My character designs

halkunhalkun Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Artist's Corner
Hi all,

I previously announced this elsewhere, but I'm currently making a video game that teaches Japanese. The game itself is called "The Pineapple Chronicles"

After a disaster at sea, the main character, Max, is washed up on a deserted island. After a little exploring, he finds a young girl, who is the only other survivor. Her name is Kaori, and she is a Japanese girl who doesn't speak a word of English.

The object is you have to learn her language in order to cooperate and survive on the island. That's not the whole story. The island itself also has a rich history that you learn while you explore it. There are no hatches or secret numbers, but the island turns into a very interesting place.

I've scanned in some of my sketches. Here they are

mtkao.pngmtmax.png

Kaori is first, Max is second.

In Kaori's sketch, I beg of you to disregard the profile in the lower left hand corner, I took it upon myself to draw another one which turned out much better. I also suffer from "ballhand" where fists become balls attached to an end of an arm. I'm not very consistent with my drawings, but I'm getting much better. I love the center picture, and is closest to my mind's eye at how her final appearance will look like in the game.

I'm still working on what to give her as clothes. I *want* to give her a blouse with an American flag on the front, just for irony's sake. She wears a long dress, but I don't have the top right. It's been flip-flopping between a button-up blouse and some kind of shirt.

As far as Max goes, once again the center picture is what I feel is the best representation of how he looks. My consequential drawings made him regress in age. He's supposed to be 20-ish In the the bottom picture, I think I just made his eyes too big, which is why he looks so young.

Feel free to hash this out amongst yourselves. If you want to see how the game is being made, feel free to click on the link in my sig. That goes to a worklog that I publish every day.

dA03mgx.png
halkun on
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Posts

  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    I'm more intriuged by the sound of the game than I am by the character designs. My initial reactions to the designs were to ask "Why go with the anime look?", but after hearing about the game I can kinda see why you'd want to.

    In my personal opinion though, I'd develop something of your own because right now as it stands your character designs are wholly unremarkable I'm afraid.

    As for the game, I'd like to hear more. How is it being produced?

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • lilchingch0nglilchingch0ng Registered User
    edited August 2007
    i too am fascinated by this game concept. however, your character designs are...very...bland. as a general rule of thumb, dude (or chick) in a plain shirt and jeans doesnt make for an interesting character design.

    lilchingch0ng on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'm more intriuged by the sound of the game than I am by the character designs. My initial reactions to the designs were to ask "Why go with the anime look?", but after hearing about the game I can kinda see why you'd want to.

    In my personal opinion though, I'd develop something of your own because right now as it stands your character designs are wholly unremarkable I'm afraid.

    As for the game, I'd like to hear more. How is it being produced?

    I started an independent software company. The game itself uses the Torque engine. Kaori and Max here will actually be in 3D. These are just the 2D concept sketches. Krythic, (my software company), is something I devote 4-8 hours a night working on. My labor is documented in the link in my sig below.

    I have found "breaking in" to game development is a lot easier than I thought. As it turns out, if you simply show that you are putting in effort to create something for yourself, people will bend over backwards to help you. I don't really blame them, most big developers that hang out online are being besieged by 13 year old kids who are trying to sell them their next "Big Idea". Most of these kids have playing a little too much "World of Warcraft" and think an MMO server is something that you can make in a few weeks or download and mod with a text file.

    I guess they are happy that I'm actually trying to produce something and not begging someone to help me make the next big MMORPG.

    The anime look is on purpose. The target audience will be expecting it. I was thinking of making Max a little more occidental looking, but the anime version won out for consistency's sake.

    I'm not a very good artist. I actually appear more creative than I actually am. The object of all this is to fake my way though making a whole game, fooling everyone that I have some kind of talent.

