Bo and Peep

Skin up as this odd couple by ThatGuyJake

I love a skin which makes interesting and unusual use of the player model. Bo and Peep, by ThatGuyJake, transforms the player’s torso into a hulking stone beast and switches the head with a blissfully derpy bird.

“This is Bo, and his little ‘friend’ Peep,” Jake writes in the description. “Bo does not like birds. Peep is clueless. Bo cannot do anything about Peep. Bo is a rock. PLEASE HELP BO.”

A tragic set-up. Here’s what Mojang’s master pixel artist, Johan Aronsson has to say about the skin:

It took a second for me to see what was going on with this skin, which is a positive result of someone thinking outside the box (hehe). It's hard to formulate anything other than I think it's a brilliant way of utilizing the Minecraft model. The colours and the way the bird is rendered using the armor layer is impeccable and really inspiring! Johan Aronsson

I asked Jake how he came to the idea.

“What made me want to make this skin is the fact that these two characters are very different,” Jake explained to me. “I did my best to make their moods totally separate from each other, along with their appearance, except I tried to stay true to the same method of using colors and shading, to hold it together. Because these two are so different, it tells a story of it's own just by looking at the skin; you can tell right away that this rock does NOT like having that bird on his head.”

Flip the skin round, and you can see that part of Bo’s animosity might be explained by peeps relaxed attitude to toilet hygiene.

Another thing Jake likes about the skin is that, while Bo and Peep are separate creatures - they feel emotionally linked in a way that a character holding a chest over his head might not. “That bird is just glued to that rock,” says Jake. “It's not letting go anytime soon.”

I ask Jake if he has any tips for repurposing the Minecraft player model in such a clever, convincing way.

“Whatever objects you're using together, or whatever you do to make it not look like a person, it still needs to make sense and fit together,” he says. “It needs to still be defined by the shape of the skin. Painting a mural on a skin is cool in concept, but in game it doesn't make a lot of sense to look at. I would say that a skin that's unique still needs to be able to move like a person, or at least hold the shape. If you decide to make a multi-character skin, make it obvious that it's more than one character. Use different colors.”

Wise words indeed!