I worked with Emerson Smith on Meow Moves for Ludum Dare 42 — The theme was “Running out of Space".
This was a 48-hour Jam.
Music by Tenkitsune.

Play Meow Moves on | Meow Moves on Emerson’s Website


Art Approach

I made all the art (except for the UI/Menus) for this jam game. We wanted to have a polished 3D result, which meant cutting back to as few assets as possible and taking as many “shortcuts” as we could without sacrificing quality. I tried to design for the tools to ensure things would go as smoothly as possible. By working “smarter” we were able to get all the art I made implemented by the end of the jam. Here are some of the ways I tried to save time:

  1. Mixamo for animations (I’ve used it several times and know how to troubleshoot it, so I modeled the character in a way that would work well with mixamo — plus it exports to .fbx for Unity straight from the website)

  2. Centered the game around a key asset (In this case, the cat witch character — she’s the focus, everything happens to her, everything else is “extra” set dressing that could be added later)

  3. Strict color palette, assigned Day 1 (this way Emerson could color-pick in her version in-engine for things like UI and perfectly match the art, and everything would always look unified)

  4. Made the game Unlit (not having to worry about lighting saves sooooo much time — all the art I worked on looked 1:1 in my modeling software and in-game)

  5. Strict art style (unlit textures + inverted hull cartoon outlines with lots of flat colors looks polished without having to do a lot of detailed painting)

  6. Stuck to my strengths (I like making cute animals/cute outfits, I can do it faster and better than say, robots)

Daily Breakdown

This is how my workdays broke down for this jam. This is only what I did, not what Emerson did! Below that are some process images.

Day 1 (Friday night):

  1. Brainstorming

  2. Sketch + Wireframe

  3. Assigned Color Palette

  4. Modeled Cat Witch (Zbrush and Maya)

Day 2 (All Day Saturday):

  1. UVed + Textured Cat Witch (3Dcoat)

  2. Chose and Downloaded Mixamo Dances

  3. Designed Icons for cards/UI (Illustrator)

  4. Created finished card art (Illustrator)

  5. Started modeling stage (Maya)

  6. Started making particle effects using icons (Unity)

Day 3 (Sunday before 6pm):

  1. Finished particle effects for the different elements
    (Unity package, given to programmer)

  2. Finished modeling/texturing stage (Maya, 3Dcoat)