Pulp Studios Inc. in Windows 8 Ads

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Testimony | One Comment

You may have noticed recently that a little company called Microsoft has been showing up in many places. TV ads, the store shelves, smart phones ads etc.. Perhaps in the context of these advertisements you’ve spotted some beautiful art adorning certain aspects of the new Windows 8 interface.

Microsoft Home Page Pirates Love Daisies Pulp Studios Inc.

What! Who created that art peaking out on the Microsoft Home Page? Image is copyright Microsoft Corporation.

Those of you who are not familiar with the new windows 8 operating system should know that Microsoft has launched an app store similar to the iTunes App store but exclusively for the Windows platform. This is where our magic is being disseminated around the globe. In December of 2010 we had the luxury of working with to create a casual online tower defence game, Pirates Love Daisies. You may be familiar with this project already, but with the recent use of the game in Microsofts deployment of Windows 8 I was inspired to do a little write-up about the project here.

It’s funny how in the world of business things sometimes fall into place at just the right time. In January 2010, Pulp Studios Inc. had just launched our website when Michael Graves from was on the hunt for artists to collaborate on the HTML 5 game that would become Pirates Love Daisies. As he tells it, he did a search for award winning illustrators in Edmonton, Alberta and he noticed Pulp Studios Inc. Thankfully, we had just recently received our first of many Applied Arts Award for some self-promotional illustration work which allowed us to be added to the list of potential collaborators. Subsequently, we were invited into the office for a meeting to discuss the possibility of working together.

I was extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with While studying visual communication design at the UofA, in 2004, Grant Skinner came and gave a talk regarding UI design, paper prototyping and some aspects of the development process at His talk was great and I became in the know, as they say, about a home grown genius, developer, artist. When the opportunity came up to work with him, I knew we had to land it. We had a great first meeting and I think my zeal for real-time strategy (RTS) games and our passion for the work we do really paid off. Though I’m more aged than my genius developer friend he felt I had “youthful enthusiasm” which would be valuable to the process.

In it’s early days the game was conceptualized as a RTS game set in space. The daisy loving pirates that found life through the process are a far departure from this concept – though who knows, maybe will create some space maps down the road. Space pirates!! Run with it – no wait, my idea, let’s collaborate again.

Pulp Studios Inc. has become well equipped to handle the creative around casual online games. Since creating PLD we have built multiple other games, we are currently wrapping up a large project – ( launching end of January 2013) – which houses 10 mini games in a world complete with editable avatars and user condos. Below is a brief description of the process behind PLD and every project we undertake.


It was a true joy being invited into the early creative process and chatting through iterations of game concept, models and approaches. Once the concept was narrowed down to pirates and daisies, Pulp Studios Inc. got the wheels rolling on the creative.


As is customary with our process around game design we began by scouring the interwebs and books to gather images which appealed to our visual goals for the project and created theme boards and included them in a project brief. If you’re curious and would like more info about theme boards on what they are exactly, check out Kelly’s blog post on his process for his illustration “The Autumn Man”. This is a solid representation of what theme boards are all about.

These theme boards were shared with and we pitched our creative approach for the artwork for PLD. They loved it!


If a project is going to incorporate characters, whether it’s a print book, like the Street Safe Books we built with Calder Bateman, a motion graphic such as Fighting Chance or an educational animation we typically start with character silhouettes. Check out our blog post on character design for more info. We also work on identity during that process. In this case it was a combination of creating a Pirates Love Daisies logo and early Graphic User Interface design. Pirates included 5 pirate characters and 5 “creeps” (sea creatures).


This is where a large bulk of the work for a project will reside. With PLD we had a blend of requirements including character animations for three upgrade states of the characters, animations for the “creeps” who steel the daisies, background assets a that could be used in multiple contexts to create a variety of maps without large amounts of additional work. Pretty splash screen art which is used in promotional items and in game. We also finished out creating the GUI during asset creation.


This is a final step to ensure that every piece delivered is up to requirements by the developer and that every piece looks pretty. In this case, was very forthcoming with valuable feedback and direction as to what they expected and required.

With PLD we strove for very open communication between ourselves and the client; this is a common goal in every project Pulp Studios Inc. is a part of. We pushed to provide very high quality work on time and worked closely with to achieve everything they required.

What a wonderfully enjoyable project and how exciting to see our work out there in the big old world.

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Image Copyright Microsoft Corporation

Pirates Love Daisies on Windows 8

Image Copyright Microsoft Corporation

Pirates Love Daisies in the Windows 8 App Store

Image Copyright Microsoft Corporation

1 Comment

  1. Shaun
    December 14, 2012

    Awesome Kelly!


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