For this virtual fish tank, we needed a cartoon high school hallway for the Nerdy Fish to occupy. I want it to have a cartoony Saved By The Bell feel. Timeframe is 2-3 days to complete this background from sketch to fully rendered in color.
The first draft (below) is a 2 minute sketch.
The second draft (below) is the same layout but cleaned up. Probably around 10 minutes.
The first draft was approved because we agreed that the curviness suited the game and–more importantly–the character's personality. This rough Photoshop mockup (below) does a fine job of conveying the color and quality of my concept, but it needs more polish before going into the game.
The final background has to be rendered in Illustrator or Flash, because it needs to be scalable. It would take forever to tailor the background to every iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, high res, low res, device on the market. Instead we use one vector background file which is scaled, stretched, and cropped for all phones and tablets. The final version (below) ended up a little brighter and deeper than my rough.