Back in March, I was able to attend SaltCON, a board game convention based in Utah. While attending, I met Jarom Higley, a board game developer with some ideas for a new game. After some discussion about his expectations and prior experiences working with artists, we began working together on creating the visual content for Monster’s Mayhem, a party-style game emphasizing prisoners’ dilemma situations. The game is catered toward younger audiences. From the onset, and through to the completion of the project, the client was especially concerned with communicating his game mechanics, narrative, and other concepts clearly and succinctly. This resulted in the creation of a precise style guide that streamlined the creative and editing process as we worked together to design a game that could be played with children.
One of the principal ways we emphasized a good-natured tone was utilizing a super-saturated secondary color scheme (orange, purple, and green). This helped provide a whimsical vibrancy (reminiscent of Halloween decorations from my elementary school days) while departing from traditional red-yellow-blue colors often used in juvenile products. Maintaining the light-hearted elements was especially important, as characters in the game are confronted with rather diabolical situations, in which they are often pitted against other characters. In lieu of such dire circumstances, the art needed to communicate an invitation to play, and not to induce fear or apprehension. This was a wonderful design problem to solve! Other tools I utilized to infuse frivolity in the face of fictitious danger included toon shading, isometric perspective, and plenty of moss, sludge, and other monstrous textures.
As an artist, one of the other interesting outcomes was the discovery of a new workflow that worked wonderfully for this project. Utilizing the 3-D isometric tools in Adobe Illustrator to create rough layouts, I then transferred the designs to Procreate (a favorite App of mine), where I added the texturing and detailed nuances. As the project progressed, I then brought those files back into Photoshop to adjust color balances in non-destructive layers. It became quite smooth, and I feel that despite its seemingly technical nature, it really lent itself to the smoothest and easiest process to achieve the best outcome.
I hope that you enjoy looking at the project and that it brings a smile to your face. I certainly enjoyed it!