AuthorTopic: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on  (Read 3328 times)

Offline mike_lee

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[CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

on: December 26, 2017, 01:48:42 am
These are a few key pieces of art from my game, I'd be interested in some feedback on the overall aesthetic:

Title screen:


Sea exploration:


Land exploration:


These images include work from over a dozen pixel artists, but I wanted to credit several in particular:
  • Environment art: Jerram
  • Animations and general art: Trevor
  • Overworld, interface, and general art: Rafal
  • Characters and equipment: Nathan
  • Title screen, monsters: Matt W
  • Overworld, buildings: Victor Da Fonseca Lećo
  • Ships, battle backgrounds: Bo
  • Art direction, buildings, reworks: Cyangmou
  • Effects, character customizations: Thomas
Making a pixel art MMO in Unity: http://arcanewaters.com/

Offline Darien

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 08:53:31 am
The overall aesthetic is quite cute and nice, but it's not really taking advantages of the simplicity of the style.

When a style is as simple as this you can more quickly create unique set pieces to make your game more visually interesting.  Here is an example (sorry that I couldn't find a higher quality image):



The overall art style is relatively simple (though not as simple as your game), but it's much more interesting to look at because it feels more like a place in its world--while your gameplay preview looks as though it was procedurally generated.  I understand that you may just be trying to find an aesthetic right now, but you might want to keep that mind as you develop the game.

The other thing is the human characters--simpler styles tend to be easier to animate.  It's hard to tell from the land-exploration gif, but the animations seem a little lacking.  And, to be honest, the characters seem like they are not up to the quality of the environment, I think mostly because the artist is trying to draw the details rather than suggest them--the sprites seem a little cluttered.

Offline SlimEddie

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 12:48:41 pm
Art critique aside, god damn it I love it - reminds me of some old pirate game where you drove ships to Tortuga and such, boy what a punch of nostalgia... On the art side I too find exploration part lacking detail in some places ( some things are detailed and others are not ) but that is just my amateur look

Offline Curly

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 02:47:57 pm
This tile looks a bit artificial and repetitive. There's a very obvious pattern.


But it looks nice overall.
The character style shocked me a bit at first because I was expecting something else after seeing the environments, but 5 seconds later it didn't bother me at all :lol: so I guess it's ok

Offline mike_lee

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 03:21:50 pm
The other thing is the human characters--simpler styles tend to be easier to animate.  It's hard to tell from the land-exploration gif, but the animations seem a little lacking.  And, to be honest, the characters seem like they are not up to the quality of the environment, I think mostly because the artist is trying to draw the details rather than suggest them--the sprites seem a little cluttered.
Thanks for that feedback, I really appreciate it.  I'd be curious if you have any examples of character sprites that seem more appropriate for the environment.  There were definitely some design limitations since everything had to be customizable (clothes, hair, eyes, weapons).  These are some more examples of the characters and NPCs:





Art critique aside, god damn it I love it - reminds me of some old pirate game where you drove ships to Tortuga and such, boy what a punch of nostalgia...
One of the biggest gameplay inspirations was the old Uncharted Waters: New Horizons game for SNES.  Any chance that's the game you're thinking of?
Making a pixel art MMO in Unity: http://arcanewaters.com/

Offline SlimEddie

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 05:43:48 pm
Dug a little bit and the game that I remembered was "Pirates! gold" from 1993 :D

Offline Darien

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 09:47:33 am
Thanks for that feedback, I really appreciate it.  I'd be curious if you have any examples of character sprites that seem more appropriate for the environment.  There were definitely some design limitations since everything had to be customizable (clothes, hair, eyes, weapons).  These are some more examples of the characters and NPCs:

I think the ones you just posted look better than the ones in your first screenshot.

For cartoony pixel art sprites I tend to prefer fewer colors, and to have highlights are used sparingly.  The game Mother 3 is one of my favorites for cartoony pixel art character--I don't mean the proportions of the characters, but the way the artists used simple, flat colors to create strong shapes rather than using too many colors (which can look noisy)

The fan-game Mother 4 also has some nice art in that style: http://www.mother4game.com/ .  Eastward also has some nice cartoony artwork, although it's a little more complex: http://pixpilgames.tumblr.com/

I took a crack at editing one of your sprites.  It's not perfect, but I wanted to illustrate what I mean by when I say the sprites look cluttered.  There is an overuse of 'inner outlines' in your sprites, IMO.  When every pixel counts, using too many inner outlines (to outline an individual item of clothing, for example) can cause your sprites to feel cramped and lacking in detail.

Offline Melodee

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Re: [CC] Pixel MMO I'm working on

Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 04:08:41 pm
only thing i would suggest is making the playable characters especially stand out in the environment more. idk if it's just me but i am seeing the creatures more than the maincharacter in the gif.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 04:10:32 pm by Melodee »