We have finally decided on how the icons for our upcoming game Time to Tell Time should look like.
Making a good app icon isn’t easy. It must be simple enough to be recognized even on small mobile screens but still contains enough information to be compelling and interesting. It must be somewhat unique to stand out from the rest of all games in the app-stores but still follow the common guidelines.
The game is about telling time, so to include a clock in the image seems rather natural. The good guys in the game, the Analog people, have analog clocks at the top of their towers, so it was an obvious choice. To amplify it is a game, we need to add a “game-feature”. The cannonball with some smoke fits perfectly. It is one of the main features in the game and it clearly indicates that it is a game.
Once we know what to have in the icon, it was time to decide which colors to use. Since we used objects from the game it was more a question on which background color to use. We didn’t want to have these bright icons which scream boring educational game. The standard guideline is to use bright colors, but as all guidelines, they are meant to be broken. We decided to have something darker, and dark purple looks great on both mobile devices and large screens. We had to add some light in the background to make the cannonball visible even at a distance.
Android now uses something called “adaptive icons“. It is icons where the background can slide under the front image. This makes the normal static icons feel a bit alive, making the icons more visually appealing. Well… at least designers at Google think so. The easiest way to create the new adaptive icons is by using Asset Studio in Android Studio.