View Full Version : Advice needed for new (platform)game
08-02-2004, 10:40 PM
I want to make a new game soon. I'm not sure what type
of game it will be exactly, but I have decided it will be a platform-style game.
Though I am doubting between 2 genres: a platform game, Mario Bross-style
or a platform game combined with shooting/shoot'em up.
Personally, I prefer the last a bit over the first genre.
And also important, is there a market for one of these genres (or both)?
Can anybody tell me? (please try to be concrete with numbers etc.)
Or is it not worth starting a (2D) platform game anyway?
Another major concern I have are the graphics. I want to make the
graphics myself (I'm learning) but I want to know first if the quality of
my drawing is good enough or not to continue. Below is a link with with a
small picture which gives a bit of impression what I am (and am not) capable of.
What type of graphics looks best? The pixel art/modelled head?
I'd like to know these things first before I start a new project.
I am not so concerned about the programming (and design part). I have
enough experience in those areas. My major concerns are about graphics (quality) and genre(popularity/market).
I'd like to hear your advice...
08-03-2004, 12:32 AM
The link to your image doesn't work. (see the ...)
08-03-2004, 12:35 AM
08-03-2004, 02:03 AM
Glad to see your thread is back. It dissapeared for a while there.
Anyway, I'm an artist, so I'll try and gie you some feedback about the graphics.
I think you could get away with your 2D sprites- they aren't too bad (they aren't super-great either, but they aren't bad). I'd be interested to see how well you can animate them, though. If you animate them smoothly, I think they'd turn out quite well, but if you leave them with really basic animation, you're not going to appeal to a lot of people with them- especially the descriminating gamer, who these days is used to a whole lot more. I'd also be interested to see how good you are at drawing backgrounds and items, etc.
I'd leave your 3D modelling to someone else :) From my point of view, it's no good. It might have done well about ten years ago, but by todays standards it just doesn't hold a candle to even the worst rendering I've seen in some indie games. If you like 3D work, by all means don't give up practicing (everyone has to start somewhere) but right now, while you're at that infant stage of understanding, trying to use it to sell a game would be the equivilent of shooting yourself in the foot.
Thanks for sharing, btw. It's nice to see someone open to constructive criticism. If you'd like me to elaborate more, just ask.
08-03-2004, 05:06 AM
Thanks Reactor and Wayward for your opinions and advices so far.
I agree with reactor that I should do my drawing stuff in 2D pixel-art and forget about 3D modelling (as for now anyway).
I also agree with Wayward on looking for photos and other drawing stuff etc. to learn from (in fact, I already did that, but I should do more I guess).
I have drawn a lot on paper (with success), from my childhood to now, but
doing it with pixels is different. But I will try to improve it a bit more, although it probably wont be much. I will just look for more resources to look at, and do some more practice, also on backgrounds and other items. But the goal remains to create a platform game, so I hope I can achieve enough quality in a relative short time (I simply dont have much time).
Besides the graphics (opinions/recommendations), I'm also still curious about the market-thing. Is there a (serious) market for a platform-game I want to make? Or is it out of chance anyway and shoukd I choose a complete different path?
08-03-2004, 05:29 AM
I can't give you any solid numbers, but I'm a firm believer that any basic genre will sell, providing you advertise well (hang around on here to gain some good advice on that one) and have a fun/attractive product for the gamer at the end of the day. I think some people will disagree with me on that one (fairly enough) but I like to think that people who want fun games will always buy fun games :)
Anyway, I hopoe someone else has some number for you. Personally, I'd just go ahead with it. Platformers are a timeless type of game.
08-03-2004, 07:19 AM
Everyone has his/her own tastes in game genres and type of graphics. Personally, I like both genres, but I prefer the platform shooter a bit over mario-style game. But yes, a mario-style game would be easier to develop.
I'd like to hear opinions (especially about the graphics) from as much people as possible to get a better image about how people think about the graphics quality.
For now, I will try to make some 2nd attempt of sketches/ concept graphics,
and then I will show those again. After that, I will make my final decision on
how (and whether) to continue with a platform game.
For now, people can still have a look at this 'old' URL with the
1st sketches/concept images:
08-03-2004, 07:27 AM
I don't know if you're doing this mostly as a hobby or as an initial experiment.. but have you thought about contracting it out to an artist or maybe find an artist who's looking for someone to give life to his/her sprites?
