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 Post subject: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:16 am 


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Hiya! I'm really trying to get into this game making craze. Always wanted to make a game in the style of Cave or Raizing both in gameplay and aesthetic.
I'm currently learning GameMaker Studio 2. I've been draw for years so I have a bunch of concepts for player ships, enemies, and bosses. I'm taking a year to plan out a large project I hope to start in 2019 and have done by 2025. Probably later though since I've never done this before. I'm going to try and get some smaller projects though.

Here's some conceptual stuff I've scraped together in the meantime while I learn how to code. Just practicing and trying to understand the old Cave/Toaplan look. A little bit of Raizing here and there.

A player ship
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Big fat medium tank
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Supply ship of some kind
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Some crazy medium flying guy. I don't like his wing things.
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A boss!
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Playable ship WIP
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Options!
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Another enemy
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:27 am 


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Those ships look great.

I wish I could draw as well as you do. What tool(s) do you use to draw these?
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:34 pm 


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Sai'ke wrote:
Those ships look great.

I wish I could draw as well as you do. What tool(s) do you use to draw these?


Painttool SAI for the sketches and Aseprite for the sprites! c:


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:23 pm 


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Oh boy, those concept sketches look so damn gorgeous! :D
The coloring on the options is also pretty delicious~

The wings you are not fond of aren't too bad IMO. I see them as some sort of arms instead, and it kinda reminds me of Karous' stage 3 and 5 mid-boss.

XoPachi wrote:
I'm taking a year to plan out a large project I hope to start in 2019 and have done by 2025. Probably later though since I've never done this before. I'm going to try and get some smaller projects though.

Starting with smaller projects is a good way to go, I think. It is too easy to be overambitious with your first project and end up quitting halfway through because the scope is too big compared to your abilities/time/experience or ending up having to cut a loooot of planned features to realistically be able to release the game in a finished state.
Staying motivated enough to work on a single project for 6 years takes a lot of dedication and motivation, so I wish you the best of luck.
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:38 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
XoPachi wrote:
I'm taking a year to plan out a large project I hope to start in 2019 and have done by 2025. Probably later though since I've never done this before. I'm going to try and get some smaller projects though.

Starting with smaller projects is a good way to go, I think. It is too easy to be overambitious with your first project and end up quitting halfway through because the scope is too big compared to your abilities/time/experience or ending up having to cut a loooot of planned features to realistically be able to release the game in a finished state.
Staying motivated enough to work on a single project for 6 years takes a lot of dedication and motivation, so I wish you the best of luck.

Pretty much every indie game developer who's said anything on the matter has said that the first few games you make are going to be bad, so don't get too attached to them. It's hard to plan a multi-year project to any useful extent without having gotten experienced with the process and your capabilities on multiple smaller projects.
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:17 am 


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It makes a lot of sense that developers are not going to create masterpieces on their first try, but I wonder if the prevalance of this mentality isn't what actually causes those developers' first games to be really bad, in a self-fulfilling prophecy way. That and the fact that they often start with an arcade-y genre without really understanding them simply because it is an easier genre to program and because it can be used as a learning experience rather than an actually fun game.

Of course there has to be a balance and you shouldn't pour too much resources into your first project, but treating it with as much "respect" as you would any other project, while still maintaining a smaller scope, would go a long way I suppose.
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:02 pm 


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It's always best if you just try and get a small prototype going that feels complete, rather than doings lots and lots of "lateral" development that will only become useful far into the future, sometimes so far you can't tell whether you'll still need it.
Also once you're done with that prototype, you can consider it your "first bad game" and build on its codebase for the real game.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:51 pm 


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Wow! This art style is everything I've been missing from modern shmups. I have some early plans for a 16 bit style shooter, and I wish I had your skills.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:54 pm 


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You draw great OP, it's all very solid and the designs are beautiful and super interesting. Hope you'll have fun with this game's creation and as others have said : it's probably a good idea to start with a small project first


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:39 pm 


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Oh wow, thanks for all the support guys. I'm gonna take the tidbits of advice here and am open to anymore things offered to me. :o
For the first thing I make, I think I just want to make a boss fight of sorts. Just going to use a bunch of placeholder stuff. I don't want to use scripts at all though which is what I was recommended by several people elsewhere.

