Author Topic: [FILLED] Looking for artist(s) to develop new style for A Valley Without Wind.  (Read 78821 times)

Offline Mánagarmr

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You haven't een Trine then. Trine is beautiful, no matter how you look at it.
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Offline Misery

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You haven't een Trine then. Trine is beautiful, no matter how you look at it.

I do have that one actually.   It was okay, I guess.  Beyond my limited patience to actually finish, though.

Offline darkchair

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The one thing I ask is if you go through substantial changes, that you give us a convenient option to keep the old graphics. I enjoy them, and you might as well use what you've spent this time on. If it's too complicated to switch back that's fine.

One thing that might be turning people off is how your very first settlement is the Ice Age. It's a bleak time on the timeline, and that seems to show through in the bland white-ness of everything in the tutorial and first settlement. Maybe that could be changed? I'm not saying that it's a bad setting in general, it's good to have the dull, bland scenery to mix with the ridiculous and beautiful scenery elsewhere. Maybe the feeling of starting in a bland setting demoralizes people.
I could be completely wrong, but it's something I felt a bit when I started whenever the beta was released.

Offline Wanderer

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To toss in my not so honest opinions...

I liked Limbo's feel.  It worked for that game, the same way Braid's artwork worked into its own overarching story.  This might mean I'm old, but a half-way throwback to old 8bit art with the 16bit look worked for a random reinforcement of the cold war nuclear concerns.

I do agree with Darkchair on this though.  Toss the player into the 'modern' realm and I'd have had a better feel for the time travel.  Identifying with an Ice Age character being tossed forward is a lot harder than indentifying with Joe Schmoe down the block getting tossed into the Ice Age.  That and the 'current' realm has a lot more, artistically, going for it than the Ice Age.  Biased opinion, of course... it's just a preference.
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Offline TechSY730

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I do agree with Darkchair on this though.  Toss the player into the 'modern' realm and I'd have had a better feel for the time travel.  Identifying with an Ice Age character being tossed forward is a lot harder than indentifying with Joe Schmoe down the block getting tossed into the Ice Age.  That and the 'current' realm has a lot more, artistically, going for it than the Ice Age.  Biased opinion, of course... it's just a preference.

That is interesting, but it would require a good bit of work. The ice age regions and native monsters, along with the traits of the ice age characters were designed to be very "newbie friendly". The modern era stuff would need to be reviewed and possibly tweaked some to also make it "newbie friendly".

That, and the tutorial would need substantial work, as it is hand designed. It would need to be updated to use modern age background elements, modern age art assets, modern age native monsters, and in some cases, redoing of the terrain to closer match what modern age chunks tend to generate (different ages have different "templates" used for their various areas)

Offline nanostrike

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Honestly, I think the game NEEDS a new art style pretty bad.  I can tolerate the environments and some of the enemies, but the character models are really, really awkward-looking, to the point that it was distracting me from the gameplay.

Once I used a Texture Pack to replace them with traditional, 2-D sprites, that went away.  I think the classic SNES-to-PS1 era sprites really work with this game better than the rendered stuff.  It meshes with the old-school chip-tune like music so well that it's crazy.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Well I admit that texture pack that replaces the char sprites made a huge difference but even those had awkward animations sometimes. So it isn't just a simple art change that someone externally can do. The game simply needs more animation types (at the very least a proper idle stance) and animations that are created with love. Love for details, flowing hair, clothes.. some dust particles swooping up. The whole feel of the physicality of movement needs to be there.

ATM it feels like the characters are card  boxes moving through a dream world. Kinda weird.

So to change my stance.. yeah a more crisper look might not be such a bad thing. The problem is really that everything is kinda.. sharp and blurry at the same time. That when my char falls there is no dust puff when I land, there are no dust particles swooping slowly through the air. No butterflies and birds. Everything is so .. static. This goes imo against the game, because the game is not static at all. So yeah, let's see what change comes ;P
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 01:33:59 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline TechSY730

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The problem is how can the number of animations or frames per animation be increased without also adding additional memory load? As Chris mentioned, they are already starting to scrape the limitations on RAM usage imposed by the Unity engine.

If they want to go with the more detailed character animations route, a different sort of character animation system (or different texture "buffering/caching system" or something) may be needed in order to prevent more memory usage. Problem is, that is rather tricky and will be quite a bit of work.

Or as mentioned, a new art style for characters could be used that wouldn't look as awkward with fewer animations or frames per animation, but again, that would require quite a bit of work.

So yea, I don't really see any non-difficult solution to this.  :-\

Offline Professor Paul1290

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I kind of think if other animations needed more frames you could just reduce the number of frames in the running animation somewhat.

