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11 Mar, 2021
Saving King Arthur: When 2D Art and Voice Come Together
Voice technology is not yet a very common technology in the gaming industry, but some advanced developers have long noticed this great opportunity to breathe more life into games and achieve amazing engagement. One of the pioneers of voice direction is the Portuguese company Doppio, which harnessed the power of voice to create vivid and addictive gameplay. Voice Quest, created exclusively for Google Assistant, is a story of a unique format that allows players to immerse themselves in the medieval atmosphere of the Knights of the Round Table and become a key character influencing the outcome of events. The main task is to save King Arthur from the tenacious grip of the insidious Morgana, who decided to seize power. Such a story undoubtedly requires an appropriate visual representation, carrying players to the right era and dynamically changing as they progress. The creation of authentic characters, environments and other game art elements became the main mission of the Kevuru Games team. GOAL CHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITION Stimulating the interest of players with a bright splash screen that reveals some of the gameplay detailsCreate 2D art for characters, backgrounds and splash screenLead 2D artist Thinking over the background in accordance with the medieval settingWork out 2D animation of the main character and his enemies Lead 2D animator Working out the images of key participants in the story with the addition of unique features following the plot 2D artists Creating images of enemies with different abilities and strengths from low-level to high-level 2D animators Animating key movements of the main character and his enemies Project manager Initial Data The tight deadlines and a decent amount of work led to the formation of a rather large team for this project. Doppio provided the concept of the necessary characters to be finalized and animated, as well as the wishes for the background image, which was supposed to have a side-scrolling effect. Our team of artists was given considerable freedom of imagination: the client was open to suggestions for the interpretation of the characters and the presentation of their movements. In his dangerous and difficult adventure, the main character faces different types of enemies who are trying to prevent him from reaching King Arthur. To defeat them, the player must manage to shout the correct spells, which are created by combining elements of nature – air, earth, water or fire – with an action word. Players have more than 2500 witchcraft options at their disposal. Of course, players also need to keep an eye on their mana level to keep it for the right spells for the rest of the current round. A separate task was to develop icons for Arthur, Merlin, Morgana and the main character. The first three were created on the basis of the main characteristics of the characters given by the story: the beautiful and insidious Morgana, the brave but slightly self-centered Arthur, the experienced and wise Merlin. The main character, like each of his enemies, had to have his own unique set of animations for movement, idle state, battle, and more. The animation team designed all these movements from scratch, offering the client different options that best suited various types of characters. Workflow To optimize the character creation process, we synchronized the work of 2D artists and animators, dividing them into pairs and entrusting them to work out specific characters. This made it possible to significantly speed up the work and present all the necessary characters for consideration almost simultaneously. The implementation of the side-scrolling effect of the protagonist’s journey was achieved with the help of a seamless road: thanks to skillful looping, we created an infinity effect, supported by new enemies that appear at each new level. When working on animation, it was necessary to take into account the specifics of the physique of each character, so the animators offered several options for their vision of their movements. Work was in progress on animating an idle state, walking, attacking with a spell and without it, defending, hitting and celebrating victory. Giving characteristic movements to enemies appearing on the screen allows the player to assess their possible strength and prepare in advance for battle. For example, skeletons who are not the most powerful opponents move slowly and rather awkwardly, while the Black Knight is a much more agile, fast and dangerous opponent. Our artists also thought over a splash screen. This is the image that appears on the screen while loading the game. It partially reveals the gameplay, showing the main character from the back, the road along which he moves and the enemies blocking his path. The logo developed by us consists of the name of the game and an emblem that unites the four elements of nature. The font and style of the logo were chosen with an emphasis on Celtic symbolism. Thanks to daily communication with the client and the regular provision of work results, the process of creating art and animation was very fast and smooth. All wishes and corrections from the client were implemented immediately after the discussion and presented the next day. Value Delivered In less than a month, our team managed to do a lot of work, including icons, splash screen, art and animation of the main character and his enemies, as well as a looped background. Thanks to our proposal to rid the appearance of some enemies of elements associated with violence like blood and gore, the game managed to bypass the age limit 18+ and reach a much larger audience of potential players. Thanks to the quick and well-coordinated work of artists and animators, it was possible to finish the project even earlier than the expected date. Voice Quest is now available for selected smart displays like the Google Nest Hub or Android devices and tablets with built-in Google Assistant. The game has 30 levels available in the Woodlands location with more expected to be released in future updates. Conclusion Voice games are an impressive new word in the virtual entertainment industry. The use of voice commands in the gameplay allows players to better immerse themselves in the plot, feel their involvement in what is happening and influence the outcome of the story. Our team is very grateful to Doppio for the opportunity to set a hand to creating 2D art and animation for a game of this innovative format. Do not be afraid to embody interesting ideas and follow the latest technological trends: Kevuru Games will be a reliable support for all your endeavors in any aspect of game development.
