Consistency in Art Styles

All that pretty stuff that we so desperately need. Even if it's just an idea or some concept art.

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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby SirAwesomelot » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:18 pm

Wow! Alright, apparently my opinion is way more contentious than I thought. Let's go through these one by one.

mrout wrote:SirAwesomelot: as 'retro' as that looks, and as nice as the aesthetic it, from a graphical perspective it's frankly terrible. It looks plastic.

That's totally true, but that "plastic" look doesn't come from the polycount or texture quality - that's just the shader on the materials. We can do any number of things to avoid that. To be totally clear, though, I don't think the game should look exactly like that - that was just the only example I had on hand of the style.
Here are a couple more I found.

Image
Another from 0x10c.

Image
This is an unshaded model from Seafarer (looks like that site is way out of date). Pretty ugly, I know, but...

Image
in the engine it looks fantastic.

mrout wrote:It should look like a modern game. It doesn't have to look like Crysis 3, but we're going to have good-looking planets and environments, so low-poly ships would look out of place.

I'm not concerned about the planets looking out of place. What makes you think they will? After all, we're using heightmaps, which lend themselves to low polycount pretty smoothly. Other than that, I guess it's a matter of taste. I will reiterate, though, how much easier this style will be to render than a more "modern" game. See above how much the lighting/shaders has to do with making a game look modern anyway.

Styxos wrote:1. It's not easy to make good looking low poly stuff its more advanced then sculpting something with unlimited polys.

A lot of the time, that's true, but keep in mind how much of the game will be
a. generated procedurally/voxels or
b. fairly simple shapes - spaceships contain a lot of flat surfaces.
It might be tough to do the things like character models, but we only have to do those once. Besides, those are also the kinds of things that would be just as hard to get right if they were high-poly, maybe harder.

Styxos wrote:4. It's nothing new with pixelart stuff. It's not a shame to let the game differ from others like starmade.

I don't think I can come up with any other examples that use this style, actually, besides 0x10c and Seafarer up there. Even Quadrilateral Cowboy, the game that Snow showed an image of earlier, looks nothing like what we would be going for.
There are a lot of games with pixelart, and there are a lot of games with advanced lighting, but it's very rare to find a game with both. This style is hardly stale. Also, if you're concerned about the game looking like Starmade, it won't. Starmade is all cubes.
Last edited by SirAwesomelot on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby clonk2u » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:46 pm

I think that the art style should look retro but clean
SirAwesomelot wrote:b. fairly simple shapes - spaceships contain a lot of flat surfaces.

I think that this is a good idea visually, but, I also thing that there should be a cylindrical or spherical aspect to things as well.
My hope is that idea will make the spaceship look sleeker and clean, but with deliberate nooks and corners.(Think pretty military hardware).


Image

If you imagine this vehicle in white, black, and silver, it would probably look very stunning, but it is also built for a purpose.

Thank you for reading this, and please tell me how to improve this idea, or if it just sucks overall.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby mrout » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:21 am

SirAwesomelot wrote:Image
This is an unshaded model from Seafarer (looks like that site is way out of date). Pretty ugly, I know, but...

Image
in the engine it looks fantastic.


Nah, still looks crap compared to say... Reset.

mrout wrote:It should look like a modern game. It doesn't have to look like Crysis 3, but we're going to have good-looking planets and environments, so low-poly ships would look out of place.

I'm not concerned about the planets looking out of place. What makes you think they will? After all, we're using heightmaps, which lend themselves to low polycount pretty smoothly. Other than that, I guess it's a matter of taste. I will reiterate, though, how much easier this style will be to render than a more "modern" game. See above how much the lighting/shaders has to do with making a game look modern anyway.[/quote]

Again, the game should look good. It should look modern. I think we have the combined programming ability to render next-gen graphics. We just need the art, and time.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby SirAwesomelot » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:09 am

mrout wrote:Nah, still looks crap compared to say... Reset.
[...]
Again, the game should look good. It should look modern. I think we have the combined programming ability to render next-gen graphics. We just need the art, and time.

Well, okay. Reset looks great, of course, but Theory is a full-fledged indie studio. Getting the "art and time" is very hard for an open-source project. We have some really talented artists, but I can't imagine any of them are going to be willing to work full-time for freeware.
Go try to find an open-source game with anywhere near AAA graphics.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby mrout » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:24 am

Perhaps it is a full-fledged indie studio, but it still probably has about 2 artists.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby SirAwesomelot » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:38 am

I guess it's your call, but be careful, because this is something that could totally make or break the game. I'd rather have good (or even just decent) pixel art than a failed attempt at photorealism.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby mrout » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:04 am

SirAwesomelot wrote:I guess it's your call, but be careful, because this is something that could totally make or break the game. I'd rather have good (or even just decent) pixel art than a failed attempt at photorealism.


I absolutely 100% agree.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby Styxos » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:49 am

How may before nobody wants photorealism or an AAA Game, it's the way between or not?
And yeah the world will be procedural generated by the engine thats right. BUT you dont have to make ships out of the same shapes like the engine. Player generated Content (Ships and Items), can be normal 3d models that should be no Problem.
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby ChemicalRascal » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:05 pm

Styxos - You don't want some sort of shiney-slick photorealistic space ship landing on a low-poly planet. Visual consistency is more important than visual capability.

In terms of possibility - I don't think we can do photorealism. Don't have the time, don't have the budget to throw at our artists so they can work on it 24/7. RESET, as an example, yeah, sure, it's a two artist team - note, two professional artists. Their trailer came out over a year ago and there's been nothing else shown so far. And who knows how long it took for them to put the trailer together, a single-environment, pre-rendered video with largely repeating assets?
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Re: Consistency in Art Styles

Postby mrout » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:09 pm

ChemicalRascal: That trailer is apparently real-time and in-game. I'm pretty skeptical, but that's what they're saying, and I have no real reason to believe them.

But you're completely right in your general point. We can't do photorealism. Nobody can do photorealism. But we can't do pseudo-photorealism either. If we could, and we could create the right aesthetic when doing so, we should. But we can't. So we need to define a doable art style, and then we need to do it.

Rethinking a little, a consistent style reminiscent of the original 0x10c style ( http://i.imgur.com/jdK8z.png (excluding the awful face) and http://0x10c.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/akByX.jpeg ) admittedly would look a LOT better than an inconsistent style that was pseudo-photorealistic in some areas and early Xbox 360-like (or likely worse) in others.

And it's pretty much what a lot of people are expecting, which may or may not be something we should take into account.

EDIT: TL;DR: I'm sure we'd all rather see a consistent, good-looking retro art style than an inconsistent pseudo-photorealistic style.
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