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Best Practice in Game Art & Design Tips

SpacefaceSpaceface Posts: 15Member
Hi all,

A couple of things:

Even though gamesalad is geared towards people who don't have to program I'm still slow at figuring out how it all pieces together.

I've seems that allot of the technical side of gamesalad gets covered on the forums but I can't find any in-depth talks/tutorials on creating game art?

I come from more of a pencil and paper background and it would be great to get a discussion going on how creators out there go about creating there games? Best practices ie concept sketches, creating ready made png files in photoshop etc, creating backgrounds etc.

Personally for me I'd like to know where everything is going on paper before I begin to sit at the computer.
Anyones thoughts on their art processes would be great.

Just a thought?


  • SDMGSDMG Posts: 280Member
    Hi rt,

    i am scribbling and think about a good game-idea at first...

    When i am sure about the idea and can roughly imagine the gameplay, i am creating all the graphics in photoshop..

    After that is done i am taking garageband and sfxr to create the first sounds for my game...

    At least i am using gamesalad to put everything together...

    That's the way i have done it for the last 3 simple games...


  • KamazarKamazar Posts: 287Member
    This is how I do it. First, forget all the jargon, true or false statements, rules, variables, real or boolean attributes, just forget it. Put down all the rules and stuff you want your objects to do as if a 5 year old were explain it. Set up a simple document with concept sketches and if-else statements (possibly the only crucial part of programming logic you need, which really had to do more with real life than programming, really). After you have everything set up, put it all together with cheap, easy to make graphics, like simple squares. AFTER you get the programming out of the way, then you start working on the graphics. No point in starting graphics first if you can't use them, and maybe the program won't let you do what you want to. Perfect them, test them out, tweak them again, put it all together. Then get the sound effects, add them, shouldn't take more than maybe an hour, depending on the size of your game, no prob. Most of the time, the hard part's the actual programming.
  • JGary321JGary321 Posts: 1,246Member
    Personally, I like to do like 10% development, then do the graphics for it. I definitely understand that time wise this is not the most effective. However, it honestly boosts my moral. I can't stand to look at boxes for an extended period of time. I want nice graphics to look at while developing. And yes I have completely scrapped some items in a game after creating graphics for it. It's part of development, & that's why I said it wasn't the most time effective. To each his own though, this is just what works for me.
  • sunkenmediasunkenmedia Posts: 6Member
    1) Make a 5 page deck ( power point) with lots of art and little words. Grab screenshots of other games. This is quick and dirty. You just want to see if you even like the idea.
    -This should cover ( 5 pages)
    ---The high concept: What is the game in like 2 sentences
    ---Gameplay: Expand on the gameplay gives a rundown of the user experience
    ---Key Features: What is unique about this game? Multiplayer? Customization? Etc.
    ---Controls: How is this thing played
    ---Replay: Why will people play this again

    2) Then when you like it you write a treatment more words and a few pieces of art. Expand on those ideas and do some mock ups to represent your gameplay. This is not done in the power point. You are now working in a word/pages/whatever file.

    3) Then once you like that you write a full GDD. With lots of art and lots of words :) Here is a good template to try if you like.

    GDD Template

    This should be used as a starting point. It will force you to think about everything in your game.

    1. Intro Section
    a. High Concept: One sentence and some bullet points describing your game.
    b. Basic Information
    i. Platform – iPhone, the web?
    ii. Expected Release Date
    iii. Target Audience – Who is the game geared toward?
    iv. Genre
    v. Visual Style – Sentence description
    vi. Estimated play time (hours) – How long is this game?
    vii. Inspirations – games, books, movies, etc.
    viii. Business model – How do you make money?
    ix. Language Support – which are planned?
    x. Logo – Make one!
    c. Summary Paragraph – Explaining in more detail the High Concept
    d. Key Features (bullet list, about 5 items,these are things that should be exciting )
    2. Gameplay – use visuals to explain as much as possible
    a. Controls – What can the player do? How?
    b. Progression – How does the player go through the game?
    c. Modes – Are there different ways to play?
    d. Economy – How does the player earn or spend things?
    i. Collectibles – What can the player acquire?
    e. Camera – How does the player see the game?
    i. Include an image showing the default game camera in a mock screenshot
    f. Save/Load – Does the player have to manually save, or does it do so automatically?
    g. Replay – Is the game linear, or does it encourage players to keep playing?
    h. RPG / Character Growth – How do the player’s abilities change over time?
    i. AI – What can the enemies do? What can other characters do?
    j. Physics – Do objects interact in realistic ways?
    k. Multiplayer – How can the player play others?
    l. Audio – Music and effects
    3. In Game Description - Anything the player interacts with.
    a. Levels
    b. Enemies
    c. NPCs / Non-enemy characters
    d. Powers
    e. Weapons
    f. Powerups
    g. Rewards / Collectibles
    h. Hazards
    i. Interactive Objects
    4. UI
    a. Startup: What screens will appear, in what order?
    b. Main Menu: Mockup and/or sample screen
    i. Lists all options.
    c. HUD: Mockup and/or sample screen
    d. Pause Menu
    i. Lists all options.
    e. Full UI Flow Diagram
    5. Story – If you even have one!
    a. Story Summary (page)
    b. Script – Every word in your game
    c. In-game VO lines script
    6. Schedule
    a. Milestones – something to keep you working toward and hitting
    b. Deliverables for each – so you know what you need to make

    Anyway thats about it. Sorry if its hard to read :) Apparently it just brings on the text to the left! .__.


    Armando Soto
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