Thread: Sprite Mini 01: Alien Mercenary Grunts

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  1. walrus is online now
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    Location: Oakland
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    Sprite Mini 01: Alien Mercenary Grunts



    Welcome to the first of the GA Sprite Challenges, where you will be cracking open Photoshop (or the low-fi image-editing program of your choice) and designing characters and making 2d sprite animations for a sci-fi iPhone game. We're excited to bring you a series of mini-comps that won't just be arbitrary specs for a hypothetical game like other minis, but instead be actual specs for a real game that we'll all build together. It's an RPG game tentatively titled 'Infest Station," and will be published by GA as a fund-raiser for the site when we have enough minis to cover all of the art for the game. The game, in a nut-shell, is like 'Paper Mario' 1 or 2... if it were populated by 'Clone Wars' or 'Alien Legion' characters and set on a space-station that looked a bit like the LV-426 terraforming station from 'Aliens.' For lots more information about the game project itself, please read either the GA FAQ or the longer Sprite Game FAQ.

    You can see a demo of the game these sprites will be used in here:
    http://www.maphart.com/uploads/Infes...tion_0_03.html
    You will need the Unity web plug in to view it.



    The goal of this mini is to design a low-level bad-guy, some sort of space pirate/mercenary/thug who is low in rank in the criminal syndicate, and to give him, her, or it some basic animations.

    The Details:
    This mini is meant to get your feet wet into doing sprites here at GA. Focus on some fun character designs, and we won't push for a ton of animations yet: We'll work our way up to the big bad bosses!

    - The character should be between 75 and 120 pixels tall, and not longer than ~150 pixels wide. Please use this image below as a height reference. That's Ketra, the main character on the left, and some generic humans on the right. These numbers are a general reference for the individual animation frames, too: In the final game, all sprites get automatically ganged together on one sheet (you don't have to do it!) that is a max size of 1024x1024, so you should be going for a bunch of animation frames at a small size, not a few frames taking up the whole screen.



    - Please create a hand-drawn single-pixel-outline style like the character examples above, with no anti-aliasing. The goal here is to hand-draw everything, not to render out 3D models as sprite frames. The outlines should not be all black - all of Ketra's outlines, for example, are darker values of the colors they surround.

    - In this universe, humans are a very small part of the galactic civilization. You must create an alien - it can be as humanoid or alien as you like, but should come off as sentient, not a monster. No robots, either - we'll tackle them in some later mini-comps.

    - Please light all characters from the top, just like Ketra, the alien with the gun/sword in the examples below.

    - Your character for this particular challenge - an enemy - will be on the right side of the screen and must face towards the left. Ketra is on the left facing right because she's a player-controlled good-guy character.

    - These mercenaries are a motley collection of smugglers, pirates, thugs, and ruffians - make sure they look like it!

    -You must produce a neutral animation between 3 and 12 frames long (and before the 'animation' part scares you off, we have a bunch of tutorials at the bottom here!)

    -You must also produce an attack animation. This can be with a gun or rifle, or a physical attack (fists, tentacles, swords, wrenches, etcetera) or some sort of thrown weapon... pretty much whatever you can think of so long as it's sci-fi. If you do a gun, all you have to do is the firing - effects are optional (but if you include them, please keep them on separate layers in your working file so that we can strip them out later!) If you do a physical attack, you'll need to animate your character running forward, attacking, and getting back to their starting position. You can use 3 to 24 frames, please use fewer if you're doing a simple gun fire, more if you're doing the whole run-forward-and-hit thing.

    - Recycling frames is encouraged

    - Extra credit section: You are welcome to do more animations in addition to the 2 listed above. Specifically:
    * Alternate attack
    * Short get hit (no more than 5 frames)
    * Wounded
    * Death
    * Taunt

    - Please assemble all your animations onto one long animated GIF on one sheet no larger than 480x320 (iPhone screen size). See the example below (but note that Ketra, as a good guy, is facing right. Your character, an opponent, should face left.)



    As always, backgrounds are optional. Enemies are optional. Below is a sample background if you want to use it, but you do NOT have to. (Note: this background, unlike the one above, gives a better idea of the setting for the game.)



    Other animations are optional. This challenge is here for those desiring to practice their art and learn more about sprite art and animation, and receive friendly advice from fellow artisans. Have fun, and good luck!

    Please do not make a new thread for your entry. Keep all w.i.p shots in this specific thread.

    It is strongly strongly STRONGLY encouraged that you post progress images as replies this thread. We're not forcing everyone to yet, but half of the point of these minis are to help build up the community. If you're posting last minute without at least saying hello, then you're missing all the fun! Stop lurking!

    Some Helpful Tutorials:
    http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/prin...s.asp?TID=5692 - A good primer, even though a bunch of images are missing
    http://www.manningkrull.com/pixel_ar...ls/walking.asp - Walk cycles
    http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/sywtbap...ame_sprite.php - Fighting Game sprites
    http://shambolic-art.deviantart.com/...cess-138403296 - Shambolic's sprite demo

    I'll post more here if anyone else has good links.

    References:
    http://sdb.drshnaps.com/index.php
    http://www.gsarchives.net/index2.php
    http://spriters-resource.com/index.html
    http://www.videogamesprites.net/



    Final Submission:

    Submit one image, 480x320 pixels or less. This image should include your final animations all together, and anything else, even the background, is optional.


