Posts filed under iPhone

New Artist for Bomb Dodge - Our Story on Character Design

We hired a new artist for our upcoming Bomb Dodge game. For the first four months of development we focused on gameplay, building tech, and interactive menus. For the longest time we used programmer art and a character that Andy Brown designed/animated. The initial main character design was better than our original artwork, but we needed more art than Andy had time to make. To polish the game, we decided that we needed to unify the art style and hire an artist to create our vision.

Elance and oDesk

We searched for artists in November 2013 on and It took a lot of time, emails, and artwork critiques until we finalized our artist. Here's one of the job posting descriptions that we used.

Job Posting

oDesk - Game Artwork for Bomb Dodge

Human? Post answer to equation at top of response: 4000 x 2317 = ?

About: Bomb Dodge is a multi-touch gesture based game where you are trying to avoid explosions and fireballs. The main character is a bomb, and is dangerously explosive. The game is about survival, points, and features in-app purchases.

Art: I need quotes on completing artwork listed in the PDF document. Here's the priority of work.

1. Title Logo/Icon
2. UI for Home(menu), Play, Pause, Store, and Game Over screens
3. Item icons
4. Characters
5. Background
6. App Store Screens (5)
7. Character animations

Style: Cartoonish and simple. No fancy 3d graphics. The menus float above the game in the background.

Website and videos:

Sorting Through the Noise

I had 25 applicants on Odesk and 33 from Elance to sort through. It was a lot, but there were ways to quickly eliminate many of the applicants.

  1. We had a math equation, and if someone didn't answer it, they were removed from the potential list (One of our top artists missed the math equation, was rejected, and re-submitted a proposal with the answer).
  2. I removed anyone who's didn't have a nice looking portfolio.
  3. I removed anyone who didn't have a good website/youtube/vimeo.
  4. Some artists had artwork that was decent, but not excellent. They were removed.
  5. Others would have unpolished or amateur work on their portfolio site. We skipped them, since attention to detail is really important to us.

Skype Interviews and Paid Test Projects

To pick our final artist we did a Skype interview with 4 artists and then sent test projects to 3 of the artists (One backed out due to other commitments). I don't believe in free work, so the projects were paid (1-2 hours) at the artist's hourly rate. We spent $164.99 on the test art projects. The test was to design the main character or game theme. Our target cost was between $500 - $1,000 on art.

We had two questions that we wanted to be answered

  1. Can we communicate? i.e. do we enjoy talking with the artist, and is it easy to express ideas.
  2. How does the artist's style apply to the game? A polished portfolio needs to be tested to our game concepts. 

At the end of the tests, we had the following designs from three artists.

Bomb Dodge - Art Test Projects

Bomb Dodge - Art Test Projects

A Major Requirement - Animation

Each artist had a different style, which was in line with what we were looking for. A third requirement grew from seeing the animations and playing the game with Andy's animations. Clearly, we couldn't pick an artist from 2D portfolio work, and we needed to compare animation skills. Artists 1 and 2 had very strong animation skills, so now we had to decide between two very different art styles.

After a lot of discussion we hired Andrea Dailey (#1 Art Test above). She had a strong portfolio, but what really sold our team, was the emotions and ideas that she brought to the project. Andrea had the ability to capture my imagination with her character style and her ability to animate motion, weight, and emotion.

The kicker was that she presented new ideas for style that we didn't think about. As a creative person, I love to brainstorm and bounce ideas around. I enjoy learning from other people and she educated our team on character design (chunky characters are more friendly).

Bombee is Alive


After the initial test job we began to pick a style for Bomb Dodge. Andrea suggested a paper-esque look from Brittney Lee. It was fun, colorful and appealing. I don't want the game to look like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, so the depth from the paper texture combined with color is one way to stand out.

Here's a progression of our current Bombee (main character) as it has evolved. The design isn't final yet, but we're getting close.

Evil Robotic Bombs (Drones)

One of the enemies in the game is a bomb that's trying to make our main character to explode. We wanted this character to be a little evil looking. Here's a series of concepts to final design.

Bomb Dodge Gameplay with New Artwork

With new art, we gave our Bomb Dodge game the much needed facelift. Checkout the new art in the gameplay video below. Character animations are in the works, as well as updates to the background and UI.


Signup for our mailing list, and learn about our new game when it launches. 

Posted on December 18, 2013 and filed under iPhone, game.

Artwork Evolution 1.3 is Live!

