Critique => Pixel Art => Pixel Art Feature Chest => Topic started by: |||| on December 26, 2013, 12:52:22 pm

Title: GR#221 - Erde Mockups - Gameart
Post by: |||| on December 26, 2013, 12:52:22 pm
I thought I'd start a thread here posting mock-ups using some of my newer sprite frames and a new tile set I'm developing for my own project called 'Erde'. An RPG game with a small resolution (close to GBA size only 16:9)

I just finished the landmasses for this scenario but I need to do some small caves and a waterfall to go with it.


: I had to remove the eyeburning bright grass I had originally posted; it was getting to me.
 see latest progress below

Title: Re: rpg mock-up
Post by: HezaKey on December 27, 2013, 01:16:48 am
I think you should go and tweak your colors a bit.  The green for that grass is really highly saturated, and it's straining the eye to look at.
I changed your water too and chose a blue with more cyan, and then muted it down for a more rustic aged feel to it.  However you could also use a blue that's brighter for a more sunny feel to it, and still have good results.

I didn't edit the stones any, but they look really great in some places, and then in others their readability really suffers.  In the first screen shot, some of the tiles of stone by the cave don't look as if they match up properly, and the little stacks of them get hard to read when they overlap each other.  I think increasing the lightest value and putting more light on those stones will help them out a lot.

I think you could also benefit with just a couple alternate grass tiles.  It would really help break up the large area in screen shot four, if you has some alternates to play with.
Title: Re: rpg mock-up
Post by: |||| on December 27, 2013, 05:08:16 am
Thank you for taking the time and doing that.  I will desaturate the grass as you did in your example, I like the water's color better in yours as well.
I'll do another scan over the rocks on the big file to see if any weird tile over lapping/ misaligning occurs elsewhere as well.

As for the grass.. I'll make some variation; thanks for suggesting that. I could attempt some dirty areas and some floral areas as well.

[(update)Thanks to Adarias for sharing thoughts on making grass tiles]

New WIP:


Title: Re: rpg mock-up [grass tile updates]
Post by: |||| on December 29, 2013, 01:19:24 pm
A preview of the latest mock up & the new grass applied:


 :y:?  :n:?



Looks kinda like a moose.

Title: Re: rpg mock-up [grass tile updates]
Post by: Stava on January 05, 2014, 01:15:11 am
I made a edit on the grass,
I think the transition on your grass was too sudden, 2 completely different types of grass clashing together, kind of not fitting together really.

I left some blank green spots by accident.. :- )

Keep up the good work  ;D
Title: Re: rpg mock-up [grass tile updates]
Post by: |||| on January 05, 2014, 02:40:24 am
Thanks for posting Stava :angel:. Well I think it gives it more depth; which I really like!
What do the experts think?


Working on watery caverns to connect the platforms:

Pretty close to finishing but I'd like to work on a portrait before I do. I figured I would post meanwhile; for the sake of possibly improving  it or making this the best it can be while keeping this project feasible (workload-wise).

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Watery Cavern]
Post by: |||| on January 08, 2014, 10:59:58 pm
Here's the menu screen portrait (WIP).. the hair's driving me crazy; it's supposed to be wavy curls and that's a challenge for me, perhaps because getting a lot of detail into it is hard at this small size. It seems a bit too pillowy too; THAT could be part of what's driving me crazy; I want it fluffy looking yet not pillowy somehow:


Help a brotha out.

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: HezaKey on January 09, 2014, 08:41:33 pm

Oh goodness, now that I've looked at it again, I may have read what you were trying to do all wrong.  I was seeing long wavy hair in a bun, but maybe you were going for a tight head of curls.

In any case, you just might be overemphasizing each curl.  They're too defined and orderly.  None of your curls seem to overlap or layer either. See if you can find some reference of the kind of hair your making and leave some of it less defined.  Might look more like hair and less like curly brains then?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: Vagrant on January 09, 2014, 10:18:25 pm
This is turning interesting.  ;)

Are you limited by tiles, by chance?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: Vagrant on January 09, 2014, 11:41:36 pm
Here's some edits. You know what my specialty is.


