AuthorTopic: GR#092 - Sheepwalk - Game Art  (Read 8929 times)

Offline pgil

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GR#092 - Sheepwalk - Game Art

on: January 27, 2012, 10:48:55 pm

Decided I should do a little splash-screen for my game. Just blocking things out for now. How does it look compisition-wise?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:31:37 pm by pgil »

Offline Sharm

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 03:56:22 pm
It looks like it's all leaning to the left to me.  Try turning it upside down and getting things positioned where you like it.

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 08:14:10 pm
Looking nice ;D I really like the masked patterns, the palette & also general stylistic direction.

My first thought is why not scale some things up a bit? there's quite a lot of blank space. It's also quite centralised, you could try playing about with offsetting the main elements if you stuck them on separate layers. Lastly, the two antagonists are on the same side; I'd put the wolf (lawful evil) next to the regular, defenceless sheep and the ram (chaotic neutral) apart ;).   

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 08:36:01 pm


I started working on it a little before you guys commented, and kind of moved in the opposite direction of what Facet's suggesting-- smaller and more centralized  :P

I feel like a lot of negative space fits with the graphical motif in the game... Simple, minimalist menus and the same green background everywhere. 

It looks like it's all leaning to the left to me.  Try turning it upside down and getting things positioned where you like it.
Yeah, I see what you mean.  I'll try to balance it a little better.

I'd put the wolf (lawful evil) next to the regular, defenceless sheep and the ram (chaotic neutral) apart ;).   
Good idea.  :)

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 10:52:41 pm
Switched some things around, made the dog's head smaller, added some detail.

Still needs a little work, though.  I'm not sure things mesh stylistically...

Speaking of which....

...Do these dogs look like they're from the same game?  What was that I said about "graphical motif"?  :-[

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 07:32:41 pm
Alright, If you're not already I would definitely work on the same canvas and possibly utilise a global palette to help with consistency. I've blocked out how you could transfer the more realistic dog taken from the card you posted before into the other situations.

Major changes I made;

  • lengthened the legs and neck of the dog in the car
  • gave the title dog more fur and made him more endearing/visually interesting by having him look at the viewer
  • scaled up the regal dog and had him pose more self-consciously/proudly.
  • tongues out all over the place, I almost did it with the kingly dog too :P.



The title layout does look kind of dwarfed to me but if the group was weighted more to one side I think it would look a whole lot better.

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 08:52:07 pm
Wow, thanks for the edits.  They're giving me some good ideas.

I think part of my problem is I never really settled on a graphical style for this game. There's cartoony stuff, some more realistic renderings, and some colorful, sloppy sketches.  For example, this is the shepherd who pops up every level in a textbox:
 

I thought that rough sketch style would be a nice break from the more sterile looking tile art in the levels.  Aside from the fact that the face is hard to read, I like it.  I think I want to keep it in this style, but it's probably the most dramatically different from any other graphics in the game.  Now I'm wondering if I should redo the cards and title screen in a style closer to this, or if I should make the shepherd's portrait more refined on the pixel level...
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 09:00:09 pm by pgil »

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 02:09:54 am
No problem, let the ideas flow ;D.

Quote
...I never really settled on a graphical style for this game
I did get that impression, I feel a little responsible for having advised a more realistic direction on the previous portrait card. I think a collage representative of all game elements, in context, would help with figuring out where and how to unify things.

My personal bias is obvious here; towards more rendering. I do like sketchy, minimalist stuff but elements such as the farmer's portrait and bits of the original game don't appear to me intentionally loose so much as a bit lazy, almost place-holder. If you're not taking care of things on the pixel level it would look better for being executed in an alternative medium. I like the portrait too, but I feel like it's unfinished; why not refine it and see how it looks? There'll doubtless be many small things that could improve the look of the whole considerably when you look for them, I'd also throw some rough colour on him for comparison.

You'll likely have to kill some of your darlings here but it'll be in the service of a better game.   

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 05:11:56 am
You'll likely have to kill some of your darlings here but it'll be in the service of a better game.  
Agreed.  I'm glad I tried the more realistic rendering, just for learning purposes, but I don't think it fits the game.

Here's another attempt at the dog in the truck.  I like it better than the first, but I still think the pose is weird:


I also tried refining the shepherd's portrait a little more.  It's still sketchy, but i think stuff is defined a little better:


EDIT
Painted over the card from my old thread to try out a more sketchy style, with more more vibrant colors.  This might be a way to go.  More like a screenprint.
 

