Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Doodling and Gamedev

BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
edited April 2015 in Artist's Corner
Hello all, been on a bit of a doodling spree lately so figured it was a good time to finally make a topic here.

A lot of what I draw is related to the development of Chester United but I also plenty of misc other things as well. Also lots of robots lately for some reason...


Onto the sketches! I think these are all from the last week or so.
Wyx0YwOl.jpg
So many little robots! I'll probably end up using one or two of these in the game.

KjhgeeXl.jpg
A few misc doodles. Probably won't actually use that Chester, but will most likely use the Barista-Bot and cyborg lady in the next game I work on.

qWKdIYJl.jpg
The water enemies of Chester United are going to be pretty strange.

d5tku2yl.jpg
90s tude Rodent Chester. I'm sorry.

FnTA6TEl.jpg
Little Chester United scene.

0hfpHmel.jpg
Trying to come up with a look for the water sections of the game. Not going too well!


Thanks for looking, and if you have any feedback let me know!

ZARP
BennFried on
Geth

Posts

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2015
    Links to all your social media is better suited for your signature.

    Your stuff is kinda in the realm of "hard to critique", because its so stylized. If you have any studies, those tend to generate more helpful critiques.

    Your inking could be alot smoother and more controlled. For your style, that seems like it would be worthwhile to try and achieve. Your blending on that last page looks a bit muddy, as well.

    Iruka on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    It's hard to get a grasp of things from the angles you took the pictures at also. Can you get some closer, flat-to-the-page shots?

  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback, line control is something I definitely need to work on a bit. I've been trying a few different things lately, hoping to find a style that really clicks.
    Also I'll go with more straight on shots from now on! Crooked is good for instagram, but not great for actual critiquing.

    Hoping to have time to get some sketching done tomorrow.

    ZARP
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Managed to nab a broken printer with a working scanner, so no more terrible phone pictures!

    Start off with a bit of graphic design, finally getting around to making a logo for the game studio.
    u5WjVl4.png
    I'm pretty happy with it, if anyone has any feedback let me know. (Not sure if graphic design stuff fits in here?)

    Besides that I've been trying out slightly different ways of shading with markers, trying to get a bit better with them in general.


    GfChmrJ.jpg
    Little ice dragon, will most likely be a boss character in Chester United. Tried coloring it like usual with the red and green, but then did some more shading with a blue marker to make him feel a little colder and more ice-like.

    73prGbL.jpg
    Probably won't use this character for anything, but do like it. Not happy with how the lazer-pompadour turned out, may try to draw some more lazer-ish things again. Did pick up some white-pens, may see what I can do with those.

    jKMqwzg.jpg
    Another throwaway character, tried blending a few different colors again but got a little more splotchy. Also used one of those white-pens to fix a bit of over-shading.

    nzY7uHN.png
    Rocker guy, might use him in the future. Tried to keep the shading as simple as possible with this one.

    irXQeah.jpg
    Wrestler Guy. Will most likely be using him again. Tried to give him a kind of strange fighting pose at the top right, but it just came out looking funky. Probably going to try to do a study-page on him this next week.

    If you have any cc about shading/lines/anatomy I'm all ears.

    ZARP
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    And now for something different: Apple farm logo thumbails!

    ayjd99i.jpg
    Still trying some slightly different things with shading.

    ZARP
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Your shading is a little smoother in these last ones, but I still get this feeling of choppiness. Ever try acrylic inks and brushes?

    I would check out andrew hussies old inking tutorial: http://smokinghippo.com/TSOtutes/inking_tutorial.html

    It has some good advice for how to tackle line variation. In the end he has a particular method for getting the results he likes, and you may choose to go about it with different media, but I think that his views on emphasis and achieving volume are good considerations for anyone who is heavy into inks.

    Yuzak
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    It might be good (especially with logos) to try out a few variations of the same idea. I know you're working primarily in ink, but pencil can be nice to refine/develop some of the sketchy ideas you came up with initially.

    tapeslingerIrukaEnc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    These designs suggest more of a "high school yearbook" feel and less of a "folksy farm company" vibe, not specifically because of the art (there are plenty of hard chop designs out there looking for that cartoonist vibe) but the lettering isn't what I would consider professional grade. Middle left and top center are the tightest for sales design, but both are also probably too complicated to quickly replicate for printing.

    Company logos need to be the right mix of simple and distinct. You will need to print them on the side of every apple box, which means you need to be able to paint & stencil them. Most of these designs require so many detail lines and hashing that you might be able to print stickers, but even then they would likely be too expensive to make useable.

    As a design exercise they are neat drawings, as a marketing logo exercise you may want to take a few hundred examples from agri-business and see what the trends are. Typically they are two-color designs with simple shapes that imply their product. Even the most complicated (like Pepperidge Farms, which really isn't an agribusiness but anyway) is going to keep it to two flat colors rather than gradients and typically they will toss the graphic aside for their name-only banner for most printing.

