Monsters, trainers concepts

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By Leo 4 Dec 2015 20:22

Moderator · 70 comments

Hi!
I discovered your project yesterday, and there are plenty of cool ideas!
So I tried this afternoon to upgrade a few of the existing creatures and a few new ones, two very quick tests of what they would look like in pixel art, and two main trainers (the male is based on the demo sprites).
If you like it, it would be my pleasure to act as some sort of DA/concept artist for the game.

For the practical side I could put the .kra files on some server to further the open source side (not on github since these examples alone weigth more than 50mo).

Well let me know what you think!

rokitten_zpss65ojtlb.pngtigrock_zps8e7m6mmq.png
tux_trainers_zpsuxfp2xg5.jpg
tuxemon_zpssn0lh5l2.jpg

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By josepharaoh99 4 Dec 2015 22:13

Champion · 295 comments

Dude, these are crazy awesome! I like your concepts, they are very cool! Welcome to Tuxemon! smile  smile  smile

Last edited by josepharaoh99 (4 Dec 2015 22:21)


Multiple Media Producer
Jesus is God! http://www.upci.org/search

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By ShadowApex 5 Dec 2015 00:07

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

So I tried this afternoon to upgrade a few of the existing creatures and a few new ones, two very quick tests of what they would look like in pixel art, and two main trainers (the male is based on the demo sprites).
If you like it, it would be my pleasure to act as some sort of DA/concept artist for the game.

These are amazing! Excellent work on both the sprites and the concept art. I was just recently thinking it would be great to have some concept art of the monsters for each monster's wiki page.

Here's Fruitera's current wiki entry:
Fruitera

I think these would also serve as a great template for designing sprites around the concept art. Great work!


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By Sanglorian 5 Dec 2015 01:51

Champion · 549 comments

Magnificent spriting and great concept art, Leo! Welcome smile

One thing I've noticed from examining Pokemon is that most - although not all - of the time, an evolution represents quite a dramatic stylistic change. As well as size, the Pokemon often changes colour or gains a totally new feature.

Your concept art has a lovely naturalistic style, and it feels like the monster is growing up. However, if you did want to follow the Pokemon approach more closely (and I don't think as a community we've settled on one approach or the other), I'd recommend making the changes more distinct between stages, and adding at least one cool new feature at each stage.

In fact, I'd say this is exactly what you've done with Rockitten's evolution, where there's continuity but also a dramatic change at each stage, but for example I think Bigfin could have a whole tree/desert island on its back, and be quite a different shape, if you did want to follow the Pokemon convention.

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By Leo 5 Dec 2015 13:11

Moderator · 70 comments

Thanks for the nice comments!

Well I'm not a pixel artist, so what I did was just resize the drawings, trace then fix some lines and sel-out.

However, if you did want to follow the Pokemon approach more closely (and I don't think as a community we've settled on one approach or the other)
In fact, I'd say this is exactly what you've done with Rockitten's evolution

You are exactly right! I wanted to show different approaches, the rockitten line follows quite much the pokémon convention, and to contrast the flower lemurid is closer to what I would do. As you said, it depends on much tuxemon wants to follow pokémon. My opinion is that it would be better to give it more personality, and not be just a clone -there are bazillions clones out there, and in particular Sage that could easily be confused with an official product.
For your other comments, you are also right, it's more laziness/speed that dictated the absence of color variation than choice, and some are a bit too plain. These can be iterated upon.

I was just recently thinking it would be great to have some concept art of the monsters for each monster's wiki page.

I'm all for it, but these depends on:
1 story
2 gameplay mechanics
3 style choice

For 1, the simulated reality should work well; if that's the case there could be a stylistic difference between the "mechanical" creatures of the bad side, and more natural looking for the "free" ones.
For 2, do you want classical evolutions only, megas, what are the types (dark, errors, ...?)...
And 3 is quite self-explanatory, mainly throwing back to the previous paragraph.

Do you want clean concepts in the style of the rockitten line, or in a different one?
If possible I would avoid the fakemon style, but that's a preference.

