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Started drawing a game. Need feedback.

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I am working on a strategy game and I have planned my graphics in Warcraft 2 style.

I have drawn a footman and a tree:

[attachment=35261:mydemo1.jpg]

(The grass sucks)

I am going to programming now, meanwhile I must determine, what direction my art should go. (Mainly, to focus on improvement or keep drawing as I do, then small changes are left)

Are these drawings good enough? Especially, the tree I just made. The tree must be as small as it is, but I can't leave it without feeling, it could be done much better.

(The problem is, there is no size to draw the whole tree mighty, but the bottom still must be impressive.)

I have to make different trees, so any recommendations are welcome.

 

Edit:

Well, I figured out, this tree is inappropriate. If I made it more beatiful it would become even worse. : O

Tree is a resource that dies "billion" times through game. It cannot have that size and shape, because it looks too much distinctive for just a resource and I would feel sorry for killing it. (Still, this is a living tree on real...)

 

I have to draw a classical compact pine tree first..

Edited by krogoth.g

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Alright, let'see, checking in with some art direction advice here.

Here's the thing: So far you've got a sketch for a couple assets. You don't have a complete plan here. If you're preparing the art direction, you have to figure out what all the assets are going to look like. This doesn't mean literally drawing everything, just have a plan for how to extrapolate the style of a few examples across your range of assets. And you're still grappling with the tree, so you've got a ways to go.

So, first, you gotta know what your full scope is: Make a full list of every unity and all terrain types. This plan can change of course, but make a good guess and call it your first-draft plan so you can figure out how the details pan out to fit the whole.

What you seem to be doing here is making some art examples to base the rest of the game on. This is good, but you're not done - you gotta animate at least one walkcycle for that footman and, I think, do a full turnaround with whatever number of directions you want the sprite to face. This'll let you appreciate the amount of work it's going to take to do that art for one unit, and then for all the rest of the units. Then you can decide if this is what you really want to do -- and I bring this up because it looks to me like you may be walking into a lot more work than you expect; it may be valuable to go much simpler in style so you can finish the thing.

As for the tree/terrain, you're going to need to do a mockup of what you want it to look like. To give an example of this, I planned a terrain set out a while ago by first doing a small example set of assets and fitting them together in Photoshop. It looked like this:

[attachment=35267:tileset_test.jpg]

You can see that I'm pretty happy with the beaches, but I'm doing a lot of experimenting with rendering trees and so on. Using this art as a base, I extrapolated out various terrain types, two different kinds of forest, mountains, rivers, etc. (It was, as ever, more work than expected.)

As for the particulars of your tree, I highly recommend reading this pixel art tutorial at Android Arts. It's just really good and addresses issues with colour use, rendering, noise, composition etc. highly applicable to the visual design issues you are facing. Particularly good is the part at the end where he takes a problematic scene and re-renders it according to the rules he's discussed, then shows examples of other pixel artists taking on the same task in different ways; I can't recommend it enough.

Overall, I think it's likely you'll want to pull back the complexity and detail a bit to make the project more manageable, seeing as you're also doing the coding. Best of luck!

PS. Is your username a Total Annihilation reference? Nice.

Edited by dbaumgart

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Thank you. : )

Yep, I am a big fan of that game since like... 6 years old. : )

 

I have figured out that I need much darker and like... serious style, at least to start with. (Based on my music/sound ideas) Maybe then I will figure out how to make light maps stylish too.

I will start making low-quality sprites in some quantity to bring the style first, then add details.

Edited by krogoth.g

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Hi!

I had problems with health so I had to postpone my project, now I am back.

Screenshot

Only Footman is more-or-less finished, the rest is in process.

Your opinion can be very useful because I post this because I know some things are easier to fix in process.

(Especially those about design. For example, you might find some stuff too much alike to Warcraft 2. Tell me what do you think about that.)

Edited by krogoth.g

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Hello again!

It took some time to write the desired code.

I decided to make animations later: as I am doing it solo, it seems better to make all drawings static first because it could take much time for me to redraw animations if something is unfitting.

I am still settling my style but you can see few important similarities with Warcraft II, probably even more than Wyrmsun has.

My sprites are bigger than those of Warcraft II because I want it played at original scale,

but I've found that units are a bit hard to click. : (

 

If there are any impressions or advices on such early progress I would love to read them. Thank you for your time. : )

 

Edited by krogoth.g

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I'm impressed. The music is catchy and fitting, the sprites are very well-drawn, the voice-acting is enjoyable, and the gameplay looks like the kind of point and click fun you rarely see nowadays. 