    Below is a 3D version of Kaori. It was a rough draft. I'm going to be redoing her this week to knock down her poly count from 60K to around 8k for the game. I'm also going to make the 3D version of her more consistent with the 2D concept sketch. Both are most likely going to be heavily revised before I'm finished.

    noprob.jpg

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Thank you for elaborating more on the game development. As both an artist and something interested in learning japanese, I would highly recommend developing your own stylized concept to present the characters in, and ditch the bland anime cliche.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    i..um..err. you are..umm...

    wait.

    wait wait.....um

    so those are your concept sketches...you started a company??
    um..

    no. If you're sinking money into some project for real. i highly suggest you team up with some people that maybe have some more experience. you seem like you're just starting out with drawing, you may be getting in over your head.
    good luck!

    NakedZergling on
  • Highlander_77Highlander_77 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I don't know if you're looking for advice to improve as an artist or just opinions on the character designs. As far the characters go, I have to agree with the other responses that they seem extremely bland and uninteresting. To be honest, I didn't even realize that the main drawing of Kaori in the middle of the left image was even supposed to be a femal until I read your text. The generic anime/manga style is partly to blame for that, as there often isn't much facial difference between males and females in that particular style. The images of Max I can barely see...either your pencil marks were extremely light on the paper, or it just didn't scan well (I'm on a crappy monitor right now, so that doesn't help either...but in any case the drawings of Max are much light than the drawings of Kaori).

    I don't have any specific advice on how to improve the character designs. One thing that may help is to spend some time thinking about the backstory of these two characters. What kind of home did they come from, what sort of things are they interested in, what sort of events have taken place in their lives that might influence their outlook on the world...and how might those things be reflected in their appearance. Maybe Kaori wears some distinctive piece of jewelry that was passed down to her from a beloved grandmother who has passed on. Maybe Max has a lucky pair of shoes that he refuses to give up, even though they're old and beat to hell. These are just some ideas...give these characters something in their appearance that reflects their personality.

    The only problem there might be translating your ideas on to paper. You might come up with a character design that looks brilliant in your head, but your current level of artistic ability might not allow you to convey in on paper adequately. You do have some drawing ability, so if you were willing to put the work in, I have no doubt that you could improve in that area. If you were going to seriously pursue that, you would need to ditch the anime style (at least for now) and just focus on the fundamentals of anatomy and such. If that's not something you're willing to pursue right now, then I'd at least recommend maybe trying to get some help from someone who's a bit more accomplished in the drawing department, especially if game design is something you want to attempt as a career. Which brings me to my final point...

    While the concept of your game does sound intriguing and original, if you're goal is to produce a game which actually attempts to teach the player Japanese, then I think you might be getting a little over-ambitious. It takes most people years of study to learn a foreign language to any degree of proficiency, and for an English speaking person to learn Japanese would be even tougher, I would imagine. I don't even know if it would be possible to teach that sort of thing in a videogame. Now, if you just meant that you need to get the character to learn Japanese, thought whatever game mechanics you choose, so that he would gradually begin to be able to understand the girl...then that might work.

    Highlander_77 on
    El_Pollo_Diablo.jpg"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I have nothing to say about the art, I'm more interested in knowing what subjects you're going to focus on in the Japanese lessons.

    MagicToaster on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Is that Radiosity or Baked AO on that 3d model? Or are you just happy to see me?

    Mayday on
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'll throw in my 2 cents.

    First off, I'm glad to see that you understand how much work goes into making even a simple game. It seems like you have a really solid concepts and a pretty big drive to see it get done. Like other people have already said, I'd be interested in playing this if it came to fruition.

    I will chime in and say the same thing: both of these characters are generic. However, I am pretty impressed with that 3d model if that's you just starting.

    Though this is an art critique forum, I'm going to advise you in a slightly different direction about game design: keep it simple. This is your first project, and I would recommend keeping everything as basic as possible until you have a working proof of concept and a much better understanding of production. This is why I wouldn't really worry too much about how "bland" the characters are. Get them in a game and moving around teaching Japanese. Then go back and see if you can make them look more interesting.

    anable on
  • core tacticcore tactic Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Sounds a lot like Lost in Blue to me.

    core tactic on
    6700ab2ed7bb6f9876150c388a78a011.png
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The only similarities I see are two characters stranded on an island. You could say it's a lot like Swiss Family Robinson or Lost too.

    anable on
  • baroophbarooph Registered User
    edited August 2007
    i personally dont like anime but im going to talk about the drawings later in this post for now i think ill talk more about the game. first of all



    WHAT will you do in the game besides explore and learn japanese?

