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graji

hand drawn background sizes?

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i am about a month or so into working on the art for my first game. my brother is going to school for programming so i told him i would do the sprites and backgrounds for a 2d game. i am comfortable building characters and sprites, but i am trying to hand draw the backgrounds and i am unsure of the size they should be. i know i can resize them once they are in the computer, but what ratio should the length and width be? i am using photoshop elements and i have been starting with a blank canvas sized in pixels 1280 x 800 (i chose this because when i went to my system preferences under display it was the largest resolution i could pick) and then making pieces i scan in fit to that. i am quite unfamiliar with the computer end of art and i don't want to put a lot of work in and find that i need to redo it all because of something like this. thanks.

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It depends on the game design and the dimensions of the visible area, as well as whether the viewport scrolls (meaning only a portion of the overall background may be visible at any one time, and the background may be tiled or loaded in segments) and zooms. My recommendation is to aim for a 1-pixel-to-1-game-screen-logical-unit at maximum supported resolution. If your brother's game supports, say, 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768, and four levels of zoom with the default being the third highest (ie, 400%, 200% 100%, 50%), create your art at 4096x3072 (1024x768 @ 400%) and leave issues of loading, scaling and magnification to the software developer(s).

This is only a rule of thumb, though. If you know that the 400% magnification will be used less than, say, 5% of the time, then you may want to create your default at 200% so it looks smooth at 100% but the pixelation at 400% is an acceptable compromise for reduced file size.

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wow, thanks. i definitely have more questions now, or at least more information that might help clarify my questions. i should say that neither of us have made a game before and i would be getting involved with the developing (in addition to the writing and animating) of it as much as he would or anyone else for that matter.

i think the game design will be a story-based puzzle/riddle adventure game. i don't know all of the aspects of the gameplay yet, but i imagine the backbone will be along the lines of the old lucas arts titles (monkey island or sam and max for example) involving a click move system, tiled backgrounds loaded as individual segments (as opposed to a constant scrolling background right?), and no deaths or straight combat.

as far as visible area is concerned, i am assuming you are referring to whether the game has a toolbar (or other static portion that remains constant while the game occupies the rest of the screen) or full screen. i am leaning towards full screen with an intuitive means of interactive with objects and characters.

basically, i am developing this game as i make it. a bit like how i understand a writer deals with a novel. i have characters and settings i am making while i write the story along the way. i am looking to place the main character in the initial scenes i have made and walk him around while i brainstorm the direction and refine the gameplay. introducing characters and adding interactions with them and following it to an eventual conclusion. i am also not sure this is reasonable, but i am willing to try.

could you explain a bit about zoom, loading, scaling, and magnification in regards to what i have laid out above, or refer me to some reading material that would clarify these issues?

this seems like an incredible resource and i am excited about finding it. so thanks again.


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