Find out how our art and design teams create the unique Kolibri visual identity, recognized by millions of players worldwide
Here at Kolibri Games, we take pride in producing games that captivate players all around the world. Since our first release, Idle Miner Tycoon, all the way back in 2016, we’ve charted a new path in mobile games, effectively creating the same idle genre we now look to re-invent through future innovation.
Creating exciting game art and unique players has been central to our growth, and one of our titles’ most identifiable features. Game art and design are an important part of what we do, and we place a major emphasis on making sure our designers and artists have all the tools they need to thrive.
In this blog post, our Director of Art, Daniel, and our Lead Game Designer – IMT, Boris, will share their experiences on what game art and design work are like at Kolibri Games, and offer advice on what someone interested in joining our team can do to make that ambition a reality.
How We Work
Our artists play a crucial role in maintaining the unique identity Kolibri titles have in the mobile space. In order for the team to work together in the most effective way possible, and deliver our players the best results, last year we consolidated our creative talent into our Art Department.
This new department is led by our Studio Art Director, Daniel Lopez. Daniel has the following to say regarding the objectives of the art department within the wider company strategy. “The cornerstones of our strategy for the art department are scalability and quality. We have to be flexible enough to work on creating exciting visual experiences for both the players of our longer-running market successes, like Idle Miner Tycoon, where there’s already a very large player base who has become accustomed to the look and feel of the game, but who is understandably looking forward to the new features and characters we release. These, the most recent of which were our ‘Super Managers 2.0’ are the most recognizable part of the game, so making sure we get the concepts right is important.”
“Whenever there is a new feature, the art team gets together for 2 meetings, the first one is to understand the gameplay requirements of the feature and understand the “problem” that we need to solve visually, and then a second meeting to brainstorm the possible visual solutions for the gameplay requirements. That is how we approach our creative process”.
For new games, there’s a different reality, but the same dedication and creativity. Daniel states, “with our new titles, we’re presenting an entirely new concept, and now oftentimes a development in terms of idle gaming. This means that creating an engaging visual experience is especially important because the game doesn’t have a long history or loyal player base. It’s our responsibility to build that, and it’s definitely a challenge we enjoy using our creativity and teamwork to achieve.
Our main goal is to raise the quality of the art at Kolibri, we want to support our games with the best possible art in order to potentiate their reach and engagement. Looking ahead, I see Kolibri having a clear visual identity, and a distinctive “personality” in terms of art”.
Fun Projects Had
Game art has also been a place through which we’ve communicated important company initiatives, including ones for a good cause. Back in 2021, we took part in the Green Game Jam, organized by Playing4ThePlanet. That was a great opportunity for us to apply a creative approach to supporting carbon reduction projects around the world, and a way for us to engage our players with a good cause.
Our Boris Heisserer, Lead IMT Game Designer, recalls the initiative, in which he played a key role. “We’re a company that has been active in supporting good causes for several years at a corporate level, and the Green Game Jam was a great way to also do the same in our most popular title”. Regarding our actions, he adds, “We created four nature-themed Event mines, each with its own unique game environments that our players could enjoy while they play. We also released a special Super Manager for each as part of our participation in the Game Jam. It was really fun working with the rest of the team on creating all the visual assets. It also proved to be a great way to engage our players, as the earnings generated from in-app purchases went to support tree planting around the world.
Friendly Environment and Growth
Another main focus for the art department is on career development for our artists and designers. As Daniel puts it, “we try to make sure every member of the team has a clearly defined career development plan. Offering a clear path is important for us as it allows our team members to have tangible goals for themselves, and that clarity translates into high performance and higher levels of motivation. We work best when we’re transparent and when everyone knows what they can expect in the future”.