Lee McPea Educational 3D Game | Case Studies | NINJAR

CASE STUDY

Lee McPea

3D | Game | App

When iGumps - an Austrian education start-up - asked us to take the lead on their flagship game project Lee McPea, we naturally jumped at the chance. Taking the initial concept that got them funded in the first place, we were tasked with turning it into a fully functional product complete with original art and game design.

This got us flexing our artistic muscles beyond the normal product campaign and we had a lot of fun fleshing out the character and story for the Lee McPea universe.

Full service production

With little more than a few sketches and a name to go on this was a true blank slate of a project. There were only a few top-level requirements from the client: the format was to be a platform game based on exploration, and that it would include educational minigames.

Pre-production gameplay concept art

We kicked things of by establishing the core gameplay loop that would serve as the foundation for everything else and inform all other aspects of design. Only when we had a rough sketch of how the game works from minute to minute did we begin any real production work.

We developed the protagonist character concept from scratch

Our creative lead took to the drawing board and began doodling like a giddy child, letting loose his gleeful imagination in order to create a fresh lineup of fun lovable characters that would inhabit the world of Lee McPea. Over several weeks of working very closely with the client we had established a new look and feel for the game that everyone was happy with.

World class art creation

Once we received sign off on the the overall art concept it was time to bring these 2D designs into the third dimension. Our art team got to work and under the precise direction of the creative lead produced some of our best ever 3D character work, bringing the little creatures to life on our screens.

3D model of Lee McPea, fully rigged for animation with facial expressions
Side kick character - Kitty VanKat

As always, seeing doodles come to life in animated 3D is a magical moment that never gets old. Even more so when you can take direct control of them in game. It’s times like these that remind us just how much we love making games and why we dedicate our lives to it.

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Tap to interact with 3D model

Game design expertise

Meanwhile, the other half of the team were busy designing levels and environments and conjuring up fun obstacles to challenge players. Good gameplay is far from an exact science, it takes a lot of iterating in order to strike that balance that makes it feel challenging yet rewarding at the same time.

"Magical Ice" was the concept for the environment theme

Since the client required the game to be exploratory by nature, from the get go we set out to build play areas that were full of discoverable nooks and crannies and designed non-linear game objectives around them. We ended up with 3 large environments that each had their own distinct look and feel and gameplay hooks.

3 huge and varied levels to explore, each with a different style of play

In summary

Lee McPea stands as a great showcase of our combined experience in game production. The fact that we were able to coordinate and put together a product of such scope with the given budget is a testament to our directorial and management abilities.

If you have a game project that you need getting off the ground please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free consultancy session.

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