Did you just see that?
responsibilities: Concept & Game Design, Asset Creation, Art & Animation Direction
Locals living near the lake often tell stories about sightings of a mysterious creature. Join Zeke the bumbling hunter and recent retirees Bill and Maude on their dream RV vacation where they will cross paths with the legendary Chupacabra.
VINYL TOY CONCEPT
This triangle headed Bigfoot (above left) materialized from my initial sketches, which then for some reason got me thinking about designing the characters to feel like vinyl toys (above right)
I quickly dropped the vinyl toy idea because I felt our target market for this game would probably not get it. I then settled on designs which felt like they could live in the world already established for our other games at Playstudios.
Even though I dropped the vinyl toy direction, I still liked the idea of designing/ painting something that would feel like it could exist in the real world. It then dawned on me, vinyl toys may not be something our market is necessarily familiar with, but puppets are. At this point, the direction of the game was finalized in my mind.
While I'm designing a game, I like to think of how it would appear beyond it's game format. By visualizing something such as this fake puppet stage setting for Lake SpottaBigfoot, I feel more confident that my further asset development (like the game logo, props or any other peripheral elements such as the necessary graphic designs) will have a visual consistency.
This was actually the very first image I created for this game. It was created long before there were any characters even thought of. My idea was to create a design that could work with 2D animation, so I kept the imagery flat and graphic.
The addition of a road in this concept got me thinking about a possible playable feature that I could add to the game. What if I added some sort of vehicle for a driving function?
From that previous environment concept, I decided the vehicle I wanted to use would be an RV. This design brought me back to the vacationing tourists from my initial sketch and now gave them a reason to be in the game. The tourists however now became paranormal researchers and were going to be named after my in-laws, but for some reason looked nothing like them :).
WINNEBAGO/ RV CONCEPT variations
I explored some variations of the RV until I decided on the final direction.
I also explored more background styles.
This is the final background that I decided to go with. I envisioned the elements in the scene to feel like flat stage set props. The intention was to create a direct contrast from the dimensionally painted puppet characters.
RV MODEL SHEET
Because I wanted to push the idea of tangible objects contrasting against a flat environment, I had to visualize the RV in dimensional form as well. While doing this, the big feature of the game came about. I thought it would be interesting to create a slot game that felt like Monopoly or the Game of Life. The RV would look great as a game token moving around the board. I drew and painted this model sheet for an in-house modeler to build because the RV was going to be animated in-game. It would be very hard to do this with a 2D asset. I also wanted the shape language to have a strong asymmetry to it (which is harder to reproduce as a 3D model) so I provided as much detail as I could with my control drawing.
3D RV MODEL RENDER
The model was built and textured by Jose Fuentes.
MAIN PLAYFIELD with RV TOKEN
The way I decided to incorporate the RV was to make it travel around a map of Lake SpottaBigfoot, which became a sort of board game like the Game of Life. At each red dot node, the player would be awarded a winning outcome in their game play.
I used a cardboard cutout approach to make things like the symbol frames feel more playful and to also push the puppet theater theme.
These are resource assets created for marketing graphics. The market team could use these signs as a way to display any marketing copy or promo material for the game.