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Messages - Mathias
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Pixel Art / Re: My first attempt at pixel art
« on: April 18, 2020, 03:47:03 pm »
Well the good news is that the chess pieces are all recognizable. With just their silhouettes I can read what each piece is supposed to be.

Perspective issue - the pieces' lower base edge is a straight horizontal line implying straight-on orthographic, but interior details indicate we're looking slightly downward since there's rounded edges where the piece sections meet.

As for the shading - rendering pixel art isn't much different from shading any other type of art. The rules of light and shadow are the same.
Do you need to set a goal to work on shading techniques perhaps?

If you can block in basic shapes, and shade them you should be good to go. The rest is pixel art technique.

Your grey ramp palette got messed up - you have two greys that are almost identical now for some reason. Either merge these similar greys or make them contrast each other better.

Lastly - do have a look at Cure's pixel art write-up and see if you can glean some useful points. It's probably a bit overload for you right now, but go ahead and scan it anyway. It may help.

Pixel Art / Re: Title Sceen WIP
« on: April 18, 2020, 03:23:02 pm »
Nice! Got a working build going. Looks cool so far.
You're not asking for this, but here's a little platformer player characters controls info I recently found and thought was very insightful.

I like eishiya's point on the light aura parented to the player character. Not only does it look inconsistent with the other light auras in the game (it's also rather distracting - why is there a tiny yellow glow emitted from the player?), but I wonder if you might just handle it completely differently - instead of trying to lighten the area around the character, try a vignette to darken the edges of the screen. Would make sense in a night scene and I think it implies the player has a finite viewing distance, especially in Vagante's extreme vignette implementation:

I bet you've played Terraria. More good lighting examples.

Oh man . . . 480x256 is a scary size for a singular piece of pixel art. You may have done some bg tiles that span that size, but have you done any single cohesive scenes at this size? It'll be a project.
Maybe 240x128 instead? Which is double your game's res instead of only a quarter of like your original title screen version. Yeah . . . 480 is massive. Find a way to simplify the task.

As for the character proportions issue, that's an interesting one. I don't see any problem with a larger rendered version of the protagonist having different proportions on the title screen if resolution allows. Very common in games.

I'm reminded of Cave Story+ and how it handled doubling pixel resolution for its sprites.

Personally, I vote for a more realistic looking figure for the title screen. It lets the player know what the character really looks in true form. If you have any portrait art in the game using large enough sprites, it would likely use these same realistic proportions as well.

You're the art dude for this one - make a call, commit to it, and keep going.

Pixel Art / Re: Shading Feedback Wanted
« on: April 16, 2020, 04:10:46 pm »

(reposted your image so it can be blown up and viewed)

More knee bob. Get them dukes up. Can't just have one part of her body totally static like that. It ain't right!

Pixel Art / Re: Title Sceen WIP
« on: April 16, 2020, 04:07:33 pm »
480x256? I think you might be after 480x270. A lot of modern pixel games run at 480x270, including Enter the Gungeon and Hyperlight Drifter. Maybe you're not accounting for HUD in those dims.

I would settle on a pixel size for all graphics and just stick to it.
The menu being significantly lower res than the rest of the game seems strange. If filling a large 480px wide screen with a nice title screen graphic seems too challenging, try coming up with a simpler concept.

Bruh, at least post your image so people can easily see it without having to do extra work, c'mon now sonny. HEAD IN THE GAME.

Grass. The quintessential pixel artist's rite of passage.

GO find some reference you DOOFUS. Grass has been done to death.
Check out Slym's take on it:

Thus far, you're not drawing grass. You're just scattering around little leafy plants here and there.

See that repeated jagged edge texture everywhere? Kinda makes layers or waves. Try copying how Slym does it and see what you learn. Patches, clusters of grass. Subtle variations in value and hue.

You might start by taking your bands of vignette shadowing at your treeline and see if you can break up those perfectly smooth banding edges with a grassy looking texture. Right now, those perfectly smooth unbroken bands of shadow are telling us - 'hey this surface is completely smooth, no grass here'.

Do it. Don't make me end you.

Pixel Art / Re: (WIP) Critique/feedback for a hobby game project
« on: April 16, 2020, 03:38:15 pm »
Makin' a game, eh. Aight aight. Lemme see.

I did think the cars were spiders at first. Because of the spiderwebs mainly, I guess. And the outdoors environment.
Then I read "Tiny Taxis". At a glance, in the context of the mockup that blue car does resemble a fat little spider with red eyes, imo.

