Author Topic: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help  (Read 3596 times)

Offline Teknogames

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Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« on: September 09, 2012, 11:06:31 pm »
I'm making a commercial game called Samurai Gunn, and I've been staring so long at the graphics that I'm at a loss on how to improve them.

What would you do were this your game?
I'm very open to critique!

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Offline TheMonsterAtlas

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 01:21:58 am »
So is this game suppose to be similar to something on the NES/SNES? If the Red thing is suppose to be the Samurai I think you should give him an equal number of colors that you have for the background/tileset.

Another thing to remember is that you don't have to keep the platforms square, since this is a cave you should include stalagmites and stalactites. Once you get rid of the entire square aspect of the platforms it will look a lot better. Another thing worth mentioning is most of the time, including another color in your pallet will work.

Offline questseeker

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 09:03:02 am »
There are four materials (two blobby, dark blue and light blue shapes, and two square, purplish platforms and green sludge), but no clear visual indication of which of them are solid and which are foreground or background.
The red character suggests that light blue is solid, the white character suggests that purple platforms are solid, both suggest that dark blue is hollow; which of course doesn't make any sense, unless characters can dig through the large amount of light blue soil or both dark blue and light blue are actually distracting and insignificant background texture of hollow space and the red character is actually jumping and aligned with the light blue surface by chance.

Graphically, the very similar highlights and shadows appearing on the top, bottom and sides of structures are a weakened but still quite bad type of pillow shading; not choosing a light source adds ambiguity to the ambiguity. 

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 09:52:00 am »
I wouldn't go as far as "but no clear visual indication of which of them are solid and which are foreground or background", personnally. Imho, the higher contrast of the squarish-blocks and their use of warmer colors clearly states that these are the playground. If anything, the blue bamboos layer could be made darker than the intermediate plane, or the background rocks layers could be given slightly more contrast so that it reads as "intermediate".

I'm not sure what the red dude is doing here. I'm pretty sure he's not climbing on bamboos. Either he's snap-shot'd in the midle of a jump, or he's using some su-do abilities to hang on the intermediate rocks plane. The orange tint you used for the red dude isn't working as well as the grey for the white dude.

green thing imho is solid, has some special gameplay value (maybe it hurts or maybe it can be broken),

Quote
very similar highlights and shadows appearing on the top, bottom and sides of structures
seems a bit excessive to me, too: granted, the back-light on the rocks could use some hue shifting so that they're not the exactly same tint as what gets the light directly, but they still clearly show that there's much less light from the bottom than from the top.
Pixelling School Zone with my own Sprite Editor on Nintendo DS and coding in between . . .

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 11:51:31 am »
I had a go at it, just played around a bit.
Difference between foreground and background should be much clearer.



Not sure what those green things are, but I made them into wood. The green color was way too bright and saturated.

Offline Teknopants

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 07:30:22 pm »
Wow! Thanks for the advice, guys. I don't feel so lost anymore.

@XLR8ED
I haven't picked any specific console limitations, but if you think that's something the game would benefit from, maybe I should consider it.
You have a great point about the squares. I guess in the programmer hat one wants to keep things all nice and organized, but once it comes around to graphics it all looks pretty strange! I'm going to change the thin horizontal edge pieces to be tapering overhangs.

@questseeker
I see what you mean about blobs! I de-saturated the picture in Photoshop and everything turned into an awful mid-gray. The materials that are supposed to be pictured are rock in the foreground and background, and the green sludge is bamboo. I'll add some footholds for the bamboo in the rock, so it looks like it's actually growing out of something rather than just sitting on top. I'll see what I can change about the pillow shading on all sides of the rock. I guess my reasoning behind that was to communicate that the sides of the object were solid. I'll keep your advice in mind!

@PypeBros
The red dude is in the middle of a jump (this is a straight-up screenshot of the game in motion) and the green thing is in fact bamboo, which can be cut down. Perhaps I should add tiny branches on the sides to communicate this more? I'm thinking a subtle blue under-light for the rocks might work well... I'll study some reference photos for inspiration.

@Seiseki
Wow! Awesome re-color. Very inspiring to see how far a color change can take the graphics alone. For whatever reason I like the bright bamboo- I think for some weird arcade reason having it stand out from the rocks makes it seem like it has a clear function. But I suppose it can still have that effect without burning people's retinas.
I tried some re-colors of my own to get a good idea of the thinking that went behind yours. I like the extra leaves in the bamboo, too.

The first color edit was sort of an aged-movie style thing with the colors leaning toward bamboo paper or something. Maybe it's too brown? It feels good to have the goofy blue of the original gone, but I appreciate how in older games like Shatterhand or whatnot that you have no problem believing that the factory is bright orange or that the sewer is acid green. I won't die if I can't achieve that effect though.


I like this one too, because I like the color ramp between blue and gold- I feel like it's farther from a game-boy feel or something. Colors are nice is all.


I'm still working on the rest of the changes I mentioned, but do you guys think this is a good starting point?



P.S. if a moderator sees this and notices that my name is now Teknopants and not Teknogames, it's because I tried changing the e-mail for Teknogames, but something went wrong and now Pixelation says the account Teknogames no longer exists. I prefer this name anyway : /
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 07:33:01 pm by Teknopants »
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Offline Friend

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 09:40:31 pm »
I think the main issue is just not capturing the setting you want very well. 
I suppose you're going for a samurai esque kind of environment with bamboo. 

IMO, I think just the rocky platforms kind of destroys that, and the bamboo isn't portrayed that well I think. 

Lastly, the colors are sort of evocative of a samurai esque environment, but maybe this image will help?  IDK.


Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 04:51:22 am »
Hey man, fancy meeting you here! It's Ian Wexler! :)

A few critiques:
- The bamboo is hard to read. I think narrower shoots would better communicate "bamboo" given the scale of the Samurai.
- The broken outlines (mainly on the background rocks) look sketchy/unfinished. I would either solidify them or remove them altogether.
- I would spend some time defining the volume of the rocks and giving them more depth to help the foreground "pop."

Here's an edit to illustrate:


PS: Everyone get hyped for Samurai Gunn! It's super fun! :D

Offline Teknopants

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Re: Samurai Gunn - Graphics help
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 07:18:14 pm »
Well here's where I'm at right now!


I tried making the rocks under-lit, but for whatever reason it made them look less solid, so now they just have edging around them. I made the bamboo sort of stick in the ground- though it does make the floating bamboo look odder... but bleep bloop it's a video game.
I made the edges taper so now it looks less blocky, and the colors got a re-do as well.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 07:38:38 pm by Teknopants »
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