Savage World Mockup

Savage World Mockup

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Savage World Mockup

Title: Savage World Mockup
Pixel Artist: big brother  (Level 11 Admiral :: 70779 points)
Posted: 11/30/2008 23:48
Palette: 76 colors
Statistics:  43 comments    68 faves    0 avatars

Here's a platformer mockup fresh from the creative oven, my head.

My main goal was to keep the play area readable: the interactive elements take visual priority over the background. This is a simple concept, yet I feel many modern platform games overlook this, resulting in colorful confusion. 

The secondary goal was to produce an art direction with an epic feel, but with art that would work in an actual game. The sprite style is simple enough for the animation process to be quick and consistent.

The snake thing at the bottom of the screen is an elaborate health bar. When the character takes damage, tail segments disappear from left to right until only the skull remains. The next hit the character receives will kill him and he loses a life (indicated by the number to the skull's right).

I used 16 colors or fewer per element (HUD, sky layer, etc.). The tiles are based on a 16x16 grid (the platform edge pieces are 8 pixels wide).

EDIT: I've put this piece up for criticism on Pixelation. You can find the thread here:

Top Pixel Art - November 2008 (#10)Top Pixel Art - November 2008 (#10)


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Phexion (Level 5 Detective) @ 11/25/2013 12:58

 This is a brillaint piece of work but I have to say, I am not keen on the Eagle and Character in contrast to the rest of what is going on in the scene. I love the idea of the HUD and how the tail of the snake will disapear in pieces as you take damage and I can see it happening and I really like the smooth background mountains.

neofotistou (Level 5 Captain) @ 7/12/2011 02:20

awesome! Haha, do you remember "savage" the old platform? It also sported an eagle

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 10/22/2010 11:54

Yes yes! Fave it for the naked ladies. They approve.

cure (Level 11 Pixellite) @ 10/14/2010 22:44

I was going to delete this from may favorites since I already have the new version on there, but decided to keep it because of the naked ladies.

avo (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/28/2010 11:42

 cool, esp i like the girls in the left corner :)

Danelock (Level 1 Private) @ 10/5/2009 13:05

Looks great, but the eagle's proportions are scary and the blue rock tiles look sparse and unfinished.  I'm also no fan of the NES-like black outlines on the main character and the clashing of disparate art styles - the background looks brush-painted, the HUD looks metallic, and the main character looks cartoony, and the mockup looks like a patchwork of discarded projects rather than a coherent whole.

That said, the individual elements themselves are really cool.

CommanderD97 (Level 1 Intern) @ 5/4/2009 08:42

Are the 2 awesome naked () girls on the bottom statues or what?

DJD (Level 4 Button Man) @ 3/15/2009 09:44

You really need to update this with the new version. It's stunning, and the critique thread is incredible.

iLKke (Level 9 Nidan) @ 1/27/2009 14:43
Stylistic issues or not, that background is stunning. I really like your colors.

Stickman (Level 7 Sheriff) @ 12/16/2008 04:43
Ooooo this is very nice!

Just been reading the comments about the 4 different style clashes, which I don't have a problem with as it pretty much matches my dress sense! (I suppose you could always make characters the same style as the HUD or vice versa, although being a full time animator myself, I totally understand on your reasoning for making the sprites as they are)

In any case of change, I only worry about the character when it is on the ground and enemies getting lost behind the big HUD with the 2 women on the left.

So my real question is.....

PC or XBOX Live?

Necky (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/6/2008 15:09
All the elements are really well done and look beautiful, but like most people are saying here, they don't work together too well unfortunately. :)

DJD (Level 4 Button Man) @ 12/5/2008 22:55
I have some things to say, but I'd rather leave a longer post for a topic. Please make one, as it'd certainly make for some great discussion on how an artist should balance form and function.

If you could please update the description with a link to the topic once you make it that'd rock, thanks.

Helm (Level 5 Detective) @ 12/5/2008 21:51
Big Brother, Pixelation is always open for this sort of thing

re: deathbringer: there is a reason nobody does this sort of ui design anymore: it's because 'awesome' or not, it doesn't work. These sort of early amiga games were the equivalent of flashy FPSes today, they were trying to wow people with graphics and muscles and asses but the gameplay was disjointed and lacking. I'm not saying something similar can't be done today but better (yours is already miles better than deathbringer) I'm just saying... it would still be 10 years ago in terms of design. Tolearble at best. I'll save more critique for Pixelation if you make a thread, but if you do and it's the point for people to learn from this, do select the choice quotes of critique you've gotten from here like the great nchristie post etc, no reason to reinvent the wheel.

cassiechihuahua (Level 2 Hired Gun) @ 12/5/2008 20:05
It's amazing, I wish I had some sort of skill in coloring like you have here. very nice!

