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madeingnt

The Quality of Graphics

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madeingnt    145

Hi All,

I am enthusiastic individual who has concepts in mind and willing to produce the game. I don't know ABCD of either the game coding or the game graphics. But for the last 2 years I did some research to understand where should I start and what resources I need to publish a game. So as my first game I came up with an idea to re skin a game to gain some experience.

 

So I bought some assets from the 3d assets store like shutterstock etc., and sent them to my off shore developer. My question is when I send the images to him, I am sending them very high quality PSD images. But when he incorporate those images into the game, they don't look nice. Its because of the picture quality.

 

I keep on wondering why this is happening. Is there any particular resolution that he has to use when incorporating the assets into the game? If so, that resolution has to be maintained for each asset in the screen or for the entire screen? for example take ANGRY BIRDS, a good resolution need to be maintained at the bird image level?

 

I would appreciate any helpful answers and willing to share my project details so that someone can guide me on what I am missing.

 

Thanks for all replies in advance...

 

 

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Gian-Reto    7070

Well, I think you need to give more information about what you are exactly building.

 

1. You talk about 3D first (altough to my knowledge, shutterstock deals with 2D images?), then you start talking about PSD and image quality. Are developing a 3D or a 2D game?

 

2. Does your developer use an existing engine? Selfbuilt? Modding an existing game?

 

3. If we are talking about 2D Games, first thing you need to be aware off is that some games, especially in the flash scene, use vector graphics to achieve this nice, crisp look, versus bitmap/pixel graphics. If you don't know the difference: bitmap graphics formats like PNG or JPEG save the image formats as a map of pixel color/alpha values... vector graphics formats do so by saving coordinates and mathematical expressions that make up basic shapes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics

 

4. There are so many things that can go wrong with pixel formats, its not even funny. The biggest keyword to search for would be scaling images. Even a high resolution image that gets scaled ingame can look horrible. 2D devs might be more helpful than me here, but AFAIK that is the reason why a) you scale the final sprite to conform more or less to your target resolution, 2) you are better off NOT scaling yur sprites ingame because there is no way to prevent artifacts without swapping the sprite for one with a different resolution, and c) if you target multiple resolutions, you should test each and maybe even have sprites in different resolutions.

 

5. Last thing that comes to mind: you send your developer a PSD images... while SOME engines allow you to import a PSD images, the running game will need an actual bitmap image format like PNG or JPEG, TGA maybe... PSD is a big, layered image format proprietary to Photoshop. Many other programs support it thanks to PS popularity, but it is certianly not useful as ingame sprite format.

If you just send PSDs, maybe ask your dev what he does with these. At some point they need to be converted, there could be all kind of stuff going wrong during this conversion process.

 

 

And nothing against you, but paying someone after just 2 years of research/expierience to develop a game for you sounds like quite the adventure, especially when you seem so inexpierienced in both technical and art topics. Maybe try to improve your knowledge on these topics instead of relying on offshore people to know better, even if you are only taking on a producer role.

Again, meant as good advice, not trying to judge you or anything.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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HappyCoder    5053
Screen shots of the image would be nice to be able to identify the exact problem. There are a number of image artifacts that it could be.

A few examples, when you have an image that is too high resolution it can cause problems
http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/DigPhotog/alias/
This is an example of an image that generates bad patterns when down sampled. To fix this, the image resolution should be about a 1 to 1 pixel ratio to your screen output. If you can zoom in and out in your game, then you should have a 1 to 1 pixel ratio at the furthest zoom level then enable mip mapping for that texture. If this is your problem then hopefully your dev knows what mip mapping is.

If your images look blurry like this
http://cdn3.raywenderlich.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/spritescaled.png
Then the image resolution being loaded into the game is too low. The solution here would be to use higher resolution textures, or if you want a pixelated retro look then use nearest neighbor interpolation for sizing the textures up.

If your images look bad for another reason you will have to post a screen shot to identify the problem.

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Scouting Ninja    3968

There are several causes I can think of, not including the above.

 

Your textures can be a none power of two(64,128,256,512,1024,2048...) size and the engine is re-sizing it, lots of beginners make this mistake.

 

You loaded in a texture that is larger than the maximum size your engine can handle, some engines try to re-scale the large image.This can happen if the artist gave you the original master texture, I myself give clients a 4096*4096 even if they aren't making a AAA game, to allow them to scale it.

 

Like Gian-Reto said it could be the image format, if you use .jpg it could also lead to quality loss.

 

It could be your device, ask a friend to run the game so you can see if it works better on there device. Mobile devices can have strange resolutions, this could be causing the problem.

 

 

We will need a screen shot and a complete texture to help you properly.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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madeingnt    145

Hi,
Thanks for all the replies. Some of the terminology that you mentioned is very new to me. But anyways I am attaching the screenshot. After reading the reply by Gian-Reto I understood that there will be 2 types of images, Vector and Bitmap.

 

My game is a re-skin of AMAZING BRICK. We are just replacing the assets with the same game mechanism. For game assets, I bought some assets from shutterstock and other websites. When I downloaded these images, those came as .PSD files. My questions are below. I don't see any issue from my mobile device as the other games that I am playing are with absolute quality.

 

(1) What kind of category a PSD file falls under? Vector or Bitmap?

