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Rockyou Inc.

Bakery Blitz: Baking Game

At Rockyou, I was brought on during the early development of this exciting Baking Game. I aligned stakeholders and provided clarity to their vision, resulting in a successful launch in less than a year. 

Responsibilities: Art direction for Art and Animation, team-building, and external vendor relations. 

Crafting a cohesive world

The first of many challenges I took on as Art Director is to reduce visual complexity of the kitchen and steer the team toward a simple solution that fit the storyline. The premise contained a world where Sugar, the main character, traveled in her airship from land to land, bringing sweets to the world.

 

Since Sugar’s kitchen was inside an airship that she built herself, I identified what materials she would be using to build her airship, which were primarily wood, fabric, ceramic, tilings, and some minimal metal accent. From there, I rallied the art team to brainstorm ideas on how to build these appliances that fit the world that Sugar lives in. The final solution checked all the boxes, allowing the team to move away from complex steampunk style and let the ingredients itself shine.

We moved from the original steampunk concept (left) to a simpler solution that fits the narrative (right).

The character design and the airship were art directed by the previous Art Director Jeannine Schafer

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The simpler solution also allowed the team to scale appliance upgrade options and create a distinct visual differentiation. (above)

Gameplay Animation

Another challenge in the game development was how to communicate when the kitchen appliance is operating. We know animation is needed, but how do we build a scalable animation solution that works across upgrade levels? Instead of animating the appliance itself and providing a different animation for each level of appliance upgrade, I steered the team toward a simpler visual representation of the cooking process inside a bubble, one set of animated asset that would work across upgrade levels.  

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Sample art and animation development for kitchen appliances as well as characters by Irena Kuo.

Content Creation

We worked cross-functionally with Design, Product, Engineering to come up with a spec for each land. Here's an example of how we developed land from spec to implementation. As an Art Director, I provided a document of visual inspirations, color palettes for each aspects of the land, keeping the team on the same page. It's a very collaborative process and we really enjoyed this as a team.

Key inspiration for environment, kitchen appliances, and desserts.

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Land design concept by Nicc Balce, production art by Drew Lytle

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Appliance design by Drew Lytle

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Character design by Ubin li and dessert design by Kelly Kusumoto

Storytelling

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I collaborated with the Design team to come up with an engaging way to tell the story to players. In the end, we have a beautiful storybook mode inspired by many of the Disney's Golden Books that we read as a kid. The team loved it and we incorporated them into the game flow.

Inspiration for Story Mode

Story mode artwork by Ubin Li

Launching the game

I collaborated with the Creative Director and supervised outsourcing team to deliver the launch trailer. I provided feedback on storyboard, 3D models, lighting and composition, all the way to the finish line.  It's a fun project. that got the team very excited. 

In conclusion, here are some of the beautiful artworks my team created. Courtesy of Ubin Li, Nicc Balce, Drew Lytle, Hannah Katz, Kelly Kusumoto, and Irena Kuo (Animation). We made this beautiful beast and we were very proud of it.

 

Thank you for stopping by and making it all the way to this point! :) 

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