September 22, 2009

Behind-the-Scenes of I SPY™ Apps!

Posted by at 8:42 am in Games | Permalink

Ispy_130 I’m Karen, the Art Director for the I SPY Riddle Race and I SPY Spooky Mansion Apps for the iPhone™ and iPod touch®. Bringing the beautiful I SPY books created by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick to life in interactive games is always a terrific privilege! You heard from Jennifer last week. Now it’s my turn to give you a look inside these apps from an art point of view.

The first challenge for the I SPY Riddle Race was the game board. I SPY Riddle Race is a compilation of the very best I SPY picture riddles ever! These picture riddles are all different from each other, so a big part of our job was to create a setting where all of them could exist together. We knew we wanted this app to combine I SPY play with a board game. So, the question for us became “What would the game board look like?” We came up with the idea of using an old wooden game board. I sketched out two versions of the game board, then added color and details in PhotoShop. This helped us visualize how to tie the game concept together.

03-small  04-small

At this point, we could see that the bright reds and oranges in the curvy design were working really well. We also really liked the left image but the colors seemed too drab and boring. So we took the best of both and created this final sketch.


As you know, I SPY is all about realistic photographs, so in order to match the style of I SPY, our next step was to photograph a wooden box and other wooden objects that we could use to bring my design to life. Here’s the final version that appears in the game.


The squares represent the picture riddles on the game board but we also had to design a way for the player to enter each riddle area. I realized a way to do this would be to use of one of the coolest iPhone features–the accelerometer. The accelerometer is what allows you to tilt the iPhone to affect the gravity in the game. Tilting the game board in I SPY Riddle Race sends your marble spinning down the paths into the riddles.

I SPY Spooky Mansion presented us with a similar challenge in that we needed to create a way for players to move through the riddles. The only difference was that this app, unlike I SPY Riddle Race, encompassed one single adventure through a creepy mansion. We came up with the idea of using a map for the house and surrounding grounds. Touching areas on the map would lead the player to the different riddles. Like with Riddle Race, we had to first sketch the idea, making sure that the riddle areas such as the graveyard, laboratory and living room could all be represented in the map.


Once we got just the right perspective, we used PhotoShop to give the map the same eerie and spooky mood that you see in the picture riddles. Here’s the final version of the Spooky Mansion map!


There you have it! Hope you had fun reading this tour through the unique aspects of creating art for the I SPY Apps!

—Karen, Scholastic Interactive Staffer

  1. cageaidenbffls

    yea!! i luv the itouch it is sooo awsom n i love 2 text!if u lik 2 text post what type a fone u have!! i have the enve 3 n the alias 2!!!

  2. Dommonnic

    i spy is old but still interseting to little kids and when there is nothing to do u just get it out

  3. Tyzhe

    i think that i py is an awesome game and when ever i can play it i will becuse it is so interesting what people dont see and what they do see

  4. af

    I think that this I-spy board game might be the best one yet. It is smart and very creative. The person who made this is a Genius.

  5. Tyreik

    i like i spy. its a game that i have played for year. so if anyone that makes a book out of i spy then i would buy it and any that don’t thats there lost. and iam out on that note.

  6. BaBeeKens

    Books are awesome.When you read a book and you get real interested in it it is like you become that character. I shoud know it happens to me all the time! Books are awsome, and I read all the time. Go books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.