  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Thanks a lot for all of the feedback and that inking link.

    Definitely getting pretty far away from logo design and into illustration with this now, but not too concerned about that. Just a small assignment for a class.
    Trying to add a little more line width variety
    dZ1jHCQ.png
    YR8tnb8.jpg
    And now that I see it scanned in I see I need to up the variety a bit.

    Have to do a few more designs for this, I'll probably try pencil for at least one of those.

    BennFried on
    ZARP
    Iruka
  • MabelmaMabelma Registered User regular
    I like where you are taking these logos, the whole watercolory, gouche style thing is nice. I like it, personally I would add some reddish browns to the farm just to break up the red, red, red palette a bit. Other than that, nice work.

    Have some time, check out my blog
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    Thanks!
    One of the logos actually ended up winning the contest, that was pretty surprising. Guess I lucked out and they enjoyed the hand drawn style.


    Having another go at pixel art and finally have a look that I think I actually enjoy.
    lQ4KTcw.gif

    And in game, to show the slight 3D feel of it.
    tZAHLrc.gif

    Also started redesigning the first map of the game. Still in a very rough state, hoping to get it finished up this weekend.
    apnypuRh.gif

    BennFried on
    ZARP
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Redesigning a game map is absolutely something that would benefit from a few iterations. At least.

    You mentioned that you were doing something for a class...are you in school for game design or illustration? Is the game map something you're doing for class?

    F87
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Graphic Design major, and thankfully just finished that up this semester.
    The map is for a game I've been working on for a while now, Chester United.

    Trying to finish up a new demo with the updated maps in time for E3, will be cutting it pretty close.

    ZARP
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Making some more progress on that new map.

    Think I finally settled on a style to shade/color with:
    Zz0RTT8l.png

    The current layout:
    h1yL7PTh.jpg

    Have linework roughed out for most of the map, need to refine a decent amount of that though. Hoping to have the house, fortress, and shop finished up by tomorrow night.

    ZARP
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Do you have any intention of trying out multiple ideas before jumping into the first thing you think of?

    As an example, you might want to try developing a game map as a "series of parts". You could try designing 20 separate sections, figure out which may be the most fun to play through, and then choose your favorite 10 and piece them together.

    You mentioned that you "finally settled on a style to color and shade with" - can we see the other examples and maybe help you figure out what's working and what's not? What you've landed on now could use some work (forms are a bit hard to read, for example), and it might be best to resolve those issues before applying that style to your entire map.

    F87Enc
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Thank for the feedback/advice!

    Had a few goes with different ideas, but when I'm working digitally if I don't like something I'll just delete the layer. Horrible habit I need to stop doing!
    After looking at it again you're right that it does feel pretty muddled together. Probably will try another go at shading/color and actually save the failures this time.

    Do have a marker one that I tried out (and learned that if I don't use markers for a month I completely forget how to use them.)
    weVohNVl.jpg
    Will probably be using this marker style in another section of the game (the whole gimmick of the game is different visual styles.) Unfortunately don't have too many actual markers right now, so may need to draw with the colors I do have and adjust the colors after scanning them in. Another downside of the markers is the time it takes, need to get this thing done eventually! :P
    The scans seem to come out a lot harsher than the actual drawing, may see what I can do about that/if anyone has any tips.

    As for the map design it's pretty sectioned off already, just merged for the image above. This is a "Planet" map, which you use to get to the shop/house/and levels. The actual levels have a different look.

    May also revisit some of the art later on, in mad rush mode to try to get a small demo ready for E3.

    Thanks again for the input.

    BennFried on
    ZARP
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    So with the color pallets you used on the actual levels link, it's extremely difficult to parse foreground and background with your colors. Your plant foreground colors are often the exact same as your background, making looking at them very jarring to determine where your eyes should focus. You may want to consider using an different color pallet (maybe a somewhat desaturated set of matching colors to show distance or significantly different background pallet to make sensing the two easier.

    With how busy both foreground and backgrounds are, it's tough to tell what I'm supposed to be looking at in the landscape. One of the neat things Terraria and Starbound did right on this is using simplified backgrounds that have just enough detail to suggest setting without distracting from the main event of the foreground. The old sonic games did the opposite, making the foreground simplified and the backgrounds hypercomplicated, to make it easy to tell where you should be looking. Having both hyper-detailed makes everything try to draw my eye, with nothing being able to hold it.

    Enc on
    NightDragon
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The hyper-foreground stuff also appears to be pretty distracting from gameplay in the screenshots, though seeing a video in motion would probably help us tell if that's actually a problem or just an artifact of the particular screencaps.

  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Haven't haven't any complaints about the foreground being too distracting I'm hoping it's just has to do with the screenshots. I try to get the areas that have a lot of foreground items away from areas that have enemies/jumping/other action.
    Will still try what you suggested though.

    Here is a demo from earlier this year (PC, Mac, Linux, Web) if anyone wants to give it a quick go. And here are some videos to see it in motion.
    Both of these are pretty outdated though. Hah, forgot I said that those would be weekly videos. Oops.

