Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs

3 more days until the launch of Quote Codes on the App Store, we are so excited! In Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs we look at our initial design process of the App.

Early Designs

How do we adapt our cryptic word puzzle idea into a digital format? This was the problem that had to be solved.

The obvious thing was that the quote had to be in the center.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
We wanted the quote to always be in the center

Now the main problem was how does the player input the letters? We couldn’t do the traditional keyboard layout because it takes too much space and more importantly, it blocks part of the quote. This was a serious problem that had to be solved. Under no circumstance could we block the quote.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
The traditional keyboard layout takes too much space and blocks part of the quote.

After going through various iterations,  we finally zeroed on the current format. The slider input option – we had gotten the idea from the song browsing scrubbing gesture on the iTunes app on iOS.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
The song browsing scrubbing gesture on the iTunes app proved to be the solution

We decided to add the keyboard on the bottom so that the player has no distraction while looking at the quote. On touching a letter on the keyboard we then added a magnification feedback which was crucial.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
The magnification on touch was crucial

The next steps were simple. Showing clues – this was adjusted on the top. I then adjusted the colors a bit and added our cryptic Primitive Font. No biggie.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
Adjusted the colors. Added the Clue and Primitive Font

Then came the fun part – Type. We needed another font for the actual input. We wanted to get something contrasting. The Primitive font was minimal, austere, geometrical. We wanted something whimsical and quirky. We finally settled on the DK Clair De Lune font.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
DK Clair De Lune font was whimsical and quirky

I was absolutely in love with the font. The curves on it just gave it a different feel altogether. 

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
The new font completely changed the look of the game

So we ended up with this as the design.

Quote Codes Diaries 7: Early Designs
This was the early designs of Quote Codes

I thought we had something just perfect from a visual point of view. Boy was I wrong. More on this next time!

Till then don’t forget to Pre-order Quote Codes on the Appstore here, it comes out on Jan 18, 2018. Pre ordering ensures that the app automatically downloads onto your device on Jan 18

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game

Joseph back again. Today in Quote Codes Diaries 6, we look at how we got the idea for the game!

The initial inspiration for Quote Codes was from a word game in my local newspaper ‘Mumbai Mirror’ that I played when I was in school. I don’t exactly remember the name but it was about figuring out a coded message.

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game
A substitution cipher game in which one letter stands for another. I was addicted to this game!

Only one clue was given, that’s it. You had to bang your head against all things to figure it out. Sometimes it would take minutes, other times hours or even days! (Of course you could cheat a little by checking out part of the answer on the next page!) I loved doing this and reading ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic strip!

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game
A classic Pearls Before Swine comic strip

Fast forward to when we had made the Primitive Font, one day I happened to go through the newspaper again and was doodling some changes for the primitive font. Then it struck me – how would this be for the digital age. How can we adapt it for mobile. And that was the beginning of Quote Codes.
The primitive font was perfect for representation as a symbol. It was cryptic yet understandable. On searching further I came to know that this was a genre in itself – substitution cypher game.

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game
The Primitive Font was cryptic yet had a defined structure to be understandable. It proved perfect for the cryptographic game concept

The next hurdle was what to base it on. What quotes to select. And the way was shown by ‘QuizUp’. The app had just gotten big and everyone I knew was hooked to it. So we studied their most popular categories and we had our answer-TV shows and movies. And of course others as well. But we focused mainly on TV shows because these had a certain sense of nostalgia associated with it. People felt delighted when they figured out the quote.

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game
We looked at QuizUp for inspiration in selecting the topics and decided to start off with only TV Show quotes

This was followed by a frenzied 2 day work on the initial gameplay screen designs.

That story, we’ll cover in the next one!

Quote Codes Diaries 6: The Idea For A Game

Till then don’t forget to Pre-order Quote Codes on the Appstore here, it comes out on Jan 18, 2018. Pre ordering ensures that the app automatically downloads onto your device on Jan 18

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

Hey Folks,

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! Let’s kick off Quote Codes Diaries 5 with the Animation of the Primitive Font!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font
It’s time to see these animated!

In the previous blogs, I explained the concept of Animography and how it inspired us to animate our Primitive Font. Then next we saw the basic practices one must always follow in an animation project to keep the project scalable and customizable and avoid silly errors.

Today, we will see the results of all that planning and hard work. Here is our dearest Primitive Font in all its glory!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

Each character in our font is unique and has a custom animation. The whole project lasted just over 2 months for us.

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

Remember we said that we wanted to restrict the animation of each character within its grid.

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

Here are the remaining characters!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

 

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

This one’s our favorite!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

 

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

 

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

 

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

And then finally the symbols.

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

 

Converting your animations into Sprite Sheets.

So you spent all this time animating in After Effects and now want to use them in your app. Traditionally sprite sheets are made by painfully drawing each frame one-by-one. But now there is a way to export your animations into sprite sheets directly from After Effects itself!

Thanks to Matthias Guntrum and his AE script Sheetah, you can now export any animation into a sprite sheet in no time. Just head to the Sheetah page and download the package –> unzip and  Merge sheetah’s After Effects/ScriptUI Panels folder with your following After Effects Installation folder: [path]/Adobe After Effects [version_number]/Support Files/Scripts/ScriptUI Panels

Now just restart After Effects, open your animation file and go to Window –> Sheetah.jsx.