    WHEN will the game be released?

    WHY did you decide to make the game?

    and finnaly which part of the japanese language will you be focusing on? and how will you start?

    THE ART

    im not going to flame you for drawing in anime style but i would reccomend try to draw diffrently because theres too many 12-year-olds out there that draw in anime also the characters are a bit bland and flat.

    barooph on
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    barooph wrote: »
    im not going to flame you for drawing in anime style but i would reccomend try to draw diffrently because theres too many 12-year-olds out there that draw in anime

    Sorry to be a prick, but that is in no way a reason not to draw it in anime.
    Ultimately, what you have to care for is whether the style will be interesting to the audience and I bet in this case anime (no matter if it's overrated) is most surely going to be just right.

    True dat, the characters need some work but I can see you're pretty handy with 3d, so I'm going to wait until you finish the one you've posted.

    Mayday on
  • DangeriskDangerisk Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I read the phrase "bland anime characters" so many times in this thread it sounded like a recording.

    Is 3D necessary for this game? I think 2D would be a lot simpler and would allow you to concentrate more on the game play itself instead of how the game looks.

    I have no experience in 3D models or animation and don't know about your skill level. However, a one man team making a full 3D game sounds like a long, long road. Are you planning on animating the characters just walking around, or fully interacting with the environment?

    If the goal is to teach then 3D graphics aren't needed, and might even detract from the game if done poorly. You're teaching japanese, not making a full on FPS with explosions. In a genre like this, I myself would enjoy a solid game with 2D graphics over almost any form of 3D. More important to me would be stuff like voice acting, story line and, most importantly, do I learn? Great graphics can only supplement that, and I think the simplest way to accomplish that is 2D. The early generation of 3D games don't age very well simply because they just don't look good. However, if you think your 3D skills can handle it then you should continue on.

    It would be cool if you could add some puzzles into this game. It would make a neat combination of adventure gaming and learning.

    Dangerisk on
    If what you say is true, the Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be DANGERISK.
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited August 2007
    I think the bigger concern over whether it is "anime" or not is secondary to developing an art direction that will actually allow you to actually finish this project at some point. I mean, you're making this game from scratch, all by yourself? Coding, scripting, level design, art, animation, and QA? You're just not going to have the time to do settings and characters at the level of detail you're describing there in that screencap and get further than being able to make maybe a demo, unless your ultimate deadline is around 4-5 years from now.

    So here are your options to actually get this done:
    1) Get more people to work on this project.
    2) Design for what you can realistically do.

    Assuming you don't spring for the first, this is what I'd recommend. Simplify. Look at DS games like Zelda: Phantom Hourglass or stuff like Katamari Damacy or Sims Wii- very few polys, and the assets wouldn't take a lot of time to make, but they still look good because they have a solid, coherent art direction.

    I point out Katamari in particular because it was designed expressly to be able to pump out a ton of assets in a short amount of time from a fairly small team, which is- if you ever want to finish this- what you should be planning to do, what you should be designing for.

    It seems to me that going for (somewhat) realistically proportioned humans with anime faces in 3d- and then, of course, having to make environment assets that match that style- is going to be more work than one person can realistically handle in a decent timeframe and still manage to look good. And if you don't need (somewhat) realistically proportioned humans with anime faces in 3d to look good, why screw yourself over? Just make it fun looking, it'll save you time and energy and probably look better and be more fun to make and to play.

    EDIT: Also? If this is the only concept work you've done so far, you should not be moving on to modeling yet. Before anything you should have some art that conveys the overall feel of the game- the mood, the tone, the style of the thing. Characters, in the environment, doing their thing.

