AuthorTopic: Advice/suggestion on mech game  (Read 1976 times)

Offline matt3o

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Advice/suggestion on mech game

on: April 12, 2011, 01:22:08 pm
Hi everyone,
I've been lurking pixelation for days and I'm amazed by the quality of most of the art you guys produce. I'm an indie game developer with an idea I think worth spending my time. I have a clear idea of the game mechanics, but I have some troubles understanding the amount of time/effort needed for the visuals/graphics. I hope you are willing to give me some suggestions.

The game is browser-based, no flash, pure HTML5, so I can't use many fancy effects. The game field is seen from above, cell/sprite size should be between 32x32 and 48x48 (but I'm open to suggestions here). The locations are futuristic cities, ruined cities, industries and maybe a bit of rocks/trees (and everything the artist could think of). Mechs of course have to walk around the map on the roads, and maybe destroy some small buildings and walls. The size of the map (or better: "arena") is not huge. Each map will be a different scenario, so I think a minimum of 4 tiles sets are needed (2 cities, 1 ruins, 1 rocks/woods, ...). How many different tiles per map do you think are needed to have a nice and diversified scenario? What would be the time/money required?  ???

Also, I'll have a "hangar view" where mechs need to be shown from the front, at a higher resolution (well, at least higher size). I'd really like it in pixel-art, but I don't know if I'm just tilting at windmills and maybe a pre-rendered 3d scenario (even low-poly+pixel textures) would be just easier/faster/safer. I'd be grateful if you could give me your opinion and suggestions on this matter.

Of course when project starts, I'll need your [paid] help  ;D

Offline Geti

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Re: Advice/suggestion on mech game

Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 12:06:51 pm
It depends what style you're going for, to be honest. You could probably get away with 20-30 tiles per area (~5 flat terrain + 4 roads/paths (the various tiles can be rotated) + 10 obstructions (buildings, trees etc) with leeway for some extra "detail" tiles) if you create strong generic tiles and are planning on an overhead view.
The time required therein would be a week or three to get one area polished, and the money would likely be ~$10 a tile -> at least $800 for your still environment assets being quite modest.

If you're keen on an overhead view you can cut asset costs by rotating actor (mech, infantry, w/e) sprites in the direction they're facing, and this also makes explosions easier with particles (though if you're on a tight budget with individual sprites you'll want fewer and larger explosion particles rather than lots of small ones and procedural detail).

The hangar view is a good idea, but it depends on your target resolution (and whether you want x2 pixels inside that resolution) as to whether pixel art is entirely viable. Regardless of the resolution needed, if you just want fairly large stills that's no problem, animation is where you'll start paying through the nose at large sizes, though there might be some artists around who're keen to animate at large sizes, however in english we call such people "masochists" ;)

I'm fairly interested, fwiw.

Any figures relating to money are estimates and relate to me, others are likely to have potentially higher or lower rates, with varying quality/experience.

Offline matt3o

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Re: Advice/suggestion on mech game

Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 06:50:41 am
Thanks for your reply. We are now working on the codebase, in a couple of weeks we will be posting a job offer. We are still experimenting, we've found a nice way to build 3d cities in pure HTML5 and evaluating if this is a viable solution. In that case we would need textures more than tiles.