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DF Lee

Art Update #1: Creating a Visual Style, Part 1

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I like the overall design and direction for the art so far. However, I have to say the the character art is a bit off putting to me in that it doesn't really feel like Double Fine. Just looking back at the overall character art from games like Psychonaughts, Stacking, Costume Quest it's a little less realistic and more lighthearted. Looking at the Character art you guys have put up so far I just don't know if I like the direction.

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Why are lumberjacks hipsters now?

Because anything that is weird and people don't like is deemed "hipster." Also, the flannel.

But I mean come on, lumberjacks wore flannel way before it was popular. Waaaiit...

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Personally I do not really like this artistic design. I had hoped for really cool comic look. And while the backgraound looks still ok the thing that i totally dislike is the character design. Guess I had wrong expectations from this game and the feel of it. But luckiy I will still have Larry and Moebius for good art design^^

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Personally I do not really like this artistic design. I had hoped for really cool comic look. And while the backgraound looks still ok the thing that i totally dislike is the character design. Guess I had wrong expectations from this game and the feel of it. But luckiy I will still have Larry and Moebius for good art design^^

Why don't you just read the original post... That character has nothing to do with the game at all, and the rest of the picture is an art and feel prototype...

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Not really sure I should post this in this thread but I've recently played Gray Matter by Jane Jensen and the thing that struck me as being the most glaringly 'wrong' thing with the visual style of that game was the fact that they hadn't suitably animated everything for a game with a realistic (ish) art style.

Tiny little things really stick out in adventure games and it's been a problem forever (I'm 32 and adventure games are my favourite game genre and I've probably played every one of even vague note since time immemorial, just so no-one thinks I'm some sort of noob to the whole genre) things like being given items from an NPC - quite a common thing in adventure games and you often get weird animations of both characters hopefully sticking a limb out (an arm, usually) and occasionally seeing the actual object, or nothing and it looks like a weird high five, or the object / limbs glitching weirdly.

This also happens quite often with interacting with things, or even tiny details like walking on stairs and the character floats down them strangely.

Another huge bug bear for me is what I catchily refer to as 'the getting into position for a chat' animation, you often have the player and NPC spend a strange time having a bit of a jig about until they arrive at the pre-defined 'talk-zone' and then you can have a conversation. It's really rather strange. I'm not suggesting you can shout at people from everywhere but a bit more freedom with this sort of thing would make the game flow much better.

Apologies for the ramble but animation is really something I hope the DF adventure game really nails and I think this art style should hopefully lend itself to detailed animations, rather than polygons or whatnot. As much as I love Grim Fandango (which is a ludicrous amount) the polygonal animation in that had a lot of the errors I describe above, especially with items - even when goign through your inventory, they could sometimes glitch out of Manny's hands. Just to re-iterate, I would never hear a negative word against Grim in general but I just used it and it's engine as an example and I would gladly pay good money for an XBLA re-release.

Anyway, carry on your great work!

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Personally I do not really like this artistic design. I had hoped for really cool comic look. And while the backgraound looks still ok the thing that i totally dislike is the character design. Guess I had wrong expectations from this game and the feel of it. But luckiy I will still have Larry and Moebius for good art design^^

Why don't you just read the original post... That character has nothing to do with the game at all, and the rest of the picture is an art and feel prototype...

I have read that and the udate two did it not much better for me either. But Again I hoped for something like this here.

scummvm_0_8_1-full.png

or this:

dog-pees-on-larry.jpg

But I wont get everything I want I guess. Dont get me wrong I will still play this game but the artdesign ing ernally looks way off from what I wanted to see in the end.

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Another huge bug bear for me is what I catchily refer to as 'the getting into position for a chat' animation, you often have the player and NPC spend a strange time having a bit of a jig about until they arrive at the pre-defined 'talk-zone' and then you can have a conversation. It's really rather strange.

Beneath a Steel Sky is a prime example of this. Especially when you talk to the waitress in the bar. I love the game otherwise though.

