AuthorTopic: GR#226 - Snake Curses - Gameart  (Read 15162 times)

Offline cels

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 11:40:00 am
I've been lurking in this thread for a long time now, with nothing helpful to say. But just as a bit of encouragement, I really love what you're doing here. I've dreamed of a game like this since we started seeing games in 800x600 resolution and pixel artists simply couldn't keep up. I really want to see more pixel art games that can be played in 1:1 scale with a 1920x1080p resolution. I would pay mucho dineros for a game like this, and on top of the artistic style, I think your whole concept for the game is just... perfect. Please don't stop working on this, ever.

How does the game work though? If you've explained this, I've missed it. Do you wander from each scene to a new scene, like King's Quest or Fallout? So it's not really a seemless scrolling iso view, like Diablo? Because since we're only seeing tree trunks and no canopy, I imagine that having a scrolling view would mess up the beautiful idea of seemingly infinitely tall trees.

Anyway, best of luck. This is currently my favourite indie game prospect.

Offline Facet

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 01:36:06 am
You could just do a cutoff on the trunks if you wanted free scrolling, like a blacked out cross-section.

Bush texture does look good, volume on repetitive organic stuff like that is always hard but flattening out interiors more lets you define the mass of the bush rather than of so many leaves; that's pretty much my boilerplate advice but it's always helped when I find myself getting lost in the details.   

I'd try something a bit more distinctive/decorative for the fallen leaves, maybe like a maple. Could look atmospheric falling around about as well. Example here with scene colours, you could probably define drifts/piles more too. Tiling wise I'd go for a gradient transition rather than a full set of border/edging tiles; it's a bit more versatile, can look pretty organic.

Looking ace overall!

« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 01:47:11 am by Facet »

Offline milokey

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #22 on: January 24, 2014, 04:21:43 am






I just lightened the top and a few clusters of leaves on the bushes and I think they look much better.

As per Facet's suggestion, I redid the leaves... which is going to get another stab I think.
I'm noticing a problem with the 64x64 tiles is that I have add more tiles to make smoother curves.  If I knock them back to 32x32 tiles, I can get the same kinds of curves with less tiles overall.  Also having less tiles will probably help in making smoother tile transitions (dies a little inside).
Also I'm saving maple leaves for a different tile set.  This set is just the basic forest.  Very green, very alive.

aaand flowers.  Some of them I'm still working on.  I can't seem to find a way to make tiny ground flowers (like clover), that are in scale to the player character, and yet are still readable as flowers.  Make really tiny things, on really tiny canvases.  yes.

Gosh though, all your encouragement is daunting.  I keep submitting for critique to keep me on task and on my toes.

Hmm, as for how the game works... I keep thinking on that.  Part of my initial ideas was to make it work like the original Legend of Zelda, with a fixed camera that flipped across different areas/screens.  I think though, in retrospect, that would really slow down the flow of the game.  Now I'm thinking something similar to A link between worlds (I think a link to the past does this too, but it's been awhile) where areas are divided into larger pockets of explorable area before hitting the edge and fading into the next area.

Other than that, just some general ideas about gameplay.  I don't want it to be combat based since I want to forest to be rather unwelcoming.  The player will have a staff to knock back enemies if they need a little running room/breathing room, but can't deliver any fatal blows.  So "defeating" enemies relies more on avoidance or some clever puzzle solving with the environment.
But mostly the game is just exploring the world and finding all the optional secret things that are in it.  Lots of world building to do, lots of hours to lose.

Well anyway, my goal is really to just do all the art, writing, and level design.  I don't have any programming knowledge, so this is more of a pet project until the ~*mysterious future*~
I'm also kind of building as I go (I know, going in without a plan. bad), so if it seems I am completely lost, it's probably true.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #23 on: January 24, 2014, 12:52:19 pm
Hey, this is looking really nice. Love the look and feel of it. My only suggestion, is that the colors are all a little hazy, they look washed out. This could be due to a difference in the calibration of our monitors. Here is what I mean:



If the left side looks too murky, then it's probably the monitors.

Offline API-Beast

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #24 on: January 24, 2014, 02:15:29 pm
This graph shows how the brightness of the pixels is distributed:

There is a lot on the lower half and almost nothing on the upper half. You don't want that for the sake of contrast. You should increase the brightness of the bright and middle color but keep the dark ones.

Offline Probo

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #25 on: January 24, 2014, 02:29:57 pm
i quite like the dark look of the forest, makes it look atmospheric like theres bad weather overhead and little light getting through the leaves. I guess the character will look strange if you move it to a brighter scene though.

@ncl the left side does look a bit too murky to me.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #26 on: January 24, 2014, 02:49:48 pm
the saturation of the flowers, esp. that of the blue ones kills the complete palette impression (at least for me)
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline milokey

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 01:58:13 am

Well, still working away.  I feel likes it's become a little bit of a mess right now, but progress waits for no one.
The dappled light was more of seeing if I could get a decent effect using only opacity.  I think if I draw it a bit more organically it could look really nice.
And everything got brightened up too, by a lot.  I left the color on the leaves alone this time (since I darkened it so much last time)... but the more I stare at them, the more I want to knock them back a bit.
 
