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Vector vs. Raster

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Trapper Zoid

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This project of mine is now officially classified as a Herculean task, as for every page I write in my design document it seems that I have to write two more. I suppose this is still all going to plan; for now I'm writing down whatever elements I would want to include in my "dream" version of the game, and next week I'll have to put on my editing cap and prune this thing down into something achievable. Then it's a simple matter of lopping off each head, dipping my arrows in the posionous blood before searing the bloody stump with fire, and burying the last immortal head under... no wait, I'm getting confused, I mean writing the code architecture plan. I suppose there are some similarites.


I'm also considering the artsy side of things too. I'm narrowing down the basics of the character design to something I like. However the question I've been pondering recently is whether I should go for a hand-drawn look from a raster based art program (i.e. GIMP), or the more "smooth" look from a vector art program (Inkscape).

All of the concept art listed below is the raster hand-drawn variety; it's reasonably quick to draw, but suffers a bit from slightly wobbly lines and is a pain to edit mistakes.



Here's a vector image I drew with Inkscape last year. It's a bit rough due to my unfamiliarity with the program, and is a bit different from the style I'll be aiming for, but is close enough for comparison purposes. Vector graphics are smoother and curvier (it's a lot easier distorted circles!), and I don't have to worry about scale issues with the raw images. Fixing mistakes is easier too for those times when I just can't seem to draw a line the right way; all you need to do is move a few notes. I guess it will also be easier to do small changes for animation with the vector approach too.

The downsides are that I'm still not that proficient in vector graphics with Inkscape (although this can be fixed with practice), and I'm not that sure quick the whole process will be compared to the raster approach (although this year now my computer is a bit more powerful I hope performance issues won't as big a problem).

I guess I need to try drawing a few detailed vector based images to experiment with the process, so I'll get something done over the weekend.

Any opinions?
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She somewhat resembles an ex-girlfriend's self-portrait.

Other than that, I don't really care much either way for vectorized graphics. Haven't really seen a game done really well with them, yours will probably be the first :)

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Inkscape.

I'd give it a quick whirl to see how you like it. While it takes a while to get the hang of it, it's not too hard if you go through the tutorials. And unlike The GIMP, it's interface doesn't come direct from third circle of GUI Hell. However I still haven't got the hang of the keyboard shortcuts.

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Other than that, I don't really care much either way for vectorized graphics. Haven't really seen a game done really well with them, yours will probably be the first :)

What about all those dinky Flash games? Do they count? [grin]

Actually, the game will probably end up a hybrid of the two approaches. I'm really just hunting for the best tools for the job, given my limited drawing abilities and the fact that I'm not that prepared to spend many hundreds of dollars on art software.

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