During March I took a much-needed vacation and ran away to the home of all things cute and colourful (and a very large part of my heart): Japan!
Instead of boring you with holiday pictures, I thought it would be fun to share some of the snaps I took of toys I found over there that I really liked, and that I hope can give a bit of an insight into inspirations that fuel Hokko Life.
So let’s go!
I’ll start with some big-hitters; the Disney Tsum Tsum, and Sumikko franchises. Absolutely adorable, condensed and “squishy”character designs that just ooze charm, and in the case of Disney, still retain their personalities from their original characters. These characters and products are eeeeeeverywhere!
Next: Things in eggs!
This theme kept popping up everywhere. Animals and characters, that you’d hatch out of an egg. I think there’s something delightful with having a character hidden away inside something else; almost like they’re living inside another little world you can have in your pocket!
So, vehicles are pretty great right? But… what if they were cuter!? Well…
I stumbled upon these little vehicles, modified to be a cute vehicle version of another character. I love their cute, chubby proportions! It would be wonderful to make a game one day featuring such fantastic little cars!
Speaking of cute chubby proportions, get a load of these amazing dinosaur toys! I really like their angular, simplified shapes; almost boiling the creatures down to their simplest forms, with a focus on overall volume and silhouette rather than any faffy detailing. Oh, and of course they open up to show their skeleton…! (Which is also adorably chunky!)
Generally I really like the design of the following items. The simple, blocky, colourful and clean shapes are both striking and smart too. I love how much character you can get across in a square object! The first and last pictures are of table-top card/board games; I really enjoy their box proportions and how inviting every single cover is.
I kept coming across these adorably cute home sets called Haco Room while wandering around Toy Stores. I’m a bit fan of the proportions of the characters, with their oversized heads and little bodies; as well as the simple but still detailed room accessories. There’s something so intrinsically appealing about small, cozy interior scenes; and I’m really looking forward to letting players create their own cute home scenes in Hokko Life!
I really liked the fun character designs on these boxes and the way they use simple big shapes and then create interesting designs within.
I think these little sets were quite possibly my favourite of the lot. They were kits you bought and built yourself, creating amazing little scenes within things like pencil cases.
Animals as ice-creams!
I was really tempted to pick up this game until I realised it probably wouldn’t work on my western 3DS! It’s an action fishing game, using an accessory for your 3DS that gives you a handle to reel the fish in with! How amazing is that!? You could buy actual, physical upgrades for your reel, as well as a whole host of other bits and pieces that affected the game.
I took a lot more pictures during my time in Japan, but I thought these were the toys that had the best connection to Hokko Life.
Now I’m back I’m easing into development, contacting publishers, and getting excited for all the new content I’m going to be adding to the game!