AuthorTopic: RPG Template  (Read 12490 times)

Offline Atnas

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RPG Template

on: March 05, 2008, 10:20:24 pm


---------------------


I've been working on a template for a tactical game. I was expecting something isometric when I got the rundown of the game, but apparently it's supposed to be from the traditional birds eye view. I'm alright with that.


HAHA THESE GUYS ARE SO HORRIBLE LOOKING
> >

I'm using 16 colors including the background. I'm a bit worried that consistency is going to be hard when there are this many shades, some of them only used in a few places, but that's the least of my problems. Some of it is poorly shaded, mainly because at this stage it's just there to get the shape right. Can anyone help me with the legs? I've gone through maybe six different sets.

Again, I'm looking for shaping critique at the moment, I just seem to work better with a lot of colors on my palette (It's more like painting), it'll be reduced to a smaller palette once the shape is right.

Any other flaws you could point out would be great. :)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 08:36:00 pm by Atnas »

Offline Fingerfoods

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 10:30:48 pm
No chin.  :-\

Also, the outline's consistency should fluctuate with your shading. Make it bolder in those dark places like the neck and groin.

He'd be more interesting with clothes, I'm sure, and your skin tone could probably use some yellow tints or something to make it more interesting.
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Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #2 on: March 08, 2008, 04:40:24 pm
He can't really have a chin with the angle and style of the face.

is it ready for palette optimization?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 04:42:44 pm by Atnas »

Offline Aiko

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 04:46:50 pm
He looks made of rubber to me. Like one of those Stretch Armstrong things. I'm not sure exactly why but I think it's to do with the arms...

Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 10:54:13 pm
Rubber?  :) Elaborate!

I trimmed it down by about 10 colors, can you guys give me advice on color choice?

>

I spent an hour trying out colors and then tried to sprite with the limited palette, but some parts just look wrong. Is it because I'm using the same color for the lightest outline to shade with on the inside? And those arms look wonky as well. (why does he look like he's leaning right? Is it because I didn't shade the outline correctly and it's lending more weight to the one side?)
:-[ I'll learn.

Offline tocky

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 02:57:14 am
okay... I made an edit like this one a few days ago, but I didn't post it because I wasn't sure it showed what I meant it to. I was hoping somebody else'd say the things I meant to say,  I guess.

Anyway, here are the points I'm trying to get at:

Mostly, I think you need harder shading. I've taken it to kind of a ridiculous extreme in my example, but you definitely need to break up the different planes of his body. Use a darker shade for the abdomen and legs where you can. Mix up your pallete some more. It needs more contrast, basically.

The view is wierd. His body is basically straight-on. The only real deference you've got to the bird's-eye angle is the way you've drawn the head, but because the shading is so slight, it mostly makes it look like the proportions of the face are off, kind of DBZ style. I'm not entirely sure if I'm describing the view you want - but it seems like it'd be hard to do a tactical game in two dimensions without having the camera above the playfield. Or below it, I guess. So to get the view right, you need to mess with the body proportions more. I thing you need to show less neck, and the arms and legs should be shorter. It's hard to do this without making him look like a dwarf, though.

EDIT: I keep nibbling at this thing. The problem with making musclebabies is that they probably don't need this much work - any time you spend making a template, you need to spend probably just as much time customising it into each character, trying to make them look different. Anyway, I like to mess with stuff. This edit is less made-out-of clay and the colors are closer to something useful:
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 05:38:24 pm by tocky »

Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 12:27:54 am
How's this? I think it's nice and generic, perfect as a starting point for people with different body types.

Offline brod

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 12:31:30 am
The second one is much better.  :)

Try to change the feet though, it kinda looks like it's standing tippy-toed.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:46:15 am by brod »

Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 11:48:03 am
Does this help?



I can kind of see what you're talking about, but not entirely. It's because I've spent a lot of time staring at this that it's become too familiar. ::)

The programmer happens to like a more realistic look, and also wants more colors. I don't agree though, because it's easier to actually finish a game using less colors globally with a simpler style. He also wants me to add highlights, but skin just doesn't shine unless you're sweaty or greasy.  :-\ Conflict!

I'll do a character on it soon.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 04:03:20 pm by Atnas »

Offline brod

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 05:05:06 pm
The sprite seems fine to me.. the only place that might need highlight is the top of the head, but that won't be needed since it's most likely going to have hair..

I just think the feet should stretch out a bit more, and a bit more of the toe should be shown. BTW, why is there a line going through his pelvis?