PresidentLeever (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/5/2008 19:21
This is beautiful and full of neat details.  The only thing I don't like about it is I can't make out if the black in the menu is supposed to be ink splotches or some kind of evil fog. Also because it is the same black color as used in-game (mountains) they kinda flow together depth-wize. But this is probably not noticeable in a running game.

blueleds (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/5/2008 07:57
Love the two naked girls at the bottom, especially the pose of the girl on the right, very nice. However, it does seem a little strange the way the HUD covers such a large and irregularly-shaped area of the screen than what is conventional (what if there is something important happening in that part of the screen? It would be covered). Also, I have to disagree with what you said about the sprite style being simple enough for animation... I think, when it comes to sprite animation, it is actually faster to work without the black outline, which I noticed is AA in some parts on the inside -- this would probably take longer than going with a no-outline look that has 3 levels of shading (midtone, shadow, and highlights). This would also create a more painterly look that would work better with the background (and still be readable as an interactive/dynamic element) and lend to that epic feel, IMO.

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 12/5/2008 03:50
If there's support of the idea, I'd be tempted to open a thread on Pixelation about this piece. That way, I could incorporate some of these suggestions. Maybe it could be a communal activity so I'm not the only one learning.

elend (Level 3 Corporate Drone) @ 12/4/2008 15:28
I like the very oldschool status bar in the lower part of the screen very much. :D

chanfan (Level 7 Underboss) @ 12/4/2008 15:01
I fav this for the BG and HUD (I love butt shots :P) But your sprites feels out of place! Like if you cut out a cartoon character from a comic book and pasted him onto a matte painting or something.

jamon (Level 10 Operative) @ 12/4/2008 12:14
i see what you want to achieve... But i think that you can add some more colors on sprites... now they looks like they are from different game...

background an HUD are great!

Jiang (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 12/2/2008 20:35
This is amazing. This is to show a very good pixel technology.
I really appreciate the gorgeous retro style.
As a whole is very beautiful.
However, sprites a whole different style, black outer strokes is not appropriate.
But this is still a great work.

Claredeth (Level 4 Shichikyu) @ 12/2/2008 15:00
ITs good to see some retro-esque sprites from you, this is one of the best mock-ups on Pixeljoint.

Adarias (Level 11 Bonsai) @ 12/2/2008 11:10
You pixel technique is excellent and there's a wealth of good stuff here.


I think there's more to priority than color and more to practicality than size and spacing.  Although I love what you are trying to do i think you're ending up with a hot mess here, which is frustrating given the amount of good art.  I would go as far as to say that I think this is overthought and that the result is the opposite of the intention (sorry if that's harsh).

since this type of thing begs for specific critique...:

- 4 different styles are rough in general.  I think the platforms themselves are a fourth, self-defining category.
- The character looks dated but good.  He even could work with the background (not the platform the platform is too awkward) but he clashes with the HUD.  HUD in this case should probably be an extension of the character's execution.
- The bird is too large for the way you've chosen to work.  It needs at least more detail so that its main areas of definition are not more that about double that of the character.
- background is actually very demanding with it's motion, level of detail and dynamic temperature shifts.
- geometry of the platforms does not mesh with the scene (in a bad way) and the oblique side does not read properly in space.
- hud is pretty nonfunctional.  it's both garish in design and overly subtle in information at the same time, and in the wrong ways - you'd prefer it to at least be polite in design or readable in information.  Without being told what the thing on the left is i don't actually know and the whole thing smacks of overornamentation.
- light plays a very small role in this piece and it could be much more important.  largely the platform being near-identical in value with the ground behind creates a pretty big readability issue imo.  your only real difference there is saturation and that won't cut it i think.

Anyway, there's more to talk about but much of this has been said.  Good luck with this :).

TomF (Level 2 Flatfoot) @ 12/2/2008 06:30
Well first of all, the HUD is awesome. I enjoy the idea of how the health bar decreases, and can see it being very practical and easily readable in the game. In my opinion it doesn't take up too much of the screen ( although it's pretty much borderline, the Deathbringer HUD is over the top.) I almost overlooked the sexy girls, fantastic anatomy and detail there. (though i think the one on the right has different length legs)

I enjoy simple and easy to animate sprite style like that. Beautiful painterly background. But, I do agree with everyone that there is a clash of styles. Its always good to separate the elements out but you have to do it in a way  that makes them come together as one cohesive whole. It seems like you've used every technique (change of palette, contrast, outlines, dithering) possible to separate the elements, when really just one or two techniques would suffice.

Although what you have here may not be ideal in terms of art, it's certainly very practical. I would much rather play a game like this than a game that confuses background and foreground. By the way if you decide to edit this I would add some edges to the tiles so they don't seem so cut-off, as x-death rightly said.

pixelaro (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/2/2008 06:29
big brother: I think you could have gotten away with it like disney kinda does, if it were just the background and the sprite that didn't fit 100%. But the HUD elements makes for 3 different styles at the same time. I actually think that the bird and the HUD elements clash more than the bird and the background, might be due to me growing up on disney movies though. Oh and of course every individual element is very well pixeled.

