A real-time strategy game where you design airships and then fight with them. The aim is to have pretty chaotic explodey fights and interesting ship design choices.

Report article RSS Feed The Making of the Airships Logo

How I assembled the logo using GIMP and many many layers.

Posted by Zarkonnen on Apr 16th, 2014

I don't consider myself particularly gifted as an artist - drawing a straight line or getting proportions right are beyond me. So I take a very methodical approach with lots of layers to making pixel art. Here, in eight steps, is how I made the logo for Airships.
I've tried to avoid any sudden jumps of the "draw a sphere, draw another sphere, now just add some details" sort. I started out with an approximate idea of what I wanted: the logo as an airship with a shape reminiscent of a heraldic eagle.

I started out by blocking out the basic shape of the airship, using the default wood colour and the rectangle select tool. (This is all done in GIMP.)

Next, I added a panel for the game's name. Note that I *am* streamlining this a bit here: everything I did required multiple attempts and a lot of jiggling back and forth by single pixels to make everything fit and look nice. I also added a suspendium crystal, just in its base turquoise colour.

Next, I opened up the game's sprite sheet for reference. I added some rocket-coloured thin rectangles and gun-coloured thick ones, then rotated and placed them. Again, a lot of fiddling went into placement.

Shading: the way to make everything look a lot better all of a sudden. I did this by creating a separate layer at 20% opacity and drawing with black and white. Shading may sound scary, but it's actually a pretty mechanical process of thinking about where the light comes from and which surfaces would be particularly bright or dark.

Now it's getting to the details: yellow energy sparks around the crystal and window frames (which I grabbed from the sprite sheet).

More things grabbed from the sprite sheet: boarders and various bits of machinery. Also, a small coat of arms, which took a long time to get right.

Lettering: The official font for Airships is Liberation Mono. Unfortunately, GIMP does an awful job rendering it with anti-aliasing turned off, so I spent a lot of time cleaning this up, making sure the letters look decent and the spacing's OK.

Finally, some gentle texturing. The texture for the main bit I grabbed from the wooden wall texture in the game, and for the sign, I just drew some slightly crooked lines in a slightly darker brown.

The final logo has about 20 layers and took maybe 3 hours to make. I'm pretty pleased with it, all in all. The next dev blog update is going to be some hardcore stuff about Java memory management!

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ZeroBits Apr 16 2014, 2:10pm says:

> Java memory management!


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Zarkonnen Author
Zarkonnen Apr 16 2014, 3:15pm replied:

Or to give it its full name, "the horrors of Java memory management, and which goats to sacrifice to appease the garbage collector"...

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Released Mar 24, 2014
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