Paper Wings - Log #2

Today, I will reveal tiny bits of game art from Paper Wings and also talk a bit about the art design process. There were a lot of positive feedback about the game art in my Reddit reveal. I think it is worth talking about since it has been something that I committed countless hours of the development process.




As you might have realized by now, this bird is the main character of Paper Wings. As simple as it may look, I actually gave many hours to get this design to satisfy me. I had few things in mind when beginning to design the main character.

  • It had to feel like paper.
  • It had to be visually consistent with the environment design, which was heavily influenced by origami art.
  • Even though it was supposed to be made of paper, It had to feel alive and had to have its parts defined and suitable for animation.

Once I was happy and settled with this design, I began to research bird species on the internet. I went through several books quickly, trying to decide on the species that I want to have in the game. I ended up with a list of over 100 species.

A still from  Paper Wings  shop. My illustration of Gouldian Finch, the beautiful Australian bird species.

A still from Paper Wings shop. My illustration of Gouldian Finch, the beautiful Australian bird species.

I created lots of different birds within several weeks. There are more than 40 of them sitting in the design folder with numerous variations. For the first public build of Paper Wings, I am planning to use 22 of them.



As I suggested earlier, and also in the Reddit thread, the biggest influences on the environment art were origami art, Monument Valley (game), and Journey (game). These influences all point to a traditional way of design; which governs the use of shading, gradient and simple color palettes. While searching for a style to settle with, watching and learning from ustwo was one of the most beneficial things I've done. I got a lot of ideas from other games too, especially for the UI design.

Paper Wings - Log #1

To allow you to catch up with the current stage of the development, I will provide a bit of info about Paper Wings in a series of posts.


Paper Wings is an arcade game, in which the goal is to guide your origami bird to score as much as possible by catching/avoiding colored balls that fall from the sky. That is really all there is to it. It is designed to be a mindless fun that will hopefully urge you to pick up your phone every once in a while to play a couple of rounds.



Of course, there are various challenges and unlockables in the game. But they never interfere with your main goal. As you rack up certain amount of points, you eventually advance through the stages. In each stage, new challenges are introduced to make the game harder and more fun. These balls you see below, are the four main types of balls you encounter during the game.

This is the most common one. Catching the yellow ball is mandatory to survive. If the yellow ball falls off the screen, game is over. It is also possible to boost your points by performing a combo with these balls.

You have to avoid this one. It immediately obliterates your bird when it touches it. There is also a guided version of this ball, which is even more deadly. It is introduced in the later stages of the game.

Black ball is another challenge that you have to overcome. It basically is a time bomb. Once you see it, you have two options: You can either fly as far as you can to be avoid its blast radius, or you can fly to it directly to catch and defuse it.

White is the color of all power-ups in the game. They are your only friends. Once you see them pop-up, it is a very good idea to do anything you can to catch them before they vanish away. I'll write more about power-ups on a later post.

Paper Wings


I decided to keep a dev blog for my upcoming game Paper Wings

I like to describe the game as a mindless arcade about collecting colored balls with an origami bird. The game is actually nearing the end of production. I made this late choice to keep a blog, because people suggested it and I just came to the realization of how helpful the feedback from other players and developers can be. I realized this, after posting a short GIF of the gameplay of Paper Wings to Unity3D subreddit in Reddit. Below is the GIF I'm talking about.

The submission was received with great kindness and enthusiasm, which felt so great after committing countless hours into the development of this game. The community was very straightforward about calling the flaws they saw regarding the design too. For instance, many people criticized the use of intense screen shake. They argued that it becomes disturbing and distracting while performing a combo. It was an eye-opener for me. When you are working alone and spending a good amount of time on any medium that can be considered as art, you sometimes lose your ability to make objective observations and you begin to live inside your head. The screen shake issue didn't occur to me at all, for example. The thread was very helpful and I will definitely work on reducing the effect.

People who saw the GIF were actually excited to play Paper Wings and they wanted to take part in the beta. They were also interested in following a blog that kept them updated about the progress of the game, which is part of the reason why I'm doing this thing right now. I am planning on releasing the game to open beta (on Android) very soon.