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Learning to draw, pixel by pixel

Posted by Aurioch, in Battle City development 13 June 2013 · 663 views


Some time has passed from last update. Semester end is coming close and with it summer vacation, valuable time for learning anything programming-related and... Exams. Lots of exams. Oh how I don't want to study from faculty materials, I'd rather invest time on working on projects or study from real life examples where I can learn much faster and more efficient. Sadly, math and physics aren't courses which I can learn that way. At least I had good math professor and managed to pick up most from him; physics was bad so I need to learn by myself.

As far as development goes, AI is in satisfying condition so I left it for now in current state. Most problems have been fixed, there are some issues here and there, but it's playable. With that out of the way, I've turned to the next tasks:
  • Options screen - mostly complete; pure text, serves purpose
  • Powerup system
  • Graphical update
I finally came to the powerups. This is where I can become creative and make major distinction between my clone and the original game. Apart from some powerups which are standard and thus picked up from the original, I can create some of my own as long as I know how to implement it. In preparation for implementation, I have to modify existing code in order to provide better interaction between objects. Hopefully, experience will be satisfying.
There will be two major differences in powerup system between original and clone. One, powerups will be delivered "from the air" instead of appearing after destruction of certain enemy. Two, powerups won't disappear after lying for some time without collecting - after some time from appearance of an powerup, enemy tanks will be able to pick it up as well. Because of that, some powerups will have to have different effects depending on who picks it up. I can't wait to see how will this end up.

Here's a list of the 12 powerups I plan to implement for start.
Powerup list

Now, back to the title. In order to get better assets, I've started to practice artistic skills. Because of its (relative) simplicity, I started with pixel art. Result can be seen on the picture above (I hope - resizing small sprite often brings catastrophe), with powerup icons, new brick wall and new tank. Any feedback would be appreciated.
By using pixel art and vivid colors, I plan to give the game a retro feel suited to the NES and Sega Genesis/Megadrive games.

Special shoutout and thanks to riuthamus for spending his own valuable time in order to help me with art - new tank is mostly his work, I just finished shading it. Without him, I would still be stuck with art skill on absolute zero; thanks to his help, I can produce something at least decent and continue learning from that. It's much harder than coding... time to make pencil, paper and eraser my best friends, huh?

Thanks for reading

Thanks for the shout out. I love helping people and watching them grow. I think you picked up the basics pretty fast and in no time you will be making pixel art like a pro. Shadows and highlights are the key and you got that down! Now its just about style and what looks best to your eye.

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