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Major Project #8 - character and level design, world building

Aktualizacja: maj 26

For me personally, visual perception is very important in every aspect of my life. I feel like people, in general, can appreciate something eye-appealing even if their day-to-day life is not surrounded by the creative industry.

One thing is certain: a game with amazing graphics but with really bad mechanics or boring storytelling won't be a success - everything needs to be balanced.

I tried to write my game to match the emotional change curve I mentioned in one of the previous posts. I think it came up pretty good and interesting by implementing some of the mythology and folklore elements. (The colors visible on the image are changed, see below).

Before designing the graphics for my game, I already had a brief idea of what I want to design. Building on the research I described in my previous posts, I wanted to have a mix of mysterious landscapes with dark elements. I started my sketches using only black and white to be able to easily paint on them after but I quickly realized that this is not the direction I wanted to go for. I liked how the game looked like overall, but I had a feeling it was too similar to so many games that already exist - the only thing that could differentiate it a little bit more were the 'sketchy' elements I added to create texture by using e.g. grain. After that, I decided to change the game's aesthetic slightly and go for a more fantasy-inspired color palette. I prepared in photoshop what I liked and then I tried to find reference pics from deviantart/pinterest searching 'fantasy digital illustration'. I was lucky enough to find some really good reference pictures that resembled to what I already had in my head.

To design a decent game (let's be honest, my game won't be super amazing!), attention to small details is required. I pretty much figured out by myself how to design landscapes and decorative elements and then YouTube tutorials helped me to implement them to actually work as a part of the in-game world. With unity (or with games in general), motion design is very important too. I had a little bit of experience with creating animation in the past, but it never was anything complicated. For my project, I had to create a bunch of sprites - a computer graphic which may be moved on-screen and otherwise manipulated as a single entity - to create character's animations in Unity. They look pretty easy to make, it's usually around 6-8 images that represent different stages of a jump or a walk. It seemed easy in the beginning, but I quickly realized that creating a smooth animation is hard - I had problems with perspective too, as I was drawing everything by hand. While doing research online, I noticed that 2D pixel sprites are so much easier to do as designers can simply change a few pixels and a new whole pose it's done - with my aesthetics, it was a little bit harder (probably because I didn't have experience). My first idle and run animation took me too long. Not because it was hard in terms of technical aspects (it was) but more because I wasn't so sure of the character design I wanted to have. Before creating the final sprites, I had to decide on what colors I what and the exact look of my characters - I didn't want to redo my animations after!

I included a few past versions, I'm sure I missed at least two files somewhere, but this is the evolution of my final character. I decided to add a texture on her dress to make it easier for me while adding shades and animating - with the dots, it doesn't need to be as perfect. The first two sprites I did were with the old design in which the character had longer legs and arms. It didn't look good in the game, so I had to shorten it and then do the animation again. Some of the sprites I did at first were not as smooth, so this is why it took me so many tried to finally get the final one.

When it comes to landscape design, I decided to create it as simple as possible. For now, it looks like this, but I am going to change the colors slightly after, add textures and decorative elements. For now, the background (mountains and clouds) is set to the infinite scroll, but the idea of the game is to change colors throughout the game. I will have to figure out how I can edit that without creating extra scenes as I want to have one long gameplay which is not cut into different scenes.

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