For the sake of comparison, the unbrightend version (also keep in mind, it wouldn't be surrounded by a field of white in actual gameplay):


I also knocked all the tiles back to 32x32 pixels.  Just makes it easier to draw out tighter turns and such versus the 64x64 tiles.  Though, to keep things complicated, the trees and such are still 64x64.


I made some cliffs, but lord help me if I can ever figure out a texture for dirt. 
I also forgot to flip tiles for the opposite sides of the cliff. easy fix, but opps.




I also finally came back to that water, with an idea I had ages ago.  Might be neat to reflect the canopy above on it's surface.  Other than that, the current colors are not very good, but I don't know how it will look with all the other elements.




I also updated the player sprite to match the perspective of the environment.
And took a crack at the human sprite for the Wolf King, in which I love the head, but not finding any ground for his body. :/


Offline cels

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #28 on: February 10, 2014, 10:59:12 am
My amateur opinion:

- I really love the non-player characters. They remind me of this musical (full version here.) Fond childhood memories. But perhaps a slightly bulkier torso (shoulders) would help identify the wolf king as an apex predator. Right now, I'm more inclined to think fox than wolf. Especially since his fur is almost white, with touches of red.

- Giving the player character red/orange eyes gives her a dangerous look which I feel is at odds with the idea of her being rather defenseless in a dangerous forest. If you're determined to give her glowing eyes, how about blue, green or yellow?

- I think the latest version of the forest is far too bright. I don't really think you need to worry too much about making the forest too dark. There are games and movies that use a lot of darkness to great effect, to create a scary atmosphere. I would look more at the use of high saturation rather than bright colours, in response to the criticism about colours being too washed out. One great example of a game with lots of darkness is Diablo 1, of course.

In your earlier descriptions, I was really excited by the prospect of moving in an infinite, dark forest, with only occassional open areas where the sunlight shines through.

- The cliffs don't read like cliffs at all. First of all, I think it's very hard to find examples of solids walls of mud in nature, except if there's been some kind of rockslide / earthquake, or perhaps in very moist climates like tropical jungles. But more importantly, the cliff doesn't read like a vertical wall, it reads like a flat surface, like a tar pit or muddy river. I don't have time to do an edit right now, but I do think that some rocky cliffs would make it easier to convey a vertical plane, because of the way rocks can be shaded. Or perhaps a combination of rocks and very prominent roots from the surrounding trees, with dirt and moss in the recesses. And I think it would suit the surrounding bleak forest better. Since you can't really use lighting to show a difference in height between the lower and higher parts of a sloping surface, you can at least use some rocky steps to illustrate the angle of the slope, where the player moves from the bottom of the cliffs to the top.

- Very much looking forward to seeing the water. I agree that a reflective surface would be great. Completely still waters would add to the lifeless, desolate feel of the forest.

Just my 5 cents.

Quick edit here:

« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 09:49:35 pm by cels »

Offline milokey

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Re: Snake Curses [C+C]

Reply #29 on: February 11, 2014, 03:12:15 am
I'm glad you like the non-players so far.  I've mostly been doing them to take a break from the frustration of tiling, but it's good to get their concepts rolling.

I totally didn't see the eyes until you mentioned it.  They were supposed to be her checkbones, haha.  So I just removed the pixels there entirely.  Also, for some reason, my mind did some mental loops, and thought that all red was bad.  So I did some alternate coloration of the red stripes on her costume.  Which I now realize were entirely unwarranted, but oh well.  Kind of partial to 4 (warm gold) a bit though.



hah, and I have been a bit cruelly vague about my intentions with this whole project.  I suppose when I said infinite forest, I really meant that the entire world and story takes place in a forest.  A forest you can't leave, because there's nowhere that it doesn't end.  Things like sea's and oceans would be words of myth there.

I have a certain story that I want to tell through this game too, and I have a way that I want it to feel.  I may or may not have enough knowledge of game mechanics to actually explain how that's all going to happen. XD
I guess a quick story synopsis is in order though, since it seems I have yet to post one here.

There is an old forest that creaks under the weight of spells from centuries past.  Hidden beneath this canopy of ragged moss and dead wood are many spell casters known as mancers.  Some are young, and some are old, but all of them have a specific mastery of some element.  It is in this never-ending forest that you find yourself, with no recollection of your past and a terrible snake curse brewing in your throat.  Will you find answers in these woods, or be consumed by it?

A lot of the world is explored by finding other inhabitants and talking to them.  Some of them will reveal gossip and history, others will tell you to go away, and sometimes you have to find things or solve puzzles along the way.  I also want to make a lot of optional (won't be necessary to complete the game/main storyline) things to find and interact with.
I know I haven't shown much of the world yet (one scene wow), but I'm really trying to nail down these assets solid before I go making more specific places. 

I've also been thinking of adding spells that the player can use, since the forest itself is steeped in them.  There wouldn't be any offensive ones, but spells could have specific effects on the environment.  I've been meaning to draw some runes and things to go along with this, but one thing at a time I suppose.

I'm kind of slow as molasses at this, since all this pixeling and tiling is entirely new for me.  Eventually more of the above stuff will be happening, and I'm sure it will be awesome and what not.

And those cliffs... fffffffff
I would have never though to make them layered like that.  I will try something new along those lines when I have a chance to work on it again.

I can not express enough the gratitude for the critique I've been receiving.  You are all good people.