Concept • Graphic Design • Character Design • Illustration • Animation • React • AGILE • Figma • UI
‘Codo Cato and the Banana Ramen’ is the first episode of a gamified learning app that teaches basic coding concepts. Created for the final project on an intensive 16 week Professional Software Development course (CodeClan, Edinburgh).
The player is a young cat, Codo Cato who meets sensei, Mrs Meowgi, at the coding dojo. Mrs Meowgi trains Codo Cato through tasks that introduce coding terminology and concepts. The game culminates in the creation of a delicious bowl of banana ramen. This represents a function and brings together all of the terms that were previously introduced to the player, such as strings, integers and lists.
Once the main characters were decided on as cats, I came up with the Japanese theme and name by building it around the phrase, 'Domo Arigato, Codo Cato' - a reference to the Styx song 'Mr Roboto', which itself has inspired many moments in pop culture, such as in The Office, The Simpsons, Futurama, Austin Powers, to name but a few. For a bit more fun, there is also a cheeky nod to 80s band, Bananarama.
Visual inspiration came from maneki-neko figurines, Sanrio, and the Japanese cat-collecting app, Neko Atsume.
Mrs Meowgi (final design on right) and Codo Cato (3 avatar variations)
Experimenting with colour, style and speed
The typewriter style for the text to emulates gameplay in Japanese puzzle adventure games, such as Professor Layton. Converting the animations to Lottie files maintained image quality whilst reducing page load time in the app.