AuthorTopic: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion  (Read 9165 times)

Offline aamatniekss

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Hi guys!

So i've finished my last game, and im making a new one. It's about angry rebellious pigs and a farmer that has to fend off them all basically. :D
It's going to be this really bloody shooter, where massive hordes(hundreds) of pigs come at you and it's just one big, massive blood bath.
This is where I am now with it -



And here are some gifs -






(ingame he's with coloured outlines to help with readability)

Im mostly looking for help on how to improve the character design. I want him to be more interesting and still look like a farmer, but it's really hard to think of anything.
Also, any tips on improving the general look of the game, the tilesets and anything else. All feedback will be appreciated.

Offline oxysoft

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 07:53:56 am
First off, I want to say that I really like this. I don't really have time to do any in-depth analysis of the art or whatever since I'm tired and I'm going to bed in a bit but quickly:

1. How about the farmer is an angry redneck? This could add a bit of personality

2. Your bow could be upgraded to a shotgun

3. I'm assuming the beaver would lunge pigs and attack them? I'm not sure what the connection is between a beaver and a farmer but I think it's really funny.

4. A trick I learned from always doing small resolution pixel art with outlines (I swear by outlines) is that if you get rid of them just under the feet of your characters, they will be more connected to the ground. The outlines under the feets give the effect that the sprite is floating off above the ground. I'm almost sure that if you apply this trick to just the farmer and the pigs, the general consistency of the game will already increase dramatically. Of course, this doesn't only apply to "feets" but anything that has an outline and is connected to ground.

Otherwise, I think the colors work really well together but I would try a few changes in contrast, very subtle changes. Maybe up the contrast of the earth just slightly, it could look nice.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 10:35:48 am
Alright, thanks a lot for the suggestions. I'll be definitely doing that outline feet trick. And yeah, redneck would actually be awesome, let me see if I can make it nicely. ^^ :)  I'll try reworking some stuff and post the new looks soon.

Offline Glak

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 08:34:20 pm
Is he supposed to be a dog-man?  He seems to have a snout and a clown nose.  If he is supposed to be a dog-man then I would recommend making the nose black.  If he is supposed to be a man-man then I would recommend giving him a flesh-colored nose and reworking his mouth area.

Offline Theoden

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 08:59:40 am
I really like what I see.
This is off topic but what was your previous game? Do you have a devlog or something that I might check?
Gradual destruction of the tree looks amazing by the way.

Offline coldmage

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 04:42:41 pm
Good luck getting green lit!

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 07:41:44 pm
Hey guys, sorry for not responding for so long, been quite busy on other stuff and didn't get to do a lot on BR either. Anyways, I tried removing the outlines from the feet of the characters and it does really help make them fit into the game more. :) I also recoded the pathfinding for the enemies a little so now they can't stack up in a huge bunch, and I think this is both good in gameplay and in visuals, as now it actually feels a bit more realistic and like the enemies actually hold some weight. There's just something about actually seeing every single one of the enemies, not just 100 stacked up together. :)



I also redid the trees(or should I say the tree) sprite, to make it look a bit less generic. Don't know how it came out and if it actually looks less generic. Here's the old sprite and new ones compared.



@coldmage, thanks. :)

@Theoden, Thanks! The previous game was There Was A Caveman :)

@Glak, Nope, it's supposed to be a human, I was just trying out an artstyle of sorts where I would draw everyone with red noses. :D But I think I'll have to redo the main guy anyway, I want him to stand out a little more. I'll try a redneck of some sorts like already suggested.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 05:54:20 pm
Ok, I really need help. I've been stuck without developing almost anything the past couple days. Im trying to get a look that I like for the game, but I just can't do it. :| I redrew the previous tileset trying to clean things up, because I thought it looked very 'dirty', and the same for the trees. But it's just not cutting it for me.
I think the grass and trees would be fine, but I really don't know what to do about the dirt. Im now thinking of just ditching it all together, but that would make it a lot emptier. Though not sure that it would matter that much anyway, because the ground will be covered in blood and body parts after a minute of gameplay.
So what do you think? how could I improve it?

