Problem: 

(2017-Current) – A former client originally approached us to create a platform to allow music artist, Internet comedians, and entertainers to help promote their brands to a large mobile market. The client realized that they would not be able to go against larger social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, but they wanted to create a different type of platform for advertisement. The unique proposition was to create each artist as an in-game fighting character to compete against the other artist. Each character would have their own stage, fighting style, and special moves.

Plan:

Create a fighting-style app that includes the artist and entertainers as in-game characters. 

Capture the artist’s likeness and create animations for each character. Animations include:

  • Walk
  • Jump
  • Dash
  • Knockdown / Knockout
  • Punches
  • Kicks
  • Super Moves
  • Other ‘personality’ animations

The app will also have unique stages for the characters. The goal of the stage is to include advertising opportunities for the characters themselves, a company, or a brand who desires to advertise within the game.  This will include certain design and iconography that is reflective of that particular artists or company’s brand. If the artist has music (which has been ‘cleared’ for use by the owner of the work), that music will be used as the theme music for the stage. If this cannot be achieved, an alternative music choice will be selected. The app will also contain both a ‘story’ mode and a ‘versus’ mode to allow the user to engage in quick or long matches.

Execution:

(2017-2018)

Each character is developed and rendered using 2D animation software tools. The characters were then imported into the mobile development platform. The initial release of the app in 2017 was on the iOS platform. The app was created in Objective-C using Cocos2D framework for the majority of the ‘scene’ handling work. Custom ‘game manager’ and ‘AI’ logic was created to create the gameplay (stage selection, round-logic, etc.) and the computer fight scenario for the user. 

In order to not recreate the challenges of recreating the app purely for a single platform and manage multiple code sets, a decision was made to re-create the app on a development platform to allow quicker development and release of the app, Unity. The code was rewritten from Objective-C to C# running on the Unity platform. The platform itself allowed for better handling of assets (app icons, stage graphics, sprite-sheets, etc.) and control over preparation for releases. Also, the app is able to be released to multiple platforms with greater ease.

(2019)

To keep the app fresh and relevant, we decided to recreate the image and branding of the app using 3D characters and stages. This decision was made to keep the app 1.) visually appealing and 2.) competitive with other app fighting game players in the market, while staying true to the goal of artist and entertainer advertisement. The original 2D characters were removed from the app and replaced with new artist created in 3D format. The artists were created with new animations, fighting-styles, super moves, and LOTS of personality per character.

This also included recreating the stages to complete the revamped look and feel of the game. The stages range from beachfronts, neighborhoods, caves, stages in-front of crows, and many more stages to be developed in 2019. Also, more characters and features will be added into the app to keep users engaged and the artists sufficiently promoted.

Result:

The app project has been a success! Since the revamping of the app in 2019 (re-release on 6/27), the app has been consistently in the Top 200 of Music apps in the Apple App Store and has a consistent ‘5-star’ rating from users on the Google Play Store.

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