— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications
The words Fish Heads is spelled out in yellow letters outlined in green in a form that looks like bones of a fish, complete with a fish head on one end and a tail on the other. The words are on a blue and purple background.

The mobile game app Fish Heads by QuadraTron Games, featuring animation work done last summer by Laura Howard ’21 and Faith Hoysted ’21, has just been released.

The app design was part of their junior-year internship. The Animation & Game Arts majors came up with the concept for the game. It's described as "a fast-paced infinite runner game with a zany style reminiscent of the cartoon TV shows from the late 90s and early 2000s."

"I was the lead artist, in charge of conceptualizing and creating a majority of the art assets; Faith was the technical artist, in charge of some coding and special effects work," Howard said. "After I created a style guide that was greenlighted by the creative director, I was promoted to lead artist for the bulk creation of the art that would be used within and to promote the game. In fact, pretty much everything you see in the website and game is done by me. Faith wanted to focus on their strengths as a developer and coder, and helped the team create a dynamic lighting system and particle effects."

Howard was invited by QuadtraTron to stay on beyond her internship to complete the project.

"We both learned a lot of valuable skills as they pertain to the video game industry—asset optimization for various types of devices, kit bashing and recycling art to create new art," she said. "It was also a very interesting process to take part in from the very beginning, as our early conceptualization stages differed very far from the final product."

Hoysted enjoyed being able to create a game from scratch.

"I enjoyed being a part of the conceptual process," they said. "I learned a lot about working with a team as well as learning about all of Unity’s different tools."  

Creating art for a game operating on a smaller screen size and lower storage capacity was a good lesson as well.

"It finally touched upon the more technical side of creating art for games that I was unfamiliar with," Howard said. "That marked the process with a motto that things were made with '10 percent creating, 90 percent polish.' The steps that need to be taken to bring a game from good to great are astounding, and I’m happy to have been a part of that process."

The game has been released on the Apple Store for iOS. Releases for Android phones through the Google Play store and a MacOS/Apple TV version are coming soon.