At Zynga I worked with David Duckworth, Katai Tang, and Chris Weber to create a variety of Flash user interface designs. Working in Flash was exciting because UI could be created efficiently with minimal engineer involvement. Zynga had a proprietary set of UI classes that allowed us to create the structure behavior of all UI elements directly. At Zynga, UI was never "make a mockup, assets and hope the engineer assembles it correctly." The UI design team handled that and simply provided the engineers class & variable names so that it "just worked" when connected to their code. Perfect!
I created Coasterville's modular splash screen for seasonal promotions of microtransaction bundles.
Duckworth's team had already established the visual style before I arrived, so I got to work making a series of splash UIs, interfaces, and presentation elements to match. Again, working in Flash was exciting because we could easily animate the art and bring any element to life on the timeline. Our only limit was time itself, as Zynga was a fast paced environment and we had to move quickly.
I created CoasterVille's Achievements UI.
CoasterVille was one of the last games Zynga made for Facebook as it was the end of that era and the company was about to shift toward a mobile strategy. It was exciting to work on a Zynga 'Ville game and Coasterville was one of the better looking games of that series.
A set of buttons I created from which the primary button in the game was selected.
Promotional banners I designed using artwork from the game.
Also, an "Expiring Soon Timer" and a "New Task Arrow".
Crystal Lake (Art & UI)
For Crystal Lake (a Facebook social game) I was responsible for all art & animation from the UI to the characters & environment. We were a four man team competing with Zynga's fast-follow empire, so I learned a lot about economy in art & design.
The goal was to develop an art process that could be created quickly while still looking polished. Scribblenauts was a big inspiration for this style - a sketchy vector look with segment animation drawn in a unified palette of bold colors.
Mobile UI Styles
For this assignment I was asked to create a tiki themed storefront for a Facebook social game based on the six supplied character icons.
This is a UI style design for an iPad Tower Defense game based on art from "How To Train Your Dragon." I received a text draft listing the needed UI bits, and this is what I came up with from initial wireframe to final vector.
For this assignment I was supplied a basic wireframe, iPhone frame, and background art with specs to quickly create a retina iPhone design with reusable UI pieces. The supplied background is blurred out - I created the UI elements & mushroom illustration.
Dinotopia · A Sunstone Odyssey
For Dinotopia I developed a 3d rendered UI style based on James Gurney's Dinotopia art and illustrations. When he saw the design he said it looked like something he might have come up with himself. Mission accomplished!
Dinotopia Main Menu Art (placeholder background by A.Bierstadt)
Other 3d Presentation Styles
I spent years as a 3d artist & animator prior to my specialization in UI/UX art & design. Sometimes I use the 3d skills I gained to create unique interface styles for projects I work on.
Superstar City UI Restyle
This is a UI reskin for Hangout Industries Superstar City, a social game on Facebook. Male avatars were recently added to the game and I was asked to rework the look of the UI with a more polished design and colors that might appeal to males.
Flash Games (Art & UI)
After I left Sony I took a few months off to make Flash games with my favorite programmer pals. It was a great experience to co-create these small projects from beginning to end. I created all the art, menu graphics, and music/audio. Z.DRUM is a very simple project, but I coded that in AS3 myself. This was a fun way to get paid to learn ActionScript! We had to move fast and stay on budget since these were sponsored games making just $2k-$7.5k each.
I enjoy working on any kind of user interface design whether it's for a game or not, but working in games I'm able to make use of my ability to draw. Here's a few drawings that are a little different from my Junkyard Sam illustration style, but working on large teams I have to adapt to whatever style matches the game or product I'm working on at the time.