    When you've solidified what you want the player to get from the game, visually, then you'll have something to refer to when designing assets- 'how do I make X object or Y character fit in this world I've made'. Otherwise, you- no matter how solid the idea seems in your head right now- are going to end up hacking away at this thing piecemeal, and end up with stuff that doesn't quite work with other stuff, and will more than likely lead to a game that ultimately is visually and stylistically jumbled, weakening the overall impact of the game. You need to develop the overall idea on paper first before committing to it in polys.

    EDIT2: On a side note, I think it's kind of weird that I also once worked on a Torque engine educational game set on an island. :P Are you planning on doing episodic/individual lesson releases of this, or just one gigantic game? I ask because episode releases are probably a better idea when it comes to actually getting something released and getting people interested in a timely fashion.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • thundercakethundercake Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Even if 3D isn't necessary for the game to be good, you have to admit that 3D model is years ahead of the 2D artwork.

    The game sounds really interesting. I once played a game that taught japanese writing called Slime Forest, and it was really fun if very simple. I'd be interested in hearing how this works out for you.

    thundercake on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There are key questions that you can ask during the development of a project that will help you guide it
    barooph wrote: »

    WHAT will you do in the game besides explore and learn japanese?

    WHEN will the game be released?

    WHY did you decide to make the game?


    These, however, are not those kinds of questions. You should ask things like:

    -Who is this for? This way you can tailor the project to the groups needs.

    -Who is my competition? When you know this you'll be able to know what other ppl are offering and what you can do to stand out.

    -How much money are ppl willing to invest in this? Do anime kids have $30 to shell out? $15? $5?

    Asking things like when the game will be released (unless pressed by an unlfexible time-table), or why you've made that game dont help build a structure. There's no sense in focusing on these things.

    MagicToaster on
  • baroophbarooph Registered User
    edited August 2007

    Asking things like when the game will be released (unless pressed by an unlfexible time-table), or why you've made that game dont help build a structure. There's no sense in focusing on these things.


    i just find it interesting to know those things. rather then the cost because and what not.

    barooph on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hi guys

    I'll try and fill out some of the background on Pineapple Chronicles, then I'll jump back to the game.
    barooph wrote: »
    WHAT will you do in the game besides explore and learn japanese?
    The story is the main drive. The game itself is broken down into "missions", for lack of a better word. Actually, it might be more apt to call them "scenarios" or "quests". The "Pineapple Chronicle" itself is a book that is floated up on the beach. It was just a blank log book that both Max and Kaori write stuff down in so they can communicate. The Chronicle keeps track of these "missions" or "quests" that are written down by Kaori or Max to do. You get a handful of "quests" per chapter, and when the chapter is completed, a part of the island opens up. You can have about 5 "quests" at a time. Some are sequentially unlocked, some are found about the island.

    Each quest contains a minigame of sorts. Torque is very scriptable to adding in quests is as easy as loading a script file. That's an under-the-hood thing. Some quests are Japanese based, and some are there for the sake of being a game. It's a real balance between the two. Like I said though, this is really a story-driven game, thinly veiled as educational software.
    barooph wrote: »
    WHEN will the game be released?
    When it's economically viable to do so.
    barooph wrote: »
    WHY did you decide to make the game?
    I have been involved with computer projects on and off for many years. This is an attempt to take all that I have learned and to do something I've always wanted to do. The breaking point was when Gabe and Tycho announced that they were making their game based on the Torque engine. When I did the research on what GarageGames offered, I really fell in love with Torque. It's rough, and the documentation is shit, but when it''s closest commercial competitor is $25,000, it's a steal! I have more information about my project on my blog under the "Critically Important Things to Read" sections.
    barooph wrote: »
    and finnaly which part of the japanese language will you be focusing on? and how will you start?
    First year most definitely, maybe second year depending on how motivated I am and how well I can convince the Japanese interns to assist longer. At the beginning of the game Kaori and Max make a pact of sorts. Because they are both in the situation they are in, and they both realize how critical it is to communicate to each other, they actually try to learn *each other's* language to make it easer. Kaori's English, however will be very basic when she uses it, she will write it down a lot more than she will speak it. If you fall behind Kaori's English, she won't teach you any more Japanese until you catch up. There is a lot of time at the beginning of the game where Kaori and Max sit by the fire, and you have to go through that goddamned book to get all the kana down. However, a twist is that when Kaori speaks Japanese, her dialog box will be entirely written in Japanese well. No English letters. You have to pick up what she says by context, or flip through the Chronicle.

