October 17, 2012

Poptropolis Games

Poptropolis Games is one of the islands I worked on for Poptropica, the online kids game site.  In this island, the player is put to the test through several olympic-like games.  The environment was to follow along the lines of a 'city of atlantis' kind of theme -hence the giant Hephaestus-like character in the background.

As it often happens with most of our game adventures, sometimes we get further along in development before we actually discover what we want the finished experience to be.
The idea was to have the camera pan around the scene to give the player a preview of what they would be doing in each game.  I got the weight lifting environment, but the downside was the player never needed to move anywhere in the scene.  In other words, there was no need to have any camera pan.
It would seem that all my work would never be viewed in the game, but a compromise was made.
I heard there ended up being some panning in this scene after all (at least I heard there is, I honestly haven't gotten around to playing through the finished adventure yet!), but it's all behind menu screens.

So here's the full view of it.

October 8, 2012


. . . have to keep that axe sharp!
Each one of these is a one hour study.

These actually don't look that bad at this scale.  
-Pray I don't post them at a larger resolution.  ;)

October 1, 2012


I create artwork for the kids online game site called Poptropica.  Time magazine rated it as one of the Top 50 best websites of 2011 (#8 to be exact).  It's funny, however, that most adults have never heard of the site, unless they have kids, or teach kids who play the games and adventures there.

Most of the time, when speaking with adults about what I do for a living and mention Poptropica, the conversation goes something like this:
Me:  "I create artwork for characters, environments, animations, and games for Poptropica.com."
Other Adults: "Popa . . .what?  What did you call that again?  Never heard of it."
Me: "Well, if you were a kid, you'd probably think it was pretty awesome . . ."
-and then the conversation kind of dies off.

On the flip side, when speaking with kids, the conversation goes something like this:
Me:  "I create artwork for Poptropica. . ."
Kids:  "You do artwork for Poptropica?  That's so cool!  I play that all the time!"
-this usually continues with them asking me how to solve a certain puzzle in the game, or telling me about their favorite story, etc.  For a brief moment, I feel like a rock star . . .

I need to spend more time talking to kids.