Offline TheReaper9456

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #8 on: November 16, 2015, 08:13:39 am
Personally, if you want to improve the dirt I would add more texture to it. It's pretty much one solid color right now so it doesn't have much personality to it. And you have a point - the ground will be utterly covered in blood over time...but by that same logic - why put any design into anything? It's like saying "Meh, people won't be in this town forever, no point in taking time in designing it well" Though, I know that's a bit extreme.

However, it's up to you whether you like the clean look of the dirt and grass right now. Personally, I find that it's pretty flat and boring. Adding dark spots, maybe even muddy spots because yknow...pigs <_<...would make it more interesting. The grass could be more interesting by adding more blades of actual grass, which you have spread about, but you could use more.

But even more so than that just grass, dirt, and some trees isn't very interesting. You're a farmer right? Make some hay bales, maybe a farmhouse, picket fence, tractors, etc. These additions would make the environment way more dynamic in the way you have to deal with enemies - such as the possibility of being cornered and will make the player feel like they're in an actually interesting place.

I hope this helps. :S

Offline Theoden

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #9 on: November 16, 2015, 08:42:53 am
Forgot to mention that this reminds me"Crimsonland" which is an awesome game.
Did you get inspiration from Cyangmou's Tower57 sprites when making the trees? Somehow the style feels very similar.
The new trees look better now.

Offline KidsMob

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #10 on: November 16, 2015, 09:20:41 am
 ;D
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 09:22:14 am by KidsMob »

Offline KidsMob

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #11 on: November 16, 2015, 09:28:41 am
This game it's very funny

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 11:41:03 am
Ok, I took some of your suggestions and tried improving the tiles. I basically started using more of the grass blades and the mud spots. I won't use them too often like in this screenshot probably, but in a bigger bunch here and there and some single ones spread out everywhere. And the biggest problem I had with the tileset is the transition from grass to dirt, it was just too clean and not grassy at all. So I made it have little grass blades everywhere, I think it's a huge improvement, makes it looks more natural. 

And yes, there will definitely be more decorations for the world than just trees, though they all will be destructible. I want it to be like this cool place in the start with all kinds of trees,tractors,toilets and what not, and when you're done there's basically only blood and pig parts left on the ground. :D  I just haven't gotten around to making all of those yet, as I wanted to solidify the base tiles first.
@Theoden, nope it's not inspired by cyangmou's art. ;) I just tried going for some more interesting shaped trees. :)



Oh and I tried designing some new main heroes for the game, but can't decide which one I like the most. Help?

« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 01:37:47 pm by aamatniekss »

Offline TheReaper9456

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #13 on: November 17, 2015, 04:43:54 pm
Well, there's clearly some improvement in your tiles, and yeah I don't think you should over saturate the ground too much with them, but you seem to have a good idea about how many to put. On a side note...rocks and sticks and leaves, etc. would be good around as well. (not specifically ones that you can interact with, but as tiles - just a thought *shrug*

The outhouse it pretty cool, though I did just realize some stuff about your shadows...Do you currently have it so your character's and enemies' colors darken in the shadows? Just a small nitpick, but it would make your game just that more realistic. Also, you may want to change the angle that the shadows are cast as well. It's not completely necessary and as long as the shadows are all facing the same direction as they are already it's fine, but I just personally feel like it would be more interesting to have the light source in the top-left corner of the map.

As for your characters - what's wrong with having them all? Or a simple "choose your head, torso, and legs" option? Either way - hope this helped.

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 05:09:35 pm
Seconding including them all or allowing mix-and-match parts, if you have the energy to animate them!
I like the chap in red and green, and the butcher. Ear-hat guy's cool too. Rat-tail Elvis though... I can't decide!

I also agree about the shadows. They look boring, and the outhouse shadow almost reads like a gameplay element because of how straight it is. Even a slight skew would work wonders.

The new trees are interesting, but between how few leaves there are compared to the volume of the trunk and their size relative to the characters, they look stunted. Since they're so small compared to the characters, perhaps they should be bushes instead of trees?

I don't like the white in the new sprites, it looks too bright and clean. I think a more off-white colour would be more suitable, maybe a warm grey (with appropriately warm shadows), which would work both for clothes and hair.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 04:22:44 pm
While I totally agree about the shadows, that they would look better if they had a bit of an angle to them, however I won't change them. There are various reasons for that, like me scaling the game up 2x or 3x and because of that the shadows look bad when skewed. Because they're made with code not drawn by hand. The shadows are mostly there to stay how they are, nothing much will change about them.
I tried fixing the toilet shape a bit to make the shadow less straight, and more irregular, I think it looks a bit better now.

