The game puts you in the shoes of an investigator whose goal is to deliver justice... quickly. It offers a multitude of crime scenes to observe, full of evidence to collect and cross-check, as well as several suspects to eliminate until the culprit is found, all the while being as fast as possible!
For this first hypercasual production, I was in charge of the whole visual part. From the visual development to the final integration in the game engine.
The main constraint was to optimize the resources total weight as much as possible, so that the app would be quick to install. I opted for a topdown isometric view, so that I could compose the crime scenes without worrying about perspective considerations or constraints, favoring the reuse of assets.
I created the assets using adobe animate, and for the most part (the simplest ones) they were exported in grayscale, to be tinted once integrated in Unity. This way, it became easy to use the same asset in several colors and context.
When possible, the assets were cut, and sliced into Unity to save some more space in the spritesheets.
Then I was able to create numbers of crime scenes from this library of common elements.
We thought a lot about how we would go about creating a wide variety of characters, while keeping in mind the absolute need for optimization.
Following the same logic as for the environments, all the parts were created using Adobe Animate and exported in grayscale to be tinted directly in Spine (Esoteric Software), specifically for each character.
After some time, I reached a gallery of about 40 characters, built as avatars. Using Spine's skin system, we produced 6 different archetypes, with their own size and proportions, all in the same file sharing skeleton and animations.
Once the environments and characters were in place, it became essential for an investigation game (as humorous as it is) to create strong moods. For this, I relied on two unity tools: the 2D lighting system, and the post-processing effects.
This allowed, in a short amount of time, to push the render forward by adding more life and depth to these scenes.
We iterated a lot on the UX, guided by the analytics we had on how people played the game. At one point, we chose to pack all the cases splitting them by seasons, in an attempt to be more narrative based.
(clues icon set)
Ultimately, we recorded some creatives for user acquisition, showing speedy versions of some very easy cases, just to show a sneak peak of how it works.
Want to give a shot ?
The game is F2P and available here !