If you do finish the game with programmer art and it seems sellable, you will have an easier time finding a decent artist who's willing to do the graphics for some upfront payment and / or sharing of profits.
08-03-2004, 05:42 PM
The graphics look like you're still learning. But you could use that as a stylistic choice, if the other aspects of the art are above average (color palette, animation, creativity with emotive expression, etc). If it's all sub-par, you should hire help.
As for marketing, I'd say anything will sell if it's good and gets the necessary exposure. There's always a market for any genre, it's just that most genres are glutted with inbred clones. Do something unique, and it will get noticed.
08-03-2004, 06:35 PM
I'm afraid I don't like your graphics either... But here's some advice:
- If you can draw well on paper, you shouldn't be making pixel art. You should draw your art on paper, ink it, scan it and paint it on the computer. If you can really draw well on paper, that would be much easier than drawing pixel by pixel.
- If you want to use pixel art in your game anyway, I would aim at a much simpler style. For example, look at Zelda: A Link to The Past (in case you don't know it, it's an old Super Nintendo game.) I think you're trying to achieve too much "realism." I would go with a more cartoony look.
08-05-2004, 05:47 AM
Hey, don't care about perfect graphics! Take a look at South Park :) If you can make a really fun game, your graphics will be a part of your game's image.
08-07-2004, 04:52 AM
I've been working on my 2nd graphics-concept(pictures).
The 1st one is only expanded since the 1st one, but still same style and characters, but with background included.
The second picture/concept is a more cartoony one.
Again, I'd like to hear peoples' opinions. Especially if the quality of the pics (or one of them) would be enough quality to make a platform game with or
not. That's the main-question for me now.
Here are the links to the 2 (new) pictures:
08-07-2004, 10:20 AM
Neither of those pictures is particularily good, but the second one has a certain charm to it. The first picture is just plain bad.
08-07-2004, 07:05 PM
It isn't usually a good idea to compare your work to others (because without training, it isn't a fair thing to do) but in this case, it might help you to aim your sights a little higher. At the moment, I think Rainer is right on the money about your pictures, but the second one doesn't even have an element of charm to me.
Take a look at some of the sprite artwork from the latest sprite based games, and even have a look at artistic websites, like www.gfxartist.com. When you see what is actually possible, it makes it much easier to see just how much better artwork can be. Obviously, the best artwork can take years and years to learn how to do, but it also serves to inspire other artists to reach for better things. Anyway, I wouldn't expect a platform game (or any other type of game) with your current graphics to sell well.
08-07-2004, 11:50 PM
Ok, that is clear.
The link you gave didn't work by the way. Do you know good examples
of sprites based games with good graphics? I know 2 of them.
08-08-2004, 12:08 AM
If you're just doing it as a hobby or for beer money, then you probably could get away with those graphics (assuming the game is fun to play). However if you're looking to make decent money or start a real business with your game, then you need to substantially improve the graphics.
Gameplay is extremely important, but you can't under-estimate graphics either. Usually the first thing people see of your game is screen shots. If your screen shots turn people off, it doesn't matter how great the gameplay is you'll have a hard time getting people to download your demo.
Your graphics don't have to be cutting edge, but they need to be polished and have a unique style to it. At the very least, people expect late SNES/early PSOne quality graphics. Right now, especially your concept 1 image, looks like an early NES game. You could maybe make a simple Flash game out of it, but otherwise I think you would struggle greatly to find an audience.
To see the current graphic quality of most action/platformer Indie games, check out http://gametunnel.com Bud Redhead is a 2D platformer and believe it's still on the front page of GT.
I know I sound a little harsh, but if you're trying to make decent money from your game, I want to help you look at your situation realistically. You have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. With my game, Pow Pow's Great Adventure (http://outsidetheboxsoftware.com/games.html) (which is a platformer incidentally), I teamed up with a 2D artist because I knew my 2D art skills were substandard for what I wanted to accomplish.
Obviously I think platformers are a good genre, but you need to match the genre you intend to develop with the resources you have available. If you're unable to find an artist to do a quality platformer, then you're better off focusing on a different genre, which aligns closer to your strengths. I actually intended to do a different game for my first title, but then I realized I didn't have the resources or the necessary experience yet, so I put that game on the backburner.
