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Quantity over quality in a game when it comes to art - thoughts?


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#1 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:41 AM

I bought some art for my previous game and if I dare say, it looks pretty good:

 

m93gas.jpg

 

However with this next game, it requires a lot more art. Too much to "buy", because it would be expensive. Even making all the art in a high quality myself would be extremely time consuming when I am more than just an artist, I am doing jack-of-all-trades work.

 

Here is the result:

 

wkpsw8.jpg



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#2 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5780

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:22 AM

Do you want people to comment on it?



#3 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

Do you want people to comment on it?

 

Go ahead.

 

Also, in case I wasn't clear..... I made the art in the second picture.

 

You are free to comment on the pictures, or answer my "quantity over quality" dilemma question.



#4 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3679

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:01 PM

Simply put, the first screenshot looks like it comes from a game I would pay money for, the second one doesn't.

 

I think if you can't find the money/time to make your assets look acceptable in a project, you need to consider going a different route because honestly it drags the whole thing down. Two ways of doing that are by limiting yourself to existing royalty free art or cutting down the number of assets you need to a level where you can afford to buy them or polish them yourself. You could always try to find a useable easy style (ala South Park or the like). It doesn't matter so much if you're just doing this to practice, but if you're going to try to put it on the market it really matters.


-Mark the Artist

Digital Art and Technical Design
Developer Journal


#5 cherryWine   Members   -  Reputation: 120

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:30 PM

While I do not have any direct experience with selling games, from a small business perspective I would go ahead and purchase the nice assets. Although it may get ridiculously expensive, all good business starts with risk. You WILL NOT sell your game in any significant quantity with that kind of MS-Paint-looking shit on the screen. If you are looking to make money and are using that content, just go get a job at McDonald's; it will pay you more for your time. I would wager that if you have your marketing and distribution plan down and its good (even for an app you should make a full business plan) you stand a VERY good chance of earning your money back and even making a profit. When I used to actually play computer/video games I would play the ones with good art hundreds of hours past beating every single quest and just being immersed in the excellent art assets occupied my time enough for me to be contented.



#6 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2242

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:28 PM

I don't think your current approach will work. Perhaps get an artist to create something a bit kitset style, e.g. http://www.southparkstudios.com/avatar

 

Then you can create a bunch of assets based on common nice artwork.



#7 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

Thanks for the insight everyone. I know now what I must do...

 

Hold off the cow platformer I was working on (in picture 2) and further develop my space game (in picture 1).



#8 mousetail   Members   -  Reputation: 1294

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:15 AM

Though the background is really nice on the first picture, I would also get a better font and think about where to place those numbers. The stars could also be better.



#9 Mia.   Members   -  Reputation: 494

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:50 AM

There's isn't much wrong with your second screenshot. If you look at a lot of mobile games, you'll see that many of the games have a very simple art style. If you think it will take too long to make your game look better, then find someone else to make your artwork. I guarantee you the person you paid to do the first one spent some time on that. So it's not a matter of quality versus quantity; rather, it's a question of how much effort you are willing to put into your game.

 

If you can spend hours on coding, definitely spend hours on art, and hours on music, and hours on sound effects, because when someone plays your game, he or she is going to see and hear all of that stuff and not your coding (although bugs and glitches are fairly noticable). I absolutely love games with beautiful music (Legend of Zelda) and I am ashamed to say I would not play a game that does not have nice artwork.

 

Don't give up on trying to do it yourself. I can see that you're on the right track. The only thing that's preventing you from making greater art is you. Best wishes!



#10 TheSasquatch   Members   -  Reputation: 452

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:01 PM

To be honest, I don't really like the first picture. The space background is pretty, but beyond that I really can't tell what's going on in the image--that background is eating everything in front of it.

 

I'd suggest using a simplistic, highly-stylized art style--and sticking to it. You want people to think "art style" rather than "wow, lazy MSPaint graphics," and deviating from such an art style with even a single asset has a tendency to tip people's perception toward the latter, IMO. For instance, I like the rectangular cows. Combined with the rounded edges on the anthropomorphic sneaker-wearing one, the ellipse UFO, and the relatively smoothly blended ground textures, however, it's not... cohesive. If they were all rectangular or all rounded, and either all textured or all flat, I think it'd look a lot better.



#11 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1685

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:35 PM

I think everyone is a bit too obsessive over graphics where many might believe that a great game could not be made without stunning graphics. This is the main reason at the beginning of my quest I got to the root of games first, and then went to explore how video games were different. 

 

Heard of "Thomas was Alone?"

 


They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#12 riuthamus   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5780

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 10:05 AM

Not sure what your point was. those are GREAT graphics. They are not super advanced but they fit the mood and style of the game. They also are very clean and focus on shape+color choice. There is certainly a difference between complex and simple art, and both can be amazing if done correctly.



#13 the_cheetah   Members   -  Reputation: 154

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:47 AM

wkpsw8.jpg

 

 

This could be made to look significantly better with a little effort. Mostly by using stronger black outlines on the characters (such as in comics), not using plain white for the characters' bodies (some simple shading would go a long way), and most of all not using those green criscrossing lines in the background.

 

Use flat colours for the earth, sky and grass instead of low-res textures, make the blades of grass different heights and thicknesses, make the yellow lightbeam transparent, add blob shadows to characters, and redesign the UFO which is the shittiest looking thing in the image.

 

Also develop a 16 colour palette for the game and stick to it. The yellow and the blue are really clashing here.

 

I like the cow image a LOT better than the stars one, because the cow idea is less generic. In short, the cow game would probably be better, but might require some basic art practice on your part. Just study how comics are outlined and shaded, use some transparency, don't use plain white, and use a well defined palette instead of random colours.

 

Edit; also try working on the proportions of things (cows shouldn't be bigger than UFOs, characters shouldn't be half the screen height in a sidescroller (which this looks like). And try to avoid 90 degree angles on anything except maybe buildings.


Edited by the_cheetah, 31 May 2014 - 09:53 AM.


#14 latch   Members   -  Reputation: 762

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:54 PM

I don't care what it looks like. I just want see a game you have completed, Shane C.

 

After the engine, gameplay, levels etc are made, visual assets can be changed easily.

 

If when the game is playable and you don't get good feedback for your images, just call them placeholders during the testing process and replace them later.

 

Then you can focus on if the game is fun

 

...which is what really matters.



#15 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

I don't care what it looks like. I just want see a game you have completed, Shane C.

 

Technically you can. That outer space game, I have posted working copies of in the Announcements forum and my journal awhile back. I can even PM you the link if you like,



#16 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10626

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:48 AM

You should always deliver quality.

Sure, for now, you could just work from placeholder, but ultimately, you need to have a plan to deliver quality.

I've axed a few of my personal projects solely because they were unsustainable in terms of content over the long run. Forced me to reconsider scope.



#17 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2949

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:33 AM


I think everyone is a bit too obsessive over graphics where many might believe that a great game could not be made without stunning graphics. This is the main reason at the beginning of my quest I got to the root of games first, and then went to explore how video games were different. 
 
Heard of "Thomas was Alone?"

 

Simple graphics and Crappy graphics is not the same thing.

Thomas was alone is well thought through and was obviously designed by someone with a good sense for color and composition, and is far from "programmers graphics".

Designing such a game is not necessarily easier to get to look good, if you do it badly it will just look like you forgot to add graphics and noone will even understand what is happening on the screen.



#18 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1685

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:25 PM

Good point Olof. I guess what I meant is that the op doesn't have to be able to draw well, to make a good game. Though graphics are what most initially judge a game by these days.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.





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