AuthorTopic: GR#195 - Project Entropy - Gameart, Conceptart  (Read 40229 times)

Offline jams0988

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #20 on: January 26, 2012, 06:27:12 pm
Quote
* Don't labour the art. See how much art you need, make it fast, and refine it if you have time at the end. Don't make pixelation threads for every little thing, just draw as well as you can at the moment and you'll find out at the end even if a few tiles or enemies are not as great looking as others, the whole thing will look better as a sum than as parts.
Excellent advice for everybody. "Leave well enough alone."
It seems most people (including myself) have a very hard time following it, though, which is why so many amateur projects die before even coming close to completion.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 04:30:48 am
Great post by Helm! I was actually worried I might discourage you with all my yammering about the enligthenment thing...I do get sidetracked  :mean: but Helm gave you a much more rounded and practical advice....cant help but wonder what entropy would be like...I think he would be an asshole  :crazy: never liked the idea :p

I hammered on the enligthenment thing because if you're thinking like that wether or not you specifically say it's about enligthenment it'll show in your art...specially if you're not really clear on what enligthenment means or dont have anything specific to say about it. I've done it several times and in my experience it just comes out as pretentious bullshit...that's why you all havent seen any of it :p the feeling really really blows.

The predestination thing fits with the glitch thing like a glove, people doing "speed runs" of games routinely exploit glitches to escape the game designer's hold...who could be that that Void guy of yours, he seems pretty fitting for a Demiurge false god type of role.

as for the GUI thing you're wondering about....I'd do something primal looking, simple cavepainting symbols like spirals and whatnot, same for the text a big CAPITAL font that seems fingerpainted.

My favorite inventory is MetalGearSolid1's where you just hold the shoulder button, scroll to the weapon you need, release and BAM done. no cumbersome inventory managing. Visually you could do the inventory like a symbol popping up over the guy's head as if he were thinking about it...have a thought balloon around it if it strikes your fancy.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 04:42:14 am by Conceit »

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #22 on: January 30, 2012, 05:54:52 am
Helm: It goes without saying that at the very least in the inception of these characters, and their development as I refine their design, personalities develop as well and are tailored to the concepts they are to represent in game. I have briefly seen Sandman before and would like to read it- Maybe I can find some used issues on ebay.

On the matter of " demon forearms" I can only say that your mode of thinking towards my work is inherently limited because of the fact that often what I show here are these common things.
http://chrispariano.blogspot.com/
My blog shows various examples of school and personal work- much of it very far from demon forearms. I find it a bit shortsighted and offensive that you think this entire creative process is to cover up, or expound upon liking to distort human anatomy. I've had just as much fun, if not more, with the development of the tileset- exploring the creation of a more organic environment ( taking away some of the formulaic appearances of some tile work) while Ironically bringing attention to the 8x8 tile grid.

Why for you is there no allowance of a middle ground between a decent concept and demon forearms? Would it really make sense to render epic physical forces with anorexic limbs? If I were a regular deviant art poster who literally had hundreds of images solely about this subject matter I could see that, as a way of personal growth, that you might wish for me to branch out; but this is not the case. Environment work and economic tile usage has inspired me much more, especially in my later pixel " career" than demon sprites ever have. There is a lot of work that goes un-shown and while I don't expect you to be able to see the works on my hard drive from Greece, I do ask for the benefit of the doubt that demonic musculature is not 100%, or even 50% of my subject matter.

I have no argument against this currently not being game design, what I have brought here is a work in progress. Last year I attended a game design lecture where the speaker noted story based creation and mechanic based creation, and I am certainly in the story based mode- with ideas of the overall scenario and how I want them to pan out, while finding mechanics to make it a playable experience. Your post has gotten me to scale down the scope of the game, especially for the playable demonstration I hope to have for the installation. Especially in this media I agree that the sum is better than a display of various well pixeled assets. I've been working on an actual design document and have tried to take your points into account.  With how expansive the idea originated, I couldn't boil it down to the two levels you suggested but I believe what I have currently written is far more concise due to your suggestions.

Your final comment especially rings true given the deadline for this project. I would say that with the creation of randomly generated maps and other features that a game would not necessarily have to be about predestination ( especially if one to were include random outcome multiple endings and things of that nature) but for this project, a smaller, linear concept will be more successful. I am working on ideas to make the game experience as non linear as possible with things such as randomized, or at least somehow changing or otherwise uniquely developed game maps- but I have taken the demo in a slightly different direction that deals with cyclical nature- where the main character's fate is to set off a chain of events that destroys and recreates the universe to have him born again. I will show the design document here once it is in a complete form.