    It's immersion.
    -Who is this for? This way you can tailor the project to the groups needs.
    Down the brass tacks, this game is for Otaku, but can grab others in via a halo effect. One of the things that has been mentioned in my demographic studies is if I can switch Max and Kaori's roles. (What if a girl player doesn't want to play as Max, but wants to play a girl.) The problem is the story can't accommodate for gender reversals. If the game is released and does well, I have the technology and capital to make another game with different characters. The setting won't be on an island, however.

    That's a bridge I'll burn when I get to it.

    Anime fans are really fickle though, and can be like a French wine taster when it comes to taste. If you deliver something that is "fake anime" they can really dump on it. That is a risk that have to work with. That's why I'm actually glad you guys said my artwork was "bland". I'd rather be mediocre than wrong.
    Who is my competition? When you know this you'll be able to know what other ppl are offering and what you can do to stand out.
    The uniqueness of my game and target demographic and gives me a niche that I can work comfortably within. The game genre itself is very popular in Japan where the languages are reversed, however it does not exist in the U.S. There are other niche brothers and sisters, dating sims and visual novels, but I'm more interested in providing for my demographic then crosswise competition. I secretly want to compete with "Slime Forest", by blowing it out of the water.
    -How much money are ppl willing to invest in this? Do anime kids have $30 to shell out? $15? $5?
    You will be quite suprised with the disposable income possessed by anime fans. There is a reason why this saying exists.

    The game started out as a 2D prototype. The 3D is just a personal challenge of mine.

    Did I get everyone's questions?

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    That is a risk that have to work with. That's why I'm actually glad you guys said my artwork was "bland". I'd rather be mediocre than wrong.

    :|

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited August 2007
    :x

    Settling for mediocrity is wrong.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So, yeah, -design-.

    I'd suggest you do some basic research on the popular clothing and hair styles of whatever area you want these characters to look like they come from. Right now they look like generic Ranma characters.

    If you have the kind of time, give them a few different outfits, maybe with the occasional accessory (example: Bart of The Simpsons has a lucky red hat that he wears, but he only wears it once in awhile).

    Consider different body types, rather than generic medium-build. A short boy or a tall girl or someone with a lot of body hair or something. Just something to make them less generic without having to go overboard. Just throw in some freckles, even.

    You may want to consult a few different types of human analysis, as well. Personality tests, various zodiacs, and even complexion charts (Winter is dark hair and bluish skin, etc).

    There's always hair dye or contacts or glasses, as well, or even personal ways of wearing otherwise normal stuff, like having a hoodie tied around the waist.

    I've heard many artists state that silouettes should be unique, as well. Color schemes would probably be under a similar rule (hence why anime characters have such crazy hair colors, since they often wear uniforms and tend to be drawn the same).

    Incenjucar on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    That is a risk that have to work with. That's why I'm actually glad you guys said my artwork was "bland". I'd rather be mediocre than wrong.

    :|

    Oops, don't take that the worng way. I try and strive for the best I can do. I also accept my limitations that I'm not going to be Yukito Kishiro (Gummn), Haruhito Mikimoto (Macross), or Ken Akamatsu (Love hina). (Speaking of Ken Akamatsu, have you ever seen his wife? Holy shit!)

    In the end, if I get a "meh", it's much better than a "that blows". I'm working on my v2 model of kaori. She's looking so much better in 3D.

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I know, double posting is bad, but I have something new art to show off.

    kaov2a.png

    I like how that turned out....

    Also, I'm going to see if I can get some clothes for her from virtual tailors better talented than I.

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • StudioZELStudioZEL ConnecticutRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'm going to agree with the others and say that you definately need a consistant artistic look throughout, and a simpler style would probably suit the work better (as opposed to the more standard works of Akamatsu or whoever).