Sumez wrote:
Wow! This art style is everything I've been missing from modern shmups. I have some early plans for a 16 bit style shooter, and I wish I had your skills.


Hey, thanks! And yeah me too. :c

I'm none too fond of the "little girl" STG's that are extremely popular today. A lot goes missing I think when you have copy/pasted characters that are only slightly altered in these games. I suppose the benefit being that the asset creation won't take as long, but then I think about how art direction really makes a lot of enemies, protagonist craft, and bosses read to the player in how they will (likely) operate. I think Raiko from DoDonPachi 1 is a perfect example of that; before he even begins firing, you sort of already can anticipate the sort of things he's going to throw at you just looking at his two massive, eye-like, glowing plasma cannons. And I just loved the over the top and richly detailed pixel art of Cave and Raizing's older games. Bizarre shaped vehicles that don't follow any sort of realistic "ship anatomy"... Just as long as it looks cool, distinct, and has a clear function that's cohesive with the design, that's all that matters to me. But it's probably too early for me to be theorizing.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:42 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
The wings you are not fond of aren't too bad IMO. I see them as some sort of arms instead, and it kinda reminds me of Karous' stage 3 and 5 mid-boss.


I wanted something that was slanted on him. Something about it just doesn't look fully thought out and the shape bothers me. Didn't want to cover too much of the main body, but wanted to make it clear that they go down at a shallow angle. I do want them to shoot projectiles though.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:00 am 


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Those drawings are great :)
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:01 pm 


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I have exactly the opposite problem. I know how to program and do math pretty well, but my drawing skills are infantile at best :D

You've inspired me to buy a tablet and learn to draw. I am expecting this to take at least a year before I will have anything remotely presentable. Do you have any tips for drawing spaceships? Are there help lines that you often draw or techniques I could google for?

Re. the coding, I'm curious, what do you mean by not wanting to use scripts? It's not uncommon, even in big AAA titles, that behaviors are scripted. The big advantage is that testing doesn't require a full recompilation which saves a lot of time.
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:46 pm 


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Sai'ke wrote:
I have exactly the opposite problem. I know how to program and do math pretty well, but my drawing skills are infantile at best :D

You've inspired me to buy a tablet and learn to draw. I am expecting this to take at least a year before I will have anything remotely presentable. Do you have any tips for drawing spaceships? Are there help lines that you often draw or techniques I could google for?

Re. the coding, I'm curious, what do you mean by not wanting to use scripts? It's not uncommon, even in big AAA titles, that behaviors are scripted. The big advantage is that testing doesn't require a full recompilation which saves a lot of time.


By scripts I mean that some people have told me to just download precoded bullet patterns from like...Touhou and just plop them in my own game. I didn't know that was a thing, but it's something I keep getting recommended and is not something I'm trying to do for any real projects in the future. Maybe just as learning materials for smaller ugly games I make, but that's not what they were telling me to use them for. haha

And as for spaceships, I mean...I can try to offer some advice but I'm not really good at putting any meaningful assistance into words. Teaching is it's own skill set. Particularly since I don't think I'm that good outside of these top down angles.

When I make these, I really just start with a large square split into 4 sections to help me keep proportions in check as I go. From there, I'm not kidding but sometimes I literally just scribble random blobs of shapes until I get something that looks like it could work and then refine/detail from there. With this top down stuff, since it's meant to go into perfectly sized pixel renditions that are symmetrical, once I get a half that I like, it's really just a matter of copy, pasting, and flipping the side that looks good to me of the two I've got done. Saves a LOT of stress and tedium during refining.

One thing I do sometimes is start out with a silhouette:

I start out with rough "shadows" and then refine it until I get a clean shape of something that looks interesting...

Image

And then I fill it in with details and further clean it up.