Conceit: Perhaps we will give Void some of those characteristics. :]

I REALLY like the idea of inventory as thought bubbles, as there are less than 10 items to appear in game. I've created some inventory images that use the concept that I will show soon, I'm interested in your thoughts about it- currently I am relatively satisfied with it, thank you!

The aesthetic of the font does not worry me as much as how to implement it. I don't know if traditional text box is how I want to see it. I've been throwing around the idea in my head of the text as " trash" tiles that imbed themselves within the environment so that the text doesn't become another " layer". If that falls through I may perhaps settle for a more glitched approach to the common text box- which could be nice as I would be able to alter surrounding tiles and perhaps even the way the text appears to indicate tone, something that is not common in most text applications.

Thank you both for dedicating time to give me honest opinions and helpful suggestions.

Offline Helm

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #23 on: January 30, 2012, 04:27:57 pm
I'm sorry if I offended. I've seen your blog, you're quite the painter. My interest is not in characterizing demon forearms as bad or good but to highlight it to you that I am sensing that you are conflicted about subject matter. And this conflict shows in what you're doing for this project. Why are demon forearms "common things"? Is a self-portrait less a common thing? I think demon forearms are very important, and what I'm urging for you is to work it out why and how. Just to be aware of what you're doing, not that what you're doing is bad or wrong.

Again, on the issue of symbols versus characterization, I actually suggest you do not characterize them at all, keep them as symbols. I'd choose different symbols to demons, personally, but still, symbols. I don't think you'll have the time to write prose for the project if you're also doing the art. I'd keep it simple. As your teacher explained the two 'paths' (well, your teacher was simplifying but still) of game design, I'd keep it more game and less story. Simple. The Void is an enemy. That throws gravity holes at you to kill you. This is enough characterization/thematic consistency imo. I wouldn't have a lengthy discussion text scroll with The Void where he would go 'woe is me, woe is you' etc. First that takes a great writer to write, second it takes extra time.

Just that you are seeking a middle ground between a decent concept and demon forearms tells me that these things are in conflict. Yes it would totally make sense to render epic physical forces without bodybuilder arms! Just making them big and making them live forever is enough! Did you notice any huge pronounced bodybuilder biceps on the petty gods in Shadow of The Colossus? Had that game's art director have a hangup with bodybuilder arms and put them in there, would you say the game would have a different vibe?

But again, I am not saying no to demon forearms. I am saying either A. explore PHYSICALITY to its extreme and work yourself out, or B. explore the realm of Ideas (where the concept of this game seems to reside) to its extreme and work that out. They're fundamentally at odds, and even if you want to have a playful friction between them, you first need to do step A and step B.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #24 on: January 30, 2012, 09:50:56 pm
I agree that a generous script is far behind what I have time for in this project and I will not be going that route. Any characterization will be intrinsically shown to higher or lesser extents through my rendering of these bosses or symbols and by the very selection of their purpose ( switching the placement of rolls between Omega and Void without changing anything else would alter a great deal of the players perception of them I would think).

The lecture was not about more game or more story, as any game can come to be roughly equal parts, but was about how it was conceived; finding an interesting game mechanic and then finding a story to fit, or having a narrative you wish to make interactive, and this project is the latter. Now as you have been talking about, and I agree- the focus should be stressed on the interactivity- because without it, the narrative cannot be expressed in the first place.

You slightly dodged my question. Would a sickly, unhealthy body with stick thin appendages be a great representation of epic physical forces? One Colossi in particular, while he doesn't have biceps in the same manner that my characters do, has the stature of a " bodybuilder" amplified even to the point of diminishing his lower body to accentuate the structure of his shoulders.
http://www.wired.com/news/images/full/colossus03_f.jpg
The reason he doesn't have " biceps" is because he was designed to be a sentient piece of architecture- an inverted dungeon as I believe it was said. This is a reply to the Legend of Zelda series with the boss ultimately linked to, but within a dungeon.
So while there is no bicep, there is the idea of power represented through enormous anthropomorphic structure, which is what I am doing here.

If I were to justify my use of musculature in this context I would make connection between two points. The fact that musculature has evolved to do a good job of becoming as efficient and " perfect" as possible at what it does, through the synergy of flexion and adduction and how near infinite ranges of motion are created by a finite amount of muscles. This " perfection" is not far from the intrinsic harmony of the universe. The fact that Albert Einstein could create an equation no more than an inch long of appropriately sized symbols that does a wonderful job of describing the fabric of space time is in, what I see as, a very direct connection to how the human body creates movement through efficient means.

Now, if your problem is with the fact that I am not completely putting my efforts into describing THAT specific concept in this piece, I can only say that for now, that concept is a character in this novel- where as later that concept may be the novel with other characters to populate it. I personally don't see a problem with that as long as one subject is clearly subordinate to the other- which I think will undoubtedly be evident after the game's completion.

