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Messages - eishiya
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Pixel Art / Re: Fantasy Miniatures
« on: Yesterday at 12:32:13 pm »
Are there really only going to be four classes? One of the fun things about games like Warhammer and FFT is the variety of units they have, and the synergy between those units. I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't play a game like this if I knew it had only four classes.
Although, if you're not going to have a lot of classes, you can probably distinguish between them using smaller icons than you currently have, since the icons have fewer other icons to be distinguished from. Your current icons seem unnecessarily large. Also, the classes seem to be "Smith, Orc, Warrior/Swordsman, ??? (Mystic? Cultist?)", only the Warrior clearly corresponds to the existing classes.

I'd put more space between the class icons and the costs (charging time and energy cost), currently they read as a single set of icons rather than as separate information. Maybe even put them on the bottom, below the description, then you could make the art bigger and less boring. If you're going to do "cards", then commit to the card aesthetic - those things usually have pretty big art, and the icons aren't all clustered together.
Also, if you're representing energy with a set of icons, then I recommend using sets of icons on the cards too, rather than digits, for consistency. If you were doing digits or bars, then digits would be appropriate.

Will the player have a hand of cards to look through? In that case, you may want to consider how you'll present information when all the cards are smooshed together and aren't visible in full. For that, the title and costs at the top might be best, and the classes can be at the bottom or side.

Pixel Art / Re: JerryTerry Avatar animation [c+c]
« on: March 23, 2017, 01:25:22 pm »
I think the shadow on his temple changes too much and is distracting. Eyebrow movement like that  affects the position of the skin on the temples, but not its shape. What it does affect visibly though, is my forehead - I get forehead wrinkles when my brows are up.

The single-pixel shadow bits at the bridge of his nose look a little strange, and give the bridge a symmetrical look that doesn't feel right for this angle. Also, the narrowest part of the bridge should probably extend vertically a bit when the eyebrows are up, since they pull that skin up.

Lastly, I think a more "golden" (redder) yellow would work better for the text.

Here's an edit. The timing might be off.

I tried to implement everything I mentioned above, but I didn't include the forehead wrinkles because they were too distracting.

Devlogs & Projects / Re: INFINIROOM - splashart
« on: March 23, 2017, 12:47:52 pm »
I think the magenta one doesn't read well because it's got a black face that blends into the dark background, both in the portrait and in-game. In the big portrait, the glowing shadow also blends in with the head.

The pink cloud looks so good in the portrait (and in-game as well!), it makes me want to see more of it in-game. If it wasn't off-theme for a ninja, I'd go as far as recommending a permanent smoke halo around the character so that their head stops blending into the background.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP][C+C]Need help with stairs
« on: March 22, 2017, 10:07:17 pm »
I think the upper steps could be lighter. Your first attempt at making them lighter was overkill, but the "fix" dials it back too far.
Also, the bottom step seems to have half the height of all the other steps.

Have you tried having the steps be a couple of pixels taller so that they're not tangent with the tiles above them? I think that tangent is making them feel like they're flat on the floor rather than rising up. Since you have those shadows, I'm guessing it's fine for sprites to break out of those tile boundaries - use that space for the stairs rather than for shadows.

Animation / Re: Simple jump animation
« on: March 22, 2017, 03:24:52 pm »
The character should slow down as they reach the top, and then start descending slowly and speed up again. Gravity takes time to counteract the upward momentum and reverse it!

Pixel Art / Re: Fantasy Miniatures
« on: March 20, 2017, 11:50:18 pm »
The dialogue text is hard to read. You have a gigantic text box with text that the player isn't likely to want to read more than once, why not reuse that for your combat+dialogue log? Have the map intro text be a part of that log, and let players scroll through it.

Pixel Art / Re: Man on Fire [C+C]
« on: March 20, 2017, 11:48:23 pm »
I like that magenta in 2 and 3, but I also like the yellow tips in 1. Have you tried some sort of combination of both?
I think the light pink at the base of the flame looks unnatural/unflame-like, maybe a darker blue might work, or a smoother transition from the already-bluish skin tone to the magenta?

