Moving on from the Logo design I decided to re-address the characters, looking primarily at the Carrot Character. So I started by sketching out some possible characters. There are a few various styles and some are more pleasing to look at than others. Whereas some are more suitable than others.
From here I moved onto iterating the various parts that would make up the face of the carrot. Breaking down the Eyes, Mouths and Noses, and creating multiple variants until the final design emerged its weary head.
This now gives me enough information to begin the basic final design of the Carrot character, but I still need to give him a personality before moving onto the final render. Watch this space!
Well it’s been awhile since my previous post, not to say that I have been slacking. I have actually been doing some traditional sketching and development (as well as exterior work) that has eaten into my time. However, enough with the complaints and excuses, I have slacked of a little with the project and that is all that is needed to be said. With this in mind though, I have been producing the logo for the game, going from the selection of a type face that is both suitable and appropriate for the project, through to the development.
Now, I’ve found that there are a few different types of font to start with, such as Roman serif, Roman sans-serif, Roman script and Roman ornamental. Theres Blackletter, Monospaced, Symbols and others in between. Choosing the right type of font to start with has a real importance to the direction that the font will take and what it will communicate.
There is a lot of variation in each of these, but you can see that they are fairly distinctive in how they feel. Serif’s appear to be the most formal. However, sans-serifs are clean, sharp and crisp. Scripts are more elegant, soft, flowing and almost feminine, blackletter is clearly old and antique and monotype feels geeky and clearly something like symbol is hard to decipher.
There was a lot I had to learn about in regards to the appropriate use of type, for example the difference between fonts and typefaces, Kerning, Capitalisation, Size and Leading to name a few.
Taking size as an example, I have found that the size that your type is displayed at along with the amount of white space, conveys a different message. Taking the below images as an example, the image to the left is bold and brash, it shouts at you, making its point there and then. Where as the image to the right is more quiet, peeking curiosity, it is almost telling you a secret.
Next I looked into capitalisation, this is also something that can portray a specific message, All uppercase lettering appears loud and brash almost as if you are shouting at the audience. Whereas all lowercase has a more friendly feel to it.
The communicative requirements were also something I pondered on for quite some time, if I was primarily looking at producing a piece as more of an aesthetic to give the user a feel of spooky but friendly fun, does it need to be legible? I mean, we are all capable of associating to logos and icons, so is this a route to explore? After some deliberation I decided that YES this needs to be legible. and so I set about continuing my research and development, finally narrowing down my choices.
As you can see from the above image, I was looking for a font that would help communicate beyond the word its self that this game is a little creepy. This decision came from designing this game for a target audience that has no age restrictions. So I needed to establish a font that would look friendly but creepy yet not scary as such (gotta think of the kids) in both a visual aesthetic and in the meaning of the word. This lead me to limit my selections down to a single typeface that will be used thematically throughout the project, starting with the Title and Logo. Horseshoes by Lauren Ashpole. I will of course purchase a Licence for this font when the time comes.
Ok, ok, now for the big reveal about my use of the written word. I’m dyslexic! (maybe not that big of a reveal due to all the spelling mistakes on this blog lol) Not many people are aware that there are differing forms of dyslexia and for myself in particular, I read words through the outlining shape they make more that deciphering the individual letters of the words. This has actually helped me in the creation of this identity/title/logo, as I wanted to ensure that the visual aesthetic of the work also communicated on a very easy to understand level. So I began altering and refining the chosen work to adapt its original structure when written by scaling and minimally rotating some of the individual letters. That has ultimately enabled me to find what I believe through research and experimentation to be the most appropriate design for my project.
Moving into Adobe Illustrator I began to experiment with making the type face look spooky (enter the Slime). However, after a few days playing with creating slimy letters I decided that the over all feel just wasn’t working. The colours chosen where too vibrant and the slime looked more like snot that an oozing ectoplasm. So I have started over and feel that this time round it appears to be more appropriate. There is still a lot of work to be done and maybe even some additional variants but here is where I’m up to.
I’m sure you can see what I mean about it looking snotty. Any way, here is the version I am currently working on.
From this to this
This is beginning to feel more like what I want, it has an earthy undertone (Thanks to colour choise) but is looking a little too creepy for what I really want. That I hope I can dilute with some additional graphics on the text. Vines, leafs, bite marks, cuts, bruises etc.
So, it’s been a couple of days since my previous post (that’s the problem with having a job, kids and GAMES, GAMES and more GAMES to play) but here we are.
Anyway, as you know I have been looking at vegetables and have finally come up with a list of possible veg to use as characters. It did slightly adapt from the list in the previous post but is not a million miles off, this list was then given to a group of people who had to select seven of them to be developed into game characters. The Below PDF shows the complete list and the final 7 characters.
Vegetroubles inception came from a GameJam event back when I was a student in 2010 – 2011. Myself and some of my peers decided to enter a GameJam competition that was run by Hull Uni. We where to draw 3 things from a hat (Three thing game competition), then come up with a game concept from them and build it. We drew the words… Holiday, Vegetable and ……………. Zombie! And so, Vegetrouble was born, a 2D side scrolling beat ’em up game. The initial idea/story we came up with was that zombified vegetables where taking over the world and you had to thwart their attempts. We implemented a character select, allowing you to choose from a range of non-zombie infected veg, you would then travel the globe to well-known holiday destinations and kill the zombie veg roaming these locations. Simple eh?
Now I’ve had a rethink and wanted to address this as a new project. My current concept is somewhat similar but has a lot of differences. This is now a 3D top down isometric game where you are to stop the zombie veg infection by hitting them on their heads (planting them back in the ground to be fertilised into healthy veg) before they infect the rest of the vegetable population. This is so that you can save the lovable animal characters (bunny, pig, goat, etc) from starving.
So, When I initially started playing with the Idea of developing the Vegetrouble game (a game born from a 24h game jam event with a few Uni friends) I started with one of the most fundamental mistakes, I turned on a computer and opened some software, from there I started to develop characters. Now despite my years of practice and ability to do this, we all know that it is a mistake and something that should have been started on paper, well to be honest it did kind of start on paper. You see, I started designing some basic characters for the game on paper and then delved into the software and progressed from 4 characters into 7 all digital 2D final designs and was never really fully happy. You see, when it comes to the design process I have a rather large lack of confidence, primarily with my ability to visualise on paper (sketching). I have now realised that this is a primary opportunity for me to better my visualisation skills.
Moving on, I begun to develop the game in the same manner with little regard to the initial stages that would ultimately help direct the project and give it drive. I have been through stages where the initial idea has changed, where the aesthetic has altered and even been forced to change mechanics and even the target platform due to not fully realising what needed to be done and just wanting to go and make something ‘cool’.
Well, no more of this nonsense, from now on we have a new slate, it is clean. There is nothing but an initial idea and some residual memories of a past incarnation. This blog will now serve as the archive for the entirety of the project, pass or fail. You will see everything, from initial ideas, mechanics design, level design, character designs, props and objects, menus, GUI’s HUD’s, planning, research, user testing, documentation and presentations, I could go on, but you get the point.
(This project and the development blog are created to aid my students with effectively managing and evidencing a project. Just do the work!).