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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsYear In The Trees
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Luno
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« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2017, 07:47:34 AM »

Really like the atmosphere in this one. Looking forward to seeing (and hearing) more!

Dude I am loving the art. Specifically how you leave it to the elements to give the scene detail and leave the ground a solid color. I imagine that can be pretty hard to pull off. props.

thank you!!
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Luno
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« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2017, 09:20:33 AM »

I'm probably overdue for another long-form update, but I'm not sure what topic I want to tackle yet (possibly pixel perfect techniques with virtual screen).

In the mean time, I'm going to share a video application I made for a summer games incubator program in Sweden called Stugan. The video shows some new screen shots of seasons changing, weather effects, et al.





If you're a dev, you should check them out and see if it's something you'd be interested in (www.stugan.com/apply). They're still accepting applications until the 31st, and in previous years there have been some teams that made a last-minute application and ended up being accepted. All you need to do is make a 1.5 min video and write a fairly short email!  Toast Right

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« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2017, 09:29:13 AM »

Woaah your game looks amazing  Shocked

The video is very well done, clear and concise. The music may be just a bit too loud in the end (comparing to your voice).
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Luno
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« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2017, 06:18:24 AM »

*streeetch* feels like it's been forever since I last posted anything here!

Not to worry, I've still been steadily chipping away at the game every day...I just have so much to do between that, music, and my day job that I've let a lot of the social stuff fall by the way side. However! I do have a new process gif for a skeleton enemy that I'm working on to share:


yea, I cheated and had the thighs just kinda...disappear. magic!


I know this is all petty standard stuff, but a few more process tricks I've picked up that have helped me animate:

1. Quickly sketching keyframes horizontally on a single layer (make canvas super wide to get plenty of space).
2. Draw in your own guides/curves on a new layer in red or something, then pull the opacity back.
3. When its time for in-betweens, separate groups of layers for each limb/body part can be helpful, if a bit tedious.
4. Turning a low-opacity color overlay on for each of these body part groups can help you isolate stuff for further refinement.


Anyways, here's the finished animation that I ended up with after some more tweaking:


wonder if anyone can tell what I changed

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Vulduin
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« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2017, 02:21:27 PM »

The game looks great so far! I'm really impressed with how much you've accomplished doing the programming, art, and music all on your own. I'm a pretty good programmer (went to school for it and now do it for a living), but my artistic limitations are always a major roadblock for me which I hope to get over one day.

Where did you get started learning pixel art? Did you just keep at it until you improved? Or did you take a class or follow a tutorial series that helped jump start things?

As for the skeleton death animation, I think it looks great and it's interesting to see your process. I have one small critique for you though. The skull roll in the the final animation is a nice touch, but since it happens quickly it almost looks like a glitch in the animation rather than the skull actually rolling.

I think if you extended the roll a little longer by adding a couple of frames at the end so it rolls slightly farther away from where it hits the ground, it'll stand out a little more and look more intentional. Could be something to try out!
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Luno
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« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2017, 02:53:25 PM »

The game looks great so far! I'm really impressed with how much you've accomplished doing the programming, art, and music all on your own. I'm a pretty good programmer (went to school for it and now do it for a living), but my artistic limitations are always a major roadblock for me which I hope to get over one day.

Where did you get started learning pixel art? Did you just keep at it until you improved? Or did you take a class or follow a tutorial series that helped jump start things?

As for the skeleton death animation, I think it looks great and it's interesting to see your process. I have one small critique for you though. The skull roll in the the final animation is a nice touch, but since it happens quickly it almost looks like a glitch in the animation rather than the skull actually rolling.

I think if you extended the roll a little longer by adding a couple of frames at the end so it rolls slightly farther away from where it hits the ground, it'll stand out a little more and look more intentional. Could be something to try out!

Hey Vulduin, thanks for the feedback! Based on what I'm hearing from people it sounds like the head rolling is the most appealing part and it's not reading as strong as it should, so I will try to fix that if/when I'm able to make a second pass on this guy.

I feel your pain re: art, I know a lot of programmers in the same boat as you and unfortunately I think that art skills can take a lot more time and effort to come online as compared with coding. My academic and professional background is in code/music, so I have a lot of training there, but I've been drawing ever since I was a kid - long before I was interested in music or code actually.