I based the likeness off of the Erde artwork I had helped you with, in the Dropbox of long ago. What do you think?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: |||| on January 10, 2014, 12:29:44 am
Wow Vagrant I like it; it takes away the straight orientation I didn't like in mine.. After sleeping I looked at it the next day and decided that aspect about it was very boring. It looks more like the face from that pencil work in the dropbox.. Thank you very much, I will work from this one. She looks so much better in the face now IMO.

Milokey: I can't unsee that hair as brainy now so thank you  :lol:. I will certainly avoid that in the next update. Gonna try to combine both of your and Vagrant's ideas in the next update.

I'll probably soften the hair and make the curls less outlined.
Thanks the both of you for taking the time to help, I am very grateful.

edit: Forgot to answer the ? of Vagrant's.

Nope, but the screen size is very small.  I make most the tiles at 16x16 or 32x32 but they aren't usally kept that small.. like the rocks for example, I have arbitrary sizes of what are more like large chunks rather than tiles.
And so far there are no color restrictions or anything other than I'd like to keep the sprites at 16 colors each for paletting simplicity ( you're familiar with the system I'm thinking of).

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: Facet on January 10, 2014, 04:14:20 pm
I was gonna say the same as Milokey on hair; less finicky outlines and compartmentalised rendering, more broad massing and suggestion, on saying that the rocks you've got here go the opposite direction and look ace. I'd try switching out more outlines for mass + highlight to combat the pillow though, I sketched something more symmetrical on a whim, not sure ‘bout that.

The portrait is quite stylised so I'm not sure exactly what you want but the neck is pretty thin, the ear large and quite far out; kinda pixie/elflike. The only shadow currently is around the brow which kind of gives the impression of a concave face, I’d define the nose and cheek more, also looks really young here, idk if intentional but I aged her out a bit too by rounding out the chin and adjusting a few proportions; a little smaller up top generally.


Love the tilework, specially the new caves :y: I think if you keep the detail down elsewhere from the rocks those'll be gorgeous.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [watery cavern & a character portrait]
Post by: |||| on January 11, 2014, 02:18:28 am
The structure of her face has so much more character Facet, thanks a lot for the edit! Definitely going to soften up and lighten the hair in the next one. I'm going to try and combine element from yours and Vagrant's while starting a new one from scratch. I think I will make her a bit older looking as well as you have.. I don't have enough down in the storyboard yet that reveals her originally intended youth so that is something I can still change without drastic measures. I'd say she looks like a 23 year old woman in yours; so I'll just go with that. Thanks for the edit!!!

Glad you like my tiles :)..
 I'll keep the other tiles in the cave simple as suggested; for the path I definitely will keep the detail low- good idea.

I'll update/ edit this post later with new images.


It took me a long time  considering the size.

I think this one semi failed to make her look much older but I like it anyway so I'll stick to something close. I changed the light source a bit.

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups ||||Updated Portrait||||
Post by: Facet on January 12, 2014, 05:22:59 pm
Worth the time, imo! looks great; much better structure and lighting, and lovely and smooth. Does look older to me.

The leather? collar and breastplate seem a bit aimlessly textured/patchy against the form, I'd flatten some of that out myself, or find a nice ref for something more specific.

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: |||| on January 14, 2014, 08:00:56 am
Thanks for the feedback Facet  :)
Yes it's boiled leather ..  I google imaged cuir bouilli and found some nice references.
I came up with two others:


not as importantly (if anyone cares to suggest a color),
what color looks better as a standard background color or as sort of a theme color, aqua/ seafoam blue or that olive drab?

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: Facet on January 15, 2014, 12:11:27 am
Yeah, left one fo' sure, just enough texture. Super picky now but I actually miss the darkest shade; maybe a touch on point of contact between materials?

