Entries in Dreamcast (4)

Thursday
Dec092010

SegaSports.com - Website (Dreamcast)

Role: Art Director
Contribution: Did all visual design and UX work.

Design Challenge: DCreate a unique web experience for the SegaSports franchise for the new Dreamcast platform. This design was to be built on top of the existing Sega Dreamcast web experience, but also take on a new look for SegaSports. One of the key challenges of this project was build a web interface for the Dreamcast browser which limited resolution (standard TV, including title safe area) and input via Dreamcast control, instead of a mouse.

SegaSports - Homepage

All the SegaSports games for the Dreamcast would have an online features, nearly all with multiplayer, which was unheard of at the time, so each game would have access to the SegaSports web experience from the Dreamcast console, allowing players to issue challenges, view rankings, enter tournaments and learn more about the other SegaSports games.

SegaSports - Games

Research data showed the user general bought more than one SegaSports game so a key feature of the site was to learn about other SegaSports titles as well as to keep the user coming back for info about games currently in development. This was back in an area of dial up access speeds so have insight into game development was nearly unheard of at the time. 

SegaSports - Challenges

Since SegaSports titles were some of the first games to have online multiplayer, a whole new system for player challenges had to be created, including a web interface for issuing and receiving them. 

SegaSports - Tournaments

To help grow the Sega Dreamcast community regularly scheduled tournaments were held and run by our community managers. Players could sign up for an check their standings in all open tournaments.

The SegaSports site would later under go a major redesign, making the site far easier to update and become a much more timely place for news and events as the overall pace for internet development and information increased. See SegaSports redesign project.

Thursday
Dec092010

Phantasy Star Online - Website

Role: Art Director
Contribution: Did all visual design, UX work and Flash development

Design Challenge: Details coming soon.

Thursday
Dec092010

Outtrigger - Website

Role: Art Director
Contribution: Did all visual design, UX work and Flash development

Design Challenge: Take an unknow IP, that is really a tech demo and make a makring site on no budget from a marketing team that could care less. Outtrigger was in some ways a total dream project for me, since after working on so many high profile IP projects I now had one that no one was interested in, giving me free reign to do whatever I felt like and in this case what I felt like doing was push my own skills of Flash, 3DS Max and Illustrator to their limits.

Outtrigger - Package Art

Outtrigger was really more of a tech demo for SNAP - Sega Network Application Package, which would become Sega network middle ware running in games on the Dreamcast, PS2, Gamecude and Xbox platforms. It would also be purchased by Nokia and rolled into the N-Gage and Java games platforms for Nokia.


Outtrigger - Main Menu

For Outtrigger we took the wafer thin story line of the game about a futuristic international counter terrorism force called, "Interforce" and imagined what that company's website would look like. I created a full 3D virtual character including using an early text to speech tool to give him voice and communacate with the user as the navigated the site. Multiple movies were rendered and randomly assigned to have our virtual guide talk, look around, blink and smile.


Outtrigger - Tactics Menu

Outtrigger was all about style over substance, there were multiple UX paradigms and gratuitous flash animations, just about everything one does not do today in modern website design, but at the time, if I could make it move, it did - nothing was static on the Outtrigger website.


 Outtrigger - Media Menu

The Media section of the site was most conventional, using a main window space for viewing all content, screens, wallpaper and movies.


Outtrigger - Character Select Menu

In a nod to Charlie's Angels, I added a character selector that randomly morphed through silhouettes of each character and would should full color renders on mouse over.


Outtrigger - Character Bio Menu

After selecting a character, the user would be taken to bio page, including information about weapons, extra images and how to play effectively with each character.

Outtrigger was not a particularly successful game, but it allowed me to further develope my technical skills so I could put those talents to good use on more important work in the future.

Thursday
Dec092010

Jet Grind Radio - Website

Role: Art Director
Contribution: Did all visual design, UX work and Flash development

Design Challenge: Jet Grind Radio was one of the first titles to ever use a cell shaded style which is now common place on many games. Due to this totally new style of 3D game I designed a whole new way of interacting with a flash website, by having a full 3D world, cell shaded, for the user to explore. This would be an heard of challenge considering the very new platform of Flash in Oct of 2000.

Jet Grind Radio - Dreamcast Package Art

At the concept phase with the marketing team for Jet Grind Radio, we decided to create a full 3D garage based on the actual hangout of the characters in the game. This room was built using 3DS Max and would be used of to create the full 3D navigation. Everything was rendered in 3D creating vector outlines that was then imported into Flash a sequence of images. These sequences would be broken up and then colored, frame by frame in Flash. Objects were purposely simplified to keep the frame rate high as user navigated the site. 

Jet Grind Radio - Flash Website

User could navigate the site by clicking on any object and they would be taken directly to the object moving through the three dimensional space of the site. The met with many positive reviews by user, since a dramatic departure from current web design.

Jet Grind Radio - Flash Website

As users navigated the room they learned about the game's characters, the history of graffiti, game features and even were able to play a mini game by picking up spray cans littered throughout the space and tagging, (spay painting), the evil characters from the game to unlock additional content on the site.

Jet Grind Radio - Flash Website

When reading content the user literally dove right into the content zooming in and reading the information in a more traditional 2D format.

Jet Grind Radio - Flash Website

Jet Grind Radio would be a critical success and lead to the follow up title of Jet Set Radio Future, another critically successful title.

From wikipedia:

The game was received exceedingly well from online sources and magazines. Many have praised the style of the game as the matching soundtrack with up-tempo music. Critics also applauded the simplistic "pick-up and play" arcade style gameplay. The lowest review received was a 70% rating (3.5 out of 5) from Independent Gamer. IGN gave the game a 9.6 rating but criticized the camera control, saying, "You'll spend weeks thinking 'Why don't all games look like this?'. Then you'll spend a month wondering why the camera wasn't fixed in the development." The lack of multiplayer was also criticized.