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Blog . "Stir Fry" App Art by CIA Alum


"Stir Fry" App Art by CIA Alum

01/30/12  |  Posted by Keri Svoboda  |  Posted in Digital Creativity

Stir fry is addictive! Rather like the cuter version of tetris with food, stir fry was created by a 2010 alumni graduate of CIA, Mark Laubenthol. Even those attending Marks BFA that afternoon in Spring 2010, staff and student alike, knew he was meant for great things. Mark Laubenthol is the lead artist for Stir Fry, and his style for making relatable, fun, and cute characters shows through. The game, as mentioned before, is addicting. The high score is always right around the corner, and the game is a great way to get that creative brain working in the morning. Like many other games on the iPad, Stir Fry utilizes the touch screen. By allowing players to rearrange the oncoming vegetables, the players achieve larger combos for flipping similar hot veggies into each other. Through collecting fortune cookies in your wok, players collect coins and items to help them earn higher scores in the game, some permanent and others temporary, to fight the fire. For example, a fire extinguisher puts out a single wok vegetable on fire, but oven mitts cools all of the woks at the same time. Since Mark Laubenthal is a former student of CIA, DCI had an exclusive online interview about Stir Fry! First, being artists, DCI had to ask: "What were some difficulties in developing Stir Fry?" Mr. Laubenthal seemed happy to answer this one when he said that there "...weren't (as far as I can recall) any big or major problems, but rather a bunch of last-minute little things that we realized might need to be tweaked or changed or added to make the game more dynamic. There were many points that Stir Fry's producer Bill Devine would email me and say that he and the game's programmer, Aaron Barrett, had a great idea to make the game better, but that this new feature would involve new art to be made, many times under a dead-line, too." Of course, all of their great teamwork showed in the final version of Stir Fry that we, as consumers and gamers, enjoy today. The next question we asked was: "What inspired this game?" Mr. Laubenthal responded with: "Okay, this one is a bit tricky. The thing is, Final Wave Studios, the company that produced the game, already had the idea of a stir-fry game when they approached me to do the art for it. The game's producer Bill Devine is an excellent idea man, as is the programmer Aaron Barrett, and they had many things largely fleshed out. What was cool, however, was that even though the idea of the game was already decided upon, I got to create all the visuals of that world and how it looked. Since I love chibi art, stuff like Charuca (google it and be amazed!). I got to make the characters and game elements resemble my favorite style." [caption id="attachment_1868" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="My poor game play of Stir Fry"][/caption] Without hesitation, DCI had to ask: "Which vegetable character is your favorite?" "As a character designer, I really enjoyed them all, though if I had to pick a favorite, I'd say the eggplant. His shape is very cute and his color pops out from the rest of the veggies. One of the power-ups that I created, a bottle of hot-sauce, has a feature where he clears the entire screen, but when he does so his eyes become flames (which was my idea, and I was glad they kept it in!)." [caption id="attachment_1867" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Final Wave Studios"][/caption] Overall, Final Wave Studios did a fantastic job in creating something clean and fun, especially with such a small group working on this game. According to Mark, we can expect more iPad-oriented games from Final Wave Studios in the future, perhaps in a different genre. Opinionated as I am, I gotta give this game 5 out of 5. I have found no problems playing the game, and it's interface is very easy to use and understand. The only critique that I would have is that it's so addicting that I'm forgetting to finish my work! As for Mark, you are a wonderful, successful artist, worthy of notice. Those who would like to see more of Mark's work should visit his website: Currently, Stir Fry is free, for a limited time only. Remember that prices are subject to change at any time. Stir Fry in iTunes - FREE PLEASE NOTE! The images in this blog are taken from Final Wave Studios. DCI and CIA do not own any of these images and mean to use them only for discussion purposes only.

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