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polychrome

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About polychrome

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  1. polychrome

    How much design before art

    1: If I was going to be the Art Director (and maybe also create assets), coming in at the very beginning would be fine, to start brainstorming and such.  For someone making assets that are supposed to ship with the game, I'd hope that the art style had already been clearly determined, or I would fear that my work might all get thrown away eventually, or that the art assets won't all match each other.   2: At the beginning would be great, or by 'the middle of pre-production' at the latest.   I think a lot of small Indie projects skip over 'defining the art style', which is a problem for many games. As long as defining the art style is something that is going to be done, starting that process early on is great.   Also, for some games, the backstory and setting need to be nailed down to some degree before an art style (and specific art assets) can be created.  I once worked on a 'AAA' title that was supposed to be set in the year 2000 roughly (this was a couple of years in the future, at the time), and then, about the time the project was supposed to be in Beta, the backstory was changed to be around the year 2080. The art had already been made. After a while, the studio was shut down and the project canceled...  
  2. polychrome

    How Important is Concept Art?

    If you can come up with a compelling Art Direction, and cool-looking visual designs, and then create assets based on the ideas you come up with in your head, then concepts are not critically important.    However, concepts can be great for marketing, conveying ideas to other modelers, proving out an art style without having to build the actual assets etc.   So, it depends on your needs and the skills you have.   I've created plenty of assets for AAA games in the past using imagination and working without concepts. However, I totally understand how useful concepts are...it's just that they are not ALWAYS needed.
  3. polychrome

    No Man's Sky

    It seems to me that the developers totally embraced the unrealistic-super-hype, and have successfully become millionaires by deceiving their audience. They don't even have to worry about their reputation, since they are now wealthy. If they had wanted to make a great game without being deceptive, I think they would have handled things differently, and kept people's expectations lower.
  4. In my recent experience of looking for my next job in the AAA industry I've found that:   - the majority of game jobs in the USA seem to be in the Bay Area    - the Bay area is super crazy expensive, indeed. I looked into apartment rents when I went out there for an interview, and it was as expected.   - I get the impression that few, if any, studios actually are interested and willing to pay people a relatively higher salary that would match the amazingly high cost of living compared to, for example, Texas.  I have a lot of experience in the industry, and I've had a number of interviews, and they all seem to start going bad once salary starts being discussed.   Everyone has their own situation to deal with, but I think for many people the Bay Area is not affordable. People with a family to support, a retirement to save for, or a standard of living they are trying to maintain are likely to never find a job that works for them financially in the area. However, being a young person with few responsibilities and the ability to live cheap with multiple roommates means that the area 'might' be affordable, relative to your needs.   Personally, I'm pretty disappointed that their aren't more studios thriving in areas outside of the Bay area in the U.S. A LOT of jobs have gone up to Canada, and a lot of studios in other places in the U.S. are just are not expanding like studios in the Bay area are.
  5. polychrome

    Need strategy for developing content (graphics)

    To be honest, I think all the approaches you have used and are considering using are a waste of time. If you can't achieve decent results, why put much time into it?    I suggest keeping with sprites, but switching to simple colors, letters, simple icons etc for everything. Give all the art enough information so it's quick and easy to tell what you are looking at (i.e. different factions are a different color, or some such).  This approach should take much less time than everything you mention, but should keep the work of design and programming from becoming blocked by a lack of assets.   Then, later on, worry about getting acceptable art made. It sounds like you need to hire an artist for this. If your budget is still super limited, make sure your requests for assets is realistic (i.e. as few different sprites as possible, as simple an art style as possible, and an art style that can be achieved by pretty much any artist).   Super crappy art just isn't worth it. I think it would be better to ship the game with simple colors and letters than really bad sprites (although hopefully it won't come to that!).
  6. Your ideas about smaller settlements, combined with Nuclear War, seems pretty cool to me. If the major port cities have mostly been nuked already, and other big cities are in imminent danger of being nuked at any point, smaller settlements make sense. It probably wouldn't end up being a very realistic setting, but having a kind of extreme 'what if' setting could be very entertaining. A world with a crazy ongoing amount of chaos seems like a nice fit for pirates, micro-military organizations, plenty of weird factions, interesting high level goals for the players etc.
  7. The paper and pencil roleplaying game system 'Champions' (a Superhero RPG) comes to mind. It had an extensive system for calculating costs for various abilities, which was quite impressive in some ways. I'm not sure if the MMO version kept any of that same system, but it might have.   One thing I thought was interesting about it was that powers increased exponentially while the costs increased linearly (kind of). So without spending a crazy amount of points, you could have a character with enough strength to 'lift a battleship', which is the sort of thing the superhero genre emphasized a lot. Being able to quantify 'how many points' someone like Thor has vs someone like Spiderman has was pretty ambitious.
  8. polychrome

    What Music Genres Are Most Popular In Games?