I think I prefer the olive scheme, anything too bright is going to make outlines a bit harsh up against the AA/sel-out, it's a nice rich colour anyway. 
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: Savick on January 15, 2014, 12:19:06 am
I don't have any advice, but I'll say they're damn pretty.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: Cyangmou on January 15, 2014, 12:31:45 am

like the portraits so far  :y:

some quick thoughts on proportions, perspective, anatomy and shading
relatively rough

her cranial mass seems to be a tad to short, shoulders to wide and orientation of torso and head a bit awkward
biggest issue I'd say are currently her shoulders - they are quite wide and somewhat off in terms of form and perspective.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: |||| on January 16, 2014, 09:34:37 am
Facet, I put some of that darker color on the leather back.  ;D

Thanks for making that edit Cyangmou.
I implemented most of the considerations I think. Only, I kept her eyes at that angle and adjusted the shoulders to match it.
Also changed the arms to match some concept art; I'll just have to edit the sprite's arm color a bit to match.

I construed some orange reflection on the plate and shoulder pieces in Cyangmou's edit and went with it (shiny steel). I liked  the leather straps holding the shoulder pieces but did it in a different way:


Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Updated Portrait]
Post by: |||| on February 11, 2014, 11:10:59 pm
After a very long session of pixeling tonight and this morning, I finally got back to finishing those rocks in the watery cave:

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [cave]
Post by: Beetleking22 on February 12, 2014, 12:11:11 am
Cliff looks pretty nice and its has a lot of variety.. Is that blue thing in cliff water?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [cave]
Post by: |||| on February 12, 2014, 09:25:08 am
Yeah, it's a dank watery cavern; that's why the rocks have a melty, eroded look to their formation. The blue is the mosture in the crevaces reflecting color from the blue water below (unfinished, now flat blue). I know it's a little too bright of a blue to be realistic but I thought it was a pretty touch.

Just like the green 'moss' chunks in the rock outside of the cave, more so an aesthetic touch than anything that makes complete sense (as depicted in the darkest green squares place about here:

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [cave with melty rocks]
Post by: Beetleking22 on February 12, 2014, 12:52:10 pm
Its nice touch! It would be even better with water flow animations... but that would be a lot of work..
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [cave with melty rocks]
Post by: astraldata on February 12, 2014, 05:26:16 pm
Those melty rocks in the water cave above look more like a value drawing / sketch with the colors. Are you planning on adding in some more hues to it, perhaps, or modify the hue of the walkable surface? It just seems really hard to appreciate with the dull palette, even with the blue in the rock, unless that's one of those dream/memory sequences where that kind of thing is just to stylize a segment of the story or something. On its own, however, those colors really don't work well. D:
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [cave with melty rocks]
Post by: |||| on February 15, 2014, 10:02:50 am
Thanks for the feedback Astraldata. I messed with some alternative colors but found that I only like this one:
I added more red-orange to the rocks and a slight greenish tint to the path.

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [water animation]
Post by: |||| on February 18, 2014, 07:29:45 am
Made an animated water tile and found a clever way to apply it (I think):

18 colors not counting transparent since that wont be seen in-game.
12 frames.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [water animation]
Post by: Ryumaru on February 18, 2014, 09:27:22 am
Hey there,

Your tiles are really solid in terms of the palette and how you are applying pixels, but the set seems overly detailed, and the forms are flattened due to bringing up all the details to nearly full highlights. This makes the rocks look overly busy, and more "noisy" than something as solid and planar as rocks.

I made an edit; the effect could be taken even further, but the point is to round out the forms more and obliterate some of the detail for a larger, more gradual fall of gradient light. I know some bits will be difficult as this is a tile set made to link different pieces together, but I found myself editing same/ similar clusters to similar levels, so I think it can be done.

