Designing Gemstones


My name is Ido, and I create the art around here at Double Duck. Creating graphics for many different games is both challenging and rewarding, and it’s mostly a great fun. I’ll occasionally write some posts here about the art and graphic design of our games.

We are currently working on our third HTML5 game, and I wanted to share some of the thought process behind the art of the game. It’s basically a casual “Match-3” blitz game, where the player needs to tap on groups of gems of the same color as fast as possible.

Generally, as a game artist, you create graphics that are not only visually aesthetic, but also functional. That is, graphics that people interact with (You should read “Startups, this is how design works” for a more in-depth look at this). Anyhow, when we started designing the gemstones, we had to make some choices regarding how people are going to interact with them.

In order to help players easily spot groups of similar gems, we decided to shape them with straight edges on the top, bottom, right and left sides. It was important for us that the gems touch each other and will seem connected. The corners were shaped to give the gem a somewhat fancy look.

Gem Evolution

Colors were chosen based on maximum difference from each other, as illustrated on the color wheel.

Gems on Color Wheel

However, distinguishing gems by color only is not enough, especially considering the possibility of some players having color-blindness. To overcome this, we gave gems of every color a unique shape “engraved” on it. Similar colors as perceived by people with color-blindness, were given visually different shapes.

Gems as viewed by color blinds


We hope these design choices will make the game easier for people to interact with, and ultimately more enjoyable. We’ll keep posting updates about this game and others, so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping, Ido

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