What does the yellow bar top middle do?

So the game is a competition where each player maneuvers their car to the tiny white guys, and transports them somewhere?
Fuel is finite so they need to hurry and/or refuel when need be.
I'm guessing the opening in left and right do the Pacman thing - let player quickly warp to either side.
Can't really tell what the red platforms are, with the little white dude on them. They remind me of trampolines.

Background seems random. Will it change per level skin?
Is that a moon or a sun? I'm not sure why it would be colored so darkly, being that it's a light source.
Think about designing some interesting set pieces to place behind the platforms, between the foreground and distant horizon line background - some big trees or thickets or something.

I'm guessing your tiled platforms are supposed to be treebark? It's hard to tell what that noisy texture is supposed to be exactly.


I think you have a serious visual priority/focal problem - my eyes go to the HUD much than the game area. The details, the colors, the text. That's where my eyes go. The fuel gauges most of all.

The fuel gauges in the HUD are a brave choice. To help them work better, I suggest giving them more space and revising them to have perfect semi circles. They look compromised, as if you ran out of vertical space in your layout, said "screw it", and arbitrarily squished them vertically to make them fit.
Move "P1" to the left, or top middle, of its respective color-coded HUD region.
I assume the fuel gauges are highly important, hence their level of contrast and the space they take up. Do they need the 'E', the 'F', and the fuel symbol? Do they need all the meter marks? You sure this isn't noise overkill? They're so busy. Players just need to know how much fuel they currently have. The fuel gauge needle simply gets lost in all that detail. I think significant revision is in order.

Have you tried digging up any vehicle dashboard reference for the HUD design? Might give you some better dashboard-ish ideas as to how you might convey information each player needs.

Pixel Art / Re: Shading opinion?
« on: April 16, 2020, 05:17:37 am »
Good work. The new building feels much more polished and I can understand what everything is now.

As for the cat beast, that's a tough one. It's definitely quite large. I don't think it really reads as a cat.
If you were to animate it and have its tail flip around or make it scratch itself or some cat-like movement that could tip off the view what it is.

Maybe the way Chrono Trigger (SNES) drew cats will give you an idea or two -

Notice the proportions and how the face is kept simple.

Pixel Art / Re: Shading opinion?
« on: April 15, 2020, 10:28:32 am »
Green thingie is usually called an "awning" I believe.

Went for an edit. I think I was just trying to help details read better.
Simplified some things here and there. etc
Palette adjustments, and added a quick background so the building's lighting would have context.
Tried not to add colors but ended up adding a few I think.

(unfortunately while doing the edit, your cat jumped down and got hit by a car. dw, he felt no pain - it was an eighteen wheeler)

Pixel Art / Re: My first attempt at pixel art
« on: April 15, 2020, 08:24:53 am »
Do more, SirAndres.

This isn't much to go on, for anyone wanting to give you guiding critique.

I don't know about jumping straight to iso as a pixel art beginner. I wouldn't recommend it. Isometric projection has nothing to do with pixel art, inherently. Thus you're practicing two different things at the same time. Focus on PA.
If you really want to up the difficulty, actually render a creature, character, or scene instead of a simple repeating pattern.

I like the palette choice for now - simple grey 5 color ramp. That's perfect for a beginner. You can focus on just value, by using a grey ramp.

Your AA is a little messy, but the chessboard is fine overall.
Let's see what you do next. Maybe some chess pieces?

Pixel Art / Re: Title Sceen WIP
« on: April 15, 2020, 08:08:53 am »
Hey, Mathcong. Good effort. Here's my quick take -

Mismatched pixel grid issue aside (that's a tough one) -

---Game is called "Slashy Ninja", which sounds pretty action-oriented and violent, but the title screen couldn't be more calm and tranquil, featuring a generic but solid mountain/sky horizon scene. [insert any Bob Ross quote]
I feel this title screen concept and the game's apparent concept clash. (Based on the name I'd guess it's a bloody Ninja Gaiden-like platformer.)

---I think title screens are super important. Gotta be good. Especially the game's title text.
Think of your game's title screen like a book cover - What do you assume about a book if even the cover is boring and unappealing?
A book cover's job is to grab attention and make you want to open it. For small indy games, the title screen often doubles as the primary key marketing/promotional art.

---Here's a super fast edit mainly addressing foreground/background separation:

I'll let it speak for itself, might give you a few ideaz.
Definitely do animate it. I love the bandana blowing in the wind.

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