Daggër Gems ( http://www.daggergems.com/ )
Daggër Gems is an iPhone game startup ( http://www.daggergems.com/ ). I am the lead designer on our first puzzle game called "No Way Out!" (including the exclamation point). This is a software implementation of a well known mechanical puzzle called "Rush Hour" by puzzle master Nob Yoshigahara. There are several other iPhone implementations of this game already available in the App Store. The aim of our implementation is to add all of the features and style that were missing from all of the others. The game is complete and ready to submit to Apple for approval, however, coming up with a clever icon has been difficult. Each of the other competing games has a similar app icon -- it's a block-sliding puzzle game, so they just cluster a few blocks together (see attached screenshots) and crop it. I want something that really pops for this game, but still gives the viewer the notion that it's a game about being blocked while trying to move from one place to another.
It's a puzzle game, so anything goes here. There is no objectionable content in the game whatsoever, so we're hoping it will appeal to all ages. I would imagine there won't be as many female players as male, but aside from that it's hard to say.
I would prefer that your submissions be 100% vector (Illustrator CS3 format preferably), but I don't want to hinder your creativity. I'm well aware that there are certain tricks that just can't be done in a pure vector manner. So, if your design needs raster elements, so be it. Just make sure to keep it big. There are two sizes that will be sent to Apple: the app icon itself is 57x57 in png format, and the icon that shows up in iTunes is 512x512 in tiff format. I'll rip the final files from your master, but just make sure that, if you have any raster elements in your master, to keep it at or above 512x512.
Re: Icon content... Like I said before about the competition: their icons all look more or less the same and none of them are very engaging. They do tell the story, but they all look kind of flat and lackluster. I really need to stand out in this fray. I need the icon to sizzle. I want people to see all 10 of us lined up like ducks in the App Store and for them to be compelled to click on my app first.
There is an old Mac icon I love by a designer I worked with a few years ago named Matthew Bice ( http://www.iheartny.com/ ). It's called "robot" and is part of his "Soda Jerks" icon collection. It's an "Iron Giant" sort of thing. Try, if you can, to draw some inspiration from that icon (screenshot attached). ... but any and all ideas are welcome!
(Please, no stock art. Original illustrations only.)