Hey all! My name is Stewart ‘Stu’ Jones and I’m the CG Supervisor here at Relentless Software down here in sunny Brighton, UK… Well, I say ‘sunny’, but right now it’s grey and rainy outside. Boo!
Anyway, with the festive season and Blue Toad Murder Files first birthday approaching we wanted to have an extra ‘Christmas Present’ in the shape of a theme to hand out with our game. Please have a read to hear what we’ve done!
The idea of a Blue Toad Christmas Theme was discussed; we’re all big fans of Christmas! As a result a brief was created in which we needed to take the village of Little Riddle and add some festive spirit to the design… Oh, and any reference to an advent calendar would be appreciated too!
We decided that the background should stay the same throughout; however, we wanted to use the iconic detective’s magnifying glass to show a different image each day during December leading up to Christmas Eve. Having the number of images in the theme limited to 24 which spookily coincides with the number of windows in a traditional advent calendar seemed like a good omen!
At first we had an actual advent calendar displayed over the whole screen, but in practice this obscured the XMB and no one could easily navigate the options… Fail! In the end we decided to keep the magnifying glass and the images in one location, and simply have the opening doors of the advent calendar appear at the side. In turn this cleaned up the theme, and kept the XMB options readable and usable.
With everything in place we had to make the theme more festive. Dom Clubb, one of our Lead Artists, came on board to help me out by painting the background image with a covering of snow. He also added holly to the magnifying glass and generally made everything look pretty!
From there we styled the icons to match the theme, deliberately not changing them to avoid any confusion to the player.
With the theme almost complete, I felt that I wanted to add an extra ‘something’ each day. I’m not going to spoil the surprise today though, you’ll have to wait and see the theme in action! After that the art was complete, and all that was left to do was get our images to change out during the days of December. Luckily, this only required some editing to some scripts. From there we did some testing, created some store icons and packaged it up ready for release.
That’s it! All ready for Santa to make it a Little Riddle Christmas for families all over the globe! The theme is released on November 24, so be sure to grab it before December and you can watch the changes all the way until Christmas Eve! The theme comes free with Episodes 1-6 of Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle or it can be purchased individually for £1.19 or €1.49.