Image

This design is a bit excessive but you see what I'm getting at. Silhouettes help me a lot with understanding what to do with shapes and being able to understand the spacial relationships of an objects details. It also forces you to come up with recognizable, easy to work with (regardless of detail), and dynamic shapes. It works wonders at these plain angles.

Image
Image

Stuff I like to look into and think about when I make this stuff

    How something is going to attach to another piece in an interesting and fluid manner? Will it be a lithe build with one main attachment point and clear, fragile segmentation? A smooth, realistic* design where everything is covered? Or a bulky heavy design with a lot chunky areas that connect like bricks?

    Consider the deeper purposes of the design beyond simple things like size, color, and shape: What does it fire and how does it deliver it? Is it meant to be fast? Is it stealthy? How serious is the tone of the setting it takes place in? Do you want it's design to reflect the operator in some manner? It doesn't have to be every little nuance, but think about everything *you* want to be prevalent in the concept and design around that.

    And if you're intending on using it for something, consider the medium. If you're making a ship that's to be pixelated you need to clearly define it's most crucial elements and details. Especially color.

These are some things I like to think about. The rest is just mileage. Reference and practice for years. You need to study this sort of thing to expand your mental library and just be able to pull from your mind based on the muscle memory you've built up drawing...stuff! Shapes, angles, textures, mechanical bits and bobs. You need to take in all that stuff. Understand the world around you visually. This is so critical, I could't overstate it even if I hit the character limit of this site. Study, study, study...

And one last note, ignore any art snobs who try to stress realism. There's no such thing as any realistic spaceship. Every fictional spaceship is stupid and impractical. But the best ones have a fun appeal and function to them. You wouldn't get unique, highly dynamic designs like Gigafacer, Genbu, Evaccaneer, and R-9 if you followed some nonsense about "realistic science fiction".


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:17 pm 


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Holy cow, that rotary breaker crab looks amazing!
And yeah, what you say makes sense. Writing things yourself before resorting to other people's code tends to teach you much more in the long run. Looking at references or design patterns every now and then is not a bad idea though :)

Thanks. I appreciate the pointers. I've tried the silhouette trick a bit over the weekend. It did help give it a bit more of a solid feel while sketching, rather than start with just lines (which is what I was doing before).
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:14 pm 


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That's some great advice on drawing there, XoPachi!
It's important indeed that the silhouette looks nice, that ensures a balanced and coherant design. Also, in animation(and videogames) one should always be able to tell what is it they're looking at, solely by the silhouette (this improves readability).





Couple little things I would add, Sai'ke, since I draw myself and have studied hand drawing/animation in college. If you don't mind, Xo! :


• Programs are nice but make sure you practice with pen and paper. At least a bit. You can do your designs entirely in software though


• Learn the basics of perspective drawing, so that your shapes(or volumes, should I say) appear solid and convincing. This is immensely important. Whether it's 1-point-central perspective, 2 point, 3 point, etc : knowing more or less where to place your points for best results and which technique to use is crucial. This is actually super quick to absorb, a condensed document can prob be read in 30 minutes(I'll try to link one here), all that's left after that is to practice, practice, practice. I recommend drawing backgrounds(especially drawing building, from outside or inside), even if you ultimately don't want to draw those. That forces you to have let's say, all elements of a room to obey to the same perspective points.
Related to this : it's good to know what kind of perspective, but also what kind of framing (or "shot", think in cinema terms) works well to convey x y type of dramatic effect/has which function (establishing shot, american shot(portrait), etc). I suggest reading a bit on this, a good source for this is storyboard theory. I'll try to find a link for this too.


• Make sure you do some observation drawing (I might not have the right english terminology here, sorry). Go out with a sketch pad and sketch some historic building, or nice interior setups you like. Especially, draw people. The human body has a shape that's infinitely more complex than basic geometry shapes(well, except if you're in an old ps1 game. lol), so drawing people is exrtremely important. Also very important is observing lighting. Make sure to do some sketches where you try to render the lighting, in say a room, in great detail.