Some more tests:
rockat_zps6t6kpenk.png
backbase_zpsim7gywnd.jpg
tuxemon2_zpsohblt0u2.jpg

Last edited by Leo (5 Dec 2015 18:31)

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By Sanglorian 5 Dec 2015 23:01

Champion · 549 comments
Leo wrote

You are exactly right! I wanted to show different approaches, the rockitten line follows quite much the pokémon convention, and to contrast the flower lemurid is closer to what I would do. As you said, it depends on much tuxemon wants to follow pokémon. My opinion is that it would be better to give it more personality, and not be just a clone -there are bazillions clones out there, and in particular Sage that could easily be confused with an official product.
...
Do you want clean concepts in the style of the rockitten line, or in a different one?
If possible I would avoid the fakemon style, but that's a preference.

Interesting! My preference is for fakemon-style tuxemon. It would be interesting to see what the community thinks (and what naturally emerges from the community too, as they  make contributions). I suspect there's room in Tuxemon for both approaches smile

Leo wrote

I'm all for it, but these depends on:
1 story
2 gameplay mechanics
3 style choice

For 1, the simulated reality should work well; if that's the case there could be a stylistic difference between the "mechanical" creatures of the bad side, and more natural looking for the "free" ones.
For 2, do you want classical evolutions only, megas, what are the types (dark, errors, ...?)...
And 3 is quite self-explanatory, mainly throwing back to the previous paragraph.

I see basically two types of contributions - spontaneous contributions that people make, and then deliberate contributions that people make in response to a need in the story. I actually think we can incorporate pretty much any spontaneous contribution, regardless of story, game mechanics, types and that sort of thing. For example, the lack of a Steel or Fairy type didn't stop Pokemon's creators from including metal or fairy Pokemon, they were just put into the next closest type. And if someone submits a mega and we don't include megas, then that can just be a regular evolution.

But also quite exciting I think is, as we flesh out the game, people being willing and able to produce exactly the sprites and designs we want.

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By ShadowApex 6 Dec 2015 08:56

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

For 1, the simulated reality should work well; if that's the case there could be a stylistic difference between the "mechanical" creatures of the bad side, and more natural looking for the "free" ones.

I think it would be interesting to see the duality of "non-free" creatures and "free" creatures influenced in their design. I like the idea that creatures who may have been originally created with an open design are more organic and changing, while more mechanical creatures would represent creatures created under lock and key. This would especially be great to incorporate in the backstory of each creature. I don't think we need to strictly adhere to only "organic good, mechanical bad" but I think it would be great to see this kind of pattern.

Leo wrote

For 2, do you want classical evolutions only, megas, what are the types (dark, errors, ...?)...

I'm personally not a big fan of megas, but I'm open to ideas. I think if we added that mechanic we'd be too closely imitating the series more and more. In regards to the types, I based the starting types off of the five-element theory of Wu Xing, which I think has a very elegant cycle of types that isn't based off of the usual water, fire, wind, earth types. The current types on that page are just the initial ones and I'd love to include more types like "Spectre" and the "Error" type. It'd be great to get a discussion going on additional creature types and how they fit in the effectiveness chart.

Leo wrote

And 3 is quite self-explanatory, mainly throwing back to the previous paragraph.

Do you want clean concepts in the style of the rockitten line, or in a different one?
If possible I would avoid the fakemon style, but that's a preference.

I'm leaning more towards trying to avoid the fakemon style. I think it's important to try and find a unique style that sets the Tuxemon project apart from the Pokemon series, but I too would love to see what styles will emerge from the the community. It would be interested to hear thoughts about this from the rest of the community.


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By Leo 8 Dec 2015 15:16

Moderator · 70 comments

Okay.
Well, you can drop me a line when you are more confident in the direction you want to go, or if you need to have something designed.
Below is a very rough draft for some promo art based on the pillars I've read in the story part (maybe they would be more logically cyberpunk themed or something...). I'll finish it as things settle, if you want.

About the types, my opinion is to keep it at five type plus a neutral one (normal), and add a secondary type system, which would be something like repair/elemental/error (like the white, red, dark magic).
Then a creature has either a main type (or neutral) and may have a secondary type.
It would be preferable to avoid a messy proliferation of types like in pkmn.
Everything else could be special effects/power unrelated to types (e.g. poison).

