Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Character Portraits!

Skitter is coming along well, guys! Recently I've been working on the art for the game, as the programming is mostly done. The game is really ugly... most screens have a solid color as the background, and most images of things are just colored boxes. It would be a big load off my back if someone else could do the art, though... It is definitely the hardest part for me, and the most time-consuming. It took me two days of constant work to finish these things:
Characters with no portrait drawn yet are just green boxes.

* Normal and sad portrait for two characters
* Eating animation for Skitter (the monster)
* Terrible half-finished "jumping" animation for Skitter (that looks really bad and he changes shape/size constantly between frames... no matter how many times I redrew them, I can't get it down...)
* Half-finished background for when you are on the ranch (facility selection screen).

Anyway, I thought I would talk a little about the characters you will encounter in Skitter. Skitter is planned to have a bit of a story, though I haven't worked out all the minor details yet. The focus will be on the pet monsters and raising them, so the story will be somewhat minimal, but it will still be there, and hopefully make the ending of the game very exciting.
Armand runs the cafeteria in town where you can buy food.
The characters are less a part of the story and more a part of the environment, however. The shops each have their own unique shopkeeper that will talk to you with their own personality. A tentative feature that may or may not be added to the final game is a friendship system that allows you to get discounts, gifts, or advice by visiting shops often and talking to the shopkeepers during their off-time (by going to a town square are where you may encounter them).

An example is the chef Armand who owns the food shop (Cafet d'Armand) in town where you can buy food for your monsters. He is very talkative and friendly, but a little confident in himself. I am trying to make the designs somewhat interesting and fantastical. He has a chef's outfit that resembles armor (the top is like chest armor and spaulders) and he has an "ammo belt" with spices and utensils on it that he uses for cooking.
Your sister will be the face of the user, as you'll never see yourself.

Another "strange" design I created was for the player's sister, who will be the source of most information for the player (she will describe features, inform you of when something has happened such as a pet illness or you've depleted your inventory, etc.) The player themselves will have no real "character." You will give yourself a name, but there's no avatar for the player in the game--the player character is actually you, the player!

Anyway, as for the sister, I am still unsure about her name. I may let the player name her, or use of the names I have picked out. But I wanted her to look kind of interesting, but not steal the show from the monsters or the player themselves. So I gave her kind of "dull-colored" clothes (brown and a mint green, with a sort of light brown/dirty blonde hair color). I wanted her to look mature, since she plays a mother-like role to the player, so I gave her a vest and tie, eyeglasses, and large bows on her clothes that were inspired by hanbok (Korean traditional dress), to make her look older and serious. However, she is still young, and even though she is 'in charge,' she is still a kid. So I gave her a cute round face, a more youthful-looking hairstyle, and some bright earrings that don't match her clothes. I think she turned out quite adorable.

So far, only Armand and the sis have portraits drawn, but there are other characters that have been designed, and a couple places where characters are needed and there's no real design for them.

I have to do some big work fixing a bug with the inventory (if you're on your last item, the 'next item' button still appears, and crashes the game if you click it... I realize the error in how I created it, but I have to do a bit of work to undo this and kind of redesign its creation...)

Oh, the eating sprite for Skitter is cute too :) I wish I could share it with you guys, but I'd have to make a video, or an animated GIF (and those are a pain to make... so maybe later?)

If you know anyone who is very talented at drawing and loves to draw 2D character portraits or paint landscapes/backgrounds who would be willing to lend a hand, feel free to send them my way! You can comment on this blog or anywhere you can find me. I can't offer any kind of compensation, but you'll get credit, and if I ever do get the game off the ground, I certainly would pay for the service!

At the moment, this is what is actually needed for the game:

About 20-25 character portraits
About 40-50 landscapes/backgrounds
About 20395820395823 frames of monster animations -________-
About 20 item pictures
Etc etc etc

So there is a lot of artwork to be done... This could easily take me like an entire year to complete on my own...! And I'm not the best of artists... Let's hope that if the game gets off the ground, I can get a kickstarter going and hire a better artist :D Or better yet, someone will offer to do it for free :DDD (I'd still end up paying them if I did get the ability to... I have about $2 to my name right now, though...)

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