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Good quality mobile game animations – A Koukoi Games guide

by Antti Kananen on 03/14/16 06:27:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Good quality mobile game animations – A Koukoi Games guide

In the last art centered post, we talked about art direction and defining your art style. This following post is a more lighthearted look into the work process, in the form of a food recipe for making the animations and character designs of Crashing Season as envisioned by our Lead 3D Artist, Antti Katajamäki. The process itself at Koukoi starts with sketches and concept art made by a 2D artist.

So, here’s the recipe for the Crashing Season Character animations


  • 1 pc good video reference of the animal moving
  • 4 cups of cartoony exaggeration
  • 1- 2 cups of wavy movement
  • 6 teaspoons of groove
  • 4 cups of sweat
  • 3 teaspoons of silent tears

A Character design sheet detailing the stages of model design. It starts with a sketch that is refined into more polished concept art that defines the general feel of the character. The character turnaround (portraying the character from different angles) in turn guides the 3D modeler to sculpt the model.

Next, we move to the preparation stage:

  1. Take one reference of a running animal and cut off the useless parts.
  2. Pre-fry and marinate with cartoony exaggeration.
  3. Pour on the wavy movement and spice it with groove.
  4. Put it in the oven to stew for a day or two.
  5. Keep it juicy and moist by adding sweat and tears.
  6. Hand it to a coder and argue with them. This simmers the animation down just right.
  7. Enjoy, if it is too mild; repeat parts 5 and 6

…and, further notes on modeling:

Good concept drawings are naturally the basis for modeling. In these cases you can sink into a nirvana-like trance with headphones on and just concentrate on the topology. Every vertex has its spot in the bit universe. The modeling process is more like dialogue, and the most important part is to know how to listen.

Further notes on animation:

The first animations were aimed to be made as realistic as possible, made from exact references. In the end, however, it was noticed that the references work more as a starting point and a founding idea. The base philosophy for the animation has been that animation itself is easy, you just have to hone the keyframes and put them in their place.

So, to recap some of the tips in this article:

  • For movement animations, get one good reference video, focus on the most essential parts of the movement and use those as your basis.
  • Exaggerate certain characteristics of the animation if necessary
  • For the 3D models; 1) start with sketches 2) move to more detailed concept art that captures the essence of the animal 3) show those vertexes who’s boss

To find out more how we are finalizing Crashing Season, stay tuned for more updates and remember to play the game when it comes out for iOS and Android devices globally! The game is currently available for Android devices only in Can & Aus.

This blog post was originally posted at on 10th of March 2016. This blog post was co-written by Lead 3D Artist Antti Katajamäki and Game Marketing Intern Matti Luonua.

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