Monday, August 18, 2014

Fledgling game artist...or not?

Most of the negative feedback on our games has been related to the poor quality of graphics and/or animation. I have to admit that these comments are appropriate: Our gamedev "team" currently has no artist at all, and actually all graphics are so far been drawn by me. And I'm really bad at drawing.

Anyways, there has been a need for graphics and animation in our games. So I have tried learn to draw at least something using Gimp, Inkscape or Aseprite. Tools itself are not an issue here: there are plenty of tutorials and online manuals available. But even if you could use all tool features perfectly, it does not help a lot if you have no eye for art.

I thought at some point that pixel-art would be a solution for me, and I dug out this tutorial: Pixel Joint forum: Creating Pixel Art. Basically this tutorial was fine and everything was understandable, but I did not have enough perseverance to follow the guidelines. The theory of anti-aliasing and dithering was quite clear, but using them in real drawing was something I was not able to understand fully. :)

I am sure that it is possible to improve graphics skills by practicing and practicing. But at the moment I don’t have the time nor the energy to to learn one more completely new thing for me. My game design and implementation efforts takes enough time currently, and I also work full time elsewhere.

But what we can do to improve the visual quality of our games? Well, I have couple of options in my mind:
  1. We start using ready-made assets from internet or gamedev tools’ asset stores. There seem to be several sites offering large variety of assets, but the problem is that it might be difficult to find exactly the specific asset you are looking for. So you probably have to compromise.
  2. We will try to find a suitable, visually talented person to join our team. The challenge at the moment is that we are doing gamedev as a hobby, so everything is done on zero budget and no-one gets paid (of course, the possible ad revenue will be shared fairly).
I guess we will try to find a suitable combination of these two options during next couple of months. 

-Jussi


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