(2) In my understanding Vector art is a 2d art. Is that correct? If so, what kind of art we need for a 3d game? (my game is not a 3d game, but I am just asking)

(3) Can you give me an example of nicely designed game with vector art? Is 2 dots a vector art game?

(4) By looking at the screenshots, can you give me some suggestions on how can I ask my coder improve the quality of the assets on the screen for gameplay?

(5) Another thing that I don't like in his work is the text. How do you design the text that comes up in the game (for example, PLAY, RATE, GAME OVER, Score etc.,)

 

I am getting pissed off with him as I am not at all liking the quality of the graphics he is incorporating. from the design perspective, I have something like 2 dots in my mind. Even though the graphics are simple, they are clear and vibrant. don't know where I will end up, but I am really looking forward to get into the market.

 

 

thanks for providing your valuable inputs and suggestions...

 

 

 

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Buster2000    4310

(1) What kind of category a PSD file falls under? Vector or Bitmap?

It's a bitmap format that is used by photoshop.  The assets in your screenshot though will have been cropped / sliced as PNGs for use by your developer.
 


(2) In my understanding Vector art is a 2d art. Is that correct? If so, what kind of art we need for a 3d game? (my game is not a 3d game, but I am just asking)


Yes vector art is 2D.  For 3D there are many formats,  it could be a .blend, .3ds, .dae .x or many of the other hundreds of 3d file format
 


(3) Can you give me an example of nicely designed game with vector art? Is 2 dots a vector art game?


Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, Flappy Bird,  basically any game that does not use blocky pixel graphics (and even some that do).      The games don't actually contain the vector art.  The vector asset is usually only used as an intermediary file before being converted to a bitmap that is the correct scale for device.  Because a vector contains a mathematical formula describing the image it can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality.  You can't do this with the PSD because it is a bitmap format.
 


(4) By looking at the screenshots, can you give me some suggestions on how can I ask my coder improve the quality of the assets on the screen for gameplay?


He can't this isn't a job for your coder.  You need to get some assets that are of a decent enough quality or hire an artist.
 


(5) Another thing that I don't like in his work is the text. How do you design the text that comes up in the game (for example, PLAY, RATE, GAME OVER, Score etc.,)


Thats up to you.  You can use images for the text.  You could use a custom bitmap font.  You could use the devices built in font rendering.  Again you probably need a graphic designer to help you with this.

 

 

 

 


I am getting pissed off with him as I am not at all liking the quality of the graphics he is incorporating.

He is doing everything he can.  The only person you should be pissed off with is yourself for not knowing what you were doing when purchasing the assets.  If you want to sort this mess out you need to hire a good designer / graphic artist to either produce some decent assets or do some magic with the PSDs that you already have.   This isn't your coders fault.

Edited by Buster2000

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Gian-Reto    7070

I would like to strengthen Buster2000's point:

 

If you hired a coder, don't expect HIM to do the graphical legwork for you. You MIGHT get lucky and find one of the rare people able to wear many hats, but usually that means a coder able to do decent enough art, or an artist able to write simple scripts. Of course it would mean a coder able to correct small mistakes in the images you send him...

 

Most probably your coder is not so much artistically gifted. He could be a much better coder thanks to that on the other hand. Don't blame him for not fixing your lacking input, that is most probably not what he thinks he is paid for.

 

 

You either need to get good yourself at fixing art related problems, which will occur even with stock art you buy off the internet (hell, I NEVER found any art I could integrate into any of my game prototypes without retouching them, and my art style was not THAT distinctive at all... its not the fault of the artist though, it is just that each project has slightly different needs)....

Or, as Buster2000 said, you need to double your Teamsize by also employing an artist.

 

Given that you are using stock art I guess the second option is not really the preffered one, hence take the advises given in this and similar threads serious and fix the art YOURSELF. If you try to find someone that fill all roles for you when you cannot hire multiple persons, you might die of old age before being able to find and hire this person.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Looking at the images, I am not sure what is the problem. I GUESS this are ingame shots you do not like. Viewed on a full HD laptop screen they don't look blurry or pixelated. IF there is anything wrong with it, its slight compression grain, but that most probably comes from you creating JPG from your screengrabs.

 

1. Please explain exactly what is wrong with the graphics. Mabye make a comparison with the clean original graphics so the problem is clearer to see.

2. Maybe don't use JPG for this as the compression will make the image look worse anyway, use the slightly larger PNG which will have much less compression artefacts.

 

 

And speaking of JPG versus PNG image formats, make sure you ask your developer how he incorporates the images into the game... does he export the PSDs to JPGs before incorporating them into your game?

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Scouting Ninja    3968

The images are good quality on a high resolution screen, on my small android tabled they appeared fine.

 

The only thing that I could find wrong with it is that the bricks look realistic instead of toony.

 

 

On my small tabled the images did appear a bit gritty, but this is because the resolution of the images isn't 1:1.

There is no definite way to fix this problem because mobile devices don't have constant resolutions, fixing it for one mobile device will make it look bad on a other device.

 

the only solutions I can think of is to scale the images down till you can see the pixels, most people won't mind pixel images as much as grainy images. 

 

 

 

 


I am getting pissed off with him as I am not at all liking the quality of the graphics he is incorporating.

The only person you can be mad at is yourself, for not knowing what your doing. It's time for you to get to get into the basics of game development, this project is to big for a first project.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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