3 Feb, 2021
Claire Hart: Mysterious Aesthetics of Hidden Object Games [Case Study]
Each online gaming platform claims to be unique. Someone is trying to show off famous brands, someone talks about an unprecedented number of games on their resourse. But Pogo doesn’t have to pretend or brag – this is a truly unique online casual games website that looks down at the rest from a great height of its 22 years of experience. As for the owner, it is an American video game company Electronic Arts. Such combinations make Pogo immune to competition. Claire Hart is the most famous hidden object game on the Pogo site. In it, players need to join a discerning girl named Claire, who uses her unique telepathic abilities to unravel mysterious cases and find evidence that nobody knew. The overwhelming success of the first part was the reason for the appearance of the second, called Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows. New plot twists and puzzles again challenge players to unravel the mysteries of objects that hide their light and dark stories. And only Claire can figure them out. New chapters and new stories equal new locations, each of which must capture the player no less than the previous one. Not just maintaining a high level, but also constantly surpassing it is exactly the task to the liking of our Kevuru Games team. So we got along well with Pogo, taking on the challenge of creating a huge kaleidoscope of new locations for the second Claire game. After all, the best detective journey is the one that has acquired the appropriate visual representation. GOALCHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITIONCreating visual accompaniment of new game chapters and plot twistsCreate new locationsLead 2D artistStimulating player interest through tricky placement of hidden objectsCome up with hidden objects to match the style of the location2D artistsRetention of experienced players and attraction of new onesOrganically place hidden objects on the locationProject manager Initial Data The creation of new locations with hidden objects is based on the plot that defines Claire’s journey through the city, countries, continents, and sometimes even over different eras. The most important thing for the team of 2D artists is to understand the background of the heroine’s arrival at the location and directly the specifics of this place. All this information is provided by the client in the form of a brief. The brief contains a summary of how Claire got to this place and what kind of atmosphere it should be imbued with. The client provides references for rooms and locations, the style of which the team should focus on. An important aspect is the indication whether it is day or night – this information ensures a smooth and consistent storyline. The team comes up with the hidden objects separately, taking into account the style of the location. The only condition is the presence of one mandatory search subject, which is indicated in the brief and serves as a special link in the plot. Workflow Communication and approval of locations took place in Basecamp. At the first stage, the team analyzed the references and, based on them, created the concept of the location in the form of a photo collage. If it suited the client, the artists proceeded to the next stage of creating the background in black and white. After approval, it was colored in accordance with the setting and atmosphere that needed to be achieved. And already at the last stage, the location was filled with objects. The hidden objects were created separately and placed on the location so that it looked organic, but at the same time it was not too easy to find them. This helped to maintain the optimal balance of mental tension and player interest. There were usually about 50-52 hidden objects in one location. After all objects were placed, the location was transferred to the client for final approval. Since the artists were working on several locations at the same time, usually they were submitted for consideration in 3 pieces – this is exactly the number of locations that make up one chapter of the game. In a month, our team created materials for two chapters, that is, 6 locations. Concepting. Creation of a concept of a future location according to the instructions and references of the client Background in black and white. Drawing the background in b/w according to the approved concept and styleBackground in color. Coloring the background with requirements for the atmosphere of the location in mindCreating objects. Thinking over and depicting objects in accordance with the style of the locationPlacing objects. Organic, balanced, yet non-obvious placement of drawn hidden objects at the location Value Delivered For more than 2 years of cooperation with Pogo, our team has created over 150 unique and diverse locations and countless hidden objects. Claire Hart: Secret in the Shadows has already become 2020’s first Game of the Month on Club Pogo and continues to attract hundreds of players with its riddles every day. No location is like the previous one. In the game, you will find a range of places that is in no way inferior to many real ones. There are old mansions, huge shops, stylish offices, classic hotels, distinctive streets of different cities of the world, restaurants, bars, picturesque gardens and parks and much more. All of them allow the best visualization of Claire’s journey and investigation, completely immersing the players in the story and not giving them a single chance to leave the game before the mystery is solved. Hidden … and Found Conclusion Let us tell you a secret: hidden objects games are our special passion. They have their unique specifics and enigmatic atmosphere, putting the player in detective’s shoes, eager to solve the mystery and get to the bottom of the truth. So it’s not for nothing that we have placed hidden objects games in a separate section on our website. Despite the seeming simplicity of these games, players all over the world adore them and are ready to search for hidden objects for hours on end. Our collaboration with Pogo continues: our team is happy to dive into Claire’s new adventures and visualize her travels in the most vivid, juicy and stunning locations. Others may not, but we know how to surprise, embody the fantasies and shape stories in an unforgettable graphic form. Beyond the limits. And if you are also crazy about the unique charm of hidden objects games and plan to contribute to their legacy, then be sure to drop us a few words. Together we will create something absolutely fantastic, rest assured.
