uDraw Studio: Instant Artist is a fun and educational art program, developed by Pipeworks Studio and released by THQ on November 15th, 2011 for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as the pack-in game for their second iteration of the uDraw game tablet peripheral. On this project, I was responsible for updating the toolbox UI for new tools and HD resolutions and scripting support for tutorials.
This was a period of transition for me. I moved from Seattle, WA to Eugene, OR. I was working for an established game studio with multiple teams, large and small, operating at once. And yet, the type of work I was doing and the type of people I was working with stayed the same. By this point, I had 3 years making video games, with multiple projects seen over the finish line on a variety of platforms; in this industry, this made me a seasoned veteran. So everything at Pipeworks was quite familiar and I easily slipped into the groove again.
And like Cory in the House DS, uDraw is another project I worked on that has an interesting footnote in gaming history. After the surprise success of the uDraw Tablet on the Nintento Wii the year before, THQ launched it on all 3 major platforms the next year, to disastrous results. The kids and family audience, THQ’s bread and butter for licensed products, had been moving to mobile and tablets and were no longer covering THQ’s risky bets in AAA game development. Once the second wave of uDraw flopped, THQ shuttered the casual kids and family division to focus on AAA, using uDraw as the scapegoat for the year’s worth of losses. It would not save them, as the publisher went bankrupt a year later. This also won’t be the last time I talk about THQ imploding on this site.