November 2017, Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity became our central development effort with a secret target Kickstarter launch hope of Q3–4 2018. Though we were excited about the theme, how the game looked was a blank slate.
The visual appeal and execution of the theme in illustration and graphic design is the Art Directors job. Fight in a Box is a tiny company so the responsibilities of the Art Director for Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity fell to me. During End of the Line, I was saved from the brunt of this work by Mel, but when she moved up to Chip Theory Games, I had to fend for myself. From my previous life, I understood the critical importance of the role. I took to the task with gusto. What I lacked in experience, I would make up for with enthusiasm.
Graham Judd is amazing. We couldn’t be happier with his work on Squirrel or Die; the narrative between cards continually brings a smile to my face. Since Processing is a little edgy, we recruited him again. My priority was creativity and collaboration, and Graham has those in abundance.
With Mel’s departure, we needed a Graphic Designer. Jody Henning name came up when we asked around locally. Jody worked on Prolific Games Witch Slapped and we got to see her at conventions with Atlas Games. We asked her and a handful of others to put together a proposal for Processing. Jody was the winner.
With our team in place and with a tiny budget (we’ve grown up enough to pay the talent even if only a little), I leaned into my “strengths”: aspirations, open-mindedness, expectations, and deadlines. Processing was Graham’s third project with Fight in a Box, so he had some idea about how to manage me. Jody had to suffer through a few skype conversation centered around 50’s movie posters. We were building “a set of visual design legos” to construct the game out of. To get the ball rolling, a box front mockup in orange was the first deliverable. It would set the tone and the overall shape and color pallet for the entire project. Additionally, we could use any successful elements for promotion during convention season.
I wanted a “design focus” front cover in orange because it complimented End of the Line. Since the theme is a bit gruesome, keeping things a bit abstract would allow people to know the dark humor in the box without being too horrified. A hipster meat diagram was mentioned.
Jody and I worked iteratively to get to the box front mockups ready for feedback. Jody’s approach to making things for us to discuss was constructive. With each cycle, we stepped closer to the visual core of Processing. We settled on urban mayhem, tractor beams, cows, but the hipster shape was in question. I got our options together and sought feedback.
Continued in "The Road to Processing pt 4"