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Nia Noir Game Screen Mockup Tests by Dualmask Nia Noir Game Screen Mockup Tests by Dualmask
I was just screwing around with some ideas. I'm feeling the second a lot more than the first appearance-wise, but the first one has the forced perspective I want to try (with better-thought-out wall and floor textures) for most of the environments.
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:iconwbd:
wbd Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One thing I really like about the top one is that it reminds me of all those great brawlers. On the other hand, the bottom one allows for more view of that neat background.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I like both and maybe both can be used in some fashion. I've seen games that have done both views...Double Dragon II for the NES comes to mind (although I never intended for the Nia game to be a brawler).
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:icon0becomingx:
0becomingX Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
you need to make a jump sprite so she can jump over those buildings :3
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's in the works! Wouldn't want Nia to take a tumble. :D I made her idle sprite today. Nothing special, just a little simple breathing animation, but a very important one. I've got all the moves planned out.
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student General Artist
More greys in the background, I think. You definitely want Nia to stand out.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Honestly, I originally did the second screenshot with the cityscape set to medium gray, and although I didn't like it visually, I understand it might be necessary. I really want to keep everything either black or white with a little selective color...I think once you start introducing shades of gray, it starts becoming less 'noir' and more 'grayscale', which isn't what I want (e.g., there was absolutely no gray in the comic pages I did this way).

There are other ways to make the player character stand out, though they may not be ideal. Right now I'm just going to focus on getting some kind of prototype running and worry about refining the visuals later.
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I was thinking you could use two shades of gray only for the background, one light and one dark. It would produce a little depth and distance, but it might not muck up your look. Foreground stuff would still be black and white.
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:iconshadowleviathanzero:
ShadowLeviathanZero Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Wow Nia is coming along quite well in her own side scroller game huh? Both are good concepts. I don't know why I see a little Streets of Rage and TMNT when I look at this. This is good work man. I thought I was the only one who loves side scroller games but I am terribly wrong I see. Well keep up the good work sir.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I'm one of those folks who never saw a reason for 2D games to die just because 3D games rose to dominance. :nod: There's a lot that can be expressed with both kinds of games. And besides, unless you've got a huge budget and a lot of and expertise, it's a lot easier to express one's vision (or even just experiment) in the 2D realm. Especially for 2D visual artists like us.
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:iconfarraj:
Farraj Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
I like both. Both can have really good potential. (Is it the black and white? :P)

Personally, I would l go with the second one. I’m not a huge fan of the first one, either game play or code wise. Especially if you are going to have close combat. That is always frustrating in most games. (the enemy has to be EXACTLY aligned for a hit to be registered ><).

Love your work :) Hope to see this come to life one day ^^

Cheers :)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the feedback. I'm afraid I didn't properly communicate what I'm going for design-wise; with either look, my objective is to lock the character to a flat movement plane. Basically, I want it to play more like Castlevania, not like Final Fight. Even with the first mockup, the character would only be able to move left and right, not toward or away. The idea is to add some depth to the visuals to make it feel something like a 3d environment even though it'll play like a 2d one. Because I get exactly what you're saying about lining things up for collisions.
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:iconfarraj:
Farraj Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Oh, OK. Still looks good both ways :)

So this is just a mock up? Any plans on taking this to real life? Any language/engine in mind?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
My area of expertise (or strongest level of comfort anyway) is in characters, and I'm struggling to figure out how to make backgrounds and environments, so this is just a test layout; me trying out ideas with the resources I have available. None of it is functional yet.

I do have plans to build this into a real project. I've always wanted to make 2D games based on my characters and ideas, and I'm planning to use either Game Maker or Stencyl to bring this to life. I have some experience with the software but no real games made yet...I'm always being distracted by other ideas and obligations. Today I'm working on making more animations for the player character, and I want to start building other assets like enemies and items, just so I can have some useful things to use when I start putting together the basic logic.
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:iconfarraj:
Farraj Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Well, that's good to hear :)

We'll I really like your characters and style. If you like I would like to join as a programmer.

