Sadly this is the only screengrab I was able to save from the unreleased TD game I was the Art Director on at Zynga. I was really proud of how this one came out and was crushed when Zynga decided not to release it as part of their overall focus shift to core IP. It was a TD game based on mythology with all sorts of biomes and units. It had a base building mechanic and tons of cool mythological powers. The characters had great silhouettes that really read well in-game. The style was unique, fun and consistent and I believe would have stood the test of time.
I was brought on to this project after initial pre-production was complete to be the assistant AD. I was in charge of the day to day people management of the team as well as communication with our creative services team and art direction of the UI.
We went for a clean UI that was based on the naturally occurring elements which were a motif you saw throughout the game (the heroes had an elemental affinity)
Chests from Zynga's iOS and Android game Battlestone.
My modeling work also included your starting weapons! The ice bow was my favorite to make.
While it was never officially released in the US, but saw good KPIs during soft-launch. When we were acquired by Zynga they choose not to release the game, likely due to the slots game they already had in development. At one point they considered adding the assets to their current game, but sadly the aspect ratio was opposite our original assets and it was determined not worth the extra work. It’s a real shame because I absolutely love how this came out. Our CEO really allowed me to explore a flat, unique art style all while injecting a ton of humor into each machine.
Shoptown Hero was a super fun game to lead the art team on. Designing a quirky town and filling it with iconic, wacky residents was a blast from concept to final assets. The idea being that you could go out into the real world and collect items to sell in your shop. Going to a McDonalds for lunch? Well, there’s a burger and fries you can collect if you pop open our game. Unfortunately, this did not have the IP draw Pokemon Go had and people weren’t quite ready to give you their GPS location.
Some assets had already been created when I was brought on to the company but their overall polish wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Here is an example of how I structure feedback.
While this game eventually found it’s way to the iPhone it started out on J2ME and Brew handsets! the constraints to file size and screen size were a constant challenge, but it taught me how to get the most out of any asset.
Assets from the iPhone game Reign of Swords and Reign of Swords: Episode II. I had a ton of fun painting portraits and backgrounds but doing sprites and sprite animation was really the most rewarding part.
Here’s one of the portraits in action on the iPhone 1, if you can even believe there was such a phone.