Saturday, August 3, 2013

Superfrog HD (froggy) - Demo, downloads and outcome

PLAY level 1 web demo link
notes: Best experienced with firefox.
It's missing sound effects (not implemented in code)
The hud wooden plank and other graphic glitches can be fixed in code, but the programmer/tech director abandoned the project.
Project is on hiatus/discontinued.
Controls: spacebar (jump), wasd, arrow keys(move), mouse click(throw spud),
Download APK for android devices
Download windows version.

The artstyle guide - review stage:

SF art style guide- review stage 
and Polish stage

What is my involvement in this?
- I was picked to do the art direction. Also do all the characters in the game. 2d and 3d animation,modelling,rigging,etc..
A big  part of my internship at Disney Interactive Studios was in assisting   the art director there.  This was an opportunity to continue the art direction experience somehow.
- Some of my previous "cartoony" art style fits with the target style of the game.

In order to explain how I affected the game, I need to explain the production steps of developing it's appearance and where I sat in this process. 

Stage 1 and 2 - Research and Art style development.
First of all the art director needs to develop and pitch the visual style of the game. I looked into different cartoon styles in games similar to superfrog - modern games. Looked into what works best for the target platform- mobile. 
Picking a style is not enough, one has to also define the characteristics of that style. Find good and bad practices, set a number of simple rules.  Feed into it a number of ideas that would give it some unique flavour.

Others in the team were welcome to create concept art, but during the style development stage I was the only person to create concept art of how the game can look like - the backgrounds, the enemies, superfrog himself. The style also had a goal to bring to modern day the original IP, so it was important to treat it's landmarks with respect. Team 17 was great in that they gave us feedback during preproduction.

A document called "the art style guide" is then formed and is something that the art director must constantly update in order to communicate with the artists on the team. It's like the bible of the game's art style.

Stage 3- Asset creation and review.
 At this stage, my role was to make sure that all of the assets fit into one style- they look like one person made them.
When we first started, all assets looked like they came from different games.

We have good artist, but they have their own styles that dont necessary fit with the game we are making. I reviewed the assets and made suggestions for how to change them to fit more with the rest. 

This is a very fine line to walk because a good  director should steer the art team to use a consistent style but not limit their imagination and creativity - on the contrary get them to put their minds and hearts into adding a level of quality to top the expectations. And the artists had that freedom..
 So while I asked people to do changes to their assets, in the end the background assets you see in the game are really their designs, their ideas, their work.

Mike made the modular pieces and their uv- making them easily manageable.
Sarah made the majority of props in the game  and textured them. 
Nareice put together the level layout, but I added a lot of props on top to make it look better.

The art style guide contains most of the changes I requested complete with screenshots and notes.

This style was  initially out of the artists comfort zone. 
But they adapted. Some of the assets were immediately approved. I set a rule to myself not to review an asset more than 2 times even if it needs it - that was at the point when we were running out of time.

Stage 4-  Level polish
At this stage I had to make suggestions about polishing the environments in the game. So working with the environment artists to ask them to do more on it- bring more to the level.
However in the last month of development all that was left was me and the main programmer.
 I had to repeatedly look at every nook and cranny in the level and make sure there is nothing that seems out of place or missing.
This is the current stage of production. There is still a lot of work to do on it. Some decals and assets are missing. Animations are not all implemented in code. Graphics are missing. A lot of the suggestions are not applied yet. Sound effects have been recorded but not implemented. A lot is not implemented in code.

This is the prezi we presented as a team to the university- on our final d4i day.

The deadline- Game republic
 Game republic was our deadline. In the last month everyone abandoned work on superfrog (almost) in order to focus on their individual entries. I had an individual entry too, but I continued to work on creating marketing material for the event and ironing things out.

At the end of this journey Team Stilton won the 3rd place in Best Artwork for the game, which was renamed to "Froggy" for the event.  We won the against over 20 other entries.

"Just add water" gave us the award, crediting the "art direction" work in it.

 If we all had worked harder, I am certain that we would have gotten a 2nd or even 1st place. Unfortunately our entry was incomplete and not polished enough. It became clear when seeing the competition.


  1. Hi there!

    I'd like to feature some of this stuff on my Superfrog website. May I link to this blog post?

    I can't get the demo to work, though, unfortunately, but I'd like to host that too.

    1. Hi No problem.
      Feel free to link to this blog and thank you for featuring it . :)
      In order to get it to work in a browser, you need the UNITY web player plugin installed.
      Sometimes it doesnt start in chrome/chromium. In such case try running it on FIREFOX.
      I will upload the windows build soon.

    2. For the windows version, did you get any error message? It seems to run on my computer

    3. It ran fine for me on Firefox!

      I'm going to update my website today so I'll put a link here. Thanks!

    4. Thank you very much. If you consistently link to this thread, I will let you know if the game gets an update.
      As said in my post there is a lot of already made content that is not in it yet because there is no longer a programmer willing to put effort in implementing it atm.

  2. I've put a link to it on my site, so will probably check it every now and again. I'm not expecting an update for the reason you mentioned, but the artwork is fine and the demo's great.