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  TalkFreelance     Design and Development     Programming :

Looking for feedback re: the use of high-res layered art in a browser-based game

Thread title: Looking for feedback re: the use of high-res layered art in a browser-based game
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08-05-2010, 01:19 AM
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  Old  Looking for feedback re: the use of high-res layered art in a browser-based game

I'm currently in the process of designing art assets for a browser-based game. However, I need some input from an experienced coder or programmer before continuing.

My concept would incorporate the use of a character editor, which would allow you to mix and match static 2D illustrations via a variety of layers including hair, skin tone, tattoos, clothing, etc. Some of these layers are partially transparent. I'm looking for a high level of quality in the artwork, and I would want to be able to display the characters at a size larger than the usual thumbnail approach.

In my interactions years back with another coder, we successfully tested something similar using GIFs and PNGs, but the quality was always a little low and there were some concerns about processing speed and whether more than a handful of users would be able to actively use such a system at once without crashing the whole thing due to processing load.

It's been a long time since I've addressed the subject, and I've realized technology has changed a lot. I'm hoping it's feasible to create such a game without prohibitive cost or programming resources and be able to use high-quality layered artwork without resorting to smaller pixelated files.

If anyone has any insight and would be willing to help me out, I could really use the advice at this stage of the process. Assuming the concept is feasible, it won't be too much longer before I'm ready to outlay some cash for a possible mock-up and some other programming resources. I can be reached at ryan.barger@gmail.com, and I'll also be monitoring this board for any responses. If there are already FAQs addressing this subject, I apologize for the rehash but I'm new to the board and wasn't able to find anything relevant.

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08-05-2010, 06:35 PM
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Hi otherworlder, first of all welcome to TalkFreelance. You haven't really asked a question so I'm not quite sure what you're wanting to hear. The idea sounds fine and achievable, even if you really want to town on the details of the illustration.

Are there any particular thoughts, troubles or areas that you would like to get come discussion on in detail?

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08-09-2010, 03:05 AM
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  Old

Originally Posted by Salathe View Post
Hi otherworlder, first of all welcome to TalkFreelance. You haven't really asked a question so I'm not quite sure what you're wanting to hear. The idea sounds fine and achievable, even if you really want to town on the details of the illustration.

Are there any particular thoughts, troubles or areas that you would like to get come discussion on in detail?
Salathe,

My sincere thanks for the response, I've been away on a trip to Vegas and was happy to see it upon my return!

I'm a bit ignorant on the programming side of browser game design, and my overall concept called for a good amount of high-detail 2d art (I'm a freelance illustrator by profession, and accustomed to doing my own designs). However, I just wasn't sure if things like high quality images with transparent or partially transparent layers were achievable these days in a browser based game-----to put it another way, you've already answered my basic question.

Now that I know it's feasible, I'm going to continue preparing the art assets and finishing up other elements of the design process before reaching out for specifics and/or looking for bidders. With a little luck that won't be too long.

I guess my only specific question at this stage would be as follows:

When illustrating and preparing my digital art files, should I be saving them in any particular resolution / file format to make future use by a coder/programmer easier? These would be strictly 2d photoshop images, along the lines of character templates with numerous selectable layers for clothing, tattoos, hairstyles, etc. Some of these layers (like the tattoos) are partially transparent.

Let me know if that question makes any sense or if some clarification is needed. Otherwise, I'll keep plugging away at the project and be back here when I'm prepared to outlay some cash to one or more of you clever folks in order to start getting the coding and site off the ground.

Thanks again!

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08-09-2010, 05:49 PM
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If at all possible, I would advise making the illustrations resolution independent. By that, I mean making best use of (if you're using Photoshop) paths and related tools such that the final resolution of the images is not an issue whatsoever.

Illustrator, Photoshop's bigger brother in this regard, offers a wider range and more specialised tools for a job like this so it would be my recommendation to use that (or indeed, any other industry-standard software) to make the illustrations: from that base, any scale of artwork can be rendered for the web.

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08-09-2010, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the advice! It's been a long time since I used Illustrator (10 was the last version I purchased, which is now so archaic I haven't even bothered to reinstall it on my current system). I'll look into upgrading, as it does indeed seem that the world of web design / web art is based around programs like Illustrator. It's not strictly necessary for stuff like 2d painting, but if I want to transition to the web and interactive apps, I can see I'm going to need the latest technology to make it happen.

Thanks again!

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