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clem84

Total noob question about starting out creating 2D graphics.

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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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Okay so first thing I would do is google for some "pixel art tutorials". Deviantart has some as well.

 

Second, I would start with making art for the computer. For this, I use two programs:

 

1. A simple program, like MS Paint.

 

2. A more advanced program for the more advanced stuff, like GIMP (free) or Photoshop (costs money).

 

There are a number of things to learn about - outlines, anatomy, shading, creating texture, etc.

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I would also recommend looking into GraphicsGale. It's specifically tailored for making sprite art of this sort and it comes equipped with features for creating sprite animations.

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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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