The art of Story Cards

Story Cards is our tablet-based collectible card game (CCG) featuring famous authors and characters from classic literature.  As the students read books pre-installed on an ebook reader, new cards become available for use in the game, creating a virtuous circle between playing the game and reading itself. 

For this first release of Story Cards we created illustrated cards from the books in the Gutenberg Press back catalogue. This post focuses on this art task, and our approach to bringing to life some of the most famous characters in literary history. 

The brief

The brief for art was to create characterful, charmingly-rendered illustrations that would make the cards both memorable and collectable.

We needed a high impact 2D style that steered away from anything too cartoony whilst remaining fun and characterful. It needed to accommodate characters and authors that wouldn’t necessarily translate well to illustrations, and be flexible enough to ...

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February’s mini jam

At Preloaded we occasionally find ourselves with some time in which we can create something outside the normal constraints of project work. Last week we had two days to create something completely different to our normal remit and decided to have a mini game jam. 

Small team? Make small games

We orientated the jam entirely around the team members available. We had two artists, two developers and a producer. We considered doing one large game, but during idea generation we decided that two small teams creating a game each would be the strongest loadout. Not only do the participants get to produce games they can call their own, but it meant we could create two incredibly contrasting games and thereby learn much more than we would with one, bloated product.

Mixing up roles

A great part of the jam process is team members flexing muscles they may not usually get ...

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Game localisation checklist

With the hyper-competitive nature of mobile gaming and web portals, there's never been a better time to expand your potential audience internationally by localising your games.

To help make that process easier and to highlight potential pitfalls, here's the internal checklist we've developed over the past few years while localising games such as Disney Fairies: Lost & Found.

Note that we’re using Localisation as a generic term to cover both the act of allowing a product to be localised - a process generally called Internationalisation - as well as the implementation of specific localised content.

Planning & Content

The more time you spend planning your localisation process and getting to understand your content, the simpler and more robust the implementation should be.

  • Identify expected locales, if possible including those that aren’t necessary now but may be desirable in the future. The addition of subsequent locales can have significant impact ...

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Museums 2.0 - How iBeacons will revolutionise museum and cultural spaces

It's been a long standing strategy for museums and galleries to compliment a visitor's experience with physical and digital content; curators notes, interpretation plaques, audio guides and physical tours. With the advent of smartphones, organisations have pursued new ways to deliver this content in a location sensitive way. 

iBeacon

The challenge has always been the 'location' bit. GPS - the answer to all location problems - currently lacks the resolution. The notorious QR code, which allows smartphone owners to download an app to scan a barcode to launch contextual content, is as over engineered as it is ugly. Meanwhile the NFC tags that made big waves in retail, have gained little traction outside of this sector. 

The problem is, in a wireless world, scanning or tapping something just feels mighty awkward. 

Then iOS7 was released.

Under the furore of super light fonts and new icons was iBeacons, a new technology which ...

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Secrets of a Technical Artist (Part 2)

Welcome back to secrets of a technical artist, today I will take you through our art pipeline, and I’ll be showing you some of the tools I’ve created to simplify the process of making our art assets.

Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll have a greater knowledge of our working process, and perhaps you’ll take away some ideas for how to make things easier, so you can concentrate on what matters - making the game look good.

Screenshot: Preloaded Tools for Maya

Writing Tools

Here at Preloaded the artists mostly work within Maya, Photoshop and Unity. Mostly these programs work really well for us out of the box. But sometimes we have specific needs that they can’t naturally accommodate, or we can see ways of improving what is already there. Thankfully they all allow you to write scripts to modify how they work, which ...

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