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Messages - dustinaux
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General Discussion / Re: Pixel art and games
« on: February 07, 2015, 09:57:40 pm »
Both programmer and artist here, hopefully I can help.

From what i've seen, a lot of indie developments start by a programmer who at some point tries to hire or involve an artist into the project. That would, as i imagine it, result in the artist not feeling as involved in the project. It isn't his baby and he wouldn't pour as much work and refinement into it as much as he'd on one of his own works or practice pieces.

This I would largely attribute to high-quality pixel art being very time-expensive.  Even with highly skilled artists it's very detailed oriented thus taking a lot of time and fetching a higher price tag for a programmer hiring an artist for work.  Most indies have little to no budget so for example if I wanted to hire an artist, I flat out couldn't pay them hourly during the project because I don't have that cash. It'd have to be a contract for royalty split or something after the game's released which requires a ton more trust between both parties and adds plenty more stress.

Do indie devs feel they get away with so-so art because it's indie, and retro? Are we coders expecting too much, too little?

I think the so-so art is basically an outcome of the budget issues I described above.

When artists are trying to develop a game, i often hear that it is rare to find programmers skilled or reliable enough to accomplish their idea(l)s.

When i put that against a lot of debates (artists vs programmers, even if they're childish in nature) i wonder why there's such a distance between the two. I feel they should embrace and flourish together, but it seems it is hard to pair the two.

Is there a lack of mutual understanding between the two disciplins? Do you think coders should themselves get more involved with art? Should artists learn to understand programming? (here we go with the assumptions  ::) )

What are your experiences with game development, finding/joining teams, both for fun and professionally? Since i can only talk from a coders point of view, what is your take on this?

There's often a major disconnect between people of different fields working together because one just doesn't understand what it takes to do some things. Relevant XKCD

For someone who is only a programmer they may tend to greatly underestimate the time it takes to create good art.  For an artist they may do the same underestimating of time (lots of programming tasks like optimization, refactoring and testing are time-consuming and important tasks but result in little noticeable difference in the game) or be unfamiliar with whether something is possible or not or going to affect game performance too much.

Perhaps the biggest issue as some others have described is the game ideas themselves. I guess it really depends on the people and what their relationship is already for what is best - whether they are able to share "game design" responsibilities and take the other's ideas into consideration or if one person should be sole game designer. Really depends on personalities but for indie devs just starting out I'd argue that everyone having an open mind to other's ideas is probably the best way to go, as others here have said.

Pros of being two or more people:
- Plenty faster development time
- More ideas/outlooks (but depending on personalities could be a con as explained above)

- More communication required to express what's needed. An experienced *game* artist here is much easier to work with than just a talented artist, because there are game-specific techniques needed like tiling, spritesheets, and texture maps that a traditional artist would need to learn.
- Financial stress
- Added layer of development to keep project up-to-date for both sides (like subversion).

General Discussion / Re: Quasi [Windows/Mac/Linux]
« on: January 17, 2015, 07:57:19 pm »
also, vlambeer made this for indie devs who want to make a press kit but arent too sure about it

Presskit's great! I use it and it's very easy to use and set up, would recommend.

edit> and lol, i totally voted for your game dustinaux a while back

Haha thanks! :D

General Discussion / Re: Quasi [Windows/Mac/Linux]
« on: January 16, 2015, 11:23:51 pm »
There's a couple different estimates on steam's market share if you google around a bit, but it seems to be around 70% or so of PC game sales.

I recently had a game get greenlit and actually did very little to spread the word. I only have a small following of people who had knew about the original game it's a sequel to - probably a few hundred maybe. Didn't spread word around much at all because I'm releasing the non-premium version as a flash game and was planning on promoting the game after that was released, but Valve decided for some reason to go ahead a greenlight a couple thousand games one day a few weeks ago so it got greenlit before the flash was even released.  :lol:

So basically if you can afford the $100, you really don't have anything to lose, and a lot to gain. There's no time limit on greenlight submissions either... it's not like a kickstarter for example where it's all or nothing in a month. Also your game looks better than plenty of games that end up being greenlit.  :y:

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2014
« on: December 26, 2014, 06:18:13 pm »
Awesoooome thanks for the sweet mounted-dino village Gil! I love it!  ;D

And great work to everyone, there's some amazing stuff here!

I could see how the likes/dislikes could be a bit of an issue since it's just not any fun drawing something you may not personally like the subject of. (Fortunately I enjoyed drawing my subject though, in case my giftee reads this!  :y:) What if you're matched up at the beginning, there are no likes/dislikes, but you are encouraged to look at that users posts a bit to see what they may be interested in. The more active the user, the better idea one could have on what they want. This all with the disclaimer "you get what you get" - it may be in a style you're not a fan of.  It should be all about the giving anyway.

Also @Crow I may have sent you two pm's because they are not showing up in my "Sent Items"  ???

General Discussion / Re: Examples ready to play games you have worked on :)
« on: November 25, 2014, 10:48:20 pm »
Ha thanks... due to the time constraints I decided to make every sound with my mouth and a microphone and figured it is what is!  Only thing is I can't do music, do you do your own? I downloaded a little music tool by Terry Cavanagh which seems good but I just suck at composing stuff, I need to mess around with it some more.

General Discussion / Re: Examples ready to play games you have worked on :)
« on: November 25, 2014, 10:21:27 pm »
Here's my own entry in the indiesvspewdiepie contest: Boss Rush Apocalypse

Looks like gamejolt has added ads before loading games or something and things aren't working at all sometimes.  :mean:  Here's a full screen link to my game if it doesn't work on gamejolt.

@Ellian: Very nice! My initial instinct was to press left and right the opposite ways as you should because that's the direction the character moves.  Anyway gave you a 5/5!  :y: It'd be nice for mobile yes, just split the screen in half as two giant (invisible) buttons I think for left and right.

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread 2014
« on: November 20, 2014, 02:04:32 am »
First thing that comes to mind is the Golden Ratio / Two-thirds rule / Fibonacci Sequence which is useful in image composition and is sort of mathy...

Or if you wanted to delve into digital art there's a bit of math behind different color blending modes you could explore.

Hope any of that helps!

Archived Activities / Re: Secret Santa 2014 Sign-Up
« on: November 17, 2014, 04:35:18 pm »
Sounds awesome, I'm in!

Plants and trees
Strange fictional creatures

Overly cute stuff
Modern weapons
Urban settings

Preferences (stuff I prefer but not that important)
A smaller animated thing instead of a large scene
Detailed/realistic instead of minimalist

Looking forward to taking part in this! :D

Pixel Art / Re: tractor trailor
« on: October 09, 2014, 12:01:37 am »
Looks like the back right tires should be visible as well from this perspective.

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