Here's a quick edit


See, with the style your going for, and judging by the amount of the skull I can see, it'd make more sense if you could see some of his toes. But yours looks like you're looking at the very top of his foot, and that gives the idea that he's standing on his toes.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 05:09:57 pm by brod »

Offline Joseph

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 05:58:39 pm
.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 09:24:47 pm by Joseph »

Offline 8bitty

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #11 on: May 19, 2008, 07:25:47 pm
nonono joseph! you've a) ruined the perspective b) taken away it's character

Atnas, that last base is great. no crits.

Offline Joseph

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #12 on: May 19, 2008, 07:31:04 pm
I thought maybe making him taller would ruin the perspective, but I figured it was either making him taller and a bit more normal in my eyes, or  finding a way to pull his legs closer without breaking his pelvis.  in his, he just looks like a short guy looking down.

taking away the character?  I'm assuming you mean the next highlight.  it's just to point out the highlights on his body, I'm not trying to redesign his character.

Offline Ian

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #13 on: May 19, 2008, 09:38:13 pm
I'm very confused about the progression of this piece.  Before planning a perspective perhaps decide what kind of style your tiles are going to have.  Your original perspective could definitely operate in a world constructed similarly.  I personally prefer the earlier versions over the newer ones.  And I think Joseph's edit is stronger than the current version which utterly lacks highlights (one crit on his edit tho: there's too much highlighting on the legs as in most lighting situations most of the light would come from the sky (ie the sun) and the top of the body would be much better lit then the legs).  I suppose I'm just dropping in to add a dissenting voice that says I just don't like the direction this piece is going in. But, since these are largely stylistic choices it is up to you to make the final call, so if you truly prefer the new, go for it.  Don't feel the need to adjust to everyone's edits. If they compromise your vision feel free to not follow them.

Offline Fingerfoods

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 12:18:00 pm
The current piece is better than Joseph's boob warrior (sorry, that's just what he looks like in your edit :P ) - skin highlights need to be very light so that the character doesn't look wet or greased up and I think you'll find that most pixel artists define skin by shadow. Also, a head-on perspective can work, definitely, but it's less dynamic. Stylistically I like Atnas's current sprite more, I say keep it, it's much better than the old ones.
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Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 09:14:02 pm

It looks fine against the green background, but isn't faring all too well against the gray(oops, the gray background in the preview was more blue - looks fine now). I've noticed this on a lot of sprites, how do I fix it?  :-[ I'm trying to think of things, the two I can come up with are to make a solid dark outline, or adjust the saturation of the lighter parts of the outline. Is the second one how it's supposed to be handled.

EDIT: This is what I meant.

Of course, I'm not the one writing the story for this game, so I don't know if there's a slate background planned out or not, but it's always good to have your bases covered.

I added a buffer shade mainly to darken the legs without being ridiculous. Good move?

----

Brod: I'm not feeling that foot edit. Having the feet angled apart allows for a more sturdy look and is somewhat beneficial to the perspective, so I feel compelled to show the heel.

Joseph: I'm veering away from how realistic I was making it before, for simplicity's sake and in hopes of a more catchy visual style. The template's legs are short for perspective, so probably if they're too short, then for dramatized perspective. I don't believe in highlighting skin. Whenever I see it in pixel art or even in cartoons (for some reason a lot of anime, when it's movie time, decide to add a snazzy highlight layer to all the characters) I want to look away. I don't see skin being highlighted at all in real life, rather I see a higher contrast between the base tone and the shadow when someone is in harsh sunlight. Skin isn't very reflective. Of course, it's relative to the range of color you allow to be each singular "tone". I'm thinking in terms of cel-shading, so that may be my own blindness.

8bitty: Thanks.  ;D

Ian: Same thing as to Joseph in that highlights are... Wrong. Thanks for the advice, however.  :y:

Rave: Thanks. My (very) first template for this, which I don't have uploaded, was completely straight on and looked like something Hogarth would have drawn. It also used something like 14 shades and was completely smooth. Basically it was a painting of a godlike figure. I thought it would be better to have something more stylized and dynamic, as you put it, so thanks.  :)

Great to hear peoples' opinions on this.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 09:25:35 pm by Atnas »

Offline tocky

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 02:51:20 am
It works better against the green, because red and green are complimentary, you get contrast because they are more or less the negative versions of one another. If your game's backgrounds are gonna tend to be blue-gray, you might want to shift your skintone to be more orange than red. Get some background from your writer on what the game's tone will need.

