AuthorTopic: [WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer  (Read 5454 times)

Offline Yami

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[WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer

on: July 03, 2010, 01:11:16 pm
First I would like to say that I am new to this site and thanks to anyone who gives me any suggestions.

I want this topic to be about what kind of style my backgrounds should be for my game. However, I mostly only have examples of the characters that I've made. So I am aware that this could easily get side tracked and be more about them, but I rather it not unless you have something to say that needs to be said about them. With that said, the style that I have chosen for the game includes high saturation with bold outlines to give the game a cartoon look that I have grown to love. The main reason why I am making this thread is because I do not feel confident with the backgrounds that I have made so far and designing characters are more or less my passion.

So here's the format I'm looking for...
I would like to use 3 layers of backgrounds.
layer 1 being the foreground
layer 2 behind layer 1 moving at a slower rate
layer 3 at the very back in a fixed position covering the entire screen which is 320x240
Also I really want to make a level editor so the background would preferably be in tile sets. I don't know much about that either so any recommendations on the best standard size would be much appreciated.

So far the only idea that do I have is perhaps having the foreground with the bold outlines like the characters and layers 2 and 3 without them. Layer two could perhaps follow the same idea as layer 1, but simplified and layer3 could be extra simple. The reason I say simple is because...
-I'm not that great at backgrounds and I almost rather they set the tone and atmosphere than anything else.
-The backgrounds shouldn't take away from the foreground since they are in the BACK.

Now that you have read that. Here is some pixel art of characters that I have made so you can get a general idea of the look I am going for so you can maybe then give me advice on where to take the backgrounds.

This is the main character. His name is Blazer and he's an alligator. :P

Different versions of Blazer using an item.

Other characters in the game. Some being good guys and others being bad.


Finally, and this is by no means what I want to use, but to give an idea of what places I want I have decided to show this. The areas shown are Mountain, Sea, Jungle, Swamp and Swamp City(Castle town), and inside of a Cave. I might make more places, but these are the ones I want to make for sure.


I also have a bunch of ideas drawn out in sketches so let me know if you would like to see those as well. Again, thanks for taking the time if you did read this and I'm hoping that we can come up with a solution to my dilemma.  :)

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: [WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer

Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 08:43:41 pm
Thank you for posting your characters, even though you want this thread to be about the backgrounds only (at least at first) because they are very impressive and definitely set the mood for the game. I think they are terrific, and you show the skills I am trying so hard to develop!

The background samples you have shown here are absolutely great - I love them. You have no worries at all on this level - again, you show a level of skill that I am only yet dreaming about building for myself.

But here's an answer for your actual question: 'Klonoa: Empire of Dreams'

It's three layers work almost exactly as you've described (as I recall) and except for the one background image being made to look CG rendered, also reminds me of the cool style you're going for. (plus, if you haven't played it yet, and like deceptively deep and rewarding puzzle platformers, then you owe it to yourself to go and get it!)





Your stuff looks really awesome, and I look forward to more - hope this helps!

Offline Yami

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Re: [WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer

Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 11:22:38 am
Thanks... Those are not the background though since they are in the foreground. I'm talking about anything that's behind that is where I'm stumped. I'm not sure if I need to be more specific, but I really need help with how to go about finding a style that matches with what I've shown so far.

Offline zez

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Re: [WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer

Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 09:49:34 pm
*blinks* is that cheetaman?
So, I would say for the background stuff, keep the thick outlines you have on everything else with the external AA otherwise you will kill the style. That being said, I WOULD recommend making the outlines less thick as the perspective moves further from the player, and still have the thick outlines intact (seeing as they look to be 3 pixels...)
Use less contrast, and a darker pallet, possibly hue shifted slightly towards blue so it appears further back. You want your highlights to be somewhere around the shadows on the foreground stuff probably. Maybe closer to the mid tones. If your background is too vibrant, it will be distracting.

'Standard' tile sizes are basicly 8x8 / 16x16/ and 32x32.
I would go for 16x16 with the foreground stuff you have here.

I think the Klona bg's wouldnt really work with what you are doing (I also think they dont work with Klona, and kind of kill the feeling) and you should probably go with something that has a flat cartoony feel to match the style.

I think Yoshi's island might be a good starting point
but you obviously want less pastels and rounded jaggy lines, as that doesnt match the rest of your style (Yoshi's island does a great job of looking like it was drawn with crayons, yours does a great job of looking like it was drawn with a pen.)

Offline Yami

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Re: [WIP] Backgrounds for a Platformer

Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 04:24:57 pm
I found out this week that my game is going to have a level editor so I decided to start making tiles.

From left to right, here's what each tile set is suppose to be for.
1 - The Swamp
2 - Castle Town
3 - Sea
4 - Sea
5 - Jungle
6 - Jungle
7 - Dragon's Belly
8 - Mountain



I kind of liked how the Sea and Jungle have two tile sets to work with. So I might try the same format on all of the places. For example, since Castle Town is built on water, I think it would be cool if I made tiles for a sewer level. Speaking of places, I probably should list every place I want to make a tile set for.

Swamp, Castle Town, Sea, Jungle, Dragon's Belly, Mountain, Dragon's Back, Sky
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 08:49:09 am by Yami »