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Posts relating to Art :

6 years ago

Weekly Update

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Hello there. I have been working on Miasmon again recently, since it really needs finishing!
I mentioned that I started work on another game recently, but that was fleeting; I never meant to focus wholly on it at the expense of everything else. I only wanted to get some ideas down that were really trying to burst out of my mind rather than fumbling around exhausted with something I'd long lost any enthusiasm for. Or something like that. Yes.

Anyway, I am back to working on Miasmon, but... ugh, I suppose I've been feeling like I'm not sure of the direction it's going in for a long while now, which is why progress has been so slow. There were a lot of things about the plot, the pacing, the general layout of the areas, that really bothered me, and I never felt satisfied when it came time to work on it.

So, I've rewritten some parts of it. Most of the plot will stay the same, but the beginning - a very important bit - is slightly different.

I was originally planning to have the player - as Zaffre or Cerise - arrive in some town place, meet their counterpart (that is, Zaffre would meet Cerise as an NPC, or Cerise would meet Zaffre), meet the rest of the Daring Delvers, blah blah blah, there'd be loads of exposition stuff and explanation of how the game world functions, THEN Francis Marmalade would give you a Protonculus.

This didn't really work though because for one thing, it was difficult to really decide on how, in detail, these things should transpire... The actual words spoken, each step the characters would take. But it was also really tedious to play through, and it bombarded the surely impatient players with information they had no hope of absorbing (since I've noticed that you only really begin to understand the world of a game after playing it for a while, or that's the case for me anyway), all while delaying the bits they're most likely eager to see.

So instead I've started the game in medias res, where you're in a dungeon and already HAVE a Protonculus and are already familiar with the rest of the Delvers (or rather your character is). The same information would be presented to you - I'm not cutting anything out - but differently; rather than saying "here is a Protonculus, it is a new synthetic monster that I have made, you will be the first to train it, blah blah blah" before getting one, it'd be more like "how's the Protonculus I gave you doing? Since you're the first to train it, and since it's synthetic, blah blah blah", after some battles... y'know?!

You'd also have a chance to encounter wild battles almost from the outset, so you can do that and see what they're like, and THEN relax more and begin to fully absorb information presented to you, rather than impatiently skimming through it while waiting until you can get into a battle (something I remember doing when younger; I never SKIPPED text, but I was eager to get through it so then I could actually see how battles worked, so I was never truly focused on what I was reading).

I've also added some kind of world map thing, which I didn't have before, which divides the game into 'bite-sized' areas, which I like the feel of myself. I've always liked the idea of short, distinct *levels* in games, but the concept seems mainly restricted to platformers in my experience.
Each area in this is a smallish route or dungeon, and it's easy to add new ones or to make or play through them.

Oh, and I originally planned to have the game split into three parts, back when Francis was the protagonist... But then when I decided to change it and make Zaffre and Cerise the protagonists, I added a new intro bit and broke the game up into four parts instead.
I'm back to three now, because I've compacted some events and stuff like that. This should work better in so many ways, and it means that chapter 1 will be longer and will have more monsters than it would otherwise have had. Most of these monsters are already actually made, added for the *original* chapter 1, but I was planning to not include them in the newer chapter 1... Now they will all be included though. Yes.

I've been doing a lot of work with art lately, too. I really need to practise my figure drawing skills, since I need to draw people for the trainer sprites in the game, so I've been doing that. I've still got a long, long way to go, but I am making some progress; here is an image of Zaffre and Cerise, the two protagonists:

And please, for YALORT's sake, don't use this opportunity to criticise what I'm showing you. I've been really sick about and sensitive to this recently, the idea that some people are so quick to give 'tips' or criticisms about artwork that they're shown.
All I see when I look at that image are flaws. I know fully well what's wrong with it, but I'm far from a master and I just need more time to get better than this level of skill. It's not perfect, but it's the best that I can do right now. I don't need people telling me I've done this or that bit wrong because I already know, and it just makes me feel terrible and like I want to give up on art altogether. They may mean it 'constructively', but it's not helpful to me because of my current emotions about art.
I hate that I have to ask people not to do this, but I really am very tired of this lately and don't want to have to endure any more of it.
And yet I bet I can guarantee that at least one or more comments will criticise it anyway... There's a reason I've been avoiding Fig Hunter a lot lately, after all.
...And please don't criticise me for asking to not receive criticism, either. I don't want to go through that *again*. I have strong reasons for feeling this way at this point in time and it's not likely to be a permanent thing. For now, though, I'd like to just be able to show people the things that I've made without them telling me about how I've done it wrong or how I can do it better.