Regardless, good luck! :)
08-08-2004, 04:36 AM
Back to that earlier picture I think the 3D pic was much better than the 2D myself. Perhaps it's because I like the classic computer plastic feel that Knick Knack/Toy Story has but I think that it looks stylised and high quality but the 2D graphics simply look poor.
08-30-2004, 11:21 PM
I've been practicing my drawing skills. The result is one big
picture with all sorts of elements I've drawn so far.
I'm curious what you guys think. Are the graphics improved
enough (compared to the 1st 2 attempts) to make a decent platform
game or still not good (enough)?
(Please ignore that the elements are just dropped 'somewhere' in the picture).
The URL of the pic is:
08-31-2004, 05:53 AM
Whoa, I wish my skills in anything could improve so quick :)
I like the new graphics. You could do a platform game with a certain feeling of "old school" just because of the pixel art.
08-31-2004, 06:36 AM
I give you top marks for effort, but I'm not sure your graphics match what I'd personally expect to see in a decent platform game, yet. Your graphics do have a kind of retro style to them, but I'm not sure you'd appeal to a wide audience with them. Here's the thing- you will always have a certain style of your own, but the techniques that go into creating the art can reflect a great deal on it's final outcome. I'm curious, what program are you drawing with?
Btw, your latest artwork is much better :)
08-31-2004, 07:09 AM
Nice to hear people see improvement.
B.t.w. I use Paint Shop Pro for drawing.
08-31-2004, 08:17 AM
Paint Shop Pro... okay...
I ask because the general style of your artwork can come from three main places, which are your own natural style, the tools you're using and the techniques you're using to achieve the end result. Although your artwork is improving, I just can't get past the 1980's look of what it is you're drawing, and I wonder if you'd make better progress if you try a different program, or different technique to get things drawn. For instance, it looks to me like you used the gradient fill a lot, and the straight line tool. Those two tools are direct from the late 1980s. You're not a bad artist, naturally, I don't think, but those tools (and some of the colours you've chosen) aren't doing you any favours.
What might also help is to hang out with the pros for a while (that's not me, if you're wondering :) Read pro tutorials, and play with some of the higher end tools, like Zbrush (if you can afford it) or Painter. You'll be amazed how much better your art can look when you move past 80's colour palettes and tools (most of which are from the Amiga days), and understand a little more about using the right colour tones. But, that'll take time. Keep at it! As I mentoned earlier, to me at least, you have some really great raw tallent ;)
And by all means, if you do progress down that road, keep us informed (or me, at least!). Anyway, I hope some of this is helpful advice.
08-31-2004, 08:59 AM
I will add my vote to the list who thinks you greatly improved your drawings!! Amazed: :eek:
09-01-2004, 03:57 AM
Just registered today and already I find a post I can help (hopefully) out with. As said before not bad, but not great. I used to draw at the same level in the beginning. Keep at it 'cause practice really does make perfect.
Series of games that had awesome sprites and animations were the Metal Slug series for NeoGeo. You can get the emu and games online somewhere. Just found this link to a flash game that uses the graphics from the second one I believe.. http://www.2flashgames.com/f/f-161.htm
So that should give you an idea of the quality people expect.
Here's a link to something you may find interesting..
Hope that helps some
Btw. GREAT forums guys. Taking up all my time reading everything!
09-01-2004, 05:38 AM
Thank you guys for the replies so far. Those are always helpful.
I think, as mentioned I could make my graphics a bit better when using
more advanced tools and choose better colors etc. Maybe I will do that in the future. The link to the art tutorial is one I already found, but thanks anyway. Problem is, I have very less time, doing this as a (big) hobby. But I have a full time developers job making business apps.
I will think about a true complete game now. If I am a stage further, I will
let you know.
09-06-2004, 10:52 PM
Dude! A scanner is like 30$ now! Just bite the bullet, get a pencil and paper and get to work!
Paintshop pro [I use version 4, btw] is just not powerfull enough to make graphics on it's own.
How ever for editing scanned graphics, it is perfect. Loads in like 2 seconds, can do pixel editing and general image cleaning, and doesn't have too much. :rolleyes:
But I have a full time developers job making business apps.
You can draw on your breaks and lunch hour, [pssst...and at your desk when the boss is gone ;) ] if you go with pencil and paper.
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