About the megas, it depends if you want the game system to rely more on evolutions or in forms (that you can freely alternate).
If the creatures are programs, you have more leeway on what you can allow them to do.

A couple suggestions: try to get a logo and a symbol. Then upload clean (vectorial?) versions of them so that they can conveniently be slapped on tuxemon artworks.
As a placeholder I've put a potential symbol on the main trainer shirt, as a generic mix between the pkmn "monster ball" symbol and the ubuntu logo.

Last thing: try to organize the art resource in a fairly consistent manner as things settle down.
A must is a tuxdex with numbers, so that everything would be "001_art.png", "001_front_sprite.png", "001_backprite.png" (or some other convention) to make it convenient to down/up load everything from the command line.

draft_zpskndrydpq.jpg

Last edited by Leo (8 Dec 2015 15:18)

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By ShadowApex 10 Dec 2015 00:39

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

Well, you can drop me a line when you are more confident in the direction you want to go, or if you need to have something designed.
Below is a very rough draft for some promo art based on the pillars I've read in the story part (maybe they would be more logically cyberpunk themed or something...). I'll finish it as things settle, if you want.

The promo art looks great! I love the cathedral design! I had originally envisioned the world to be a more traditional modern setting, but having a cyberpunk theme to either the Cathedral side or the Bazaar (or both) is an interesting proposition. What would your thoughts be on the theme if it were more cyberpunk-like? Would you be interested in making a concept promo that's more cyberpunk themed to see if that's the direction we'd like to go towards?

In terms of art direction itself, I have been mostly turning to the community for their thoughts on what they'd like to see Tuxemon develop into aesthetically. Since I am not by trade an artist, it's hard for me to define an exact style that I'd like to see. If someone wanted to take more direct control of the art direction of Tuxemon, I'd be happy to help make that happen. I can only do so much on my own. smile

Leo wrote

About the types, my opinion is to keep it at five type plus a neutral one (normal), and add a secondary type system, which would be something like repair/elemental/error (like the white, red, dark magic).
Then a creature has either a main type (or neutral) and may have a secondary type.
It would be preferable to avoid a messy proliferation of types like in pkmn.
Everything else could be special effects/power unrelated to types (e.g. poison).

I think this might be an interesting mechanic, and would keep the cycle of elements pure. What were you thinking in regards to super effectiveness of secondary types? Would they operate in the same way as the primary types?

Leo wrote

A couple suggestions: try to get a logo and a symbol. Then upload clean (vectorial?) versions of them so that they can conveniently be slapped on tuxemon artworks.
As a placeholder I've put a potential symbol on the main trainer shirt, as a generic mix between the pkmn "monster ball" symbol and the ubuntu logo.

Last thing: try to organize the art resource in a fairly consistent manner as things settle down.
A must is a tuxdex with numbers, so that everything would be "001_art.png", "001_front_sprite.png", "001_backprite.png" (or some other convention) to make it convenient to down/up load everything from the command line.

I actually quite enjoy the symbol you made, especially with its references to the Ubuntu logo. I'll try and see if I can make something that is vector-based for both the symbol and logo. Right now the current logo uses the Big Bottom Cartoon font which is currently under a liberal license.

I also completely agree with you on the resource organization. I'll make some progress on this in the near future to the development branch.

Thanks for the suggestions!


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By Sanglorian 10 Dec 2015 10:48

Champion · 549 comments
ShadowApex wrote
Leo wrote

About the types, my opinion is to keep it at five type plus a neutral one (normal), and add a secondary type system, which would be something like repair/elemental/error (like the white, red, dark magic).
Then a creature has either a main type (or neutral) and may have a secondary type.
It would be preferable to avoid a messy proliferation of types like in pkmn.
Everything else could be special effects/power unrelated to types (e.g. poison).

I think this might be an interesting mechanic, and would keep the cycle of elements pure. What were you thinking in regards to super effectiveness of secondary types? Would they operate in the same way as the primary types?

