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Designing Egg Behaviors

One of the interesting challenges with designing for ‘Egg!’ was figuring out how to make a sequel that would be familiar and appealing to fans of Egg Baby, but still fresh and surprising enough to feel like a whole new game.  There’s a lot to like about Egg Baby, but also a whole lot we wanted to add and expand on. 

From the characters and world, to activities and minigames, to the social and multiplayer options, the art, sound, mechanics, and underlying tech are all new and improved.  You might notice certain things appear familiar on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll start to see all the ways ‘Egg!’ is different from Egg Baby.  Today, we’ll focus on the Eggs themselves.

There’s a whole new set of Eggs to choose from, of course.  Whether you’re raising an Egg alone or with a friend, you’ll still tickle, feed, and clean your Eggs, but the way those actions shape your Egg and help it grow has changed dramatically.

The Common Egg might look familiar, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface…

The Common Egg might look familiar, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface…

One of our favorite mechanics from Egg Baby was the way in which your choices shape your Egg.  We knew from the start we wanted to keep that, but we also wanted Eggs to have more of their own traits and quirks to set them apart from one another.

The items you give your Egg will still help shape it into one of six personalities.    Eggs might have a natural affinity for one personality or another, but they will still be influenced by your choices.  Your Eggs will make requests of you, and you can always fulfill them to see where it leads naturally.   But you can also lead your Egg towards a specific personality, which in turn affects the types of things it will ask for.  Whatever you do, your actions will help it grow faster and develop into a healthy and happy Egg!

Beyond their appearances, we also knew we wanted Eggs to have more unique mannerisms.  We wanted them to feel like independent beings, with thoughts and desires of their own, without watering down the player’s influence over their Egg’s development.  We settled on the idea that Eggs should feel like a cross between puppies and toddlers – depending on the player for love and care, but also being eager to play and explore their world.

The most obvious change you’ll notice is that Eggs now have different tastes in food and hobbies. 

Eww, veggies!

Eww, veggies!

Some might be a little grumpy and not respond to tickling as well, while others bounce around with happy energy.  Some Eggs might even be a bit free-spirited and can wander off if you don’t keep an eye on them.

Unattended Eggs can get up to all kinds of mischief.

Unattended Eggs can get up to all kinds of mischief.

We also wanted your house to feel more like a real household, with Eggs that react to each other like real siblings.  You might get an Egg that is a bit of a hypochondriac…

Cough cough… Can’t go to school today…

Cough cough… Can’t go to school today…

But be mindful it doesn’t spread to the rest of your Eggs!

Maybe they aren’t just faking it.

Maybe they aren’t just faking it.

Like all siblings, your Eggs will react to and interact with each other more in ‘Egg!’ as well.  While your Eggs will ask for stuff frequently, we wanted to incorporate the idea that you shouldn’t necessarily indulge them all the time - just like with toddlers and puppies, you wouldn’t always give them everything they want.  And just like real siblings, if you indulge one more than the others you might find them getting jealous of each other…

“She started it!”

“She started it!”

And that’s just a few of the ways that Eggs behave differently!  You’ll still shape them with your care and choices, but you’ll find different eggs have different traits and characteristics beyond just how they look.  Coming soon – just like toddlers and puppies, your Eggs are not responsible decision-makers!

It looks inviting, but perhaps not the best place for an Egg…

It looks inviting, but perhaps not the best place for an Egg…

-Dyala

Designing Space Egg!

ohai everyone! My name is Jasmine and it's really exciting to be writing my first blog post for 'Egg!' ヽ(^o^)丿

Being a designer, I get to think creatively about all sorts of different features and content, and very clearly detail out how those things are going to work in the game. My teammates will then work with me on my idea and how to make it a reality using their wizard art and programming skills (ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧ For me, it's a perfect combo of creative work and tech work. 

One of my favorite things I got to design on 'Egg!' was the mini-game, Space Egg, a mini-game where your egg is flying through space and dodging obstacles. 

On first try, I thought about setting up the mini-game as a predetermined course where I intentionally place each obstacle and those places would never change, no matter how many times you play through the game... similar a scene in one of my favorite games, Aladdin for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. 

Lava escape from Disney’s Aladdin – a predetermined obstacle course

Lava escape from Disney’s Aladdin – a predetermined obstacle course

The problem I ran into with this idea was because it was so set, once a player memorizes the path and the obstacles coming their way, the fun and magic is kind of lost. For a mini-game that is meant to be played over and over again for coins, this wasn't quite what we needed. Back to the drawing board!

What if I set up different stages that introduced different layers of obstacles? And then randomize those stages? It sounded like I was heading in the right direction, so I started to draw out some examples of the stages I had in mind to show to the team.

I wanted the first stage to be pretty easy, giving the player a feel for the mini-game, getting players used to the swiping up and down and dodging obstacles. 

