AuthorTopic: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur  (Read 2512 times)

Offline Tranicos

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Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

on: June 10, 2018, 08:42:40 pm
Hi all--total pixelart newbie here. I'm making a gold mining game and want to set it in desert terrain like Virginia City, Nevada.

I've started playing around with a tileset, and you can see the results here. I'm trying to nail down a look for rivers and rocks/hills/mtns, but also would love to find a way to incorporate sagebrush, desert trees, and so on.

I'm sticking with 32x32 tiles for this attempt, and am open to any feedback on any parts of it. I've never done visual art before, so this is all new ground to me.



Thanks in advance for any tips!

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 10:14:02 am
The dunes look kinda like rocks, the color difference is way too start.

the sand itself has very little texture, look at some examples from other games to get a better idea what to do. RPG games like final fantasy almost always have a desert area, start with some of those!

References ALWAYS help.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Tranicos

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 03:57:11 pm
Thanks for the reply. Ahh--I should clarify those are indeed supposed to be rocks. It's meant to be an American west type desert instead of a Saudi Arabia type desert.

I'll check out some references and work on adding some detail to the main dirt!

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 06:48:16 pm
in that case you should study mesas and spread those rocks out more, they tend to be pretty far from each other.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Marscaleb

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 08:41:08 pm
One of the things that keeps getting me is, exactly how is the player supposed to be interacting with this map?  Should you be able to see little people walking around, or little trucks or wagons roaming around?  If that's the case then the view is simply pulled back too far.  Even if the player is just selecting large blocks of land to be mining, I'm wondering if something is supposed to be shown to the player, like a little road that gets built to the mining site, or little buildings or equipment.

Honestly, you should start with those kind of elements.  Because right now, we are really missing a sense of scale.  That river could be half a mile wide or some tiny creek.  Are those rocks or hills or mountains?  Are those trees at the bottom, or sage brush?  If a person was walking around here, would they be too small to be seen?  I really have no sense of scale, and if you're making an actual game and not just some art, that's going to bite you down the road.
So try drawing some of the things the player is going to use when they interact with the map, and add a few items or landmarks to help establish your sense of scale.

After that, well it's hard to be specific since I'm not sure how big any of these things are, but there is a lot of uniformity in the width of that river.  Take a look at this image I found.  A river looks more natural if it has more variety in how wide it gets.
And unless those are rocks just sitting on the ground, then those mountains don't blend in well.  Mountains don't just pop up on the plains, they form ranges.  It makes them a lot trickier to draw, especially if you want to reduce the number of tiles you are using,  but if you want good art you have to put in a lot effort.  It's just the way of things.
The angle you are using is also making this a little tough.  The mountains themselves look like they are being viewed directly from the side, but then everything is arranged like you are looking directly overhead.  Try to imagine everything from a slanted angle.  Look at some isometric art; do a google search for isometric desert and isometric mountain.  You don't have to actually build the game in an isometric format (although that would be suggested if you want a more 3D looking map) but natural things like mountains and rivers and trees look the same from an isometric view as they do in a tilted view, so those kind of samples should give you some really good ideas of how you want them to look.  Here's a good one.
And finally, vegetation tends to grow in predictable spots in a desert.  Near rivers, and in basins where the water collects, and wherever the runoff from the mountains would gather.  Keep that in mind.  Add some greenery near the river and in the flat areas near the mountains.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 08:48:11 pm by Marscaleb »

Offline Tranicos

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 09:15:56 pm
Thank you for the tips! I was so focused on trying to get things to actually tile, that I probably lost perspective on the rest! (literally and figuratively, ha). However, I was sort of thinking it would be somewhat abstract and simplified like oooollld school M.U.L.E.: the player doesn't interact in detail with each tile, but rather the tile is just important to show terrain type, and ultimately whether there are gold deposits there.

E.g.:

This is all helpful--will digest!

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 08:53:35 pm
one thing that strike me is the color selection of the river. It is very bright, up to the point where it could easily look like a thunderbolt or some laser light...

Offline Tranicos

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Re: Desert Terrain tileset - 1st try from an amateur

Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 09:24:44 pm
Heh, yeah I got excited about the whitewhater shading and was trying to use a retro palette. (NES-ish)

I'll try a more organic look, too, and see how it shapes up.