Art Revision, Flash Fix, Discord, and Design

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours contained 100% less hospital, so that was good. I also met up with some fellow Twitter peeps to have beer for the first time. Yay urban living!

Back at work, it was a bit of a slow start today. First order of business, apart from the usual email catch-up, was to deal with a Flash bug on the website. Last week's migration to a new server broke one of the scripts the Flash version uses. So I had to deal with that (and the various permissions that come with a new host).

In more exciting news, Emily sent her next revision of the art I showed you last week. As you can see here, still tinkering with the same style and scale as before. But this one adds more personal effects and detritus, giving it a slightly more lived-in feel. Things like socks, magazines, couches, and drinks.

However, as you can also probably see, this detail is a bit hard to figure out. At this scale, there are only so many pixels to work with, so describing small items can be hard. Plus, the top-down perspective makes it even harder to describe objects we're used to seeing from the side. (E.g. a water cooler)

All together, this may mean we need to change something. That may mean abandoning realistic proportions and colors for more cartoonish style. That is, after all, why such a style exists. (See clowns and vaudeville.) Alternatively, it might mean we need to explore an off-vertical viewpoint that shows one or more sides. I've always liked such perspectives in games, but they're notoriously more complex to do art/rendering for.

However, before we go down that route, there's at least one more thing to try: larger scale. As I mentioned last week, this style is about 30% the size of what I'm using in the prototype right now. So Emily is going to try a larger-scale version of this, where tiles are still 16 pixels across, but there are 3 tiles per meter instead of 1. So we should get 3x the detail for each object, which might just be enough to make them clearer without abandoning this style. We'll see.

Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to seeing it! Emily's doing great work so far.

In other news, I did an impromptu AMA on Discord today. We chatted a lot about NEO Scavenger's setting, both on Earth and in space.

And in what time remained, I tried to squeeze in at least a bit more design on character generation. Not a lot to report here yet, but I'm starting to figure out some important details. Things like how to specify the possible outcomes of various encounter/chargen choices, how to specify when an NPC should be created and referred to, and how to specify user input options.

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have more of a chance to follow-up on this!


Respawn's picture


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"I rode the train home, catching up on some SCP logs. They were less ******* weird than the people I rode with."
Tex- BlackPantsLegion

spacemedic's picture

Are those cigarettes on the table?

dcfedor's picture

@spacemedic, exactly :) At this resolution, small details like that are somewhat confusing, so I'd either have to omit them/make them non-interactive or balloon them out a bit to be clickable/legible.

I'd prefer not to have cartoonish graphics if I can help it, and I'd like to include smaller items. So my gut feeling is that I'll need a larger scale than this.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games