This takes into account more of the whole picture, the gestalt, which can be harder to grasp in tiles which by their very nature separate things. Attention to these larger concerns can help guide the players eye and allow them to properly focus on the walkable parts of the cave
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [water animation]
Post by: |||| on February 18, 2014, 10:17:33 am
Hi Ryumaru,

 Thanks a lot for the edit; it looks much more solid with that depth. I don't want to rework all those rock chunks, but the edit is beautiful, so I certainly will. I wasn't aware of the term gestalt; I learned a  word today as well  :).
 I may only focus on the lower bits, with maybe a bit of that effect on some of the higher areas;  it wont be too much work I think; we'll see how it goes.  I'll post an update soon.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: |||| on July 16, 2014, 10:19:06 pm
Some new goodies (assets)...
 First I will post current updates on some thing which were previously posted.

I'll start with the semi-half-assedly addressed cave scene. I made a quick fix for this: I will have to go back to it again anyway to fit the new larger screen size:

I also have an update of the 1st scape I posted here:
Grass edits; very big thanks to Stava on that. I also got rid of the 45 degree straight paths on this in response to a critique from Drazelic. This only a part of the actual set cause it's huge.



A desert set. Just now 'finished' I may add some embellishment to the well.. but I'm not sure if it's necessary:
(http://i.imgur.com/eDys4Xf.png)Special thanks to Drazelic for suggesting the onion shaped domes.. my original domes were boring and pillow-shady

Another dialogue mock-up:


And a logo:


Edit: wwoops somehow I got two different screen sizes shown.. the 2nd mock-up displays the intended new resolution.
Maybe it wants to grow again (it'd be the the 4th time)
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: Vagrant on July 19, 2014, 11:30:18 am
Fantastic work.  :D

Screen size is looking good, and I love that desert mock up, both in style and shading. The textbox could do better however, something is just odd, it might be either the flat'ish dullness, the reds, or both.

Are you going for a mythological/fairy tale ambiance for this story?
(Couldn't help but be reminded of the princess and her lost golden ball in the lake, and frog symbology.)
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: Storyteller on July 19, 2014, 06:54:43 pm
very pretty. I like the overall style. the dialogue boxes are great. I want to second Ryumaru's statements about depth and shading. Some of the other pieces look like they could use a bit more 'depth' a bit more variance in shading along the flat surfaces to break them up in places.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: Drazelic on July 19, 2014, 08:12:28 pm
I'd probably actually make the onion domes... cleaner? Idk how to express it, but the splotchy organic style of the dome contrasts pretty heavily with the clean, geometric style of the buildings beneath.

I also agree that the text-box is a bit overwrought. The black outlines on everything are a bit too much, perhaps?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: astraldata on July 19, 2014, 10:41:23 pm
You might consider taking some of the repetition from the top of the textbox out as it goes across the top of the window. I feel putting some of that toward the ends of the box would be nicer.

Or, if you must have detail across the whole thing, you could vary up the top portion to be something other than just squares repeating across the box -- this fights with the bottom, more elegant and understated, repetition -- which looks much better imo due to the fact that the bottom portion doesn't demand your attention like the top does since it's not trying to be part of the main window and therefore doesn't drag your eye away from the text (like the top repetition also does).

Your characters seem quite small compared to your world/screen size too, but I think they could still be workable as long as the amount of variation on the screen at once resembles that of your desert shot. The water character could use some ripples around her though. Quite charming visual style you've got there regardless though.

Also, great job on the grass variations. I wonder what your method of tiling is? Seems great at eliminating the grid, but what size tiles are you using? Doesn't seem like you're using standard tile sizes. Definitely doesn't look like RPG Maker - style tilesets. xP
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: |||| on July 20, 2014, 04:48:36 am
Vagrant: Thanks a lot  :'((of joy)! I think I will go with the larger screen size, even though it was an accident. It may make the sprite shrink a bit, but it also makes way for vast scenery and towering structures.

Yes there is very specifically a faerie-tale element to the story in mind  :lol:.

Storyteller: I appreciate the comment! I will definitely keep in mind what Ryumaru showed in his post. I may even revisit the cave scene later to really fix that up with the low color count in his edit.

