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Topics - saimo
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Pixel Art / Graphics for a C64 game
« on: September 24, 2010, 10:51:21 am »
OK, so I'm working on this game for the C64:

Now I have decided to make the top part more interesting by means of a HIRES bitmap. Easier said than done, given that I'm no artist. Much easier.

The first thing that came to mind was adding clouds. Although I knew right from the start that a pseudo-realistic approach was not going to work, I tried anyway because I felt it was going to be funnier to do. Eventually, although I'm quite satisfied with the clouds themselves, the whole doesn't quite work, as I suspected:

So, I switched to cartoonish/childish clouds - and I was so uninspired that they ended up looking rather... well, bad. I guess I'll have to simplify and make them even more stylized.

Still, those clouds were good enough to get a first idea of where I was heading to. The next problem was making the sky less dull, so I thought of adding more hues. Due to the technical restrictions, the only solution I could come up with was the usual gradient stuff. And, at that point, another problem arose: which ramp to use? These are the best ones I could find, with the bottommost one being the one I prefer:

Techical restrictions aside, my biggest problem is that I can't even imagine an "artistic" sky. I tried to look at photos, but they aren't a good reference. I guess I'd better look at pixelled references (don't ask me why I haven't done it already - I don't know :P).
Well, in the meanwhile, any ideas?

Pixel Art / [WIP] Sprites in a tough context
« on: April 11, 2009, 04:37:17 pm »
Hi all,

I'm totally stuck. There is a sprite I cannot just figure out how to shade. Not that the other ones are particularly brilliant, but this one is really bothering me. The sprite I'm talking about is the red head in this image (third row from the bottom):


The problem is that it is just a head, whereas I would like it to be a proper walking being, because that looks a lot better in the context of my game.
What is giving me headaches is - besides my limited skills - the fact that the game is entirely 2D, but lighting is calculated in real-time (24-bit tile-based raytracing - have a look at this screenshot for a visual example): because of that, the shading of sprites (and tiles as well) should be as "neutral" as possible to avoid major inconsistencies (of course pre-rendered graphics will never match real-time lighting perfectly). Since the view is overhead, the most neutral shading I can think of is going from light to dark, just to give a sense of depth. Unfortunately, that easily translates to... pillow-shading :( F.ex., have a look at the rat or the bug (which, however, do not look too bad in the game); the blob, instead, does have a directional shading, because otherwise it have looked very poor and flat.
Matters are made worse by the small size of the sprite and the dominating background color, which is the dark blue in here:

This image is the 16-color source of the first one, which has also an 8-bit alphachannel (because the game works in 32-bit).
Speaking of colors, I have used only 14 colors (background color aside, which *can* also be used inside the sprites) and I would like to use at most 16. The palette is so saturated to provide effective contrast against the non-sprite elements (which use another 16-color palette).
The sprites at the bottom-right of the second image show the direction I would like to take: I would like the sprite to represent an orc/dragon/lizard or something like that. Despite the free color(s), I just cannot find the right ramp(s) to convey the sense of depth, create sufficient contrast and get the sprite to be readable.
Final notes:
 * the sprite should roughly cover the area indicated by the filled circle below the experimental sprites (a pixel off here and there is OK);
 * of course edits are welcome, but please do not make them too nice/complete, otherwise I would be left with too little room for "personalization".

Thanks in advance.


General Discussion / KOG, a new game pixellers can have double fun with
« on: January 17, 2008, 06:20:23 pm »
Hello everybody,

I would like to inform you that I have just released a new little game, called KOG. You can download it for free from its website, where you can also find plenty of information.
I am presenting it here on Pixelation because pixellers can have fun with it not just by playing it, but also by creating themes for it! - the game is fully themeable and since it has been indeed designed with pixel-art in mind, the resolution is perfectly suited for hand-pixelled art. For information about how to create themes, please have a look at the "THEMES" page of the website (but feel free to ask questions directly here as well).
It is important to stress that all the credit (and blame :P) for themes goes to their own authors. They are free to choose whatever distribution license they please. I will in no event ask for money from them.

I hope you will enjoy the game and that I will have the pleasure to see some themes from you :)


Pixel Art / Weird tank
« on: June 16, 2007, 03:03:35 pm »

I invested some of my spare time in trying to improve my limited skills, so I came up with this: (updated).
Don't ask me what it is, as I don't really know :P - I can only state the obvious and say that it's some sort of funnish robot head moving on tracks.
Oh well, any comment is welcome.

Thank you,

Pixel Art / Take the dust off your microscopes
« on: November 18, 2006, 12:42:56 pm »
[To the administrators: I would have posted this in the Challenge & Activities forum, but there I cannot open new topics anymore! :o Has it something to do with the fact that after actually creating a new thread I gave up by going back to some past page? I have cleared the caches, but still the "new topic" button does not appear??? Sorry...]

Hi all,

I'm new here, so just to be clear right from the start, I'm *not* a pixeller, but a coder! However, I love pixelled graphics so much that occasionally I even dare to put together a few pixels... indeed, sometimes I'm just forced to.
I love and feel comfortable with tiny graphics, so this thread is for those who share this preference. Its aim, in fact, is improving the animation of a sprite I drew back in 1995: it's an 8x16 pixels, 14 colors soldier that walks, turns and shoots in four directions. The only restrictions are that the size must not change and the number of colors must not increase (rather, it should decrease ;)).
There's lot of room for improvement and I'm eager to see how beautiful you master pixellers will make it become!


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