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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
Chern Fai is a very talented pixel artists, who also works with 3d and other types of digital art. Over the years he’s worked on a number of mobile games and even did a music video. But probably one of his most well-known works is Scribblenauts series and Drawn to Life from 5TH Cell Media. He actually left the company this spring to lead a more independent freelance life and work on some of his side projects.
One of those projects is a separate indie game ‘Project Dungeon’ (that’s just a code name). So far this project is very early into the development, but even the rare gifs he shared are quite interesting to look at.
The game features a very warm style, nice plush-like esthetics, and isometric camera. It’s a 3d title, which is being assembled in Unity. There’s very little info available about the project, but Chern did share some details on his official blog.
The game is mainly influenced by the roguelike genre with a dash of other games, like Animal Crossing. It’s has a turn-based system, but the movement feels closer to real-time when no monsters are nearby. The emphasis is on exploration and discovery. The game promises to be less hardcore/punishing, however things may change in the future.
There will be a simple town screen and a personal room for the player to decorate/store treasures they’ve found. The feature list is much bigger, but the developer keeps most of the secrets under wraps.
“It’s a bit early to look into crowd funding at this stage as I can’t ensure the game’s completion due to my day job and schedule, but I may revisit the idea again at a later time. I’m happy to go solo for now as it’s nice to be able to get my hands dirty in all aspects of game development.
If you are interested in game development and looking for new advice and info, make sure to check out Chern Fai’s blog, where he keeps posting tips on game art and pixel art. It’s a very inspiring place.
I use PS to animate and you’re right, the animation tools are pretty basic. The lack of shortcut keys to step through the frames and having to select the appropriate layers to edit each time is a pain!
That said, it gets the job done, especially for simple animations. I don’t know of any ways to speed things up, but perhaps you can try doing the rough frames in Flash or similar software first before exporting it to PS to use as a guide.
I’m not very good at explaining with words, so I made a GIF below showing the process for the recent piece. It’s not complete though, as I didn’t save all the stages, but it should give you a rough idea on how I pixel stuff.