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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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clem84

Total noob question about starting out creating 2D graphics.

7 posts in this topic

I'm looking to get into developing my own game. I'm just starting out. I have a few ideas for games. Now the programming doesn't scare me. I took a few programming classes in College. Teacher even told me I had a knack for it. I'm not worried about the audio either. At some point I'll just get myself a keyboard, get familiar with the software and start producing some tunes. No worries there.

Now, the graphics part... I honestly have no idea how I'm going to be able to produce something that's at least decent, even pleasant to look at. I can't draw very well. I bought a book to learn how to draw. I'm making some small progress but it's very slow. Now this is my question. I'm looking to make a 2D game. SNES type graphics. Kind of like these two projects:
 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/523651724/legend-of-iya

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alonsomartin/heart-forth-alicia
 

 

Now I know that for someone who doesn't draw very well this is a tall order as these 2 games have gorgeous 2D graphics. I just want to get some guidance here. How should I go about it? Should I just learn how to draw on a piece of paper first? Or should I go straight into some 2D creation software and practice there? If so which one? Some suggestions from the pros here would be very welcome. :) Thanks.

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Well, you're going to have to practice a lot to get even remotely close to that level... physical sketching plus digital work is probably the best way to go, pencil's a pretty forgiving medium and free software was already mentioned.

 

Actually, I wrote an article that hopefully you'll find helpful. It's for people who aren't artists, but want to start creating good 2D assets: http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/visual-arts/the-total-beginner%E2%80%99s-guide-to-better-2d-game-art-r2959

 

Good luck!

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Your worries aren't unjustified. Graphics play a major part in games and are difficult and timeconsuming to make. First I'd honestly ask myself if there's enough talent to one day being able to make fine graphics. If you are someone who simply cannot draw then you have to make someone else do art. If you find that there's something slumbering within you that needs to blossom then I suggest beginning with simple things. Place an apple under a lamp and draw the shades correctly. Later move on to more difficult objects.

 

Same goes for game graphics. Start with simple sprites and 3 frame walking-animations. Pay attention to shapes and colors, read books and try to develop a feeling of what makes some art look good and other art bad. Observe things, try to figure out patterns, get in touch with your surroundings, let them affect you. And most importantly: practice, practice, practice. What almost every artist has in common is that they look at their art from 10 or 20 years ago and find stuff they were proud about back then ridiculous today. Just keep drawing simple stuff and eventually you will improve.

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As Ludus said, GraphicsGale is perfect for spriting. If you use MS Paint for spriting, you won't be able to use layers or frames. Layers allow you to draw on top of your sprite without disturbing the rest of it. Frames allow you to animate your sprite (with a sequence of still images).

 

As far as advice goes, just keep drawing until it looks good! That's how I've always done it. You're sure to improve with time. Good luck!

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