In earlier posts, we’ve mentioned that we want the game world of Astral to be a world filled with life, and the art plays a pretty big role in achieving this, especially the characters. We worked out an art style that we felt gave the character a lot of soul. This art style includes heavy lines and somewhat comical proportions, among other things. Today we would like to tell you about the process we have worked out for drawing and implementing character art into the game.
Drawing the Suits
At the moment, we are working on different suits that you will be able to wear throughout the game. When designing a suit, we start out with a concept to work out the design of the suit as a whole. It is important for us to create gear that is both visually appealing and believable to some degree, meaning that the visual aspect of the gear corresponds to the effect it will have on the wearer. The lower part of a suit that enables the player to jump higher or run faster will be reinforced at the legs, so that the human bone structure of the wearer can withstand the additional strain. Things such as this will make the gear more interesting for the players. Players will also be able to mix suits, so that they recieve multiple effects and become more powerful, as well as adapting their character to their playstyle. This also makes it more difficult for us when designing the suits, because each suit part has to work together with any other, both in terms of aesthetics and animation. Sketching out the different ideas and concepts for the suits is crucial to the development process because we can easily see what will work and what has to be changed or scrapped entirely. When the design is ready, we use a template that we have made for humanoid characters and draw the assets that we need have a whole suit of armor that can be used in the game. We use photoshop for drawing both the concept sketches and the assets. The humanoid template’s body is split into different parts, this way we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to animating the character.
For animations, we use Spriter. The template we use when drawing suits is also the template we use to make animations for the humanoid characters. This works pretty well because the suits are split up into the same parts that the template consists of. We have to test each suit so see if it looks good with the animation, and this is done by simply swapping out the sprites of the template with the sprites of the suit that’s being tested. If there is something that doesn’t look quite right, we make adjustments to the suit in photoshop.
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