I didn't really do any pixel art tutorials, I just started making sprites for my game and animating them, and studying/referencing many other modern pixel artists that appealed to me. That and just putting in a ton of hours, but this approach may have only worked for me because of my background. You might find this talk helpful if you want to get into art:

...just be ready to put in the work - I believe in you!

If I may soapbox here for a moment, I personally think the most important thing someone in your position can do is study design and work specifically on developing a strong aesthetic. Find what you love, and practice stealing from it mercilessly! If you take what you can do already and hone in on a strong, unified, art-director-y like vision, you can make a beautiful game with very little traditional art chops. The best way to do this is to consume a TON of art, analyze what you like and don't like about it endlessly, and dig into other artists opinions and processes (podcasts, GDC talks, and Twitch are great for this).

That said, I had no color skills from having mostly worked in pencil for traditional art, so I did find some helpful threads and tutorials. This one has some interesting tidbits, but some of it is misleading (its safe to ignore all the talk about "neutralizers") http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10695
This article is pretty handy too http://purplepwny.com/blog/color_relativity_color_theory_beyond_the_wheel.html

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« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2017, 08:33:43 AM »

Thanks for the response, Luno! I really appreciate that you took some time to give thoughtful feedback. The video you posted was great, he talks about a lot of things that I've heard before in other contexts but it is helpful to have it all re-framed in the context of art.

I totally agree with your advice to steal from artists that inspire you, not just in terms of the style or quality of there work but also their process. Are there certain artists that you look to for inspiration or even "steal" from?
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« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2017, 08:51:43 AM »

Wow, this looks great! I love the art style. I'll be keeping an eye on this. Smiley
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Luno
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« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2017, 08:57:00 AM »

Wow, this looks great! I love the art style. I'll be keeping an eye on this. Smiley

thanks!!
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Luno
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« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2017, 09:09:03 AM »

Thanks for the response, Luno! I really appreciate that you took some time to give thoughtful feedback. The video you posted was great, he talks about a lot of things that I've heard before in other contexts but it is helpful to have it all re-framed in the context of art.

I totally agree with your advice to steal from artists that inspire you, not just in terms of the style or quality of there work but also their process. Are there certain artists that you look to for inspiration or even "steal" from?

Definitely. For pixel stuff, these are some of the main ones...some of you could probably have guessed this list, I imagine

https://twitter.com/waneella_
https://twitter.com/Skydsgaard_
https://twitter.com/superbrothersHQ
http://1041uuu.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/Powerhoof
https://twitter.com/eigenbom
https://twitter.com/HeartMachineZ
https://twitter.com/alonsomartin
https://twitter.com/pixpilgames
https://twitter.com/johanvinet
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Vulduin
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« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2017, 10:07:38 AM »

Thanks for the response, Luno! I really appreciate that you took some time to give thoughtful feedback. The video you posted was great, he talks about a lot of things that I've heard before in other contexts but it is helpful to have it all re-framed in the context of art.

I totally agree with your advice to steal from artists that inspire you, not just in terms of the style or quality of there work but also their process. Are there certain artists that you look to for inspiration or even "steal" from?

Definitely. For pixel stuff, these are some of the main ones...some of you could probably have guessed this list, I imagine

https://twitter.com/waneella_
https://twitter.com/Skydsgaard_
https://twitter.com/superbrothersHQ
http://1041uuu.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/Powerhoof
https://twitter.com/eigenbom
https://twitter.com/HeartMachineZ
https://twitter.com/alonsomartin
https://twitter.com/pixpilgames
https://twitter.com/johanvinet

Great list! Thanks for sharing. Sword & Sworcery makes a lot of sense, you can definitely see their art style reflected in your game. Not a bad game to draw inspiration from!

I've always liked the soundtrack from that game too. It's not just "game music", it's great music even as a standalone piece of art. Which is another thing I like about your game based on the one track you've put out so far.
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Luno
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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2017, 01:03:48 PM »

I stumbled upon a new technique for drawing grass that I think may look better, but I'm not really sure. Hoping to get a sanity check before I maddeningly redraw a bunch of assets in a terrible frenzy. Thoughts?


note that the colors and grass in the first one are just a mockup: a single asset that I duplicated


I've got a poll going on twitter too:
https://twitter.com/lunoland/status/866398105809408001
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« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2017, 02:44:21 PM »

Looking good so far. 

