Branding: The Icing on the Cake

Howdy Folks!

We here at Two Hat Games have touched on the idea of creating a coherent style amongst all our artists. This was back in November when we were finalizing our “Art Bible”, however, by this point not much of our game had anywhere close to finished models, much less textures. The work that we’ve done to focus on a pipeline for every one of our assets, whether it be a one off prop or a repeatable room has now begun to finally pay off.

Without reiterating whats been said before, I want to move beyond art within the game and move to the art and design that we will be creating outside of Building 37. We have not covered much to do with the Graphic Design and branding that has gone into the production of our game up to this point.

bui

Graphic Design is a bit of a passion of mine. Though it is not my focus, I have taken numerous classes and amassed a small portfolio. The design, branding, and marketing of games is the icing on the cake that helps grab and audiences attention. Unfortunately, right after deciding what game we were going to be developing (and maybe even before), I reached straight for that icing before we had really even decided on a style. Luckily, fellow teammates and our producer were able to reel me in and convince that this dessert needed to be saved. I was still able to create a small identity for the game that helped inform decisions later on. The current identity is simple, yet reinforces the idea of redaction and mystery.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 5.09.17 PM

It’s interesting to look back at some of these early, unreleased promotional images and even our first teaser. They may share a similar tone to what we have now, but our aesthetic has changed dramatically.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 5.05.09 PM

Our website launched just after the announcement of Building 37, and despite sporting a striped down aesthetic and color scheme, significant thought was given to all parts of the interaction.

The website beginnings with a large feature image that moves into a description of the game. However, so much is communicated to the user in just this first section. The user now knows the name of the game, the setting (Seattle based on the Space Needle in the skyline), and the parallax movement downward mimics Ellis’ slow downward descent in the game. Other small pieces include Polaroid gallery with red string to mimic our twineboard as well as the extensive use of the redaction motif. We wanted to ensure that many of the ideas and mechanics that the player would discover while playing our game would be introduced in our website experience.

As we come closer our launch day, stress levels are high and moral is always barely fluctuating. Luckily, the last month of our scheduled timeline calls on our artist to change hats to bug testers. Due to this, most of the art will be completed before then. So, along with testing, I will hopefully be furthering some of these early branding ideas that we developed in to a full-fledged identity for marketing.

PS. I also did the very early and very rough identity for our studio, Two Hat Games. I don’t think that we have talked about the origin of 0ur name here before. We had reached a point early in our time together that we needed some moniker to rally under. We threw around names like “Uncle Bison” and even the now defunct “THQ”.

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At some point while deciding positions and duties, someone proclaimed “Looks like we’ll all be wearing two hats”. From then on, the name stuck.

 

So long,

Adam Toth

Lead Artist

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