Interesting stuff. I've forked the discussion to another thread, so we can keep this one focused on concepts and art: https://forum.tuxemon.org/viewtopic.php?pid=416#p416

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By Leo 10 Dec 2015 14:48

Moderator · 70 comments
ShadowApex wrote

I think this might be an interesting mechanic, and would keep the cycle of elements pure. What were you thinking in regards to super effectiveness of secondary types? Would they operate in the same way as the primary types?

The most natural choice for the secondary type would be to treat it like magic in most RPG's, in a nontransitive relation with their own atk/def stats.
So basically you have two type systems, and creatures that would be very strong on one or the other, or more balanced.
It's a proven formula, and the other choices are a bit less appealing: if you put stronger penalties on one type weakness, you make one partially useless. If don't have weakness but just some powers associated with a type (like, healing for white magic and corruption for black) it removes the interest to have them as a type in a pkmn-type game (and in most RPG's these are dealt with as classes).

ShadowApex wrote

I had originally envisioned the world to be a more traditional modern setting [...]
What would your thoughts be on the theme if it were more cyberpunk-like?

I'm fine with anything.
It shouldn't be a problem if you want only some parts of the game to be fantasy/steam/cyber-punk inspired, many games do that.
In pkmn there are psy abilities, magic and highly advanced technologies used as plot device but otherwise blatantly ignored elsewhere, so it isn't too far stretched.

ShadowApex wrote

Would you be interested in making a concept promo that's more cyberpunk themed to see if that's the direction we'd like to go towards?

So below is something with a much more industrial mean look. The protagonists are looking toward the next pillar.
Something really cyberpunk with a pillar in the middle of a crowded city would take me more time. I'll try to make a few things quite soon.
As an aside, without being too much of a diva, if you indeed want to make something fairly visible, could you ask me to finish it first?
I like to keep things rough until the last moment, as it is much faster this way.

ShadowApex wrote

In terms of art direction itself, I have been mostly turning to the community for their thoughts on what they'd like to see Tuxemon develop into aesthetically. Since I am not by trade an artist, it's hard for me to define an exact style that I'd like to see. If someone wanted to take more direct control of the art direction of Tuxemon, I'd be happy to help make that happen. I can only do so much on my own. smile

Well I'd be happy to take that role if you want, incorporating ideas from the community into a cohesive set, as in the previous drawings.

draft2_zps7gsjqdj7.jpg

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By ShadowApex 11 Dec 2015 20:15

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

if you indeed want to make something fairly visible, could you ask me to finish it first?

Sure thing. I was experimenting with using some of the concept art here on the main website, but I'll only do so when you think it's at a good state. I reverted the page back to its original state.

Leo wrote

Well I'd be happy to take that role if you want, incorporating ideas from the community into a cohesive set, as in the previous drawings.

That would be awesome smile . Thanks for all the work you've done so far!


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By Leo 14 Dec 2015 02:42

Moderator · 70 comments

Great!

For the licence, is it good with you if I release what I do under a CC BY-SA-NC?

Sometimes there may be a slight delay in my responses if I plan to add a drawing that takes longer than expected. Sorry about that...
In particular here the reason is this piece. The cathedral and the bazaar. Do you like it?
I intend to bring it to a finish by the end of next week (add in other people, add objects everywhere to make it feel like a busy place).
Let me know if you have comments on this, or feel the need for some changes already.

I'll be more talkative soon :-)

cover_concept_zpsp43aemns.jpg

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By ShadowApex 14 Dec 2015 06:49

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

For the licence, is it good with you if I release what I do under a CC BY-SA-NC?

I usually prefer any license that is considered a Free Cultural Work because it more closely resembles free software licenses, but since there are no plans to sell Tuxemon commercially at all, we could accept artwork under that license. I personally like the idea of being able to provide the ability to use Tuxemon's assets in any way you want, even commercially, as long as you give proper attribution to the original artist and allow others to change and modify any derivatives. With that said, I'd understand and respect if you didn't want to see your artwork pop up in another commercial work.

Leo wrote

In particular here the reason is this piece. The cathedral and the bazaar. Do you like it?

