Graphics Pixel Art Advice / Feedback

Lance Klepp

Member

I have zero experience with pixel art. This is a work-in-progress.

I would like my character to have a face with eyes etc but with the limited size I've adopted for this current look for now until I get better at it.

He's an odd 38x38 pixel size in a 16x16 pixel world.

Any feedback would be great.

All other art in the video is temporary.

I could do with some advice for designing the room.

It's not really a log-cabin. It's supposed to be a flat.
Consisting of a bathroom with disability assistance, a kitchen, and a Virtual Reality station (the green and purple patch below the bed) - the rest should be fairly obvious - a bed, wardrobe and bedside table with radio.

I haven't got around to drawing the missing parts yet. Figured I'd share my progress and see if I'm in a good starting position or not.

Very basic explanation of what the game is about (not story or plot, just what you see and will progress to...)

You're a wheelchair bound character, imprisoned in an orphanage. You work for the people who run it. In return for your slave labour you get to join two of your friends to explore Mars, that has now been colonised, via the virtual reality station. You'll drop in and out of virtual reality, trying to appease the orphanage owner's demands (all part of gameplay) - hoping one day to escape.

On Mars you control (play as) a droid, the first area is a fairground designed for people on Earth too poor to physically visit mars. However whilst there, your player, and hi two mates, discover somone physically there, up to no good and begin to investigate what they're up to.

I'll leave it at that for now because this is super early stages.
 
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Joe Ellis

Member
Sorry, we couldn’t find that page
Make sure you’ve typed the URL correctly, or try searching Vimeo. You could also watch one of the videos below instead.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
I love the game idea so far. I really want to see it. I can already imagine parts of it, the wheelchair bound guy, the futuristic mars setting with it's kind of commercialism.
I wouldn't worry about the sizes of the character sprites, they're usually not a grid size, the world usually is, 16x16 etc. but the characters kind of need a certain amount of pixels to fit everything in.
For references, obviously there's the huge catalog of old games, but recent games which I found really made a cool thing out of pixel graphics are:
  • Crawl
Ah, that's it actually, haha. I've got a massive list of old games, but that's the only game that really made me think they'd done something cool with it. Like they made the pixels even bigger than they used to be, and I just like the style of all the characters in it, they have really low detail but kind of leave parts to your imagination.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
Could not get link to work.
Working now.

I love the game idea so far. I really want to see it. I can already imagine parts of it, the wheelchair bound guy, the futuristic mars setting with it's kind of commercialism.
I wouldn't worry about the sizes of the character sprites, they're usually not a grid size, the world usually is, 16x16 etc. but the characters kind of need a certain amount of pixels to fit everything in.
For references, obviously there's the huge catalog of old games, but recent games which I found really made a cool thing out of pixel graphics are:
  • Crawl
Ah, that's it actually, haha. I've got a massive list of old games, but that's the only game that really made me think they'd done something cool with it. Like they made the pixels even bigger than they used to be, and I just like the style of all the characters in it, they have really low detail but kind of leave parts to your imagination.
I really want to get my Mars world created to see it for myself too ha. I've sketched parts out on paper so far.

That's a relief, I always thought the characters had to be within the grid format. I'll have a look at this Crawl. Appreciate the suggestion.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
playerdismount.gif

Trying to animate player leaping from wheelchair to be able to enter a crawl state. Obviously subject to change the look of the player anyways but something doesn't look right to me. There's 6 frames in this sequence. Perhaps I need more. Just struggling to get my head around the animation mid-air. Any suggestions?

It doesn't finish on a solid landing because after this animation, the state will change and result in a new sprite being selected with the player in the crawl position.

This is running in gamemaker at 12fps

ezgif.com-resize.gif

Here it is ingame - i've added two more frames and running slower at 10fps.
 
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I'm happy to see someone finally made a differently abled protagonist. That alone feels fresh and unique.

As for the art, you've got a lot of blue on blue and your green almost blends in with your blues. What you have complete of the pixel art seems fine, but the colors are just off. Many people wear blue jeans and many wheelchairs are blue, you might want to have different colors along with a different colored cap. That brown is also very dark.

You also might want rugs to tie areas together so it's not just floor, but perhaps rugs aren't good for wheelchairs. That can also be a point in game... mentioning the rugs.

I also recommend for pixeling have a simple slice of say 64 x 128 that you can easily mess around in such as this below I made for this example:



And then the tiled second attempt:

 
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Lance Klepp

Member
I'm happy to see someone finally made a differently abled protagonist. That alone feels fresh and unique.

