Customer Story

How Wixot & Layer merged gen-AI with art production in Journey Home

Explore how this small but ambitious mobile games studio in London leveraged Layer’s industry-leading gen-AI to supercharge their live-service art pipelines in Journey Home: Merge & Stories.
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About Wixot 

Wixot is a London and Istanbul based dynamic and innovative gaming studio dedicated to creating engaging and immersive gaming experiences since 2013. The team of passionate developers, designers, and storytellers work collaboratively to produce high-quality games that captivate players across the globe. 

Wixot is focused on pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology to develop games that entertain, challenge, and inspire.

Forging new paths with AI

The Wixot team has always been intrigued by the potential of AI to enhance their workflows, especially in the highly competitive mobile games space. They kicked things off by experimenting with Layer for their  highly visual renovation/merge game, Journey Home: Merge & Stories. Starting with in-game items and backgrounds, what previously took three days of intensive work could now be accomplished in just one day - drastically boosting the team's art production abilities.

Over the course of 4-5 months, Wixot utilized Layer AI to create and finalize nearly 150 production-ready assets, revolutionizing their creative process and setting a new standard for what was possible with their small but ambitious mobile games studio.

Layer has accelerated the sketch/painting process that takes a long period of time. We can now complete 3 days worth of art production in 1 day. It’s definitely helped us a lot with time and productivity.
Wixot Development Team

Live service art and user acquisition in one new pipeline

Creating item sets and variations

With Journey Home: Merge & Stories, the team needed to generate a steady pipeline of content to support the game's detailed levels and decorative items. The game’s core mechanics involve merging various cafe-themed items to complete levels, requiring a lot of diverse assets to keep things fresh for players. The gen-AI capabilities of Layer allowed the team to quickly create and iterate on a wide range of items and variations, making asset creation much more manageable.

The Wixot team started by using the “Custom Styles” system in Layer, uploading their existing assets to create a style unique to their IP. This gave the art team the ability to produce high-quality assets in a fraction of the time it previously took - while keeping everyone on-brand. The new system was vital for Wixot, as they could keep up with the constant demand for new content without compromising on quality. The AI-driven platform made the work "half as easy," according to Wixot, saving significant time and effort. 

With the custom style feature, we can reference our own artists' items and create new items that are very close to our own style. Layer has made our workflows much easier and saved us vital production time.
Wixot Development Team

Examples of in-game items created for Journey Home: Merge & Stories.

In-game offers backgrounds

In addition to in-game items, Wixot leveraged Layer to create high-quality background art for store offers. These offers are crucial for driving the live-service aspects of Journey Home: Merge & Stories where the visual appeal of store offers can significantly impact key metrics such as Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU) and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). By using Layer, Wixot was able to quickly generate high-quality, eye-catching backgrounds that made store offers more attractive to players.

The ability to edit and create variations within the Layer Canvas was key here, allowing the Wixot team to generate sections of images and add them as layers to create complex environments (shown below). This level of control and speed made it possible to support a store system for promoting limited-time offers and special events. Wixot could now respond swiftly to market trends and player preferences, ensuring their store content remained relevant and enticing. 

The efficiency gains from Layer’s generative AI translated directly into increased productivity and higher revenue margins, as the team could focus on optimizing and tailoring offers to enhance player engagement and spending. 

In-game offer asset composed by Wixot artist using Layer  for Journey Home: Merge & Stories.

Marketing assets

For small studios like Wixot, creating user acquisition campaigns is challenging. This type of marketing is almost always asset intensive and requires constant revisions but essential for driving growth and maintaining a steady player base. Wixot needed a way to speed up marketing asset creation, while ensuring consistency and high quality across all promotional materials. 

By integrating their marketing asset pipeline with their game art creation in Layer, Wixot was able to maintain a strong visual style that resonated with players. This integration ensured that marketing materials accurately reflected the game experience, such as environments and in-game items. For instance, when producing renovation-themed  “Before and After” video ads, Wixot created variations of their standard game objects which worked to ground the ads much more firmly in the game world.

By supporting their game growth with paid user acquisition and meticulously designing video ads, Wixot leveraged Layer to save time and resources while launching more targeted and impactful campaigns.

Paid media assets for Journey Home: Merge & Stories with variations on in-game assets.

The future of game production: Powered by Layer

Wixot’s collaboration with Layer AI has revolutionized how they approach game production, enabling the team to produce high-quality game and marketing assets at speed and scale. By leveraging Layer’s tailor-made art tools, including custom styles, reference-based creation, variations generation, and powerful editing tools, Wixot has streamlined their production processes and significantly enhanced their productivity. This new approach has not only accelerated the live-service elements of Journey Home: Merge & Stories but also made more effective user acquisition campaigns possible.

Looking ahead, Wixot plans to continue harnessing the power of generative AI to push the boundaries of their creative processes. They aim to further integrate Layer AI into their pipeline, exploring new ways to utilize its features for future projects. 

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