I started off with hay-bale art, using the colored hay bales in
Farm Story for a palette of colors, sometimes making use of the
shaded side of the bales for a more nuanced effect, and occasionally
using sheep or other objects as eyes and other miscellaneous
detail. As my farm grew, I devoted more and more space to the
artwork in the center.
Request from a neighbor. She said it looked just like
The emblem of the Maryland flag.
The iconic poster image for "Ghostbusters", done for
Another Halloween art piece.
Gromit, from Wallace and Gromit fame.
Snoopy, from the Peanuts Thanksgiving TV special.
Snoopy, from the Peanuts Christmas special, although
I took the easy route and just re-dressed my previous
Rudolph and Hermie, from the Rankin and Bass Christmas
A unicorn. Started out as a horse and morphed into the
unicorn one week, which I liked better.
For Valentine's Day 2014.
Couldn't think of anything appropriate for the season,
but came up with the idea of doing a treble clef for
a sort of generic music theme, and it worked pretty
Pikachu, from Pokemon.
A cute bunny and decorated egg, for Easter 2014.
Kermit the frog, a rare attempt to work in several
shades of one color. Green is about the only color
this can be done properly with.
For the World Cup (June 2014).
A butterfly, symbol of summer.
Asterix, from the beautiful and hilarious French
comic books by Goscany and Uderzo. Many of my
neighbors didn't get this one at all. I tried to
educate them. . .
After the incident at Charlie Hebdo in Paris,
I did a quick "Je Suis Charlie" artwork, but as
it didn't really work out very well, I followed it
up with a more carefully done French flag.
Some of my favorite artists in the art shows were the
tile artists. When all my favorites retired from the
game, I figured somebody needed to continue that
tradition, so I switched to doing tile art. Some of
these artists would spend hours working out their
creations on graph paper. I had to have my own angle
on the technique, literally; I wanted to have my
art facing forward toward the viewer, even though the
farm is presented in an oblique view. To do this, I
wrote a computer image processing program that could
take a photo as input and spit out the same image in
farm story tiles as output. The program required a
lot of development, but made the process of creating
tile are a lot easier. Far from being an instant
solution, I actually spent a lot of time choosing
photos, editing them to keep out background noise
or busy detail, and modifying shades and colors to
get a good result in tiles. At least I could tell
whether a photo was going to work as tile art or not
without spending any time putting tiles down in Farm
Story, which is a very tedious process.
My first attempt at tile art, for Burns Day
(January 2015). This is supposed to be a
picture of Robert Burns, but he came out a bit
on the thin side, making me realize that my
computer program's aspect ratio was off and
needed to be adjusted.
My first try using a full color tile palette
(at least as full as the Farm Story choices
get, which is to say, not very full). I wanted
to do my dog Bonnie, an Australian Shepherd, but
I couldn't find the hard drive with those pictures,
so I pulled an image off of Google Images
Finding that black and white worked better than
colors, I started doing a set of Presidents,
working from images on the currency. This, of
course, for Presidents Day (February 2015).
Of course I had to get both presidents in for
Since images off of currency engravings seemed to
get good results, I continued the theme with
When Leonard Nimoy died, Spock was an obvious
choice for my next tile art subject (March 2015).
Although I don't give away much personal information
to Farm Story neighbors, I couldn't resist a "selfie"
in tile art.
Finally I found that hard drive with the photos of
Bonnie, an Australian Shepherd I had back around the
turn of the millenium.
A picture I did when the Kentucky Derby came around.
The image was from Google Images, but it turned out
to be a fortuitous subject, as the Triple Crown was
won for the first time since Secretariat (May 2015).
Back to full color, making heavy use of the background
color of green as part of the photo, and it worked
very well in this case.
I got a request from a Farm Story neighbor to do a
lion fish. Perhaps she was just trying to give me a
challenge, but I felt I had to try. It's really hard
to do at this scale, and I had to do a lot of hand-editing
to make it look like anything. Most people were able to
figure out what it was.
Another neighbor request. The software made a total
mess of the leopard's spots, which I had to fix by hand
with considerable effort.
A koala bear. This one was pretty easy, once I found
a picture with the right amount of contrast.
Delicate Arch, Utah (July 2015). An attempt to inflict
pictures of my vacation upon my Farm Story friends and
A Bugatti Veyron (August 2015). The request of one of my
Farm Story neighbors.
Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings"
Darth vader (September 2015). The photo of this came out
very dark, so I did a lot of hand-editing on this one.
Storm trooper (October 2015). Continuing the "Star Wars" theme.
Back to my home page. . .
Last updated: October 10, 2015 at 11:07pm