    Phantom Hourglass is a good game to look at, as others have pointed out. I would also highly recommend looking at something like Doraemon or Crayon Shin-chan, simplistic styles that has a very universal appeal. This game sounds like it'd be a lot of fun especially if it were made for the DS, which would once again reinforce the ideal simpler style.

    StudioZEL on
  • Bob The MonkeyBob The Monkey Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    In the end, if I get a "meh", it's much better than a "that blows". I'm working on my v2 model of kaori. She's looking so much better in 3D.

    I think people are being polite to you because you seem to have put some real thought into this and you have a pretty good posting manner, so I'm going to have to be the one to say this:

    That blows.

    You haven't done any character design: nothing you have drawn there is in any way an original creation, but rather a mediocre (by amateur standards) representation of the most basic anime forms imaginable. The characters have no distinguishing features to set them apart from any other anime character ever drawn. I know you might think this is a good thing, but if you're ever going to advertise this game it's likely you'll use images of the protagonists to do this, and it will be necessary for the characters to have distinct features that people can see and associate with your game.

    Bob The Monkey on
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    In the end, if I get a "meh", it's much better than a "that blows". I'm working on my v2 model of kaori. She's looking so much better in 3D.

    I think people are being polite to you because you seem to have put some real thought into this and you have a pretty good posting manner, so I'm going to have to be the one to say this:

    That blows.

    I'm gonna go ahead and say that you don't speak for myself. I think getting a game up and running with "mediocre" characters is about 10,000 times more important than getting some amazing looking character models that never make it out of Maya and into an actual engine.

    anable on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I’ve hesitated to go too deeply into this subject because this is, after all, the Art Corner, not the Marketing Corner. But since you brought up the subject of demographics, niches and target groups, you’ve gotten me all pumped up and I don’t think I can contain my inner marketing nerd.

    I’m gonna bash the answers you gave earlier because they’re somewhat lacking. This is dangerous because if your information is incomplete so will your marketing.

    Who is this for: You said it’s for Otakus, this is a bit like saying "It's for people". You need to be more specific! What otakus? Where do they live? How old are they? Are they mostly male, mostly female? Do they have jobs? What kind of anime do they watch? Do they watch anime in Japanese or English? Aside from anime, what kind of TV shows do they watch? What kind of games do they play?

    Who is my competition: Even though this kind of game may be popular in Japan, what works over there wont necesarly work in the States, mostly because the importance of learning English is highly emphasized in Japan, however, the same is not true about kids in the States. I would hesitate to act as the Japanese game inudstry acts in regards to this sort of game because the markets are worlds apart (literaly!).

    Though you've correctly identified sim games as competition, there is still a major player that you've completely forgoten about: Language programs. These vary from the free lessons at japanese-online.com to the more expensive Rosetta Stone. Don't forget to take these into consideration as well!

    How much money are people willing to invest? Seriously, how much? The kind of ppl that say that anime is cheaper than crack are willing to invest in anime but are they willing to invest in games, too? Especially an educational game?

    For the past 5 years, every time i sign up for Japanese lessons theres always a bunch of anime nerds right there with me. These usually drop out before the class is over because they care more about anime than learning Japanese. Are you sure these kind of ppl are going to spend more than what they would on crack for something they'll go into half-heartedly?

    BONUS QUESTION!!!

    I don't expect you to answer non of the above, rather I wrote them to let you know that unless you put your marketing in gear you won't really have any solid foundation to stand on.

    I do, however want you to answer the following question... How will you distribute this game? I'd say, free internet download! It's your best chance, dude!

    MagicToaster on
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    MagicToaster, I <3 you.

    I love it when I see people with a solid foundation in business processes. Let's get together and business the hell out of something.

    anable on
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ok..i have to say this. i'll be that guy..

    everyone here is acting like this guy is actually making a game.
    good intentions aside, judging on his drawing skill, and the posts i've seen there's nothing to make me believe this game can get funded, or actually made. No offense but if you can barely draw how are you going to create the whole game, write the code, make appealing cover art....

    i believe you have an interesting idea for a game, but come on, how are you "making this"
    it just seems like you have a few VERY rough sketches, and some brainstorm ideas...