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font
Sheetah will be available under the Window panel

A Sheetah popup will display on your AE project. Select the output type from the 3 available options (png, tga or tif) and hit Save Spritesheet. Export in your desired destination folder and thats it!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font
Export your animations into sprite sheets in a matter of seconds

Your sprite sheet is now ready for use in your app!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font
Here is our character sprite sheet

I hope you enjoyed reading about our thoughts and process behind the making and animation of the Primitive Font. Stay tuned for the next Quote Codes Diary where Joseph will explain how we started thinking about using the font in an app which ultimately resulted in Quote Codes!

Quote Codes Diaries 5: Animation of the Primitive Font

Till then don’t forget to Pre-order Quote Codes on the Appstore here, it comes out on Jan 18, 2018. Pre ordering ensures that the app automatically downloads onto your device on Jan 18

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography

Welcome to blog 3 of the Quote Codes Diaries. A quick recap –  Till now we saw the Origins and Making of the Primitive Font: How, at its core the Primitive Font is made up of only four basic shapes, Circle + Rectangle + Triangle + Line. All the characters then are a combination of these shapes with minor adjustments. The font gained popularity online on Behance and Typography Served.

Today, as promised we divulge into the fun bits, Animations!

Animation + Typography = Animography.

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography

Fast forward a few months after we finished the design of the font. One fine magical afternoon I was browsing through the internet and came across Animography – A webshop/typefoundry that provides motion designers, video-editors and others in the field of the moving image with animated typefaces.

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography
Animography means animated typeface

Animography (animation+typography) at the time was new but gaining immense momentum. Imagine the possibilities here. You can use the animated typefaces in apps, trailers, games, videos, etc. It could instantly spruce up a project and make it more fun.

We wanted to do this, and we wanted to do this with our beloved Primitive Font. At the time we hadn’t even thought of making a game out this. We just wanted to animate and make it cool.

Animating The Primitive Font.

If you notice, most of the typefaces in Animography follow a very defined approach towards the animations of characters. Take Amelie By Shabello for example. All the characters come as drops from the top and then open up to their shapes.

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography
Amelie follows a defined animation process where all the characters start as drops and then expand to their shapes

Though this looks absolutely awesome, we wanted to create unique animations for each characters of our font. The design of the Primitive font is very structured and tight, through animations we wanted to break this and create a little bit of chaos.

But that being said, certain rules were still needed to be defined to maintain focus.

1. We wanted to follow the grid system used in design and constrain the animations within it.

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography
Animation of each character is to be constrained within their grids

2. We did not want to add more color in animations

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography
No extra color will be added in animation except the 2 above

3. We wanted to play with the basic shapes as much as possible.

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography
Focus to play with the basic shapes in characters

And, so we began the quest to animate the Primitive Font. This was our first proper animation project, so everything had a learning curve. Next time I will dive deep into the process and journey: failure and success. I will even explain the basics of setting up After Effects for your animographies, so that your project is scalable and customizable. Stay Tuned!

Quote Codes Diaries 3: Animation + Typography = Animography

Till then don’t forget to Pre-order Quote Codes on the Appstore here, it comes out on Jan 18, 2018. Pre ordering ensures that the app automatically downloads onto your device on Jan 18.

 

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins

Greetings my people! Now that Quote Codes is up for Pre-Order, I finally get a breather. And I’ve been just looking back at the whole process of making Quote Codes and what a journey it has been. Beginning today, we played to have a series of blogs mapping out Pixel Drop’s entire journey with Quote Codes.

Primitive Font Origins

Let’s start at the very beginning. Quote Codes actually began with the Primitive Font. It wasn’t the typical we have this concept, let’s make a prototype and then finish off with graphics. It was a long and organic journey you might say.

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins
Only the basic shapes are used for the font hence the name: Primitive Font

This was way back in 2013, and I was obsessed with simple geometric shapes being used as the basis for all illustrations. I was validated in 2015 when google redid their logo to make it completely based on geometric shapes in order to reduce data consumption. (You can check that out HERE)

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins
The new Google logo is built on the mathematical purity of geometric circles

This combined with a throwback to the Swiss Design Style of the yesteryears gave birth to Primitive Font

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins
International Typographic Style or commonly known as Swiss Style characterizes itself with the use of asymmetrical layouts built around a mathematically constructed grid

I never intended to have this as an app. It was just an experiment with various principles in my head. A search for clarity. Plus a need to make something with these principles.

Geometry and order are inherent characteristics in design – it requires a certain degree of discipline to impose constraints on yourself and find solutions within that framework. It’s also a recipe for innovation. It forces you to analyse everything closely.

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins
The idea was to make use of only basic geometric shapes for achieving the Primitive Font

Primitive Font involved the use of four basic shapes. Circle. A Line. A Triangle. A Rectangle. Everything else is a union or intersection of these four shapes. And couple this with contrasting colors to bring about the conflict between the shapes.

Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins
Simple grid system was used to incorporate the shapes

All this within a simple grid incorporating the shapes. That’s pretty much it to be honest. And of course getting featured in Typography Served.  It was the first time that a Pixel Drop product got recognized anywhere. So this one’s special to us.

Next time, I’ll dive in detail about Primitive Font with examples.

Don’t forget to Pre-order Quote Codes on the Appstore here, it comes out on Jan 18, 2018. Pre ordering ensures that the app automatically downloads onto your device on Jan 18. 


Quote Codes Diaries: Primitive Font Origins