The HappyPals are a band of interactive 3D characters that can be added to a user’s pictures and videos via augmented reality.
While at SiXiTS, I was responsible for creating the UI and branding for the HappyPals apps. I developed HappyPals’ typography, color palates, interfaces, branding and iconography. I also illustrated the logo and all IOS store art for each of the thirteen HappyPals characters.
The HappyPals persona is a boy aged 4-11. With that in mind, the HappyPals app has an interface of sliding drawers with large, heavily illustrated buttons. A HappyPal can fart, dodge flying, user-controlled objects, or dance while the user plays on a keyboard matched to their chosen, individual characteristics.
It was important to me and Euan (SiXiTS CEO) that every character has its own personal UI that suited their personalities. For example, the keyboard for Stan the Skeleton consisted of bone-shaped keys. I used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create the majority of my graphics. I then exported the graphics onto a sprite sheet that got uploaded to the Unity 3D development platform.
I enjoyed working on Baby Maxwell the most because the team of 3D modelers made Maxwell’s movements and facial features dynamic and unique. This allowed me to make the buttons for his interface very expressive in their design. I continued to follow the skeuomorphic design trend, but flat design was starting to become all the rage. Flat design looks more sophisticated than skeuomorphic products, but HappyPals was a cartoon. Flat design didn’t seem to appreciate for these loveable, wacky toons.
We explored a spin off game for Baby Maxwell titled “Babies Babies.”. I really enjoyed working on this UI; it was fun to create highly rendered elements with saturated colors and large drop shadows. Check out the concept prototype below.
WThe HappyPals game interactions are the same for each character. Once I completed Stan, I was able to save SiXiTs time and money by skinning the UI and updating the theme to fit each Pal. This was an important move for ROI as we where a very small startup. For example, the user throws pumpkins at Stan the Skeleton and snowballs at Floyd the Yeti.
After HappyPals success, SiXiTs turned around and hired me for another contract, CrazyFan. HappyPals are still available today for UK consumers.