Based on the amount of detail of various environmental items, I prefer A as it is more consistent while B seems to have large areas of empty space.
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« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2017, 12:44:52 AM »

I prefer A. and in my head there are ripples of wind that shift and highlight the grass. Looking amazing!
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Luno
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« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2017, 06:42:39 AM »

I prefer A. and in my head there are ripples of wind that shift and highlight the grass. Looking amazing!

^^ you mean like this?



guess i was thinking the same thing  Wizard
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Vulduin
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« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2017, 04:06:43 PM »

I'd have to say I prefer A as well. Having the dark colored ground and lighter more textured grass gives the scene more depth. It feels like you're walking on the ground rather than walking on the background.

The gusts of wind is a nice touch too. The one criticism I have is that the gusts affect a small area of the grass and only for a brief time. This might just be me, but it kinda looks like there are little ghost children or something running through the grass lol. Maybe you can embrace it and add some creepy sound effects of children laughing!

In all seriousness, what you have now looks pretty good but I think that gusts of varying lengths of time which cover larger areas might be more convincing.
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Luno
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« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2017, 01:39:23 PM »

Hey all. It's been a while since I've posted anything, so I just wanted to touch base and assure everyone that the project is not stagnating!

I'm currently polishing off the art and design for an all-new and vastly improved UI. I have a devlog update brewing with a bunch of gifs and process discussion on that stuff, so stay tuned.

Anyways, since I've been doing a lot of art lately I'm able to listen to a lot of podcasts and game talks while I work. I've been revisiting a few of my favorite talks lately, and I thought I would try to collect them into a single thread with some notes about what I got out of them. Enjoy!

---

Favorite Game Talks for Indie Generalists

I've watched a lot of game talks. Really. I watch these instead of TV when I'm taking breaks. I get excited when a new "season" of GDC comes out. Talks are great! There are some other curated lists of talks out there (like this one), but I wanted to document a few of my favorites.

Compiling this list was difficult because there were many, many talks that I really enjoyed and found useful. I've watched so many that I'm certainly forgetting some gems.

First off, I want to recommend Full Indie Summit's YouTube channel. Just browse around for titles that jumps out at you -

from Alec Holowka is a paragon, and

by Daniel Mullins about an in-game secret is ridiculously fun.


Design

Finding 'Duskers': Innovation Through Better Design Pillars (Tim Keenan)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024176/Finding-Duskers-Innovation-Through-Better
This talk explores an interesting design philosophy where you discover emerging pillars through exploration of what interests you about your game, and then really double down and let them guide decision making throughout your project.

Failure Workshop 2015 (Steve Swink, Ben Esposito, Adam Saltsman, Will Stallwood)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1021972/Failure
I devour every postmortem I can get my hands on: there's so much to learn from them. As such, the GDC failure workshops are awesome and I recommend them all! This one was particularly memorable though.

Jiro Dreams of Game Design (Brenda Romero)
http://gdcvault.com/play/1020496/Jiro-Dreams-of-Game
Watch this one when you need some motivation. It's not a practical thing, but man is it inspiring!

Method (Mark Cerny)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOAW9ioWAvE
I love talks about process and this one is solid gold. Learning about other creator's processes tends to be more philosophical, but it helps you get inside their heads. Plus you can try out bits and pieces in your own process and keep what you like.

Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons (Mark Rosewater)
http://gdcvault.com/play/1023186/Twenty-Years-Twenty
This one is a nice overview, and pretty enjoyable for any fans of MTG.


Code/Technical

How to program independent games (Jon Blow)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjDsP5n2kSM
Every games talk by Jon on YouTube has been valuable, but this one is my favorite. Required for all new game programmers IMHO.

Object Oriented Programming Is Bad (Brian Will)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM1iUe6IofM
Brian's got several of these talks, and he really articulates a lot of the problems with OOP. This is a position I came around to through my coding career outside of games, and a lot of what I like about Jon Blow's approach is echoed here.

