It may come as a surprise to some but there is a lot of work involved in creating the puzzle files used in my Anatomy Puzzles, Art Puzzles, Map Puzzles, Poster Puzzles and Window Puzzles apps. All up it takes around 30 - 40 hours to create the 14 puzzles in a single pack.
Here's a quick summary of the process used for each and every puzzle:
- First of all I need to search the web for interesting images that are:
- relevant to the pack being built,
- high enough resolution (at least 2000 pixels on the longest side),
- available for use in my apps (public domain or available under a suitable Creative Commons licence),
- and most importantly be interesting and beautiful.
- prepare the image - crop out unwanted portions, improve brightness if needed etc.
- resize the image to the required size for the puzzle apps
- remove or add a background as needed - some images (particularly in Anatomy Puzzles) come with a transparent background.
- Add a new layer on top of the image - this will be the outline or frame which determines the shape of all the pieces in the puzzle.
- Examine the image to understand the best difficulty level (large pieces for easy and small details for hard puzzles).
- Understand the artistic decisions made by the original artist. Are the component edges distinct (Stained Glass windows have very well defined lines between segments but oil paintings do not)? Is the image geometric? What media did the artist use etc? It is important that the shape and selection of pieces is in tune with the style of the original image.
- Then comes the most creative part of the process. I hand draw lines using an Apple Pencil in the new layer that define the edges of all the various pieces that will be created in the puzzle app. See the blue lines in the image above for an example. This process can take a long time for very detailed puzzles.
- Once completed, I then look at the outline layer in detail to ensure all lines are smooth, joined up properly and any extraneous pixels erased.
- I then save the image and the outline as separate files.
- Short title
- Long description
- Image attribution link
- Colour to use for the background so the pieces stand out
- Difficulty level
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into how a new puzzle pack is released.
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