Speed, adrenaline, and drive often lure fans of extreme sports. Many people dream of being a part of a race to feel all those emotions. No wonder video and mobile games with cars and drive are so popular among users. Each game provides new experiences and emotions so it cannot be too much of them.
Original graphic design is an effective way to make a unique mobile game. Game mechanics may be similar for all racing games but the authentic graphic style is an essential condition for success. Tubik designers took the challenge of creating an original racing game for smartphones called Real Multiplayer Racing. This case study shows a step-by-step process of graphic design for the mobile game.
Graphic design for a mobile racing game
The Tubik team received the project of the creation of the visual assets for a mobile game. The client required not only interface design but also an extensive set of graphic assets for the app. The project was divided between two designers of different specializations. The graphic designer assigned to the project was Arthur Avakyan, whom you may already know from the previous cases including Binned, AppShack, Passfold, Saily, SwiftyBeaver, and others.
The client wanted to make a game with an original visual presentation. Being a big fan of racing, he also asked to create the detailed car illustrations so that the game would transfer the right atmosphere. In addition, the client expected the game to have a bright, modern, and cartoonish style.
The graphic design part of the project included:
- car illustrations
- effects visualization
- obstacles illustrations
- weapons icons.
After team brainstorming and discussions with the client, the creative process started.
The game assumed to provide users the various types of cars, from the basic to the super engines. So, before the illustrations were created, he conducted the research. Visual references to real cars have become an effective base for further graphics. The designer learned the most significant characteristics of various vehicles then began to create their graphic representations.
The flat style was chosen as it corresponded to the client’s request. The flat design uses the simplicity of shapes and visual elements. The illustrations provide sophisticated detalization and can easily satisfy users’ aesthetic needs. Let’s look at the results.
As you can see, the graphic designer applied a bright color palette making cars look more cartoonish. The slight gradient effect and the shadows make the illustrations vivid and contrasting.
Some cars required deep attention to the small details. Sport, hyper, jet cars were supposed to be opened to gamers after they receive the experience and finish certain levels. They are more powerful than the basic vehicles so their presentation needed to be more vivid. The designer added some auto customizing details such as fire and skull paintings. These details bring additional emotions and transfer the atmosphere correctly.
Race, super, and lighting cars are hard to achieve. They are available to gamers with high experience. It was important to visualize them extremely detailed and cool so that users would see them as a reward for their persistence. The designer made them look similar to real-life prototypes.
When the major task was finished, the designer began to work out additional graphic details. Like many other racing games, Real Multiplayer Racing assumed applying extra features to make races more exciting. Those who played this kind of games know that the most common feature is a speed-up, also known as nitro. There are many ways to illustrate it in video games, but mobile devices don’t give such an opportunity. It was important to find a solution to how nitro will be shown on the small mobile screen.
The designer decided to show the nitro speed with a short scale in front of the car. The scale is presented in a blue color which many gamers associate with nitro effect.
Also, Real Multiplayer Racing provided a shield feature helping to save a car from the damage for some time. The client has chosen the same approach for shield design as for nitro except for the color. The shield scale was illustrated in red and violet colors. Here are the results. The car on the left shows the nitro effect, and the right one — the shield.
Obstacles are a vital part of racing games. Driving on the perfect surface may seem boring so the obstacles are a good way to entertain users. The kind of objects depends on the atmosphere and the location of the racing. Real Multiplayer Racing maps were designed in the industrial settings so the obstacles were illustrated as road elements including mud, blocks, and spring-board.
In addition, the set of vehicles was created as the obstacles on the road. The cars were simple and not meant for racing such as a school bus or some broken cars. The designer illustrated vehicle obstacles applying calm colors so that the racing cars would be noticeable on the road.
One of the original features of the Real Multiplayer Racing game was the ability to use weapons. They include the speed up and shield features as well as some rockets to damage enemy cars. Also, some of the weapons could slow down the other cars for a certain time.
The designer’s task was to create small but recognizable signs so that users could understand what weapon they took. Let’s see the final results.
Efficient graphic design plays a crucial role in the creation of a successful mobile game. Original flat illustrations are an effective way to make a mobile game stand out of the crowd as well as exceed users’ expectations. In our next article, we share the detailed case study about the other part of the Real Multiplayer Racing project — UI and UX design process. Don’t miss!
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