    You can submit your finals here:
    link to follow


    Prizes:
    1st place:
    - 1 new forum and gallery award icon for mini challenges
    - 1 point towards raising your overall game, elite, and/or master rating
    on gameartisans

    2nd place:
    - 1 new forum and gallery award icon for mini challenges
    - 1/2 point towards raising your overall game, elite, and/or master
    rating on gameartisans

    3rd place:
    - 1 new forum and gallery award icon for mini challenges
    - .25 points towards raising your overall game, elite, and/or master rating on gameartisans

    Public Voting:
    All Winners are chosen through a public voting system. Only GA.org
    members may vote.

    Soft Deadline: Voting starts Sunday December 13 around 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time(EST).

    Link to the game FAQ or the Discussion Thread for the Game FAQ.



    Final Submissions:
    You can submit your finals here:
    http://www.gameartisans.org/contests...n_sprites.html

    Keep in mind: You can only submit once. If you submit and then realize you made a mistake, you're stuck with whatever you submitted. Sorry!
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  2. Draxxuss is offline
    Knight: 1 1 7
    War General:
    Location: London
    Posts: 3,399
    I'll be keeping a close eye on this as we have some curriculum in the works based on this type of game art. Go team go!
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  3. dkk
    dkk is offline
    Location: vancouver
    Posts: 38
    This is awesome
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  4. Mrpearlzildjian is offline
    Location: Orlando
    Posts: 1,209
    Very interesting. I like the idea of this contributing to a GA team project of sorts. I hope I am able to learn this type of art and contribute in some way.
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  5. DreameR is offline
    Location: Leamington Spa
    Posts: 1,137
    ~ Cooooooooool
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  6. karart is offline
    Location: Nimes
    Posts: 72
    Very cool minicomp , i'll try to do something
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  7. seven is offline
    Location: Irvine, CA
    Posts: 1,304
    sweet ass.... that is all
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #7

  8. Arkhange is offline
    Location: Montreal
    Posts: 678
    First sprite Mini, it should be fun
    I'll keep an eye on it
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  9. SeanW is offline
    Location: Longmont
    Posts: 99
    What a great idea, it looks like a lot could be learned here.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #9

  10. Satya is offline
    Location: Jakarta
    Posts: 217
    This is great, I might give it a try,
    Are there any color limit for each character?
    The max pixel height is 120 right? what about the width?
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  11. Skyzobear is offline
    Location: lyon
    Posts: 35

    cool

    Very interesting, I wanna try something^^. I'm ready!!
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  12. walrus is online now
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    Location: Oakland
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    Thanks, folks, glad some of you are excited about it!

    As for limits on numbers of colors, you have to be able to save your final entry animation as a GIF, so that automatically limits your palette to 256 tops. But in general, you should be aiming to do a hand-drawn look like the examples above, not, say, doing a 3D model and rendering out frames. Once you understand that, you can see that it's really a pain to hand-draw in more than a couple of dozen colors anyhow!

    As for width, please look at the current build of the game: In that, Gargur is a very wide character, so use him as an approximate guide to width max. To insert animations into the game, all of the frames need to be assembled on Sprite Sheets (handled automatically by Sprite Manager 2, thankfully!) and the iPhone max size for those is 1024x1024. But smaller is better: Someone like Gargur - who is just an example, obviously no animation for him and there might never be - would necessarily get a lot fewer animation frames because he takes up so much more room on the sheet.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #12

  13. red-fox is offline
    Location: Buenos Aires
    Posts: 95
    Excelent idea guys!!!

    I can't compete because I'm moving in two days. (but i wish!!!)

    God luck competitors!
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  14. D3struct-o-Bot is offline
    Posts: 80
    Signing in!

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  15. Bertmac is offline
    Location: Amsterdam
    Posts: 127
    whaaaa so cool i just wanted to test my skills with this subject, eeh i mean i never tried it, but i always have loved the sprite community. this will be a nice change to learn.
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  16. Josh Singh is offline
    Location: Austin
    Posts: 483
    This is Amazing! Great Idea.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #16

  17. Maph is offline
    Location: Ghent
    Posts: 1,219
    Good luck guys, let's make something cool with this.

    We'll be updating the game as we go, so be sure to check out the FAQ thread once in a while!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #17

  18. Shadownami92 is offline
    Location: Southern California
    Posts: 914
    Blast, I want to join but with it being the last couple weeks of school I wont have any time. There better be another one of these in between December and February!

    Also here is a handy tutorial for the idle animation

    http://shambolic-art.deviantart.com/...cess-138403296
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #18

  19. davidcruz1718 is offline
    Knight:
    Clericon: 1
    Location: N.Y.
    Posts: 1,839
    Awesome! to see this come alive, I hope I have some time to participate.

    Got to put some time aside for re-reading all the rules and links before I dive into ideas for a character. Hope a lot of people join in on the fun but so many challenges going on right now .
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #19

  20. walrus is online now
    Knight:
    Wizard:
    Location: Oakland
    Posts: 2,056
    Shadownami -

    There better be another one of these in between December and February!
    Absolutely! The next Sprite mini should start up before Christmas. As the story is slowly coming together, we already have a good idea of several other challenges we'll need for characters and enemies in the game.
    And thanks for the link - I added it to the first post above.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote #20

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