Fairway Solitaire

DISCLAIMER: Artwork done by art team. My role was Senior Producer and served as interim art director.

fairway_BFG

Fairway Solitaire- Windows 8, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire, Mac and PC.

This is a game that once lived on the PC and had a small cult following. It was a game with an amazing game play mechanic and had a kitschy little illustrative style. When Big Fish Games decided to redo it and bring to the mobile world, I paired with it’s designer John Cutter to hone it in to a mobile centric experience. Mobile gaming was relatively new at the time, and tablets (iPad) was just gaining steam. This game needed to look sharp, streamlined, modern, lush, accessible and it was important that it kept it’s sense of humor as well. Narisa Spaulding is the artist responsible for these menu’s. She, John and I worked tirelessly to nail this thing down visually and with the most elegant and fluid flow. Jeff Willis executed on the gopher art which provides a nice thread throughout the game and gives the player a chance to laugh a little while they are intensely playing solitaire (with golf scoring).

fairway_title

The Welcoming Screen and the Logo. This logo was also done by Narisa. It went through many iterations but in the end we nailed it. She and I spent a lot of time coming up with the right look for this and recruited many artists to contribute and give us more options. I think we both knew that this was the best when we first saw it. We just had to sell it, which we did. =)

fairway_course_menu

The Main Menu. Wow, the memories. How this was going to look and how the player would navigate it was a big change and big challenge for us coming from a PC based world. This turned out to be the most important screen. We were going down a much different path originally that looked like a PC game and when on the iPad it just didn’t work…it looked outdated. Nothing should have looked outdated on a machine that had just come out. One day, about 3/4 of the way through the project Narisa and I were sitting at my desk ‘ping-pong-scribbling’ and we were trying to step out of the box that we’d built with the Main Menu…and boom! one little sketch, and we looked at each other and said ‘it should definitely be like this.’ She went to her desk and I swear it was like destiny. It was done so fast. Everyone was immediately happy and away we went.

fairway_HUD

The Tableau. It’s really interesting. One of the first things that was designed was the golf bag in the lower right hand corner (by Jeff Willis). It had (and still does have) a certain whimsical and perfectly perfect quality to it that the team was having trouble replicating. It was the goal to make everything give us the feeling that the golf bad did. The backgrounds in the game were spectacular as well, Jeff did this one. He’s a big Jimmy Buffett fan so this was one he didn’t need much guidance on for sure.

Fairway_tableau

The Tableau part 2. Once the game starts, things start to happen on this screen. There is a lot of information that the involved player needs to have access to. With my love for sports, and history in sports gaming, the HUD is something I am very familiar with. As something that looks like it should not draw your attention but be readily available and clear the instant you want the information, it’s a tough challenge. This version that you see in the top corners was the winner after many iterations. The artists came through on these.

fairway_solitaire_scorecard

The Scorecard- It doesn’t get much more important then knowing how you did when you are finished. This screen went through many variations, was picked apart by departments company wide, and debated through and through. This was the final screen and I think it’s sheer perfection. It’s clear, concise, attractive, interactive, animated and perfectly fits in the game. Narisa again was the muscle behind this screens perfection.

fairway_golfshop

The Golf Shop – A place for the player to shop and spend their winnings. This again was a big departure from the traditional PC screen, however on the phone it needed a little more real estate. This is from the phone version, but used all of the same pieces at the other versions.

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