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Making of the Joystiq award: let there be cake

Ross Miller

Interested in how we made our inaugural Joystiq trophy? It all started with a friendly online conversation between this writer and Editor Ludwig Kietzmann:

JoyLudwig: This year's winner is Portal. Make us a cake.
JoyRoss: Or what?
JoyLudwig: Or death.
JoyRoss: Cake or death. Cute.
JoyLudwig: ...

Following an embarrassingly long string of horrendous cake puns, we set about cooking an actual cake.

After taking the cake out of pan and turning it over so that the flat side would be on top, we realized that perhaps we didn't spray the bottom with enough cooking oil, and subsequently we had to reattach layers of the cake. We also realized that (a) the shape of the cake is much too shallow and (b) we probably shouldn't try to make a living out of baking pastries.

The simple, King Solomon solution was to cut the cake in half ... and then try to stack them on top of one another. We were a little off, but trying to re-lift the top layer resulted in excess crumbling, so we had to make do with our initial placement.

Onto the frosting. But only part of the cake, since we didn't have enough to cover the entire one. Once we frosted the side visible to the camera, we added a blue outline to the top and bottom edges. (Note: yes, that's Rock Band in the background.)

Here is a behind-the-scenes shot of the cake. Yes, the cake was a lie.

The scene is set, we snapped a photo. And now onto image manipulation!

... but not before destroying our precious creation.

Our marginal image manipulation skills required us to remove the background (a painfully slow process) and fix the left side, top corner and various inconsistencies with the frosting.

We proceeded to smooth out the top of the cake and recolor it to give that ClayFighter look we all know and love.

All that's left is to throw on the logo, distorted to give the impression it's lying on top of the cake. And with that, we are done with our beautiful disaster. Special thanks to Chelsea for her culinary assistance!

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