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Behind the scenes: The Creation of Dino

2D artwork of dinosaurs based on The Creation of Adam painting and pizza, Sleepagotchi

This blog is about how something innocent and unintentional can be the start of something new and absolutely wonderful, and how the ability to notice little things can become your superpower, because that's what happened to us!

Dino, our favorite mascot, is the face of Sleepagotchi and the most important member of our team. For the users of the app, he is a friend, companion and guide to a wonderful journey that aims to improve health and sleep patterns while maintaining a playful approach. For the dev team of Sleepagotchi he is a talisman, a connector who carries all our values within him, helping our team members stay on the same page. So why did it happen and how did Dino become the accidental discovery that shaped the whole identity of the app? To learn that, we should go back to the spring of 2022.

3D character development of a dinosaur, Dino, Sleepagotchi

Dino: the beginning

Back then, Sleepagotchi's founders were experimenting with the app's designs and structure. The idea was already formed - to create an app that would help users from all over the world maintain their sleep patterns through a system of rewarding the best performance with digital collectibles in a form of virtual room furniture. While experimenting with room designs, a cute little green Dinosaur was spotted in one of the 2D concepts. He was lying on the bed, the artist placed him there in the form of a plush toy to add coziness to the interior, without giving it any special meaning. At that moment something clicked in the imagination of our founder Anton. People joke that a dinosaur was chosen to be the face of Sleepagotchi as it is the only animal on the planet that has been sleeping for more than 65 million years, but in fact the answer to this question remains a secret even for the app's creators.

Dino: Development

Dino has gone through many changes, he has grown and improved along with Sleepagotchi. Much of the credit for creating Dino as he is now belongs to our 3D animator Andrii. He, together with our 2D concept artist - Dina (yes, it sounds a lot like Dino) have been working on possible versions of Dino's appearance for months. The initial focus was to determine the body shape.

2D character design, cartoon dinosaur, Dino, Sleepagotchi

The artists insisted on keeping Dino's round and chubby form, but giving him a swivel, confident walk and personality traits to show the character's softness and kindness, but not limiting his characterization to that. To quote Andrii: 

- I wanted Dino to be an intelligent, kind and funny character who-though endowed with a very strange and unnatural anatomy-knows how to enjoy life, be confident and able to stay positive. In a way, I wanted some of our players who are worried about their appearance to find a good role model in Dino, and realize that a hero doesn't always have to be "perfect".

Another very important part of character design was working out Dino’s facial features and emotions. We needed to make his face alive, trustworthy and expressive which was quite challenging. As always the work started with 2D concepts.

2D character design and development, emotion drawing, emotion palette, cartoon dinosaur, Dino, Sleepagot

After their approval the work again passed to the hands of the 3D-animator. The latter in turn told us, in confidence, that he spent hours grimacing in front of the mirror before catching the right emotions and transferring them to Dino, so, in some sense, Dino contains a part of our animator's personality. 

Dino: Transforming Challenges into Charisma

Enhancing Dino's design presented a creative journey focused on infusing him with lively, human-like qualities. From the outset, our goal was clear: Dino had to exude cuteness and friendliness. The transition from a toy to a living charismatic creature began, with facial features taking center stage.

Shaping Dino's form and texture brought its own set of challenges. Crafting limbs proved tricky, demanding a delicate balance between small size and the ability to perform complex animations. Texturing became a captivating challenge, as we strived to make Dino's appearance simultaneously reptilian and irresistibly huggable. The main requirement was as follows: "Everyone who sees Dino should want to hug him and squeeze him." The result? A charming, realistic design featuring soft green tones and a subtle pattern that invites everyone to hold Dino close.

3D character development of a dinosaur, Dino, Sleepagotchi

Dino now

Just like Sleepagotchi, Dino never stops evolving. His appearance has solidified and become more defined, but his inner world, capabilities, and personality continue to expand. Our next step in Dino's journey is to broaden his horizons, with the adventure mode coming to the app soon, where our little friendly dinosaur will show more of his character, as well as demonstrate what kind of transformations he is capable of!

RPG game, adventure game, sleep game, mobile game development, game with dinosaurs

Feel like Dino might be lonely and in need of company? Write who you see as a new friend for Dino in the comments💬

2 commenti

13 mar

Dino is coming!

Mi piace

Bazhil OG
Bazhil OG
11 mar

Enot, coala

Mi piace
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