This page will record my visual research and attempts at creating nice concepts for my game.
Early GIFs and Images
I started by playing around with how I might want the game to look.
These ships are very simple for a start, using two colours for the body and two for the flame coming off of them, however I want to look further back to graphics where the whole game could be made using only two colours. I also like the neon colours so that’s another pathway I could go down. Either way I want to improve my shading of ships as this wasn’t quite up to how I imagined them in my head.
ZX Style Graphics
I started to look at the pixel graphics from old consoles like the ZX Spectrum, I ended up attempting to copy their work and I think it went quite well. I used a site called Piskel and discovered a tool called the Dithering tool, it allows you to essentially shade an image by offsetting pixels, putting one pixel every two spaces.
The first image is of the background in Lightforce, depicting colourful neon planets. The second is Jet Pac, depicting an astronaut attempting to fuel up his rocket. The third is Exolon, depicting a space ranger shooting aliens and destroying their equipment. The fourth is Uridium, depicting a small ship strafing a dreadnought ship. Lastly the fifth is Penetrator, depicting a ship evading and destroying aliens as it progresses. The second and fifth images used 128 by 128 pixels and the rest of them used 256 by 256 pixels.
I quite enjoyed making neon planets, I know it’s just because of the limited colour pallet they had back then but I love the style and would like to use it in my work, with planets, ships and menus having a very 80s neon feel. I will also be using the dithering tool for things like shading backgrounds or making pretty menus.
I considered using a Gameboy inspired pixel style, using very simple graphics and a limited colour pallet. I experimented a little with the Photoshop and Piskel, creating a possible character portrait through splicing parts of a person together, putting a sepia filter over it, live tracing on Illustrator and Pixelating on Piskel, the outcome is below. I also found a site that essentially makes any image look like an image you might find on a Gameboy. It’s a quick way of adding a few green filters and Pixelating on Photoshop but I thought it was interesting anyway.
I also had a go at creating a start screen in a similar fashion to the character portrait, by splicing images together, sepia filter, image trace and finishing off on Piskel.