AuthorTopic: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]  (Read 4424 times)

Offline squam

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Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

on: November 03, 2013, 05:02:38 pm
I started working on a strategy game and although I'm not the best pixel artist, I'm really trying my best to improve and make acceptable sprites. Upon seeing this piece by svh440 over on /r/pixelart, I decided this was the style of pixel art I wanted for the characters in my game, something that would look nice while still remaining doable for me.

So I adopted this cartoonish style with bright pastel colors and made 3 characters with it: A warrior, a berserker and a bowman.



Scaled *2, the size at which they will be displayed in the game



Warrior: I have spent the most amount of time on this one and I think it's looking quite nice. Perhaps the shading could be a little better on the body but I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Very simple design, nice big sharp sword and simple round shield.

Berserker: Made in about 30 or 40 minutes, I tried to give him this guy's hair that I found on google when searching berserker but I obviously failed. His weapon is a butcher knife.

Bowman: The unit that has been giving me the most trouble. I tried to give him a green tunic at first but he looked too much like svh440's red mage so I went with something a lot different. I got most of my inspiration from this piece I found on google again when searching for archers. The biggest problem I have right now is the bow and really, this is where I need the most help with. The bow should look thin and lightweight but also looks ugly when I remove the outlines.

C+C would be appreciated, thanks.

Edit: Here is an early version of the in-game, just so you know what kind of environment these characters are put in



Ignore the ugly placeholder yellow buttons
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 05:07:27 pm by squam »

Offline Eiyeron

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 06:07:25 pm
Have you tried to make a colored outline? Black outline is nice, but you could add more details if you just use darker colors to outline your characters. I'm on a phone, but later I could give you an example. Here is a pointer : the Scythed still have an outline, but some places it's colored.

Offline supersid333

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 08:00:53 pm
I used Eiyeron's idea and curved the bow slightly, what do you think.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 08:53:11 pm
If you look at the reference, you should study how the internal black lines are used.

I think the main problem with your knight is that the shield isn't prominent enough and the sword is blunt.
The main problem with the berserk is that he lacks forehead.
The bowman lacks a good readable face and the bow isn't recognizable.

The first line of edits shows what I'd change.
The second line of edits just adds some shading and highlights, maybe too much for this small resolution.

Colored outlines might be an idea, depends on the background.
I built some quickie-tiles - the colors needs to be balanced once you have characters and background.
The tiles aren't highly polished, I made them just for fun and to see how the black outline works.
However your grid seems to be really prominent in your mockup, I toned that down a lot.

You also should think about the overall-colors for the sprites, most pixel strategy games I played use blue colors for the own units, red colors for the enemy units and green for the neutral/supporter units.
Regarding to gameplay it's really important to make sure who owns which units - especially if there are a lot of them on the field.


« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 09:00:05 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline squam

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 10:41:30 pm
I really like the highlights and everything you did on the warrior, but the berserker and the bowman look so much more flat and it was actually one of the problem I had when working on them at first, armor is so much more easy to shade and give depth in my opinion. :s

Colored outlines might be an idea, depends on the background.

I think I rather have dark outlines, I've never been a fan of colored outlines minus some exceptions like Pokemon

I built some quickie-tiles - the colors needs to be balanced once you have characters and background.
The tiles aren't highly polished, I made them just for fun and to see how the black outline works.
However your grid seems to be really prominent in your mockup, I toned that down a lot.

I love the mockup tiles you did, I'm definitely going to go with a similar style. I think you hid the grid too much though, I'm gonna experiment with that.

You also should think about the overall-colors for the sprites, most pixel strategy games I played use blue colors for the own units, red colors for the enemy units and green for the neutral/supporter units.
Regarding to gameplay it's really important to make sure who owns which units - especially if there are a lot of them on the field.

Oh definitely. My main concern right now though is that a red bowman, red warriore etc. would look weird, I'll try it later this week and see how it goes.

Offline squam

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 11:54:43 pm
Sorry for the double post, I'm having some trouble with a UI element and I didn't feel like making a new thread. Before I get into details, this is the element itself



As always, it's supposed to be scaled *2 when it is rendered



It's supposed to be like a wooden panel that shows at the top during a battle and it should display the how many turns have passed since the battle has begun. I've never had too much of a problem making outlines but I'm always clueless when it comes to shading/coloring and most of the wood related pixel art I can find on google are small tiles and such. I guess  this would be the type of wood I'm trying to represent here. I don't like to ask for this kind of help because I feel like I'm asking for too much but I'd be thankful if somebody could push me into the right direction as I kind of want to have all of my UI components out of wooden panels and such.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 03:16:44 am
in my mind, that kind of roughly hewn wood just wouldn't be shaped like that.
the shape you have is more like an ornate design that would be carved and probably laquered.
and i would think the grain would run vertically to hold its shape?

or it makes me think of some other material like cloth or paper.

Offline Johasu

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #7 on: November 08, 2013, 03:28:06 am
Start by taking some time to find a clear representation of what your goal is.  As Decroded has pointed out, the shape isn't exactly intuitive for what you are expressing your goal to be.
Spend some time looking for a real life representation of something similar and find several versions of it so you can look over the way it looks from different angles and in different lighting variations.

The shape of your design does somewhat resemble a parchment or mid draping cloth in a way.  I got the same feeling he did from your image and comment(lacquered plaque of some sort).
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Offline Decroded

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Re: Strategy game character sprites [C+C]

Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 03:38:20 am
Just to give u some ideas.

Something rustic...


Random ornate scribbling...