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Let me share with you how you do "crappy graphics™" the right way.

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I'm new to IndieDB but I want to make things right here. On the other boards I presented the game I did it without any text layout, plan or at least an attempt to be professional. But not this time, I want to organize my entries on precise subject, and since all started with the download of an android app for pixel art, this first diary will be about it.

Dev Diary #1: Crappy graphics™

As I said, when I first thought of my game, as an idea, I was at work, a little bored. first things I did was to write and draw my ideas, because I have a really bad memory. but hey, little drawing on a papersheet never made a game. I was so eager to start working (on the game) that I couldn't wait to be home to start doing something, I had to make it happen, because I feel I have almost no time at home with the wife, kids, house-job, and at work there is so much opportunities, but I was lacking the right tools! So I went to the bathroom, like for any other poo-break, and started downloading Pixly, and designing the idle pose for my main character. That precisly at this moment that Crappy graphics™ were born.

the Pixly editor for android

It's like drawing with your butt

So every time I have to use the bathroom, I do a little of the graphics of the game. Most of what you will see in the game was done by me sitting on toilets. Disturbing, hey? But it allows me to be more efficient and to separate the roles I take on this development. I may take the time to rework some art on my computer during integration in GameMaker : Studio, but I think it represents roughly 5% of the total work on the graphics.

I work mainly with a grid of 32*32. As I'm new to pixel art (and art in general) it helps me to stick to a low resolution, and I feel more confortable, I have less choices and it helps me to feel proud of my work (because with this resolution, maybe I couldn't do any better! Yes you are right, it's wrong). I use a little copy of my hero for scaling every other object, it's not always easy to jump from a file to another with the main character to copy/past it, because pixly doesn't handle tab or different file opened at the same time, but it usually do the trick. the 32*32 format is also very useful for the background of the game, wich is done with tile mostly. At first I wanted to go for a completly "organic" level, that would be on big drawing without patterns or recognizable tiles, but I faced the fact that it was easier to draw tiles and easier tu use them with game maker than doing a big object for a building and a big object for another, for instance. the Room editor of Game Maker is really bad when you have little object (windows) over big object (buildings), if you want to move the windows you may need to delete the buildings....

Doing tile in Pixly

Here you can see one of my first tileset for a type of building of the first zone. I know it's ugly, I may need to rework it someday. variation will be added later, with other tiles or with little decals that I can add over it. As you can see, pixly works horizontally or vertically, which is very convenient.

Nothing is planned, I do it in parrallel of my development on game Maker, and sometimes I go for some new stuff that inspire me (you'll soon see some of the underground level, even if the demo won't include it.

Let's move on

Last thing, I can do animation on my mobile, which is very handy AND very difficult at the same time. But I managed to do a lot with this tools, so I won't complain. Usually I do what I can, because I didn't do any animation studies before:

a pigeon

drinking soda

And sometimes I ask for the help of my brother, because animation is a big part of his work. He draws a rough sketch on some frame, giving me key frame, and I try to draw over it as I can, giving my low resolution:

Milo in garbages

A little more fluid, no? The garbage bah shaking is from me.

Life in colors

A word about colors now: I have no idea what i'm doing. I have no precise palette, I choose my color completly randomly sometimes, it's a mess.

I know I should organise a palette, take the time to do the job, but colors on my phone won't match colors on my computer, and my applications are not compatibles for sharing palettes, so it may be a very rude work to create the palette on one device and do the same thing but with only my eyes to compare, on another device. So for now I stick with my nonsense, and someday I'll do a pass on the color only on PC and I'll see what I can do.

That is pretty all about graphics I think. Thanks for reading, and prepare for my next Dev Diary: Programming in a bathtub! See you!

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