Art style is important for games and I dare say the style sells the game long before anything else. Even with the argument of graphics vs gameplay… its the art style that gets you in the door to even play the game.
Once it gets to a point where I know that I’ll finish making it, then its time for some fake screenshots. The fake screenshots are so I can gauge interest in a game before I spend time making the art in game. Plus its far easier to make fake screenshots than it is to add the art into game and assemble the game. If something needs to be tweaked, then you need to import it into the game all over again… each-and-every time. Its never difficult, but its less efficient.
Within 48 hours, I spent 10 hours making fake screenshots for the next major game. They are simple, based on a 16:9 widescreen grid of 16 x 16 tiles. In time the art can be improved, chanced or even increased to 32 x 32 for more detail now that resolutions are so huge. Here are the fake screenshots:
Seeing them all side-by-side helps as well. They each look different and will represent different levels. Pink seems to be the major color among them and chances are some pink will get changed to orange for diversity sake. I can also see that the pink with “Soda Pop City” looks a little too bright compared to everything else. The blue of “Mad Science Lab” feels excessively blue. There should also be a few more pop color in “Sunrise Desert,”and “Cherrywood Forest.”
Each fake screenshot took around an hour to complete with the exception of the first which was around two hours. At some point it was a struggle to even spend an hour in them before I’d consider them done for the moment.
With 8 fake screen shots churned out so quick on Twitter, even the retweet bots refuse to retweet the photos after the first two
I should also show off Collector Kyle‘s fake screenshot that was made long before the game was in development (its also helpful using someone else’s art assets):
Here is the finished product of Collector Kyle: