I think I’ve found the direction I really wanted to go with this. I wanted to keep the overall look of the Sheridan S but with more of a hand drawn feel to it. I think I’m getting closer!
I find that logos really are a huge part of selling an idea to a client. It seemed weird to me at first, I mean the real meat of the project is in the actual game, but I started to realize that a logo is a quick (though not easy by a long-shot) way of summing up what your game is.
Here I’m playing around with a few designs . I’m not crazy about them but it’s a first step in the direction I want to go. I’m limited by the school’s brand standards, but at least I don’t have to pick from a million fonts and it allows me to focus on the @ as my indicator of what the game is. I mostly looked to Simon Dean’s Designing Game Logos article on Gamasutra to help inform my direction.
Every font says something. In my examples above I’ve tried a few types for the at symbol. The first is round and soft, it looks casual but neat. The second is a little sharper looking, it speaks to a more professional look, less student friendly. The third is thicker, looks more like it was made with a marker. It’s causal and bold. With these first three I’ve woven the at-symbol through the two words to show how the game is about integrating life (as you know it now) with post-secondary school life.
The last is an 8-bit style, I don’t really like this one because I think it sets up an expectation that the game will be 8 or 16-bit style which is not what I’m going for.
I will probably come to an entirely different conclusion once I get some feedback on the designs.
Finally got my first layout together!
It was kinda nice putting together all the pieces in Photoshop. I often use it like a workboard where I’ll make all the pieces I think I need on different layers and then just move them around until I’m happy with how they look.
When I originally started with my rough sketch I had imagined that I would be using way more of the bottom then I ended up using. In fact the only thing I really ended up using the bottom of the screen for was the student success wheel and the peer mentor tab. Seeing as I had all this space I ended up using it for the player character to show up and give the player feedback or introduce a new task.
I ended up adding a little bit of branding to the screen overlay right before the pitch and I think it actually made it easier for the client to buy-in when they could see as part of the brand from the beginning.
Note: I’m not showing the screens with the characters as I used another artist’s work without permission and while I’m a big believer in using whatever you can to show a client what their product will ultimately look/feel like this is my personal portfolio/blog and I don’t want people assuming those parts are my artwork.
Trying to work out the main mechanic for the game.
The student will be getting a whole lot of information in the tutorial on how to use certain systems but I needed a way to have the player practice those systems until they can navigate them correctly and without help.
So I decided the best method would probably be a resource management-style game where the player spends their time filling up their “wheel of student success”.
The first playtest gave me a LOT of feedback, mostly about how the rules were confusing and the goals were not clear, so now on to iteration #2!
Started a new project this week, creating a student life simulator to help students learn the ins and outs of navigating the post-secondary system.
Here I’ve started brainstorming to figure out what I want the actual game play to be like. I know that the system will be heavily tasked based (because that’s college in a nutshell) but I also want my players to have fun while they’re learning the systems they’ll have to use for real at school.
I have a pretty good idea about where the game play is heading so I’m going to start paper prototyping tomorrow!