My complaints would have to be the changing music. Maybe you could create battle-specific music to help fit the mood? That would definitely add a lot more variety.

Overall, it looks like something I would play. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you a lot! I am very glad. ^__^

The gameplay will be similar to Warcraft II on the one hand but it shall be hardly called clone in a result as the game development got past some point (there is a lot of work towards it). I have recently watched many replays of Warcraft II to refresh my memory and its gameplay is so cool and unique nowadays and there is a lot of things to bring in on my mind.

(There shall be a thread once I bring some significant gameplay in)

(Free) music is somewhat I am intensively looking for. I am using Kevin McLeod's music, he is an awesome artist and offers over 2000 free soundtracks, yet there are only very few fitting in game. As for the most other artists they have good music but nothing fitting at all. It's about some time I get minimum music base, not like I cannot pay for some if it's very needed but I believe, there is enough free resource to make minimum game that is enjoying to play.

Thank you!

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Hi guys!

I made unit production and building structures. There is a lot of stuff not done but there is some kind of gameplay.

The video might be a bit too long though for an actual showcase.

What do you think?

Thank you for your time!

Edited by krogoth.g

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Hi, guys!

I've made new front Footman sprite, also I've made mining gold, building structures. I am close to basic things.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8N-OI2l_ooDZkV6NWZJR3R4V1U

Do you like?

(I am sorry for no image right here, this forums seems to put images in very low quality, even such small. Or maybe there are some settings?)

It is very asymmetrical, there shall be the opposite way (with proper lighting). (Foots are unfinished though)

On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 10:35 PM, dbaumgart said:

This'll let you appreciate the amount of work it's going to take to do that art for one unit, and then for all the rest of the units.

I do already.  :  O

Seriously.  :  O

Edited by krogoth.g

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New Worker and Footman:

image.png.cefb2741aae514a512e1fbc2627871c9.png

(Still working on details!)

 

I had to take 2 month break.

Drawing sprites is time-expensive (unless you are in a very good mood! things become easier, but that's not what you say about the whole work. even simple things have tendence to stuck and demand efforts), but very enjoying.

Edited by krogoth.g

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I like this a lot for a one-man indie effort.  Like a previous poster said, this is actually impressive.  I even like the art look a lot, even though I imagine all a lot of modern gamers see is an "old look", it is a very good look for this old looking style.

Stick with the Warcraft II level of simplicity, they don't make games like this anymore (not this simple) and people like simplicity.  Don't start trying to add a lot of features found in modern RTS games, stick with the "old school" design theme.  Both because you are a one-man show making an indie game AND because this appears to be on its way to becoming a great nostalgic RTS experience for a very large audience of people out there who haven't played a game like this in a long time now.

Minimalism can be a plus, when done well, and this is looking very good from that perspective.  One of the best games ever made was Avalon Hill's Acquire, and there is very little too that game.  Personally, I like what you are doing here a lot and this looks like a game I would enjoy playing.  You might look at Stardrive 2, it's a minimalist Master of Orion game that I like playing occasionally for the very reason that it is just the heart and soul of what that type of game is without all of the modern bells and whistles added on too it as if they are a checklist that all games like it must have.

I see your game as a the Stardrive 2 of Warcraft-like games... which is a good thing in my book!

 

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@Kavik Kang Thank you very much ! ^_^

Just spotted enemy Footmen and something that looks like a (very) early take on Town Hall:

AL3ZuQo.png

Drawing unit's back appeared harder than front. You can see that back Footman is (obviously) worse quality than others, I am still working on getting desired look.

Not so much progress in these as I would like to have, at least I got few ideas for gameplay. Game heroes will be fun!

I have tried a lot of drawing buildings but none I have liked yet.

Result is coming next week, I hope. )

Edited by krogoth.g

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I think it looks great.  If I felt like installing Warcraft II to play it again, I'd much rather have your game.  Even though it has been many years since I played WCII, it would all come back too me and I would remember having done it all before.  Your game looks to have the same look and feel, but it would be all new.  That makes it an even better nostalgic trip through WCII than re-installing WCII would be!

 

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@Kavik Kang Thank you, that is priority 1 task - atmosphere-bringing. There must not be much new things until there is a playable alpha-version that resembles atmosphere. There is a lot of stuff coming on top of that way beyond Warcraft II or III - that is later.