My original drawing for Stage 1 of Space Egg!

My original drawing for Stage 1 of Space Egg!

The second stage is where I wanted to introduce the challenge... speeding up the ship, adding in more obstacles that didn't really move, blocking adjacent lanes, and making the space between each obstacle a little smaller. Still nothing too insane.

My original drawing for Stage 2 of Space Egg!

My original drawing for Stage 2 of Space Egg!

For the third and final stage, I wanted to add an obstacle that didn't just stay still, in addition to having the ship continue speed up and making the space between each obstacle even smaller. That gave birth to the idea of meteors that fly in and go across the screen. Definitely good for keeping players on their toes!

My original drawing for Stage 3 of Space Egg!

My original drawing for Stage 3 of Space Egg!

After testing the mini-game at least a million times (I am REALLY good at Space Egg now!) and adding in polish like the names of the stages and the ending of the mini-game, my poorly done drawings were brought to life with the final result being a fun and challenging mini-game that gives you a slightly different experience every time. 

Space Egg and the 3 stages in their final form!

Space Egg and the 3 stages in their final form!

Seeing an idea go from paper to the game always makes me very giddy and excited, no matter how many times I see it happen. Aside from being a part of creating games, my favorite part about being a designer is seeing others take joy in the games and content that I create.

I’m super stoked to see how you do in Space Egg! 

- Jasmine (✿◠‿◠)

Designing on 'Egg!', Part 2

In addition to planning features and writing design documents, game design is also about iteration and problem solving. One challenge we faced during the development of ‘Egg!’ involved egg growth stages.

As you raise your egg, it will eventually reach a threshold in which it must grow to its next state. This involves changing not only the size of its shell, but also the size and placement of its facial features, for each growth state.

This placed a heavy workload on our artists. So, in order to alleviate that burden, we decided to try and programmatically arrange the egg’s face for each growth state.

It didn’t exactly work out as planned…

The Golden Egg proved especially challenging.

The many faces of the Common Egg.

Several iterations later, we decided that our potentially time-saver solution just wasn’t going to work. Each egg and growth state would ultimately need to be personalized by one of our artists.

So thank you, Artists, for all the care and attention you give to each and every egg. And also thank you, Programmers, for being patient with our ideas (both the good and the less-than-good).

Perfect!

We are proud to present to you ’Egg!’ – 100% handcrafted.

- Tracie

Creating the Egg! Merch

Hi everyone! Adriana here! I manage the Official Egg! Merch Shop. Today I will share with you how we came across our first run of Egg! merchandise. 

The most exciting product to create was our Egg! Plush. We wanted to create a huggable plush of the Common Egg. At first it was a little difficult. The factory we were working with couldn’t quite get the right Egg shape ::

Egg or Conehead? 

Egg or Conehead? 

We needed a poofy egg! Fortunately, Lina, our CEO, had a lot of poofy animal/plush butt references::

Thanks for the butts, Lina!

Thanks for the butts, Lina!

Moe at Make My Toy made sure we had the poofiest Egg butt and set us up with a different factory. On their first sample, they nailed the design! Shortly after we got our perfect Egg! plush!

This Egg is so huggable!

This Egg is so huggable!

For the tee, I knew it couldn’t be a basic shirt. There have been too many times where I saw a cute design printed on the simplest tee but had a really rough feel to the fabric. That’s too boring and Egg! is anything but boring! We wanted something soft and fashionable. In addition to that, I wanted a loose fitting top that was also partially cropped. Bella + Canvas’s Women's Flowy Boxy Tee fit all of our requirements. Its unique and stylish shape can compliment any body type, which is also important to us!

It was really difficult to figure out what image we’d like on the tee. If it were completely up to me, I would have the design be the Egg! charms everywhere – like there would be so many charms, you couldn’t tell what was going on. But I then realized I had an unhealthy charm obsession because I wanted to replace everything I owned with charm patterns. I turned to two of our amazing artists, TJ and Dana. Here’s some of the designs they drafted ::

teeideas
teeideas2
So many different tee ideas!

So many different tee ideas!

We decided on TJ’s Golden Egg design, which would be printed locally with gold foil on our Bella + Canvas shirts.

Dana was made for this Egg! shirt!

Dana was made for this Egg! shirt!

A tee-shirt and a plush was essential for our inventory. We wanted one more item that was smaller that would be exciting to our players. I immediately was hooked on nail decals. The research to make nail decals was so much fun, because it was mostly a bunch of DIY tests which meant I got to paint my nails a lot.

My 2nd desk drawer is the official Nail Decal and Sticker drawer of the company.

My 2nd desk drawer is the official Nail Decal and Sticker drawer of the company.

