Several months ago I did a little side project for a couple of enterpenuers who were designing and building a poker play website. They wanted a more fun, humorous and cartoony environment and feel to the game than your typical video game looking sites. The results are now online at www.5PMPoker.com.
The project was pretty involved. First I needed to design a playing environment that would be fun and unique, but would also work within the dimensions they needed. They wanted some silly animations that would either randomly move or move when some goal or event happened in the game. We did a lot of brainstorming and they settled on an old attic room:
The bats, spider, treasure chest and steamer trunk are supposed to be animated, but so far all I’ve witnessed is the bats flapping their wings when someone went “all in” and won. I am not sure if the other animations made it into the final programming. I had to do the table and chair elements on different layers to allow for the layering that would seat the characters properly.
I also did the chips, hourglass and other game elements. The only thing I didn’t illustrate was the playing cards.
By far the hardest thing to do was the characters. They wanted 16 different players all designed around certain types like the cool movie star, the old farmer, the muscular biker, etc. That would have been no problem, except I had to draw each of them in eight different positions… one position holding cards for each side of the table and one when they were folded and not active in the hand. I also had to make sure they each fit into exactly the same dimensional pixel “box”, and make them look like they were seated properly in the chairs, etc. These restrictions made it challenging. Here are a few examples of some of the character designs I did showing a position with cards both active and folded:
The game play seems to work great! More environments and character avatars will be forthcoming if the site does well. If you like playing poker, check it out! I’ve placed a permanent link to the game site near the top of my blogroll.
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