Hello, welcome to the Deep Silver FISHLABS forums!
Please carefully attend our rules and in all time-sensitive cases please contact our support. We hope you enjoy sharing your thoughts with other players.
Game Master

Game Master
Posts: 2450
Device / OS:
iPad A2/iPhone 6 - iOS 10.3.3
Snowboard Hero iOS Dev Diary part II – Graphic Design



Here comes chapter number two giving you insights on the graphic design in Snowboard Hero. Specifically, I’d like to share with you the stages female snowboard heroine ”Kitty” went through before coming into 3D play. As a part of that the somewhat underappreciated discipline of screen design shall get its limelight, too. The latter is about the visual and conceptual design of on-screen elements such as buttons and icons while obeying the good old “form follows function” rule of design. If it didn’t follow that principle, our games would not sport their intuitive simplicity.

What is it that makes good screen design what it is, then? Jost Schweinfurther, the man behind the graphic in-game assets in Snowboard Hero, makes it clear: “Screen design is basically about visual gimmicks illustrating whatever stands behind an icon or button. The visual style and theming must match the overall tone of the game”. The thing about buttons in particular is that they should be easy to identify as something you can press at first sight. A button that doesn’t look like one isn’t awefully useful. But let’s stick with achievement icons for now.

Image

In the above example you see the before and after of a character specific achievement Jost made for “Gracie”. She has “a slight Vodoo touch about her mixed with a horror-witch shaman quality”, Jost explains. If you want to call that a quality, that is.Once you know what the character theme is about, though, it becomes obvious why he opted for the symbols of a werewolf and the classic vodoo doll as Gracie’s achievement icons.

Image

In the very beginning Jost brings his ideas to paper in the old fashioned way. Pencil and paper. His draft is digitized by scanning it and converting it into an image file. The respective file is processed using Photoshop and a handy tool called Wacom Intuos 4. It’s a pen tablet practically allowing you to draw on-screen and in-file with a number of effects. Providing a frame of equal proportions for all achievements aids in recognizing them instantly as what they are. Once Jost is happy with his dawing he goes on to add layers of colour and other effects which are secrets of his craft that shall not be revealed. So much for the production of in-game assets. What about character design? I figured featuring a hot blonde might spice things up a bit. So, here we go.

Image

Beware to think that graphic design for games is merely about dreaming up beautiful girls and doing impressive scribbles. Bringing a character from scratch to final character design can be a long and winding road. Different variations are tried and many sketches drawn to find the direction you want to go with a character in 3D. In the case of this blonde beauty the objective was depicting a 19 year old Australian who used to be a ballet dancer and looks good in tight suits. You tell me if that worked out.

Image
Image

The final character design as pictured above is then translated into the turnaround showing the character from behind, from the side and the front. It will be blueprint for the 3D artists render the character into a full blown 3D model. Once the 3D model is finished and worked into the animation program characters come to moving life on-screen and in-game. 3D modeling of characters and the in-game environment is a subject that deserves an entire chapter on its own and that’s what the next part of the Snowboard Hero dev diary will be all about. Good to see you around!

Article is located here!