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Personally I do not really like this artistic design. I had hoped for really cool comic look. And while the backgraound looks still ok the thing that i totally dislike is the character design. Guess I had wrong expectations from this game and the feel of it. But luckiy I will still have Larry and Moebius for good art design^^

Why don't you just read the original post... That character has nothing to do with the game at all, and the rest of the picture is an art and feel prototype...

I have read that and the udate two did it not much better for me either. But Again I hoped for something like this here.

*snip*

or this:

*snip*

But I wont get everything I want I guess. Dont get me wrong I will still play this game but the artdesign ing ernally looks way off from what I wanted to see in the end.

We'll know more information when the next part of the documentary comes out Friday since that's apparently when the game's premise will be revealed, but perhaps a cartoony art style just doesn't fit with what Tim has planned for the game. Cartoony art fit well with stuff like Day of the Tentacle because it's a straight comedy, but his games that take a more serious tone (like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango) tend to also have a much less lighthearted cartoony art style and just go for a more stylized approach instead.

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I just want to ignore all the lengthy discussion and say that this video is a great tribute to the classic Disney parallax camera demo film.

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I must say, this art style is pretty wicked! I'm hoping the end product has this kind of sheen to it.

Awesome art, great job!

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I was really hoping the animation would't be that kind of flash style stuff where limbs are just rotated as they move rather than actually being redrawn as they would be in something like say an old Disney movie (or an older point and click like Broken Sword). The art style I really love - could very easily get into a game like that but the animation style - I know it was just used to mock something up but I hope it doesn't go further. It's over used and I think looks cheap.

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Great Background! I like the sytle a lot. Really good work. Cant wait to know whats in that stable :D

But the lumberjack-guy (im sorry to say) he's kinda ridiculos. A bit lifeless and cold. Also the proportions of face and body are odd.

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It's funny that the scrolling are the same of DOTT know beginning with tree. By the way I'm amazed by your use of After effect. Prove with great art and first step of animation we can create some cool ambiance :) bY THE WAY GREAT FAN OF YOUR WORK ON BRUTAL LEGEND DESIGN.

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Not sure if this was already suggested, but you should put a message at the start of the video that says something like "Early test footage. Neither characters or artwork representational of final game. Not for distribution". When people leak the videos, the forum text doesn't come along for the ride explaining what's being shown.

Anyways, thanks for posting! Very interesting!

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Dear god I hope the game looks like this. Love the 2d art style. Just hate the hipster character. He better not be in the game!!!!

Yep, lumberjack man gives me the creeps. I do not enjoy this character style at all, but the rest looks good.

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Solid work, especially within a 2 day or less turn around time. It's great to see attention to details such as character lighting and shadows in such an early stage of development.

Personally, I lost my suspension of disbelief everytime the character walked out of the scene in the final depth test video, especially at those moments just before the character reappeared slightly smaller. I understand that this is a clever and realistic way to handle perspective issues; but, the instant the character disappears the scene becomes a flat, static image. I would hope that if this type of depth treatment were used in the game each scene would include some atmospheric effects such as fog or particles (leaves, sparkles, dust) that would help distract the player's eye while the slight of hand was being done with the disappearing character. That might keep the 3D effect of the parallax view alive while the character was not visible.

I'm sure you've considered this already, especially since I'm responding nearly a month late; but, I couldn't help myself.

Good work.

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I wonder whether you might be able to do something similar to LODing with the character as he moves further from the camera - dynamically strip down the level of detail so you wind up with a simpler form rather than a scintilating mess as you often did in older games where characters were just scaled. It'd probably be a little tricky to pull of nicely and with a smooth transition, but should be far for an impossibility.

I quite like the direction you're going with the art. I think Stapley's style with its tendency towards more muted, earthy tones lends itself to a less comedic, cartoonish adventure than we might have expected given Schafer's teams previous output from Lucas Arts and DoubleFine, but if you do decide to go with the coming of age love story that was hinted at in the latest update video, this may be entirely appropriate.

Beyond that it's probably too early to make any useful critiques or comments.

