Day 2: Concept Art

Today’s task was to start thinking about what the game might look like. We’ll have to spend quite a lot of time drawing the art assets, I think, but today’s job was just to get some ideas down.

First we went through the design, piece by piece and compiled a ‘Mood Board’ full of images that D found that he liked. This was to inspire us, and to help for drawing.

With the mood board down, it was time for concept art proper. D set up his desk in the study, with the mood board as reference, and began to draw some level designs. Using the images as reference he added the jumping frogs, the bad fish and the bats, lava, water and ladders. And began to think about how the game should go together.

Some things that came out today from this process: D wanted to have a very distinct ‘above ground’ and ‘below ground’, with a contrast (you can see this with the very strong horizontal ground line on his picture). D also wanted to have some of the collectables you can only get to by jumping, while others can be accessed by platforms and ladders. And third, he decided that maps are shown on map-boards with a ‘you are here’ sign, rather than being collectible.

D was curious about how we are going to get the art on the computer. I explained that we’ll “digitize” his artwork. We’ll work on a piece of art (a frog, for example) on paper, then scan it, and turn it into pixel art. Finally we’ll color it on the computer. This way we can have fun with seeing the two-cell animation on paper.

Next job is to decide on the game’s name, and make a logo. (Why this next? Well, he wants something for the front of his file folder that he’s keeping his notes and designs in!)

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