Puzzle Explorer

Puzzle Explorer is a maze building game geared toward kids. It is designed to nurture cognition, creativity and basic problem-solving skills by teaching children to design and build interactive mazes. The puzzles are designed at different locations around the world where kids unlock photos and facts from National Geographic.

My role on Puzzle Explorer was concept artist, character artist, 3d artist, and animator. From conception to final product, the art was my responsibility.

There are currently 6 different locations you can choose from in Puzzle Explorer. Each location has unique challenges and puzzles to help build problem solving skills. 

Find out more at: www.nationalgeographicpuzzleexplorer.com

 

Click on a location

 

 

 

Yucatan Peninsula

Each location has it's own unique obstacles that fit the theme of the location. This is the first location for kids to build mazes with, and introduces 2 kinds of door, the kind you need to find the key first to open, and ones that close after you walk over them. 

Yucatan has lots of jungle like aspects to it. The barriers are either moss covered walls, or a impassably thick jungle group. Paths form around wall blocks. Each wall and path has 15 different variations to be able to interlock seamlessly. The animal for this location is the iguana.


 

 

Yucatan Character

The art style for Puzzle Explorer is playful and simplistic. This game is designed for mobile so there is no lighting. Instead, the character have a type of cell shading to them.

These character presented an interesting challenge to rigging because of their very short legs.

This is an in game screenshot of the Yucatan Peninsula. The UI elements here are also 3d objects that I created.

 

Animations

 

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Antarctica

Antarctica is marked by an overall blue tone to the whole environment, which is in sharp contrast to the very green Yucatan location.

This location's obstacles are ice walls, slippery ice paths, crevasses in the ice, and icy cold water. The player can use push the ice blocks and snow balls to build bridges across watery depths. Penguins roam the environment.


 

 

Antarctica Character

This character is ready to explore the harsh cold of Antarctica. The orange coat helps him contrast with the very blue environment and adds a fun pop of color too. The gender of this character was intentionally left ambiguous, it could be a male or female behind all that winter gear.

 

The goal is to collect all 3 of the cameras and then make it to the compass at the bottom right corner.

 

 

Animations

 

Concept Art

Concept art created for antartica

 

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Himalayas

The Himalayas adds a new layer of complexity to the maze building with the addition of 3 different animals. Each animal has their own unique behavior pattern to block or help the player reach his goal. There is the Yak, who blocks your bath until you lure him away with bait. The Rhino will pace back and forth, but don't get to close to him or he will charge you. The Tiger will hunt you down. This location had the most amount of animations needed for all the animals and their different behaviors.



 

 

Himalayas Character

Each location's character has some objects to help them explore the land. A walking stick and rope help this native explore deeper into his homeland.

 

The Himalayas location screenshot.

 

 

Animations

 

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Outback

The Australian Outback is full of dangerous obstacles for the player to avoid. Some bushes have snakes hiding in them, the water could be hiding a crocodile in their depths, and beware of the quicksand. Explore the beautiful, but treacherous outback.


 

 

Outback

This girl isn't afraid of the potential dangers ahead of her. She will take it head on. She is ready to explore and learn more about the world around her.

 

This location adds time limits to complete the puzzle.

 

 

Animation

 

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Nile Valley

This location is exploring the dark underground ruins of Egypt. Dangers lurk in the darkness. You have a limited view of what's ahead of you in this maze. There could be scorpions, swarms of scarabs, or deep holes hidden just around the corner. Light the torches to get a better view of the puzzle.

There are 4 different pressure plates, that only open certain gates. Adding another layer of complexity for children to build mazes with.


 

 

Nile Valley Character

This character, with his trusty torch is exploring new Egyptian ruins and learning more about his history.

 

Limited sight adds another layer of complexity to this puzzle.

 

 

Animation

 

Initial concept art for Nile Valley location.

 

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Mars

Exploration isn't limited to Earth. Explore the new terrain of Mars on foot or with a rover. The astronaut has limited oxygen so she can only be outside of the base for so long without picking up a new tank.

The collectible cameras are hidden on this level, and you need to search with the satellite to find where they're hidden. Then you can moon walk your way to pick them up, or control the rover to collect them for you.


 

 

Mars Astronaut

This astronaut is on a mission to Mars to explore and discover. She has lots of technology at her disposal. She can use remote satellites and rovers to explore hard to reach areas. Inside the base, she doesn't need her space suit on, but outside she'll have to quickly get her task done before her oxygen runs out.


 

Your character will change out of her space suit when you go inside the base.

 

 

Animation

 

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More Info

For more information on Puzzle Explorer, visit www.nationalgeographicpuzzleexplorer.com

There are more videos below to demo the game play and how it teaches kids important skills.

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