AuthorTopic: Just starting out on my first game!  (Read 11537 times)

Offline Allegro

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Just starting out on my first game!

on: April 10, 2013, 05:20:39 am
Hi there, I'm new to the forum, but from what I can tell looking around it seems like a great place to settle in :)

I've recently quit my job and am working on making my first game. I'm heading up the art end of things while a buddy of mine is working on making the game engine. I just "finished" working on our first background, and thought I'd post it up here as I feel like there's still a little room for it to shine.


So this is an approximation of what it would look like in-game. The idea is that the game will behave like an old school beat-em-up game so they can move in x,y,and z, but that barrier in the mid-ground will be as far back as they can go.

And here's the whole area that I've painted:

Offline Fetthesten

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 07:33:43 am
Looking very good to me, but to make it really sparkle, I have a couple of suggestions.

Your details are very impressive, and the whole background looks very solid. However if it were up to me, I'd add a few splashes of colour to break up the perceived monotony of the scene. Also, I'd add a colour gradient to the water. I can see you've gradually lightened the sky to make it closer to the faraway city scene, but you didn't do the same to the water (or whatever liquid it's supposed to be), which makes for a somewhat inconsistent look. Still, that's looking very impressive.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 10:43:36 am
Definitely clean up the art on the rocks, it looks very messy and unrefined. The clouds are also nice but their shapes look messy as well and they don't fit in with the sky either. I would suggest you lighten the sky up so the clouds don't stick out as much. Same thing with the mud, dirt stuff it could be lightened up as to look like sand so it seems in the same world with the bright sandy stone.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 11:01:39 am
The overall impression is ok, you surely put in a huge amount of time, but I have to point out that the whole artwork lacks an actual sense of form.
You detailed everything really nicely, but you were by far too much concerned to put in small forms everywhere. While working on all those small things you lost the sense of your big picture and each of the areas with the small forms looks flat and repetitive.
Work from the big picture to the small details and don't start with detailling out each part on it's own and putting it together later.

I worked a bit on some foreground places


Some other things I have to mention:
-You use hell a lot of redundant colors everywhere. The bg strip with the city has for example 11 colors, it's possible to get away with the same rsult if you'd only use 3 colors (I recolored it).
-The style of the character and the bg doesn't match. While the character looks really cartoonish and stylized (like some american tv shows), the bg uses a realistic comic impression (SNK Metal Slug). If the char should look like this make a more simpler bg, if the bg should look like this make a more realistic char - I think this is next to all points I mentioned the biggest issue.

I second what Fetthesden said about the water/oil and what MR. Fahrenheit said about the rocks
"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline Allegro

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 04:36:58 pm
Thanks for the replies!

My in-laws are visiting for the week from another country, so I might not get a chance to actually adjust anything for a day or two, but I like the feedback :)

[...]I'd add a few splashes of colour to break up the perceived monotony of the scene. Also, I'd add a colour gradient to the water. I can see you've gradually lightened the sky to make it closer to the faraway city scene, but you didn't do the same to the water (or whatever liquid it's supposed to be)[...]

Right, I'd been thinking the same thing about both colour (admittedly I'm slightly colourblind so colour use has never come easy to me.. I like the slight purplish colour that Cyangmou used below) and the gradient. The gradient was supposed to happen and I guess just totally slipped my notice that I'd forgotten to add it.


Definitely clean up the art on the rocks, it looks very messy and unrefined. The clouds are also nice but their shapes look messy as well and they don't fit in with the sky either. I would suggest you lighten the sky up so the clouds don't stick out as much. Same thing with the mud, dirt stuff it could be lightened up as to look like sand so it seems in the same world with the bright sandy stone.

I wasn't completely sure how clean to make the "rock" as in my head I was imagining it to be somewhere between rock and mud... more like a clay, I guess. And I agree that the large clouds at least need to be tied in a little better. I can work at cleaning their shapes a little as there are definitely some messy spots in the detailing. I agree the sky could probably be brightened a little... I was not completely happy with how neutral everything is looking, however I think I'll need to darken the stone a little as opposed to brightening the mud. It's actually inspired by the Alberta Tar Sands, and I didn't want the liquid to be too dark, but it'supposed to be oil mixed with sand that will be ignitable (not looking forward to animating the fire effects).


