...a baptism of fire, as I was set to work on the title screens for all six games from day one.
To accompany their new programme on CBBC, the BBC commissioned us to create a suite of six games for Pixelface. Each game revolved around its main protagonist, each of which loosely resembled various videogaming tropes. The client wanted each game to be very much its own entity, each employing its own look and feel, essentially turning one project into six. This led to two challenges - firstly creating six unique brands, and secondly, tying them all together coherently as one package.
The metaphor we arrived at after some internal discussion was that of all six games being laid out on a child's desk, itself bedecked in the character designs and logos we created for each game. The opportunity was there to get quite 'craftsy' with the aesthetic - my Wacom tablet saw a lot of use for this project as I scribbled in 'biro' and scuffed away at my digital 'stickers'. The BBC has since radically altered the design of this page to bring it in-line with their overall rebranding of the CBBC portal, but most of the elements remain in some form or other, although the select screen (which gave the project its narrative setup) has sadly been removed. I've included examples of that screen on this page, however.
I arrived at Littleloud a few weeks after the project started, and so had to get up to speed very quickly indeed. It was a baptism of fire, as I was set to work on the title screens for all six games from day one. Each one seemed to require its own set of skills - from the heavy image manipulation of the cave mouth in Sword Of The Ancients, to the careful masking involved in Return To Zombie City. With this being a CBBC game, I tried to inject as much liveliness as possible into every execution, which often meant animating every single letter in a logotype, or creating some ambient light effects in the background.
I was responsible for the rest of the UI and HUDs for every game, including the design and animation of all in-game popups, instruction screens, leaderboards and results screens. It also fell to me to come up with the visual crutch that hung all these disparate styles together - the school desk metaphor described above. I also came up with design of the landing pages that the games were to be embedded in, and the select screen from which the games are launched.
Pixelface was a difficult first project for me at Littleloud, but one that enabled me to hit the ground running as Lead Designer, and get my teeth into a variety of different design challenges.