Softlanding interview featured on HeiseiDemocracy.com! New Screenies included..
Hello everyone. I've been lurking IG.com forums for months and months now, and I must say I really love the feel of this place. There is a professional vibe and maturity existent here that is not often reflected by many other places on the net. Anyway, down to business.
I've already posted this on the Shmup-Dev forums, but they're so quiet these days!
This is an interview relating to our current, upcoming game "Softlanding". There are some new screenshots included, and obviously quite a lot of me and Fet rambling on about how things are, and how they came to be.
I'd be delighted if anyone had any comments related to the artwork or general style of the game they can thus far determine from the screenshots.
Alright, I'm a sucker for cool art, so I'll say it again. Cool Art!
Character's look great. The smoothness (antialiasing) in the in game backgrounds look nice, but despite how much of a pixels purist I was way back when, it's almost a shame the sprite art has a rigid pixeled look. The ships certainly have enough detail, but the harsh color changes in contrast to smoothly antialiased terrain is a bit discerning. Now I'm not saying ditch the pixel art, but you might be able to build off this look. It's something to try perhaps. Depending how you're achieving your background look (high detail resized, or vector art), try building a higher detail version of, say, this mothership thang.
If you're a high-detail resizer, pixel resize the ship 2x, 3x, or 4x it, then smooth out any rough edges, and straighten any lines you want to accentuate. And when you're done, resize a copy back at the original resolution.
Or if you're all about the vectors, trace and overlap/layer colored regions with their original pixel colors, along similar shapes (not pixel rigid, but lines that trace around the shapes you made). Then fit a resized copy back to the original size.
Again, it's just a thought.
Looks like Wordpress is failing you at the moment. Check the link.
@PoV: Thanks for the excellent feedback. Of course, as the artist, the thing I always worry about the most is that the quality of my work is up to scratch or not. The overall aesthetic of the shooting component of the game was something I discussed with Fet at length. Originally we had gone for a heavily retro-pixel only design, where everything in this side of the game would follow the style of the ships etc.
One of the things that created the current style is practicality. I think I'm getting better at pixel art as I go along, but I'm still really slow with it. I can draw the backgrounds in the style that they are currently (using a tablet and making them kind of like "digital paintings" with layers) a lot more quickly, and with only two of us in the team time a major consideration. I'm going to be focussing my efforts on contrast and making the colours gel together more nicely as a whole. We've come to terms with this style and are really happy with the way it looks, even though it is perhaps a little different than what people are used to. The backgrounds, you will find, actually ARE the same resolution as the pixel art in the foreground, there's no scaling going on at all here, it is all 1:1. The game is 512x384 when played full screen and one of the effects this has is evening out the detail a lot more consistently, as you can see the background layers in a semi-pixellated fashion too.
Thanks so much for the feedback!
@adamw: Where is wordpress not working?