Lucky Birds 2
Lucky Birds 1 was one of the very first games I worked on when I joined Playstudios. Clearly a spoof on Angry Birds, this fast paced, whacky and very looney game was calling for a sequel.
It's always been a goal of mine to help push the company, creative direction and technology so I pitched 3 very different games based around the Lucky Birds IP. All for casual games with casino mechanics and themes.
Bellow I will include the process from final art, rough sketches, redline notes and my original 3 game pitches.
Reimagining a Franchise
original logo painted by Bob MacNeil
Final Lucky Birds background painting
Lucky Birds is a very playful world, striaghts vs curve design esstetics. Taking cues from old school games like Sonic, I love the rich saturated / over the top designs. Bellow are some examples of my process of creating the background for the game: Thumbnails, Rough Concepts, Rough Color passes to final paint. My original intent was to cereate this game as the first real-time 3D game.
I liked this direction, however the flowers on each side of the Reel area were too symmetrical.
I liked that I could play with the arcade style checker pattern on the rocks. This version I pushed the flower gem designs adding a bit of variety and extra life to the scene.
I finished my painting and was ready to start working with the 3D team.
Coming from a 3D background, it's very important for me to make sure the 3D team either internal or external knows what they are building.
Making sure the vendor has a very clear understanding of the quality level I'm looking for. I always provide reference along with extensive notes.
Property setup for the vendor to know how large assets will be rendered at.
First round of feedback on a base model.
The vendor was getting close, so I provided further reference to help them understand the style I was wanting to achieve.
It was important the vendor understood the material of each item and their individual properties.
The vendor achieved the look I wanted, there was still polish to complete but for a low poly MPF we were ready to start.
After revisiting the MPF we unfortunately couldn't use any of the realtime 3D work. So I went back in integrating 3D renders with my original painting. This was the result.
Characters, Symbols & Prop Designs
The characters for Lucky Birds had already been defined as well as some of the world. I really dove deep into the world building and backstory of these birds. I love storytelling so I ended up creating a backstory for each bird, each having their own unqie abilitiy, which would have played out in the bonus game. I couldn't change much in terms of design on the characters, but I simplifed and refined them.
Assets are ready to be created in 3D. For the bird characters and Fox I provided turn-around model sheets. I made slight changes to the designs.
Round 1 and 2 feedback. Simple fixes, ready for texturing & lighting.
2 more rounds of lighting notes 30fifty was able to nail the direction. Bottom row includes a quick paint-over I made.
Included are notes and rough ideas for low poly Fox character with reference.
First set of notes for 30Fifty.
Last set of notes. I placed an obj inside Photoshop to review and check the tail of the character.
Light tweaks for 30Fifty. I was able to communicate verbally most of the time to give direction.
30Fifty was close with the first pass. Most refinement was in making the character edgy to play with straights verse curves.
Round 1 feedback
Pepper had spots on his texture which I asked to be removed.
Round 1 and 2 from 30Fifty
Bonus Game Design
The Bonus Game was a huge deal for the company. It would have been the first real-time ALL 3D game for myVEGAS. As we were looking into the project, we were defining the 3D pipeline as we went. Unfortuately the game was shelved and the bonus game was cut. While put on hold I was directing the Shaq games.
I had a vision for expanding the world just beyond the first level.
Notes for vendor to understand look and feel of all in-game assets.
Design notes to build modular rock faces
Ground rocks needed to be modular
and water render with animated texture
Design & Reference notes
Design & Reference
final renders & textures
we ended up finding a better solution with real-time shaders in Unity.
notes & final renders
Wagon with gold coins & gems was not final.
Other Game Pitches
The characters for Lucky Birds had already been defined as some of the world. I really get to dive deep into the world building and backstory of these birds. I love storytelling so I ended up creating a backstory for each bird, each having their own unqie abilitiy, which would have played out in the bonus game. I couldn't change much in terms of design on the characters, but I simplifed and refined them.
Here is the original pitch for the bonus game for Lucky Birds 2. I wanted to make this a standalone 3D 'runner game' with it's own economy.