Drazelic: Yeah definitely a bit mismatched looking now texture-wise. I might rather go with adding some texture to the roof tops and walls elsewhere instead. I meant to earlier but didn't come up with anything good; I will try another approach. I'm not having any great ideas for the roof texture.. but I can play around with it.

Astraldata: Thanks  ;D. Yeah the characters keep shrinking with the resolution increases. But as I mentioned I will try to work with a little bit of expansiveness.  I've also already done a good amount of animations for the main sprite.. I also like how easy working with the tiny size is. There are going to be giants too; those will be about 4 times the size.
 About the tiling, there aren't really any tiles here; it's more like big chunks of pixels. There's plenty repetition... The pots, for example, are tiles kind of, but nothing's placed into a grid. The dunes, dirt and grass are more chaotic, I just made a few patches then copied and pasted a lot of it together and touched up some spots wherever necessary.
I added a ring of water to the mermaid, that was pure neglegence on my part  :blind:.

All: About those dialogue boxes...

(Vagrant) I should add a couple highlight colors to make them less flat.

(Drazelic) I kinda like the Black outlines on them cause it really separates the box onto it's own layer.. Maybe I could make the outline fade out at the top to lighter color.

(Astraldata) I will definitely try a new pattern at the top, something less bold maybe (I can see how it kinda diverts the eye with the repetition). I was going for a castle-y look, but I think a smaller pattern with maybe a few squares left on the edges will look pretty good.

 Going to go ahead and post the boxes here in-case someone here wants to throw some visuals together in the meantime. Even though I may or may not change it besides the changes listed above.


Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: |||| on July 23, 2014, 05:33:52 am
Added some texture to the structures; not sure about adding anything to the roof-tops:
Next up border updates and interiors.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [Desert Set]
Post by: |||| on September 13, 2014, 10:09:02 pm
Someone's coding  the dialogue engine and menus. So I wanted to post this update/WIP here. I kept the the castled tops but reworked them; I think they match overall now much better. I tried some other designs not using those on top and didn't personally like any of them. I did lighten the tops a bit, and reduce the red sturation as suggested though.

Edit: Updated.. put the older ver. in a spoiler tag.
I think I will definitely change the black inner border inside the menu screen WIP.. but I want to keep it pretty simple and mutable.

(I'm juggling a lot of images/assets all at once; slowly working on that character portrait I posted in OT creativity thread as well; should have a post with fixes for that soon too [fixed the bent armor and  feet so far])
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [menu]
Post by: Drazelic on October 03, 2014, 11:17:07 pm

Heya, I was talking with Lijj over google hangouts. Here's a suggestion for how to make your menu less... boxy and boring. More visuals, less text, eh?
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [menu]
Post by: |||| on October 05, 2014, 10:29:44 pm
Drazelic!? Why no post your rough; it's got some great ideas in it. Well thanks for resurrecting this thread!

Workin' on updating the scrolls to be more visually oriented.
Also gonna go with less text/ less stats and visually pleasant stat orbs like in your rough.
I'll post the update soon. Just wanted to show that i am working on it. I feel it could use some gold highlights or something:

Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [menu]
Post by: Mr. Fahrenheit on October 06, 2014, 12:00:14 am
Wow, love that font!
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [menu]
Post by: |||| on October 06, 2014, 12:59:56 am
Thanks a lot Mr. Fahrenheit.
 ;D I am encouraged to carry on. Encouragement, critique, ideas, all good.

Adding some gold to the stat menu screen:


Decided to post a quick layout sketch I'm working with along with the rough pixel sketch Drazelic made (it may trigger some good ideas!). I based the pencils off of the layout there just changing a few things.



 I think each title representing different kingdoms, orders, and companies even will each get a little border design beside the sigil/ shield, each unique to its kind (loosely shown in the pencil sketch).


Still using the wood carved motif; just more gilded.
Title: Re: Erde mock-ups [menu]
Post by: |||| on October 10, 2014, 09:00:05 am
Been working on it:
Edit: (just noticed I uploaded a color reduced version due to tiredness; fixed)