EDIT AGAIN
Painted over the shepherd with a bigger brush and one extra color:


Also messed with the colors in the ending. Here's how it looks with all the layers:

In the game,all the layers scroll, the truck bounces around, and the dog will be animated.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 07:33:17 pm by pgil »

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 06:46:59 pm
For the weirdness of the dog in the truck I can only recommend taking another look at my previous edit; a longer neck and limbs. Beyond the pose it does not much resemble the dog of the portrait. Try and pick a baseline idea of what the dog should look like and then edit/redo things to match. The dog portrait card is currently the odd one out; if you keep drawing a different dog elsewhere then that's what I'd change to match.

The Farmer is removed in terms of execution from the 'screenprint' dog because of the random seeming line-work and dithery detail whereas the dog is all blocky shapes, I much prefer the latter approach.  

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 07:38:46 pm
Whoops. I edited as you were posting...
I changed the shepherd to look more like the flat-shaded dog portrait.  I agree the dog in the truck still needs work.  I always look at references, but it usually takes me a few tries to get anatomy right. 

I think part of the problem is I wanted to show his tail wagging, and that requires a really awkward pose.

edit:

Better?

edit: also worked on the title screen some more:
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 01:07:29 am by pgil »

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 03:16:56 am
Great, much more cohesive and just more attractive besides; very pleasant colour scheme and better priorities ;D.

I'd perhaps simplify the trees in the truck screen down to single shapes; they pull focus from the dog a bit. Again in the titles I'd brighten the trees up a bit but keep that simple shape, it makes for a nice contrast. If you gave them the same impressionistic treatment as the characters it might get a bit same-y.

Little things that could do with some lovin'; the sheep's faces are a bit vague and creepy in that the eyes are situated in the predator position; straight ahead, binocular as oppose to opposite sides. There's still a few stray pixels on the farmer and also the eyes of the dog portrait are a bit mysteron :P, although I'd re-do the whole thing more in line with your more recent, reinvigorated stylistic approach because it's pretty darn nice.   

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog.

Reply #12 on: February 05, 2012, 10:31:06 pm
 OK.  The title/ending stuff is looking better. They still need work, but I'm taking a little break from them. I want to work on the in-game graphics a little.  Right now I feel like they're kind of bland. Any suggestions on color/readability?  Anything stand out as looking weird? I'm already aware that large patches of trees look kind of awful.



« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:37:45 pm by pgil »

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog. And now some level tiles.

Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 03:38:02 am
Haven't had much time to work on this, but I cleaned it up a little:


Could still use c+c on the tiles. I added a few variations to the trees that are just put in randomly. I'm not sure if it's enough though:

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog. And now some level tiles.

Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 11:51:21 pm
The in-game stuff is quite distinctive with that blueish grass if pretty spartan. It does strike me that contrast is quite low overall, in particular the trees are higher contrast/detail (and therefore more eye-catching) than fences and such which are more important to game-play. The fences and grass have pretty similar value & saturation. Globally things are quite flat; I have a penchant for tons of shadows so I mocked up an example. I also tried alternating the foliage colours a bit similarly to the titles but I guess you'd have to tone that effect down some if you liked it, and I also simplified the barn and truck a bit. and I couldn't resist drawing a sheep :D.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 11:53:54 pm by Facet »

Offline pgil

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog. And now some level tiles.

Reply #15 on: February 10, 2012, 04:02:15 pm
I like those new colors. I might use them.
The shadows look really good, but I'd have to rewrite big parts of my engine to support it.
The varying tree color is a good idea.  I might try it out, if I can get it to work in an auto-tiled environment. The dirt looks much more organic too. I'll have to try something like that.

Your sheep looks good, but too realistic.  I'm trying to keep them less cute, more cartoony/stupid looking... Sort of a Gary Larson thing.  The "smart" things-- dogs and people-- can be more realistic  :)

edit: Here's how the levels look now.  I like the new colors. I don't know if the detail on the barn's front wall makes it look too "dirty"? I should probably up the saturation on the colored buttons and gates too.

There are also 2 variations on each tree and gravel tile, picked randomly when the level is drawn.  There's still a strong "grid" to it, but that's hard to eliminate when I can't choose tiles manually. The only solution I see is to either eliminate all the detail (so that your eye can't pick out a repeating pattern), or create lots more variations of each piece.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 09:18:58 pm by pgil »

Offline Facet

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Re: A title screen. With sheep. And a dog. And now some level tiles.

Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 06:52:41 pm
Sweet, trees look much better with that larger globular highlight, as does the more organic dirt, they don't look too bad for tiling imo, but more variation might look better. I don't think the barn is too messy.

How about just darkening the shadows and making them larger, elliptical in the case of the trees. The bank of the water tiles could also do a bit more work, perhaps some dirt sides for a proper plane change.

I didn't think you'd go for so realistic an interpretation of the sheep, I just wanted to demonstrate spacing the eyes and giving the nostrils a 'V' shape but got carried away a bit ;D The wolf is barely readable in the latest titles, why give him a bit more space?