Portfolio: The Past Is Doomed

“The Past Is Doomed” is a scenario by Geoff Gillan, set in a 1990s Arkham. It was released on February 24, 2012.

Of all the PDFs produced to date, this one includes the most custom artwork, and has the most Photoshop manipulation of images for spot art, covers and page textures.

NOTE: Larger versions of all images are available by clicking on them

NOTE: In case it’s not obvious: the material which appears below includes significant spoilers for the scenario — don’t read it, if you think you may one day play this scenario.

Front & Back Covers

In case you’re wondering, the background to the cover is a detail from a poster-sized design I mocked up in Photoshop from lots of different (royalty-free) images I found on clipart websites and the like. The full poster is below (much shrunk down). And yes, the thing in the middle *is* the eye of a dead fish.

Dust Jacket for a modern-day Occult/Science/Conspiracy book “Chronicles of a World Gone Mad”:

Newspapers (double-sided)

Here are some 1990s style newspaper handouts designed for this scenario. I’m not really sure how 1990s newspapers look different to “modern” print newspapers (does anybody still read those?), so I have used pretty much the same fonts and layout conventions I normally use for modern newspapers.

Arkham Advertiser Article 1

Arkham Advertiser Article 2

Article in the New Jersey Star-Ledger

Article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Article in the New York Times

Editorial Column from a fictional Publisher’s News Magazine

A Letter, 1990s typewriter-style

Hand-Drawn Sketch Map

1990s Style UseNet posting

Sketch Map of Arkham Streets

1990s Style Email

News article from the online Arkham Advertiser:

Originally I toyed with the idea of changing the adventure to being something set in modern day (as opposed to 1990s). After talking with Geoff I decided against this — he had some excellent reasons why the specific story he was telling worked better in an “approching-the-millenium” kind of setting. Anyway, before things were settled, I did some experimentation with creating a layout for online news articles (from the Arkham Advertiser Online, of course). Although they won’t be used for this particular PDF, I’m sure the basic structure will turn up somewhere.

For authenticity, the design I created was actually done as a mock HTML layout and then screen-captured from Firefox (rather than mocked up as a fake webpage in a drawing program). The basic layout of the page is heavily influenced from a number of (mostly smaller) online news sites but all of the advertisement images were created from scratch with suitably Arkham-inspired names and phone numbers.

Page Art

Page Textures

The layout for “The Past Is Doomed” features a large number of different page textures, sitting there behind the text. There’s a basic grungy look texture that sits at the back, but on top of that most pages have a B&W semi-transparent texture that somehow aligns to the scenario’s theme of time going wrong. Most of them are Photoshop manipulated drawings of old clocks (found in Victorian-era books on clockmaking). Here’s a sampling:


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