    NakedZergling on
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    anable wrote: »
    Let's get together and business the hell out of something.

    It will be a spectacular get together!

    MagicToaster on
  • NakedElfNakedElf Registered User
    edited August 2007
    When I think 'stranded on a desert island', various things come to mind. Palm trees, coconuts, torn clothes, sunburn, etc.

    Your characters look like they just stepped off the subway in the middle of the city. Nonono.

    They also *both* look very white to me.

    What I would go for if I were you is characters who actually look like they just got stranded on a desert island. Windswept hair. Beach clothes. Maybe put the girl in a bikini top and a sarong skirt with a pair of sandals. Put the boy in a pair of clam-digger shorts, beat up tennis shoes, and a torn shirt.

    Your target market is anime fans. Anime fans like the sexy. You are not giving them any sexy here. In fact, your characters look like they're trying to be as un-sexy as possible. You want your characters to be fun and interesting to look at. If they're boring, I'm going to be bored.

    NakedElf on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited August 2007
    ok..i have to say this. i'll be that guy..

    everyone here is acting like this guy is actually making a game.
    good intentions aside, judging on his drawing skill, and the posts i've seen there's nothing to make me believe this game can get funded, or actually made. No offense but if you can barely draw how are you going to create the whole game, write the code, make appealing cover art....

    i believe you have an interesting idea for a game, but come on, how are you "making this"
    it just seems like you have a few VERY rough sketches, and some brainstorm ideas...

    Well, that's kind of a downer response, but not without its merits.

    I'd say that yes, he can make this game, if he starts planning around what he can actually accomplish rather than what he'd like to accomplish if he had years of experience and years of free time and decent funding and a bunch of people working on it, which is what appears to be the case currently. It's just not realistic and smacks of poor time budget management.

    If people got bonus points for high ambitions that fall short of the mark because of poor planning, we'd all be praising John Romero and Derek Smart and that 3d Realms and that Too Human guy.

    Honestly, if you simplify all the crap he's said down to its most basic, fundamental goals, it's not unthinkable in scope by any means:

    1) Teach Japanese.
    2) Be fun.

    That's it. That's all it has to accomplish to be a successful game (setting aside marketing whatever for the moment, I'm using the 'did it achieve what it set out to do' definition of 'successful'). It doesn't need epic stories or 8K characters or amazing wardrobe designs or cut-scenes or voice acting or whatever else kind of crap he might think of adding. It just needs to do those two simple things well. If he designed and planned around doing those two things well with what time and talent he actually has at his disposal and not what he'd like to have at his disposal, it would be doable.

    Otherwise, it'll probably end up, like no small number of independent movie/video game/book/comic/etc. projects and end up being a long and arduous road to nowhere; which would be a shame because it sounds like could be awesome.

    If you can get a hold of an actual video game producer, try to get them to look over your design doc and -probably the more important of the two- your complete schedule broken down, by month or week, including every task and asset needed, including the time needed for concept art, writing docs, QA testing, asset integration, rigging, etc, etc, etc. If you don't have a schedule like this, you should make one, immediately. You will have a much clearer idea of what you're actually up against when you've got a list of hundreds of required assets and thousands of tasks staring you in the face.

    If you show something like that to a producer, they'll be able to help you to figure out how to actually accomplish this stuff: you've got 2 characters: can you reuse the same rig? You need a bunch of trees- can you get away with modifying one tree model into the others rather than modeling from scratch? This one mission has a lot of fluff and not a lot of meat- can we put that content into one of the other missions? Having a realistic tiled texture go on forever looks bad- if it's more stylized, it'll look better and you don't have to do a ton of new textures, etc. etc. Find out what is necessary and what isn't- and under such tight constraints here, you've got to be prepared to be brutal in axing stuff that you thought up and just adore, but it doesn't work for whatever reason.

    tl;dr: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Production

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • thundercakethundercake Registered User
    edited August 2007
    The 3D model of the face sort of looks like an alien. The eyes should fall around the middle from the crown of the skull to the chin...they're way too far down in your model. There's way too much forehead there. It looks like she has a giant supergenius brain. I recognise that this is "anime style" and I'm kind of clueless as to how that does translate into 3D, but it just looks...strange.

    thundercake on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wow, I spawned quite a discussion.

