As we get closer to launching Tweechi on the App Store we thought it might be fun to show you some of the character designs we batted around before settling on the little blue guy we've come to know and love.
Rory Muldoon takes care of the majority of our art design so when we started the project he started to sketch out basic shapes and ideas based on a bunch of criteria we all agreed upon. We knew early on that we wanted Tweechi to be round in shape and look like a creature you'd love to hug. We were also big fans of Pokémon so you can definitely see a little of that inspiration in the first couple of sketches...
That first sketch with the tentacles definitely influenced our final design, though we did end up scaling back the number of tentacles and changing the shape of them too. From here we felt like we may be over designing so we looked at potentially simplifying the character to the point of making Tweechi an orb with a mane and maybe horns...
We ended up revisiting the taller shape and attempted to add some spots to add some visual interest but it wasn't quite there. We knew we liked the egg shape and we had agreed on four tentacles but the overall outline was missing something. The character was still a little too nondescript.
One thing Rory was adamant over was that Tweechi should be recognizable as a silhouette. If you look at all of the best and most iconic cartoon characters they are all easily identifiable even as a silhouette. Think about how you can identify Mickey Mouse even when he's represented as three connected circles for example.
Rory revisited his sketch book and a week later he sent us this image. We knew we had our Tweechi.
The hair flaps add a little extra personality that the spots didn't and gave us some fun ideas for animation. His flippers became just long and dextrous enough that we could have him holding and using items, plus his new egg shape would allow us to do fun things with movement such as having him roll around the room when the player swipes across him. Most importantly though Tweechi now worked as a silhouette.
The next task was designing the play area and the user interface. This, it would turn out, would be a task we'd be undertaking for the next 2 and a half years.
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes looks at the development of Tweechi and of course head over to Tweechi.com to be the first adopt him when he hits the App Store later this year.