We have always used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop for the initial prototyping of our app designs. Though a bit of an overkill, we were familiar with it and hence stuck with it for a long time. Then a friend introduced us the Sketch App. And it just blew us away..
Firstly, it’s less than 50 MB installed on your hard disk. 50 freakin MB. Can you imagine that? Adobe Illustrator is more than 1.5 GB and Photoshop is well over that. We became a believer right then. Of course don’t get us wrong. Illustrator is still one of the best when it comes to making accurate drawings that involve stylus inputs and Photoshop is the king of digital image manipulation.
If you google you will find a million comparisons between Sketch, Photoshop and Illustrator but believe us Sketch wins when you are looking at getting started with the initial screens of the app and it wins in Web Design because of its superior grid layouts, ability to export all layers separately in one go and get CSS attributes for your designs!
And the templates included are so much handy. They have templates and export options for almost every iOS device screen size, Web Design and most popular Android ones. It is a match made in heaven for studios like us.
So Sketch has now become our de facto software for building our initial designs.
It is available for download from their official website. You can first download a Trial version and then purchase the licence if you like from HERE.
If you are really interested here is a small list of awesome free tutorials that will help transition to the software. Note that some of the tutorials are of Sketch 3 while the latest version available right now is Sketch 4 but be assured that the learnings in them still apply!
After the Reboot of our Studio we took a tiny break and now we’re back in the office.
This is what’s happening for 2017!
• Finish Quote Codes. We have had a bumpy road on this but finally we are now moving in the right direction. The bulk of the technology is done. What we’re doing now is some in-game mechanics, some animations, a little intro, bug fixing and fine tuning. We’ll keep you posted on a release date and we have documented the entire journey from Design to Code which we would be sharing– The game will be out in the first half of this year.
In the meantime go check out the pages from the game and don’t forget to follow them!
Besides Quote Codes we are doing some exciting collaborations and working on a few cool things
• We’re collaborating with Ranganath Krishnamani an amazing artist to work a secret project that is very close to our hearts (more details on this later!)
• We are also collaborating with some amazing people overseas for a wacky little game called the Last Drop that is based on this awesome saying by a very wise old man – “You can shake it, you can fling it, you can beat it against the wall.. But when you put it in your pants, that last drop will always fall” (We leave the rest to your imagination :p)
• The Game Quantum! reworking this and coming out with a more refined, more enjoyable version of our cute little game is one off our top priorities. More details in the coming months!
• Some Android related stuff is also planned!
• And probably a lot more cool stuff for later this year.
It feels very strange to actually put that down in writing. I feel kinda ‘old’. But it’s been so long agothat we (Pratik and I) sat down and started this way back in college. It didn’t have a name. We weren’t a‘design studio’ it was the two of us. Doing random things, anything we could get our hands on, freelance(usually a lot of pro bono work) you know the drill.
This was us. This was Pixel DropWe spent the first year working on a project that was too big, beyond our purview. A lesson learnt the hardway. The next two years we spent onThe Game Quantum. It was the most frustrating butsatisfying period of our life. That a real learning curve.
A few months back, we decided that it was time to change. Get our focus back. We were lacking in that singleoriented, tunnel vision that kept us awake at night. Complacency was setting in. The edges were gettingrounded off. We stopped caring about the proverbial ‘one pixel offset’. In short, we stopped being anal aboutdesign.
Pixel Drop Studios Reboot
It was time for Pixel Drop 2.0. We vowed to get our core principles right again – make every pixel matter. Aone pixel offset is a one pixel offset. It has to be made right. Because it matters to us. We have set out to redo our first app The Game Quantum to make it what we had the originally envisioned it to be. Simple yet smart. And of course science. Because… Science B(#ch!
And this is what we are now. This is us. Pixel Drop Studios v2.0.
Our primary colors – the two shades of blue, contrasted by pure white. And a tertiary grey for supportingelements.
The logo is made entirely of geometric shapes.And if you look closely enough. It’s got our initials in it. P & J. Pratik and Joseph. And look even more closely to the guys out there who are anal about design. There’s a one pixel offset in the ‘x’. That’s to remind ourselves every time we look at it that it matters. It alwaysdoes. It’s when it stops mattering, that we stop caring and nothing that is inspiring to us will ever comeout of it.
So it’s time to begin anew. Pixel Drop v2.0. Clean and simple. Time to get that tunnel vision back.
It’s time to put some keystrokes on the hyperlinked document again. So I and Pratik have been going through what you might call an ‘awakening call’ after launching our very first app The Game Quantum on the App Store. It’s been a journey of initial highs and then abysmal lows.
And we realized how utterly narrow minded we had become along our design process, thinking we were being focused. We just overlooked basic user problems and assumptions. But I think it’s getting better this time around. We’re striving at it, working at it from ‘first principles’. Look out for the lean mean version 2.0 of The Game Quantum coming soon before year end.
This one is much simpler, more straight forward and most importantly – just easy to understand. I’ve come to accept the bitter sweet meaning of ‘less is more’ while going through this thought process. Turns out it is really hard to cut down on your work. Really assess which is essential and which is just glitter. ‘Is something important? Is this necessary? Does this enhance the app experience? Will the user actually use this?’ We’ve been questioning ourselves on everything that we’ve done. It’s a big deal to swallow your own ego and accept you were just plain wrong the first time around. And then some to rethink your own design principles. I hope we would have fixed it this time around.
We want the user to just start with the game and enjoy it. The game is too complicated, we included too many parameters and assumed too much of the user. We started from the wrong place and no wonder we ended up at the wrong destination.
And then we decided to actually apply all this to ourselves as well. Not just the app, but our whole studio. The branding, the website, just who we are. So this is when we’re beginning, this is it. And wanted to put it into writing because somehow it make us more accountable – having your manifesto in front of you. Reminding you what you have to become. So here is to beginning anew. Get the basics right once again, (as we say it here) one pixel at a time.