Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

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We called these smaller stories that players could encounter in Where the Water Tastes Like Wine “vignettes.” Each started out as a black and white ink drawing that was then scanned, shaded, and tinted before being incorporated into the final in-game image you see above.

Tints had to stay relatively desaturated, as the in-game images were composited in real time according to the colors of the region.

Here is a selection of my vignettes, including the Raven and Salmon image prior to framing. Vignette artists had a lot of freedom to draw as we wished, and since I joined the process relatively late, I focused on creating more region-specific scenes and flexible themes.

Some initial icon designs for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. After experimenting with these illustrative styles, we decided to go with a more symbolic approach for greater readability.


Gorogoa

Steam emoji for Gorogoa, in 18- and 54-px versions. Translating Jake Roberts’ lush, detailed art into flat pixels was definitely an interesting challenge.


Traveller-AR (unrealeased)

"Mission Mogul" achievement badge (gold)

"Mission Mogul" achievement badge (gold)

This badge was to be awarded to Traveller-AR players who completed 100 missions. Bronze (25 missions) and silver (50 missions) levels were also available.

The design was heavily inspired by embroidered NASA mission patches and Scout medals. It was important for the badges to be instantly readable at 75, 200, and 500 pixels square on iOS.

Vector base for embroidery effect.

Vector base for embroidery effect.

Initial concept with rough color design.

Initial concept with rough color design.

"Scout - Exploration" badge (bronze)

"Scout - Exploration" badge (bronze)

The bronze Exploration Badge would have been awarded to players who explored a minimum number of planets in the game Traveller-AR.

We decided on the sextant motif early in the process as a distinctive and unusual shape which effectively conveyed the idea of exploration even at a small size. The color schemes for the levels of each badge ended up being fairly consistent throughout, with gold typically paired with bright blues, silver with cool reds, and bronze with shades of green.

The gold-level Exploration Badge from rough sketch through vector art to final polish.

The gold-level Exploration Badge from rough sketch through vector art to final polish.

Color scheme consistency across badge types.

Color scheme consistency across badge types.

Early concept sketches for the "Spacer," "Kingpin," and "Trader" badge designs.

Early concept sketches for the "Spacer," "Kingpin," and "Trader" badge designs.

Each design went through an ideation phase with 5-10 variations submitted to the art director for notes, then the chosen designs would be refined to final versions.