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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Video games fascinate me because of two key elements that are pivotal to a good game—an engaging story and well-designed visuals. Without these elements, a game is a lackluster experience that will lose players and not connect with a large audience. Paper Realms is a lighthearted rhythm game developed for the Nintendo Switch and meant for all ages. This exhibition demonstrates key points of the game aesthetic that will engage the player with charming stories, interesting characters, friendly illustrations, and dynamic UI mockups.
Vivid color, interesting patterns, and dynamic compositions are the key design elements in my work. The world of Paper Realms relies heavily on flat, minimalist shapes and colors to bring the characters to life in a papercut-like setting. The character illustrations are simple but unique, giving personality and individuality to each. The in-game menus use the rounded san-serif font Freude to promote friendliness and allow easy readability, delivering pertinent information effectively to the player. The motion graphics are smooth with soft transitions, bringing an energetic feel to the player without startling them. Paper Realms invites the player into a friendly environment to engage with a lighthearted storyline.
My inspiration comes from artists inside and outside the gaming industry. Jessica Hische is a lettering artist and illustrator whose work is elegant, soft, and friendly. Her character illustrations use flat colors and minimal shapes to convey their message. Her soft and unified color palettes lean to contribute to the friendly aesthetic she creates—a feeling I invoke in my character illustrations. Kobayashi Ryuji is the Art Director for the Animal Crossing series, steering the franchise towards elegant simplicity in terms of in-game design and branding in order to engage the audience in a friendly manner. The use of rounded shapes, fun patterns, and minimal character design within the franchise has heavily inspired my own approach to illustration, UI design, and branding.
Jim Bryant; T Mike Martin; Chris Lavery
Paper Realms is a game developed for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. A light-hearted game for all ages to enjoy, this game brings paper-cut characters to life with a riveting story of friendship and growth. This exhibition focuses heavily on developing the visuals for the game, from character design to illustrations, to even simulated UI/UX. The exhibition featured a series of game announcement posters, a video, printed screenshots, and a mocked up switch game case.
Photo credit, Corinne O'Neal, 2021
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
O'Neal, Corinne, "Paper Realms" (2021). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 80.