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About JonL

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  1. JonL

    Next model for opinions

    Well, for starters it's VERY basic at the moment. I know it's WIP, but you'll need to add some sort of significant detail, because at the moment it's just a death star with some chunks cut out of it. It would be more impressive if there was no such thing as the death star, but there is, so it's not (if you see what I mean). I made a small edit showing one example you could use to snazz things up a bit: By putting some connecting rods between the different layers, it becomes much less like a sphere, and more of.. well, a station. Also the windows do look a bit odd, mainly because they're white, and wouuld probably look better in yellow - obviously they would also look a LOT better if you gave each window it's own lighting effect (I have no idea if that would work, but it would look good!) - this would make a big difference to how "real" the ship would feel, because when you're up close (like in the example you posted) the windows look very clearly painted on, whereas a lighting effect would need no details at all, to look realistic. Also as to the formation of the windows (on the panel), it does look a little bit random - from a distance it appears something like static, which also feels unnatural. As you place each one on the texture, imagine that there's a real building behind the wall, with groups of living quarters, offices, control rooms, etc, and then create rows of lights accordingly. Typically an entire floor might have lights on in every room, and another might have one or two, or none at all. A big room could have 6 or 8 windows in it, so there'd be lots of small clumps like that. I'd generally experiment with adding some additional details to the craft, to give it a real identity and character - treat it like you would designing a human character, and it'll end up feeling a lot more "real".
  2. JonL

    Need your thoughts

    The major issue with making your craft look THAT battered (in my eyes) is that it clearly isn't battered - at all. The hull looks as smooth as the day it came off the assembley line. You either need to tone down the wear and tear on the texture - a lot - or increase the visible wear and tear on the model accordingly.
  3. JonL

    TomMonster's Game Art

    the pig/ant/man thing is absolutely inspired! If I had any money I'd be asking to buy a print :D
  4. JonL

    Program for overlaying animations

    Now that sounds really interesting :) I need to do a lot of batch processing anyway so I'll definitely be looking into that. Cheers!
  5. Does anyone know of a good program to use that will let me overlay two identical animations (same dimensions, frames, delays, etc)? Like I want to overlay some equipment pieces onto a character model. The individual animations look something like this: http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/736/axeswingil3.gif and I need to overlay them and also be able to easily cut out the black background, for a result something like this: http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/6362/axeshitxb0.gif I know it can be done in Photoshop or Imageready (I'm currently using a combination of Photoshop and Animation Shop for my animations), but I'm hoping there's a program which will allow me to do this for the entire animation, rather than doing each frame at a time. Cheers, Jonathan
  6. Thanks for the advice guys! I will be looking at using poser for creating the humans and their equipped clothing/weapons/armour, but I checked up a lot on Poser, and it has the same problem that it's impossible to find pre-rigged/animated stuff, so probably I will use it for humans alone (if I use it at all) I probably will be buying some models from 3DRT, but it's not a big enough selection, although thankfully I have passable texturing skills so I can get a good amount of variation from my models. The quality required really isn't that high, as most of the models will be scaled down dramatically for production, and many of the animation cycles are limited to around 3-5 frames, so the animation cycles don't have to be stellar either. Ashaman: WOW, that pack looks REALLY awesome. I need to look into it a bit more but from what I've seen it looks really perfect. I'll see if I can get a free sample to test with and we'll see how it goes. If anyone else has any links like that, I would appreciate them hugely!
  7. JonL

    Diablo 1 style tutorial

    Yea if someone can detail that process a bit that'd be awesome ;) btw it doesn't hurt to optimize your frames before they go into the game either. There's a big difference between how they come out of the renderer, and how you're going to want them to look ingame. ie into Of course if you're a whizz at rendering options and settings you probably won't need so much touchup, but I'm not. Mine was just a simple Photoshop "shadow/highlight" filter for each frame, easy with a macro. Ah I also artificially blurred my texture, and subsurfaced my model, because I didn't want the result to look too sharp and polygonal
  8. Does anyone know any good places to find fully rigged and animated models, suitable for use in a fantasy roleplaying game? (or alternatively perhaps somebody knows an individual who can rig and animate models for a moderate fee) The game they are for will be 2D isometric, but will use 3D models for it's sprites. The only worthwhile sites I found so far were 3drt.com, turbosquid.com and realmcrafter.com, but 3drt and realmcrafter have an incredibly limited range, and turbosquid is incredibly expensive :) My budget for this sort of outsourced art unfortunately isn't huge. Any suggestions? Cheers, Jonathan
  9. JonL

    Diablo 1 style tutorial

    Angle the camera in an isometric viewpoint. Export the animation as frames. Er.. that's pretty much it. Once you've done this your model has become a 2D animation just as if you'd made it pixel by pixel.
  10. JonL

