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Messages - Pix3M
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Pixel Art / Re: 2D farm game - Feedback welcome!
« on: March 15, 2013, 10:45:03 pm »
Stuck with 32x32? Hmm. Yeah, you may be interested a bigger character, if possible. I still think his puny size is a bit awkward. I still wouldn't worry about detailing too much as what I think is most important is that the player can tell what they're looking at. Besides, I've seen too much 'meh' artwork that focuses too much on detailing and not the big picture - stuff brought up like color choice and character design, and the overall art style. I feel it's possible to drop some needless detailing especially on the weeds so they're easier to read.

As for suggesting details not literally there, in the case of styles I posted earlier, I would say that it's mostly drawing only a few details you're able to fit in. Even 32x32 is far too small for a hyper-realistic grass tile (not that I've seen any at that size). Look at the character's hand. It's like four pixels wide. The smallest literal piece of grass you can possibly pixel is no thinner than a quarter of his hand. That's huge, since grass is supposed to be much, much thinner. That's how pixel art is... it really helps to toss out less important details you can't really fit in a small size. We're not stupid - we can easily fill in gaps of missing information anyways.

You're totally right that shifting your hues will add contrast, but luckily hue contrast isn't the only contrast available. You can just change your value contrast if the hue-shifting creates too much contrast. Besides, it's a bit lifeless to have hues not move anywhere especially outdoors when you have a warm-colored sun and a cool-colored sky creating warmer lights but cooler shadows. Maybe with overcast weather things become more monochromatic, but even then there will be colored objects giving off colored light and such. I find the newest revision to be more appealing overall and without contrast issues. Then again, I dunno how it presents on your particular monitor though.

I wouldn't worry too much about blues turning into blacks... not that I know how your day/night system would change things though.

Pixel Art / Re: 2D farm game - Feedback welcome!
« on: March 15, 2013, 08:36:41 pm »
I feel that it's more convincing. Do not try to go overboard with detailing background stuff though... if it gets to a point where the player is distracted looking at details of minor stuff, you'll want to tone down the detailing. I prefer the top grass over the bottom personally.

I still think it's a good idea to make it so the character is much larger than the game tiles though... think about it... those are some ENORMOUS weeds. Downsizing your tiles to 16x16 also means four times less work.

For shading, here's something I really think you should consider. Your hues don't change going from light to dark. You could have a yellower green for the lightest areas but bluer greens for the shadows and outlines. There's a lot of creative freedom here you're not yet taking advantage of, and it easily creates coloring less boring to look at.

^Why have the left instead of something a bit more interesting like on the right?

Pixel Art / Re: 2D farm game - Feedback welcome!
« on: March 14, 2013, 09:06:26 pm »
Yeah, I find that more comfortable to look at. Then again, I also thought of another alternative to scrap the need for a player character. The player will just be an imaginary hand who makes stuff happen from thin air, and you're sure to be able to get away with having more tiles in the screen.

And besides, not that I played many farm games, but it may be worth making the game less busy so instead of tending to so many individual crops, you focus on fewer, but they are more rewarding. That sort of approach will definitely go better with a non-srs cartoon style though... it would be funny selling a single ear of corn in a realistic world for like 5 bucks or whatever your in-game currency is.  :)

I also wouldn't agree with a 'random' approach to game art. Interestingly, I don't know if I've seen great stuff made 'randomly', except maybe Jackson Pollock. In the case of grass, would rather doodle little grass-shaped clusters to make a grass tile. I'm not yet comfortable with making my own grass tiles as an example, so here are a couple of grass tiles I've found:
^I think this is an interesting example of drawing grass by just drawing plant-shaped clusters around instead of using pixel-dot detailing. I prefer this style over noisy grass tiles because you can look at the clusters and go 'oh, that's a plant!' You can't really do the same for other grass styles full of dots which you can't easily point at and say what that dot is supposed to represent.
^Other possible styles that focuses on pixel clusters tend to convey grass by just drawing relatively few blades of grass on the actual tiles. What I really like about styles like these is that they're kinda powerful with suggesting that all the details are there but it doesn't draw in that many details.

