Ideas Generation for a Retro Game

Project Proposal:

For this project I will need to produce 2D digital graphics for a revamp of a retro computer game. I have chosen to do a revamp of the game Penguin Land. Penguin Land is a retro game that came out in 1985 for various old school consoles then came out for old school hand held consoles like the game boy in 1990 [Sam, 2013]. The game is a 2D platformer where you play as a penguin. The aim of the game is to get an egg to the bottom of the maze like level. You do this by rolling the egg by moving into it and breaking the ice you move on to let it drop down. However there are enemies like polar bears that kill you on impact with them. I will generate ideas through mood boards, mind maps, and thumbnail sketches. Once I have my ideas I can begin to develop designs for the game. I will use 2D image editing software such as photoshop to create concept art. I will also use digital sculpting software such as z-brush to create digital sculpts of characters. Once I have all my designs completed I will present my work professionally.

I am aiming to create my designs in a cartoon like style. This is because I will be designing the looks for a penguin and a polar bear. I don’t think a photo realistic style would go well with these characters. I will be aiming the designs for this game at a target audience of children mostly but will be open to teenagers and older. This is due to its cartoon like style, colourful characters, and child friendly designs.

Sam Derboo. (2013). Penguin Land. Available: Last accessed 18th Mar 2015.

Work Plan:

work plan

I threw together a work plan so I can clearly see what I need to do and when it should be done. This will help me get everything done on time and stay motivated to doing it. For the first few weeks I can get together some ideas through mood boards and mind maps. Then begin sketching out some ideas. Then moving on some weeks I can start on my designs with digital sculpts, character sheets, and concept art. Finally in the last week I can collate everything and present it.

Graphics Specification:

I plan to design the graphics for a reboot of the retro game Penguin Land. The target audience for the rebooted game will be children and of course fans of the original penguin land game. The game will be made for game consoles such as the Xbox One and Playstation 4. The game is mainly aimed at children so the art style for this game will be a cartoon style to appeal to the audience.

All my final pieces of artwork will be saved out as a png file. This file type is lossless so I am getting the maximum quality out of my art possible. I plan to do a sculpt render and a concept art piece for the polar bear and the penguin. I shall make sure to name them appropriately. A folder will be created separately to hold all the sculpting scene and object files for each character to keep everything clean and easy to manage. I can organize my assets with a proper naming convention. I can name everything with a prefix of what the asset type is, like an image, sculpt, or document. Then a suffix with the name of the asset, such as penguin.

The final renders will feature multiple images of the same character at different angles. This will show off the final character render to it’s full potential. I will also make it look the best it possibaly can by using a 3 point lighting setup. I will render 3 times moving the light around the scene and blend them together in Photoshop. The final character sheets will be saved as a png image file. This is a lossless file type.

I must take into consideration the legal and ethical issues during this project. Because this is a game aimed for children I need to keep violence to a minimal level and to not include strong language. I also do not have the rights to any other cartoon penguin characters so I need to be careful during the creative process of my designs not to make them look like other existing designs.

Any art work created within software without a commercial licence cannot be sold or made profit from. If I was to make money from content I created, i would need to obtain a licence for the software that the content was created within. If no licence was obtained, legal action would occur and I could be sued by the company that produce the software. Some software grant student licences in where you are free to use the software at it’s full potential and create as much as you want. You cannot however make or produce anything commercially. You cannot make money from anything you create. This is why the student licence it free and the ordinary licence costs money.

I must make sure that I do not breach copyright within the creation of the characters. There are a lot of cartoon animal characters that have been used in films and TV. Research will need to be done before the creation process. Research into major Walt Disney company and animation studios alike. If content was generated that has similarities that exceed on average I could be faced with legal action and be sued for a lot of money.


Mind Map:


I made a mind map to generate ideas for computer game graphics. I came up with 5 different ideas for creating digital graphics. I then generated ideas further on them ideas on what specific items I could create.

Mood Board:


Here is the mood board for the original penguin land game. I have chosen a few images from the internet and put them all into one document. This helps me visualize how I want my version of thew game to look like. I can now apply innovative techniques to change up the look of the game to how I want it too look.

My reference:,d.ZGU&psig=AFQjCNHLp7s0aCgvjZsTQB5Jv5zzS14oxA&ust=1426974923606696&cad=rja


Thumbnail Sketches:



Here are the initial thumbnail sketches for the penguin. I was trying to come up with ideas just for the shape of the character before detailing it. Click the image to make it larger.


Here is my initial thumbnail sketch page for the polar bear design. I was focusing on the characters face through these designs. Click the image to make it larger.


I created some designs using pencil. I can now compare them and come up with a final design I like the most. I will ask around for some feedback from people so I can get opinions from others on what their favorite designs are. The original design is in pixel art however for my design I want to make it more vector like graphics with clean edges and block colours with simple shading.


I created design pencil sketches for the polar bear. I looked more into the pose of the character this time. With these six designs I can choose one to base a concept art piece from.


With the user interface designs, I wanted to keep it to the minimum. I really like these designs because they have a cartoon style. This fits with the whole art style of the game.