Friday, April 12, 2013

I've been making games!

So a while back I had this sudden urge to learn to make pixelart, I've always wanted to make games, the whole reason I got into art, but bouncing around on a few mod groups and indie teams I got frustrated with the process. No matter how quickly I worked there was always a lag time, created by the pipeline, where the pitched idea goes through my hands to the next person to model and the person after that to animate and to the programmer to put in. Pixelart cuts out a few steps,  the idea gets pitched and goes to me to concept out and then I directly make the in-game asset which is passed to the programmer to put in.

Seeing it almost immediately gives me the instant gratification kick I need to pour more hours into it. And that is the other benefit, because I make the assets it lets me work a lot more iteratively. I'm not afraid to scribble something down and send it over, just so we can get it in-game and see if it works even remotely. Whereas when I'm just the concept guy, I'm a lot more self conscious, and perfectionist as to what I send along (which could be a problem I need to get sorted out).

So to the images! I'll try to keep this as chronological as I can from starting to learn pixelart to learning programming and then making games;

The Beginning

These were my first attempts at pixelling, pretty mediocre. But they were so much FUN! After trying to make my BEST stuff for so long it was great to just do stupid stuff that was fun. At this point my end-goal was to simply get to the point where I could make still images, and fake screenshots of mini games I had in my head.

Edit: Oh and I put a sketch in there to show what my process was at the time. I would draw things normal and shrink them down then work on top of that as an under-drawing. It was pretty inefficient.

Making Progress
Just more figuring things out, learning about tiles, isometric tiles, how to make clean line work. There are an absurdly large amount of resources for learning pixel art. I don't know why I found that strange, but I'm still just as grateful.


I never thought I was into animation much, as a kid I made the same flip book animations as everyone else but I never took it any further than that...because it was just too hard honestly. But for some reason once I realized I could make my little pixel people move, I kicked that door open. I'm still absolutely terrible at it, but its fun roughing out the animations (its still ridiculous amount of work to make it look like anything). I just need to spend some time and grind out 20-30 animations for no other reason than practice and I will probably figure some things out.

So after reaching this point (which is still pretty much no where!) I, for some reason thought I may as well learn to program so I can make terrible playable games instead of fake screenshots. This is pretty current events so I'm still figuring things out, it was suggested that I test out a bunch of langues and find one that works best for me personally. So far I'm leaning towards more high level scripting languages, since I had no interest in taking this any further than a hobby, the strength and control of the more powerful languages are lost on me. Not to mention the difficulty and pre-requisite math knowledge that I no longer have. I've experimented with python,lua,c++,as3,HAXE,java,javascript/html5 and perl...might be one or two more in that list but those are the most important. Python currently is my favorite, as3 is what I have the most confidence in, but the simple syntax of python is really intuitive it just makes sense in my head. So I'm not 100% sure but it will probably be what I primarily work with going forward. But I will say it's been much easier to learn programming than I used to think, its surprisingly a lot like learning anything art related. 

My first attempts!


Current Projects

As I kept working, I learned how insane one-man teams are. Trying to write code, debug the code, as well as create the art, and in most the art because the first attempts were bad. I didn't exactly search but I stumbled across my partner Andreas! It's been a blast, he helps me learn programming and we make hilarious games together. Two-man teams are my favorite route so far, I only have experience with small groups of 8-10 people as a concept artist, but this is a MUCH better setup. Some days we end up staying up all night, working for 6-8 hour sessions, reminds of renting games on a Friday as a kid and playing coop with a friend all night. Here is our current project that I'm really excited about!;


The End!??

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