isn't using Gaussian blur pretty much cheating?
Keep in mind that the only parts gaussian blurred are the glows. Like the actual characters are still 32 (or less) colors and done the traditional pixel way. I guess you could pixel a glow effect pixel by pixel but...why? heh. Maybe as a spare time thing, but on a project that's costing money to develop it's all about finding the fastest way possible to do stuff. But ya, if you got rid of the glow effects, the characters would all be old-school style. If you look close at like, a guy that has a glowing hand, you'll see the hand itself is still clean-pixelled, it's just the outside around it that has glow shades (so it's like making a glow effect and stamping your solid sprite down on TOP of it, the sprite stays clean still). I actually HAD to do this regardless because the game has palette swaps of the characters...they all have at least 3 palette swaps ('cause of how the tabletop game works, they have different "levels" of the same guy). So if the whole sprite were gaussian blurred and came out as like 95 colors, it'd be fucked up to try to palette swap, heh.
If we had had enough time I would've had all the characters have glowy shit 'cause I dig it, maybe on a future project!
Steam Knight and Steam Mauler are definitely my favorites. They have so much character and I just love their designs.
ya they weren't even the best designs I saw in the figures...I was really impressed by some of them. There are like, a zillion MK figures (we have a shitload of them at the office now), and some of them are generic "wolf man" type stuff, but most of them are like "and that's an old voodoo chick with a vulture on her shoulder, a lantern, and some kind of voodoo flagpole sticking up from her back...wtf?", but fun to draw. On that Warbeast growling, those are chains hanging from his nipples. Like wtf? I saw a few figures that were even cooler but didn't get into the game 'cause the guy picking the chars had to pick them based on gameplay (what skills/attributes the figure had) more than just look, to keep it close to the tabletop game. Was "how hard will this be to draw?" a factor in choosing the characters at all? of course not.
How long did you have to make all of these? You talk about time constraints, but when I think time constraints I think "omg Tsu once made a game over Labor Day weekend", but I imagine you define it as a bit longer than that. Right?
Basically we have like, say, a year for the project...determined by people more important than me that have money, heh. Then the guy designing the gameplay says "ok we need like, 30 characters". Then I say "haha fuck off". Then he reminds me that he's paying me and I say "errgh, ok..." and we figure out how to cram the characters into the timeline, which characters to do in what order, etc. The programmers need placeholder art to be doing their thing at the same time too, so that has to be figured into it...basically I did up one full character, and we guesstimated from that how long each character would take. Unfortunately, I used a simple character as the estimating one (I was young and foolish, heh), so while the small simple characters took the right amount of time, the big complicated ones took longer.
So basically I have a schedule of "every character takes 4 days to make"...if a character takes longer than that, then either I put in a ton of overtime, or we realize "ok, this schedule is insane" and we figure out a way to speed it up (getting other artists to add the details, having someone else do parts of the game that I would've done, like icons or something, where they don't have to match my style of art, etc.). At the moment I'm working on an RPG-ish game where I have something similar...except it's for a smaller system so each character is only taking like a day at the most to make. Same time though, I'm doing all of the art for it, so there are tiles and spell effects and stuff to do as well as the characters.
Organizing is a bitch...when I was doing hobby stuff I didn't have to worry about any of that, and I'd just wing it and go with the flow. But when development time costs money and there are other projects to do and stuff, you have to know in the first week of the project "ok this robot is going to have 6 frames of animation when he shoots" even if you're not going to be actually drawing that robot shooting for another 2 months. On the one hand it's a pain in the ass, because it's like "well what if we decide halfway through that we could add this really cool thing" and it's harder to improvise and throw in cool shit, but on the other hand, especially working with a team on a deadline, it's a life-saver to know exactly what you have left to do and approximately how long it'll take. I don't LIKE being organized and making schedules, but I understand why they're important and I'm glad that we do it, heh.
anyway thanks for the comments, all! If I find anymore decent stuff I'll dig it out...this project was like a year ago for me though so I'm not sure where anything is, and I'm dumb and name my directories like "blahblah" and "junk3" and shit. bad habit, that one, heh...