Derek’s Branding Workshop

To begin the development process we had a workshop with Derek Yates about Branding in regards to our FMP. We started off by watching a couple videos from Movingbrands.com that showcased how different companies have undergone a re-brand or built themselves a visual identity.

I particularly enjoyed the video from the makers of Resistance 3 as it was both related to games and because it allowed us to identify particular elements that determined the visual identity of the game and the brand. Without explicitly being told, we were able to identify that the game was Resistance 3 through the red, black and white colour scheme.

This is really important as it tells us that should draw our own colour schemes from the game so that a clear link is made from the branding to the game. We then watched the iPlayer kids re-brand and were introduced to the ideas of Sound and Behaviour in branding. We could see in both the motion graphics and the app logo that the words were very ‘child-like’ and accurately reflected the theme for the brand. It was also quite shocking to see the amount of work that goes into a re-brand, there were a huge amount of Typeface, Icon and Layout variation between each of the iterations and it made me realise the importance of nailing down our visual identity at the beginning of this project.

One of Derek’s tips was to personify the game and use those elements for our visual identity. We then took Claudia and Bobbies game and broke it down into keywords that we could use to create a ‘Tool-kit’ for their visual identity. The key theme of Morocco came back quite a few times so I believe they should spend more time looking further into Moroccan culture as the behaviour and sounds could definitely be a strong focus for their visual identity.

We then broke down into our own groups and were given a task to write down a load of words that we felt represented our game best. Once we’d done this we had to narrow down these words into six that we wanted to use to help us identify specific elements for our toolkit. You can see images below of the Words that we chose, we then put these words onto a sheet and tried to think about what each of these words meant in regards to;  Type, Animation/Movement/Behaviour, Sound, Colour/Pattern/Texture, Layout.

It was quite a good exercise as it definitely helped us to see that some elements of our game ‘clashed’. For example: the behaviour and colours for Rustic were in direct opposition to the attributes we’d given Challenge. It is because of this that Derek suggested that we choose a focal point to base the identity around, in this case the ‘Tycoon’ aspect of our game. It was really interesting to think about what each word meant in relation to each element of the toolkit, we definitely should look at each word and find similarities as it will help us to build a strong and definitive identity.  Derek was pleased with our initiative as we dove straight into it whilst the other teams felt a tad lost with the exercise.

I actually really enjoyed this workshop and it definitely gave me more to think about when we begin to consider marketing our game. We’re going to have Millie work on the visual identity as she wishes to start building a Graphic Design portfolio. The workshop instilled the importance of giving yourself parameters to work within when producing this identity as it allows you to deeply explore all the possibilities rather than branching out and creating a huge variety of ideas that aren’t linked in any way. In the BBC iPlayer for Kids brand above, the ‘parental constraints’ imposed on children player a massive part in their branding; they translated this into the icon and graphics show the words trying to ‘escape’ much like how children like to play by hiding and running from their parents.

We start properly on Monday where we will be discussing the Team Roles, our rough Development Timeline, and beginning the Development process by assigning tasks for completion weekly. In the meantime Jess has suggested that we start thinking about our Marketing and Promotion, which I believe Jess and Millie will be undertaking. I have opted to look into the Steam Greenlight process as that is the end goal for this game.

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