AuthorTopic: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation  (Read 3521 times)

Offline amoto4640

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Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

on: September 21, 2012, 06:57:07 am
Hi,
I've been a Designer in the Gaming industry for quite sometime, but now is time when I'm producing few of my own games. So I want some advice from all the Pixel experts here.
- I'm designing a Vertical Shooter game with Planes shooting Aliens.
1. So what are the aspects of it that I should make in Pixel - Bg? Characters?
You can see the graphics style I'm looking for here.
http://www.slidetoplay.com/story/dodonpachi-resurrection-review
http://www.destructoid.com/review-bug-princess-218122.phtml
Are these all Pixel, they look so polished?

2. Approximately these will be the required assets
5 Bg Tile Sheets
Characters
- 5 Mini Bosses: 20 Frames for Each: Total 100 Frames
- 1 Super Boss: Total 50 Frames
- 3 Hero Planes: Total 30 Frames
- 10 Enemies: 10 Frames for Each: Total 100 Frames
Bullets & Explosions: 30 Bullets and % Frames Each: Total 150 Frames
Since I have no experience with Pixel, I'm just being very approximate here with the Animations,  based on the Characters required for the Design. Is my calculation for the Animations right can someone help me out with the figures.

3. Can someone tell me what will be an approximate cost for pixeling the above Project.
- What be an average charge for the Above assets charged by an Pixel Artist.
- What will be an average time frame taken by an Pixel artist to complete this.

Thanks  :)
Amoto.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 07:49:42 am
Cave stuff is NOT pixelart. The artist doing most of their backgrounds (Hiroyuki Tanaka) has been doing this stuff for almost 20 years now and is very good at it.

This is a bit of background from Espgaluda 2. You can see it has pretty good pixellevel detail, but is done in Photoshop and also uses phototextures in some places.


He said in an interview it takes him about 1-1.5 months to make one level like that. So if you really want that kind of quality be prepared to pay a 5 digit sum.

Let's say each bg takes 1 months of 40 hour work a week, that alone would be $20000 at $25 per hour, which is not super high. And then you would still need the sprites.

The enemies in Cave stuff is prerendered in their newer (since quite a while) games.
You do not really need that many frames for a boss at all. I mean with 3D you can easily make the boss fly in at an angle or whatever, this with pixels is quite a lot of extra work for little payoff. There are other cool ways to make bosses enter.

The player ship will use 3 frames for banking (one side can be mirrored, or slight differently shaded, so not much work to get both sides of the banking done), Then you need some animation for the thruster, death animation, some shots for the player, bomb effect if you gonna have a bomb. So a bit more than just 10 frames each, esp if each will have different shots/bombs.

Bullets should not be too hard and not take a long time. What you have to take into account is whether you gonna rotate stuff in code or have it preroated, in the latter case some cleanup should be done on the rotated stuff to not get fuzzy.

Also what about titlescreens, a HUD, score items, explosions and so on.

Realistically if you really want something on the level of Cave lookswise, you will likely need more than one artist, or one REALLY dedicated one. In either case I think a fair price to pay for all of this is around $30000, if you really want that quality.

And the time taken will be quite a while, with all the backgrounds and such. At least half a year, if not more (again, if you want Cave kinda quality)
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline amoto4640

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 04:47:02 pm
Thanks ptoing for the response :)
 :o haha 30K I think, I will go back to my small family business and drop the idea of making games.... lol
I don't know it just a feels a bit unrealistic for me, its just me.... maybe the hours could have been lesser if an experienced guy works on it or whatever.
Btw yeah maybe I should think about a quality compromise.... but I was looking at not such detailed tiles but more of tileable surface like the ground material etc.
anywayz its good to get perspectives....





Offline ptoing

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 06:26:19 pm
When it comes to experience, I doubt there are many people that are more experienced than Hiroyuki Tanaka, in this special niche of graphics style. And if he takes 1 month or more for a level, someone else will likely take longer.