And about the characters I've decided that I will actually add a character select, thanks! ^^ I added 2 female characters too, and I think I fixed that white colour you mentioned, eishiya. :)
Talking about the trees, I actually looked at pictures of stunted and weird looking trees as reference, so it was kind of what I was going for, haha. :D But still I felt that you were right that they looked a bit weird, especially the smallest tree, so I made it a bit taller and added more leaves.
I also added some more decorations to the ground as suggested, a few rocks and a flower here and there. I think Im pretty happy with how it looks now, and I should finally start doing other things for the game. :D Though I will add some more stuff eventually.



Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #16 on: November 18, 2015, 04:47:24 pm
Everything looks better! I still feel that cool greys feel a bit too clean for farmer/redneck types though xP

Would it not be possible to skew the shadows by offsetting each pixel row slightly (by 1px for 45 degree shadows, offset every other row by 1px for 26 degree shadows, etc)? If you keep the angle low (e.g. add 1 pixel of offset for every 3 rows, instead of every row), the shadows would still look pretty good, I think. It wouldn't look any worse zoomed in than anything else does, as long as the angle is kept low enough that features aren't distorted into unrecognizability.

In my opinion, if you can't do skewed shadows to your satisfaction, it might be better to not have shadows at all, and instead have some simple small shadows as part of each object.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #17 on: November 18, 2015, 05:31:04 pm
Well, they just had washing day, haha. :D But don't know im kind of liking it, makes them stand out a little more, and that's pretty important because of how much action will be going on. :)

Hmm, that would work nicely probably, however I feel it might be too performance intensive, especially since im planning to animate the trees, and together with animation it might take a lot of processing power. Oh well, yeah and the all the characters would require the shadows to be that way too and all of them are animated, so with 300 enemies on screen at once it could be quite a fps dip. I'd prefer saving on the performance so I can have even more enemies on the screen at once, because I want it to be a really frantic shooter, with hundreds of enemies on screen at once.

Well, before these shadows I had the simple circle ones for each sprite, but I asked quite a lot of people which ones they preferred and everyone pretty much unanimously agreed that these shadows look cooler and more original. Though I had an idea to just add an option to switch between both types of shadows. I'll probably do that. :)

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #18 on: November 18, 2015, 05:51:16 pm
Giving an option seems good! And yeah, I can imagine that slicing up the shadow with so many objects on screen would be a nightmare. There might be ways to optimize it (for example, pre-calculate every shadow frame at startup, store them in RAM along with the sprites and just blit them as needed without calculating them every time), but you probably have more important things to focus on.
Third alternative: bad weather. Add some dramatic rain and dimmed colours, and there, a perfect excuse to not have any shadows ;D

Further on the subject of shadows: your shadows stack, which looks weird. By that, I mean if something casts a shadow while standing in a shadow, the part where the shadows overlap is darker. Shadows don't stack unless they're shadows from different light sources, which is why it looks weird.
This should be fairly easy to fix: when calculating and drawing your shadows, render them as a solid colour onto a separate layer instead of rendering them right onto the game screen. That way, when they overlap, it won't make them darker. Then, once you've drawn them all on that layer, draw that whole shadow layer at the appropriate opacity and blending mode. Depending on how rendering is done in your game, it might even help boost performance since the shadows only get blitted onto the screen once, all the other drawing happens off-screen, as pure math.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 05:59:47 pm by eishiya »

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #19 on: November 18, 2015, 06:25:46 pm
Yep, im definitely not doing that.. :P

Haha, and yeah I already did that shadow stacking thingy a couple days ago. :D

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #20 on: November 18, 2015, 06:35:37 pm
Is he holding the bow with his mind?

