So here's a peek into how I went about creating a title screen for an iPhone game that my company launched recently. Note I do not presume any one methodology is better than another. In fact some graphic artists may find this example to be a little overcomplicated. Anyways I thought the D-toid community would enjoy a look at the process.
Ace Yeti Trapper is in fact an older mobile game that was to be overhauled for iPhone. A lot of that task falls on the art direction and new focal image to represent the updated version of the game. All that was available were assets from the mobile game (really tiny art) and a drawing some unknown artist created several years ago.
First step was to get comfortable with the main characters, hero Jack Bivouac and the titular Yeti. The game's designer (my boss) had very specific details he wanted to keep on them, and while there wasn't total freedom for a re-design I do think I was able to streamline and modernize them a bit.
Trying to keep the feel of the original, I sketched out a pencil drawing. My goal was to have fun and showcase the characters, with some slightly better composition.
Once happy with the initial layout and having the ever-important "approvals," I was still feeling a bit romantic for the pen-and-paper approach and inked the final linework on art board. But from here on out it's all digital. As an artist I have certainly moved neck-deep into the digital creation process over the years, tho I do find myself still working things out on paper when suited.
Coloring is done in Photoshop, in stages. After the linework was scanned in and cleaned up, a "flats" layer is completed to isolate the distinct areas of detail and get an overall feel for the palette. This is also to great benefit when color changes are needed. Next is the rendering stage, which can go a hundred different ways depending on personal tastes and abilities. The overall aim was a colorful, high-contrast image with some decent rendering detail, but holding onto the animated/comic book style that matched the art and attitude of the game.
Next came the logo. Sorry to skip over it so abruptly, but that process is easily a post all its own!
Finally it was time to composite all the assets together with the UI work I was doing concurrently. The background was kept as a textured piece to not compete with all the other junk they kept asking to cram on the title screen (OMG facebook), which now also acted as the main menu. And well, there you go.
I'd be remiss if I didn't add a little shameless promotional plug at this point, if you'll forgive me. The game itself is an action puzzle game with shades of and Dig-Dug and Bomberman. And it's also got sprites! Maybe I'll follow up with a 2D sprite postů
ACE YETI TRAPPER for iPhone/ iPod touch
Thank you for reading :-)