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2D ARPG Graphics Style/Design Suggestions & Feedback

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Hi Guys!


I'm working trying to replace some of the preliminary graphics sprites/tiles in my game with newer/better ones. I have some experience in graphical tools (PS, AE, 3DSMAX etc..) but am by no means a professional or even very skilled sleep.png


That said I don't really have a budget for my one man project to hire an artist so I somehow have to try to make the graphics myself (although there is some room for buying stock art)


I recon there is a lot of skilled graphical designers/users out there so I would humbly ask to some feedback on the graphics I'm tinkering on right now to see If you think I'm going in the right direction or not? And if possible some broad suggestions on further improvements I could make?


I am not requesting tutorials/step by step suggestions but only if you could take some time and give some overall suggestions of things to keep in mind/design for?




I'm posting a few pictures of the updates im doing right now below as well as some prior pictures so show what I'm changing.



Brief Overview of Game:

The game is a straight top-down 2D ARPG/Sandbox game based on OpenGL. I'm not using any premade game engine but more or less building everything from scratch. The current sprites/blocks are held in PNG palettes and as such can be easily updated/replaced




My current overall design philosophy is something like:


1) Add more outlines to sprites/tiles to get a the tiles to be distinguishable


2) Trying to go for a style a bit cartoonish but stil a bit realistic/gritty (if that makes any sense)




Some specific questions:


1) When you look at the screenshots, do you have problems acutally knowing what things are supposed to be? I found this to be a major obstacle to tackle in pure top-down style compared to an isometric approach, I am trying to improve this but being quite blind to some parts by this stage it would really help if you give some feedback on this?


2) Smaller bushes seen in some screenshots are currently not outlined, I am worried that outlining to many objects could make it a bit to cluttered? Do you think smaller objects should have clearer outlines as well?


3) Is adding outlines a bad idea altogheter?


4) Do you have some general suggestions how to make objects clearly visible/identifyable when designing for a pure top down style?



Please note that the GUI/HUD is also very rough but that is a bit down the line to update so not really included here (altuhough you are welcome to give suggestions if you feel obliged to wink.png  )





The current updates I'm playing around with









One screenshot of the graphics prior to starting updating/outlining etc




I would really appriciate some feedback!


Best Regards, BG109

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I think that the outlines helps, I like it ;-) The second screenshot is the best. It has a low level of noise, which I would recommend for the rest too. Try to reduce the texture noise ! You can try to reduce either the details or the contrast within the texture. The trees in the first and third screenshot are a good example of too noisy. Take a look at the witness, their tree rendering is a good example of leaving noise out of the leaves. Nevertheless, you seem to be on the right track.

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Thanks for the suggestions!


The witness looked like a very good reference for inspiration, I've only had a chance to glance at it so far (been stuck the last two days with sime bugs in some lightning-related issues) but will definately take a closer look as they seem to have nailed down some very nice graphics in their approach


As for the texture noise, I think you are absolutely right, I will try to make a few updated versions with smoother textures and compare!


I will post updates below as soon as i've sorted out the (unrelated) light issue, prob within a day or two

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So I've nearly through the tree textures now, for some reason I've decided I wanted a lot of foilage in the game, which means the work has been a bit slow (I'm not a fast "artist" sleep.png )

I've added a picture below to show the current iteration stages of the foilage textures, if some of you have some more suggestions they would be highly appriciated, the noise suggestion above worked very well I think although I now may be borderlining tooo stylized...

I'm going to add a screenshot of how it looks in game as soon as I've gone through all the textures

I think it's moving in the right direction at least


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