16 Aug, 2020
Character Concepts That Rocked Fortnite Players [Case Study]
A cultural phenomenon, that’s how the online video game Fortnite is called. It quickly broke into the gaming world in 2017 and without more ado began to gain jaw-dropping momentum. Available in three game mode versions that share a common gameplay and game engine – Fortnite: Save the World, Fortnite: Battle Royale and Fortnite: Creative – the game became especially popular thanks to the Battle Royale version, which attracted more than 250 million players worldwide and received several prestigious awards. Battle Royale invites players to take part in a massive battle on a vast map – alone or in groups of two to four people, exterminating or avoiding the characters of other players until there is only one winner on the map. The player can choose a different appearance of the character – a skin purchased for in-game currency. Skins are a separate culture that constantly stirs up the interest of players: they want their character to look good, and if a partner or rival entered the game in a newfangled or menacingly mesmerizing skin, then they certainly need to look no worse! The need to hold attention and engage players has led to the need to ensure a steady stream of new skins. Epic Games decided to team up with Kevuru Games to create new exclusive concepts for them. And it’s about how it happened. GOAL CHALLENGE TEAM COMPOSITION Triggering and maintaining the interest of newcomers Create concept arts of new skins Art director Lead concept artist Retention and engagement of old hands Concept artists Increasing the number of in-game purchases Project manager Initial Data The peculiarity of skins circulation in the game is that there is no need to spend real money to get them: there is a special in-game currency V-Bucks, which can be obtained for completing missions, tasks, and simply for the next entry into the game. Therefore, on the part of the players, there is no prejudice or annoyance towards skins, as happens with all sorts of game features that require a donation in order to unlock them. Players are very fond of skins and carefully collect in-game currency to buy what they like. Therefore, Epic Games chose the correct optimization path for working with them, creating a unified knowledge base with all the standards and reference information for producing new skins. This allowed them to unify the basic requirements for skins and get rid of fragmentation of interpretations. To ensure the correct work, our partner gave us access to the knowledge base. With its help, our concept artists were able to create concepts that had strict guidelines for style, colors and parameters specified by Epic Games. In creating some of the concepts, our team was given complete freedom of imagination, which we actively used to demonstrate our creative potential and deep expertise. Epic Games’ trust and openness to dialogue allowed our artists to make suggestions and corrections even to those concepts for which the client initially had a specific vision. Many of our team’s ideas regarding colors, equipment and weapon handling techniques were enthusiastically accepted, overshadowing the initial ideas. Workflow The distinctive feature of cooperation with Epic Games was full access to all skins ever created without any restrictions. Thanks to this, the artists quickly got their bearings in the main thematic style, which must be adhered to, and immediately got down to work. Interim approvals and discussions with Epic Games representatives took place almost daily: our team provided about three works at different stages of implementation per day and took an active part in discussing possible additions or recommendations. Working on such large-scale projects is always a challenge, not only in a creative sense, but also in terms of realizing a huge responsibility in all respects at once. To ensure information security when working with our team, we sign nondisclosure agreements that guarantee the protection and safety of our partners. Value Delivered During 10 months of cooperation, about 120 unique-looking concepts of skins for various thematic areas have been created. They fit perfectly into the atmosphere of the game and are already actively used by players to explore and conquer the incredible world of Fortnite. Each created character received an exclusive attachment, also developed by our team. It is called back bling and has a special shape, color and features that match the specifics of the character. This can be a backpack, badge, patch, shield, wings, helmet or any other item. Many players managed to appreciate the loveliness of charming Bushranger, the gracefulness of cosmically beautiful Astra, the audacity of red-haired Chance and many other characters from a wide variety of sets. And what could be better than the recognition of not only the partner who appreciates our exceptional dedication to work, but also from players who admire the skins designed according to our concepts? Planning. Considering reference materials and knowledge base Sketching. Creating thumbnails, generating ideas and choosing the final option Detailing. Adding small details and elements that complement the character’s image Rendering. Producing the final concept art that can be used for both further modeling and game concept art portfolio Conceptual Conclusion Our team is ready for challenges: this is an integral part of creative work, claiming to spread beyond the limits. Working with characters is our separate passion. Kevuru Games is happy to take on major world-renowned projects and ensures the highest standards of collaboration in all areas. Flexibility and adaptability allow us to easily adapt to the brand’s DNA while maintaining our unique creative vision. A well-established work process and high project management standards enable us to guarantee our partners the timely fulfillment of all obligations in the agreed volume and budgetary framework. And if we move away from the officialdom, then our team just loves to create cool artworks and contribute to the success of truly worthy video games. Rest assured: your game will shine with us! Feel free to drop us a few words about your ideas and plans for a new or existing game: together we will come up with how to skyrocket it to new heights!
