Concept Art for Pause Play Stop

Hello guys! This is Mariela, and I want to talk about what we have been doing for the past months on the art of “Pause Play Stop”.

The origin of all: The Texture

When I joined Headless Chicken Games, the team had a prototype of the game with a filter on its texture called Painterly from the Unity Asset Store. The prototype was not bad at all, but the team wasn’t satisfied with the look of the texture. Previously they wanted an artistic finish, but it can only be achieved by treating the texture directly. So, after some discussions, we decided to rethink the concept art of the game to define an unique and attractive style based on a handmade appearance.

PainterlyThe References

One of our most important references was the animated video “Now you know it anyway (Nu ken je het toch al)” by the Dutch studio Polder Animation. The simplicity of its colors and the simplicity gained from using just a few colors called our attention. The process of “Firewatch”,  a video game developed by Campo Santo, was very useful in molding our idea about the art and finally settle down into a style. Other games like “Rime” developed by the studio Tequila Works and “The Witness” developing by Thekla Inc. Games were an inspiration for us too, both to be released on PlayStation 4.

ReferenciasScreenshots of References. Top: “Firewatch”. Center: “Now you know it anyway (Nu ken je het toch al)”. Bottom Left: “The Witness”. Bottom Right: “Rime”.

Despite all this, we wanted our OWN artistic style, not a playback. We wanted color, we wanted brush strokes, we wanted a warm and nostalgic aura. So, at this point the next step forward was: How do we do this? So, let’s make a re-count here.

The Process

We discovered that we have to use, at most, three shades for our colors. We started to practice this on new scenes and new points of views.


The original texture was very meticulous and all assets had the same look, no matter if they were in front or in the background. That’s why we work on the level of details of some trees and rocks, doing this by drawing them manually and applying a cutout filter. Our most important target was to simplify the texture, and then define the level of details that we wanted.










Parallel to this, we also wanted a brushwork on our texture, so we tested by painting some assets and scenes using watercolor. This gave us interesting results, but implementation of the texture to the 3D models was very tedious.


Finally, we began to make scenes with tones like we did on our first attempt, achieving good results by adjusting the ambient light. At this moment, we felt it was time to start with the testing stage, and it is precisely what we’re working on now.

Concepts3There’s still a lot of work to do, but at least we know what we want and know how to do it. All this process has been about solving problems and building the art we want with the tools we have, we hope this will be useful for others developers in the same situation. You can write to us any time if you have more questions and maybe we can help each other. Cheers!

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Unity iOS Getting Started

So I haven’t been posting here for a while, but I have had all kinds of issues. Issues I have solved in the past, and for SOME SORT OF REASON, I haven’t been writing down. So from now on, I will be writing a blog post about every issue I have. That way if I have the issue again in the future. Here’s the solution, and hopefully it will help someone else!

Enter (errrrrrrr) Unity iOS

Today’s problem is brought to you by a new project we are developing for a client. It’s a mobile game that’s supposed to be running in both Android and iOS (MAYBE windows phone?? am trying to ignore it for now, you know, like everyone else).

Now I have done my fair share of android development (on windows), and I thought, hey I got a Mac, it should be as simple as clicking build.


Guess what? It’s not that simple. After going through the whole process of becoming an approved developer for iOS (I went through it twice, once for myself, and another time for the Company) that you can find here

I thought I was set, we already had the project running on android, so why would it be different?

First Build, Boom.  Build Succesful. AWESOME I thought.

The Xcode project would no open. That’s ok, I tried opening it manually, it opens fine

Command  + B (a nice shortcut to remember!) starts building, and it gave me this error:

Error in Xcode!

Error in Xcode!

On this problems, don’t be afraid to use the proposed fix, it’s actually as simple as double clicking (not sure if it’s going to be fixed in the next Unity version, downloading as I speak). Once it’s fixed, try to build it again (from XCode, not from unity!)

ARC forbids explicit message send of ‘autorelease’

ARC error

This issue was tricky to catch, because a lot of people in the Interwebz (helpful strangers) say that you should deactivate ARC (this can be done through the Build Settings). But guess what? This is not the solution, the real solution is adding a compilation flag to the files that give you issues.

We are using an asset from the AssetStore ( called social plugin, that enables different platforms to use several different social plugins, this is the root of our compilation issues! (!/content/15066).

The file that was giving us the issues was the so we are going to add the no ARC flag to this file ONLY, how do we do this? We go through the build phases setting in the target.

Select the file and add the flag!

Select the file and add the flag!

Now look for the file in the Compile Sources and add:


As a compiler flag for the specific file that we know it’s giving us issues, it should look like this

Add the -fno-objc-arc flag

Add the -fno-objc-arc flag


AND WE ARE … not done yet… what?


Linker Error

(null): Symbol(s) not found for architecture arm64

This was the worst error, since it was related to how iOS works internally, but don’t worry! We are going to fix it (though we  have to go through the whole process again). Basically, what this error is saying is that we are missing a reference to a library that the plugin needs to compile. So to fix it, we need to add a couple of library that handle social stuff and messaging!

This is done inside unity,specifically this 2 libraries:

Need to add the Social and the MessageUI libraries, remember to apply it!

Need to add the Social and the MessageUI libraries, remember to apply it!


And now we build, AGAIN.

Build Succeeded!



This was quite a while of work and researching, but finally seeing it running on an iPad Air 2, and knowing it will run with no issues on all other platforms gives me quite a bit of pleasure :).

Now you need to keep in mind that some errors may happen because:

  • Scripting Backend is not set to IL2CPP (this is set in the player settings)
  • Universal Architecture is not set in the player settings
  • Some files may be missing
  • Provisioning File or Certificate may not be set properly
  • Unity Version might have a bug

So be sure to always check this first! And hopefully your app will be up and running in no time!

Don’t hesitate to write me if you have doubts!

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