All gamers have a favorite game. Maybe that game was actually amazing on its own merit, and maybe the nostalgia that is laced within your memories is enough to elevate it to grandiosity.

Alain Wildgen wanted to pay homage to a retro game in his own way. About a year ago, he created the first level of Super Mario Brothers. He says that this first one, made from foam and paper, took roughly 20 to 30 hours.


He has refined his process since then. The workflow he now follows is fairly strait forward:

  1. Decide which game to feature
  2. Search for good graphics to use, typically from Spriter’s Resource or VGmaps
  3. Load the image into Gimp and clean it up or stitch together multiple images
  4. Print on Din3 or Din4 paper
  5. Cut each layer with a scalpel
  6. Cut pieces of foam rubber to create the different elevations
  7. Paste it together



A detail shot from Alain’s favorite diorama so far. Zelda A Link To The Past.

He has been doing this for a little over a year now and has created 18 dioramas. These are all for his personal collection and are not for sale. He does upload his files for others to be able to assemble on their own. Typically he posts links to the downloads on his facebook page, like the Zelda map he shared recently, which you can download here.

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Alain with his collection

Alain with his collection

Alain says he has a whole list of projects just waiting to be done, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Day of the Tentacle, Megaman, and the Illusion of Time. If you want to follow along and see what he comes up with next, you an follow him on Tumblr as well as his Facebook page


Caleb Kraft

Caleb Kraft

Community Editor for Make:
I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I’d always love to hear about what you’re making, so send me an email any time at [email protected]

  • Max The Magnificent

    Hi Caleb — Max here — this is GREAT — a simple yet amazingly clever idea — these look wonderful, plus anyone could create something similar. My hat is off to Alain (at least, it would be if I wore one LOL)

    • http://www.makezine.com Caleb Kraft

      I thought these were simply stunning. He seems like a really nice guy too. He has people asking to buy these like crazy but he just makes them for himself.

      • Max The Magnificent

        I don’t blame him. I only ever make one of anything myself, then I move onto something else, but I like to keep the stuff I’ve created around me.

  • jpizzle

    What is din3 paper?

    • Daniel Gilbert

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_216 – DIN A3, it’s a german thing. DIN = Deutsches Institut für Normung = German Institute for Standardization. Size of A3 is 297mm x 420mm.

  • http://vandellatribunecolumn.wordpress.com Mr Fury

    Reblogged this on Vandella Tribune Column and commented:
    Very cool hobby =) ah the memories

  • Tobias

    The Legend of Zelda – A Link To The Past is actually a SNES game.

    • danno

      yeah that’s pretty much the first thing that I noticed

  • http://www.danielandrade.net/ Daniel Spillere Andrade

    Such a great idea!! I’m exited to see the next ones! And also build one myself!

  • Daniel Gilbert

    As Max said, it’s something anyone could create, so I did that too. It looks really nice on the wall, took a day to complete. :) http://blog.danielgilbert.de/2014/05/09/getting-super-mario-kart-into-the-third-dimension-somehow/

  • http://yhcemma.wordpress.com Emma Chang

    Reblogged this on Emma's Studio and commented:

  • 艾瑪 張

    ‘The workflow he now follows is fairly strait forward’
    Does that mean straightforward??