The art style of Painters Guild has developed a lot. It has gone from top-down to a side view, from dark to bright and colorful.
Just so I don't scare anyone, here's what the game currently looks like:
And now let's see the old stuff. Here's how the first prototype looked:
Squares! Being dragged! Cool, I guess... It makes more sense when you replace the placeholder squares with the first sprites of the game:
Those sprites were based on the very first mockup I made for the game. It included many elements that will make it to the final game, but slightly different. For example, the icons in that painting represented different painting themes: landscape and portrait. Now the icons represent styles like Chiaroscuro and Sfumato - I should write a piece on those!
But I wasn't happy with the looks. I tried an isometric view, but I knew it was going to be too complicated for me to code it. As a lone developer, having only a friend to help me with the music, I had to keep the code simple. In fact, I had to keep everything simple: the 16x16 pixels sprites are like that to allow me to create nice graphics very quickly.
Moving on from the iso perspective, I didn't know what to do. I tried to make my top-down view more pleasant and happy, but it didn't work. At this point I became very frustrated with the project.
But one day I figured I'd make it work. I abandoned the top-down view and made a mock-up of a side view. This ended up looking very nice and had big consequences for the gameplay. Now the guild could have multiple floors and patrons could form a line to request paintings, which I'm working on right now.
There will also be different art styles for special things. I made the image below for the loading screen, for example. My idea is that the light dust particles will move around with the wind and the painting of the Mona Lisa will start from a blank canvas and become fully colored as the game loads.
That's all I have to say about the art style evolution of Painters Guild. Hopefully you'll stick around to see how it evolves further! Follow the game on twitter!