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Re: [Adonthell-artwork] Visual style

From: James Nash
Subject: Re: [Adonthell-artwork] Visual style
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 23:58:04 +0100

Hi Ingo,

Thanks for the feedback. Some comments / responses below...

On 2 Aug 2010, at 22:46, Ingo Ruhnke wrote:

> On 2 August 2010 22:59, James Nash <address@hidden> wrote:
>> I'm therefore keen to establish a pixel-art-ish look and feel for Adonthell. 
>> Since with 48 or even 64 pixel tiles we're already quite "high-def" compared 
>> to old 16-bit games, so I guess a strict pixel-art style would be too much 
>> work (and may also end up looking to busy). I therefore think we should aim 
>> for a sort of comic / pixel hybrid style.
> The biggest problem is that from my experince pixel art just doesn't
> work for higher resolution, either it ends up looking weirdly
> over-sharp and artificial or you end up with very tiny sprites. I
> couldn't name you a single game where you have both high-res and good
> pixel-art.

Fair comments. Please have a look at my other mail about the screen resolutions 
as that would at least avoid tiny sprites at high resolutions (at the cost of 
either blockiness or slightly blurry upscaling) - I'm keen to have your input 
on that too. Using the blocky scaling you'd probably end up with the over 
sharpness you describe (though depending on the context that may or may not be 
an issue - e.g. it'll be noticeable sitting at your PC but what about when it's 
on a TV in the living room and you sit further away?).

Personally, I would like us to re-capture some of that retro charm of the pixel 
graphics. I'm more of a console gamer, so I guess my taste is influenced by the 
cutesy, manga-like graphics found in many of the Japanese games. I agree that 
proper pixel graphics are probably not the way to go - I do think it would be 
nice to create a similar feel though.

> So I would aim for something that retains a drawing/painting look, but
> doesn't try to be pixel-perfect:
> Or like this older gfx test (not sure who has done that):
>> Graphics should be drawn in a simple comic-book style: They should have 
>> outlines (typically dark colours or even black).
> Most of the time its best to avoid explicit outlines and instead just
> use light and shadow that more or less naturally follows from the
> structure of the object.

Is there a particular reason for avoiding outlines? 

I must confess, I haven't really tried this stuff in anger yet. I'll try to 
mock up a simple screenshot (a cellar interior perhaps) in different styles 
(and scaled to different resolutions) so that we can compare them side-by-side 
and see what works and what doesn't.


        - James

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