This could be a matter of opinion, but I think the running animation is currently overkill in how smooth it is, especially when compared to everything else.

Offline Hearteater

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The problem is how can the number of animations or frames per animation be increased without also adding additional memory load? As Chris mentioned, they are already starting to scrape the limitations on RAM usage imposed by the Unity engine.
Did Chris say running was 21 frames?  If other animations are remotely similar, I'd say fewer frames are needed, not more.  For example, from some Disgaea 3 sprites you can see they use roughly 127 total sprites for an entire character.  In most cases any given action is only 6 frames.  You can do a lot and make it look damn good with just 6 frames.

Offline TechSY730

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The problem is how can the number of animations or frames per animation be increased without also adding additional memory load? As Chris mentioned, they are already starting to scrape the limitations on RAM usage imposed by the Unity engine.
Did Chris say running was 21 frames?  If other animations are remotely similar, I'd say fewer frames are needed, not more.  For example, from some Disgaea 3 sprites you can see they use roughly 127 total sprites for an entire character.  In most cases any given action is only 6 frames.  You can do a lot and make it look damn good with just 6 frames.

So, maybe cut out some frames from existing animations that don't need quite as much detail as they currently have so there is room for new animations? That could work.

Offline Wanderer

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Hey guys, I've never done much if any animated sprite work, I'm used to doing more with layers in gifs and the like.  I found the png dictionary for the running character but I'm not locating the component that determines what order and the like the dictionary is used in.

So, since I'm basically just banging my head on the wall, can anyone link me a site or two that goes through the basics of sprite animation encoding or let me know where the image order definition file is hiding?  Also, I'm using GIMP 2.0 at the moment, I'm assuming I can do most if not all of my work graphically via that and notepad/etc for the animation of them.
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Offline Nanashi

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Hey guys, I've never done much if any animated sprite work, I'm used to doing more with layers in gifs and the like.  I found the png dictionary for the running character but I'm not locating the component that determines what order and the like the dictionary is used in.

So, since I'm basically just banging my head on the wall, can anyone link me a site or two that goes through the basics of sprite animation encoding or let me know where the image order definition file is hiding?  Also, I'm using GIMP 2.0 at the moment, I'm assuming I can do most if not all of my work graphically via that and notepad/etc for the animation of them.

1) Bitmaps aren't animated by nature. A spritesheet is a texture, not an animation - the coding for reading animation frames is usually handled externally within the game code itself as a result.

The short non-technical explanation is that AVWW uses PNG as its image format (I'm not sure it accepts BMP, but it probably should, Unity is a mystery to me). PNG is a single-image format without animation data coded in. It's not like GIF - GIF has animation data coded into the file itself, but you can't use just use GIF animations in games because (short explanation) objects in games use textures, and you'd need to code an interpreter anyway. GIF is generally not a popular choice for games, because it uses a limited palette of 256 colours and more importantly only supports binary alpha transparency (i.e. something is either only visible or invisible). This is a killer if you want any sort of translucent effects whatsoever.

2) You could technically do all your work in GIMP. GIMP is a very powerful tool - however (and this is personal opinion) it manages to be even more counter-intuitive than Photoshop and is generally a crappy program to draw or do animations in - it's like trying to slice a cake with a chainsaw. I find it best for the 2D equivalent of "post processing".

3) Although it's much more difficult to actually alter animation data (short of decompiling the program, you'd need help from the coders themselves), it's easy to alter the sprites themselves - if you don't own a sprite editing program, just divide the original sheet into a grid and draw over them. Make sure you're familiar with alpha channels (there's zillions of tutorials on the internet). If you just intend to replace sprites with ripped content, all you'll really need is the copy-paste tool. If you really need to approximate animation delays, you could just double frames for the time being.

Offline keith.lamothe

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it's like trying to slice a cake with a chainsaw
As an engineer, I find that concept highly appealing.

But yes: the png files are just raw textures; the entity-type definitions that refer to them are also told (hardcoded) the frame size and number of frames to expect.  It's also told how fast to switch between frames, etc.
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Offline BobTheJanitor

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The one thing I ask is if you go through substantial changes, that you give us a convenient option to keep the old graphics. I enjoy them, and you might as well use what you've spent this time on. If it's too complicated to switch back that's fine.

That's a good point actually, I'm not sure if that is planned in the long run or not. If there is an artist that redoes all the art from the ground up, then any new art that is added would need to be in that style. Unless Chris wants to keep making new art in the original style, and keep two concurrent options running at the same time, which seems a bit of a time waster.