I think this latest concept piece is excellent! I love the framing of the cathedral and the bazaar in a single shot and enjoy the contrast of the more vibrant, but worn, bazaar colors against the drab grays of the cathedral. The smoke emanating from the cathedrals make them look all the more industrial and ominous. Great work so far! big_smile


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By Sanglorian 14 Dec 2015 12:31

Champion · 549 comments
ShadowApex wrote
Leo wrote

For the licence, is it good with you if I release what I do under a CC BY-SA-NC?

I usually prefer any license that is considered a Free Cultural Work because it more closely resembles free software licenses, but since there are no plans to sell Tuxemon commercially at all, we could accept artwork under that license. I personally like the idea of being able to provide the ability to use Tuxemon's assets in any way you want, even commercially, as long as you give proper attribution to the original artist and allow others to change and modify any derivatives. With that said, I'd understand and respect if you didn't want to see your artwork pop up in another commercial work.

I have a strong preference for free cultural works only. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike works - which submissions to this forum are by default - cannot be used in Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licensed works without special permission - which means that any NonCommercial-licensed artwork couldn't depict most monsters submitted to this forum (without special permission). NonCommercial-licensed artwork potentially couldn't be used in cutscenes with any BY-SA licensed music we were using, etc.

It would also stop us from being able to describe this as a free and open source game - the code would remain free and open, but not all the assets would be.

In addition, the possibility of creating a firm base for other free and open works - including some that may charge money - is one of the main reasons why I find this project so exciting!

What are your concerns about going with a licence that allows commercial use, Leo? Perhaps there are ways we can address these concerns while continuing to use free and open licensing smile

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By ShadowApex 15 Dec 2015 19:46

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Sanglorian wrote

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike works - which submissions to this forum are by default - cannot be used in Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licensed works without special permission - which means that any NonCommercial-licensed artwork couldn't depict most monsters submitted to this forum (without special permission).

After thinking about it, you're completely right about this fact. Because of the "Share Alike" part of the license, any derivatives of a work under CC BY-SA must also be put under the same license, so you legally wouldn't be able to put derivatives under CC BY-NC-SA without permission from the original artist. Any original works you create could still be put under CC BY-NC-SA though (just not anything based on a CC BY-SA work).

I found this nice compatibility chart on the creative commons wiki (which looks coincidentally very similar to a super effectiveness chart tongue) :

800px-CC_License_Compatibility_Chart.png


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By Leo 17 Dec 2015 23:15

Moderator · 70 comments

About the licensing issue: thanks to both of you for your explanations.
(Obviously I didn't mean to relicense other's works by the way.)
I understand your reasons, so let's go with BY-SA for everything.

Here's a more advanced version of the previous image, it's still pretty rough but I think it works well enough to showcase Tuxemon.
It just needs the Tuxemon logo along with the website address to advertise.

Are you okay if I open some "Official art direction thread" (or some other title) to centralize discussions, with a corresponding wiki page holding current proposed artwork? Concepts for trainers, the overworld, ...
There are some things that may need some discussions.
For example, for the menu sprites we could go with just the head of the creatures instead of the whole body? It would be easier to draw at such a small scale, probably more readable, and cuter. (the original pkmn menu sprite art is awesome, but that level of quality seems hard to achieve). Here's an example with the rockitten line.
portraits_zpsnbu1gkwf.png
tux_concept_zpsymbxddn4.jpg

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By ShadowApex 18 Dec 2015 01:40

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

About the licensing issue: thanks to both of you for your explanations.
(Obviously I didn't mean to relicense other's works by the way.)
I understand your reasons, so let's go with BY-SA for everything.

Here's a more advanced version of the previous image, it's still pretty rough but I think it works well enough to showcase Tuxemon.
It just needs the Tuxemon logo along with the website address to advertise.

Latest concept art is fantastic. It's interesting that the player's expression changed from the last iteration to a more distressed look instead of a more dominating pose. I think it fits well. With your permission, I'd love to put this up somewhere on the main site.

