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 Post subject: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:18 am 
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So I'm making these terrain and unit overworld graphics for the default game ("Ad Hoc Wars" for now) and I'd like to hear some opinions about the direction I'm taking.

Since this is going to be the default tileset and likely to be used by many projects that can't obtain a dedicated artist for themselves, it is quite important that these graphics would be pleasing to most people - so getting feedback from users is important. The dev forums aren't open to posting for everyone so I'm making this topic here so people can share their opinions.

This mockup shows the gfx I've done so far:

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:32 am 
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Narts man I'll level with you, I didn't expect much as I haven't seen your portfolio pieces. But I used to hang in a pixel art community and I'm willing to bet you still do. The guys there had a term for work like this, hardcore. :) The sprites here show a character reminicent of past advance wars but could also be interpreted as a take on traditional table top, diorama style gaming. This is an exciting moment for me as my continued interest in the project is ensured if you will also dedicate the kind of considerable effort and time that I know it takes to make a good calibur of pixel art. The terrain seems like it was inspired by an emirates city like Dubai, was it? One thing I would request is that before spending great time on themes could you please share rough sketches? This is great work man.


Last edited by chom_chom on Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:01 am 
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Yeah, like I said earlier, I really like this art style. The coloring is definitely easy on the eyes, and it all looks very original. Great job.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:29 am 
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The natural terrain looks good together, but the roads and cities look like they're of a slightly different style. The units look like a mesh of the DoR and GBA units and they're pretty slick but like the properties they look a bit different from the natural terrain.

Not that this helps any but the natural stuff remind me of a cleaner Super Mario Bros. 2 and the rest is like i dunno DoR before the meteors and emo hit.

but maybe it's just me whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:13 am 
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The combination of perrfectly preened trees and sharply designed 'utopian' architecture may suggest a futuristic setting.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Critique:

Plain/Desert Tile:
Huge fan of the color palette you have chosen here, very simple in tones but very effective and soft on the eyes. If this is supposed to be a desert tile it does the job rather well, but my main concerns is how you will achieve the beaces next to these tiles. The one thing I do want to point out is that the edges seem a bit too highlighted, for the stylised look you have it is pleasent to my eye, but to others, they may think it makes the edges a bit too smooth. On this particular set up though each tile is easily identifiable, I was wondering if you could do a mock up of many desert tiles together, as long as you can see the boundary it will be perfect.

Trees:
The trees are easily identified, even if they are highly stylized. Like someone mentioned before I find them to be looking futuristic but it gets the job across fine, all of us could easily look at this setup and say, " oh those are trees". I do like the size of them and how they overlap onto other tiles, addes a bit of height to a rather flat map, and it helps when units are on top of them so that you can easily tell they are in the forest.

Road:
Once again an idiot could look at this setup and say, hey thats a road, so graphically it gets the job done. The highlighting/shading on it also make it look like it actually sits on top of the ground which is also very nice. Like mentioned before some people might have an issue since it is shaded to meet the rest of the stylized terrain but I don't think people will be too picky. As long as unit on it can be identified as being on the road for war planning it is perfect.

Buildings:
I like the cities, not going to elaborate too much on them, clean, simple, and like EVERYTHING you do : beatiful. My only question is wether or not it is visible under units. As for the HQ'ish building, dunno if I like it or not, compared to all the other stuff it seems a bit simple, but still beuatiful.

Last thing is the water, having lived by coasts and rivers and what not I like the coloring along the shore. Does kinda make it look/feel like waves splashing against the shore, but the vibrant blue against the more muted blue is contrasting. I think it marks the boundary quite well but maybe add some light blue to normal sea tiles to represent the cresting waves? Or just ignore it for it would be unneccessary detail.

Units:
Infantry is perfect, tank seems a bit too familiar to the aw tank. Not that there is an easier way to make a tank on an overworld not look like aw XD.

So I hope it doesn't sound like I am going to harsh, just writing up all that comes to my mind about what I like, dislike, and think about. Overall I love it and can't wait to help, but on the other hand I can't sprite this well (and I wouldve done hex XD).

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:53 am 
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Thanks to everyone for the encouraging and insightful comments! It seems everyone who has replied so far likes the direction the art is going also it pleases me to note most seem to "get" the theme - indeed I'm trying to do something reminiscent of DoR but without all the excessive angst.

