Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CityVille 2 Part II

Here is my character work from CityVille 2. The design specs called for a lot of people in business or government positions, so it was an interesting challenge designing a variety of characters wearing essentially the same uniform.

My time at Zynga has been characterized by a transition to a purely digital working process. These were all sketched straight into the computer via Cintiq monitor, then finished using Photoshop's vector tools.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

CityVille 2 Part I

Cityville 2 was a beast of a project. We wanted to push the narrative envelope for the "invest and express" genre, and work in an ironic, irreverent tone that had never been tried before on a 'Ville game. I worked on it for close to a year and a half, contributing in all areas of the 2D look of the game. I established the style for icons, items, and most proudly, the characters. I worked with a very talented and pedigreed group of designers, and they really let me have fun bringing their characters to life. The flexibility and trust they gave me was truly unparalleled.

Sadly, the game didn't live up to expectations. Some design experiments we made didn't pay off as we'd hoped, technical difficulties plagued us from the beginning, and its release was ultimately overshadowed by the colossal hit that was FarmVille 2. Still, I was thrilled and honored to work on such a quirky title, and with such amazing teammates. The lessons I learned working on CityVille 2 I will carry with me throughout my career.


I thought I'd begin with a few samples of work I did on FrontierVille. I came into the project well into live production, so it was more an exercise in adapting to established style and workflow than an act of creation on my part. These were by far the most complex illustrations I had done in vector up to that point, but I picked it up quickly, as you will see in my work from CityVille 2.

Catching Up

Wow. Already halfway through 2013? After extended hiatus (getting real busy at work, falling hopelessly behind on posting, losing my password, then waffling on promotion strategy) I'm finally getting back to blogging! I have amassed a fair amount of belated work to post, but in the interest of charging ahead, I'm just going to post a few highlights, then refocus on creating fresh, new artwork.

To recap the last 2 years, I switched projects at work from FrontierVille to CityVille 2, survived the closure of the Zynga's Baltimore office where I worked, and in the biggest piece of news, moved all the way across country from Maryland to San Francisco! I'm still with Zynga, but now working in the home office. It's been a huge change, but all very positive. I'm still new to the area, but I love it already. I plan on staying here for a long time to come.

So without further ado, let's get to the illustrations!