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Client: Secret Games Company
Role: Illustration • UI • UX • Animation
Platform: Desktop • Tablet
Ozymandias is a Bronze Age empire-building game, inspired by the Civilization series. The game features simplified strategic gameplay, so you can play a campaign in about an hour.

Working closely with the director, I designed and developed the visual language of Ozymandias. From initial research, to producing concept art and digitally painting the UI and game art. I constructed UX wireframes and, along with the developer, integrated the UI. Animated the opening cinematic.

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The Design Process

To start, I looked into the current trends of similar games in the 4x genre, desktop and mobile, in order to design Ozymandias' visual language with language familiar to that of the target audience.

The director was keen on having the game be as true to life as possible, given the setting and narrative, so research was done into Bronze Age art and storytelling media. The main challenge here was visually integrating accurate cultural artefacts, spanning across Eurasia, into a system the player would understand how to interact with.

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Concept Art

Based on the research, I made some quick concepts to illustrate the possible directions for the visuals. The director already had a desired player narrative in mind, which helped narrow the focus of potential designs.

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Iconography

While we were also able to rely on a lot of well understood iconography from the genre, some functions represented unique forms of gameplay, and so needed a new visual description.

In a 4x game, the player is often being shown a very large amount of information, and so the challenge was developing a library of icons which would be immediately distinguishable when viewed at a distance, as well as in a variety of contexts.

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Digital Painting

The game boards and UI were fully painted. The UI was designed to be analogous to real world items in the game's narrative; as an archaeologist exploring a tomb. Player related items are notebooks and Victorian era trinkets, with a handwritten font. Game items are discovered treasures, jewels and sculptures.

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