Of course this is only the first iteration of the graphics and I'm likely to tweak and/or redraw all the tiles numerous times in the coming months, and I will take into account the criticisms I have received in this thread. First thing I'll probably add some weathering to the roads and buildings to give them a "used" look and bring them closer to the feel of the rest of the terrain.

chom_chom: So you want rough sketches? All right, since I've already started experimenting with character art at the side, I could share this sketch showing a take on the Main Menu Girl (does she have a name?) from JAdvanced Wars. (the one on the left is the original)

Image

The lines look like they do because I still haven't bought a tablet at home though I have learnt at work that they (the good ones at least) indeed have their advantages over a mouse. This I can largely rectify with the help of vectors however so no need to worry (and I'll probably get that Intuos soon anyway)


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:40 am 
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Like I mentioned to kosheh I prefer this style =3, and if it doesnt get the menu slot I will just mod my own :P

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:50 am 
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After applying the same style of colours and shading it wouldn't be that different, except for the head maybe still having somewhat manga-ish shape, but I was thinking of fixing that anyway.

Of course, we could just stick Leone in the menu and ignore other characters for now, since we don't really have a need for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:50 am 
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Like the tank & unit, but the property seems too width.
Are you limiting yourself to an amount of colors or not?
Because it would be possible to write a recolor function for units/properties
but that would only work if the imgs used +-10 colors not 50:)


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:39 pm 
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I'm pretty sure the unit palette is within reasonable limits, but I'm currently not worrying about that. I can reduce the palette to anything you need later.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:49 pm 
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Stef: Are you talking about scripting up a thing that amends alpha channels on images? I think that has been done on both customwars and javdanced wars. We may as well give it a go with what narts produces regardless. I like the colour pallete. I also have to say I really like this kind of plastic wrap sheen on the second character posted. The nice big gooey outlines are a personal fave approach, I really like the subtle painting of the characters colour. Thanks, I love to see works in progress. It makes it feel more like we're in development together :)


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:10 am 
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I have a plot line kinda thingy that came out of a discussion I had over dinner with a friend. I will kinda flesh it out as I am going to go to sleep now and have plenty of time to think about the plot. When you are done all the tiles could I get a copy so that I can do some magic with it ?

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:09 am 
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Quote:
I'm pretty sure the unit palette is within reasonable limits, but I'm currently not worrying about that. I can reduce the palette to anything you need later.

ok that's cool, just mentioning it :)

Quote:
Stef: Are you talking about scripting up a thing that amends alpha channels on images? I think that has been done on both customwars and javdanced wars. We may as well give it a go with what narts produces regardless.

Well, I was thinking to create 1 big unit spritesheet and then recolor it by replacing well known colors(from the image) with user defined colors. can also darken the spritesheet say 20% for inactive units. I wrote such a class @ Jaw,its really easy. The colors they can be put in a file and loaded at startup.
A gui can even be made so that people can take a baseImage and change the colors in the gui and then save it as a file, that would be wicked.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:16 pm 
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Latest progress.
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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:56 pm 
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Sweet. The edges of the graphics seem to be fairing very well against the backdrop. No dreaded ragged edge. The bubble copters and heavy tank are very cool but I'm guessing the car is still in work as it has such a heavy black edge. At the minute it is very small (like a clown car!) accentuating the width to intimate a hummer style design might help. Thanks for keeping us up to date it keeps us interested!


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:11 am 
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Did I mention how much I love you narts <3


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:45 am 
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Great job Narts! I very much like the look of how the graphics are turning out, and they suggest an interesting neutral approach to the mood setting.

I would like to mention that the helicopter in the most recent iteration seemed slightly 'tilted up' to me. This may be because the front of the windshield cants upwards, so that if someone looks at it a certain way, the top of the windshield appears to be directly underneath the rotors.

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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:33 am 
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Hello Hello! Haven't been by in a little while but I have been busy!
I have developed a javascript based system for tile based games which at the moment has a fixture for chess and checkers. I am now looking to develop the third fixture which will be an end to end game of custom wars.
Are the sprites provided here your full work as it yet stands? Although my work is in very early stages I would like to use you lovely graphics from the outset.
The project has a long way to go but demos are available and working at http://code.google.com/p/lasker/

The engine is the base component. 'Ad hoc wars' will be an implementation of the engine (like a more advanced checkers).
I look forward to using the sprites!


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:03 am 
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I'm currently facing somewhat rough time at work so I'm not feeling extremely motivated to work on this, and since people have repeatedly requested me for sheets, I'm just dumping whatever I've done here.

Image

Sorry can't seem to find the recon or mech anywhere, I guess I managed to lose them somehow. Well they sucked anyway, should make new ones. I can't be arsed to reduce the palettes or set these up onto actually useable sheets or anything so if you want that you'll have to do it yourself or wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:50 am 
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Thats just fine Narts, anything you can contribute is great I'll use what you've got so far and be sure to let you know when I've got something working to see!


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 Post subject: Re: Art community feedback topic
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:01 am 
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Perfect Narts... that sprite sheet is exactly what I needed. Thanks. If you find anymore artwork or wanna add to that collection, then feel free to do it at anytime.

-JSR


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