Graphics style guide
From Post-Apocalyptic RPG wiki
This is a kind of informal and gentle introduction into producing artwork for PARPG, bunch of complementary advices from three team members. All goes straight from this topic
Hey, thought I'd chime in. In starting the ingame portraits and the item art, I actually did it with the intention of influencing the visual style of the games 2D assets. I work on Wesnoth as well and they have a very clean style with colored linework done in a very specific way and I guess I thought as a contrast it would be cool to have a more gritty painterly feel to the art. Now I am not the art director, and much of the original wesnoth portrait art was changed when Kitty took the reins, so maybe this all will change, but I just thought I'd put my two cents in and say that I think a painterly visual style like this is actually a really cool way to go. Also I take a little exception to the term unfinished. I don't think my guard portrait or gaspards portraits look "unfinished", in that I don't like the way we tend to to equate finish with painting tight and concealing stroke. So yea, I think tightly rendered portrait art would not fit the game as well as painterly work without obvious calligraphic linework does.
I found that your post was a good nudge in the direction I wanted all the discussion to head in.
It's high time, to agree on what the overall art direction should be. What kind of colour ranges (bright or toned down), the grittiness of the textures, clean vs 'sketchy' finished work etc.
I really dig what JustinOperable has in mind, mainly because the game world is this ruined globe post-civilization.
Most things are worn out and rugged, the clothes are patched and people dress in a very motley fashion - it is cold so you cover yourself with whatever you get your hands on.
Colours-wise, I think we could be a bit "better" in the final, post-tech-demo versions. Check out this blog: http://nostalgiamanila.blogspot.com/
I think this would be a cool choice for all the portraits and most art in-game, GUI and all the HUDs, also. We should try and aim for similar colours in all the textures too, to try and replicate the mood and nostalgia you get from looking at similar 80s material.
But there's a very fine catch here, too - we are dealing with 20 years post-80s. So the colours would be even more washed out in most cases. The most colourful things should be made out of plastic. But the things that are outside bleach faster, and the things inside buildings or under some shelter retain brighter colours. This could even influence story-elements. Something colourful that an NPC found outside would be really washed out, compared to anything that stayed in-doors since the war.
The upper photo was made with photographer's finger on the bottom - that's why the colors are so warm there.
Few pebbles from me:
- Cheap paper will become easier to tear, creamy yellow in color. No matter how it would be stored.
- Colorful print: Curled cause of moisture, blue (cyan) and black colors only
- Color photo - if placed in sealed container with no light - pretty OK, if in moisture - eaten by bugs, fungi, glued together if stacked; if in light (or if it is a polaroid picture) - as on the pictures, if in direct sunlight - there will remain nearly no image. Yellow will fade first, just after it - magenta will dissapear. The light parts of the print will suffer mostly. There is no black pigment in color photos. So to do this quick you just turn the colors cooler and reduce the highlights to white.
- BW photo - begins to fade (sepia), slightly warmer black (reddish brown) instead pure of black
- Plastic - nearly 100% the same colors as before the war. Also the ceramics will suffer no visible damage.
- Painted plastic, wood, metal or plaster - paint bleached and flacking off
- Newspaper - readable and good in dry places, eaten by bugs in humid or wet places
- Steel will rust outdoors, light, orange rust comes first on almost every kind of steel, coper and bronze/brass things will cover with greenish-blue, aluminum-with grayish white.
- The roads will be cracked.
BTW: In the end of October two workers were changing windows in our flat. They've found newspapers from 1983 behind th frame of old window - in quite good condition (much better than window itself).