AuthorTopic: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)  (Read 3362 times)

Offline shane.poole

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I'm working on my own game right now and the project is still very much in its infancy. I've dabbled in pixel art a number of years ago (back in high school) and I'm not TERRIBLE (I think), but I do need to improve a loooooooooot more!

I would very much like help from you guys. Your critique would very much be appreciated.

What I'm aiming for:
I want to create a game with art that exudes an interesting and unique atmosphere. One where things look organic, natural and nearly alive. I want to use as little colours for each individual object as possible, while adding enough depth and (eventually) animating them.

My inspirations:
"Even the Ocean" from the guys behind "Anodyne" and "Hyper Light Drifter" are games (both still in development) that are inspiring me right now. That being said, I don't want to copy these games at all. If something looks to similar to either game (or any other game), please let me know.

I will take your critique to heart and post updated artwork here for your perusal (and additional critique). I probably don't need to say this, but feel free to edit the artwork to better prove your point, though of course, you don't have to if you don't want to.

I'm still a n00b, so if I'm making very obvious mistakes, please let me know. Thanks!

Here's a screenshot:



I want to keep the sky a different colour from the usual blue that we see in games all the time. If you have suggestions for better colours, please let me know.

Offline Facet

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 07:10:25 pm
Hullo, love the ideas, assuredly not terrible execution, looks rather good so far :y:, few thoughts:

The sky: makes everything in scene pretty warm, which kinda makes sense, but more grey would be nice for variety and to serve as ‘cools’ by contrast.

Quite flat rendering but I think that works well stylistically. Looks like you’re doing mostly 2 colours per material too (which I really like) so I’d concentrate on strong silhouettes first; bigger, amplified shapes, as otherworldly as you like (your tree is nice but a tad shapeless as a whole) and lotsa semi-abstract textural variety to suggest that organic detail.

Readability on the character: I’m thinking that’s a conical hat and scarf round the face maybe with a backpack? not sure, but it took me a while to figure out where the head was, could work better in motion on different backgrounds but flat yellow hat on similar bg is a problem, particularly when the face is not obvious. I’d try outlining the hat or just making well sure the char. palette is contrasting well if you want to stick to the same flats idea as the environment.

Example, still ruff:

« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 08:28:43 pm by Facet »

Offline shane.poole

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 09:21:36 pm
Ah man, GREAT advice!!!!

It's looking "ruff" indeed, but a lot more interesting! Those semi-abstract textures are looking really visually appealing! While I wanted to keep things looking mostly organic, my approach looked rather bland and monotonous (in retrospect), and I see now that that may have been what's been bothering me the whole time.

I'll try to implement the changes and your ideas, play around with it a bit and post another update ASAP.

With regards to the character, I'll try and do something about the hat, but your guesses were correct, except for the backpack (haha). I'll try and make it look clearer, but I really want to express the look of the character with rich animations, nearly his entire face is covered with the scarf (the scarf is actually a living thing). I'll post some animations hopefully later today or tomorrow.

Thanks for the help! You've really put things into perspective for me!  :crazy:

Offline Facet

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 12:18:02 am
Alright, sweet!

It is very tempting to obsessively refine everything into a sort of detail soup sometimes; round off every corner, granular texture everywhere etc. I don’t think you’re having much issue on that actually; you needn't go as angular as I did there, but shape/contrast should be bearing more weight than detail/texture.

I think to be really organic = some element of randomisation, ceding control and losing definition a bit. Having fun with limited tiles is a great way to do that in pixels, can give really pleasing semi-ordered textures, variations on a theme.   
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 05:47:23 pm by Facet »

Offline shane.poole

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 12:01:22 pm


M'kay. I didn't get to do as much as I had wanted to, but I edited the pic somewhat. This time I completely disregarded the limits that I have with tilemaps (I thought about it too much last time, which limited my creative output). I tried to think a little bit more out of the box, but it proved to be quite hard, haha. I'm having trouble defining volume and weight very well. You can see it in the rocks/earth that things just look... odd, undefined somewhat. I'll practice sketching and pixelling to improve this with time.

That angular approach you took looked really interesting to me, so I tried to implement it somewhat.

I unfortunately didn't get to do any work on the sprite's animations. I'll try to do that as soon as I can, along with some other animations (attacking and such). It sucks having a day job completely unrelated to games, I really wish I could quite my job and pixel and program away all day, haha.

I'll try and do more work on the grass and the texture for the ground/dirt. Your pic also gave me the idea to implement little things (leaves, random stuff) to float around in the game world, I will be programming that in as soon as I have programmed the basic gameplay mechanics.

I was experimenting with the background as well. It looks rather random right now, but I'll heavily edit it to look less... boring I guess. Feedback on that would be welcome as well.

I'd also like to know if my colour palette is suitable. Right now I'm not imposing any palette limits on myself at all... I'm assuming that's bad? Especially if I eventually want to make gifs and such?

Thanks for your amazing feedback!  :)

Offline JinnDEvil

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 12:30:53 pm
You should consider making his hat pop out a little. Right now it's blending too much with the background.

Offline shane.poole

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 12:35:46 pm
Whoa. Yeah, Facet mentioned it earlier but I didn't play around with it yet. Anyway, your pic already looks much better. I'll play with the character a bit in the next update, hopefully with an animation so that he makes more sense. Thanks a bunch!  ;D

Offline Hoj

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Re: [WIP] n00b - Pixelling environments. (screenshot of my game)

Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 02:24:51 pm
Don't have much to add, but this is a great topic. Love Facet's advise.

Have you ever played Knytt Stories? Your graphics remind me of that somewhat, although yours are much more detailed, to be fair.

http://nifflas.ni2.se/?page=Knytt+Stories