Hey, this is Theo. The first month of this project went zooming by, but we’ve made some great progress! Our artists have been creating and iterating on several assets at a time (a sweet perk of having so many artists on the team). Below are some examples of their work!
For many (or everyone), this is their first time creating pixel art for a project of this caliber. A couple of challenges we overcome includes creating tileable sprites and simplifying characters to fit our 32x32 standard tile size. Although any sprite can be tileable, it takes a lot more effort to make them seamless. Luckily there are tons of tutorials online that covers sprite art. One of the limitations of a 32x32 canvas is obviously the lack of pixel density. For every pixel we draw on our sprites/characters, we need to make sure it serves a purpose. We want to emphasize the main features of our characters, so we make other parts of them smaller. Effectively, we created a chibi style look for our characters, where the heads were more prominent than the body.
An interesting approach we decided was to allow a few backgrounds to be a relatively giant canvas instead of one comprised of tileable sprites. This allows for a more organic look and feel and it’s also more artist friendly (at least for our talented bunch).
Once these assets are created, we import them into our unity project so our developers (Ben and I) can plop them into our scenes. I’ve been working on a very basic scene structure that can be used in the rest of our project. The goal is to allow anyone to easily create a scene without a developer. This is due to the fact that Ben and I will be away for a hefty stretch towards the end of this project.
However, as I continue developing scenes and game systems, I feel confident that our workflow should be easy enough that one person can build our the entire game in a matter of days. (As long as he or she isn’t working on anything else). We’ll see if that holds true… :)
Anyways, another way we’ve been speeding up progress is by using 3rd party assets! One asset we picked up right away is called Dialogue System for Unity by Pixel Crushers. This amazing asset has a ton of features built in that saved us a butt load of time. Developing a dialogue system this complex would have taken months.