In regards to the logo, this is what I've been using on the main website and wiki (which you've probably already seen). It uses the Big Bottom Cartoon font:
tuxemon_logo.png

For the logo on the concept art, it would of course probably look better to only have the font with no monsters. Maybe something like this? I'm open to other ideas or designs:

RehRdqe.png

Leo wrote

Are you okay if I open some "Official art direction thread" (or some other title) to centralize discussions, with a corresponding wiki page holding current proposed artwork? Concepts for trainers, the overworld, ...
There are some things that may need some discussions.
For example, for the menu sprites we could go with just the head of the creatures instead of the whole body? It would be easier to draw at such a small scale, probably more readable, and cuter. (the original pkmn menu sprite art is awesome, but that level of quality seems hard to achieve). Here's an example with the rockitten line.

An official art direction thread would be great. The wiki is also editable by anyone so you could create a page there too if you'd like. The menu sprite idea sounds like it could also work; it would further differentiate Tuxemon from the way Pokemon shows monsters in its menus.


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By Leo 18 Dec 2015 23:16

Moderator · 70 comments

Okay cool. I'll prepare a few things and do it in the next few days.
Thank your work on the logo, it seems to work fine.

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By Kelvin 19 Dec 2015 20:30

Member · 44 comments

Not what I'd originally envisioned when I made that player sprite, but now I can't imagine it any other way. :3 Also, I like the logo with the symbol replacing the O. Reminds me of P0rtal, before the series was renamed Portal 2. hmm


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By Leo 30 Dec 2015 23:02

Moderator · 70 comments

It was longer than expected... (totally forgot Christmas!)

@ShadowApex:
Where do you think assets should be uploaded? Sprites, proposed drafts and finished artwork?
(Preferably somewhere accessible from the command line.)
Also, I did a tikz version of the logo, defined by four variables that can easily set to vary the arcs of the logo, as well as the radius of the three circles. It is then possible to convert it to svg through inkscape and png through imagemagick. The code is below (it's quick and dirty, anyone is free to do it correctly!).


Thanks Kelvin. Please hop in the OAD thread to discuss the sprites later, your opinion will be appreciated.


----

%% sector drawing reference
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/ … ic-circles

%pdflatex logo.tex
%inkscape -l logo.svg logo.pdf
%convert logo.svg logo.png

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}

\def\sector#1#2#3#4#5{%
% #1  center #2  radius #3  start angle #4  end angle #5  drawing options
\draw[#5] (#1) -- (#3:#2) arc (#3:#4:#2) -- cycle;
}
\colorlet{fillcolor}{black!90}
\newcommand\x{2}%radius of center circle
\newcommand\y{4}%radius of inner circle
\newcommand\z{6.5}%radius of outer circle
\newcommand\p{35}%angle of the sectors

\begin{document}

\begin{tikzpicture}
    % Colour sectors
    % External ring
    \foreach \s in {0,1,2} {
      \sector{0,0}{\z}{90+\s*120+\p}{90+\s*120-\p}{fill=fillcolor}
    }
    \fill[white] (0,0) circle(\y);
    \draw[fill=fillcolor] (0,0) circle(\x);
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

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By ShadowApex 31 Dec 2015 20:07

Lead Developer · 374 comments
Leo wrote

It was longer than expected... (totally forgot Christmas!)

No worries! Hope you had a great Christmas!

Leo wrote

@ShadowApex:
Where do you think assets should be uploaded? Sprites, proposed drafts and finished artwork?
(Preferably somewhere accessible from the command line.)

This is a hard one. I'd prefer something that uses version control if we can. GitHub is great, but may not be the best choice for other designers. Maybe something like Pixelapse? They offer free hosting for open projects, just like GitHub. The only issue with Pixelapse is they only support Linux via Dropbox sync.  sad

Leo wrote

Also, I did a tikz version of the logo, defined by four variables that can easily set to vary the arcs of the logo, as well as the radius of the three circles. It is then possible to convert it to svg through inkscape and png through imagemagick. The code is below (it's quick and dirty, anyone is free to do it correctly!).

The logo icon looks great! I roughly eyed the original one I made in Inkscape. The new promo art also looks excellent! Thanks for the work!