Eventually we picked the designs we liked the most – and yes – I am so happy that the charm is one of them! The ghosts did not make it though, since they're so light!

nailart1
These nails are SO HAPPY*~

These nails are SO HAPPY*~

There are more plans for our merch shop, and I can’t wait to share the details with you all in the future! Please share your wonderful plush, tees and nails on social media by using #EggTheGame so we can see our wonderful Egg family looking fresh!

-Adriana

Designing the Pig Wizards

In 'Egg!' players have more than just the company of their eggs and creatures. The four pig wizards—Mr. Peeg, Javelin, Wortimer, and Borlog—may swing by now and then to help them out, reward them, or just stir things up a bit.

Finalizing the designs of the pig wizards was my very first assignment when I came on board at Nix Hydra. I started out by going over what one of our game designers, Nik, had written up about each pig's character and role in 'Egg!', as well as his rough concept sketches for them. This really helped me get a good idea of their personalities so I could hit the ground running.

Game designer Nik's early concepts for Javelin, Mr. Peeg, and Wortimer.

Game designer Nik's early concepts for Javelin, Mr. Peeg, and Wortimer.

I tackled Mr. Peeg's design first and spent the most time on him, making sure to get everything just right. He's the player's first introduction into the world of 'Egg!' and is present all throughout the game, so perfecting his design was a priority. We wanted to make him friendly and approachable using lots of soft, rounded shapes.

My model sheet and design notes for Mr. Peeg.

My model sheet and design notes for Mr. Peeg.

Next came the other three. By using different shape language (such as sharper shapes for mischievous Javelin), color schemes, etc. my goal was to communicate each pig wizard's unique personality through their design alone. They should leave a strong impression, and give you an idea of who they are before you even talk to them.

My model sheet for Javelin.

My model sheet for Javelin.

When they all come together, I think you can definitely see all their different personalities shine through!

Left to right: Borlog, Wortimer, Javelin, and Mr. Peeg.

I'm excited for you all to meet these guys in 'Egg!'

- Dana

Designing on 'Egg!', Part 1

As game designers, we are often asked "what exactly do you do?". As a general process, "design" is used to describe a great number of things. It's not surprising that many people find themselves wondering what an automotive designer, an interior designer, or a game designer actually do! 

Some comically terrible "design sketches" from my notebook. They make absolutely no sense when removed from their context.

Some comically terrible "design sketches" from my notebook. They make absolutely no sense when removed from their context.

Even within games, or within one game studio, individual game designers may work on lots of different things or specialize in something more specific.

On Nix Hydra's 'Egg!' design team, we come up with our big ideas together, and then decide who will design the smaller parts to make those ideas work. For us, "designing" usually means planning and writing how new parts of the game will work. We also spend a lot of time adjusting existing parts of the game to be more fun, make more sense, or work better!

I recently moved to 'Egg!' from another project. A lot of my work so far has involved clarifying information for our 'Egg!' players and making more information available to them. We agreed that we wanted to remove a lot of the guesswork involved in raising an egg. We're working on quite a few ways to do this, but I wanted to give you all a little sneak peak at one of the solutions I'm most excited about: the information toggle.

The information toggle is our way of separating various information that can be viewed about each item in the game. By separating the information into panels and allowing a player to toggle between them, we're letting the player decide what item information is more relevant to their play style. This had the added benefit of giving us more room to work with, and allowed us to add in more useful information about each item.

This is the old item information panel. What is that blue beaker for, and why does it have 2 out of 4 hamburgers?

This is the old item information panel. What is that blue beaker for, and why does it have 2 out of 4 hamburgers?

Starting with some basic ideas, we knew we wanted to center everything within the panel. We also wanted to clarify what the different stats on each item were, and separate unrelated information. Most importantly, we wanted players to be able to view different items without closing the panel, and easily toggle between item stats and the fun descriptive text.

Another questionable "design sketch" - this one will make more sense in a moment!

Another questionable "design sketch" - this one will make more sense in a moment!

After agreeing on all the changes we wanted, I spent some time writing down the ideas in a design document and sharing it with Diane, our UI artist, and Hussein, our programmer, along with my fellow designers. They gave me lots of good ideas and feedback, and I was able to improve my design and create some more official-looking mock ups of the design.

A quick GIF of my mocks showing the new layout and how the toggle works. On one side, the player can view fun flavor text, on the other, important information about the item.

A quick GIF of my mocks showing the new layout and how the toggle works. On one side, the player can view fun flavor text, on the other, important information about the item.

After writing my design and creating the mocks above, there was more feedback from the team! We always make sure to follow a structured design process, in order to allow for this regular feedback and time to make changes. After updating my design once more, Diane was able to create some (much more official) mock ups!
 

A quick GIF showing what the final item layout will look like!

A quick GIF showing what the final item layout will look like!

This feature won't be in 'Egg!' yet, but you can expect to see it sometime soon! Working through the different iterations and design challenges was lots of fun, and the team really helped me improve the design with their great feedback.

