PopTime, Role Playing iPad Game

The iPad game, PopTime, had a sophisticated game engine driving this rather simple idea of enabling players to become their favourite TV and Movie characters.

Through 3D mapping and deformations from a series of photos, and coupled with sound recording of lines, players embed themselves along side their heroes, and become an integral part of their adventures. Library collections, multiple variations of a show, multi-player, and share-ability all came together to create an amazing place of adventure and escapism for players.

The visionary clients from Elastic Wit Studios asked me to assist in designing the user-experience, visualisation of the concept, and the surrounding branding of the game.

This game design was one of the richest environments I had been asked to create for some time; but with my experience in design work for WilderQuest and Paddle Pop Lick-a-Prize I felt right at home. Every element was carefully crafted to enhance a skeuomorphic, faux-tactile feel for the game. The digital creation of materials reinforced the overall metaphor of TV or Film production.

NB: In each of the screens below are copyrighted characters that are used as examples and placeholders to give context to game screens. The copyright owners are in no way affiliated nor have endorsed the use of these characters in this context.

Each screen contained elements of 3D designed props, and hand-drawn elements. The idea was to push, pull and blur, within the space, the tensions of digital and analogue concepts into a unique engaging environment. Subtle shifts in elements like the microphone, moving closer during the recording, or moved aside when not in use, enhanced the feel of a recording session.

One of the first screens to be taken into the full UI design was the Library Browsing screen. While hard to convey in a single static image there is a complexity that belies the simplicity of this screen; that of assembled and being able to assemble collections, previewing, search and adding new movies, get deeper information on movies; many functions hinged on being discovered. Rewarding users to really engage and play with the interface to reveal these functions. But also not to hide fundamental functions that would inhibit the actual use of the game itself.

A collection of other screens that formed part of the initial game design.

No matter if it’s UX design, branding, UI Design, or even programming. Scamps and quick sketches are an essential method I use to materialise abstract ideas and to initiate an interrogation into the rough ideas forming.