So, as part of the recent New Year's game company card selection here on GSW, we noted that the card from translation experts 8-4 was designed by Jake Kazdal, that rare Westerner who's played a key role in Japanese game development - as a concept designer on both Space Channel 5 and Rez.

Big sister site Gamasutra has actually previously interviewed Kazdal on his fascinating history developing for those two excellent titles, as well as Astroboy and other games, and now we notice Kazdal has an official portfolio site up which includes some wonderful art - even rare behind-the-scenes pics from those very Sega titles. In particular:

This original concept montage from Space Channel 5 shows off some of the alternate, spikier, slightly scarier looks for lead character Ulala. But... where's Space Michael?

A montage of Rez sketches, screenshots, ship models, and more detailed concept art, showing that a fair amount of predesign really does need to go into the more complex whole.

Anyhow, Kazdal is working at Electronic Arts Los Angeles on an apparently unannounced title right now, focusing on concept art and visual development. It'd be interested to know about the history of some of the other titles on his profile page - I wonder if any of them, such as this 'Wizard Of Oz' character set, were for planned but unfinished games.