Seven Years in Alpha: 'Thumper' Postmortem (Marc Flury)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024291/Seven-Years-in-Alpha-Thumper
This one really spoke to me and mirrored a lot of my own experience - fascinating story with good advice about coding and being "lost in the wilderness" with a design trying to figure out what your game is and how to search it out. Marc and I must be on the same page 'cause this video name drops my previous two recommendations.

Low Complexity, High Fidelity: The Rendering of INSIDE (Mikkel Gjoel and Mikkel Svendsen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdN06E6Xn9E
A deep dive into graphics techniques used in Inside, with examples. I was able to apply several techniques from this talk to improve my game straight away. Heavy!

Tools, Tricks and Technologies for Reaching Stutter Free 60 FPS in INSIDE (Kristian Kjems, Erik Rodrigues Pedersen, Soren Trautner Madsen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ2KTRn4BMI
I'm trying to keep this list general, but a lot of us use Unity and this talk was one of the most useful Unity-specific set of performance tips. I especially loved Soren's segment on scripting (which starts here), handy and highly entertaining.


Art/Animation

Making Fluid and Powerful Animations For Skullgirls (Mariel Cartwright)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw0h9WmBlsw
Awesome practical advice on animation principals, with great examples. These fundamentals are so important IMHO that even if you're a pro you always benefit from revisiting them.

Happy Inside the Box: The Art of 'Old Man's Journey' (Clemens Scott)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024236/Happy-Inside-the-Box-The
Excellent insight into the art direction for this absolutely gorgeous game. This talk explores latching on to an aesthetic and refining it towards something really amazing that supports your gameplay.

A Live Art Demonstration of Creating Worlds through Design Thinking (Feng Zhu)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1021752/A-Live-Art-Demonstration-of
The essence of this talk is practical advice about design thinking. It's the kind of stuff that seems intuitive once you know it, but otherwise it's easy to overlook. I really like Feng for this kind of advice and he's got even more material elsewhere online (http://fzdpodcast.com and http://fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm)

Juice It or Lose It (Martin Jonasson, Petri Purho)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg&feature=youtu.be
The Art of Screenshake (Jan Willem Nijman)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJdEqssNZ-U
I put these two together, because they have a lot of overlap. They're both great talks, and have excellent, simple advice on enhancing the ever-elusive "feel" of your game. This stuff makes a HUGE difference and it's not just polish - don't neglect it!

Hearthstone: How to Create an Immersive User Interface (Derek Sakamoto)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axkPXCNjOh8
At first blush, this talk seems to be about UI design, but really it advances this idea of "finding your seed". What does that mean and why is it important to your game? Watch to find out!


Marketing/Business

Crowdfunding 301: State of Play, Best Practices & Advanced Tactics (Thomas Bideaux)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKXpomUtiL8
I love this talk! Thomas is a good speaker who really knows the landscape. Super useful advice for crowdfunding. Even if you're not particularly interested in crowdfunding, there's some great advice in here about how to think about funding and marketing for your game. This talk might even help you decide that you should steer clear of crowdfunding.

Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot: 10 Elusive Secrets to Avoid Complete Commercial Failure (Jason Della Rocca)
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023776/Stop-Shooting-Yourself-in-the
Jason's got some other talks which you should definitely watch, but this one is a great intro. More practical advice about marketing and funding for games. Watch this if you're at all concerned with financial success and aspire to be able to support yourself in indie games.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 02:05:51 PM by Luno » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2017, 02:52:44 PM »

Great effort into that post Luno! I'll definitely watch some of these!
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Luno
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« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2017, 02:07:40 PM »

Hey all, I've updated the first post (https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=59805.msg1315330#msg1315330) with tons of new game information and GIFs. Check it out!

I've finally got my act together and produced some new dev log entries about the UI stuff I've been working on the past two months which I'll be sharing very soon. I was working on a two part article about pixel-perfect techniques using a virtual screen in Unity, but I LOST THE WHOLE THING!  Angry

This was a huge pain in the ass and a big part of why there hasn't been an update in a while. I may try to re-write that article still, but for now look forward to a mega post-mortem (replete with gifs) on my UI work and all the things I learned.
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Luno
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« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2017, 10:17:17 PM »

So I just spent like 5+ hours adding this falling leaves effect...this sort of thing is probably why I'm bad at game jams.
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