    Budgeting for an MMO

    I have prior experience producing MMO related projects, but never a game itself. The art will not be programmer art to begin with because the basis of the artwork is already completed (sample: http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/5831/pixel2hj3.jpg). It was on the basis of this, my development proposals, and my investors own experience in MMO production, that secured the funds available. I understand the concerns about popularity aswell, but actually I have an almost guarenteed fanbase for my project. I may be ambitious, but I'm not completely ignorant of what I am trying to achieve, and the level of involvement it will require. I am currently available 24/7, and have experience in sticking at succesful projects for several years. I understand it's nescessary to beat me down with a bit of realism, and I'm taking it on board, but at this stage my plans are unlikely to change dramatically. Cheers, Jonathan
  11. JonL

    Budgeting for an MMO

    Zerowolf in case you missed it in my original post, this is the budget for a prototype, not for the game. The staff list is also for the purpose of building a prototype, and is structured accordingly. I do not need a large amount of designers, environment artists, or dedicated art lead at this point. The prototype is a proof of concept, not a fully featured game.
  12. JonL

    Budgeting for an MMO

    I am the development lead and environment artist. The code for the prototype probably will be used for the finished product, because chances are it will be a modification of an existing project anyway (one which is structurally near completion, but does not currently use any original or licensed art resources. That lead is not something I can 100% rely on at this point, and if that collaboration fell through then it would change things entirely. But for now let's assume that it works out. Client and server can be considered tentatively "covered".
  13. Today I was given a $5000 budget from my investor to build a prototype version of my MMORPG. I want to spread that budget as thinly and effectively as possible. My investor has cautioned me to consider this a hobby project with a chance to make it big, and this is pretty much how I intend to run things. I do not plan to pay staff at this point, nor will I be paying myself. When the game reaches a commercial level and there are some profits in existence, then people will start getting paid. I know this is a line oft repeated here on Gamdev, but I mean business ;) So basically my question is this: How best would you suggest I spread my budget at this stage? I am not working to a strict deadline, so development will be casual, as I said I want to make the best use of my money - anything which can realistically be achieved without payment upfront, should be. I've mapped out some of what I consider my key requirements at this point: Staff related: Alpha client build - client programmer(s) Alpha server build - server programmer(s) Environment art/UI - Currently covered, but additional artists certainly would not go amiss Character art - Concept artist, 3D modeller, rigger, animator Game lore - writer Game systems - assistant designers Website - flash designer Resources: 3D character models with animation/rigging. Is there anything crucial or important I have missed here? I already have a good linkup possibility for the client and server programmers, so my main concern is character art (which is why I would consider spending some money at this stage on outsourcing a handful of quality pre-rigged/animated models, as a prototype will manage fine with humans, some equipment, and a couple of monsters), but I could probably get all the art resources I need for a few hundred $s, so what to do with the rest? One major expenditure I have been considering at this point is the outsourcing of some 3D models, with rigging and animation. I suppose I could allocate a few hundred $s for token upfront payments, if this would be likely to make a difference, but these would be purely symbolic, merely to show that I my intentions are serious. All suggestions and pointers are very much welcome, particularly from those with experience in developing an indy MMO! Jonathan
  14. Hi I've recently been working on some concept designs and artwork for a 2D isometric MMO. I'm a long time player of Ultima Online and it would be fair to say I've based my designs quite heavily upon it's 2D isometric world. One of the things I love most about UO is the pixel art graphics, and I'm hoping to create something similar to those, only with a much higher level of detail and resolution (I'm thinking of 1024x768 or 1280x1024). The trouble I'm having here is that I've never attempted to create game art before, and I'm not sure where else to look for examples of good, high resolution isometric pixel worlds. It seems to me that the standard industry practice for high resolution 2D isometric games, is to make the world in 3D first, then export the models as sprites. Now that's all well and good if you're a 3D modeller, but my skill is in Photoshop, and I'm not interested at this stage to work in 3D. So my first question is: Which games could be said to represent the best of 2D isometric high resolution pixel graphics? In fact any half decent examples would be useful! My second question is, in a 2D isometric environment, is there any good reason why the world should not be built in 8 directions? All isometric worlds have diagonal up down left and right, but I can't think of one that uses straight lines, although my concept art (and my experience of isometric worlds) suggests that this should be fine. I can't personally imagine any reason why not, and yet I've never really seen it done. Admittedly it does look a bit flat, and it would involve drawing every structural object in 4 directions rather than 2, but it seems to me that it would be worth it for the increased flexibility of worldbuilding - I hate the way most isometric game screens look basically the same as one another. Finally, are there any other tools that would be useful for someone designing pixel graphics from the ground up? At the moment I'm doing fine with Photoshop, but I'd be interested to check out any other tools that could be useful - a program to arrange my tiles on an isometric grid for testing would be very handy. Any other useful resources, sources of inspiration, etc would be much appreciated :)
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