[...]While working on all those small things you lost the sense of your big picture and each of the areas with the small forms looks flat and repetitive.[...]
I agree. The way you've built the volumes out is nice


[...]-You use hell a lot of redundant colors everywhere.
 The bg strip with the city has for example 11 colors, it's possible to get away with the same rsult if you'd only use 3 colors (I recolored it).
Sort of... I actually painted the city part with 3 colours, but I'm using Photoshop, and I have the sky overlayed ontop to help with the hazy look... I'm sure that's contributing to the 11 colors that you're seeing. Out of curiosity, are you using photoshop too?)


[...]-The style of the character and the bg doesn't match. While the character looks really cartoonish and stylized (like some american tv shows), the bg uses a realistic comic impression (SNK Metal Slug). If the char should look like this make a more simpler bg, if the bg should look like this make a more realistic char[...]
I'm not sure if I agree on this point. I do like the simplification that you made when building out the volume on the "bridge"... but I also think that I've seen plenty of film with simple characters and detailed backgrounds that I like... I'm going to re-evaluate how the characters look a little as I haven't done anything with them other than an idle animation so far... but I personally think the contrast between a simpler character and a more detailed bg can work.


Thanks again for the feedback! I'll post a revision as soon as I get some time to work on it!

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 05:36:16 pm
Sort of... I actually painted the city part with 3 colours, but I'm using Photoshop, and I have the sky overlayed ontop to help with the hazy look... I'm sure that's contributing to the 11 colors that you're seeing. Out of curiosity, are you using photoshop too?)

Gimp 2.6.11 for pixels

I'm not sure if I agree on this point. I do like the simplification that you made when building out the volume on the "bridge"... but I also think that I've seen plenty of film with simple characters and detailed backgrounds that I like... I'm going to re-evaluate how the characters look a little as I haven't done anything with them other than an idle animation so far... but I personally think the contrast between a simpler character and a more detailed bg can work.

the simplification on  the bridge is there because I only threw in some quick forms. I neither added texture or pixel techniques nor I started with the actual process of refining. This early state already illustrates the things I tried to explain.

The "contrast between a simpler character and a more detailed bg" works actually. Early animated cartoons (Disney-films and also Ghibli Productions - to name high quality productions) are using a different "technique" for characters and environments. While the characters are drawn with lines and have flat colored planes, most of the bgs are made with traditional paint, like acryl, oil or watercolors. Nonetheless as well characters as environments are drawn in a naturalistic way and they fit together in terms of proportions.

The problem is that your chars proportions are remembering more of the proportions of TV shows like "Family Guy" or "Simpsons" have while your background remembers more of the realistic proportioned backgrounds - and here lies the exact style problem.

I hope you got now what I meant earlier.

Btw your char also has lots of anatomical issues, the most obvious on is that the legs have different lengths, but this is maybe due to the style.

"Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man."

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Offline Allegro

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 05:10:18 am
I'm so... so slow at painting... :(

  • I've started doing revisions to it. So far I've: Added reflection gradient to the oil
  • darkened the color of the rock to be a little more in line with the oil
  • lightened the sky
  • have begun refining the barrier



A lot left to go... but I'm working at it.

Offline razorshark

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #7 on: April 13, 2013, 11:30:37 am
Really enjoyed looking at your work so far!
Great job...  ;D

Based upon Cyangmou's comment,  here might be a quick fix for your thug's proportions... it may not be
perfect yet but perhaps it might lead you further towards a better endresult.



     Greetings and goodluck, DaniŽl

Offline Allegro

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 05:02:54 am
Painting takes me forever :'(

still want to do more clean-up to the main land elements, but I feel that the barrier in the midground is working much better than it was.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: Just starting out on my first game!

Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 10:10:11 am
The wall looks much much better then before. If you can put that much effort into the rest of the rocks it will look great! :)