I’m extremely excited to announce the launch of my new iPad game, Strawberry Thief.
It’s changed a lot since the early prototype I made at the V&A earlier in the year, but I am thrilled with how the finished piece turned out.
I was Games Designer in Residence at the V&A from October 2013 to March 2014. I used the history of British design shown in the Britain 1500-1900 galleries as a starting point for my research, and after a few weeks I decided to focus on the William Morris textile pieces that are on display in Gallery 125g. The aim of my residency was to release a finished game following a period of game production at Abertay University. I wanted this game to offer a new and exciting interpretation of the V&A collections, as well as encouraging visitor participation and learning from the Britain 1500-1900 galleries.
In the game, you have to use the Strawberry Thief bird to collect strawberries which enable you to paint. First you start with a blank piece of paper where you sketch the pattern. Once the pattern is drawn out, you can start to add some basic colours to the piece. Finally, richer colours and texture are added to finish the design. To control the bird’s movement, you simply draw lines on the touchscreen and the bird will follow your path.
I wanted to create something where the user gets to experience the details and beauty of the original pattern. Sometimes when we look at pieces of art and design, we often just focus on the work as a whole, and this is especially true when looking at repeating patterns! Therefore when the game starts, the pattern is zoomed in so that every flower and leaf is visible, and when the game is finished, it is shown in its entirety. This project at the V&A has opened my eyes up to the possibilities of what games design can show. I am keen to look at more work by other famous British artists and designers and see what kinds of games can arise!
After my residency finished at the V&A in March I spent the summer living in Dundee Scotland to work on my game at Abertay University. To develop my game concepts, I worked with Erin Michno from the games company Quartic Llama who programmed Strawberry Thief. For the art and animation, I worked with Abertay Students Ellen Brown and Cameron Moore, who have recently gone back to university to start their fourth and third years of study. As for the audio for the game, I worked with Neil Cullen from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Here’s a video showing a glimpse of the recording session
Strawberry Thief by Sophia George, developed in collaboration with the V&A, V&A Dundee and Abertay University