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Aeon of Sands - The Trail is a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG, set in a dangerously pixelated desert world that eats people, and has a taste for city clerks. Oh, by the way, you are a city clerk. And it's lunch time.

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A short overview of the creation of an opponent's visual in Aeon of Sands, with video.

Posted by on - Basic Animation

How to create the NPCs visuals for Aeon of Sands

Last week, I was asked to present AoS, focusing to its visuals and concepts, to a few classes of teenagers in an artistic gymnasium in Vercelli, Italy.

I spoke about bridging the gap between designing a work for graphic / fine art that the students make in school, and the various commercial art that designing a video game entail.

Among other things, I show them this short video, which details the creation of one NPC in AoS, with its 10 frames of animation (some NPC has more; totally they are about 600)

This video shows:

  • Sketching mannequins at 2x or 4x the game size (depends on detail required);
    • provided you have the character design ready and on the side, for referencing, this is easier: you should also have figured how the combat works for that character beforehand, like: does it attack in melee only? Range too? Spells?
  • Polishing them + dress them;
    • to avoid falling to the pits of boredom, be as rough as you can at this stage, the only two important things are: toning and having clean edges, it will save you the hassle of erasing a lot of stuff later.

  • Coloring and detailing them;
    • here you just have to keep color and light consistency between this and all other characters, and mostly with the background you will use them on.

  • Resizing them down, adding pixelart detail.
    • like, among the rest, see through shadowing for the terrain, which I don't show here, but it's basically patterning between the NPC's leg, on the floor.
  • The NPCs in game.

You can also see, at the end of the video that while we have the mechanic for NPCs attacking each other, we decided not to have the frames for that in animation: it would mean about between 400 and 600 additional frames total only for that, and I was basically spent back then when I finished the first 600.

Why 600? Because + 2 frames of attack (preparation and execution) per each side view and + 2 fo the NPC as seen from its back.

All graphic in the game has been designed at about 2x the size that we used in game, and pixelart details were added only as last step, because I'm more of a traditional illustrator than I am a pixelartist.

If you like this, please consider wishlisting the game on Steam, it's out on December 4, 2018!

Thanks for reading!

Marco

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Aeon of Sands - The Trail
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Two Bits Kid
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