AuthorTopic: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory  (Read 1838 times)

Offline Illio

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(WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

on: April 28, 2020, 07:47:20 am
Hi everyone! I have this RPG inventory, which I have been working on for 3 days now. It is not for a game, just for practice. I want to get some critique on it and ask you for suggestions about how it can be improved. And I would like to know whether it is clear what is what here intuitively, without any description? Thank you in advance!

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 11:20:17 am
I think if clarity is what you're going for you've nailed it.

There is one nitpick thing I would change if it were a real game screen though. I would be to just equip the items directly to the item slots on the bottom left. As far as I can tell there's no reason to have them in the rest of the inventory. I say this because you can already see them at the bottom left, so the screen space is already taken and I feel like it ruins the idea of the inventory slot being laid out in the order you would equip them on your body.

 Another addition I might make would be to maybe have a silhouette of a body behind the inventory just to make it clear what goes where when nothing is equipped.

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 12:23:41 pm
Thank you! I will fix it.

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #3 on: April 29, 2020, 07:37:21 am
Here are some changes I have applied to the inventory. I tried to do a silhouette, but it didn't end up looking well. So I decided just to go with simple names of body parts. This way, I believe, it must be clear what goes where. Also, just now I realised that I forgot to add some sort of currency into the picture. I would like to hear you think. And thank you, again!



« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 08:49:03 am by Illio »

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #4 on: April 29, 2020, 03:24:19 pm
Looks really nice. I like the new cape item you've added too. Those arrows just make me wanna click and see whats on the next screen haha.

Offline eishiya

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 03:54:59 pm
I think it would be worth putting the work in to make a character visible in the equipment area. Even with labels, it doesn't read very well, and it would be a nightmare to fit text in if you ever decided to localise this game. Perhaps rather than a solid silhouette, a line drawing or even something more fully rendered could work? I think that could look nice if the inventory slots have a transparent background until they're filled. Perhaps rearranging that part of the screen could still help. For example, why are the rings below the legs rather than near the hands, why is the belt below the legs and now between the chest and legs? If you're going to go for a physical arrangement like this, I see no reason to keep the more accessory-like slots separate from the main slots.
Don't be afraid to arrange the equip slots in something other than a perfect grid, too!

The heavily patterned look you've got going on is interesting! Quite unusual, but still quite readable. I'd be interested to see what environments would look like in this style.
Unfortunately, although it fits the style, the menu text at the top is difficult to read because of all those little flourishes. If you want flourishes, I think bolder letters would be necessary to keep them from overwhelming the basic shapes of the letters.

Offline Mathias

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 05:43:57 pm
Cool man. You got a lot of work done here. Interesting practice project. A commendable effort for sure.

Just one comment, and it pertains to your pixeling style in general, really - I just think it looks incredibly noisy and over-detailed. Soooo many high-contrast tiny 1 pixel details everywhere.

While I dig the rich decorative nature of your design, the noisy tiny details everywhere seem to want to speak louder than the items and icons, in my opinion.

I play Diablo III and do love the visually rich ui style. Seems like all ARPG's these days are maintaining a highly graphical decorative ui/hud style and they tend to look great, but they're designed in a way that the graphical style adds to the experience without hurting usability (hopefully . . .).


^  Notice how the items and abilities, the important elements, have the most visual priority by being brighter and more saturated than the surrounding menu graphics/decoration.

I'm not suggesting a massive revision pass to this project, overhauling the entire thing. I'm sure you've already learned a ton, and this isn't for a game anyway.

I know you're a beginner. You're doing great so far.

---

I think eishiya made a good point about the player gear icons not needing to be in a grid.

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #7 on: April 30, 2020, 10:03:42 am
Here's a quick update. I am working on a character silhouette right now and I want to get some critique on the anatomy. I am planning to add some armor after I get the anatomy right.

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #8 on: April 30, 2020, 11:26:44 am
I think you're off to a good start, the proportions just need a little bit of tweaking.

I think a good first step is to ditch the lines, start with a silhouette, it's much easier to see issues, and fix them in a silhouette. You can just sculpt away and add freely without worrying about messing up your other lines.



The second thing I want to mention is a little tip for drawing organic forms. Organic things, especially things with muscles and joints, usually follow a certain flowy pattern.
I often find that a good guide is to think of it as a curvy line, where each curve gets a little tighter towards the end, usually in a pattern of BIG Medium small. I've drawn the curves that I think of in the last frame of the gif.
The yellow curve is my way of getting the height proportions down, first curve is the head, always a good spot to start. So the head is the small, the chest is the Medium, and the legs follow suit and become the BIG. 



On the arms and legs you'll notice I've drawn 2 curves, when overlapped youll see theyre sort of off from one another. The flow of muscles follows this curve where it's sort of a balancing between inside and outside curves. For me, it's best to think of them in pairs of high and low curves. The green lines I've drawn represent the low curves, and the red the highs. If you look for example at the thigh, you'll see that the outside curve is way higher than the inside curve. Then as we go down to the knee it switches, so the inside knee is (it's not actually the knee it's a continuation of the quadriceps called the vastus medialis and the vastus lateralis), then switches again at the calf where the outside is once again higher.


Anatomy is definitely tricky. The way I draw bodies is a little bit of personal preference so don't take my example as gospel. The best example you can get though is a real human so feel free to pose and take pictures of yourself (there's also great websites with models for free, but often to get the pose you want it's best to take it yourself).

Edit: I should also mention that this applies to (I think) all body types/body sizes/genders.

« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 11:32:21 am by TPoe »

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #9 on: April 30, 2020, 11:51:26 am
Just wow! You, people, are so great and helpful professionals. And I can't even describe how thankful I am for you sacrificing your own time and effort to make others' pictures better. I know that my works are far from perfect, but you make them closer. Thank you!

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #10 on: April 30, 2020, 02:07:24 pm
Okay, my second try on the silhouette. I think it looks better, but I feel like something is missing or wrong, and I don't know what. I think it has something to do with legs, right?

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #11 on: April 30, 2020, 04:29:14 pm
Tbh this place feels pretty dead. When I was a kid I remember coming to this board and being blown away by the great artists helping people out. I never posted anything cause I was too nervous about how bad I was to even ask for critique. Since then I've learned a lot so every once in a while I'll come around here and make some critiques cause I know how important it is for people who are really trying to learn.

Anyway enough of that rant! Your silhouette improved a lot. I do think there is a little bit of an issue with the shape of the legs, but I think it stems mostly from the position of the hips. They're a tad too high, which you made up for my extending the thighs. After lowering the hips I noticed the arms were a little short again so I lengthened them a bit. I like to imagine the character wearing pants, and then think "can their hands sit comfortably in their pockets?" If not, the arms are the wrong length haha.



Here I show my editing process. The first thing I did was take a line straight out the middle, I don't know why but I always like my characters to be an odd pixel width, personal preference. That step is totally unnecessary. Second I show the parts I added, and then the parts that I ended up shaving off.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 04:33:06 pm by TPoe »

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 05:51:40 am
I added some armor to the silhouette and I think it looks okay. One thing that bothers me is the color: should I leave it as it is, or would it be better to highlight every part of the equipment with distinct color?

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 06:58:11 am
Looks really good, the armor is nice and clear. I think the feet area could use some bulking up because it looks like it's barefoot.

You can try out all the different colors you want but you first need figure out where it's going to go in your mockup, and use that background color as the background for your workspace. It will always look totally different if you work on a plain white background.

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 07:51:37 am
If this is what you mean, I think it fits very good, actually.



« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 11:59:35 am by Illio »

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #15 on: May 04, 2020, 06:40:38 am
Okay, so here's the update:

- corrected the font, so it is more readable now;
- added the silhouette and the grid for wearing armor.

It looks better now I think. But maybe there aren't enough items in the inventory? What else can I improve?

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #16 on: May 04, 2020, 09:38:06 am
IMO you're making your arms consistently too short. I'm really not an expert in anatomy, but I believe the hands should dangle a little below the crotch, not level or above.

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #17 on: May 04, 2020, 09:40:29 am
Also, TPoe, I have to say, your comment on anatomy is a really interesting way of looking at it. When I get round to properly studying that side of art I'm definitely going to come back and reference it. Thank you.

Offline eishiya

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #18 on: May 04, 2020, 11:53:36 am
It looks better now I think. But maybe there aren't enough items in the inventory? What else can I improve?

As I suggested in your other thread, don't just keep the items in a grid, move them off the grid to fit the body shape, so that players can more easily associate the items with the body parts.

Also, are you sure you want separate pauldron items? Having too many equip slots get really confusing.

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #19 on: May 04, 2020, 12:16:56 pm
IMO you're making your arms consistently too short. I'm really not an expert in anatomy, but I believe the hands should dangle a little below the crotch, not level or above.

Exactly, but take into account that the character wears pants of some sort. So I think it makes the difference. But thanks for your point!

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #20 on: May 04, 2020, 12:29:38 pm
It looks better now I think. But maybe there aren't enough items in the inventory? What else can I improve?

As I suggested in your other thread, don't just keep the items in a grid, move them off the grid to fit the body shape, so that players can more easily associate the items with the body parts.

Also, are you sure you want separate pauldron items? Having too many equip slots get really confusing.

Here's what it looks like without a grid. I also think that it looks much better without a grid, but I just don't know how to organize the items properly to the point, where it becomes intuitive.

Offline eishiya

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #21 on: May 04, 2020, 12:57:37 pm
I meant you should move the boxes around, not that you should remove them (the boxes are helpful to show where items can be).

Offline TPoe

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #22 on: May 04, 2020, 01:25:14 pm
Here's an image to illustrate what eishiya means

Image

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #23 on: May 04, 2020, 01:44:02 pm
Okay, so I tried to free myself from this "all-in-one-place" thinking, and here's what I got:



By the way, thank you all for helping me out. I hope that I don't make you tired.

Offline Mathias

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #24 on: May 05, 2020, 01:58:41 am
A recommendation to help you get the most of your pixel art practice - focus on your pixel art techniques instead of agonizing over a menu layout for a fictitious game.
When you're done with this project what'll matter is how much your pixeling improved; this inventory screen won't get used.

Been pixelin' a while, it was a weird mind switch I had to kind of do to understand graphics on the pixel level. Took me a while. So I get it.
Following up on my previous bit about noisy pixeling, here's an edit -

be sure to click to zoom in
This applies to pretty much your whole thing, but focusing only on just your arrow element, I feel it's trying to do too much, too much detail leading you to create noisy non-descript texturing, and the AA borders on blur.
I gave it a shot real quick; tried to fix the overdone inconsistent AA, tossed on a highlight so the shape pops and implies a gold material.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 03:22:58 am by Mathias »

Offline Illio

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Re: (WIP) Check out this RPG Inventory

Reply #25 on: May 05, 2020, 08:50:34 pm
Thank you for the advice! I hope this looks a little bit better.