    There is a lot of 'cinematic' Orchestral (well, usually 'fake' Orchestral unless the music budget is huge) music in games, but apart from that, there is all sorts of music in games. The bigger the budget (i.e. more expensive AAA projects), the more likely that the music will have more Orchestral aspects to it, since Orchestral music is considered 'classy', 'high end' etc by some people.   The smaller the budget, the more likely that the music will be electronic, since that is essentially the lowest common denominator in music creation (not that it's all bad...there is certainly really great electronic music in some games).   Music recorded live, especially with mostly acoustic instruments, is not real common in games. So, not lots of rock bands, jazz trios etc.
  9. polychrome

    What Makes A Game Look Realistic?

    Many things go into making a game look realistic. Basically, the Art and level design teams trying to do everything they can to make things look realistic, and having enough time and resources to get somewhat close to that goal, is what makes a game look realistic.   Art direction, backed up with good tech and plenty of resources.
  10. You are interested in something that would be valid and cool in it's own way, but you are totally outnumbered by the people who just want to be told that 'they are Hero! Yay!'. Pretty much all the big publishers focus exclusively on the biggest market they can find, so it's tough for them to make something along the lines of what you want.   Certainly something like what you want will come along eventually. My guess is that a well-funded Indie game studio (which is almost not a thing) could do it, if they had the right talent. Ultimately, coming up with lore costs much less money than creating AAA art assets etc, so their is some logic to creating something very lore-intensive. Also, there is no real shortage of people who could come up with cool lore, although coming up with enough for a 'world' would take a team of writers (or a single writer spending years and years on the task). 
  11. polychrome

    A Game Design Idea

      One of the steps should be to make one or more much smaller games. If you try and jump ahead to making a large, open world game, you are just setting yourself up for frustration. It doesn't seem like that would end up being an enjoyable hobby for long.   One hybrid solution is to make a very small game that implements a small part of what you want in the larger game, set in the same universe. You would gain valuable experience, hopefully will have some reusable code, and have a better idea how to tackle the larger game. Over time, your goal of making a large, high quality game could transform from very unrealistic to very realistic, as long as you don't get in over your head and give up.   I think the goal of creating an in-depth GDD is not the best goal. I think you would be better served by developing a few small systems and iterating on them, without trying to implement a bunch of detailed stuff you documented before doing code prototypes.
  12. I agree with BBeck. You would probably get frustrated trying to skip ahead to doing something like a Tycoon game. Those games have multiple systems that interact with each other, and can be quite complex in all sorts of ways.    If you want to eventually do a tycoon game, maybe you can start by doing a simple game that only implements 1 of the main systems. So, if you eventually want to make a Railroad Tycoon Clone, you could make a game that involves building train track layouts, and omits most of the other systems. If you make several small games like this, maybe not even releasing any of them, you can eventually merge the systems together and make a nice game that you can release.   The sweet spot for learning involves focusing on projects that push your abilities a little farther, but not a Whole Bunch farther. That way you keep gaining experience points without getting overwhelmed and frustrated.
  13. polychrome

    What are game developers looking for lately

    With modular changes do you mean interactive music? Like layers that can be added and taken away depending on the situation and action in game.   -Lassi   My guess is that CCH Audio is referring to a simpler approach often used, which is to have something like a non-combat and an in-combat pair of music loops, in the same tempo and key, that can be switched between quickly. That a lot less work than an interactive music system that adds overdubs of various instruments etc to a central 'stem' of music.
  14. Yes. Unless you are A- producing music that only you will listen to and B- you don't care about improving your skill, you should go ahead and apply your skills to the work, to the point where each piece you make results in you gaining experience points. Presumably you care about continually getting better, which almost never requires better tools.   Having said that, I think that you should invest the subscription price for the East West Cloud bundle, so that you have better source material to work with and the final results end up nicer.
  15. polychrome

    What to do with extra ideas?

    Evernote!   (or OneNote.  I heartily endorse using a cloud-based system with good organizational tools built in, although actually writing things down can also work...just not nearly as efficiently)   Using Evernote over the years has changed my life. Using it's simple system of tags and notebooks, it's super easy to jot down quick half-baked ideas and find them later, possibly developing them further, as opposed to coming up with new ideas whenever you find you have the time to do creative thinking. 
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