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seanthyman

Aesthetics... A pain in the butt.

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Hey folks.
Im new here but i have to bring this question up because its been bothering me recently... but first a little background.
I recently started working on a platformer that is supposed to have mildly attractive, cheerful graphics.
I am reasonably fine in the realm of sprite drawing, but when it comes to backgrounds i just cant seem to get it together.
As a person who's skills lie mainly in programming, should I :
1. abandon the idea of this being a one-man job?
2. lower my standards?
3. take the time to painstakingly learn how to be a mildly decent landscape/background artist?
4. Persevere and hope for the best?

[img]http://s13.postimage.org/80w7u6qat/example.png[/img]

Here's an example of my art. Pay attention to the grass, that's about as good as my current skill gets me. The tree is a placeholder secondary layer background so pay no attention to that. Additionally, grass detail tapers off at the right side of the screen due to me not detailing that area yet.

All suggestions are appreciated!

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I can’t see your image. Am I the only one?

This is difficult to answer but you can use this same forum to form a duo. If there is a good commercial opportunity you can hire someone. You already do an investment of time (something that not always you will have) so maybe if time to do an investment of money.

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[quote name='jischneider' timestamp='1335621403' post='4935584']
I can’t see your image. Am I the only one?

This is difficult to answer but you can use this same forum to form a duo. If there is a good commercial opportunity you can hire someone. You already do an investment of time (something that not always you will have) so maybe if time to do an investment of money.
[/quote]

The image doesn't appear for me on my mobile device but if you use a desktop it should show. Being still in high school, i dont have the funds to hire a serious artist. I would need someone willing to work for credit/free... which is nearly impossible.

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[quote name='Sean Raia' timestamp='1335627228' post='4935601']
[quote name='jischneider' timestamp='1335621403' post='4935584']
I can’t see your image. Am I the only one?

This is difficult to answer but you can use this same forum to form a duo. If there is a good commercial opportunity you can hire someone. You already do an investment of time (something that not always you will have) so maybe if time to do an investment of money.
[/quote]

The image doesn't appear for me on my mobile device but if you use a desktop it should show.
[/quote]
I'm on Chrome on OS X and I can't see it... Edited by Cornstalks

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It doesn't expand to a valid image link. Here's the picture, I uploaded it to my Photobucket:

[img]http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q523/fenshadow/General/example.png[/img]

My only advice would be to finish your project, or have a decent demo, before worrying aout such things. There's no need to give up on your dreams, but you do need to prioritize and come up with some workarounds for what you percieve as your weaknesses. Pillage Google for public domain/royalty free images and work 'em over for your backgrounds, they make great placeholders.

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I too would suggest not worrying about the graphics until you have a playable demo. I'd suggest giving [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3753/the_art_of_braid_creating_a_.php?page=1"]this article about Braid's graphics[/url] a read. Basically, just rough graphics were used to design the levels to make sure they were actually fun, and then the actual graphics were created. And even then, it took a long time to get the right image for the game (and it was even being created by a professional, not a beginner).

When it comes to actually making the graphics though, I'd suggest seriously considering abandoning the idea of it being a one-man job. It's a lot of fun doing everything yourself, and there's tons you can learn. And if that's your goal, by all means, go for it. But if you want to finish a really nice game that has a professional polish on it, you'll probably need someone who has a lot of experience in creating graphics, and it doesn't sound like you're that person. You could learn, but honestly, it takes a ton time. Learning takes a ton of time, and even once you're pro, it takes a lot of time to create some graphics you're happy with.

@Kyan: +1 for figuring out the image fiasco... Edited by Cornstalks

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I've gone through this too [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

[quote name='Sean Raia' timestamp='1335579894' post='4935507']
1. abandon the idea of this being a one-man job?
[/quote]
No, art is always frustrating, but even as one-man show you can archieve a lot.

[quote name='Sean Raia' timestamp='1335579894' post='4935507']
2. lower my standards?
[/quote]
This could help.

[quote name='Sean Raia' timestamp='1335579894' post='4935507']
3. take the time to painstakingly learn how to be a mildly decent landscape/background artist?
[/quote]
Learning to be a landscape artist, no, but atleast you should learn to paint. You will see, that with practise your art gets better.


[quote name='Sean Raia' timestamp='1335579894' post='4935507']
4. Persevere and hope for the best?
[/quote]
There're other options
5. Start with decent art (no placeholder, too ugly) and either get better or buy some art later.

6. Choose a stylized, consistent style. This is not easier, because a choosing a style is hard, but you can definitly reduce the amount of work. Take a look at art like [url="http://limbogame.org/"]limbo[/url], there's a lot of art involved, therefore it is not easy, but you need less skills to archieve this kind of look, i.e. you don't need hi-detailed background images, you dont need to be a good painter, but you need to be very good with silhouettes and with animations.

Get at tablet and start learning to paint and see where your skills are, try to find some style.

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