As for the art, you've got a lot of blue on blue and your green almost blends in with your blues. What you have complete of the pixel art seems fine, but the colors are just off. Many people wear blue jeans and many wheelchairs are blue, you might want to have different colors along with a different colored cap. That brown is also very dark.

You also might want rugs to tie areas together so it's not just floor, but perhaps rugs aren't good for wheelchairs. That can also be a point in game... mentioning the rugs.

I also recommend for pixeling have a simple slice of say 64 x 128 that you can easily mess around in such as this below I made for this example:



And then the tiled second attempt:

Thanks for the feedback.

I'll redress the player with better contrasting colors. Makes sense now that you pointed it out.

There is a rug in this room. I just haven't drawn it yet ha. The floorboards were temporary and I'll be redesigning those too. In fact apart from the bed, bedside table and radio it's all being redrawn. I just wanted to know if what I had was visually in the right direction. You've confirmed this is the case so I can crack on with improving on this for the next few days.

The last part, could you expand on what you mean? Just struggling to grasp the concept.

Appreciate the comments!
 
Thanks for the feedback.

I'll redress the player with better contrasting colors. Makes sense now that you pointed it out.

There is a rug in this room. I just haven't drawn it yet ha. The floorboards were temporary and I'll be redesigning those too. In fact apart from the bed, bedside table and radio it's all being redrawn. I just wanted to know if what I had was visually in the right direction. You've confirmed this is the case so I can crack on with improving on this for the next few days.

The last part, could you expand on what you mean? Just struggling to grasp the concept.

Appreciate the comments!
With the last part, instead of drawing an entire room, draw floor, wall, ceiling, and play around with those 3 things in a small 64 x 128 sprite to get the look and colors right. Rather than making an entire room.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
ezgif.com-video-to-gif.gif

Been busy tinkering with the exit from wheelchair animations.
Horizontal doesn't match with the verticals. Still adjusting but that's my best efforts so far.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
It looks cool so far, I think the graphics would benefit from an organized color palette, and shading of some kind. The actual shapes of the character and chair look fine though, and the animations look good.
I'd look up about color theory and shading with pixel art, I've seen a few really useful guides on that.. I can't remember where I found them though.

For more references, I forgot to mention some pixel games on this forum, I was thinking of games that I've actually played.
There are tons more on the work in progress section, these are just my favorites
 

Lance Klepp

Member
It looks cool so far, I think the graphics would benefit from an organized color palette, and shading of some kind. The actual shapes of the character and chair look fine though, and the animations look good.
I'd look up about color theory and shading with pixel art, I've seen a few really useful guides on that.. I can't remember where I found them though.

For more references, I forgot to mention some pixel games on this forum, I was thinking of games that I've actually played.
There are tons more on the work in progress section, these are just my favorites
I know the colors are an issue at the moment. Still getting my head around shaders and then got directed to using blender for 3d modelling to 2d pixel with one animation with multiple perspectives but that means learning another piece of software I'm unfamiliar with! Love to be able to do it some day though. Would save alot of time redrawing different perspectives of the same sprite animation.

I'm looking at altering the color scheme for the player as well as this particular room.

Really appreciate your feedback. Great references.! You'll keep me distracted for a lil while but definitely need it.

I don't think I'll have much more to show for some time as I'm fully focused on getting the art good enough. Luckily the coding process isn't so difficult to write out so happy enough to focus more time on this for now.

Just hope I can get more done in the following weeks so I can share progress. It's great to get feedback like this. Keeps you motivated. Thanks.
 

Toque

Member
I know the colors are an issue at the moment. Still getting my head around shaders and then got directed to using blender for 3d modelling to 2d pixel with one animation with multiple perspectives but that means learning another piece of software I'm unfamiliar with! Love to be able to do it some day though. Would save alot of time redrawing different perspectives of the same sprite animation.

I'm looking at altering the color scheme for the player as well as this particular room.

Really appreciate your feedback. Great references.! You'll keep me distracted for a lil while but definitely need it.

I don't think I'll have much more to show for some time as I'm fully focused on getting the art good enough. Luckily the coding process isn't so difficult to write out so happy enough to focus more time on this for now.

Just hope I can get more done in the following weeks so I can share progress. It's great to get feedback like this. Keeps you motivated. Thanks.
Thats what keeps indi developing so interesting. You go from right brain to left brain and back again. Solving logic and art issues.
 

