AuthorTopic: [WIP] Feedback for a "sand glider" that I'm in the process of making  (Read 1479 times)

Offline Roots

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Hi there. I'm working on this for the game in my signature and I'd like some feedback on the general dimensions of what I have so far. This sand glider is pretty much what it sounds like. It's a single-occupant, wind-powered vehicle meant for traversing large expanses of desert. Right now I'm only focused on drawing it at rest, with the sails hanging loose and not catching any wind.



A few notes before I ask my questions:
- The perspective is a 3/4s top-down view, light source is comingfrom the top left.
- The sprite and seat are placeholder artwork, so you can ignore them.
- The more "complete" parts of this craft I've shaded already, but the problem areas I have not (the base of the craft and the sails, particularly)
- The gray chest in the back is a storage compartment for the driver's belongings. The front of the chest faces toward the rear of the craft.

Now for my questions and general thoughts.
- I'm pondering if the base of the craft is too "tall". The base represents the width of the craft and it is parallel with the ground. It shouldn't be wider than say the width of 3 sprites or so.
- The shape of the sails give me pause. I don't know if they look large enough or natural enough. The larger bottom sail is basically meant to serve as the primary power source, while the top sail is meant for controlling direction.
- I'm wondering if its okay to just have the sails attached to the mast, or if I should have wooden stakes sticking out of the sides to attach the sails to? I mean this is a single-person craft so maybe it's fine the way it is now, but I wonder if having poles sticking out from the masts would be overkill (this isn't some luxury vehicle).
- I feel like the "leg box" could be improved. I'm just not sure how. It's basically meant to be an open-top container to hold the legs. Kind of similar to an open kayak.
- Eventually I'll be adding some rope lines from the sails to some poles/stakes that they are tied around near the driver seat. These lines serve as the "controls"


I appreciate any other feedback or criticism you can provide as well, of course. Most of the past art I created are small objects and tiles, so creating a large single object like this is kind of new for me.

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Offline MysteryMeat

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Honestly it looks too much like a sled, wood is a bad choice for desert environments I feel.
Granted, I'm very VERY biased towards the scrap metal and rage aesthetics of Mad Max, but something made out of dinged up scraps up metal and rust might sell the desert look more.

For this specific design though, I'm noting that the sail doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You usually need an arm on the mast to keep the sail taut, even on small single-person ships. The lack of texture on the main body is pretty noticeable when the mast is as textured as it is, too. For shape, I'd try to avoid too standard a sled shape and maybe go for a sort of kayaky look instead.

For ideas, we actually have a similar concept irl called a Sand Yacht: https://www.google.com/search?q=sand+skimmer&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMs-mTt5PPAhVI4WMKHfoHB6QQ_AUICSgC&biw=1600&bih=731#tbm=isch&q=sand+yacht&imgrc=AleS6j1p0Np8DM%3A
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline eishiya

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Alternatively, if the scrap metal aesthetic isn't your goal, it could be made of plants that grow in/near the desert, e.g. bundles of reeds, bush wicker-like weaving, etc.

The leg box looks looks like it's just a flat drawing on the surface, it doesn't seem to rise up or dip down at all. Which is it meant to do?

The sail could be a reasonable size, depending on the wind that desert gets and its shape. The main issue I see with it is how thick the mast is! That mast looks heavier than the rest of the craft and rider put together, it'd topple over, and it's too heavy for that sail to move it. Use a thinner mast. A sail that small doesn't need such a thick mast. The thinner the mast, the more wind the sail can catch, and the less weight it has to pull. Where would desert people get such a thick, straight wood chunk anyway? More likely, they'd have a mast made out of some scrap PVC or aluminium, or, if you're going for the natural look, the trunk of a small tree, the middle part of a palm leaf or woven from reed or something similar.

Also, have you considered not using a fabric sail? What about something like this? If you're going for local materials rather than scrap, then why not go all the way?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 01:55:43 pm by eishiya »

Offline Roots

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Thanks for all the suggestions and pointers. I'm going to stick with the light wooden design and cloth sails as that feels most appropriate for the setting and scenario in which this craft is built and used for.

Quote from: MysteryMeat
For this specific design though, I'm noting that the sail doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You usually need an arm on the mast to keep the sail taut, even on small single-person ships. The lack of texture on the main body is pretty noticeable when the mast is as textured as it is, too. For shape, I'd try to avoid too standard a sled shape and maybe go for a sort of kayaky look instead.

Yup, the mast arms were what I mentioned were lacking in my initial post. And I also stated that the base wasn't textured because I was still playing with the dimensions of it.

Quote from: eishiya
The leg box looks looks like it's just a flat drawing on the surface, it doesn't seem to rise up or dip down at all. Which is it meant to do?

Just basically a place for the operator to put their legs and keep them protected. You're right that it looks very flat. I'll try making a bit larger and adding some contrast to make it pop more.

Quote from: eishiya
The sail could be a reasonable size, depending on the wind that desert gets and its shape. The main issue I see with it is how thick the mast is! That mast looks heavier than the rest of the craft and rider put together, it'd topple over, and it's too heavy for that sail to move it

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't notice that. I removed a couple pixel rows from it and it looks much better.

Quote from: eishiya
Where would desert people get such a thick, straight wood chunk anyway? More likely, they'd have a mast made out of some scrap PVC or aluminium, or, if you're going for the natural look, the trunk of a small tree, the middle part of a palm leaf or woven from reed or something similar.

Imports. ;) More specifically, this craft typically ferries to the edges of the desert, where there are other towns and abundant lumber.



I'll work on it some more and see if I can get it in a better state. Specifically I plan to:
- Reduce the thickness of the mast
- Add arms to the mast to hold the sails
- Add some thickness to the base and skis (they are completely flat)
- Play around with the location of the posts that attach the base to the skis (2 posts instead of one, and closer to the center of mass)
- Make the leg box have a little more depth, dimension, and size to it.
- Adjust the position of the new mast and seat to put the occupant more forward in the craft
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 04:50:43 am by Roots »

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Offline eishiya

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The whole mast could probably be 2-4px thick and look fine. Just removing a couple of pixels from the current mast wouldn't help make it look reasonably-sized xP Look at some ref photos, like the ones Mystery Meat sent, pay attention to how thick (or rather, thin!) the masts are. They taper towards the top, and even at their thickest, they're only about as thick as a forearm. Those are all aluminium I think and with wood it would be a little different, but depending on the wood, it would probably either only a little bit thicker, or even thinner.

To make the box pop, I think you need to raise its edges. Or, if it's meant to be a small dip, then make the back wall longer so it looks like it's descending. I don't know which it's meant to be so here are lame edits for both:


While making those edits, I noticed you're using a lot of colours that aren't noticeable at 1x. You're just making more work for yourself by drawing things that can't be seen xP
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 01:34:20 pm by eishiya »