What I would suggest is that you make the game with placeholder art. Make the gameplay solid and all that. And then when you are there, get an artist, adjust your expectations, hammer out a simple enough but nice looking style. Go from there.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 06:40:28 pm
When it comes to experience, I doubt there are many people that are more experienced than Hiroyuki Tanaka, in this special niche of graphics style. And if he takes 1 month or more for a level, someone else will likely take longer.

Let's not forget that Cave people operate with japanese dev standards, so that's probably a month of work for Tanaka at 14 hours a day or something. I'd expect double in any sane western dev cycle.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 06:45:20 pm
That is a very good point. Tanaka is the kind of person who goes and buys a Cintiq from his own money and brings it to the company.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline amoto4640

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 06:58:46 pm
yep hail Tanaka.... im too a big fan of cave's games.... on that we are def on the same page....
btw are those characters and bullets pixelated or not?
whether me looking at that quality was just a subjective part.... and rate part was just to know the standards....
Yeah after the info u guys shared I know what I have to aim for :)
my point here was that Im making the game and I want to find a pixel artist at some point, and I'm NOT CAVE and neither I'm here to employ TANAKA or TANAKA clones (if I had that much, I would not have been here in the first place) :)
btw the ground ground reality is when I plan to get a Pixel artist onboard, I can just pay very very less and I know what quality I can expect for the budget I offer so its just let for me to get the asset list and get back to one of you experts here.
Let me see where and what this lead too, thanks guys, esp that bit on Tanaka buys his own Cintiq, was an useful info :)....

Offline ptoing

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 07:10:41 pm
Haha, yeah that's true though, the Cintiq thing. I think it tells you something about his general work ethic.

The characters in newer cave games (and by newer I mean Guwange (which was 1999) onward are all prerendered safe for a few things which are probably done by the background artist. Like the level 4 midboss in Espgaluda 2. But yeah, generall prerendered.

The bullets are probably pixelled and perhaps flashed up with Photoshop a bit in newer games. They been using more or less the same bullets since a long time as well.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 10:13:07 pm
You could also be like me. Someone who does Art and coding. I eventually had music as my major prior to college, so that's how I learned to produce music and sound effects. Then I wanted to be an English major so I learned how to write stories and essays. Sometime in the 90's I wanted to make pokemon games so I picked up some pixel art. (Took me about 6 years before I got to what I'm making now, and even then it's not that good X3) Granted I didn't work specifically in pixel art for 6 years. It's more like a combined total of a month or two. Now that I'm enrolled in college I'm able to learn programming, so I've kind of got this whole jack of all trades thing going on....But I need someone to do my legal stuff/teach me about taxes, so I often ask st0ven questions.

Like everyone said though, you can also use place holders until you're ready to sell the game. Realistically you can hire someone to do your pixel art at any stage of development. (Except past concept-art...maybe...idk...something...sounds...bananas?) Though I would say pixel art takes WAY more time than 3D art. So if you've already got your project planned, and you decide to use placeholders, just make sure you give the pixel artist a lot of time to work on his or her art.

Offline amoto4640

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Re: Pixel Project Planning / Approximation

Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 05:58:32 am
Yep I know,
About pixel art, I know a bit on the concepts like how basic AA, lighting & shading has to work etc.... cause when I entered the industry for the first 3 years except for coding and testing, I aslo learnt how pixel art works but only theoretically. So I don't have any production experience in pixel art at all. Thats why I seek experts and I browse your forums just to watch the beautiful stuff u guys do....
But yeah now I'm more of Designer, after 10 years of just designing games, I would like to stick to what I think I can do better than to experiment. Yeah but I can just maybe start a bit so can maybe communicate better....
Yeah usually I know it takes a lot of time for pixel art....
We can guarantee production quality in terms of game concept and gameplay, just that I need the right art to also match the quality we expect sometimes.
Btw you can take a look at one of my games in production.... www.candycritters.net, but this has already found a publisher so fund wise little bit help I get from them.... and just post production stage is left....
But my next game is my own production the vertical shooter I'm talking about.... so yeah let me see where it can go....