AuthorTopic: Guiding Spirit - top down god game - looking for art style critique  (Read 1794 times)

Offline DarkoJelica

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Hi all!

I'm working on a god game called Guiding Spirit, set in the paleolithic. The distinguishing feature from most god games is that rather than being in charge of a settlement, you're guiding a tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers across a large overworld map, only temporarily settling to exploit resources in a local area. As your people exploit the resources they incur wrath of local nature spirits, who retaliate by sending diseases, dangerous animals, bad weather etc. The player's job is to protect the tribe from these spirits by appeasing them with sacrifices, moving the tribe before the spirits' wrath gets too severe, or manifesting an avatar and engaging hostile spirits in direct combat. Defeating spirits in combat unlocks new technologies for the tribe, and the victory condition is unlocking enough technologies to reach neolithic (ie farming).

The game is still in early development and much of the core mechanics have yet to be implemented, so I can't really estimate when it's going to be released. The point of this thread isn't so much promotion as it is getting feedback on the art, ie does it actually look good and how can I improve it. As a beginner artist I'm not expecting to drive sales based on the game's art, but I'd like to avoid losing sales due to bad art.

My primary concern with selecting top down style was having a fairly quick art pipeline. This perspective lets me just rotate the sprites in engine rather than having to draw multiple facings for each animation. Rotating does mean I can't have too much detail, though, or it will get all smushed, and I always have to keep the light source directly above or lighting will look inconsistent when there's multiple sprites facing different directions. I don't have shaders in my engine, but even if I did it's my understanding that creating sprites that can be lit dynamically is lots of work, to the point where I might as well have went with 3D. Or are there any fairly fast tricks for lighting sprites that I'm not aware of?

Anyway, I've created my own palettes so my game has it's own feel. I'm using the more saturated one for objects and the less saturated for terrain, to make objects stand out more. However, this precludes having grays so I'm forced to use blues instead with varying degree of success. At the same time, my palettes seem a bit too big at 54 colors each (I've generated them using uniform H/S/V deltas between rows and columns). How can I reduce my palettes while preserving the overall "temperature" of my game and having enough colors for a variety of nature scenes in all four seasons? And should I use a third palette for the spirits to clearly distinguish them from physical objects? Here's my palettes:

And here's some screenshots showcasing overall looks:

Assorted game objects in neutral pose and rotation:

Selection icons for objects:

And finally sample animations:

I'd appreciate any critique and tips on the game art, UI and color palette. Also, do you think staying with low frames animations is a valid stylistic choice, or do I need to bite the bullet and draw inbetween frames?

Thank you for your feedback :)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 03:01:11 am by DarkoJelica »