14 Jul, 2020
How We Worked on Tabou Stories – A Game with 1+ Million Downloads [Case Study] | Kevuru Games
Most fantasize about millions of downloads of the game they are working on. Kevuru Games is no exception. But our team not only fantasizes that the project we are working on will capture the hearts of millions of users around the world, but we also apply a real effort to make the game outstanding in the market in terms of design. One great game idea is not enough to achieve such great results as millions of downloads. The quality of the game design really matters in recent years, and with hundreds of new games released every day, yours shouldn’t be short of outstanding visual effects. Kevuru Games’ team is very grateful to Nanobit for the opportunity to become part of such an amazing project as Tabou Stories: Love Episodes! If you’ve ever dreamed about a game that could fetch the big audience, now you can find out more about the process of creating the visual details of the popular game. Read our success story to make sure how external resources can support your project by providing many design solutions on time and on a budget! Data were taken at Appgrooves.com – Tabou Stories: Love Episodes: Ratings & Reviews Background Information Tabou Stories: Love Episodes is a highly interactive storytelling game developed and published by Nanobit, a game development studio based in Zagreb, Croatia. Since 2008, this team has devoted itself entirely to one goal – to develop high-quality and super-fun games. On their account, there have already been many successful projects like My City, Matchtropic Island, Chef Town, and others. That’s why when this team turned to us for help in 2D character design, we could not miss the opportunity to work with these market leaders. Challenges 01. Freshen and broaden character design 02. Meet the high demands of individualized appearance 03. Increase user experience & engagement The new version of the game was supposed to have a great variety of 2D characters with realistic faces, hairstyles, emotions to increase user experience and engagement. Game users were supposed to get the ability to customize their characters in a variety of ways based on races, head and eye shape, and other facial features. Solution Our team has created a collection of character designs, namely their appearance – from hairstyles to facial expressions. To make the target audience more involved in the gameplay, we turn to the appearance of celebrities and famous models. At each stage of character design, our artists worked through many details to make them look natural and visually appealing. In addition, we have worked on facial expressions to show different emotions on their faces inherent in their personality. 2D character design has been created for young people to have fun by playing an interactive story game. We took into account many features and preferences of youth in appearance. Timeframe It took us nearly 5 months to complete the 2D design of the characters’ facial appearance from A to Z in accordance with specific requirements. The Team Working on the Project To implement a realistic 2D character art of high quality, our team included: Art director Lead 2D character artist Project manager 5-10 artists (the number varies depending on the scope of work) Since the scope of the project was not precisely defined at the beginning and changes could occur, we offered a dedicated team model. This allows you to add more specialists, if necessary, and, conversely, release them without any difficulties. The ability to select, manage and control team members is also offered to our customers. But in this case, we appoint an experienced PM (this was set by the client) to effectively manage the team and timely deliver artworks. Stages in 2D Character Design Our key approach to this project was to create a highly customizable design of game characters that would look friendly to the end-user and provide benefits for the client. We take into account all the needs and requirements to accurately represent realistic characters in the gameplay in the following way: Concept creation – visual representation based on many details and subject-specific references; Rough sketching – capturing all the basics of the face of each 2D character; Super detailed face illustrations of each character; 2D rendering to maximum realistic effects in the facial appearance; Custom PSD preparation based on some technical limitations. Values Delivered by Kevuru Games Data were taken from Google Play & App Store Considering our solid experience in 2D character design and effective project management tactics, our team of professionals managed to achieve what was initially planned: Our team finished 2D character design on time and budget; We created a full-fledged design that recreates the realistic look of 2D characters using modern graphics; We implemented a high level of customization for character design based on preferences and tastes in appearance. After the meticulous design process, Kevuru Games managed to contribute to the success of the given game. As a result of our professional approaches to the project: The mobile application was downloaded millions of times in the AppStore/GooglePlay; The new design features allowed increasing the user engagement rate by 33%. Summing Up Kevuru Games provides a variety of design services and can cover the entire spectrum of entertainment projects from start to finish, saving time and operating costs, maintaining consistency of styles at all levels of art production and working with the project as a whole, controlling the quality of design at individual levels. Want to enjoy success in game design with us? Do not miss the opportunity to get closer to millions of downloads with real experts in design and game development. Therefore, if you have an idea and want to implement it in the near future, contact us immediately so that we can help you.