Thursday, 22 January 2015

Day 53 - Progress report - Trying not to get too sidetracked

The progress over the last 10 days has been very similar to previously, in that I've been mostly doing art with a little story development also.

I've been thinking quite a bit about how slow my progress has been compared to my expectations. I thought that because the game has a fairly short and linear story that would mean I could complete the whole project within a couple of months doing everything myself. It's been pretty much 2 months now and I've got a bit of a story, a collection of art and music assets (a lot of which might not fit into the game) and about 4 seconds of game coded in.

I don't feel disappointed, if anything the realisation has given me added passion to stop meandering and get some of the bulk of the actual game down. Once I've done that I'll have plenty of tasks in terms of sprite-creating, split-testing audio, etc. to get on with, which will be more worthwhile than mindlessly editing files that could very well not even make it into the game.

I've just been enjoying doing the art so much, I think especially as it's new to me, I'm learning lots about drawing and digital editing. I think it's a good idea to learn as much as possible when you are in that sort of highly receptive state - where you are thirsty for more knowledge. So it's a balance between derailing my new found passion for art or derailing my game project. Only neither need to get derailed if I can use my time as effectively as possible.

This has been a strange blog post. Right, back to the code!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Day 43 - Backgrounds and some handy photoshop shortcuts

Little progress report:
I've finished the first part of my script. Which is just the first draft and will need some editing in time.
But mostly I've been working on art still! I've got about 5 characters designed and have had a go at initial sprites too. Also getting through the backgrounds a bit, maybe done 25% of backgrounds at this point.

Story: 25%
Sprites: 5%
Backgrounds: 25%
Music: 10%
Coding: 2%

Put like that I guess I still have a long way to go!

Background made from a photo I took last summer
Background made from a photo I took last summer
When I'm a better artist I'd love to draw some backgrounds. But for this project I'll be using edited photos.

Handy photoshop shortcuts I've learned in the last few days:

CTRL+U : brings up the hue/saturation settings (yay!)
CTRL+L : brings up the levels settings
I : changes tool to eyedropper
B: changes tool to brush
E: changes tool to eraser

These aren't exactly hidden away, but for some reason I hadn't used them until a few days ago after watching some helpful youtube videos. I would usually link to the helpful videos, but I can't remember which videos they were! So instead I'll link to this channel which has some cool process videos about working digitally:

Friday, 2 January 2015

Day 33 - Character designs for game. Colour palette tip.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been mostly focusing on improving my drawing abilities and coming up with character designs. I feel spending time on these areas is worth delaying any actual game coding or story writing, but I'll have to switch back from art mode to game mode at some point or I'll be drawing forever.

glitchmode esme
Glitchmode Esme
A little tip I picked up (I think from Mark Crilley - to come up with a colour palette is to take a photo with some interesting colours in and use photoshop to simplify this into a few dozen colours.

photoshop colour palette from photo
Photoshop colour palette from photo
I did play a little with the saturation first (under Enhance > Adjust Colour > Adjust Hue/Saturation) and then applied the Crystallize filter (under Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize).