Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Go Driver!: designing for the iPhone

In the last several months, I've been enjoying watching the iPhone become a place to see interesting art and graphics. Visual artists can carry around a mini digital portfolio on an iPhone, which makes it possible to share one's work on the fly. And visual artists with the technical savvy, can create applications for this thing and find themselves becoming game designers all of a sudden.

I recently had the privilege to witness the development of a beautiful App. Atompatch is a team of two, consisting of illustrator/designer Peter Hamlin and conceptualizer/programmer John Balestrieri who recently released a game called "Happy Go Driver". It is a game about traffic management.

Peter Hamlin created some wonderful creatures, who drive their cars through and beautiful cityscapes that represent different "districts" of a metropolis.

These dynamic 'scapes have animated clouds and birds flying by on a top layer, which add even more depth to the interesting perspective of these landscapes. Excellent details, like a truck carrying bacon, or a single lollipop, keep the eyes delighted while experiencing the weirdly zen process of managing traffic with the tip of your finger. To get your version, go to the iTunes store in your iTunes and search for "Happy Go Driver".

Another App I want to toot, is the Slide-A-Ma-Jig created, designed and programmed by my pal, Illustrator Chuck Gamble. The Slide-A-Ma-Jig is a fun and funny mix-and-match body parts game where there are over 20 original characters whose hats, heads, midsections, and bottom parts can be interchanged. There are hilarious
sound effects for every move you make when "sliding", and backgrounds that you can switch as well. Chuck is the former Creative Director of Headbone Interactive in Seattle, where they developed a great look of digitally illustrated characters who inhabited worlds with photographic backgrounds. In the Slide-a-Ma-Jig, this look translates beautifully into the iPhone context. To get your version, you can visit the iTunes store and search for "Happy Go Driver".