...When you're not a very good pixel artist (artist in general, to be frank).
I'm currently working on the more final stages of designing a rather large project of mine. As I've begun reaching the final stages of development... I've gotten to the point where I've learned enough to realize that some earlier founded ideas of mine have been flat-out bad.
After reading through a rather enlightening series of pixel art tutorials (http://finalbossblues.com/pixel-tutorials/
), I decided to realize that my previous artwork has flaws. The problem is that I'm not good enough of an artist to understand how to fix it.
If you want a basic background, here it is:
Science space station Chiptune was a daring attempt to go sub-pixel (yes, sub-pixel). The project succeeded by opening a portal to the unknown nth dimension, but at a great price. Strange geometric creatures and ghastlike figures (that I currently do not have drawn) poured out of the portal and took over the space station. Attempts were made, but the people of Pixelonia were unable to understand their strange vocals of Wub-wub. When the king of Pixelonia realizes that his six daughters are missing after the event, he makes the recapturing of the space station a galactic priority. You are the task force assigned to use the new Byteonator to take back the station.
It's currently overdone, but it gets the point across that I do not take the game seriously, but it's still serious enough. Somewhat like how Binding of Isaac sets itself up, but without the creepy part. In case it's important, the game will be built with singleplayer, local and public co-op, and possibly versus. Hence the different ship designs below.
Before I say anything more, I'd like to present my flawed monstrosity to the judges:
Some things I think I did right
with the sprites:
-Dithering is decent in most areas. (I spent a LOT of time when I made this).
-Light/Dark silhouette is pretty good for the player sprite (signifies important things like engine, gun, and cockpit placement).
-Also has a good identifiable general silhouette
Things most obviously flawed
that pop out at me are below:
-the color palette is "straight" and downright bad.
-the enemies have no life to them, and I'm unsure whether they need animations of jiggly juiciness or something else.
-the tiles on the left are still below par.
-some of the structure is just poorly done.Before I delve into detail
on the bulletpoints of obvious error, the color replication of the enemies is in fact heavily tied into the aesthetic of the game. Every area that the player progresses through has a specific color designated to it. If you were worrying about a massive explosion of rainbow-flavored barf, no worries! If you think that having each area assigned a specific color is another bad design... voice your opinion and... compromise?Regarding the color palette,
I need to add more depth and quality to the palette. Adding a third, brighter "cluster" color for each hue is necessary, and adding transition colors is as well. The problem is that the balance between hues is rather important. Admittedly, the current palette does not have the balance required either, but that's just another reason why I need to change it. Due to the need for the balance, I'm unsure how to start with creating the palette. I've never made a good palette before, so I have no idea where to start.Regarding the enemies,
I'm unsure whether their general blandness is what's wrong with their blandness or if they just need to be animated a little. I'm hesitant to change from the circular shape, but if I need to... I guess it's possible to create all 13 separate sprites for the different attack types, but that would be a lot of work, when I already have a huge amount of art to be done. Taking the enemy and redesigning it into something with a non-geometric structure is something I'm fine with if I have to. It doesn't actually have any meaning to the background story, so it is something I can change.For the tiles,
I have no idea what to do with this. If you want to see an example of what this will look like in use, I do have a mock-up that I can upload just fine.The structure comment
is rather self explanatory. The ships are a little unpolished, as are the tiles. This is why I think redoing the whole ordeal with a better understanding of my subject matter may be beneficial.
Anything that you can give input/feedback on would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if you have general criticisms on anything you see or read, let me know. I'm all ears right now. If you think I would benefit from completely redoing my art, I'm game for that.wow that was a long post...