Saturday, December 10, 2011


My assignment here was to take the classic design of the craps table and make it interactive, in the correct 3D perspective and all in vectors. It was a fun challenge, with lots of mock-ups back and forth between Illustrator, Photoshop and 3Ds Max. I mapped the graphics onto the 3D table object and then used this as a tight reference for figuring out the vanishing point and applying a 3D transform on the vector graphics in illustrator. Then I took the fill from each area and movie chipped them in flash and these then became our rollover buttons.

Stylistically I took my reference from real world tables but I rounded out the outer corners to give a tighter fit and therefore larger playing area and was pleased with the result.

The awesome 3D dice that roll dynamically in flash were built in code Ross Mcverry, he and I tweaked the look and feel of them until they felt right. I played with the surface texture map in photoshop to get a pleasing contrast and the illusion of a red plastic sheen.

Demo play here.

Coffin up the Cash

This is my take on the comedic horror genre, for which I designed the characters, graphics, animations, and sounds. I was pretty happy design-wise with this project, the in-reels coffin bonus is a quick-passed street hustler shell game and the free-spin symbols had a raven animating to herald their arrival. Kooky.

Demo play here.


I was called in to do an eleventh hour redesign on this Tetris knockoff slot game, as the original graphics we received from a freelancer weren’t too well structured.

Firstly I had to fix the fact that nothing was pixel perfect on the flash stage and that’s pretty important when you have dozens of moving objects colliding. As I recall I had to alter or scrap many nested movie clips each with crazy alignment points and fractional transform values. Fun.

Then I ditched a lurid orange colour scheme in favour of the polished black glass look, which you see on every media player and his dog now days. This the blocks themselves be the centre of attention.

Demo play here.

Gin Joint Jackpot

Gold Rush Showdown was pretty successful, so I received the green light to do a reskin. I suggested a 1920s gangster theme which would keep the same adversarial dynamic. Researching the roaring 20s was fun. I like to think I would make a good bootlegging hoodlum :-)

Also included here for your viewing pleasure is the beautiful Chinese localisation work by designer Keith Farrell. These games go out in over 30 languages and I think the translations often look better than the original English version.

Demo play here.

Gold Rush Showdown

I designed the graphics, animation and sounds for this western themed online slot. I was trying to keep it fun with lots of mini bonuses including a quick fire in-reels based shootout with bandits.

This was one of the first projects I was the design lead on, all the way from coming up with the initial concept and pitching it to the client, to working with the flash developers to polish the finished game.

Demo play here.

Blackjack, 3 Card Poker etc...

These two are some of the many online casino table games I designed the layout for. The table surround was done first in 3D by a freelancer then my task was to map the blasé graphics on and create the interactive graphics. This wasn’t too difficult to achieve, I did a separate render for the table with a square mapped on and adjusted the perspective of the vector graphics as one group to fit the square.

The beauty of using vectors over a bitmap background is that we could alter the background colours easily by either swapping out the underlying bitmap textures or a colour shift filter in flash as we used here in order to keep down the file size overhead.

We also had to create an environment that scaled dynamically to fit any users display. In practice this involves creating extra graphical information on both sides that may or may not get seen on a display anywhere from 5:7 to 16:9 ratio.

I also designed the incidental sounds and ambient track which were rolled out to all these games. I felt the chips and cards should have a subtle difference being placed on wood or felt, and for sliding or being slapped down. The ambient track was a commercial jingle bought from sounddogs which I cut to loop and spliced with a second loop of a conversational crowd.

The lovely parabola animation for the flying chips really enhanced what I like to call “the illusion of quality” and was done in code by the super talented Alejandro Giraldo Niño.

Demo play here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Vegas Solitaire

I have worked on over two dozen interactive games in the last 5 years, with lots of great challenges; from designing animations, creating incidental and looping sounds, pitching ideas to clients, working with coders and polishing the end user experience.

Solitaire was a small project which lent itself well to being rapidly re-skinned for many different clients. The flying cards and dynamically shifting right hand navigation were done in code by developer extraordinaire Alejandro Giraldo Niño.

On this project I also designed the look and feel of the interface which then was rolled out to dozens of other games. I came up with the greyish purplish tint to the top and bottom bar from studying many desktop applications and eventually arriving at itunes as a colour scheme that has the right mixture of inviting yet formal, perfect for a menu interface in which any number of vividly coloured games will live.

Demo play here.