AuthorTopic: Dwarf Fortress game assets  (Read 1411 times)

Offline mikemayday

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Dwarf Fortress game assets

on: January 03, 2019, 09:42:47 pm
Hello!
I'm not sure what the etiquette is on cross posting between Pilejoint and Pixelation, but I remember getting valuable input in both places simultaneously, so I hope those of you who frequent both places don't mind.

I'm working on sprites for Dwarf Fortress and I'm interested in your critique.





The game uses 32x32 sprites for almost everything. Currently I'm trying to make one sprite for every function because there's a lot to cover, but variation is possible. Due to the size constraint, I'm not concerned with scale very much, trying to make good use of the available space instead. The game will feature advanced tactical situations so it's important for the symbols to be readable.
Likewise, I'm not aiming for a very consistent view angle. As long as everything is only slightly top-down, I'm satisfied - unfortunately you can put much more information in a side-view sprite, while the game itself is obviously viewed from above. So the display is rather symbolic in this regard.


Some notes about the sprites you can see below:
-wall sprites are composed of 8 possible sprites total (2 horizontal, 2 vertical and 4 corners).
-I've prepared borders for transitions of the floor sprites.
-The bush and sapling sprites have little impact other than visual so I've decreased their contrast, even though I think the original versions visible in the spritesheet above look better on their own.
-The unit sprites are composite, to reflect the unit's equipment. You can see a human warrior in chainmail, with no helmet, a sword and shield.
-There are automatically generated non-pixelart shadows around walls, to help improve readability of the view. Likewise, I'm happy with soft non-pixelart shadows around sprites.
-I've prepared three different variants of the water sprite, I'm not quite happy with either of them
-I think the bigger problem is the uniformity and attractiveness of the overall colour scheme, unfortunately the sprites are to be used in multiple situations, so it's hard for me to work out a compromise that both looks good overall AND is readable. Readability has priority here.
-The graphics are intended to be viewed at 100% size.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 09:26:20 am by mikemayday »

Offline mikemayday

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Re: Dwarf Fortress game assets

Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 09:24:43 am
Hello,
I now have a good batch of standard sized creatures (32x32px) up for critique.


I need to correct the facing on some of the birds, since they're almost 100% side-view. (goose, rooster etc .)

I was a bit intimidated so I didn't start out with a specific palette in mind. I think this whole image could be reduced to 32 colours with a bit of work. Do you think that the project would benefit from it? There are literally thousands of icons to prepare (of course, many of them derivative), I don't think I'd be able to hold strictly to such a small palette. Of course I'm trying to be conservative for each given sprite.

I'm wondering what you'll think of these.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Dwarf Fortress game assets

Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 02:17:01 pm
You could certainly reduce this to 32 colours, but naturally you'd lose some colour variation between sprites, and you'd probably need to lose some of the intermediate shades in some of the sprites.

As for palettes, I actually find that having a palette ready makes it much faster to create large numbers of sprites (and tiles), as you don't need to pick new colours and worry about how they look together, you can just pick what you need from the palette. Saves a lot of thinking in the long run :D

In addition to the birds, many of the other sprites seem to be side/front view rather than from slightly above as the tiles would suggest. The bottom two rows in particular seem more fit for sidescrollers. If you're not already doing so, try drawing these with a room as a backdrop for context, it should help keep your perspective/projection from wandering as much.

Offline mikemayday

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Re: Dwarf Fortress game assets

Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 06:38:47 pm
I see your point with the predefined palette. I must admit I find searching for the right colour to be quite fun though!

I was never aiming to make the angle of the sprites the same as the tiles - those are essentially top-down and the sprites need to be as clear and representative as possible, which I couldn't achieve with a top-down view. So I did aim for a "slightly top-down but mostly side" view.
However I see what you mean with the angle being inconsistent and the tip with drawing them with a backdrop room is excellent - I haven't thought about that!

Offline Mistajaye

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Re: Dwarf Fortress game assets

Reply #4 on: November 05, 2019, 11:04:08 am
the Brown Duck and the Greenhead Duck are missing a black pixel on the foot me tinkz. Ooother than dat lol Honestly I see nothing visibly wrong your work my Man; Very juicy Colors, and Sprite Composition Overall. Keep up the Great WORK! I can't wait to see this stuff animated. It's gunna be DynoMITE! Believe it. XD
~ Jason Andrew Buividas [Creator/Inventor/Actor/Director/Artist] ^_^

Offline Mistajaye

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Re: Dwarf Fortress game assets

Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 05:07:39 pm


Hey Hey, First off I want to say I love the Work my Man.

I fixed up the lighting with the feet of the Animals and Monsters to making them look further apart from point of view. also tweaked a few pixels here and there. Enjoy!
~ Jason Andrew Buividas [Creator/Inventor/Actor/Director/Artist] ^_^