As you said before, this is something that will be more successful in it's sum than by it's parts, and all of this discussion has literally stemmed from two 160x144 pixel depictions of intended bosses for the game. Perhaps as I post more content, especially more practical things such as actual dungeon facades and gameplay elements it might be more clear that this is not demon forearms battling against narrative, but quietly existing within it?

Offline Helm

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #25 on: January 30, 2012, 10:20:18 pm
Fair enough. Looking forward to progress and assets. Don't mind if I don't give a lot of pixel specific critique for these because as I said, I think being timely is the priority here. But we can discuss on a post-mortem level after you've turned in the project, it'll be much more illuminating for you, and also, it might result in a 1.1 ver of the game, whereas too much critique now might result in no game at all.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #26 on: February 01, 2012, 09:01:23 am
Here is a rough draft of the design document; not well organized but gives a general overview of everything planned
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zYBzpAKs_UyjLUt8PX-sauIbdRu63SjiTXtrpGbvSN8/edit?hl=en_US

Thought bubble inventory( idea courtesy of conceit)


Unstoppable Force


Immovable Object


What I have planned for these two " dungeons" is the slightly standard switch puzzle where an array of switches may alter up to two variables ( the sides of the immovable object, and the direction of the mirrors around the unstoppable force) the goal of which is to completely expand the immovable object ( the additions on each side won't be there in the beginning, I plan to have them come out from the ground) and direct the mirrors so that the unstoppable force is unleashed and directed to aim at the immovable object. This is sequence is hinted at in the design on the immovable object's wall; do you think that is too overt? or will it possibly help people who don't know what the hell they're doing?

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 07:53:15 pm
the new screens are looking very very good...like the old ones but more so with the added colors. =D

The thought bubble thing is looking great...to be honest I kinda got the idea from the way you can switch weapons in megaman 9-10 where the weapon symbol appears above megaman...but you've made it fit your game a lot better =D.

Obviously no UI is the simplest UI (a good example of that were the 2D oddworld games) but of the games which do have an UI the most unobtrusive UI I know of is that of SoulReaver 1 http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/reviews/large/soulreaver2pc_001-large.jpg it's a healthbar represented as a spiral.It could've just as well have been a traditional healthbar, but somehow the fact that it is a caveart-ish symbol makes it more simple in my mind because it helps you get inmersed in the mystical gameworld, which I think also works for your game and that is why I suggested caveart styled UI.

just one thing...are you sure the unmoveable object should well...move? even if you're just expanding on it...you're still making unmoveable things move, by making them rise from the ground...it makes you think whatever is pulling or pushing those parts out of the ground necesarily is stronger than the unstoppable force :p maybe it could appear as if it was phasing in from another dimension...or maybe it's on another frequency of existance and you tune it into existance...something like that which doesnt involve moving :p

you mentioned something about the unmoveable object's shape being too obvious a tip about what to do...I dont think it is because I have no idea what you have to do in the puzzle :p

There are some things I dont understand in the unstoppable force screen, is the unstoppable force being generated on the middle of the circle or is it falling on it?...it kinda looks like that octorock looking thing next to the guy is projecting it. I do know that it reminds me A LOT of the "purify" screen in the boktai games :p  intentional? I think that it's crucial to keep a mysticism to the unstoppable force, and to do so it would be ideal that in it's initial state it is coming into a screen which doesnt reveal it's origin or where it's going, and it is impossible to go to a screen where you do...I think the less you show of how something unstoppable works the better.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 08:02:17 pm by Conceit »

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #28 on: February 01, 2012, 08:32:44 pm
Wow... That is the single greatest lapse of thought I have had in the project x] the immovable object cannot move! I guess the original conception was to have it become more " complete" to accept the directed unstoppable force.
The unstoppable force is to be a dragon or serpent of light that comes out from the ground, and purposefully yes, it does not have a visible end especially in the first times of seeing it. It is currently just sketched out- maybe have a cliff edge in the ground to signify that?
I've only seen that purify screen once or twice but I see the connection

On the immovable object, I was not talking about its shape giving away the puzzle, but if you look at the design of its center there are yin and yang symbols with links between the 4 pieces of the immovable object and the 6 mirrors surrounding the unstoppable force. I will most likely have to visually develop how the puzzle will work to see if that is too overt.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Project Entropy

Reply #29 on: February 13, 2012, 08:33:47 pm

Hey guys coming in here with a short iPhone update specifically about the immovable object dungeon. I can see how the design in my previous post is confusing; it is supposed to emulate a long shield on its side. The sketch above is another possibility I'm entertaining that seeks to be more of a fortress while still using the long shield motif. Please let me know if one design appears more successful than the other and if you think it matters for the game
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 09:16:17 pm by Ryumaru »