Anyway... yes. Good. There's not all that much left to do in Miasmon. I still need to build some areas, but I have all the resources in place already so it shouldn't take all that long. I need to add trainer sprites in battle, some new monster sprites that I've been putting off for ages, another two or three music tracks, some skill effects, and... that's mostly it, I think.
I don't want it to drag on forever, so I'll try hard to make good progress over the coming week.
6 years ago

MARDEK character faces!

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Art MARDEK
I've been drawing lately... Specifically, working on my face drawing skills, which is hard work!

Some of you who've been here a long, long while might remember seeing these, which I drew not long after MARDEK 3 was released: ∞ LINK ∞

That was a long time ago now (almost exactly two years ago, it seems), and I have been improving a lot since then, I think. Here are some new versions, then:


They're only the human playable characters so far, since I've been working on drawing human faces, rather than wolves or reptoids. Hopefully you can tell who's who!
They most certainly look very different from their in-game portraits... which are poorly drawn, I realise now that I know a lot more about how faces are structured.

Just to be clear, they are, from left to right, top to bottom:
Mardek, Saul, King of Goznor, Sslen'ck,
Polly, Miasmurine, Saul, Bearded Man,
Drackal Crescent, and Gloria.

I can see all kinds of flaws with them myself, since I am rather self-deprecatey about my own work, so, uh, you needn't take this opportunity to tell me exactly how I've done things wrong or anything, because I probably already know... Knowing things and not making errors at all are two entirely different things though! I just need a lot more *experience* before I can draw things better. With each face I draw, I learn a great deal.

So anyway, yes, hopefully these are interesting or something! They were certainly interesting and educational to draw!
(Also, they're all naked, apparently, just like in the game.)

I'd like to say they made me more enthusiastic about making MARDEK 4 - and they did! - but I don't want to get anyones' hopes up about that, since it would be impractical to make it any time 'soon', as much as I'd *like* to...
6 years ago

Zaffre & Cerise

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Miasmon Art Concept Art
I've been drawing various types of concept art for Miasmon lately, and though I've already shown them off in other places, I thought it might be interesting to more people if I make blog posts about them. They are relevant to this site, after all.
I'd make a special Art section of the site for them, like on the old version of the site... but this is easier.

This is some concept art of the protagonists, specifically portraits of their ugly mugs:

Human faces are one of the hardest things to draw, because we've evolved to recognise faces in more detail than other inanimate objects or body parts. It's easier to see when a face is 'off' - even if you aren't sure how it's 'off' - than it is to see that something like, say, a drawing of a dog's 'face', or a turnip, is 'off'.

Being able to draw faces well has been like some Holy Grail to me for years now... I'm not quite up there with the masters just yet, but I think I might be getting somewhere; the faces actually sort of look like faces, at least.

Portraying *character* in a face is a whole different matter though... Something I still need to practise more!

ANYWAY. As for these faces...

The left on is Zaffre, the male protagonist. He had a hard past, growing up in a colony that was poor and constantly beset by monsters. He learned to fight from an early age, was all too familiar with hunger, and knew what it was like to watch people he knew being killed around him. This makes him... not a fan of monsters. He's also rather pragmatic, gruff, and suspicious.

The girl - if indeed you can tell it's a girl; I still struggle with making faces look feminine - on the right is Cerise, the female protagonist. She grew up in a bubble, so to speak; in a colony where strife, famine, crime, etc, didn't exist. She's well-educated, but naive; she's only seen monsters in books and videos before, so the monsters she sees on Fracture are novel and exciting to her. She's bright, cheery and inquisitive, since unlike Zaffre, she has no reason not to be.

Each of them comes to Fracture to join the 'Daring Delvers' for very different reasons, which are explored in the game.

Unlike in Pokemon, each of these protagonists speaks, and has their own personality, rather than being some soulless avatar for the player. You choose who you play as, which changes some bits of dialogue, but many plot events involve both of these characters anyway, so the story isn't much different regardless of who you are... It's hard enough writing one story thread, let alone two!

Anyway, this is 'concept art', which is used to demonstrate a concept, a design; it's not meant to be a refined masterpiece or anything. That's why some bits aren't given texture, other bits are sloppy, etc. I say this in anticipation that some people may point out such 'problems' as if I'm unaware of them.

One of these days, I hope to be able to get a smile to look like a smile! I can fill pages of my sketchbook with attempts, but getting it *right* still feels like it's beyond my at my current skill level!