Art of Cogs Part 2

(Continued from yesterday.)

In April, 2008, I had been living in the city for a couple months and was becoming a regular attendee of the monthly San Francisco Postmortem where one night I had the good fortune of meeting one Rob Jagnow. I'd been looking for a project to give me something creative to do (at the time I was parking cars for a local Valet company) and Rob pointed me to his website where he had a few screenshots of a small personal project he'd been working on called "Cogs."

Cogs April 2008 Cogs April 2008 Cogs April 2008

The first sketch ever done for the graphical overhaul of Cogs, April 2008By this point the game had evolved to include three distinct challenge modes and around 25-30 playable puzzles. I liked what I saw, especially once Rob sent me a fully functioning build to play through. The game was a lot of fun even in it's current state.

Rob described the game to me as "steampunk," which intrigued me because steampunk was something I knew a decent bit about. Aside from the fact that it was something I'd been into since well before it became a household term (well, nerd households anyway) I am an avid Lego enthusiast, and there is a whole Lego enthusiast sub-group devoted to steampunk Lego creations. So I sketched up some interface ideas, throwing in everything I knew about the steampunk genre, and sent them off to Rob.

Concept menu button, April 2008Rob liked what he saw, save for a few details (he had decided early on that there would be no electricity in the game, at least not yet). However while at this point I had convinced him of my interest in the project and that I could probably bring some creative input to the table I still had to prove that I actually knew what I was talking about so I whipped up a quick menu button with accompanying diffuse, specular and normal maps and sent it all his way. Within a week we were drawing up a contract.

While we never ended up using that button I had already begun establishing the foundation of the eventual Cogs aesthetic. Note, for instance, a certain gear motif that found its way onto most of the final interface elements.
The gear motif carried across most interface screens