PSRC Progress (March)

A quick PSRC update for March

This month I kept on drawing more guns, this time from the futuristic side as seen here:

What you see here is only 10% of all the guns on this huge sheet.

What you see here is only 10% of all the guns on this huge sheet.

Aside from that, there was also major work in figuring out the business side of things, taxes and the other official stuff. I am doing all this alone, so its pretty overwhelming and I broke a neuron or two reading through those legal rules. So many exceptions, terminology and things to keep in mind is tiring to say the least. I understand why accountants exist now.

Meanwhile, I also ran into a very significant discovery relating to large objects in games. The PSRC sprites are foremost designed for game development featuring ease of creation, consistency, flexibility, gameplay and performance. At a certain point, making large sprites will not be sustainable.

During the spriting done on the megasheet 2, in which I started drawing guns, first starting from assault rifles, shotguns, pistols and snipers, I then thought of drawing bombs and missiles, maybe a nuke too. So I went to get some reference material to draw from and also check up on the facts to get a good sense of how big things were.

Apparently missiles are much larger than I expected. 3-5 meters in lenght.With a universal standard of 40 pixels per 1 meter, that would be 200 pixels for a 5 meter device.

Cruise missiles and ICBMs ever more so, which can be anything from 8 meters to a whopping 20 meters. So thats 320 pixels and 800 pixels respectively. For reference, in monitor screen resolutions, 1024×768, is pretty much the minimum basic resolution for desktops and laptops. If you put an ICBM sprite of 20m on the screen vertically at 100% zoom, it wont even fit on the screen. Imagine having to place every single pixel on your monitor by hand to draw such large objects. That is an absurd amount of work for realistic scale pixel art that must be consistent.

After noticing this issue with missiles, I extended the idea to other objects as well, like cars, trucks, planes, trees, buildings, boats… quickly it became apparent that this will not work on many levels; performance for drawing such large images would be a massive bottleneck in a game, the sprites would be absurdely hard to create and take too long, the amount of detail would be lost if you chose to zoom away from the sprites, rendering that level of detail pointless anyway, things like cruiseliners, skyscrapers and megastructures would be impossible to both draw and process… all of this is just not sustainable.

For this reason, using a hybrid art system that uses the pixel art in tiny pieces as the closest detail, while something else represents the larger structures that go past a certain size. That something is vector art, which is scalable, easy and fast to represent large structures.

The basic idea of the hybrid art system, combining pixel art and vector graphics. Vectors lay out the large shapes and space, get textured and shaded, meanwhile pixel art fills in the detailed objects inside that are under 3 meters in size.

The basic idea of the hybrid art system, combining pixel art and vector graphics. Vectors lay out the large shapes and space, get textured and shaded, meanwhile pixel art fills in the detailed objects inside that are under 3 meters in size.

I need to put more research towards how I can provide blueprints for vector art, since this is usually something a game engine would create and manage, with laying seamless textures on top of them and edge effects besides just the simple shapes, but any pixel art I do from now on will be focused to be not larger than 3 meters, which is 120 pixels, conviniently close to 128 pixels, which is a common power of two value, so game engines can pack them efficiently to ensure best performance.

I’ll focus on making sub 3 meter sprites for the next month, then later on figuring out how to make the larger things come to life and be compatible with these pixel sprites in a pretty way. Guns, clothes, fire effects, fonts, small flora and food objects are a priority for now.

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