Update Today

Get Artwork Evolution on the App Store and create psychedelic and abstract wallpapers for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad! Artwork Evolution - Paul Solt


Download the largest update to Artwork Evolution today. There's a ton of bug fixes, workflow improvements, and the new Coffee Table UI that allows you to play and evolve images on a virtual table.

Please send any suggestions, questions, or comments to We'd love to see the artwork that you create with the new update.

Watch the Video


Change List:

Coffee Table user interface is updated and improved • The Coffee Table now supports evolving images just like the image library screen • Drag images into the evolve box and watch them evolve • Flick images off the Coffee Table to see new images • Show/Hide button renamed Album/Table on the coffee table screen • Updated and improved the image interaction on the Coffee Table • Added a new button on the top right for options to Shuffle, Clear Table, and Info • Updated the Info page with new tips and a video tutorial • The Shuffle button slides images around on the table that are not in the Evolve box • The Clear Table button removes images not in the Evolve box from the Coffee Table • Tap an image to show options to Save to the "My Saved Album" or View a larger size

Top Rated Album • Updated the top rated collection with new and fresh artwork • Added images from Wallpaper Evolution to the Top Rated Album

Image Library • Manage My Saved Album with a delete option • Updated toolbar buttons • Fixed the duplicate saved image bug • On the image library screen, pressing "Evolve" no longer cancels selection mode from pressing the Select button. • Added an option "Save To My Saved Album" on the large image screen • Added options to stretch the wallpaper when saving to the Photo Library from the large image screen • Improved the zoom in the large image screen • Added background rendering of image albums - it loads images that are not visible • In Top Rated or My Evolution Albums, in selection mode the Random/Refresh buttons use a confirmation to prevent accidental presses • Higher quality thumbnails are created • Added magic to reduce the amount of black/solid color images • Improved performance of scrolling in the image library • Fixed various bugs

Posted on July 7, 2011 and filed under iPhone.

Artwork Evolution on Sale for $0.99 for Valentines Week!

Artwork Evolution went on sale on February 12th for Charles Darwin's birthday. Darwin presented the theory of evolution in 1859 on how species survive. Artwork Evolution allows you to simulate evolution on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Much like animals adapt to their natural habitats, the images in Artwork Evolution adapt to your visual tastes. The App will be on sale from February 12th - February 19th in celebration of both Darwin Day and Valentines Day. Share evolution with your family and friends and discover a new way to create art. Everyone's an artist!

1. Download Artwork Evolution from the App Store

Artwork Evolution - Paul Solt

2. Download the Artwork Evolution wallpapers from the Media Page

Posted on February 13, 2011 and filed under iPhone.

Submitted to Apple's App Store

I recently submitted Artwork Evolution to the Apple App Store as a universal application for iPhone and iPad. Here is a tutorial video, gallery, and feature list.



Artwork Gallery:

[nggallery id=4]


  • Evolve any Image: Evolve new images from existing images
  • Save any Image: Save images to the My Saved Album for future breeding
  • Multiple Albums:
    • My Saved Album: All saved images
    • Top Rated Album: The best images created by users
      • Refresh Button: Updates the album
    • My Evolution Album: The active spawning pool for evolution
      • Random Button: Create random images for more variety
  • Thumbnail Image Screen: Displays a list of small images
  • Large Image Screen: Calculates a higher resolution image for sharing
    • Email Image: Share an image with a friend
    • Save Image To Photo Library: Save a copy for future sharing
Posted on December 26, 2010 and filed under iPhone.

Artwork Evolution iPhone Update

I've finished most of the application overhaul to enable dynamic evolution and I've integrated the new user interface with Artwork Evolution's existing evolution framework. Here's the main Album and My Evolution screen shots. The Album is the collection of images a user can view and evolve. My Evolution is the active evolution area where new images are created from scratch.

Posted on December 14, 2010 and filed under iPhone.

Updated User Interface - Universal Image Picker

The Artwork Evolution interface is being updated to look more like the Photo app on the iPhone/iPad. The code behind the interface will work on both the iPhone and iPad in two modes. The grid mode, which is default on the iPhone and the frame mode which is default on the iPad. For the technically inclined, the grid mode can be used within a UIPopover on the iPad. The new interface will streamline browsing/evolution of online/offline collections. It should enable a unique user interface design over previous genetic art programs. Here's a demo image of the grid mode.

Posted on November 1, 2010 and filed under iPhone.