by Caleb Goellner

Double Fine Productions Art Director Lee Petty on Ideation With Alchemy

Over the past eight years, Double Fine Productions Art Director Lee Petty has worked on some of the most beloved video games in the business. Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, Trenched, and Broken Age Parts 1 and 2 are just a few of the fan-favorites he's lent his skills too. How does Petty stay inspired to keep up the hard work necessary to build such a robust resume? In part, with Alchemy.

Alchemy is an open-source app designed to facilitate idea generation -- or creating "happy accidents," as Petty puts it. In Alchemy there's no saving, no erasing, and no undo. Artists can create shapes and forms with an element of chaos thrown in by the software that introduces unexpected elements they may not expect. As a user generates shapes from a set of loose forms like splatters, ribbons, scrawls and more, they can save each image into a PDF to reference later. It's a bit like making, and then later taking, your own Rorschach inkblot test to unlock ideas that might be bubbling below the surface.

Learn how the freeware Alchemy app helps Double Fine's Lee Petty get inspired in the feature below:



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