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I just want to ignore all the lengthy discussion and say that this video is a great tribute to the classic Disney parallax camera demo film.

My thoughts exactly, I love this breakdowns very much, a lot to learn from it and that's my main reason for having backed up the project. I really want to watch the process.

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I know I'm late on the jump, but I do loooooooove the zoom effect when the character is walking towards something in the distance. I cannot wait to see it in dramatic use.

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Another huge bug bear for me is what I catchily refer to as 'the getting into position for a chat' animation, you often have the player and NPC spend a strange time having a bit of a jig about until they arrive at the pre-defined 'talk-zone' and then you can have a conversation. It's really rather strange.

Beneath a Steel Sky is a prime example of this. Especially when you talk to the waitress in the bar. I love the game otherwise though.

Just playing it through again, and it cracks me up every time ;)

"Hey, Lamb!"

*shuffle shuffle dance shuffle waltz shuffle shuffle huff huff huff*

*realize you didn't get any new dialog options since last time you checked*

"Never mind..."

To me, it's part of the experience of that game and therefore I'm okay with it. But I second b00dles - it breaks immersion, and the more immersive a game gets, the better.

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Also, in general, I want to add my voice to the chorus of people loving the videos -- the background style looks athmospheric and inviting, and the parallax makes the video pretty immersive already. Also love the zoom effect.

Thanks for the updates, keep 'em coming!

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Thanks for the post, love the visual art style! While I understand this was not done using the game engine, here are a couple of ideas for things to add once it is up and running:

- breathing/idle animation (e.g."Jack Lumber"'s torso is very static)

- insects/animals in the forest, basically ensure things are going on in the environment (butterflies, flies: see e.g. Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery)

Look forward to seeing more. :)

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I think the art style is absolutely great! It's very unique looking and I love games that go for a different angle with their artwork, rather than just using what is commonly used everywhere else. That's part of what made Psychonauts so great. The artwork in it had a very different feel than anything else on the market at the time.

As a game deisgn/graphic arts student, I can really apreciate the work that went into these artwork tests. I've worked with After Effects, though I do 3D modeling, so I use other programs for lighting and animation (3DS Max, Blender, etc.), but I work a lot with lighting and textures. So it's really nice to see the effort being put into this and to be able to understand how its done. Lighting and textures all look really nice so far! I can't wait to see more!

I remember some games from way back in the SNES and NES days that used this Parallax effect. The first one that comes to mind is the Donkey Kong Country series. I grew up playing that and I have always loved their use of adding 3 different background layers for a more realistic 3D feel, rather than just using the standard 2D plain background. Such as these:

http://media.lawrence.com/img/photos/2011/08/24/dkc.jpg

http://legolasgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Tree-Top-DKC.png

http://img.gamefaqs.net/screens/6/e/e/gfs_51640_2_7.jpg

http://img.gamefaqs.net/screens/b/5/0/gfs_47079_2_3.jpg

It was especially noticeable in the snow levels, where they would also add snow to the foreground at times. Like this screenshot:

http://c3333424.r24.cf0.rackcdn.com/e9fea3ca0af381dad06695c002b28a48b1b55a51.jpg__620x350_q85_crop_upscale.jpg

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visualstyle1_02.png

I'm getting a bit of a Day of the Tentacle vibe from the style of the art in this image, which I really like.

If I was inclined to nitpick anything then it would be the slightly grimy colour palette, but obviously as this is just a concept piece it's a moot point at this stage.

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The "depth-scrolling" is awesome! I love the concept of improving on the traditional 2D adventure formula, while still keeping within the "rules".

The lumberjack is aw...ful - as someone earlier mentioned: "That hipster-character better not be in the final game!" :-D

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The "depth-scrolling" is awesome! I love the concept of improving on the traditional 2D adventure formula, while still keeping within the "rules".

The lumberjack is aw...ful - as someone earlier mentioned: "That hipster-character better not be in the final game!" :-D

I still don't understand why he's hipster? Is it because he wears flannel?

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