[DIS] Art Style: Player

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Meemxes
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[DIS] Art Style: Player

Post by Meemxes » 11 Apr 2011, 23:57

We can help streamline or even improve some existing art by being more explicit about what the TMWeA style really is. I focus on the style of the player in this post. I give a list of questions to help clarify the player style. I then propose two modifications: the extremities should be larger and the motion should be more fluid. I include reasons for my view.

Here's a preliminary list of questions to help clarify the style of humanoid sprites. We can also ask why we choose a particular answer over another. If the current player sprites are taken as a model, then these questions already have specific answers. But it's not clear that the current player sprites shouldn't be improved.
  1. What are ALL of the dimensions and proportions of a normal humanoid? (This information can be represented with a few templates.)
  2. Should the skin be a simple color so it can be recolored?
  3. Should shading be crisp or dithered?
  4. How should the humanoid stand?
  5. How should the humanoid travel (walk/run leg, arm, body motions)?
  6. How should the humanoid attack?
  7. Other questions?
The sources given in the Guidelines and forums as inspiration or examples of great pixel art disagree on some of these factors. The current player spritesets also disagree with most of those sources.

My own view is that the player spriteset should be enhanced in two ways. The post Pixel art references and possible inspirations gives examples of what I'm talking about.
  1. The extremities should be larger. Bigger hands and feet; maybe also head. Reasons: Notice that comparable games tend to use characters with larger extremities. By doing so, they are able to show off both accessories (gloves, boots, hats, maybe even rings) and weapons. With small extremities, we're forced to use small accessories and weapons. (Notice the work and interest that's gone into cool hats, but not cool boots or gloves. That's partially because the hands and feet are so small, but the head is big enough to sport some detail on a cool accessory.) Examples of good use of large extremities: games like Ragnarok and Talesweaver. Users can proudly sport gloves, boots, and cool weapons. That is a good characteristic and we should do likewise.
  2. We should make the motion more fluid. Good pixel art for comparable projects involves motion that is a lot more fluid than the current player sprite. Wider stances, more movements or turns, little hops, etc. Reason: Such fluidity looks less stiff and is more fun to play with.
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skipy
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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by skipy » 13 Apr 2011, 21:56

if you look here ( http://forums.themanaworld.org/viewtopi ... &start=120 ) alot of work has been done to the player-sprite to add more to the game...and if you look here ( http://forums.themanaworld.org/viewtopi ... =8&t=12348 )you can see what needs to be done to use the player-sprite....

a style change my happen but not anytime soon (imo) ...for now we need to use/fix what we have..

thats what i think------skipy
back to working on---> (crypt)then(player 1.5) and more. *been on hold do to my laptop being fix* any feel free to add/help. ill be up and working as soon as i can ...good luck to all.


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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by Meemxes » 14 Apr 2011, 01:40

Thanks for pointing those posts out to me. I had done a lot of poking around looking for things like "art style" but should have been finding ways to focus on player stuff. Not the brightest thing I haven't done. :oops: (At least I thought to look at the stuff available through git.) I'll poke around and see what I can learn.

Yeah, I'm getting the impression that most folks don't want to mess with the player right now. It's really cute and in a lot of ways looks great. My concern is that it's so important that if we ever have to change it, it'll be really hard because we'll have to change a bunch of other things. Making any changes to the player will be even more difficult down the road.

I'd like to work on some templates/guides for humanoid sprites in the next few months to enhance the guidelines. I'll just gear my work towards the current style.
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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by Crush » 14 Apr 2011, 05:52

Yes, as you can surely see we are pretty much stuck with the current player sprites. There is just too much work (Equipment, NPCs) which is based on the playerset and needs to be redone completely when we redo the player sprites.

Any change at the playerset needs to be carefully analyzed regarding the worktime cost it causes and what benefit we get from it. I can understand when artists aren't 100% happy with the current player sprites, but in the end all graphics are just tools to visualize the gameplay. When we invest a lot of work into the graphics we should always consider how much it improves the gameplay. Redoing all player animations and all equipment and invest hundreds of person hours just to get back to where we already are gameplay-wise is just not worth it.
  • former Manasource Programmer
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Meemxes
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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by Meemxes » 20 Apr 2011, 05:41

Here I've translated a player frame so that it is facing the viewer head on.
character analysis 01.png
character analysis 01.png (15.34 KiB) Viewed 1079 times
The technique is straightforward and obviously works both ways. The head-on bubble version helps clarify the dimensions of various body parts. Maybe some artist will find this useful as a model for other humanoid characters.

Feel free to recommend adjustments or use it on the wiki. I have an svg version if anyone wants to modify the image.
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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by Wombat » 20 Apr 2011, 10:49

While we won't be changing the player sprite anytime soon, you are welcome to build a humanoid monster and/or contribute to TMW-Manaserv art for a player sprite. Bring up discussion with Rotonen and others in TMW Development/Public Development to get more details on TMW-Manaserv CR1 (content release 1).
Current character is "Abolish".
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skipy
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Re: Art Style: Player

Post by skipy » 21 Apr 2011, 06:27

"some artist will find this useful as a model"----- i agree ...i have been playing around with CAD(wire-frame-programs)..
the hardest part in doing pixel art for me is getting the perspective right ,if it is off just a little it will show in game..imo this dose not mean lock your self in a perspective,but all still must look good together..

wire-frame-models would be really helpful in the any sort of sprite-sheet(player,mob,mini-boss,boss,big-boss,npc).. what is important is movement and perspective imo..

-----skipy
back to working on---> (crypt)then(player 1.5) and more. *been on hold do to my laptop being fix* any feel free to add/help. ill be up and working as soon as i can ...good luck to all.


"A mulatto, an albino
A mosquito, my libido
Yeah, hey, yay"---Nirvana
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