I'm a C++ programmer (among other languages) and I'm really good with GameMaker (finishing a GM game by next Friday).

If you like someone to take the coding of your hands, or if you would like some coding advice, please don't be shy to ask :)

Cheers :)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! That sounds really good. I've always been somewhat wary about bringing others in because I don't want to waste the time of others if I end up not being able to keep the project going for whatever reason, but maybe I do need some help.

Right now this project is pretty much in the gestation period. It's based on a story I wrote (and self-published--linked in my sig) and I've got a whole string of pearls written out for all the levels, but besides an idea for the visual and gameplay style, and the foundation of the player sprite, I really don't have much built. So I guess my fear is I don't really have enough to justify expecting someone else to be committed to this. I'm going to build some more assets, try building some really basic gameplay logic, and we can get into deeper discussion about this via notes.
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:iconfarraj:
Farraj Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Sounds to me that you’re starting backwards :P You should really consider writing up the game features and the game play mechanics and controls. Write down what you want the game to do.

It’s really easy to build a story (any story) over a game, but the other way around only works as good as the story is.

If you are still in design phase, then I don’t really mind :) I can help by making actual tests to your characters and levels. It will give a better view of what the game currently looks like and it will help you decide what to do next (replace, adjust, remove, etc…).

Even if the game goes as far as a demo (or even a video demo :P) I’m OK with it as long as the game has all the game play features coded (it’s when the game is actually playable). I only care about the code, the content can come later (a.k.a someone else’s problem :P).

Cheers :)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, what I meant was that I do have it all written down (I could show you the document, but it would probably only be coherent to me), but I don't have any technology coded or assets built to support the ideas yet. For example, I know I want this character to be able to walk and/or run, jump, duck, use kickboxing-based melee attacks (when ammunition is low or exhausted, and/or as a way for the player to increase the chance of getting bonus items because melee is more dangerous), clamber and of course, shoot. She'll carry up to two sets of guns at a time, a pair of default pistols and a secondary weapon, and I intend to make it so shooting is more realistic-feeling by having the bullet object use a move-to-contact function to instantaneously hit whatever it collides with first rather than there being a visible projectile on screen. I would like to incorporate dual wielding, aiming at two different targets at once somehow, since the character's trademark is wielding two pistols at once (and I don't think I've played any 2D games where that was effectively brought across as a mechanic). The enemies would be the standard armored soldiers and goons in black suits, armed with guns and the like. Items include health recovery, ammunition recovery, and money (just for scoring for now, maybe to create an upgrade system in time).

The ideas for the levels are mostly side scrolling and, getting ambitious, I want to throw some automatic scrolling driving stages into the fray as well (which is why I made this sprite [link]). The design is planned out, and I'm trying to create assets to fit at least one workable level or vertical slice of gameplay to test the mechanics. I know that once the mechanics are up and running, levels, enemies, items, etc. can be added on top of that.

