Pizza! Fast! Was the breakout game for the indie studio I helped co-found, Seven Layer Studios LLC. As the lead artist and a designer for the team, I played an important role in bridging the disciplines. Pizza! Fast! is a time-attack style game in which players are challenged with correctly following customers’ pizza orders as fast as possible as toppings get more and more absurd (such as toe nails and pop rocks). Players who get enough perfectly graded pizzas in a row can enter “Pizza Flow” which is a mode that greatly enhances their pizza production powers. The choice of character also influences game play, as each as their own specialties and abilities. It takes a quick mind and even quicker fingers to master the hundreds of toppings and become the best pizzeria around!
- Platform: iOS
- Team Size: 5
- Production Time: 7 Months
- Tools Used: Unity 5, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Texture Packer.
- Position: Lead Artist, Designer
- Created all the character art for the game. I wanted each character to have a distinct look and silhouette so that even a glance at the small avatar while in-game would easily yield the character’s identity. Each has their own backstory and personality that I designed with the design team to help inform their appearance. Many characters went through numerous iterations in order to capture the spirit of the game and their personalities.
- Created all the GUI art for the game:
I wanted to create buttons, icons, and other visual effects that would fit in with the fun, cartoony feel of the game. I used bright color palettes with bold outlines and strong complimentary highlights to draw the eye in but also mesh well with the rest of the art and not create visual discord. I created a custom typeface for the game to give it a unique style and feeling.
- Designed Pizza Flow mechanic:
When the player reaches 3 consecutive perfectly made pizzas (based on speed, topping placement, and cook time), they have the choice to activate “Pizza Flow” by shaking their device. Shaking lets them keep their fingers on the screen in their pizza making positions and is an exciting, energetic action. Pizza Flow brings the player into a mode where they automatically slap the correct amount of toppings onto the pizza with a simple tap and the pizzas cook immediately – giving a visceral feeling of whipping pizzas together at lightning speeds while simultaneously removing the stress of the timer and giving them an opportunity to multiply their score beyond what would be possible otherwise. Pizza Flow was created to provide a short-term goal for player motivation, save them from the game over state, and allow for more diversity in high scores, all while allowing for a short reprieve from the demanding speed of the game.
- Created art pipeline, optimization, and simple tools:
As the only artist, I created most of the visual assets for the game, creating tools and Photoshop actions that could be used by the rest of the team to make assets that they needed for their own work with relative ease. I also worked with the engineers to devise ways to optimize the visuals so as to reduce memory requirements while keeping quality. This was done mostly by working with vector art, different compression algorithms, and software such as Texture Packer.
- Worked on company foundation:
As a co-founder of the company, I helped work on the structure of the business, the milestones, plans for shares, setting up financial systems, and the overall legal work required to become a limited liability corporation. Budgeting, game scale, settting deadlines, and overall team synergy were always on my mind – and for a group of five guys who mostly lived together, we all remained strong friends throughout the process. Transparency with expectations, goals, and disinterests went a long way in keeping us all on the same page for the company’s direction.