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SmashGames

Pixel art for my RPG game

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SmashGames    248
I've been working on a new RPG game for iOS and Android. Here's some art I've been messing around with the past few days. Please let me know what you think of it! 
 
[url=http://s285.photobucket.com/user/Seanzzilla/media/aart_zpsda4cf9ff.png.html]aart_zpsda4cf9ff.png[/URL]
 
The game will feature a ton of characters to unlock that can be a part of a "class tree" as shown below. I plan on adding more obscure class trees that can include classes like a Bard or a Monk. 
 
[url=http://s285.photobucket.com/user/Seanzzilla/media/techtwees_zpsf241689b.png.html]techtwees_zpsf241689b.png[/URL]
 
Each class will have 6 unique skills that a character can choose from, and each character during combat will only be able to have 3 active skills at a time. Characters will be able to achieve up to level 99 in each class, becoming more powerful and unlocking achievements. I plan on including a merchant that can provide gear upgrades, too.
 
Here is a VERY ROUGH concept of the gameplay.
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN96X7NujaE[/url]
 
Please share your thoughts! I'd love to hear your take on this class system and any pointers or criticisms you may have.

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Prinz Eugn    4418

I think you're asking two different things here: a critique of the artwork and a critique of the gameplay. I think you would get a better response if you got a moderator to move this thread to the Visual Arts forum, and then made another thread here asking more specifically about the gameplay.

 

As for the pixel art, I would say it's pretty good, although I would make the swords higher contrast so you can see them on mid-tone backgrounds, and that the blue hair is way too close to the blue mage's outfit.

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allnamestaken    498

I think I'd like to see the chins alittle less square and more rounded, and the right arms (well, on our left) stretch out from the bodies abit to far (Also the 1 pixel width part of the dagger I think will look abit odd like the blade is 'hovering' when made to a smaller scale). Other than that they are quite good and simple for the style.

 

I think the main thing to keep in mind with class trees is to try and make each path a viable option, in similar games players get frustrated if they spend 50 levels working towards Paladin only to find out Paladin is inferior to Spellsword. The obvious conundrum is you also want to make each path different enough to each other to have players want to try new combinations each game.

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Orymus3    18821

178 vs. 33 colors for the original and repainted versions, respectively.

With this you can see that detail doesn't depend on the large amount of colors you may be using, but primarily where you place those pixels; If they describe shape, volume and texture in the most color-economical way possible.

 

Impressive!

I've noticed there is no dark outline? How does it look over a background?

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Kryzon    4624
Nicely spotted. If you test the original or the repainted version against a map, you can see their saturated colors make them stand out a bit, but it's not ideal. It'd look better if a "selective outline" was put to use.

The background is from a random RPGMaker game:

vyyxw.png


If we look at the characters that come with RPGMaker we can see how to do a proper outline. These graphics are painted by very skilled artists:

312trgn.png

For some parts of her hair like the brightest ones (the edges facing the light, in other terms), her skirt and feet, we can see that the artist doesn't even use an outline, he just let's it like that.
That's why it's called "selective". Outlining very bright parts or simply outlining the entire shape wouldn't look as good.
Anyway, RPGMaker's character have a bigger tile size, so it's easier to do outlining. The default RPGM character is 32x32px (same tilesize as the map's), while SmashGames's are 20x26 I think. Edited by Kryzon

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Orymus3    18821

Clever!

Also, would you say the outline is black? I've always been wondering whether I should use pitch black, or some kind of a dark tone that fits with the overall character design?

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Kryzon    4624

Clever!

Also, would you say the outline is black? I've always been wondering whether I should use pitch black, or some kind of a dark tone that fits with the overall character design?

When you're talking about the darkest pixels of the outline, it seems to be pitch black (0,0,0) indeed (the outline surrounding that girl character's gloves for instance). But then you have parts of that girl like her hair, where the outline is of an actual dark color and not just black (with a hue that's analogous to the hair, like a really dark hair color). I personally feel this variation looks way more natural than using black for all outline pixels.

 

I understand this as "Selective Outlining". I certainly don't have the groundings to explain it, being very inexperient with pixel art, but the effect is explained in the following article. Search for SelOut on section IV. Things to Avoid:

http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299&PID=139322#139322

(If you're interested in the craft the rest of the article is a great read, too.)

 

The science behind SelOut (or "outline breaking" as it's also called) has to do with the visual sensation of expansion or contraction of shapes based on a light-to-dark contrast. 

These great tutorials explain a bit:

http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/spriting-basics-anti-aliasing/

http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/line-weight-thickness-in-sprites/

Edited by Kryzon

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