It was important to me to find though very little but appropriate music by Kevin McLeod.

It helps to feel more and add (what I consider by feelings right) stuff brick by brick, whether visual or sound content.

@zizulot Thank you, they do indeed.

Warcraft II had few speed options. There is a very high speed option amongst them that has own benefits and drawbacks. One of the benefits of fast pace is that you might like doing things fast to enjoy the game. There is also difference in experience when you watch something fast and do it yourself, as the brain accelerates. (I am expecting myself alpha-version at the end of the month)

There is a lot of stuff to do with slower action, so I do not mean that fast pace is good by itself, but I do not think that slow pace is either.

My choice was based on the interaction of my perception of action, music and mood.

On the other hand, I find it interesting to go the way of fast pace. There are not much as fast as Warcraft II modern strategies.

(StarCraft, for example, is significantly slower, but there is a lot of other control to do)

I think of it as an interesting way to go as I like the idea that you need to sacrifice some tactical decisions as moving unit from enemy fire for strategical ones like building something at the same moment (or otherwise) - all because your units move, attack, may die fast.

To make it not stressful - that shall be an accomplishment.

As from the point of viewer, there must be strategical or great tactical (such as using important ability) eye-catching decisions.

 

Technically, choosing different pace is no problem and looks like a good thing to have.

Edited by krogoth.g

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Does this game have a name yet?  How and where do you eventually intend to get it out there, is there a specific site you are planning on uploading it too when it is ready?  I really do want to play this when it is finished, I'd like to play a game that is Warcraft II but at the same time not Warcraft II.

 

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@Kavik Kang There shall be a site as the project goes to phase when there is actual something. : )

I don't think I have decent ideas for name yet. (That's probably time to come up with it though.)

I plan alpha on the end of December and the site on January.

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Here and that soon I won't miss it then.  I am looking forward to playing it, it's been a very long time since I played Warcraft II.  It will make me feel 20 years younger just playing it.

"Orcs's is da' bestest!"

 

Edited by Kavik Kang

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There will be no orcs. ) But there are planned dwarves that can build underground. ) And will be able to explode land units with their bombs and widespread underground net. )

(Those are kind of distant plans)

And the last Footman sprite (diagonal back):

LCi2uqU.png

You can see a "miraculous" transition here. : D

(There is a lot of work on legs as well, they are pretty horrible, and the head on back sprite isn't right)

But now I can tab this aside a bit and take on buildings. ^_^

So we are gonna have buildings soon!

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Looking at your progress of developing the characters, I am really impressed. I think you made a great choice changing the boundary box from square to circle - it makes everything less crowded. It does feel quite nostalgic aesthetically and I quite dig this. Looking forward to your future updates.  

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@cheezitann Thank you !

Here is very early (primitive) concept of Barracks.

There are very little details but the picture of both is meant to help me to decide how much walls I would like to have.

The most part of walls shall be decorated.

SWJUbYT.png

The design of Barracks is similar to Warcraft II but I have made this decision because I like the scale of objects.

There must be little buildings and free space within yard.

This thought I keep in mind because there will be a hero that can summon Barracks for duration. So the buildings are better to look cheap and the walls are easy to abstract one's mind from them if they are not meant to be.

Edit:

Also:

htjmQog.png

: D

Edited by krogoth.g

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Short demonstration of Tanad, Footman-class hero and his Flame Ring ability.

Tanad has triple normal health and slightly more attack damage but his most damage output comes from Flame Ring.

Footman-class hero will benefit from most Footman upgrades (armor, damage, etc.) and have skill tree of 10.

Edited by krogoth.g

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Hello guys!

I would love to share with you current progress before I go to rest.

Here it is:

 

Any feedback and ideas, even including gameplay, are appreciated!

There is no fully-featured thread for the game but it's coming soon and we will be able to talk about not only visual aspect!

Will be back.

P.S. I have found out that minimap on top is probably better because button descriptions drop down.

Edited by krogoth.g

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6 hours ago, krogoth.g said:

Hello guys!

I would love to share with you current progress before I go to rest.

Here it is:

 

Any feedback and ideas, even including gameplay, are appreciated!

There is no fully-featured thread for the game but it's coming soon and we will be able to talk about not only visual aspect!

Will be back.

P.S. I have found out that minimap on top is probably better because button descriptions drop down.

Love it so far mate ;) , awesome work, what price range youre planing on it?

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