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  • Tell me what's worst and I'll start there.

    Hi everyone. I started off with a post in the "introducing yourself" section, but when I clicked on Post, the page just said "Working" or something like that and never proceeded. So instead of risking a double post as my first activity here, I'll just jump straight into my request for guidance.

    In case my introduction was swallowed by the void, I'm the lead developer on a video game and the founder of the company working on it. Feedback so far indicates that a lot of people find the look of the game off-putting, but no one really had any specific improvements to recommend. We have no budget for a professional graphic designer, so I'm going to be taking on those duties. So without excuses, I submit my work here and request that someone tell me what needs the most work, and I'll start there.

    Thank you all in advance for any guidance you can give me.

    Attached we have a look at one of the world levels,
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    and how that level looks during the day, sunset, and night,

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    a look at the vendor menu

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    (That vendor menu is in a test level that uses a grass texture we're no longer using. I think it looks OK here, but the tiling is pretty easy to see on larger fields, and it's too saturated to use in larger blocks, such as the world map shown in the first two gifs.)

    ...And maybe we should start with just those. It's taking me a while to upload some of these pictures, and there's probably plenty to pick apart already. Thanks again.





  • #2
    Your first post processed fine, it just went to moderation, as all first posts do. There's a welcome reply on that post, with links to the rules so you can see how things work.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      Thanks KitchWitch! Unfortunately, there's not much to see in these pictures I posted. They're supposed to be animated gifs and bigger... Let me see if I can post some better examples.

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      • #4
        From looking at the pictures you have posted the biggest problem I see is the relationship between the characters and the map. They don't match up very well it makes the characters seem out of place. I think that you have to either make the landscape pixel art, like the characters, or make the characters more realistic to fit the landscape. I personally love pixel art and I would change the landscape. I think your making an RPG right, so an example that I can think of now is hyper light drifter. Anyway you need to make sure that the landscape and characters are the same art style.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback Clay. Getting the 2D characters to look right in a 3D world has been a challenge since the beginning. Hyper Light Drifter looks pretty impressive. I would love to have some pixel-perfect backgrounds to put these characters in, but because of the free camera rotation and zoom, I have to have some kind of 3D representation that wouldn't work well with a hand-drawn pixel environment. So over the last couple of days I've tried some things that might help the 2D and 3D assets mix a little better.

          In the pics below, you can see Sobel edge detection marked in dark color and cartoony shading with a pretty narrow band between light and shadow. I hope that's an improvement in tying the look together. Does it still need something or do you think I should focus on something else next?

          I'm sure there's still lots of work to be done on the world, the characters, and the UI. I'll upload some different examples so hopefully someone can tell me more about what needs to change.

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          • #6
            Why do the players need to see the map grid?

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            • #7
              I guess I hadn't thought that all the way through... It's helpful I think to see how far your characters can move in a turn. It's not strictly necessary on the world map though. It's a lot more important on the battle map, and I guess I would like to keep it on the world map too in order to keep a consistent look. Do you think it needs to be more subtle? Should I try doing without it?

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              • #8
                From a graphic design perspective,the grid is an aesthetic liability. A more subtle grid would help.

                From an interface design perspective, the computer automatically does the measurement for the players. I can only think of one case where a player would need more precise visual estimate of distance at a glance, if the players aren't touching the computer. If this game is (in effect) a table top RPG where only the game administrator is touching the computer in a multiplayer environment, the grid might help. But if the players have access to the computer, they can use digital rulers for more precise distance measurement.

                From a game play perspective, it would be more challenging (and perhaps more realistic) if the players didn't have such a precise distance measurement.

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