Graphics Round One – Choices

After defining the idea and basic gameplay for Grow Your Garden, we wanted to establish an art style and create a few assets that could be used in screenshots and demos. Games for kids are quite fun to create artwork for since realism takes a back seat to cuteness and suggestive styling. But, there are tons of choices when it comes to deciding what to create and what style to use:

Vector or Raster?
We knew we wanted to create vector-based assets for two reasons: 1) It’s often easier to get consistent styling on artwork when you’re drawing the lines manually, and 2) Vector art is mostly future proof since you can resize and recolor it later.

What Style?
We started by looking at what other tablet games had done with their artwork, and then browsed the big stock photo sites to get some ideas on common vector art styles. Eventually, we settled on a “shiny” style that utilizes gradients rather than solid fills.

What About Personality?
If you look at popular games like Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds, it’s obvious that the “characters” have personality even though they’re relatively simple. A lot of that comes from the eyes (for example, the Angry Birds look angry because of their eyes and eyebrows). We ended up using the “anime eyes” style for simplicity and ease of expression.

You can see the end result in one of the first assets we created: Happy Sun
Grow Your Garden - Happy Sun

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