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #21 on: November 18, 2015, 07:06:33 pm
Yep, and now with multiple characters that's not changing anymore. :P

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #22 on: November 18, 2015, 07:36:04 pm
I think if you tweak the position where the bow is anchored, it'll look more like it's being held in the hand. Even if it's just rotating in a smaller arc around the character's chest, that'll be better than having it so far away from their hands.
Another, probably better, possibility is to also have an arm fixed to the weapon, pivoted on the shoulder. Different arm sprites can be swapped in depending on the character.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #23 on: November 18, 2015, 07:48:36 pm
Yep, i'll definitely tweak it to some amount, but probably won't add those arms as that brings some other problems, for when the bow moves behind the player, then the arm would be out of place.
Anyways, this will be a really small game, and I don't really want to spend too much time on it perfecting it, that was never my intention, besides I've already got way too much features for it than I had planned in the start. :D
It's also still pretty early, and I like to leave little polish things like that for when the main stuff of the game is done. :) So I'll probably start focusing on more important stuff, but thanks for all the suggestions!

Offline Decroded

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #24 on: November 19, 2015, 11:34:02 am
i don't like how the shadows face us.
i want sunlight to be cast more from the front-top and preferrably offset to the left a little (or from right if ur not OCD :lol:)
lighting objects from this angle is more descriptive to the forms and also makes them pop out against their shadowy background.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #25 on: November 19, 2015, 11:44:55 am
Yep, I understand, but I already talked about this in previous posts, it's not changing. ;)

Offline eishiya

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #26 on: November 19, 2015, 02:26:06 pm
How resource-intensive is the shadow-skewing (real-time and on-load pre-skewing)? If you're going to give options anyway, maybe have that one instead of the generic shadows, for people whose computers can handle it, and who are as terribly put off by the vertical shadows as me and the previous commenter are xP It's better to have options between "meh, but fast" and "awesome, but compiter-melting" than between "boring" and "meh" xP Since you fixed a lot of other stuff since starting this thread, the shadows have become the thing holding it back the most, in my opinion - the one stiff, ugly thing in a screen full of cool.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 02:40:24 pm by eishiya »

Offline oxysoft

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #27 on: November 19, 2015, 09:07:11 pm
How resource-intensive is the shadow-skewing (real-time and on-load pre-skewing)? If you're going to give options anyway, maybe have that one instead of the generic shadows, for people whose computers can handle it, and who are as terribly put off by the vertical shadows as me and the previous commenter are xP It's better to have options between "meh, but fast" and "awesome, but compiter-melting" than between "boring" and "meh" xP Since you fixed a lot of other stuff since starting this thread, the shadows have become the thing holding it back the most, in my opinion - the one stiff, ugly thing in a screen full of cool.

Depending on how the game is programmed, it could be done such that there is no performance hit at all. Using OpenGL, he could simply shift the bottom row of vertices for a quad and the quad would render skewed without any other complications or even affecting speed at all.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #28 on: November 20, 2015, 03:46:29 pm
Nope, i've tried it many times, and it's not going to happen, sorry. It's just something that the game will have to live without.

Offline IncorrigibleBoozehound

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #29 on: November 22, 2015, 06:22:58 pm
I like how the pigs are wearing underwear for some reason. Just enhances the absurdity.

Offline aamatniekss

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #30 on: November 24, 2015, 07:26:43 pm
Alright, so I messed around with the shadows a little more, tried to make the skewing and all that, but nope, still not going to happen.

Instead I decided to just shorten the current shadows as that would mean the sun would be higher in the sky and fix the perspective problems a little I think, however it does look dirtier because of that scaling, but I think it's still better.



And I started working on the random boss parts. It's basically 3 parts for each boss, a body, legs and arms. It's going to be hard to make them all fit with each other, but I tried out some combinations and it seems like it's going together quite nicely actually. I mean for what it is, it looks cool imo.

Offline Decroded

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #31 on: November 24, 2015, 09:59:19 pm
i think u need a little bit more top perspective on the bosses they look too close to side-on to me

Offline Gil

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #32 on: November 25, 2015, 09:04:38 am
The robo arms and rocket legs could use more work, both designs feel weak. Try to play around with a few different versions of those.

Offline Apollo

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Re: [WIP][C+C] Need help on improving graphics - Bacon Rebellion

Reply #33 on: December 16, 2015, 01:42:44 pm
I love the design and those particle effects especially. The game feels so smooth.
Graphic's rather simple and so attractive and nice looking. Great work.