Stack A Sleigh

What?

Overall design and custom digital artwork for a Christmas-themed mobile game called Stack-a-Sleigh, for iOS and NOOK platforms

Why?

My husband and I wanted to participate in a Game Jam at an event we were attending where the theme was Growth. We had the idea for a game with a growing stack of gifts that we could finish in time for the holiday season and release through our company Campfire Apps. Our game needed artwork and I am the artist for our company.

Who?

Me, my husband Shawn gave me his opinions and thoughts, my sister Courtney also provided advice on the artwork

When?

September 2012 we began work on the game, had a working prototype in one night, November 2012 we released a full working version of the game

Where?

  • Created the prototype at the 360iDev Conference Game Jam in Denver CO
  • Finished the game at our home studio in Maryland

You can download the game from the Barnes & Noble NOOK store and iTunes App Store

How?

  • I created all of the artwork in Photoshop in custom sizes for each device (iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad, iPad Mini, NOOK devices)
  • I was inspired by vintage artwork with quirky characters and interesting color tones

What did you learn?

  • It is possible to create a game prototype in just one night, complete with some custom artwork!
  • Game Jams are so much fun!
  • I can create artwork of characters that are people (first time)
  • I learned how to create animations, using just Photoshop (first time)
  • I learned some new techniques for resizing artwork for different screen sizes

What were the challenges?

  • Understanding how the animations would work and how to create them with unmoving, 2D artwork
  • Creating / resizing artwork for different screen sizes, and brand new screen sizes (iPhone 5, iPad mini, 2 new NOOK devices)
  • I am a bit of a perfectionist so it's always a challenge creating new artwork to meet my high standards - this includes everything from the look and feel of the overall design to each particular color used and little details on each character or button in the game

What was your favorite part?

  • Making the artwork, I love every minute I get to design new things and make digital art!
  • Seeing the whole game come together. I always have an idea of what it will be like once the coding is done as I am creating the artwork, but it is always so cool to see it come together in the end.

What was your least favorite part?

Designing for 4 new screen sizes in addition to the 4 we already accommodate was a real challenge. A good bit of math was involved in figuring out a formula for resizing and math is definitely not my strong suit, so that was sort of frustrating.