The casual game genre is considered one of the most straightforward and recognizable among gamers of all ages and preferences. These are the simplest games with addictive gameplay and minimalistic art, usually requiring you to tap on the screen. They have clear goals – scoring more points, clear levels, and so on. But despite this, the development of such games is often difficult and long. Based on this, a casual game development company receives most of the art tasks through outsourcing services.
Casual Character Concept Art
Creating the gameplay aspect of a casual game is not difficult. The simple actions that keep gamers addicted are just part of the game. A video games company that creates a casual game is often faced with the fact that it is quite challenging to realize the visual potential of the characters.
Many are familiar with the casual mobile game Subway Surfers, which has been a cult game since 2012 and is moving forward. The developers paid attention to the characters to dilute the monotonous and simple gameplay.
A game can be exciting and “well-crafted,” but no one will play it if there are no quality visual aspects. Based on this, most of the services for casual games relate to creating characters, particularly casual art.
3D Modeling for Casual Games
The visual component of all 3D games is models; almost everything you see in the game is a model that the modeler and artist worked on. Outsource modeling for games is one of the popular services for casual games since the modern game industry is very demanding on high-quality visuals.
In general, 3D at this stage is much higher than 2D. The reason for this is more features and the quality of the game, which uses 3D graphics. This does not mean that 2D models will look worse; it’s just that modern trends have their own requirements. As a result, it’s hard to find a 2D casual model among them.
Casual Game Backgrounds
Background refers to visual design and pictures in the context of a service for creating casual games. Although the development of the story and the general lore of the game (yes, even casual games have lore and story) is also one of the services, it is not as popular as the creation of backgrounds. Many might think this is part of creating a casual game and casual art design. And they will be right; from a conceptual point of view, it is not that difficult. But, technically, this is not easy to implement, especially in casual games.
One example of a background many designers and artists cite as one of the worst is the background from the Jackie Chan Adventures cartoon. If you look at the character designs, it’s acceptable, but the same can’t be said for the background design, which is terrible and performs a minimal visual function.
To avoid repeating these mistakes and not turning the background into just a minimal game element, designers spend a lot of time creating it. It requires working with shadows, shapes, and colors so that everything on the screen is part of the game, not just a stock image.
Casual NFT Art Design Services
The NFT is growing at a rapid pace. If earlier everything was limited to lifeless tokens and later turned into pictures with monkeys, now a whole category of NFT games has appeared. And such games are played, but they all differ in gameplay and visually.
On par with complex RPGs and TCGs, there are casual games like Axie Infinity. This is a monster breeding game. Your task is to raise a pet Axie; later, they can be exchanged and earn money on it. On the one hand, the gameplay is very simple, and such games with pets are more like children. But on the other hand, the crypto community sees an opportunity to make a profit in these characters.
Based on this, such simple and casual games are primarily part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, so casual art services for NFT games are gaining unprecedented popularity. The reason for this is that many projects are difficult to compete with without the high-quality visual design of the game.
2D/3D Game Sprites
Sprites are still bitmap images that are displayed from one viewing angle. When creating a 2D game, the choice of two-dimensional images is justified by their ease of implementation and versatility.
But rapid technological progress has opened up a wide range of options for developers in the choice of tools for creating graphics, and most of them have preferred 3D visualization with isometric grids. But no one forgot about 2D, and this technology is used for distant minor figures, extras, leaves, smoke, explosions, and other special effects in casual games so that they do not seem empty.
Depending on the game’s plot, it becomes necessary to convey the character of the character, the environment, secondary characters, etc. All this requires various techniques – from contours to a color palette that allows you to convey to the user exactly the spectrum of impressions the developer intended.
Animation and VFX
Static pictures with dialogues are interesting only in the context of visual anime novels, without any gameplay features. Casual games often have minimal animation and VFX content, including:
- Motion Capture
- Particle Systems
- Skeletal animation
- 2D and 3D animation (CGI)
Many have heard about CGI and its active use in games, popular shows, and movies. Also, motion capture technology is used more often to make the game as realistic as possible. Increasingly, you can find a video games company introducing mocap technology even for casual games. Sometimes such use wastes resources and budget and does not bring the desired results, but sometimes the games get the attention and success they deserve.
VFX is the more time-consuming part of creating a casual game, as it is integral to how the game feels. Despite their simplicity, Casual games also require attention to detail and high-quality graphic effects. A casual artist engaged in VFX has to create various explosions, lightning, magic, waterfalls, fountains, etc. And it is tough for a beginner to do this because studios most often look for assistants from outsourcing companies.
Casual Game UI UX Design
The game interface is often relegated to a secondary role, which is a mistake since it directly affects the UX and shows the attitude of developers toward gamers. Casual games often include quite a lot of elements, such as menus, health/mana/stamina indicators, resource icons, navigation buttons, etc.
Casual games are mobile projects, and casual gaming should be easy and fast, without unnecessary delays for finding the right buttons and stuff like that. The task of the UI and UX designer is to make the gameplay clear, easy, and minimally loaded. First of all, designers must test all the aspects they put into the design from the side of gamers. They will understand why this button is needed or what the resource icon means (because they already know this). So the basis of the work of the interface designer is their own gaming experience and convenience for those who downloaded the game for the first time.
2D and 3D Game Icon Design
And last but not least is the icon design service. Many developers overlook this detail because they think players are most interested in gameplay or graphics. And this is a big mistake. Different genres of games, for example, retrostylegames.com/blog/different-genres-of-video-games-feature-3d-models/ have their preferred elements like 3D models. Icons for casual games are one of the main triggers for gamers looking for new content and have features like color schemes, visualization of the game’s main elements, etc.
As a result, 2D and 3D icons can take quite a long time to design as the element is used for promotions, merchandise, and visual presence among hundreds of other casual projects. You can create a simple icon quickly and easily, but it will not always bring the desired downloads and audience of casual gaming growth. So this is another service that game development companies often use.
Why is game logo design important for casual games?
The logo is the first element of the game that the user sees. This trigger will force them to click on it and grab their attention among other projects. There are a lot of casual games; if you check this section in the markets right now, new projects appear every week. And to be among them and not fall instantly, developers need to catch gamers, and the first available tool for this is the logo.
Some Final Words
What is a casual game? Some will say this genre is the easiest to develop, which gamers of different ages and genders love to play. That is why the number of casual games is growing every day. Recently, such games have been popular among tik tok bloggers who use the gameplay of casual games as a hook to watch.
But developers who create a real game product should pay attention to details, gameplay, and especially visual design. This is necessary for the game to be really interesting and not just the background of TikTok videos.