For both examples I posted, where the grass borders the dirt, there are many more blades poking out over the dirt to show that the dirt path is lower than the grass. Could be a useful trick to try out  ;D

Pixel Art / Re: 2D farm game - Feedback welcome!
« on: March 14, 2013, 01:03:24 am »
First of all, I realize that he's small, but I wanted the player to see as many tiles as possible, for easier fields arrangement. The house is empty, but for now it's just a placeholder that will be reshaped - I need to know what will be inside first [probably some chests, a kitchen, wardrobe? and stuff like that] - then I will divide it into several smaller rooms :)

Could you explain the "somberness" a bit closer? I'm not sure what does it mean :p The game was even darker before, like this:

Seeing as many tiles as possible? I can see where you're coming from. I like to think that if we imagine a ridiculous extreme with 8x8 tiles on a HD monitor played at fullscreen unscaled, things would be very annoying to look at. Obviously, there must be a line to be drawn, though we do seem to draw the line in different places.

If I were to crop this so it's at a resolution of 320x240, it's much harder to get lost in a seemingly endless sea of nothing.

IMO, I can picture several possible approaches:

1. You can simply make your character bigger
2. Or, you can make your tiles smaller and cut down on your game resolution.

IMO, I think the latter is a better route because your tiles are done with a ton of single-pixel noise; if we really want awesome pixel artistry then they definitely need to be replaced with something more refined and less noisy. Pixel art is a bit of a misnomer as it ought to be more about art with pixel clusters created by similar colors touching each other, not single-pixel dot detailing. Pixel dots aren't great for detailing anyways.

As for the somberness, a quick looks outside tells me that grass is a much lighter color than what you have done for yours. the colors also seem to suggest some really dark weather as well. Why not go for sunnier weather, with much stronger contrast between lights and shadows, with a touch of hue shifting to suggest a warm light source and such? I find that the really dark grass just makes this graphical style feel a lot more depressing.

As far as I've figured game graphics, game graphics should be done in a style that complements the game play. Picture whatever game you happen to know with a cartoony art style. Imagine how that looks if it used a realistic 3D graphical style instead. I've made similar mistakes before. Game graphics shouldn't try to be real just for the sake of being real; realistic pixels go best with games that try to be real and serious. My ideal of a farm game - it should be all 'Hey, this is just a game. Chill out and have fun!.' A cartoony style ought to go well with that mood. I see realistic art styles to be more like "This is srs bsns bro. Step up your game". Maybe something for FPS games, but I have difficulty seeing that work out for a farm game.... unless by chance it's an educational game?

What I've been doing lately is look at examples of game graphics out there just to see what's possible. Have you thought about doing that? Sometimes it really helps to see how other artists approach things so you can learn something.

Pixel Art / Re: 2D farm game - Feedback welcome!
« on: March 13, 2013, 07:42:52 pm »
First thing that comes to mind is how puny our character is in this enormous game screen. If you shrink it down in a manner so there are less tiles visible, it's harder get visually lost. The game screen probably shows you more of the game world than you really need to see anyways. It's also harder to make good use of your space. Your house interior has a ton of empty room but it's easier to fill up that space if that house is smaller, or if your furniture is larger (then again, it's already big enough for a giant, heheh). When there are more tiles visible, it creates a feeling of fakeness when it becomes needlessly obvious that it's a tiled world.

I also wouldn't be so concerned with shading and detailing as much as I am concerned with color. What I see are some pretty heavy colors that creates a bit of a somber mood (via cloudy weather?), but that's probably not something I see would go well with how I think of farm games.

You can use color to control where the viewer should look. The reds used on the flower is great with bringing attention to that area, and I can see potential to use that as an accent of sorts to bring attention to areas a flower would be at. I think a red flower would be better used as some houseplant though. You would also probably be interested in giving our player character some colors that makes him stand out from his surroundings.

While I lurked around this place: I found this post to be useful: Hopefully you'll find it useful as well?

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