Category Archives: Art and Desgin

iPhone RPG UI

As per an earlier post, I mentioned that I planned to continue my design work on a cross-platform game targeting both iPhone, Mac, Windows and possibly other platforms. Since I didn’t really feel like doing any programming today, I started some mockups for potential GUIs that would fit the points I mentioned in the other post. These are just rough ideas, and there are already things I think I’d like to change, but they do have the desired feel that I’d like to achieve. They’re designed for an iPhone 4+, as the resolution is intended for the Retina Display at 640×960. The nice thing is that I feel the design will scale well onto laptops and desktops as well.

This is the default interface that would be displayed if nothing was going on in the game world:

A more active UI. The top text appears when an area is entered, the icons about the dragon indicate that information has not been gathered on it’s animal type yet, and the context menu indicates the user has touched/clicked a specific tree:

The white arrows on the side will eventually open up additional menus, such as a character sheet and chat. I haven’t work this bit out yet though.

Finally, the map is opened by touch/clicking the heading indicator at the top of the screen:

All other menus will probably have the same visual style as this one.

I tried the images out on the actual device and I was very happy with how they appear. They look extremely good on the Retina Display. The only change I would make at the moment for the non-mobile versions would be the removal of the arrows in favor of shortcut keys.

That’s all for now though!

T


New Blender3D

At least for me. I haven’t used Blender in several months, and haven’t checked for updates in an even longer time. Until earlier I was still running 2.56, and 2.58a is now up for download on the Blender.org. It’s fairly similar to the last version I used, but I decided to take it for a spin anyways.

One thing I’ve always been fascinated with in the graphics department is fluid simulations, so what better way to test out the new version with one? The simulation I used was fairly simple, but produced some pretty cool effects. I created an open top sphere and cut out about 8 slots in the bottom. A fluid in-flow source was placed at the top to add water to the simulation, which would then flow through the sphere and spread out the slots. Here are some shots of the sim in action:

I really liked the last one; the shadow looks like some sort of alien spider or something.

Although the simulation wasn’t that complex, it’s given me some ideas for complex ones. I like the idea of a sort of maze or set of valves that the “water” has to go through, and maybe making it out of a glass material to expose the whole process. Adding in some spinning parts and physics simulation goodness to it is also a possibility. There, something to keep me busy when I’m not coding!

T


Package Design

Earlier this week I was tasked with redesigning a classic product’s packaging, as a Design & Technology project. Various ideas came to mind right away: changing a box into a pyramid, some sort of circular or spherical package, etc. Rather than simply changing a box/can/container, however, I figured that a more unique and stylized package was needed.

Enter the soup-in-a-mug. The original soup can packaging remains unchanged, however the can is placed in a glass mug which is in turned packaged in a cardboard fold. I personally don’t eat soup very often, and when I do it’s always in a bowl, but I’ve heard/read that some people do drink soup? I imagine something devoid of large bits, e.g. tomato soup, would be the best type for this sort of consumption method. I guess you could drink minestrone too. Either way, I ended up selecting Campbells’ tomato soup for my product, as it was both bit-less and met the requirement for a classic product.

The original project went something along the lines of “draw a few designs for new ways to package or present a classic product”. I initially tried this, however as I am a ‘computer guy’ with only about 1 year of art course experience in the past 12 years, it did not turn out as well as I wanted. Of course, if at first you’re unable to sketch it…Blender3D it!

The first job was to come up with a pleasant mug. I experimented with various materials and shapes, and eventually ended up making the thing with a frosted glass. The mug itself is a pretty standard shape. The handle was originally colored with a shiny chrome material, but I decided that I preferred a solid glass finish. And on that note, the initial mug render:

Mug Render

The can, of course, won’t fit in snugly. To do so would require a very tall, thin mug interior. I personally think talls mugs are damn ugly, so that idea went out the window. I guess there’s some sort of ridge or groove on the inside of the mug that supports the can, and then some foam or other compressible material around top. I don’t intend to include either in the model, however, as its just a concept.

The next step was, of course, to include a can:

Mug 2

And then the packaging to hold it all together:

mug 3

I’m not sure where I’ll go from here. I’m considering widening the diameter on the mug so its more useful for soup, however I also like that tall thing shape. Maybe an engraving on the glass?

Anyways, that’s all for now!

T


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