Gumball Machine: Game Asset Development

A long winding road from mobile game asset design to vector tutorial.

A simple Gumball machine asset turned vector design tutorial. You can check out the full tutorial at EnvatoTuts+ .
Read on below for the full development story of this design.
Initially I was set to work on a math teaching app with Beatrix Games, an indie operation based out of the UK. The creator had worked with a designer previously, but sought me out to create their splash page and other game assets. Below is one of the first passes at the gumball machine design. I was playing a lot with retro colorways andsplashes of sparkles with a very cool color palette.
There are all sorts of gumball machine designs out there: square, rectangular, round, skinny, far, tall, short, etc. It was my job to play with them and figure out what components of a real machine should show up in the splash page without boring viewers who were only going to click PLAY anyway.
 
The changes in shape and color were closer to the final design idea, but everything was still pretty off.
I went back to the drawing board (or Adobe Illustrator CC) and got reinspired. This time, everything was candy coated cuteness and VERY bright. Additionally, the idea of anthropomorphizing the machine came up and I, of course, ran with it. It reminds me, still, of the 90's kids' party game "Mr. Bucket". Fun and cute, though not as creepy as that toy for sure.
Then the idea of a more emotive face came about. What if this was later animated? Or what if certain expressions made it into future backgrounds, splash pages, promotional materials, etc? 
I kept the eye shape, but made them more cartoony. And the mouth became more like the opening of a gumball machine. Little hands were added for that retro touch. Like "HEY! COME PLAY THIS GAME!".
After some time, the face was nixed again. The background changes to include some candy, stars, and basic math symbols, and the gumball machine front was back in action (though still missing the turning bit on the front).
In the end, the project was canned and I was left with a fantastic gumball design that needed a home. I pitched the design to my editor over at EnvatoTuts+ and shared the process with our readers there.
 
Thanks so much for checking out the development of this project. Often I don't show the development of something like a tutorial piece, but I think it's fun to see where things started before they became a blog entry. 
Back to Top