Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

TLDR sum up of all this nonsense at bottom =)

While spinning a whole bunch of plates, one of the things I'm trying to nail down is the proportions of the characters. In most cases, I prefer the look and feel of characters that have exaggerated proportions (big heads, short legs) over normal proportions when it comes to pixel work but the game I'm building is going for a very sim like level of realism which is causing me to question which way I should go.

I've finally begun to implement height as being a real thing when it comes to vision and looking over/under things. I've got it worked out to where one inch of vertical measurement = 1 pixel. I've already modified all the current walls I've got built up to the new heights but I'll have to change the height of all characters to match the new system to make things look right visually. Now I've got roughly 30% more space to work with vertically on my characters so I need to decide whether I want to go stylized or try to retain realistic proportions.

Here's a quick mock up of the misproportioned style of characters and what they might look like in the game I made using some hopefully recognizable figures =P

If I decide to go with the stylized look, the characters won't be as tall as they would need to be to fully reflect the 1pixel = 1inch measurement system but there'll be enough of a height gain to not cause things to look way out of whack. Also, I'll have a little more width to work with for most of the bodies. If I were to go full on realistic proportions though, they would be about a head taller than what you see there now and only slightly wider. Discussing it with a friend, I may need to just go ahead and mock up both and see which one feels right interacting with the game world. Most likely, I'll have to do that but I figured I'd ask around and try to cast a wider net of opinions just to see what ya'll have to say about it.

Vision Cone What?

Here's a video that may or may not have finished uploading by the time you read this that shows what I mean about the vision cones working vertically. short walls obstruct vision as it would in a FPS game where if you're taller than the wall, you can still see the floor beyond it if you're taller. The closer you get to the wall, the closer the floor you can see since your angle of vision downwards will become steeper. This is also true for if you're standing on a higher elevated floor. Vision will play a very important role so this type of vision cone stuff has been a pain in the ass to program and still needs some tweaking and optimization but I've got a system that works for now =P

Sorry if my post isn't fully coherent as it's almost 1am and I really need to sleep.

TLDR

For an isometric turn based game, do you prefer stylized proportion characters like FF Tactics or realistic proportioned characters like in the old Fallout Series?

#1 Edited by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

TLDR sum up of all this nonsense at bottom =)

While spinning a whole bunch of plates, one of the things I'm trying to nail down is the proportions of the characters. In most cases, I prefer the look and feel of characters that have exaggerated proportions (big heads, short legs) over normal proportions when it comes to pixel work but the game I'm building is going for a very sim like level of realism which is causing me to question which way I should go.

I've finally begun to implement height as being a real thing when it comes to vision and looking over/under things. I've got it worked out to where one inch of vertical measurement = 1 pixel. I've already modified all the current walls I've got built up to the new heights but I'll have to change the height of all characters to match the new system to make things look right visually. Now I've got roughly 30% more space to work with vertically on my characters so I need to decide whether I want to go stylized or try to retain realistic proportions.

Here's a quick mock up of the misproportioned style of characters and what they might look like in the game I made using some hopefully recognizable figures =P

If I decide to go with the stylized look, the characters won't be as tall as they would need to be to fully reflect the 1pixel = 1inch measurement system but there'll be enough of a height gain to not cause things to look way out of whack. Also, I'll have a little more width to work with for most of the bodies. If I were to go full on realistic proportions though, they would be about a head taller than what you see there now and only slightly wider. Discussing it with a friend, I may need to just go ahead and mock up both and see which one feels right interacting with the game world. Most likely, I'll have to do that but I figured I'd ask around and try to cast a wider net of opinions just to see what ya'll have to say about it.

Vision Cone What?

Here's a video that may or may not have finished uploading by the time you read this that shows what I mean about the vision cones working vertically. short walls obstruct vision as it would in a FPS game where if you're taller than the wall, you can still see the floor beyond it if you're taller. The closer you get to the wall, the closer the floor you can see since your angle of vision downwards will become steeper. This is also true for if you're standing on a higher elevated floor. Vision will play a very important role so this type of vision cone stuff has been a pain in the ass to program and still needs some tweaking and optimization but I've got a system that works for now =P

Sorry if my post isn't fully coherent as it's almost 1am and I really need to sleep.

TLDR

For an isometric turn based game, do you prefer stylized proportion characters like FF Tactics or realistic proportioned characters like in the old Fallout Series?

#2 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Hey, Fob. Good to see some new pixel art. I really like the way Chucky, Ryan, and Ghostface look in that first image, all for different reasons. Ryan looks almost a bit SCUMM-y, while Ghostface looks like a classic sprite and Chucky looks a bit like Super Star Wars. Really don't like the Jason sprite, though, it's just kind of boring. The Freddie Kruger is just lacking in facial detail; more burns in that face please!

