Burn the Rope: From The Art Side

“Rename of the Game” 

This might be an interesting tidbit – for the early part of Burn the Rope’s development we were actually planning on calling it Firebug.  We rather liked that name!  Jamie R. who was the initial artist on the team had done some great logos using that name, and he created the little flame guy called Wickman and had him chasing a cowering and flaming bug.  The name Firebug stood out and had a nice double meaning:  it’s a term used for someone who likes starting fires like a pyromaniac, and then there’s the whole Fire vs. Bug aspect of the game.


The game design continued progressing in the coming weeks with a few snags as personnel were snatched away onto other projects for clients.  After a while I was an artist freed up to come onto the Firebug team and my first task was to address giving the visuals a more rustic, night-time, campfire feel.  We wanted the fire to have a nice visual contrast with the surroundings.  At some point down the line we found out we could no longer use the title Firebug.  I believe it was already being used by an add-on for the browser Firefox.  On a whim and almost as a joke we ended up deciding to simply call the game Burn the Rope, at least for now.  It was nice and simple, and very clearly stated what the game was about – burning rope.  The visual style progressed to have a warm autumn feel full of aged wood planks, chopped logs, tree stumps, and dried leaves.  I wanted it to feel like a stray spark from the fire could suddenly set the entire screen ablaze.

After the next while working under this newest title Burn the Rope  we started to hear rumblings of a silly gag Internet game called “You Have To Burn The Rope”  and also around this time the iPhone game called “Cut the Rope”  had just been released and was quickly becoming popular.  Yet again, our game’s name was possibly on the chopping block (which happens a lot in this industry) but it was decided that sticking with our name Burn the Rope was still the best way to go.  It was bold and told potential players exactly what the game was about.



“Logo Design and Redesign” 

Burn the Rope’s logo design was initially grittier and a bit scorched and burnt.  The game’s designer David K. thought it would be pretty cool to have the rope from the game bordering the edges of the logo so players might stumble onto the fact that the title screen was also kind of a bonus level.


After a few days of using this burnable title it was then decided we should go with a cleaner and brighter logo with a bit more 3D punch.  It’s very important that an iPhone game’s title and icon remain clear and readable at even the smallest scale.  I gave the new logo an exaggerated 3D perspective and a dark outer glow that really made the orange and yellow pop.  This final logo design also lost its visible rope border, but we kept in the burning aspect so players can still snag a few extra bugs for their achievements if they happen upon it.  By this time our animator Randy V. had some great animations for Wickman ready and we replaced the static version with him happily dancing up a storm.

Another hidden tidbit:  Press the dancing Wickman on the title screen – he’s got a few things to say!

4 Comments + Add Comment

  • Wow, it’s great to see the progress. I really like the 3D look fo the logo!

    • Thanks Serena! I like seeing the progression of artwork too, I’ll have to make it a habit of saving the different stages the artwork goes through so we can look back at it. I love seeing old doodled concepts and where they end up going. There’ll be some “Thumpies” blogs coming soon that have a bit of that…

  • Your team did a great job Chris! I really like that you showed us the ‘evolution’ of the art…soooo KOOL!!! I’m having soooooooo much fun playing Burn the Rope!

    • Thanks Birg, yes I’m going to try and make a point of saving early doodles and concepts for things in the future because it’s always fun to look back at how things have changed or how much has stayed the same through out a project. We’ll be posting some “Making of Thumpies” in the coming weeks that will have some more of that too.

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