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Messages - eishiya
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Pixel Art / Re: Pixel Cars.
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:56:24 pm »
Mixing digital painting techniques (gradients, translucency effects, etc) with sharp pixel art makes the whole thing look like a pixelated, boxy digital painting, rather than like slick pixel art. Why not just make everything smooth and not pixel art?

Pixel Art / Re: [blood/gore] Zombie
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:36:18 pm »
Looks good, very nice sense of form. I have only minor critiques:
The shoulder bite has the upper and lower jaw imprints too close, it looks more like a leech bite than a human/zombie bite. Human jaws are hinged pretty far back from the teeth, so when they open wide enough to chomp on a shoulder, the space between the upper and lower jaw imprints would be pretty big.
With how healthy-looking the zombie is everywhere else, I don't think it really fits to have the skin right on top of the ribs like that. Since he still has pretty juicy abs, then there should at probably be tendons for those to be attached to, and probably some trace of the oblique muscles. I think an easy "fix" would be to just remove the dark dithered shadow where the ribs meet the abdomen, which makes them look like they're sticking out behind the muscled areas. If they just smooth transition with only the red shadows, I think it'll look more like the abdominal muscles are layered on top of them, and the obliques are gone.

General Discussion / Re: Any Tips for Starting a Team Project?
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:24:09 pm »
Forgot to specify this in my previous post, but might've been evident from what I wrote above.
(Meant this as an edit to the previous post, accidentally clicked Quote instead of Modify)

Adopt a "drop-in, drop-out" structure instead of expecting people to stick around. Make it easy for anyone who wants to to contribute something without having to catch them up. A public task list is a great way to do this. You can also post examples of current assets to make it easier for people to stay stylistically consistent. This sort of structure applies to the coding side too. Instead of looking for "programming", have tasks for things like "Unity C# script to draw falling snow using sprites from a directory, with the directory, snow density, speed, and (optionally) wind set as parameters", something anyone can write with minimal knowledge of the rest of the project, something they might possible have from another project. If it's detailed enough, a person won't even need to contact you first, then can just post the result if they feel like doing it. This means even shy people might contribute.

General Discussion / Re: Any Tips for Starting a Team Project?
« on: February 24, 2017, 05:42:27 am »
Nothing works as well as paying everyone for their work, or doing it yourself.

If that's not an option, then design the projects around the pitfalls of not being able to pay people:
- Keep the projects small, so that even a small contribution is a significant step towards finishing, and so that the project can get done before people get bored.
- Keep the design, art style, writing, coding, and everything else simple. This increases the likelihood that someone just dropping in to help can finish everything, and it makes it easier for multiple people to work on the same task seamlessly in case you need to replace someone who dropped out.
- Use a common engine, and employ other commonly-used tools. Ask for assets in common formats and sizes. No one wants to spend time catering their workflow to unique demands.
- Design for familiarity. Save the really novel ideas for when you can afford to get them done right. There's no shame in it! Use familiar genres and styles so that your project is easier to explain (the less you're paying, the less people are willing to read), and so that you're more likely to come across people who've been curious to try their hand at [whatever]. Plus, this'll make it easier to find free pre-made art you can use. Be prepared to use stock art, sounds, and code at least temporarily, but also likely in the final version.

In addition:
- Do as much of the project as you can by yourself. Don't be afraid to try learning new skills, even if you can't master them. Plus, the closer a project is to completion, the easier it is to find people willing to stick with it without payment.
- Use placeholder assets from sites like OpenGameArt for anything that isn't already done, even if it's not a perfect fit. It's much more encouraging to see a playable game with a list of assets that could use replacements than something that's a nebulous collection of partially done art and systems that don't add up to a game.
- Break down all the work into tiny, manageable tasks that are clearly described somewhere public. Instead of "graphics", have a task for each individual animation, each set of related background objects, each set of tiles, each sound effect, etc. Do this even for the tasks you intend to do yourself. This way anyone can drop in and contribute, and everyone is easy to credit because each task will have one person who did it. In addition, writing everything out like this makes it easier to see when your project is getting too big, and can help you find things you can cut. If you do revenue sharing, this task list can also make it easy to distribute the pay, since you can treat the tasks as equal and easily see how much work each contributor did.
- Remember that while money is the simplest method, it's not the only way to pay someone. Trade your skills for the skills of others. If you're an artist who wants a programmer, then find a programmer who needs an unpaid artist for a game of their own, and do art for them in exchange for coding on your project. Design some logos and t-shirts for a musician in exchange for music. It can be hard to arrange trades like this since it's not common for both people to need each other's skills and styles, but don't discount the possibility.
- Whenever possible, help with someone else's project instead of starting up your own. That way there'll be someone else driven by passion, someone you can rely on more to not quit easily, and you'll likely build up good will with them.

