In 2013 I was hired by Rare and worked on various elements of Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One. The game changed a lot while I was there and continued to evolve well after I left. This art mostly represents development between March and pre-Gamescom 2013.
– Rainbow Graph
– Photobooth Backgrounds
– Postgame Results
Encompassing approximately 40 screens, representing everything from the character customiser and in-game shops to the photobooth and user stats page, developing the visuals for the ‘hub’ was my biggest task on KSR.
Here’s some examples from the customiser flow. (A couple of them have elements which are ‘off’, such as the yellow background on ‘colour:primary’ and darker navbar on ‘facial hair’. Some of the tweaks were so subtle by the end that when I was saving out examples for uploading here I grabbed the wrong ones, doh!)
The emphasis while working on these screens was an intense push towards attention to detail, which eventually led to myself and my producer obsessing over pixel perfection, both in terms of actual pixels and responding to the dot-matrix grid based art style. It sounds like a nightmare, especially when we needed to change things and adapt to changes handed to us- but the team spirit of it on our end all made it actually kinda fun. Phew!
Here you can see an example of how the screens developed. Originally we were using buttons and backdrops from an earlier set of concepts, which involved a 3D animated background. Eventually we started to push away from those towards the calmer blue backdrop and less ‘shiny’ buttons, with interchangeable sizes for more flexibility. Super subtle, but it all builds up!
One of the things we had a lot of was statistical information. We got bored of the regular X/Y axis kinda graph and decided to try something a little more visually interesting to show a meta view of the metagame data. This started as a hexagon radar-ish graph and cumulative bar, but even after a few iterations it was still all too jumbled and confusing. Rainbows were a bit of a running theme within our small team, so I thought, why not make that into a graph? I don’t know if the screen makes much more sense to an outside observer, but it sure looked cleaner than the hexagon.
One of my favourite tasks was developing the look/feel of the store fronts. These were based on the tastes of certain members of the team, and each sold differently themed objects and items, from hyper-modern to retro kistch.
Photobooth backgrounds were also great fun to work on :). A couple of us pitched thumbnails and the best ideas were chosen to be developed by various members of the concept team.
I was also responsible for concepting the initial postgame results flow, or ‘that bit after the game is over where you get money and XP’ in laymans terms. The original wireframe was a little more subtle, with not much information per screen, a little text, perhaps a picture of a Tshirt. This simply would not do! We need drama! Celebration! Lens flares! Sparkles! Bouncing cube things! Confetti! Googly eyes! GOOGLY EYES EVERYWHERE.
One of the first things I was tasked with when I joined Rare was iconography. Fresh off’ve the epic icon spirit-journey which was Rome2 I was a little hesitant at first, but KSR iconography presented me with the chance to inject a little fun and action into the proceedings.
I also looked at ‘accolades’ and badges which would be earned as a player levels up.
‘Toasts’ are those lil things which pop out when you pull a mean trick or do something generally considered cool, aww yeah. I mocked a fair few of these up, including some versions which would kinda float around your characters head, and others which related to achievements.
Phew, what a trek! To cap it off, have a golden Wake Racer, you deserve it.