AuthorTopic: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG  (Read 4001 times)

Offline Keops

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Hi everyone! This is the Hearthstead art thread. I'm looking for constructive feedback and help with making my game look as good as possible!



There is a devlog @ TIGForums covering all aspects of dev, so I'll keep this one focused on posting art updates and receiving feedback to improve the assets of the game.

Overview

Hearthstead is a farming/town life Simulation RPG set in a fantasy world developed by myself, with help from my brother. We're using Unity to implement the game and are currently working on a v0.1 build. For more specifics about the game feel free to check the devlog or follow us on Twitter.

Art for feedback

Test walk cycle in four directions:



Some tiles and sprites for our first prototype





Someone on imgur mentioned that the graphics are too similar to Stardew Valley. While Stardew is one of the inspirations I see plenty of differences when shown side by side. What do you think?



I appreciate all constructive feedback, I just want the game to look as good as possible and improve my skills!

Thank you so much for your time <3 See you around!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 01:13:26 pm by Keops »
Hearthstead: Art thread - Website - Twitter

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Offline falz

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 04:23:56 pm
I would second that opinion that it looks too similar to Stardew Valley. There are subtle differences, but to a certain point, if a game appears too similar, it can be distracting for the audience and the identity of your project will be lost. Maybe try altering the color pallet? It seems almost identical to Stardew Valley's

Offline eishiya

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 04:41:43 pm
I think the palette is actually quite nice, more pleasing to my eyes than Stardew Valley's. The similarities, to me, are mostly in the (large amounts of) textures in elements like the grass and bushes. The tress look great and not SV-like, though, so consider making the other textures more in line with those - simple, with only suggested textures.

The character faces and poses also resemble SV, and not in a good way - they're rather lifeless, characterless, the characters all look like they're posing for a passport photo. Give them more personality and you'll kill two birds with one stone!

Offline Keops

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 08:13:40 pm
I would second that opinion that it looks too similar to Stardew Valley. There are subtle differences, but to a certain point, if a game appears too similar, it can be distracting for the audience and the identity of your project will be lost. Maybe try altering the color pallet? It seems almost identical to Stardew Valley's

Interesting suggestion about the palette, perhaps since we're this early in dev I could experiment with some unusual color choices.

I think the palette is actually quite nice, more pleasing to my eyes than Stardew Valley's. The similarities, to me, are mostly in the (large amounts of) textures in elements like the grass and bushes. The tress look great and not SV-like, though, so consider making the other textures more in line with those - simple, with only suggested textures.

The character faces and poses also resemble SV, and not in a good way - they're rather lifeless, characterless, the characters all look like they're posing for a passport photo. Give them more personality and you'll kill two birds with one stone!

This also makes me think a lot about the character desings, I will probably iterate plenty on them as right now they are quite generic, anime-inspired characters. Not that they wouldn't work but they would just be good enough and not too original. I also think you are right about the over abundance of texture detail on tiles like the grass ones vs say, the water, which looks almost straight from TLoZ ALttP. Plenty for me here to work with!

Thank you both for your feedback!
Hearthstead: Art thread - Website - Twitter

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Offline daramon

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 10:03:45 am
Just a quick note on the leftmost of your trees. It looks like you've taken a solid shape, shaded it with bands of color, then painted leaves on top.

With a little work you can create a more layered effect. Where you can see obvious bands of color "behind" the leaves, try breaking them up with partial leaf shapes. The idea is to create the effect of looking through the surface layer of leaves into the leaves inside, rather than at a flat surface.

Another way would be to build up your tree from the inside out, so you aren't fighting against the surface leaves when you're drawing the inner leaves.

I'll have a go in a few hours to show you what I mean.



Blimey, there's a lot of space in that png isn't there? :)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 10:23:55 am by daramon »

Offline daramon

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #5 on: August 05, 2019, 12:05:20 pm
My usual disclaimer: I'm still quite new to pixel art, and this is only what I can quickly demonstrate in my lunch hour!

In this first image I've tried to break up some of the obvious color banding by breaking up any straight-ish lines of color. I've added in a few more leaves and tried to give those bands a wiggly, leafy edge instead. You can go much further than this. The aim is to make it look more "bushy".



This next one is quite subtle, but really gives things more of a 3D effect. Pick a leaf you want to appear 'above' other leaves nearby, then take the green color two shades down and underline it from below. You may want to underline the whole leaf, or only some of the pixels (to give the impression of it lifting out from the surrounding leaves). The overall effect is of making the leaf "pop" out of the picture a little.


I would go a lot further with this. For example, taking some of those areas of block color and breaking them up with darker shades describing more leaf shapes. This is more important with medium color values, I think. In very dark areas and very bright areas you can get away more with areas of solid color. In the former case you're emulating the low detail you see in shadow, while in the latter you're emulating the low detail you get by being dazzled by the light I guess.

You can go as far as shading individual leaves if you have the time and the inclination. At this point you want to start telling a story with each leaf. For example, shading it darker where it's coming out of the surrounding leaves, brighter where it's angled towards the sun, and then taking notice of any shadow it may be casting over another leaf. However, I don't think your style needs things to be quite so illustrative.

Edited to add: although I haven't shown this in the edit, you can "double underline" a leaf to make it pop out even more. At this point you may want to give a little thought to the shadows that leaf may be casting though.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 12:24:58 pm by daramon »

Offline daramon

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 12:51:27 pm
A very quick comment on the barrel. You're using a horizontal gradient to create the illusion of a cylindrical body around the outside. The way the top is shaded makes it look like it has a diagonal gradient on it as well. This confuses my brain about the 3D nature of the barrel top. It is meant to be convex or concave? Or am I looking at the inside? Nothing quite fits so I find it hard to process.

Unless the light source is very close, or unless you're representing a shadow being cast on the object, giving a flat surface an even shade from edge to edge may be a little more realistic while saving you some seconds in design.

Offline Keops

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #7 on: August 05, 2019, 01:37:11 pm
Wow, that's a lot of good stuff in there for me to think about Daramon, thank you so much! I'll take note of it for sure, and when I do another polish pass, which will probably be soon, maybe even today, I'll try tweaking based on your suggestions!

Thank you so much :)
Hearthstead: Art thread - Website - Twitter

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Offline daramon

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #8 on: August 05, 2019, 02:10:41 pm
No worries. I forgot to say: I really like how you've made the leaves poke out of the edge of the tree. That kind of edge detail is really important for "selling" an image to the brain. :)

Offline Keops

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Re: [Feedback] Hearthstead - farming/town life Simulation RPG

Reply #9 on: August 05, 2019, 06:25:50 pm
New stuff: Beach tiles and some sprites (seashells, coral fragments)



I'll try to take a look at previous assets using the feedback I've gotten so far. Thanks once again everyone.
Hearthstead: Art thread - Website - Twitter

COMMISSIONS OPEN! Behance portfolio