First->second  fixes pixel-placement problems with the outline, ->third is just colours.

Offline big brother

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 06:06:15 pm
It never ceases to surprise me how many posts are dedicated to RPG templates. Independently, they usually look like baby mice!

Definitely regard Tocky's post. The volumetrics will help render any character in this scale convincingly. Subtle shading on the template itself will not.

Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #18 on: May 21, 2008, 07:45:47 pm
There's also a strange line defining the pelvic bone or something. It's distracting and not very realistic.

Well hopefully there aren't any nude characters. The line is to help me with the curve of the body when I sprite outfits, and it also helps the perspective - the bottom half of it looks entirely wrong without it.

big brother: While I don't necessarily like the idea of a template to begin with, as it usually adds otherwise unnecessary work, the majority of the people on the team happen to come from an RPG Maker background and are used to having templates for a game, regardless of their need. It's a step they feel is important. The benefits are kind of a downside, as although it will make it easier, the characters will also have a tendency to look like one another, although I'll try my damnedest to make them all unique.

Thanks for the post, tocky, I'll try to fix it, and if it turns out there will be blue backgrounds, I'll definitely do a more drastic color change.

Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #19 on: June 12, 2008, 08:34:34 pm

Not much changed, I did it back in May and I liked it, so that's done with I hope. Shading is really weak but I tweak it for skin colors, and the palette for the game is pretty bright. Template is more for proportion rather than form. Kind of like a poseable manikin whatchamacallit I always wanted when I was a littler kid. Gets the proportions down but it's up to you to fill in the details.  :)


Here's a sprite I did just yesterday, not an original character because I figured I'd rather try and go from an image to a sprite and see how many details I could fit in without having to take the time to design one up first. Managed to get them all in. Two purples can be consolidated that I know of, but I'm a newbie with colors so I have a hard time picking a nice in-between.

Probably most of the colors can be fused. Oh well.  :lol:

Eyes look at the camera rather than in perspective because I was playing Minish Cap and I kind of liked how the characters were looking up at the screen instead of at what they were doing. It was either a mistake or a nice touch. Either way. :]

I'm reminded of Pokemon by this, I think it's the simplification and eyes.

I see something off in the example that I hadn't noticed before, but I'll wait for you guys to see if it's obvious.

doo doo doo~

(whatchamacallit is in the spell-check dictionary but poseable is not ._.)

Offline ndchristie

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #20 on: June 12, 2008, 11:17:34 pm
not a great edit, but i think smooth and cute will serve you better:



you don't have to go all really simple like that, but at least look where i got rid of junk.  your guy's entire midsection is useless noise atm, and the jacket is choppy too.

btw, what is the characer?  it's like halfway between dragon quarter ryu and god knows what else.
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Offline Atnas

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #21 on: June 13, 2008, 01:07:30 am
Thanks Adarias. Shoulda posted the ref. XD



He's a child, so I shrunk him, and his jacket is kind of bunchy so there's my excuse for jacket noise.

Middle was attempt at the wrap.

I'll try to polish it up a bit for practice, though I don't necessarily like things too smooth.  :)

Offline ndchristie

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #22 on: June 13, 2008, 03:05:40 pm
well smooth and textured are a matter of preference, but readable and not are less-so (in an rts or something you can sacrifice readability to a point...altough even then weapons and color should be obvs...)

Anyway, you don't have to make the character supersmooth, but i feel that some steps towards clearing up the character should be taken, and this includes ramps that have straighter values, fewer"spike" pixels (the ones that leave a form creating a jagged shape or worse noise), and a simplificiation of the waist-region.

Quote
his jacket is kind of bunchy so there's my excuse for jacket noise.

not really, you have have bunchy clothes and still keep it smooth and readable :).

good luck with this!


sorry for being off topic for a moment....



that's ryu from dragon quarter several years ago.  my only question is, why would the same crappy design come up more than once? >.<
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Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: RPG Template

Reply #23 on: June 14, 2008, 12:55:13 am
SIMON!! Not bad at all. :D

Just a liiiittle noisy in the jacket (esp his right sleeve) and the stomach wrap needs to be cleaned up. Also, he's missing his ankle wraps.... I think you could include those without making it too messy....

I might do an edit later, mainly because I love Gurren Laggan. :P


PS: (OT) IMO, Ryu is ugly and Simon looks way different.... >_>
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 12:57:03 am by tehwexxl0rz »