Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => General Discussion => Topic started by: PCCL on May 07, 2012, 07:39:39 PM

Title: art style
Post by: PCCL on May 07, 2012, 07:39:39 PM
now, to make it clear, I'm not complaining, I love the retro pixel-art look

However, some of the design decisions seem curious...

in a game where everything seem smooth and rather soft (look at the explosions, engine effects, icons, hud), why the sharp and rough looking pixel-art?

and in a game where the tone is dark and generally serious, why the comical bouncy looking bubble shields?

Just wondering, again it looks good and all
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Sunfire on May 07, 2012, 07:47:37 PM
now, to make it clear, I'm not complaining, I love the retro pixel-art look

However, some of the design decisions seem curious...

in a game where everything seem smooth and rather soft (look at the explosions, engine effects, icons, hud), why the sharp and rough looking pixel-art?

and in a game where the tone is dark and generally serious, why the comical bouncy looking bubble shields?

Just wondering, again it looks good and all

Why not? But actually, I think to make the combat system simple, but yet involving skill, and to make the ship models (sprites) easy for almost any computer to handle
Title: Re: art style
Post by: PCCL on May 07, 2012, 07:54:14 PM
It's not the ship sprites that make it lag... in my experience it's the nebulae...

and a harder looking shield doesn't mean it's less skill-based or less simple...

why not is something I can't answer tho...  ;D
Title: Re: art style
Post by: leonvision on May 07, 2012, 08:14:07 PM
the comical bouncy looking bubble shields?

i duno, man, u want triangles instead?

ontopic: if you look into the science, circular objects are better resistant against force from every direction, kinetic forces anyway.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: PCCL on May 07, 2012, 08:31:33 PM
nonononono (tho triangle shields would be awesome)

i meant shields like these

http://db3.stb.s-msn.com/i/D9/A719A9A1ED6D2A993A87E5581318A1.jpg
http://knights.calltoreason.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/SupremeCommander2-2011-02-03-00-40-26-53.jpg

those look hard instead of the starfarer shields that look soft for the lack of a better term and kinda bouncy on the surface
(http://www.mediafire.com/conv/4ae287b2ba5e27f49d4410c53acad18427a4c62fe6b2e66551c5c93ec190e4d14g.jpg) (http://www.mediafire.com/imageview.php?thumb=5&quickkey=ui9shzvp4rb9wbj)
for comparison (more apparent when it's moving)
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Hypilein on May 07, 2012, 08:45:41 PM
Well, in a 2D Environement the second one would actually look pretty much like the status quo. Still bubbles. Maybe slightly more transparent and textured, but I don't know how much of that is actually possible in 2D. The First one looks extremely awesome, but again, if you asume top down look. Those are only usable for flat frontal shields.

Maybe I'm lacking imagination, but the current system seems like the best possible option.

Also the ships beeing sprites makes modding so much easier. That is a veeeerry good thing.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: YAZF on May 07, 2012, 11:52:49 PM
A 2D art style does not mean it is in a retro style at all. The look is designed around the gameplay, which is top down, 2D space ship combat. I don't exactly see how you expect it to look much different from how it does. And the ships don't look especially pixely at all. They are quite detailed and match a specific art style and lore. Many ships have "harsh" edges because they were built by a certain faction in an older age. Newer ships are curvier in design. They look different from the soft lighting effects of the engines and explosions and lasers because they are actual solid objects...and not made of fire and light. The HUD looks the way it does I assume because it's supposed to resemble the computer displays in the ships themselves (and it also gives it a very futuristic vibe).
Title: Re: art style
Post by: PCCL on May 08, 2012, 12:08:08 AM
ok I obviously didn't make myself clear...

meh, it was a minor curiosity anyway, pretend I didn't say anything
Title: Re: art style
Post by: WKOB on May 08, 2012, 03:01:28 AM
Hard is bad. It's too easily brittle.

The idea is deflect force somewhere else, not absorb it. Look at modern battle-tank armor, it doesn't attempt to absorb blows, they use the fences and ceramic ablative to concentrate the energy into something that didn't cost millions of dollars.

A bouncy ball is a lot harder to break with a hammer than glass marble.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: leonvision on May 08, 2012, 04:44:47 AM
A bouncy ball is a lot harder to break with a hammer than glass marble.

that is because the elasticity of the bouncy ball increases the amount of time the force is absorbed, so the force is more gradual, whereas a glass marble is brittle, so it absorbs most of the force almost instantaneously.

from what i've always interpreted, from the way the shield wobbles(if you look closely), i've always thought it was some kinda dense fluids that absorbs incoming fire, as the shield absorbs the bullet/rocket/whatever, it creates a fluctuation wave, that is easily dissipated since it's a fluid. and why kinetic energy is more effective against shield is because it is a much more pinpointed pressure on the shield, as opposed to explosions, which is a shockwave across a larger surface area.

anyway, i digress, back to topic, i always think of hexagonal shields, like the one in the nanosuit in crysis. or something like that. i just think the shield might need more details that just a gradient fade,or even some different visual effects for different type of damage applied to the shield.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Kommodore Krieg on May 08, 2012, 05:24:54 AM
The shields never struck me as comical personally.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Catra on May 08, 2012, 06:53:58 AM
hexagonal shields always confounded me, which is to say that i can wrap my head around how bubble shields can be formed, but not hexagonal.

Quote
http://db3.stb.s-msn.com/i/D9/A719A9A1ED6D2A993A87E5581318A1.jpg

it be cool if we got effects like that, it would really showoff the deadly power of the slugs / particles that are being thrown around by the bigger ships.
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Alex on May 08, 2012, 11:03:10 AM
now, to make it clear, I'm not complaining, I love the retro pixel-art look

However, some of the design decisions seem curious...

in a game where everything seem smooth and rather soft (look at the explosions, engine effects, icons, hud), why the sharp and rough looking pixel-art?

and in a game where the tone is dark and generally serious, why the comical bouncy looking bubble shields?

Just wondering, again it looks good and all

Hmm. Shields have been on my list of "graphics to improve" for a while now. I wouldn't say they're *bad*, but we've got some ideas.

As far as the other stuff, I think the engines actually go with the sprites quite well, and the hit glows and such "work". There's obviously room for improvement (pretty much always true, isn't it?) - not so sure about time, though :)
Title: Re: art style
Post by: PCCL on May 08, 2012, 11:14:36 AM
Oh, they go well, by all means... For some reason they just do and I would never have thought it a good idea had I not saw it myself, that's y I was curious as to how the decision was reached...

The shield is not bad, IMO, just feels out of place at times. It's still pretty though

Title: Re: art style
Post by: Xareh on May 08, 2012, 01:19:00 PM
The shields never struck me as comical personally.
It kinda struck me a little bit recently about how they do indeed like bouncy, and hell even the sound they make reminds me of a big ball
Title: Re: art style
Post by: Temjin on May 08, 2012, 01:35:57 PM
It would be cool to have some sort of more intense graphic for shield impacts, but I wouldn't go out of my way to spend a huge amount of time coding it. Rather have more time spent on the gameplay.