I have to admit I’m fond of iPad apps and games, and have always wondered how developers go about creating them. So, when I got a chance to get the inside scoop from Qurios, an iPad games developer, I jumped at it.
Qurios have just developed a brand new app for the iPad called Fun Felt, and if first glances are anything to go buy, it’s likely to be a real time-stealer. I caught up with Chris Chatterton, their Production Manager to find out what was involved and how they went about developing the game …
Back in February we were given the opportunity to create an iPad App.
Traditionally, our main business focus lies in 3D animation and visual effects, so this task was leaps away from what we’d deem our normal day-to-day work; but I have to say we relished the challenge.
Several ideas were whittled down until we struck on the concept of ‘Fun Felt’. The idea came from childhood memories of playing at school with simple felt shapes that created wonderfully colourful artwork.
We wanted to recreate this, so the Fun Felt concept is basically build on the user making pictures out of colourful felt shapes, which is then transported it to the iPad.
Once we had the main tools and functions outlined, we jumped into designing Fun Felt’s UI. We started with pencil sketches for the UI and icons, buttons etc, along with flow charts, which meant the main UI concept materialised pretty quickly. The next obstacle was to create the unmistakable look and feel of the felt itself. Using Photoshop’s layer styles we produced an action, which would take any layer and add the relevant filters, textures and effects needed to make it look like felt.
That was the easy part. The next task was to take all the design work and Photoshop prototypes and transfer them to the iPad, using Apple’s SDK. We teamed up with the guys at Fluid Pixel to jump this hurdle.
These guys were great and worked very hard to get the look we wanted. It was essential the shapes looked like they were made of felt; otherwise the whole concept of the app would be lost, and after a lot of trial and error we finally nailed it.
Through out the whole development, we tested the app on focus groups made up of different ages. This helped us to find out what worked and what didn’t, resulting in a final version that has a clean layout and is easy to use.
Now, many months later Fun Felt is finally finished and allows users to create their own design from over 50 pre-loaded friendly felt shapes. The platform is quite intuitive so children as young as four will be able to get creative and enjoy an old classic, like we did.
We really feel Fun Felt delivers to our original brief and we’re really pleased with the result – an entertaining, nostalgic and educational product.
That’s not it for Fun Felt. We already have ideas for amazing new features and tools to enhance it further. So look out for an update in the New Year… and get ready for a uniquely tactile and addictive felt experience!