Potions for SalE

August 2017 - December 2017

Plum, a traveling potion merchant with big dreams and meager luck, adventures through a vibrant and fantastical world to make the best of his chosen profession. Underlying his quest are the solemn undertones of sacrifice and yearning. What would one be willing to give up in pursuit of a dream? What amount of money, opportunities, and time would you let slip through your fingers to venture off the beaten path?

Potions for Sale is a visual development project that revolves around creating the unique visual identity of a mock video game. Concept design, illustrations, signage, and UI/UX are iterated through weekly group critique while researching and developing a cohesive world and characters.

Solo project presented on a weekly basis to a larger board for critique, 5 months.
Conceptual artwork painted in Adobe Photoshop CC, logo work vectored in Adobe Illustrator CC.
Appeared in NYU Game Center's End of the Year Show, 2018.

A crucial step in my design process was performing an audit of games with a UI/IX that resonated with my own game’s core values.

Potions for Sale is a narrative game that plunges the player into a rich environment, alive with interpersonal connections, characters with dreams and aspirations. Because of this, I sought out other experiences that similarly emphasized these themes and analyzed what aspects of their user interface helped to elicit such a meaning. It is my personal philosophy that UI/UX is not simply about graphic design, but rather involves a higher-level concept of user interaction and conveyed meaning. It can become something that moves in tandem with game design and even narrative, ultimately cultivating raw emotion.

This audit led me to the conclusion that a personal, thematic touch is a powerful tool to keep in consideration for this game. Because my narrative is so character-driven, it’s important to include character portraits in this particular end-product of a Storefront UI, to allow the player to connect with them on a deeper level. The items for sale are also framed within the UI in a way that gives them real physicality. By representing them as actual potions sitting upon a self and presenting their mechanical information through physical tags, they are grounded within the setting. This hammers home the thematic beats I want the user to experience, as they are now encouraged to deeply participate within the game’s world.

While this was a solo project, it was accompanied by a weekly critique, in which I presented my work to a board of approximately sixteen people and justified the nuances of my design choices. This included individuals from a wide array of backgrounds, so it was important that I keep in mind a more code or general gameplay oriented perspective, along with a visual one, as I explained my decisions and how they worked in service of the overall experience. I would then absorb the feedback I was given and use it to further iterate and refine my designs.