As a founding member of Niantic, I was a lead artists on our first post-Google spinout game, Pokemon Go. I was responsible for the visual system of the game including: Pokemon, the Map, the Items, the UI viz dev and the Loading Screens. Check out some examples below!
The Loading Screens in Pokemon Go were one of my favorite features to establish in the game. The original loading screen acted as a warning to "stay aware of your surroundings". Following that, I was tasked with establishing the look & feel and story for the loading screens. Since these screens were introducing the game and not part of the gameplay, we thought it would be fun to go a little looser on the stylistic feel and use each one to tell a story for upcoming events (with some easter eggs thrown in) ;). In the pieces below you can see the process (bottom to top) as we were establishing a look & feel for this fan favorite feature.
UI, Items & Badges
The Pokemon, Items, Icons and UI for Pokemon Go were designed as a set. Several of the items were exact interpretations of items seen in other Pokemon games and some were created from scratch to inhabit the same world, stylistically and tell its own story. The Items, Badges and Emblems were created with the intention of making the game feel as exciting and hopeful as possible. A tribute to what Pokemon has given so many players for decades. In my mind the answer to this design puzzle revolved around vibrancy, richness and clean lines.
Game UI with a Modern Touch...
A franchise as well-respected and timeless as Pokemon, combined with the latest AR technology of it's time from Niantic presented a unique design challenge. We wanted to reference all of the favorite parts of the Pokemon games while simultaneously sparking a feeling of freshness and new horizons in the game. We worked closely with The Pokemon Company to establish a design language that we both agreed struck the right balance..
...Vibrancy, Richness & Clean Lines.
We wanted the foods and items to look juicy and inviting.
There was the need to also keep the items and foods instantly recognizable by the fan base, so we used materials, silhouette and color to keep the items looking fresh and clean with a hint of modernity.
A small selection of simple, crisp icons from the game:
Main UI and Pokemon Types ...
The badges were meant to be a bridge between the simple, flat icons from the UI and the Items and Pokemon. Vibrant, and an exciting reward for players to receive.
The stars of the show.
We knew the Pokemon were absolutely the stars of the game and the real world AR. We asked ourselves, "If you saw a Pokemon standing in front of you in the real world, how would it feel?"
After several iterations, we landed on the following, really playing into the idea of rich color and soft edging through the use of ambient colors, a warm key and a cool fill on the fresnel edges.