Zizka

Member
Have you considered giving the face of the wheelchair guy some features? Like a hint of shadow for the eyes and nose?

EDIT: I wanted to provide an edit for the character but then your first post saying it was temporary so I'll wait then. I checked the color count and it says 4720. It's weird, at a glance I would say maybe a dozen.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
Have you considered giving the face of the wheelchair guy some features? Like a hint of shadow for the eyes and nose?

EDIT: I wanted to provide an edit for the character but then your first post saying it was temporary so I'll wait then. I checked the color count and it says 4720. It's weird, at a glance I would say maybe a dozen.
Yeeeaaaah that can't be right. Probably 20 colors tops. It'll be the video to gif convertor I used online. Probably adds more shades of color or something. Thanks for considering an edit though.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
I’d be happy to provide an edit if you think it can be helpful if you want.
If it isn't a burden or waste of time for you then I'd be very greatful to see what you come up with. Would at the very least give me a reference point to work from.

It amuses me that I can picture and visualise my levels but can't imagine a face for my main character. Unless he's a faceless man... Hmm.. no I've had enough of game of thrones now haha.
 
I think the biggest flaw that is making the room difficult to read is a lack of consistent perspective. The walls/room appear to be portrayed in a typical RPG or 3/4s perspective. I would try to match that with everything.

The most clear error is made in the East/West graphics of the wheelchair. It looks straight on, like a platformer.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
I think the biggest flaw that is making the room difficult to read is a lack of consistent perspective. The walls/room appear to be portrayed in a typical RPG or 3/4s perspective. I would try to match that with everything.

The most clear error is made in the East/West graphics of the wheelchair. It looks straight on, like a platformer.
I see where you're coming from.

RPGGame.png

Just an example from Google...

There's plenty like this. It's definitely the room design of mine that looks off and I'm in the process of redrawing it. Just a pain for me because I'm crap at art so taking far longer than I wanted it to.
 

Zizka

Member
Ugh that last screen is very odd.

Can you provide your character as a .png so I can try something? Your avatar has thousands of colors.
 

Zizka

Member
Can you provide your character as a .png so I can try something? Your avatar has thousands of colors.
I don't know if you missed my question or if didn't have time but if you want an edit I'll need your character. My offer stands should you decide to share it.
 

Lance Klepp

Member
Going to be afk for a few weeks.

Here's a very minor improvement thus far. All still a work in progress.

Won't be showing the other stuff until I can get this polished up the way I have it drawn out on paper. (what I'm really saying is, my mars level is like the above in comparison to this ha)

Progress.png
 

Zizka

Member
I like the colors but watch out for objects sizes. The radio seems huge to me compared to the character. There’s a lot of empty space and the door could use some anti aliasing in the middle so it’s not so jaggy.
 
Yea, I think that looks a lot better, I prefer these colors.

My only critique would be along the same lines as Zizka, in that some of your proportions are off. It might be helpful to base things off a grid, rather than freely.

Also, you might want to add some shadows, even if it's just a simple semi transparent circle.
 

Lance Klepp

Member

Zizka contributed his design for the facing down sprite as seen in the video. I haven't altered it in anyway apart from animating it. Really pleased with it and using it for now until I get better.


First day back. Been busy reanimating basic movements.

The room is still bare - intentionally! Got too much good stuff to put in there but need it all to animate and work correctly before I show anymore.

Newest addition to the scene is Vix the AI Vacuum Cleaner - in the video is the alpha stage of design and it was a quick code to get it moving on screen. - might change it's name too. Still in early stages.

Ive never seen that before. Nice little program.
I've been using r/PixelArtTutorials on reddit for guidance recently as well as YouTubers like Peter Milko aka Pixel Pete for guidance.

Anyone reading, check these two great sources out.

I appreciate these updates are rather lame compared to other users 'devlogs' here but I promise the next one will be a big change... just will have to wait a while!
 

Rayek

Member
You know, this game concept would look great in isometric. It's more of a adventure type game, and I can really see this working well in an isometric perspective.
 

Zizka

Member
Regarding the door, I wanted to share a door to give you an idea of an alternative to the curve you have in the middle (I noticed you changed it in the video but still):

You don't even have to have a separation in the middle. You can just have a ''full'' door which slides up or sideways. It's also easier to animate I think. Do you think the character could cast a semi-transparent shadow on the floor? Maybe it would add in to the integration to the scene. Just a couple of suggestions, keep it up!
 
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