• Matthew Mudgett

Rapture the Flag: Joining a Project in the Middle of Development

Updated: May 9, 2019

Rapture the flag is a top-down, competitive, multiplayer game where teams of two face off to capture the enemy teams flag while protecting their own. I joined the design team during the middle of development after one of the original artists suddenly left. Quickly transitioning into a lead artist position was crucial as the team was a month away from presenting the game at PAX East. By attending weekly meetings, posting progress on Trello and having open communication on Discord I found that becoming part of the team was effortless. As a team, we were able to determine a new art style, and I begin redesigning the characters without any delay.

Before joining this project, I typically designed in Adobe Photoshop using a drawing tablet. Although this worked for many of my previous projects I wanted to challenge myself and practice working with new software. My research lead me to Adobe Illustrator, where I could design characters and objects as vector art. To better understand the software’s tools and interface I began to research tutorials online as well following social media accounts that focused on Adobe Illustrator. I found this method especially useful as I began to design the characters for Rapture the Flag.

I started by creating the outline for the front view of both the male and female character. The goal was to design cartoony angelic and demonic characters that had clean lines and were well polished. This task was significantly more manageable when using Illustrator compared to photoshop due to the ability to combine shapes using the pathfinder tool. After creating the basic design of the male and female character, I began adding detail by altering vertices using the pen tool.

Once I had the first four characters fully developed we integrated them into the current game build and then started conducting playtest. Through these tests, we found that some players had trouble determining whether certain characters were angels or demons. The solution to this problem was creating a blue color scheme for the angels and a red color scheme for the demons. To help further separate the two groups I incorporated halos for the angels and horns for the demons. The feedback we received through user testing was vital in developing a polished build for the PAX East presentation.

Overall I learned a lot about team dynamics and the importance of communication between teams members throughout the development of the game. I was also able to familiarize myself with Adobe Illustrator and better prepare myself for learning new software in the future. Even though it was unfortunate for the team to lose an artist so close to the presentation date it proved to benefit both myself as a designer and the group as a whole.

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