    I admit my marketing is a little raw. I've only been working on this full time a few weeks shy of a month. There is still so much I have to do. As it stands right now, I'm working on the design document. I just finished up character descriptions, and thought it was time to get something a little more concrete than just words on a page.

    I have seen indie companies do little or nor marketing, and come out with very poor numbers in the end. I'm only a month in and at least have a marketing plan. I admit it's a little rough, but will be getting better. When I say "Otaku" as my demographic, I mean 13-18 Males who like Japanese animation. I get dumped on a lot for not "making it for everyone", when in fact, it's not. I know this. I also get dumped on for not making able to be adapted to other languages, or having the ability to switch genders. I know this too. These were all conscious design decisions that I made. It's to stop feature creep. With clearly defined goals, you can work in a framework without spewing off in a random direction. As I have HDAD, that can be a problem.

    This right here is probably the closest that I have to a program that is in parity with mine. It's interesting to note that 3D Spain uses the same engine I'm using. That was wholly unintentional, and only learned of it after doing my competition research. As it's not Japanese, I found it to be comfortably outside my niche that I'm targeting, but know it's there.

    It's funny you bring up Ion Storm. I was reading a postmortem on why the company imploded. It was just disaster after disaster. You couldn't help but to feel sorry for the poor fucker (Romero) when it was all said and done. Daikatana should serve as a warning to all developers when bad marketing, even worse financing, egos, and poor staff choices come together into a perfect storm. Out of all the advice I've gotten over the last month, that postmortem sticks in my mind the most.

    I'm fixing the eye tonight, and adding an ear that after a quick polycount, fits in my budget. I made the outside edge of the eye fall too far back to the temple. The alien look is because I have no materials on the model at all and it's defaulting to Blender's generic gray color. Also, hairless anime characters have huge heads and massive eye globes. This is always broken by the hair when it is added. I understand games aren't all about 8k poly budgets, but that's what I'm working on right now. I also make mistakes. My first version of the model was 60,000 polygons, and I've had to start over again.

    I can only give my goals effort and time. something I have a good abundance of right now.

    What is funny is the technology adaptations I've been doing. I originally learned how to make clothes from reading tutorials for Morrowind. I've been reading some lately on how to make clothes for Sims 2, and the fashion is much more contemporary. Not only this, it's dead easy to make sim clothes. Tonight I'm going to be adapting some of that into my model as well.

    Anyway, that's my update tonight...

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    These were all conscious design decisions that I made. It's to stop feature creep. With clearly defined goals, you can work in a framework without spewing off in a random direction.

    This is a very, very important thing to remember. Especially for your first project, but it pretty much stands for all projects, ever.

    anable on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    A little update, my new model is done... The old one clocked in at 27,000 triangles. This new one is 8,300. I still have to UV map her.

    Old one...
    kv1.png

    New one...
    kv2.png

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    halkun wrote: »
    A little update, my new model is done... The old one clocked in at 27,000 triangles. This new one is 8,300. I still have to UV map her.

    Forgive my ignorance as I'm not up on all that is 3D modeling, but my understanding is that HL2 character are about 6000 triangles. Isn't 8300 a bit high there?

    anable on
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The ones from FFX are 8k. There are a lot of close-ups in my game.

    halkun on
    dA03mgx.png
  • RyeRye Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You're not using the triangles well at all. In the skirt you have 1 rail for deformations at the knee. What happens when she bends her knee? There will be a sharp angle at the joint and it will look terrible. You used way too many triangles to describe the roundness of the dress. As long as your engine supports vertex shading, you'd only need 6-10 quads to describe the roundness of the dress.

    Rye on
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