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Topics - eliddell
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Pixel Art / Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!
« on: April 10, 2021, 08:00:24 pm »
Here beginneth my posting of the laughable assets for my game project, in the hope of improving them a bit.

This is my goblin.  You can call him A, because his placeholder name in the unfinished game UI is "A. Goblin".  A is the protagonist of my roguelike game project, currently known as "Goblin Mage".  He's presented here against a background colour that matches the main colour of the most-common in-game floor tile (we'll get to the tiles later).

I suspect his arms in the side views are too long, but I'm not sure by how much or whether there's a better way to position them (or is the perspective just playing tricks on me?).

I'm also not sure about the shading around his ear in the bottommost, right-facing view.  Hopefully it's at least clear that the light source is above-left.

I suck at drawing humanoids. :(  And I really need to do my best to fix this guy, because the player is going to be staring at him all the time.

A has a walk cycle.  The walk cycle is terrible.  This is partly on purpose (the idea is to use the smallest possible number of frames, because I have to do four-directional movement animations for ~30 different creatures, which will go much quicker if I use step-pause-step-pause 1-2-1-3 walk cycles out of the 8-bit era), but in this case, I know there should be some torso rotation on the two "step" frames but can't convey it without making things look worse, in addition to the problems from the static frames.

I've included the full game palette in the walk-frames pic.  The idea is to keep it under 64 colours.  Currently I believe it's at 51.  The game is grid-based, with a nominal grid-square size of 32px, but sprites can slop over a couple of additional pixels to the right and an indefinite distance upwards without causing significant breakage.  (The intention is to have some 64x64 boss monsters, but I haven't gotten to that part of the engine code yet.)

This is another "developer trying to do artwork" thread, I'm afraid.

So.  One of the first areas in the RPG that I'm trying to build is a spring forest "dungeon", and I decided to take a break from coding the engine for a bit to create some of the graphics:

I don't think the result is completely horrible (eheheh . . .), but there are some specific points I'm having a problem with.

First, tree bark.  I've spent quite a lot of time now staring at photos of trees and tree bark, but I'm not happy with my attempts to translate it into pixel art.  What you see in the image represents the best of multiple attempts, but the texture on the sakura trunk is making it difficult to shade it, and the bark on the green trees is just awful.

Second, cast shadows, specifically tree shadows.  I know approximately where they should go based on the implied light source, but I'm having trouble with what they should look like.  Currently, I have blobby translucent shadows drawn on a separate layer, and I don't like the effect at all.  I also tried the old standby of skewing the tree's outline, but that didn't look right either, and it made things complicated when there was more than one tree close together and the shadows started to overlap--I want to find some way of handling that without a combinatorial explosion of tiles.  Which is also why these are layered translucent shadows instead of drawing half a hundred shadowed grass tile variations (which I would have to do all over again if I wanted to use one of the trees inside a town where the shadow would fall across a flagstone path, frex).

I've probably made at least one other stupid mistake somewhere.  Please point it out if you spot it.

Brief notes:  Tiles are 32px square, but some trees are not properly positioned here.  I don't have any sprites for this yet, but the intended size of an average human in a neutral standing position is 1 tile wide and 2.5-ish tiles tall, so head about even with the crotch of one of the trees.  I know this is large-ish for pixel art and will take a long time to draw.  The palette currently stands at 37 (I think) colours if you ignore the effect of the transparency (40-odd if you don't), but the final colour count is not a major issue.  The style is 50% Suikoden 2 (which I'm not sure was technically done with pixel art) and 50% I-know-not-what.  And this exact map is not likely to be used in the game.

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