As for my preferences in isometric strategy, I should point out that I pretty much avoid turn-based strategy. But when I do play isometric strategy, I prefer exaggeration.

#3 Posted by yoshisaur (2708 posts) -

I've always enjoy the exaggeration when it comes to little sprites like that. There's just something charming and wonderful about them. It helps that (opinion following) I believe the exaggerated sprites have more room for creativity while regular tends to have to stick to our perceptual limits.

#4 Posted by Aetheldod (3555 posts) -

Well it depends on how "serious" the tone of the game will be ... but I find that even the Fallout characters are a bit more to the exagereated side of things (or maybe it was the animations ... I dunno). But if by looking at what could be the tone I think exageratted would fit better

#5 Posted by Levius (1113 posts) -

It really depends on the overall art style and themes of the game. In FFT you have chocobos and anime style character portraits so deformed works, while Fallout has guns and on the whole relatively realistic looking stuff so it goes realistic. If you get a good idea of the art style of the rest of the game, the character style should come naturally from that.

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#6 Posted by Genkkaku (735 posts) -

It really depends whether they fit in with the game world or not..

But that exaggerated Freddy looks awesome!

#7 Posted by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

As others have said it depends on the game but considering your skill with that exaggerated style of yours I would try and make something in which they fit - though I guess I haven't seen any of your realistic proportion work.

I think I probably said this in the Giant Bomb pixel art thread but I absolutely adore those tiny ankles and feet.

And yeah, like Genk said, that Freddy looks awesome.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I'll get back to you once I've finally beaten Fallout.

#9 Posted by Wong_Fei_Hung (642 posts) -

I prefer exaggerated / SD sprites, most of the time. It depends on the game though.

#10 Posted by Veektarius (4775 posts) -

I think that people who really insist on the realistic look are not going to be interested in a pixelart game.

#11 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

Hey, Fob. Good to see some new pixel art. I really like the way Chucky, Ryan, and Ghostface look in that first image, all for different reasons. Ryan looks almost a bit SCUMM-y, while Ghostface looks like a classic sprite and Chucky looks a bit like Super Star Wars. Really don't like the Jason sprite, though, it's just kind of boring. The Freddie Kruger is just lacking in facial detail; more burns in that face please!

That's not Ryan -_-;; It's one of my friends that I was using as a stand in character and the rest of the sprites were just mock up for size proportions but I'm glad they were recognizable. Jason is just a straight up look forward so it's pretty boring but I'd guess except for when there's killing going on, he's a pretty boring dude =D

@ck1nd said:

I've always enjoy the exaggeration when it comes to little sprites like that. There's just something charming and wonderful about them. It helps that (opinion following) I believe the exaggerated sprites have more room for creativity while regular tends to have to stick to our perceptual limits.

I agree that there's definitely more room for creative character when working with exaggeration and the biggest benefit is that you have more room to work with in the face which is just jam packed with detail IRL. It's really difficult to get in any sort of features when working with roughly a 10x10 block of pixels.

@Aetheldod said:

Well it depends on how "serious" the tone of the game will be ... but I find that even the Fallout characters are a bit more to the exagereated side of things (or maybe it was the animations ... I dunno). But if by looking at what could be the tone I think exageratted would fit better

The tone will end up being as close to realistic as I can manage in everything from inventory to stamina to who can and can't climb or carry things. I'm sorta shooting for a sim and the biggest reason for my difficulty in deciding is that I'm wondering if the exaggerated style would clash too much with the tone of the game. Or if at this point where everything has been reduced to pixels anyway, it won't matter since the visuals aren't going to be "realistic".

@Genkkaku said:

It really depends whether they fit in with the game world or not..

But that exaggerated Freddy looks awesome!

Thanks =P

@ProfessorEss said:

As others have said it depends on the game but considering your skill with that exaggerated style of yours I would try and make something in which they fit - though I guess I haven't seen any of your realistic proportion work.

I think I probably said this in the Giant Bomb pixel art thread but I absolutely adore those tiny ankles and feet.

And yeah, like Genk said, that Freddy looks awesome.

When I mock up the realistic proportions, I'll put it up for comparison's sake

#12 Posted by Phatmac (5725 posts) -

I prefer exaggerated art style. I mostly voted for it cause of FF Tactics.

#13 Posted by patrickklepek (4127 posts) -

Where's Pinhead?

Staff
#14 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

I prefer exaggerated art style. I mostly voted for it cause of FF Tactics.

Looks like majority is definitely falling on the exaggerated style. It won't be in the FF Tactics style (sorta more whimsical and cute) apart from big head, small limbs so it may end up being something you're not really into. I'd say it'd end up more like that pixel art I did a while back of GB related people.

