You're bold to create sprites with such high resolution for your very first project
You've obviously seen the first page of the thread where I tried doing a pixel sprite, and that was an incredibly frustrating process, because it's totally different from the way I'm used to drawing. The process I used to make those above was pretty quick and simple...it literally took a single afternoon to redo everything, and I think I'd be faster at doing a second sprite. My only issue was working out the anatomy of the different angles, and I've done some hand drawings since then that show how much I learned just by going through this process. Also, I'll be using a camera from now on to have better reference for angles, proportions, etc.
* The right walk cycle - I think he's facing the "camera" too much, making it look like a diagonal view. You would probably see his torso more from the side.
Agreed here. I was realizing this when drawing the 3/4's from the front view -- there wasn't a lot of difference in the torsos for those two. The legs, I think, are correct, which may be another one of the reasons that right-walking view bugged everyone.
* The down view is too jumpy - instead of a smooth bobbing motion, he's kind of shaking.
I think part of this is my carelessness in lining up the sprites for the .gif (which would be the same process to make the sprites for the game). I've drawn this character's sprite in a line (not even spaced out for a sprite strip), and then stacked them on top of each other after the fact. It's something I'm going to change for the next sprites I do -- I'm going to stack them from the get-go, and that way I can onion skin easier as well. This first sprite has been a massive learning experience, and I took a lot of wrong steps.
* About the cabin background - this is very obviously a photograph painted over. This is fine, but is it a style you're pursuing? The character is rather cartoony, maybe the backgrounds need a more hand-made, cell-shaded look?
I'm incredibly, incredibly flattered that you think so, but the only photographic element in the picture is a generic wood texture that I used to make the base for the dresser. Everything else references photos (except that sink which is actually based on a pain-in-the-ass dual-fauceted bathroom sink), but nothing actually painted over. There'd be less wrong things about it if I'd painted over...like the stupid looking faucets, or the way my "I can draw these once and copy+paste them" chain links don't line up correctly, or the crookedness of some of the art deco lines on the dresser front, or especially the stripes on the bedspread that I tried to cheat and angle using a polar coordinates filter (these sorts of things are the only things I'm able to see in that image now, so I hate it, and now you probably will too).
But again, you're correct that the character and the room don't match. I think I'm going to hand-draw the backgrounds with harder outlines. This was me trying to follow some of the tutorials here on how to paint backgrounds. Also, this left me with a 49-layer PSD file, which is an incredible pain to deal with, so I don't think I'll be using this method again. I also had a two-perspective grid layer to which I rigidly stuck, and I think I'll allow some more play in that to be cartoony next time. I hate drawing backgrounds when doing comics, and so I'm both lazy and have little talent or experience in that arena, and that has, unfortunately transferred to my game making.
I'm going to try again with a different style for this competition
(unfortunately, the best room to do for this would be the ballroom I have planned, but I'm afraid it would skew too much toward the sample pic in the thread's opening post.
). There is actually a background I've seen recently, a dining room with a fireplace...oh crap. Nevermind. I just went to find it, and it's yours!...anyway, I was going to say that the outlined style that people didn't like there might fit better with my style of art. So maybe I'll hand draw the line art and color / add texture in Photoshop.
What was your process in doing these backgrounds, if you don't mind my asking?
* Also, I'd really really suggest waiting with the diagonal views until later. Not only do they require a ridiculous amount of work, they're also not very necessary except for a stylistic touch. Better proceed with story, coding and backgrounds, to give you a sense of progress.
I believe this player character will be the only one in the game who requires diagonals, so it's not too tough to finish these. Also, I'm working on all of those other things, just not sharing them on the forums! There's a reason there's a long period between posts besides all of my other life obligations. I've been working on a design document. Then I threw the first one out, because it seemed too by-the-book for an adventure game. This will hopefully serve as Chapter Zero for a multimedia, but mostly illustrated prose project I've been working on for awhile, so I know where the character needs to start, and where he needs to end, but not exactly what happens in between.
I also have a practice game set up with a bunch of rooms. No one will ever see it, and the rooms are a mixture of doodles, photographs spliced together with broad layers of color, backgrounds I swiped from this blog for fun
, and over-sized vacuums of whiteness to look at walk cycles against. When I get an idea for something and I don't know if it will be codeable, I try things out there, ctrl+x'ing around to wherever I need to go. I'd never share that part of the process with you guys. I've already shared my ugliness in the first post of this thread.
Thanks so much for the time and thought put into your critique, Andail. I've taken your advice to heart and will do my best to act on it accordingly.
Edited to add: Best case, and unlikely scenario, I would love for my backgrounds to look like those overseen by Walt Peregoy in 101 Dalmatians. I think this is line art in a layer over paint.