Bubble Cube 2

One of my first tasks as Art Lead at Tether Studios was to revitalize all of the visuals in the game Bubble Cube. The original game was little more than programmer art. I completely reworked and implemented all in-game assets and animated an entirely new set of effects, added stylized painted backgrounds for the different game modes, and crafted an all-new cohesive UI. I was also responsible for all assets outside of the game itself, including game logo, app icons, app store images, banners, and web site assets.

The resulting reskinning of the game resulted in huge wins for the title, raising revenue, retention, and increasing LTV (lifetime value) returns from all players by over 50% and doubling the LTV from paying players.


The game was so successful that Tether decided to try to turn it into a stand-alone free-to-play game. I again served as the Art Lead, defining the look and feel for an entire world to go along with the style I’d defined for the earlier Bubble Cube game. The first version of this project had players traveling through space-time with a time-traveling rabbit named Dart. A later version of the game discarded Dart and the entire story to instead focus on player progression and competition, with competition prizes being customization options. I created most of the UI and illustration for these new PvP and Events screens, but the rest of the game’s UI and UX was created by Caryn Ruah under the Art Direction of Kyle Van Meurs.

Bubble World also required dozens of zones – locations throughout space and time – for the player to visit and collect objects from. I personally designed and illustrated all of the earliest zones, and when we needed more throughput, I created style guides, identified and tested several outsourcing studios, and managed the entire art outsourcing pipeline for the project.


You can see more examples and detail on the Bubble World zones on this page.

See the evolution of the rabbit character Dart’s character design on this page.

Bubble Cube 2 Title Screen
Bubble Cube 2 Title Screen

 

Screenshot – Ice level

 

Screenshot – Rainbow level

 

Screenshot – Bomb level

 

 

Some Game UI

 

Some ‘How to Play’ screens. (I hand-animated all of these mini-screenshots to demonstrate game principles.)
Various game app icons
Various game app icons
App store screens
App store screens
Marketing Style Guide
Marketing Style Guide

 

 

 

Title screen with Dart floating in time-space. The giant spiral in the background slowly rotated, which, along with the star VFX, gave a great feeling of movement
Several screens with Dart, who introduced the player to the story and the game mechanics.
Various sketches for an app icon, along with the final icon render.

 

Bubble World title screen
Here Jo, the character on the title screen, is used to introduce the player to various game concepts. We also tested trying a completely different character, a Norse valkyrie.
Menu screens. Menu UI, bottom HUD and icons, and Event Cards (right) all designed/painted by me.

 

Gameplay screens. All in-game graphics, UI (except for the cannon) and VFX designed by me.
Treasure Chests. At the end of a match, the player would start with the most basic chest and it would level up depending on how well they did.
Bubble World player avatars (one of many customization options in the game.)
Player Challenger Cards. Each card would display the player’s name, selectable tag-line (another customization option) and player rating.
Emoji animation options for Bubble World. I designed and animated all of these emojis (and more!) All of the UI on this screen was designed by Caryn Ruah.
In-game holiday promotion artwork and design.

 

Bubble World “zones”: Each zone features at least one character and 4 other objects in the scene for the player to collect and upgrade.
These zones were created by outside studios who I worked with to ensure a good match to the style I had established. On the top row, the first zone is by BOSi and the second two are from Artua. The bottom row is all art from Game Vision.
Some pages form the Style Guide that I developed to share with art outsourcing houses. As external studios continued to work on assets, I would update this document to better clarify needs and eliminate points of confusion.
Various ideas for the ‘Bubble World’ app icon, and the final icon that tested the best.