Phonics Museum


I love when things get announced and I finally get to show you what the heck I've been doing!

Last summer, I got to check off another dream project - working on a game/app! An educational kids app, no less. I got to make art for this massive phonics app & game collection called Phonics Museum.

I illustrated fourteen different games, with various multiple states, and created a host of other assets for various animations and other parts of the app. Whoah!

It was such a wonderful and new challenge. I worked with a much bigger team than I'm used to (uh, typically it's just me and maybe an art director), including other artists, which was neat. I had to try to match and take inspiration from existing assets, and also of course organize my work in a way that other teams could actually use my files. It was also really different trying to account for various different states within a game. Each set of illustrations had to have several different variations based on what was happening in the game - not something I'd ever done before, but something I really enjoyed figuring out! (I learned to love layer comps.)

Here's a little example of what I mean- this game is one of several that involve connecting pieces to create a sort of Rube Goldberg track or machine. I also had to make lots of different track pieces - that was a total logic puzzle for me at times as well!

paint machine

Another cool challenge that comes with any freelance gig is having to draw things that you wouldn't think to draw otherwise. That came up a lot on this project, but one of the best examples I can think of was the ship game. I had to draw three different ships, each in various states of disrepair. I was baffled as to how I would do it, but once I started I actually really enjoyed it!viking ship viking shipsships

In most of these images, you can see another parameter I was working with - I needed to create background assets that could be moved around or turned on or off to make some variety in the background, so it doesn't get boring. I really enjoyed flicking the layers on and off and seeing how different I could get things with just a few assets! There's a good example of that in some of the screens from this game, in which players explore a pyramid. I had to make assets (including doorways) that could be rearranged to produce different rooms:

mummy pyramid interior artifactsOf course, probably the absolute coolest part of all of this is getting to see the stuff in action in a working game! My drawings move and do things!! You can see a few things in action in the trailer for the app, below. (I was collaborating with some other folks of course, so it's not all my art. My fellow MIAD Alum Jillian Stiles did a few games, and some other folks worked on a lot of the other assets.)

[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

So wild! There's more screenshots and such over on the Phonics Museum website.

Big thanks to my art director, Sean Hennessey, over at MajorMega! He always knew exactly what to tweak to make the pieces that last little bit better.