Gary Ruddell is a California-based American artist known for his representational fine art paintings and early illustration art. After graduating from college, Gary began a career as a freelance illustrator. While also working for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy and other clients, Gary began painting science fiction and fantasy book covers in 1981. Over the next two decades, Gary would go on to illustrate more than 200 book covers, counting Bantam Books, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Avon Books, Ace Books, Ballantine Books and Baen Books among his clients.
Though Gary’s game box art catalog is limited in quantity, he left his mark in sheer quality, having illustrated multiple substantial titles, including Shining Force II (as well as Sega CD and Game Gear releases in the series), Knights of the Round, and King’s Field. Gary’s game art was seldom credited, but his style and technique are discernible in reviewing his game oeuvre: Gary generally worked in dark palettes and he often leveraged simple, sometimes monochromatic, backgrounds behind distinct characters. His rendering of human hair, in particular, is consistent across his game works, even as the tightness of his brushwork or level of detail varied.
OVGA has included below Gary Ruddell’s full known box art catalog:
- Shufflepuck Cafe (Broderbund | Home Computers, Famicom (JP) | 1988)
- Prophecy (Activision | DOS | 1989)
- M.U.L.E. (Mindscape, Inc. | NES | Sept. 1990)
- Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya (Sega | Game Gear | Jun. 1993)
- Shining Force II (Sega | Genesis | Oct. 1993)
- Knights of the Round (Capcom | SNES | Apr. 1994)
- Cosmic Carnage (Sega | 32X | Dec. 1994)
- Shining Force CD (Sega | Sega CD | Mar. 1995) Repeat image, flipped
- King’s Field (Asciiware | PlayStation | Jul. 1995)
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (Crystal Dynamics | PlayStation | Nov. 1996)
- Chessmaster 6000 (Mindscape, Inc. | Macintosh, Windows | 1998)
- Chessmaster (Mindscape, Inc. | Game Boy Color | 1999) Repeat image
- Chessmaster II (Mindscape, Inc. | PlayStation | 1999) Repeat image, digitally altered
In addition to his game box art, Gary illustrated the cover for issue 107 of Ultra Game Players magazine in 1998, featuring art for Resident Evil 2.