Early on I decided that Scramble Legend would feature animated avatars to represent you in-game. I wanted to give you a way to personalize the experience, create a basis for branding the game, and add something fun, quirky, and animated to the game area. Avatars gave me a way to accomplish all three goals.

With that being said, I was not initially sure what style to adopt for the avatars. To help me decide and to produce the final art assets I recruited the help of Kyle McGill. To start off, Kyle and I tried to determine what the style should be. We brainstormed a number of ideas ranging from vegetables to super heroes to giant alligators.

Fantasy avatar style mock up for Scramble Legends
Imaginary animal style

In my opinion, it was incredibly important to spend time trying a bunch of different styles. At this stage we were able to test multiple ideas each day. This gave us a sense of what worked and what didn’t – both for the game as well as for our skill sets. Furthermore, because the tests were relatively cheap to produce we could try many things – in the end we tried ten different passes. This gave us confidence when we moved to the next step that we were making the right decision. You may be wondering, why bother to do all of this exploratory work? In my opinion, it’s very important because when creating artwork for the game each subsequent step is more expensive and time consuming. Measure twice cut once!

Watterson-inspired avatar style mock up for Scramble Legends
Bill Watterson inspired style

Honestly, there were a lot of great ideas and I would love to see some of the things we explored fleshed out into a more complete style. Nevertheless, a decision had to be be made! So how did we narrow things down? Well for starters intuition and taste. However we also had three guiding concerns to aid us:

  • The relative cost to produce the art style, including how well it suited Kyle’s skillset
  • The expected appeal with Scramble Legend’s target audience: women
  • The ability to extend and adapt the art style for new needs, special promotions, etc.
Office avatar style mock up for Scramble Legends
Office super heroes style

In the end we chose the Tintin style. I felt this style struck the best balance across the three dimensions, not to mention just looking good. With that decision out of the way you might imagine that our journey in avatar design is finished, but you would be wrong! In fact, we are just getting started… but that’s a story for next time.

Tintin inspired avatar style mock up for Scramble Legends
Tintin inspired style. The final style for the avatars in Scramble Legends
Keep reading the "Making of Scramble Legends" series:
  1. User Interface: a look at how the user interface was designed
  2. Avatar Style: follow the evolution of Scramble Legends' art style
  3. Making the Avatars: guest post by Kyle McGill artist for Scramble Legends
  4. Avatar Design: learn how the avatar art style was finalized
  5. End Game Condition: explore the thought process behind the game's end game condition
  6. Attack Design: understand why Scramble Legends is all about burying your opponent
  7. Overdrive Mode: a look at the design and technical considerations behind this special game mode
  8. Sound Design: guest post by David Kizale sound designer for Scramble Legends