Wednesday, 3 March 2010

D.I.Y. Screenshots

Modification of Danc's post header for his free artwork on Lost Garden

Even if your game design grew from wanting to create a specific graphical aesthetic, the chances are you'll be using placeholder artwork during preproduction. It's common practice prove a game's concept with a prototype, before ramping it up in to full production and creating your own bespoke graphics. It just so happens that full production resembles preproduction very closely for an indie project!

At the moment, my game's graphics are built from free resources that can be found all over the web. This is another example of how people's generosity, facilitated by the Internet, is supporting small creative teams. It contributes to the disruption of the traditional publisher-funded model, by allowing developers to kick-start their prototypes without having to bankroll artwork creation.

Here are some of my top picks for game resources you can find online:

Lost Garden: Danc's personal game design blog. His regular posts are an insightful read, but he has also provided sprite characters and tilesets for the express purpose of prototyping. A community site that offers a wide selection of 2D and 3D artwork submitted by its members. Their entire purpose is to provide freely licenced art. The licencing agreement for each graphic is clearly detailed, so you know whether you are able to use it for prototyping, or even release it in your game. Wiki: The Wiki of game designer touchstone It has a whole section on game content resources, not just limited to graphics. You can find links to sites that provide fonts, music, and sound effects, as well as 2D and 3D artwork.

So if you'd like some screenshots of my game, throw together a bit of Danc,, and Nicu Buculei in Paint and you're there! It's actually surprising how effective this technique is for sketching out a level design before you've got an editor in place. If you compose something cool, put a link to it in the comments or @ me on Twitter.

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