2D & 3D / Re: Digital Painting within a style
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:21:47 pm »
I think this kind of style works just fine digitally, you just need to find the appropriate tools for it. I don't know your technique for it in traditional media, but you may need to adjust it for digital painting - the two are different media, afterall. It might've helped to post an example of your traditional work so people could know what you're going for.

Here's a bunch of assorted tips that might be relevant:

Work from general to detail, back to front. Perhaps utilize separate layers for the background and figure if you want to go back and work on the background later - it looks like you're spending a lot of time painting the background around the figure and then ending up with a halo around it. If you start from the background or keep it on a layer underneath the figure, that won't be a problem.

For doing lots of colours, it might help to start with flat colours and soften from there. Don't smudge though - pick yet more colours for the blending and brush it in. Then after that, add detail. picking colours you already have.
Blocking in is good in general, do that instead of jumping straight to blending.
Block in with a textured brush with pressure = size, and no opacity control. That'll feel nicer and less artificial and it'll prevent you from being wasting time overly refining the shapes of your blocked in colours, and the lack of easy opacity control will prevent you from starting to render too early.

Use a hard-edged brush for most of your painting. Create softness through large low-opacity brush strokes, not with the edges of your brush. It's true that it'll give you some visible brush strokes, but if you use a large hard-edged brush, these'll manifest more as texture than actually visible brush strokes. If you really need to make things even smoother than what you can achieve with low-opacity strokes, do that in a separate pass with a soft or low-opacity brush.
(Photoshop, but this might be an option in other programs too.) For a smooth look, have the spacing on your brushes set low, so there isn't obvious "stamping".

On a related note,  don't underestimate the size of the brush you can use for a given task. Don't do with two strokes what you can do with one! You can always refine the exact shape later, but you'll get a smoother and faster result of you drop an entire object down with one brush stroke. Need to paint in an arm? Make your brush as wide as that arm! Need to shade an arm? Make the brush as wide as that shadow, plop it in, refine the details later, after you've blocked everything else in.

Do not have the brush change both size and opacity with pressure, as this will make it hard to blend and to render detail. If you want the size to fade out a bit, then set the minimum size to something high like 70-80%. Personally, I keep size control turned off.

Utilize selections when you want something sharp-edged that's smooth inside. This is probably the biggest difference to most traditional painting, it's more like airbrushing with custom stencils - the selection/stencil defines your edges, and you can go to town making things smooth with a large brush without worrying about the edges becoming too soft.
You can use selections when doing details as well, it's not just for whole objects.

Utilize layers. Then you can lock their transparency to maintain edges or prevent bleed-over. You can always flatten your layers later when you want to paint on both without using yet more layers. I usually usually end up with flat paintings (or occasionally with layers for my background, midground, and foreground), but I employ many short-lived layers for things like texture and colour tweaks, and for refining shapes. Being able to toggle the visibility of a layer is very helpful to make sure the things I'm working on are actually helping. That's especially useful for detail work, which might be too noisy zoomed out.

(Photoshop) Set the blending gamma higher so that the colours aren't so muddy when you blend them. The default gamma is appropriate for photos, not for painting. Edit > Color Settings -> "More Options" -> check "Blend Colours Using Gamma" and set the value to 2.2.

Pixel Art / Re: Fantasy Miniatures
« on: March 19, 2017, 05:47:02 pm »
IRL miniatures can be turned to face many ways. You have a grid-based combat system, so you could do what most tactics games do and have sprites for each direction.
If you really want to have just one sprite, then don't do facing at all. Even games that use additional indicators for facing direction have separate sprites, because anything else looks lazy.

I like the green overlay for movement, but not the green boot (reads like a green heart) for the selected tile It's hard to see and it doesn't feel like a tile selection to me. Why not stick with the classics, and have a highlight around that tile's edges or corners instead?
Also, it looks like the mockup has some wonkiness with the overlay, some tiles are half-selected.

What are the green things near the exit?