@patrickklepek said:

Where's Pinhead?

I actually missed out on the Hellraiser series altogether growing up =\ Which is sort of a shame since I did however watch the Leprechaun, Puppet Master and Pet Cemetary series and I thought those were pretty damn cornball. Still, Pinhead is damn iconic and I actually drew out a rough of him before realizing I had enough for the intent of this post -_-;; Maybe I'll go back and just do a few more because I had some fun doing these =P You're so intertwined with horror in general that I was considering doing a few based on your Spookin' w/Scoops for kicks =D I'll holla if I do.

#15 Posted by Fattony12000 (7310 posts) -

Dope as hype shit duder!

#16 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

Was watchin' Spookin w/Scoops last night and had the urge to do this. Mostly because I already had the Jason sprite -_-;; Patrick's facing away is still the exaggerated style imo.

#17 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

Where's Pinhead?

Ask an ye shall receive. . .

#18 Posted by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

I definitely prefer the realistic pixel art. I find myself very easily filling in the blanks and imagining what detail is missing.

#19 Edited by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

Exaggerated. I think realistic looks... Boring.

#20 Posted by GalacticGravy (548 posts) -

Realistic.

#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10284 posts) -

In the modern age when pixel-art is a stylistic choice and not just.. what you have to do, I see it as the game industry's equivalent to a "cartoon" look. So exaggerated features fit the bill, perfectly. I never really cared for realistic pixel art because it's a little off-putting for me.

#22 Posted by gaminghooligan (1437 posts) -

First off your pixel art is awesome. Second, the answer to your question is realistic, I just like the look better, but it sure didn't keep me from playing the crap out of FF tactics back in the day.

#23 Edited by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

Originally I thought it was looking like a solid response in favor of the exaggerated look but now it seems like there's actually a bit of contention. Either exaggerated or realistic, I haven't yet nailed down the style of either that I'd be using so I guess for the moment, I'll try to work on both till I land on something I like going both ways. Sometime hopefully sooner than later, I'll have some mock ups of both in the final style and post em so ya'll can have something visual to choose between rather than a couple individual characters.

Thanks ya'll for the responses. I'm taking what you're saying to heart and trying to come to a decision.

On a sort of related note, I was beginning to realize that if I were to go with the exaggerated look, that I might have to implement that style into everything in the world as well. So this is becoming a bit more of an important choice than I initially realized -_-;;

btw, here's a first pass on a toilet because. . . need toilets.

#24 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

Finally got around to working up a properly proportioned character and this is where I'm currently at. I'll have to do him at a full rotation facing all 8 usable angles. He's naked because I need a base before I start making cloth sets -_-;;

I'm left with roughly 12 ~ 18 ish pixels for the face itself so there won't be any real detail there in the future. Which is less work for me even though it's a little harder to work within the confines of real world sizes for the rest of the body because I can't really cheat without things looking off. Still, it's not a bad trade off. Once I've got the 8 angles (which I only need to draw 5 of because 3 of them are just horizontal flips) I'll put on some clothes and try throwing him into the game to see how it looks and feels.

#25 Posted by EVO (3894 posts) -

@Fobwashed said:

I'm left with roughly 12 ~ 18 ish pixels for the face itself so there won't be any real detail there in the future.

You could probably make his head a couple pixels bigger, or give him a longer neck. As it stands it's pretty small in comparison to the rest of his body, kinda like Battletoads.

#26 Posted by golguin (3892 posts) -

It's not about being exaggerated or proportional, but about art style. Just look at Fez and Swords and Sworcery. Both have "exaggerated" looks, but it's consistent with their game world and it creates a fantastic style. FFT is great because it's an amazing game and one of my top games of all times so it can do whatever it wants, but its anime style feels right.

#27 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

I have never seen "realistic proportion" pixel art, there's probably a reason, it doesn't look good.

#28 Posted by StarvingGamer (8156 posts) -

Good read, dunno why I missed it before.

As far as isometric RPG's go, I prefer exaggerated graphics as well. Giving you characters clear, distinct looks makes it much easier to keep track of the action and assess the situation at-a-glance. Realism tends to mean time wasted highlighting every unit looking for the one you want, then attacking the wrong guy because you thought he was the other guy.

Also great pixel art as always.

#29 Posted by Giantstalker (1635 posts) -

Gemini Rue has realistic, pixel art characters and I think it looks fantastic. Then again, I've never really been a fan of exaggerated styles.

Don't discount the effectiveness of realism, at least in a game with a suitable setting and theme. It's the harder thing to do [well] but I feel it really pays off.