• Find a (or a couple) sketching visual styles or "renders" for either your hand drawn or digital stuff, that you'll like to sketch with and that look appealing to you and convey volume well. I'm gonna group this with shading. XoPachi's silhouette's sketches are a good example. He went with a non-white background(allows him to draw white stuff as highlights, something you can't do on a white piece of paper), dark grey for most of the object's mass, and 2 levels of highlights : faint grey and white. This gives an overview of volume and is very appealing and quick to apply. An other example is what the artist for Squire's Aeon Zenith game does : a light brown paper, ink outline and some white crayon for highlights (some ppeople add patches of medium-grey for shadows). This one is a very common style of sketch, looks beautiful. Here they are below this paragraph, hope Squire won't mind.
There are tons of other cool "renders" for hand drawing sketches : charcoal using stomps for shadows, ink only but some cross-hatching for shadows like in mangas, etc etc etc. So yeah, it's important to have this quick-yet-appealing way of demonstrating volume/shading, trust me. Also when it comes to finished art pieces, make sure you put great attention to lighting.
Spoiler: show
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Image








That is all 8) Now enjoy your journey! There are not that many things to keep in mind actually. You just got to work at improving them.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:27 am 


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Thanks for all the pointers. I really appreciate it. I will have to practice :D
What type of perspective is typically used on these kinds of drawings?

The non-white background is a good one. I didn't really think of that, but I can imagine it matters quite a bit.
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:01 pm 


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Oh, nothing fancy. for doing character/object designs, you don't have to draw an horizon and perspective points (that's pretty much only for drawings with a background). It's just that after reading these perspective notions and practicing a bit, you'll know when your designs are solid or not. Your experience will tell you.

Most likely, character/object designs are 2 point perspective, with the points super far apart (points are almost always outside of your sheet, but in this case they're likely very, very far outside). Just keep in mind how high your horizon line is, AKA where is the camera in regard to your subject? standard/eye-level? up shot? bird eye view? In this first drawing below, you can see that the horizon is place at a standard character design spot(that you should use most of the time), it's at Zero's torso level, or eye level. But in the second drawing, it's birdview(horizon most be a fair bit above the top of the picture. artist prob didn't draw horizon line and point, but he knew how that perspective is supposed to look like, and was able to aproximate it convincingly). You can tell by his feet, which are on the ground yet not on the same horizontal plane :
Image
Image

But yeah character designs don't require you to draw horizon and perspective points, just make sure the volumes are solid. and work well with one another. that nothing looks out of place. You should know wether it's standard camera shot, or something fancier

Also, something I forgot to talk about : perspective shortcuts. This might seem obvious but many people struggle with this. It's how volumes are truncated when they point at(or opposite view)from the camera. It's important to get a good feel for this and being able to convincingly draw say, a character that's pointing at the camera.
And finally, an essential tool to master to make dynamic character drawings, is too have the part of the character that are close to the camera be way bigger, than those who are farter behind (exagerated perspective) This is crucial to make convincing action poses. This is usually not used in caracter design sketches, but more in "expression" poses for these characters and in illustrations.
On this drawing below, you can see both concepts I've talked in the paragraph above : perspective shortcuts -> Zero's fist almost completely obstructs his forearm, since it's placed in front of it here. Forearm has almost no lenght, arm has a bit more lenght since aimed furter away from the camera. But notice that his other arm is also shortened but this time the other way around, because it's pointed opposite way to the camera. The drawing also contains exagerated perspective, what's closer is way bigger and the furter you go away, the smaller it progressively get. Note that you can have the first concept without the second, but if you can't have the second without also having the first.
Image

OK now, I'm done :mrgreen: don't want to hijack the thread anymore than this. If you have more questions for me, don't hesitate to send me a pm!


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:52 pm 


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Hey man!

Your concept art looks fantastic! I was curious to hear how your game development is going?
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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:11 pm 


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Looks awesome, dude. If you need someone to compose the score, contact me


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 Post subject: Re: Hoping to Make Some Games!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:58 pm 


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Excellent designs and drawings!


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