    ZARP
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Yeah, the background stuff isn't as bad as the screencaps made it look. But there is a ~lot~ going on on that video. With it full screen sometimes I was squinting to see where the character was on my large monitor (and I have 20/20 vision).

    The perspective you have at 3:57 or so where you can see the characters and the environments up closer was super endearing, and the awesome glow effects you've got for dark spaces would look amazing up close in those.

    It's workable, but from my eye I'ts still hard to focus on where your character is and what is going on with the amount of effects you have. Between words in the background, the switching styles (which is an awesome mechanic), and the highly detailed foreground, level, and backgrounds, it's just like overstimulation. A lot of people will like that, probably. For me it's too jarring to imagine playing for a half hour without getting a headache from squinting. But I may be the minority in that.

    Enc on
    NightDragon
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Are you the sole artist on this project, or is there anybody that you're working with?

    I agree with Enc. I think one of the issues you're detailing with is the lack of any kind of "visual hierarchy". Every single item has virtually the same level of detail, the same amount of texture/sketchy rendering...there's nowhere for your eye to really "rest" - everything looks equally busy. It is hard to pick out the silhouettes. The similarities [in value/hue/level of detail] across the board are making it really, really hard to quickly and easily pick out the character and the environment assets, and separate those from the background and foreground. You generally don't want a busy and high contrast background when things going on top of that background look really similar. Things get lost. If you can focus your efforts on creating strong silhouettes, I think that will help, because that will require you to balance the foreground, midground and background so they work together and stop competing. It shouldn't be enough that the game is "easier to understand when you're moving" - there shouldn't be this level of confusion when the player is stopped.

    Here are some games that balance the fore/mid/backgrounds using (a) value, (b) saturation, (c) hue, and (d) varying levels of detail.

    newsupermariobrosu_600x334.png
    Bonk-Brink-of-Destruction.jpg
    rayman_legends_e3_2012_wii_u_004.jpg
    apotheon_003.jpg

    Notice how the platforms, the characters, and the "goodies" are all VERY easy to see, and pretty immediately? Try using different values, saturations, hues and levels of detail on your fore/mid/background. It will really make your game look a ton better, and it will be much easier for players to understand what they're looking at. Creating strong and clear silhouettes and breakups between what is interactive and what is not will be a great next step for you to take.

    EncAngel_of_BacontapeslingerBennFried
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Haha, didn't think of overstimulation but I can definitely see your point. May try to make some of the settings a little more calm and less chaotic to try to break things up a bit.
    Completely forgot about the glowing I was using, need to find some more uses for that.


    Thanks a lot for the examples, very helpful.
    Working on that cave that connects to the house area, tried to keep in mind the things you mentioned while working on it.
    Probably going to add a little something to the foreground, feels a bit empty to me. (I think I just like overbusy a bit too much.)
    CTdcNUBl.jpg
    h2vRfjkl.jpg

    Also going to need to jump to the programming side for the next few days, hoping to get back to working on the art early next week.

    Edit: Oh yeah, forgot to answer your question! I'm the only artist working on this.

    BennFried on
    ZARP
  • MabelmaMabelma Registered User regular
    This is looking freaking awesome man! You should definitely think of streaming the creation process of it. I'd love to watch you create all this art. Love the marker, colored pencil, watercolor feel of it all.

    Have some time, check out my blog
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Thank you!
    Always thought about giving that a try but never looked into the best way to actually do it. Is that something people use Twitch for, or would there be a better option?

    ZARP
  • MabelmaMabelma Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Yeah, some people stream through Twitch. I personally never done a stream but I do record the process using a screen recorder and then timelapse it and post it on youtube. I feel kinda bad for giving you an idea and now having no way of helping you do it. Jajaja but let me look into it, right now :)
    ----
    Found this: Might be of some help :)
    http://www.wikihow.com/Stream-Live-Video

    Mabelma on
    Have some time, check out my blog
  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    Hadn't even thought of recording and doing a time lapse!
    And that's alright, I can hunt down some info if I get around to trying it out. Thanks for looking into it though.

    ZARP
  • MabelmaMabelma Registered User regular
    No problem man, can't wait to see what you decide to do! And of course play that game!! It's looking incredible already.

    Have some time, check out my blog
  • charlesartistcharlesartist Artist and Game Developer CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    BennFried wrote: »

    ....

    And in game, to show the slight 3D feel of it.
    tZAHLrc.gif
    ....

    How did you get that 3d effect? What software or method are you using? It looks really cool!

  • BennFriedBennFried Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Done in Unity.
    I set everything on slightly different z layers and mapped the right control stick to rotate the camera around the player's location.

    Decided to use Twitch for art streaming, twitch.tv/BennFried
    Was going to work on some tonight, but had to reinstall windows so not too sure when I'll get around to it.

    BennFried on
    ZARP
Sign In or Register to comment.