AuthorTopic: Game map landscape critique  (Read 5856 times)

Offline eishiya

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 11:59:42 pm
A pseudo-3D environment is fine. This art doesn't look like pixel art at all. Is it perhaps scaled down a lot, blurring it?

Offline Macattackk

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 12:29:44 am
Here is an example of one of the textures. This asset is strictly a bitmap texture I made that is thrown on to a plane in the 3d environment. For some of these textures I make and render them in 3d then scale them down in Photoshop and paint over them a bit. In the end, they are 2d textures when put into the game.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 12:32:21 am by Macattackk »
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Offline eishiya

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 12:57:05 am
Pixel art is not a synonym for raster 2D art, but a subset of it. What you've got there isn't pixel art. This tutorial explains what sets pixel art apart from related media pretty well.

Fortunately, that's why we have this section for all the non-pixel art 2D (and 3D) stuff!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 01:11:43 am by eishiya »

Offline Macattackk

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #13 on: August 25, 2017, 01:49:38 am
Aha I see. I'm sure this mistake is made annoyingly a lot on this forum, sorry about that! I suppose that means none of the stuff I'm making will belong in the pixel art section because of the process Im using to create it. I'm sure my thread will comfortably find its new home here! I do think my assets could use more crispness like with the techniques listed in the thread you posted but I don't think Im going to reach the level of pixel perfect art assets.
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Offline yrizoud

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 01:52:24 pm
Not everything needs pixel-level assets, the landscape has a lovely painterly look as-is. I can only see two defects :
- the base of your mountains seem to have the remainder of a darker outline, you may want the even the colors and possibly "feather" those edges (alpha < 100%) to blend them more.
- beaches are very visibly textured using a wave pattern aligned horizontally, instead of following the curves of the coast. It's very wrong for vertical coasts, and even on mostly horizontal costs, it's not so good that it doesn't follow the coastline. If your engine generates the beaches (you don't draw the individual tiles) then you should at least use a solid sand color instead of the texture.

Offline Magpie

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 01:57:38 pm
I have a few suggestions for improving the "crispness" of th mountains. Firstly, what file format are you using for the images, and what import setting are you using for whatever game engine you're using? The images look compressed and blurry, which is contrasting with the sharp edges and making them look like paper cutouts or stickers. Assuming this isn't the look you're aiming for, you might want to either save your mountain sprites in a non-compressed format, or (especially if the map can be zoomed in and out of) increase the size of the image.

Also watch out for the line around the edge of the image. That might be caused by settings in your game engine, or you may need to continue the images further outside the line where the alpha cut-off is, so that the image compression at the edges doesn't "bleed over" into the visible part of the image.

You might also want to try removing some of the mossy texture and bumpiness and focusing on making the 3d shape more readable, like with your sand dunes.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 01:59:46 pm by Magpie »

Offline Macattackk

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #16 on: August 29, 2017, 10:46:09 am
These are fantastic critiques thank you!

Not everything needs pixel-level assets, the landscape has a lovely painterly look as-is. I can only see two defects :
- the base of your mountains seem to have the remainder of a darker outline, you may want the even the colors and possibly "feather" those edges (alpha < 100%) to blend them more.
- beaches are very visibly textured using a wave pattern aligned horizontally, instead of following the curves of the coast. It's very wrong for vertical coasts, and even on mostly horizontal costs, it's not so good that it doesn't follow the coastline. If your engine generates the beaches (you don't draw the individual tiles) then you should at least use a solid sand color instead of the texture.

You're right I've been meaning to feather the edges of the texture in the mountains so there isn't that dark outline. Unfortunately I can't have a soft edge on the mountains specifically because in order for the sprite shader to cast a shadow in Unity, it must use a cutoff alpha which means only alpha that is 0% or 100%. I may be able to figure out a way to cheat by using a multi-pass shader and have a semi transparent texture render over the bottom of the mountain to blend it in better. What I'll do first is feather the edges in the diffuse part of the textures so there is no black showing through from the background.

I never thought of that fact about the sand. It would be rippling in the direction that the water is coming in from the ocean. What I can do is make an omni directional sand texture to fix that.

I have a few suggestions for improving the "crispness" of th mountains. Firstly, what file format are you using for the images, and what import setting are you using for whatever game engine you're using? The images look compressed and blurry, which is contrasting with the sharp edges and making them look like paper cutouts or stickers. Assuming this isn't the look you're aiming for, you might want to either save your mountain sprites in a non-compressed format, or (especially if the map can be zoomed in and out of) increase the size of the image.

Also watch out for the line around the edge of the image. That might be caused by settings in your game engine, or you may need to continue the images further outside the line where the alpha cut-off is, so that the image compression at the edges doesn't "bleed over" into the visible part of the image.

You might also want to try removing some of the mossy texture and bumpiness and focusing on making the 3d shape more readable, like with your sand dunes.

I am currently using 64x64 Targas for my images. 32 bit when with alpha and 24 bit for when without alpha. For the mountains I am importing them uncompressed so that they look as crisp as possible. There is no zooming in and out so it is kept at the same distance from the camera. What I can do is import them without any sort of filtering. Below is a side by side comparison with filtered textures(left) and non-filtered textures(right). Which one do you think looks better? I'm starting to warm up to the idea of using non-filtered now that you mention ways of improving the crispness.

Continuing the image past the alpha cutoff is something Ill definitely fix next. As far as the mossy texture, Im meaning those to be trees that are scattered across the mountains. Those are the only parts I painted myself, the rest was done in 3d. I tried making the tree parts in 3d but it ended up being tedious and not looking as good as I wanted so I settled on painting them. I suppose they may need more work or maybe less trees on them like you say. Ill see what I can do to make the rocky parts of the mountains have more deliberate shapes to improve the readability.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 10:51:20 am by Macattackk »
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Offline yrizoud

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #17 on: August 29, 2017, 02:00:51 pm
On the crisp versions, it becomes visible that many of your assets have a lower resolution that the tile size, and not even an exact multiple of it : Some pixel columns are doubled, some are not and the effect can be jarring.
If you can't get tiles that map 1:1 with screen pixels, well, you'd rather keep the overall filtering : it will help a lot blend images of different qualities together.
The "scattered dots" and "marsh symbols" seem to be overlays of a monochrome texture. It may not be too hard to increase their native resolution, and the result will look quite sharper, even with an overall filtering on top.
Strangely, the "stone deposits" seem to be natively higher-resolution than most of the rest, as it doesn't show the same kind of issue.

Offline Magpie

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #18 on: August 30, 2017, 02:31:19 pm
If you're not zooming in and out, you should be able to match the size of the sprites displayed to be exactly the size of the images, which will give you better control over how they look in-game. What engine are you using? The only one I have experience with is Unity.

The green patches don't really read as trees, especially when compared to the scale of other parts of the map. Maybe try adding faint tree shapes?

Here, I did a quick sketch to demonstrate:
without trees:

With trees:


you could also add snow to the top of the mountain to make it stand out more:
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 03:08:40 pm by Magpie »

Offline Shizuko

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Re: Game map landscape critique

Reply #19 on: August 30, 2017, 04:10:22 pm
I like it how itīs generated,
but could you make somethings with this little Lake Things?
Make some bigger together or such :o
Im so in shame in the Moment,
why Im so bad in English now?
Where is my good English? meh