Like I said, my skill is in characters, so that's the development process that tends to energize me most; though I've read about how some developers create placeholder assets and just build the logic of the game with that first, test it to see how it feels, and then add visuals. I've considered that--in fact I should try it myself. It would probably be a lot more productive than spending days and weeks building sprites and objects I may or may not end up needing.
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(1 Reply)
:iconmrdaaark:
MrDaaark Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reminds me of those old LCD games.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
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:iconadamalonzo22:
adamalonzo22 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sweet!
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconrandommode:
Randommode Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's nice man but the second one is a bit too 2 D no?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, same thing I'm thinking...I want to come up with some kind of middleground. That's the reasoning behind the first one's viewing angle.
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:iconrandommode:
Randommode Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah like BattleToads :)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, also Ninja Gaiden (NES), and Jetpack Joyride has the look I want.
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:iconrandommode:
Randommode Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Um... I don't think that is a good idea Dualmask XD Maybe more like Double Dragon Neo
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think I'm on the right track. I do like Double Dragon Neo, but my intent is to make a side scrolling platformer (something that plays more or less like Castlevania), not a beat-em-up. That's why I said middleground. The first screen is way too wide on the floor plane, but the second is too flat. I only intend for the player to be able to move left and right, not walk "up" or "down" across the ground.
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:iconrandommode:
Randommode Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ummmm I dunno if that is a good idea DM, if you want to though I understand, just remember Jet Pack Joyride was like a fast game, if it was slow I dunno how people would take it. Also... a game can be more silly if it is more of a cartoon cartoon like Madeline. With serious graphics being all 1-d I am not sure what people will think.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Don't worry. I know what I'm doing and what I'm thinking, even if I'm not explaining it as clearly as I could be. When I said Jetpack Joyride, I was talking merely about the visual appearance, not the gameplay. I'm not talking about automatic scrolling for my game. As I keep saying, I want to make it play more like Castlevania, which has always been a pretty serious-styled game series.

Let me see if I can clarify what I'm thinking for you. Look at this screenshot of the NES Ninja Gaiden game: [link] notice how even though the gameplay takes place on a flat 2D plane and the character can only move left or right, unable to move toward or away from the background, the game's environment still has depth. You can see the entire floor the character is standing on, not just the side of the platform. There's a background showing a whole other street back there, creating the illusion that there's more to the "world" than just the flat plane. That's what I'm talking about.

I have no plans of making this game play like Battletoads/Final Fight, etc., because that's simply not what I want with this particular game idea. I am thinking about making a beat-em-up that plays like Guardian Heroes (which would also take place on flat planes but the player will be able to jump back and forth across planes) using my WCL idea, but that's on the back burner.

There are plenty of games with "serious graphics" dating all the way back to the NES. Vice: Project Doom, The Mafat Conspiracy, Castlevania 1-3, I could name dozens. It's just that graphics technology couldn't make them as realistic or gritty looking as desired. As many cartoon games were made like Earthworm Jim and the like, there were also more serious games like the game based on Alien 3 (the movie), Contra, etc.

Any kind of game can have any kind of graphics if they look clear enough and don't detract from the gameplay and mechanics.

I can't be sure what people will think no matter what I do, but I can't let that stop me from trying.
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:iconpaulooshun:
PaulOoshun Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
So out of curiosity what side scrollers inspired you? Or have you drawn inspiration from elsewhere?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I've been playing games all my life, but 2D side scrollers are by far my favorite genre (along with fighting games and RPGs, but I don't have the capacity to make the latter). Everything from Mega Man and Mario to more obscure games like X-Kaliber 2097 and Run Saber get constant replays. The structure of Nia's game in particular is partially inspired by a little known NES game called Vice: Project Doom, in which the player is a cop in the future wielding a pistol, grenades and a laser whip. It's a challenging but well-made platformer (with some serious Nintendo Hard sections softened by unlimited continues) that also tells a story with cinema scenes, and it has driving stages (viewed from the top down) and first person shooter stages as well. A lot of variety in that little package, and something that fit Nia Black's concept to the letter.
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:iconpaulooshun:
PaulOoshun Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Sweet! Definitely stronger on the second one, it's kikler.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, it's those lame textures and tiles I used for the first one (got tired of messing around with it); it makes it seem too open and empty, but I really do want to use that angle somehow. I like it feeling as if it's a full environment even though it's going to be a 2D side scroller game. The second one really has a great look to me too, and it would be easier to get something up and running with that approach.

These scenes actually reflect two different stages that are in my design plan, so both approaches may come into play somehow.
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:iconpaulooshun:
PaulOoshun Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Killer, even. :-/

I personally think a traditional 2d looks better for this but I guess you have to experiment to know for sure.
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