Pixel Art / Re: Fantasy Miniatures
« on: March 19, 2017, 02:02:20 pm »
I think you should move the small skulls away from the edge a bit where possible, they're uncomfortably close to it. The distance between the skulls and edges is also inconsistent, it's 2 in some places, 3 in others. Make it 3 everywhere. In general, you want there to be more space between the pips and the edge than there is between the pips on the 6 face.
The skull-edge distance is more obvious than the skull-skull distances because there's more contrast, so I'd sacrifice consistency in the latter for the sake of the former. You could keep the distances between the bottom-most skulls and the edge 2 so that the 6 face looks good and the rest stay consistent with that. Since the teeth aren't solid red, it still looks alright.

Here's an edit with the spacing I suggested:

I also edited the skulls on the 3-6 faces to be more consistent and tweaked the eyes. The 6 face has some alternate eye ideas for you. In all cases the eyes are a pixel higher, because I think that reads as more skull-like than having the eyes almost in line with the nose-hole.

For what it's worth, most tabletop gaming dice have digits rather than arrangements of pips, since players often need to match them up to damage tables and perform math on them. For that, digits take out the extra conversion step. Pips are appropriate for games with less post-roll math, such as games where you're just looking at the total number of pips on 1-2 dice or looking for matches, which are easier to spot with arrangements of pips than with digits.
That doesn't necessarily mean you should change to digits, just that you should think about what purpose the dice serve. Since the computer does all the lookups and math for the player, the on-screen dice are probably purely decorative, in which case go for what looks better - which is probably your skull-pips.

Gameplay feedback, feel free to disregard as I am not a Warhammer player:
I like the idea of mutual damage and of grazing damage, but I feel like that would work better with higher health amounts. When even your "tanky" characters have only 5 health (that's as much as your UI will fit!), it does mean constant healing, and it means that any attack that does more than 2 damage (i.e. a not-grazing attack) is very powerful. Plus, it means there's not a lot of difference between your tanks and non-tanks, health-wise. If health can go higher, then damage amounts can be more nuanced and varied. If you do damage in half-hearts, you can fit 10 health points in the same space, and therefore have more variety in health between classes. If you do segmented bars, you can have even more.
If each point of health is less critical, then players can risk taking a bit more damage to focus on dealing damage, instead of having half their party be healers. You don't want too much health though - every point should matter! I think 1~10 is a good amount (5 hearts with half-heart as the minimum damage). The base damage for attacks could be in terms of full hearts, possibly reduced to some number of half-hearts by defensive gear and spells.

For energy management being important, card games like Magic and Hearthstone are a good reference. In those, you don't get all your energy to start with, it builds up, and you can choose whether to spend it on one big boom or several smaller things. If your game only allows one combat action per turn, you can still get this sort of management by having energy carry over between turns and regenerate slowly (e.g. one bolt or one half-bolt per turn). Having (slow) energy regeneration turns time into a resource that players can manage, and it means that if you have energy-replenishing items, they can be very rare and valuable, useful only for emergencies.
As with health, I think energy would be more fun if it can have a little more variance than just 1-5.

Edit: Consider attacks, including ranged ones, with knockback. If movement ranges are small and positioning matters, forcing a change in position can be very useful.
Also, facing direction should probably matter. Gear should add different protection from different directions. For example, shields would probably offer no protection from the back or the sides while having good front protection and a chance to completely block an attack, while armour would offer some from all directions, but with no block chance.
I feel that many games with facing mechanics don't take them far enough - there is usually very little opportunity to end up facing away from an enemy, since your party and the enemy party usually start in different locations. Consider passive and active abilities that work with "suboptimal" facing - for example, an ability that grants a once-per-battle defence bonus against backstabbing, or a magic ability that does more damage to enemies the caster is facing away from.
Another way to get around facing being a bit useless is to make it harder to change direction. FFT let you set your facing at the end of each character's turn, no matter what you did during the turn, so of course you'd always face the enemy, and that step was tedious. But what if you were stuck facing whatever direction you turned to face while performing an attack or ability? Suddenly, healing and melee AoE spinning attacks turn risky!

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