Hopefully this helps to explain a little bit of what a designer does, and what the process looks like. Keep an eye out for more posts from me and my fellow designers to learn more about what goes on on the 'Egg!' design team!

- Brendan

Designing the 'Egg!' Logo

Salutations! I’m sure you all read our first awesome ‘Egg!’ blog post already by Nix Hydra’s very talented artist, Lasha. If not, go read it. Her process pics and finished art are super awesome and worth taking a look at.

For this blog post, I chose to talk about the process that went into designing the ‘Egg!’ logo. Making a game logo takes a long time, mainly because a logo design needs a lot of input from everyone on the team, like marketing, design and even the CEO!

To make sure I cover a lot of bases quickly, I start by sketching a few rough designs. I wanted the logo design to feel whimsical and light, but still feel like it could be made from tangible materials like wood. One of the core elements I wanted to include was an egg or an egg shape, so I tried several different ways to include that in my ideation sketches. As I sketched, I ended up moving away from including an actual egg and more towards warping the text into subtle egg shapes. Working closely with the Art Director on ‘Egg!,’ I picked two sketches that had interesting elements, but would still read when made super small.

Next came my favorite parts: polishing an idea and giving it color. I ended up combining the egg-shaped letters from one of my sketched ideas and the bouncing egg from the other. As I painted, it became more and more apparent that the logo needed a backing so that it would stand out against any colored background. That’s when I added the cloud and made the lettering slightly smaller. At this point, my poor computer started to hate me due to the sheer number of layers my logo files contained. Note to future self: include color iterations in separate Photoshop files.

While creating UI elements, context is extremely important. Painting elements in the context they appear makes them feel like they belong with the rest of the art on the screen. While I was painting the logo, I included the ‘Egg!’ splash screen for context since that was where players would see it most often. This influenced what colors I chose while painting so that the logo would still stand out against the background art while not using some completely out-of-whack color scheme. We ended up changing this later, which led to another final color iteration to make the logo "pop" more.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed checking out this inside scoop on how we designed the logo for ‘Egg!’ and I hope you come back for future blog updates!

-Diane

Egg Creative Process!

Hey there!  This is my first time blogging for the official Nix Hydra development blog and I’m hyped to share some of the thought processes on how I go about creating some of the fun eggs you can raise + hatch in our game 'Egg!' In this post I’ll use one of my favorite eggs as an example on how I go from concept to final on eggs!

Usually the process starts out with a lot of brainstorming and just scribbling once I get a prompt/direction to work with from the big egg bosses and the design team. In this case it would be the Sundae Egg!  A delicious prompt to work with and to create~ I mean who DOESN’T love ice cream??  

When drawing out the possible egg creations I usually try to work on both the body and eyes of the eggs at the same time to get a sense of the egg as a whole then refine the two as it gets closer to finalizing. For the egg’s eyes I was stuck between cherry shaped eyes with stem eyelashes or some squishy jellybean shaped eyes with tiny sprinkle freckles under the eyes.  I drew up some sketches on how those eyes could possibly work/express the emotions the egg needs to convey.  Its important for me to sketch out the eye expressions before settling on something right away to make sure it can express the emotions I need it to without making it look awkward or weird.

For the body, since this was a sundae egg there were many flavors of ice cream to choose from!  The possibilities were endless!!  I wanted to stick to something classic that almost everyone was familiar with…the Neapolitan ice cream!  A beautiful combination of the classic trifecta of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate flavors! 

In 'Egg!'  there is a main egg for each type you see on the adoption screen but when you choose to adopt the egg there are 3 other egg body variations of the same type to choose from! ( talk about variety~ ).  So I decided that having a 3-flavored Neapolitan egg as the main look and having the 3 flavors split as its own individual body type would be super fun to choose from when adopting this egg as your own! 

I tried to experiment with different types of head toppings as well but the top two that I debated over was a whipped cream topping with sprinkles or a drippy drizzle of hot fudge on its head…a more common topping found on sundaes if you ask me.

After going back and forth with my AD (art director) the whipped cream topping with sprinkles was the way to go!  We were still very unsure about which eyes to go with for the final version for this egg but after 300 years of discussing this some more we decided that the egg looked best with the squishy jellybean shaped eyes!  All that was left was refining, tweaking, and bringing this egg to final!

So there you have it!  Even though this egg was pretty mild from sketch to final most of the egg making process is just a lot of trial and error so to speak.  Pretty much just trying to find the right balance and keep it all cute and sugary, especially for this egg in particular haha~   Anyways, I hope you liked this sort of “sneak peek” into my egg work and seeing some of their early concept sketches from start to finish!

I hope to share/blog more for y’all in the future! (  # • ᴗ < #)
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- Lasha