From Concept Art to Sprite: Ugly John

I get a lot of the character designs that I’m using on the city street levels from people that I see on the street. I saw a guy who sorta looked like this while I was on my way home one night. It was late, and I couldn’t in reality take a picture, so I did a quick sketch while continuing to walk (I’ll get that uploaded one day). When I finally got to Sketchbook I just let it flow, and this was the result. Part of my inspiration came from the guy having a sleeveless shirt on, and I immediately thought he looked like an ugly version of John Lennon, hence the name Ugly John.

I’m not sure how, but I was able to take the design to a sprite level with very little trouble. My wife says he looks like he’s got balls for a forehead… and I’m fine with that.

He’s on fire! New sprite art & my project has a name!

Coming fresh off of a successful Global Game Jam 2012 (which I will be posting about in the next day or two) I spent a better part of my free time this week animating this out.
I think it’s pretty successful, timing could maybe use some work toward the beginning.

The beat ’em up now has a name, Treachery in Beatdown City. The intro/trailer will be posted on youtube by itself around the 15th of this month. You can check it out now in the January episode of Super Tight around the 6:55 mark, or just watch the whole hilarious episode. I promise you’ll enjoy it. You can also check out the bandcamp page for InversePhase to listen to the tune he composed for it.

I’ll be posting more to this space so keep an eye out, or just follow me on twitter (the button should be somewhere on my sidebar).

Let me know what you think!

Introducing my third hero character: Bruce!


In keeping with avoiding brawler and Steven Segal movie stereotypes, my third character is a Jamaican gentleman named Bruce. Bruce is the fastest character, but unlike Streets of Rage 2 he isn’t some little kid (not to knock that kid, he was pretty unique/cool). He’s a man in his mid twenties & loves Capoeira & Hong Kong movie style martial arts, making him a very agile & interesting to use character. He also likes to smile a lot, because things just don’t get to him, at least not visibly.

Bruce is hard to animate because a fast walk cycle can look strange with the type of stance that Bruce uses. Another thing that’s a challenge is I have to keep in mind is how best to avoid creating an over powered fast guy, or a repeat of the whole Raphael being absolutely terrible in Turtles in Time (bad range, poor damage output, quick to die, etc.)

I’d like add that things are moving forward a lot more with development. Brad can now hit an enemy until he dies & Brad can even grab/move with the enemy in limited capacity. Also, I’m working hard on something that I hope to feature here before the middle of January 2012. Happy New Year!

A new challenger: Sprite art for my female protagonist, Lisa


So here she is, Lisa Santiago, the female protagonist of my Brawler Game Prototype (yeah, that’s just what I’m calling it these days).

I always had in mind a female lead that didn’t follow any of the female in a brawler game cliches like being the weakest but the fastest & being especially good with her legs, etc. Lisa is actually the middle ground character (aka good mix of speed & strength, like Cody in Final Fight & Axel from Streets of Rage who looks just like Cody…) and she fights using a style that’s boxing based with some take downs and other MMA inspired moves thrown in for good measure.

Let me know what you think!

When sprite art goes bad

I sketched this character based on a dude I saw on the street roughly and went straight for the smaller/deformed 8 bit version of him, and I don’t know what it is, but I really don’t like the sprite. I made a walking animation him walk before I decided I really didn’t like his design. I then changed the design slightly so he was capless, but I still hated it so just gave up all hope. It’s just interesting to me how easy it is for a character design to completely fail. I mean, am I crazy or is the art just not good?

Also, in other news Game Maker development is going slowly, but surely. Brad is walking and can punch air (no collision yet)… but that’s about it for now. Progress is progress though so I can’t really complain.

From concept to sprite

The drawing you see here is a design that I labored over for awhile back when this game wasn’t a simple(r) 8 bit brawler but instead a brawler that, while on a 2D plane, might have used shading similar to SF IV (or even high res sprites) which was a foolish idea, especially for a first game creation project. I know the art doesn’t look all that great from a technical stand point (coloring sucks first off) and certain things might be super wrong about the anatomy but I think the design here is very strong. Very iconic and easy to then turn into a sprite of the character, which is the most important factor in using the design in the first place.

What do you think?

New game artwork, my first background frame

This is the frame that will be the background for all of my initial tests with animation, control, fighting engine, upgrade system, etc. I think it’s better to get it right on one frame with a one on one fight and then continue it to create a whole stage. There’s no HUD yet and I honestly don’t know where it will go. The resolution might look a little odd because it’s currently at scaled at 75% of it’s original size (to fit within the formatting confines of the site) and because it’s built to be able to scroll up and down (like Turtles on the NES) based on how close to the bottom of the screen the player moves.

Let me know what you think!

Some artwork of the female protagonist

Lisa prod art

This is the first finished line drawing of the lady on the good guys team. The picture was created by my fiancée and I absolutely love it. We’re still working on finalizing a look for the coloring and the like, but I think we’re getting off to a great start.

Her name, for now, is Lisa. She’s Puerto Rican & (avoiding the common stereotype) she is not the “fast but weak” female character. Instead she is more the middle character, not the strongest, not the fastest.

I’ve spent a lot of time on designing/drawing Brad, the “main” guy, and on the other male player character, but I always wanted my fiancée to take a stab at designing the woman hero because I hate the way I draw women and I feel like she needs the most attention to be an iconic character who can boil down into sprite easily while not looking too similar to the other gaming female icons out there.

For a comparison, here’s my extremely rough sketch. Seriously, I took about 5 minutes on this, but I knew nothing I did would be able to rival my lady’s skill.

lisa example 2