Painted Animals - visual update


Logo and user interface test images

Tonight I really wanted to pin down a look for the user interface and the logo for Painted Animals. I did some sketches and a black and white digital rendering and I really like the way they turned out. I love the simplicity of the menu buttons, but they still have the hand-crafted feel that we are going for with the game. I think the logo really works well too. The "Painted" part of the game's name is really just there as a descriptive term and something that I hope will bring good search results on the app store, so I wanted it to be less important with the branding of the logo. It looks solid in black and white and now I can't wait to see what Frances will do to add some watercolor texture to it. What do you think?


Early screenshot for "Painted Animals"

Enjoy our first true "screenshot" for our game, Painted Animals. We don't have any of the user interface elements in yet, but you can see the basic idea of the animals that you have to match to a shape. Things are coming along!


Art sneak peak

Frances and I have been hard at work on our educational game and we finally have our first finished pieces of art to show off. Our process involves several conversions from pencil and paper to digital to paint and back to digital, but I think the results speak for themselves. Only 30 animals left to complete. Let us know what you think!



What's this? An educational game? For baby-people?

Yes, I know... it does seem a bit strange that I would want to make an educational game. The fact is that I have several very young cousins and I have noticed that they all love using touch screen devices and games. The only problem is that all the toddler games that I have found are just plain shit. Just because a game is made for babies doesn't mean it has to look like it was designed by babies.

Here's where my wife Frances comes in. Frances loves to do watercolor paintings (and she is quite good if I'm allowed to say so). For a while we have talked about collaborating on a game where I could utilize her beautiful artwork. If you know Frances then perhaps you didn't know that she was a painter, but I'm sure you knew that she loves animals. So, it seemed that an educational game for small children where they could learn animal shapes and sounds would be a perfect collaboration. I have most of the programming done already (mostly simple matching games and animal sound effects) and we have begun work on the art for the game. Above you can see the beginnings of the art style, starting as sketches that Frances created which I then cleaned up in Illustrator. We will be printing out the "clean" versions on watercolor paper for Frances to paint over, which I will then scan and digitize into the game. Sounds simple enough.

One of the big focuses for the game is to create art that has somewhat exaggerated features and distinct outlines so that children can easily distinguish between similar looking animals (donkeys, horses, and zebras for example). I'm really liking the direction we have taken so far and I can't wait to see what these will look like painted. The art will probably be a slow process, but we hope to have the game out within the next two months. I plan to have a set of 8 animals available for free in the game with an in-app purchase to unlock 24 more animals (price to be determined). I'm not comfortable putting ads in a game for toddlers since that seems a bit shady, but I think parents could find value in being able to unlock additional learning materials for their little ones. I think the market for educational games like this is flooded with crap, so I hope that something special like this can rise to the top of the heap.