Love Heist Romeo

 

Love Heist Romeo is an exploration game about a bunny on his quest for true love. As the character artist for this game, I concepted, designed, and animated the entire supporting cast of characters. I also designed the many doorways and interactable objects within the game.

 

When the art department got together, we set a visual language which established that interactable objects (including NPCs, doors and letters) would be in pixel art, while everything else would have a more painterly style. As the team's designated pixel artist, I set to work on the characters first.

 
 

NPCs in the game fall into two groups: recurring characters and "doughboys." Design-wise, recurring characters have distinct silhouettes and are significantly taller than the other characters, establishing them as the adults in the world. In contrast, the doughboys have softer and generally rounder shapes, hence the nickname we gave them.

 
Grifton n budalia.gif

Recurring characters were important to the game's narrative, but at the beginning of our design process, the narrative team was still concepting the story.


My concepts for what would become the characters Grifton and Budalia (shown on the left) helped the narrative department shape the game's lore.

 

My process for concepting the doughboys involved a fair amount of brainstorming. The goal was to create three designs for each of the three worlds within the game, for a total of nine unique designs. To achieve this, I drafted various animal types in different styles, and through peer discussion assigned three designs to each world.

 
 

My next task was designing the doorways that allow the player to move between locations. The highlight of this was designing the three doors that connected the main Overworld to the three realms: Jealous Sea, Fancy Town and Reject City. These doors needed to represent the realms waiting behind them. Through several iterations, I settled on the strongest designs.

 
 

With its pretty visual aesthetic, catchy music, and intriguing lore, Love Heist Romeo won several awards at the 2021 UCSC Games Showcase.

 
 

After a brief break, half of the original team (including myself) continued to improve the game and re-released it five months later in November 2021. Overall, I am very proud of the work that my team and I put into this game. My experience working on Love Heist Romeo is something I will hold dear to my heart for a long time.