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500 pixel art assets to be painted in two months only! Deadline: 10 Jenuary! Will I be able to complete 30 levels and keep up quality?

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Hey everybody,

pasted weeks has been so tough! After the intense work of the pasted season, this challenge I gave myself is withering me!

Two weeks left and I still have to do 4 entire stages (one from the scratch). So, I’m note sure I will be able to finish before the deadline… BUT. This challenge gave me a lot of focus and speed boost to produce a bunch of assets, and forced my mind to be quick, aware, thinking out of the box to save time with a lot of reuse and color swap. Than, later, if some of the assets I reused will look lame, I will just modify the proper spritesheet. What I really needed was to see most of the stages’ graphics done, and this is happening, day by day, and especially in a coherent homogen hi-quality.

In my previous post I exposed a bit of my method and the making of the Mast of Truce, first stage you will encounter when you will play as Exekiel. Today I’m gonna show you what I worked on lately.

Kharab Shams: The Whisper Ruins. Choke Point #1: Mausoleum of Rebels

I started to build Kharab Shams: The Whisper Ruins, the Necro stage. With its inspiring atmosphere I felt could have been great fun to start with it. I had some floor’s tests for this level, and my hand drawn guideline for needed assets, but everything was to pixelate yet. You can see a large reuse of previous assets. The wall I painted for Mast of Truce especially it is so good that would have been a waste of time to design another one, so I color swapped it and build the first choke point out of it. You can see how I reused some monsters sprites as statues, just to being faster.

Kharab Shams: The Whisper Ruins. Choke Point #3: Altar of Heresy

Due the procedural nature of Wizards of Unica, most of the levels will be different every game you will play, mixing graphic assets the engine will build some interesting crossroads and halls, but Luca and I felt that some unique locations would have add a solid feeling, and visual drama. And looking at this Altar of Heresy I feel you all will agree with us. But these art assets have also game design implications: you could use them as fortress to defeat the enemies’ waves, some of them could hide special staves if destroyed, others will cause foes to appear in mass or to flee away…

Kharab Shams: The Whisper Ruins. Choke Point #4: Entrance to Catacombs

And more or less every level ends with a choke point as an entrance to the following level.

Kharab Shams: The Whisper Ruins, lvl 3: fight against Catacano.

And here is the final battle of necro stage, against Catacano the Brucolaco, which will accord you his power of Necromancy, if you will be able to dominate him.You can notice how the fragile tiles are the same as in Truce level (because of game design needs), and also the hurtable grids, pits and brazier have been reused as well. But atmosphere feels very different from the peaceful Mast of Truce, what do you think?

Earth Lvl 1 - CP#2 compo lights

Utgard: The Crystal Forest, lvl 1, Choke Point #1: The Goblins’ Nest

Once that the Necro stage was done, I needed something very different to work with, and the Earth stage were perfect to work more with natural environment and the power of life instead that the lack of it. Inspired by Celtics’ folklore, I wanted this place to feel untouched by men, rustic and wild. So none of the pits I draw before was appropriate, and I painted new. Same for the fragile stone tiles, that would have looked too much civilized. So I’ve gone with leaves traps as fragile (a fragile tile allow to walk on it but in the following turn it breaks down, killing in the pit below whoever was still on it), and instead that hurtable metal grids I design a bridge. Bridge will be hurtable (means that you can break a tile of it with a Hurt spell), but because of wood will be also flammable, so that new strategies will be available.

Than I wanted the Crystal Forest to be rural but with focus point of beauty due the crystal, so I gave my best to design some simple but charming stones, growing more and more in complexity while one is proceeding through the stage.

Earth Lvl 2 - CP#3 (small)

Utgard: The Crystal Forest, lvl 2, Choke Point #3: Yggdrisil

Earth Lvl 2 - CP#4

Utgard: The Crystal Forest, lvl 2, Choke Point #4: Caves’ Exit

On this last entrance you can see how the re-use of art assets can be useful to quikly give a refined look without spending too much time on all brend new stuff, and set the mood of the area. When the re-use looks too much prominent, only then, the stage itself will show up a clear necessity of some new assets. So that you can save a lot of time and creative force to be convergent just when it is needed.

Two weeks are left, and a bucnh of assets still to go! Will I be able to finish in time? Deadline is: Jenuary 10th!

Thanks everybody for all your passion and support, and a new pre-alpha will arrive soon! So, keep in touch! And may you all have a great new year!

Daniele Lynx Lasalandra

tweet @TheBlindLynx

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