Job offers / Re: [PAID] 1-Bit Project
« on: February 23, 2017, 06:40:56 pm »
You've explained the restrictions very well, but you haven't explained at all what you expect in the mock-up. What objects, tiles, and characters are you looking for? Do you need a GUI? What type of game is this meant to be?

When you say "do not expect further contact", does that mean you will not pay for work done if you're not entirely happy with it?

Pixel Art / Re: [C+C] Trying to create a green bush
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:02:11 pm »
You've put a lot of work into rendering the leaves, but it looks like you've forgotten that those leaves are attached to branches, since on most bushes, the leaves obscure the inner branches. As a result, with the neat structure of leaves, your bush looks more like a decorative pillow that has leaves sewn on for decoration.
Think about the underlying structure of the bush. The leaves are in clumps at the ends of branches (the inner parts are in the dark and are therefore bare of leaves), so bushes are usually build up of these clumps. The shape and arrangement of the clumps varies from species to species, and individual to individual. Look at some real bushes for ideas.
Carefully trimmed bushes have less visible structure because they're made to have smoother surfaces, but even they still have leaves growing out of branches, there's still a clump-like structure you can see from the directions of the leaves.

Pixel Art / Re: [C+C] Mechanic
« on: February 22, 2017, 07:57:24 pm »
You could still have the inset if you do is as a solid block of shadow instead of focusing on its bevel.

Pixel Art / Re: [C+C] Mechanic
« on: February 22, 2017, 06:37:13 pm »
The difference is that in your pixel piece, you don't have room to make each shadow segment look distinct, so they all blend into what looks like a gradient.
In addition, the shadows on top of the wrench are quite wide and suggest a rounder shape than you seem to intend.

Pixel Art / Re: What is an ideal height for more-detailed sprites?
« on: February 22, 2017, 02:56:51 pm »
Older JRPGs often use chibi characters with heads almost as large as their bodies because it allows faces to be fairly readable while keeping the sprite small (often 16x24), maybe that's an option for you? Some of those games manage to be very expressive through body language and through manipulating the eyes and occasionally giving the characters mouths (usually for yelling/screaming).
Some games combine these proportions with larger sprites to have a lot of room for subtle expressions that even larger sprites couldn't have with realistic proportions.

Do not underestimate the power of body language! A sprite with no face at all can still be very expressive, including in subtle ways.

Another method games employ (often in addition to body language) is having larger portraits in the dialogue boxes, instead of having the main sprites be expressive.

Lastly, if your goal is to have nuanced facial expressions on the in-world character sprites in your game and you don't seem concerned for the on-screen size of the characters, maybe pixel art isn't the best solution? High-res pixel art is difficult and time-consuming to animate, and you'd probably have a much easier (and shorter!) time animating some high-res 2D art, since that can be scaled and rotated in-engine without looking janky. You could use skeletal animation instead of drawing and pixel-polishing every frame by hand.

The book I suggested focuses a lot on anatomy and people in perspective, I believe. Loomis also has a figure drawing book, which goes into more detail.

No resource will teach you to understand human (and non-human) bodies though. Everyone thinks about things in a different way, so you need to create your own mental conception of things, based on the things that are important to you, the patterns that you notice.
Drawing books are a good place to start to get a grip on things like ideal proportions and the basic shapes that make up human bodies, but you'll want to branch out if you want to be flexible as an artist. Look at real people (and animals, etc). Watch how they move, how far they can bend and stretch. What features do all of them have? What tends to be most pronounced? What tends to vary the most? How do the various parts deviate from the basic forms? For example, arms aren't quite tubes, they're somewhat conical, flattened and twisted.
Do life drawing if you can, work from videos and photos if you can't. Don't worry about copying references to look pretty and just like the photo, instead focus on the structure, on conveying the 3D form in 2D. Do quick gesture drawings and quick sketches, don't bother rendering details.

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