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  • Writer's pictureMike

Mobile Game Prototype: UI Icons, More Crystals and Publishing to Google Play

Welcome back once again everyone!

I'm going to skip over the little intros this week and get right into the artwork that I've created since last time, so buckle up!


Are you telling me this is a sign?

The song reference this week might be a bit obscurer, but hopefully the following images won't be! I've done a couple of designs to function as our UI at the top of our game that will tell the player what level they are on, how many moves they have left, and what their main objective currently is:

I had a few ideas for how I'd like to do the signs; a signpost sticking out of some snow and/or ice, a sign attached to a metal bar similar to inns, a sign dangling from rope etc. In the end, I went for the dangling from a rope approach since I feel it would make the best use of space without impacting the image too much after changing the size to fit the space that is available.

I did 2 styles; a normal sign (left) and a sign covered in ice with some decoloured rope (right). The appearance could probably do with some touch ups to solidify the icicles better, but for the time being this will work fine. My team seem to strongly prefer the one with ice on it, so the regular sign will pretty much exist as a template should I get the urge to try different ways of covering it with ice, but I doubt there will be time for that.


Crystal Clear

Additionally, I've made more crystal images that will fit different purposes within the context of our prototype game. Fortunately, time was saved by changing the Hue within Photoshop on the base images, with the results being the following:

For the full set, you can see them together in the following images with a black or white background for easier viewing:

Gems and crystals are present in the game as bonuses and to act as in-game currency, with each colour being able to purchase a specific item from the in-game shop. For instance, blue crystals could let you purchase power-ups, purple crystals could purchase additional moves for a level, and green crystals could replenish your daily lives. This is currently conceptual, however, as we will unlikely be implementing these features into the prototype.

The icons in the top 2 rows are intended to be used for the UI so that the player is able to see how much currency they have for each type of crystal, while the images in the bottom 2 rows are intended as crystal / gem formations that will be seen in a level for the player to harvest gems from.

That covers it for the in-game art for this week, but keep reading on to see even more art for the Google Play store!


Publishing Onto Google Play

Over the weekend, I set myself up with a developer account on the Google Play store so that we could publish our game onto there and start getting people to play it and provide feedback! I'm still in the process of creating the survey to receive this feedback, but our first build is currently undergoing review from Google before it goes live on the store. So these are some exciting times for our team!

It turns out you also need certain types of images to accompany the app (not too surprisingly), so I had to create a small selection of images that met specific size requirements in order to publish our prototype - and here they are!

So, breaking the images down from left to right, we have the app icon located in the top left. This will be what the user sees on their home screen on their Android and should be quite self-explanatory.

Next, we have the featured graphic that will be one of the showcasing images the user will see when they find the app listing on the Google Play store. This was done after creating the original graphic which I will come on to shortly.

In the bottom left, we have a screenshot for what currently exists in our build for the game. As you can tell, there's still a fair bit of work to do on it, but it is a prototype we are aiming for - not a completed product! We will be updating this over the coming weeks to make it look and feel a lot better and more eye-catching.

Finally, in the bottom right we have the original featured graphic. This was made horizontally because the dimensions that Google recommended made it sound like it should be in this layout. After a quick look on the app store to check, it turned out that it would look much better in portrait, hence why we have a second (and better looking) featured graphic above!

Once we have more levels working, I'll update the screenshot images to reflect the new levels. Currently I reused the same one a few times just so that Google would be happy and let me finish doing the publication process!


Closing Thoughts

That about covers everything for this week, I'm not sure how much more art will be needed or done in the coming weeks. I think my focus will slowly shift back to documentation-type work and prepping for writing up the report for the game, in addition to providing support for our programmer so that they don't have to shoulder all the coding themselves!

Hopefully you enjoyed the art for this week, so thanks again for reading, and I'll see you next time! Buh bye! :)

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