TheManuz (Level 5 Killer Klown) @ 12/2/2008 06:16
I really like the HUD, the background (sky and mountains are wonderful) and i like the style of the main character and the bird.
In my opinion, you need to make the platform style more close to the character style.
This would really put the attention on player and level.
Anyway, the background and the sky and the HUD are totally awesome!

x-death (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 12/1/2008 21:52
personally i agree with the style clash. i also think that platform thats in the air needs to have a beeter bottom part so it isn't just a rectanglemaybe having it so it isn't so straight.

AdamF (Level 11 CEO) @ 12/1/2008 19:26
It's all amazing, no matter what everyone else says. :P

Although the styles clash, I still feel that everything was well done pixel-wise, and I'm certain you'll iron out the issues later. 7/7 fav, however. :>

Elk (Level 5 Assistant Manager) @ 12/1/2008 12:17
hotnikkelz read the text first before commenting

hotnikkelz (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/1/2008 12:08
the background looks TOOOO good compared to the sprite and the bird.  They both look flat in comparison.  The background really blew me away good job

Baz (Level 1 Rookie) @ 12/1/2008 11:22
Damn, this is one sweet backgroud!! Still I think the colors and shading of the characters could be better... But overall, this is really great!!!

big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 12/1/2008 09:58
I went for a big HUD as a homage to games like Deathbringer ( that emphasize the "awesome". I'm a little surprised that at the number of comments about the sprites not fitting the background. Hasn't Disney been getting away with that for years? (Flat characters against a painted background)

zeid (Level 5 Sniper) @ 12/1/2008 09:40
Some of the colouring you have here is beautiful, I'm definately going to have a look at what you have done further. Particularly with the HUD and the background.

Doppleganger (Level 6 Yonkyu) @ 12/1/2008 09:07
That background is beyond gorgeous, and is definitely what will earn the fav from me.

Not to be redundant, but I feel that all of these styles were haphazardly sewn together. There are the three distinct styles of the bg, HUD, and sprites; but the platforms too, seem to be unique. Although I think that has much to do with their coloration as it does anything else.

While the HUD is definitely beautiful, it was the first aspect I thought was off. Partially because of the large amounts of black inheriting a lot of screen space, and partially because of the gritty feel to it. While everything else in the image utilizes smooth shading, the HUD seems to march to its own beat with this gritty, almost jpeg style of shading/texturing. I have no doubt that it could fit the bill, but a reworking of the shading style is a must. It's also worth repeating that it eats up MUCH TOO MUCH screen real estate. I don't think an action-oriented game should ever dedicate 1/4 of the screen to an HUD.

I'll refrain from commenting on everything else, as it's been said as well as it needs to be said already.

nvision (Level 4 Team Leader) @ 12/1/2008 08:19
I'd have to agree with Helm...the bird looks quite incongrouous with the background.  Aside from anatomical issues with the wings (even accounting for stylization), the heavy black and style of linework don't seem to match the other gameplay elements.  Also, though it looks cool, I think your HUD elements eat up far too much of the screen real estate, and feel pasted onto the screen, rather than integrated with it.

The background and the HUD are very well done, but all of the elements don't feel like they belong to the same game.  Also, why did you choose the style you did for the player character and enemies?  I understand wanting to keep things simple for animation purposes, but I think they would really benefit from a more painterly style like you've used in the bg/HUD.  If you wanted to have the same ease of animation, you can always do motion testing with lineart, and worry about colour details after the fact.

Helm (Level 5 Detective) @ 12/1/2008 07:26
I feel that there's too much style clash between the heavy contrast bird and the smooth flowy backgrounds and such. I appreciate your concerns about readiblity but this looks to me as if it were done be three different artists.

Not to say that it isn't very very pretty or well-pixelled, it is.

Tuna Unleashed (Level 4 Mercenary) @ 12/1/2008 06:47
My only real problems are the platforms. they just seem too repetitive and "cookie-cutter" like to fit in with the rest of the piece, which is remarkable by the way.

ManningKrull (Level 9 Executioner) @ 12/1/2008 05:35
There are so many amazing things to look at in this piece, particularly those blue rocks and the mountains in the background. This looks insanely fun to play.

Badassbill (Level 11 Psychopath) @ 12/1/2008 05:34

I Love the HUD.

I Love the backgrounds.

I Love the sprites.

And even though the floor tiles are well pixeled, I can't help but feel they don't fit the piece.

shmupstick (Level 7 Sheriff) @ 12/1/2008 01:50
Best looking HUD ever!

DJD (Level 4 Button Man) @ 12/1/2008 01:02
epic, though I agree with halfie's comment. Your intentions were met perfectly (...and I fully agree with both's far overlooked by game designers and pixelers across these boards alike...) though in the end I don't think they work as a whole. You could easily go for some sort of paper mario explanation as to why the character/bird are in a different style from the more detailed and artistic everything else...but in the end you're going to have to sacrifice one of your two intentions. You could either unify the style and create more readability issues (which would probably be solved by some tacky shade/saturation shifting) or you could detail the characters more and never be able to feasibly produce a game.

My suggestion, at this point, is to go to the local bar, buy the cheapest whiskey, pour in whatever you find out back, drink it, wake up with four arms, and two simultaneous hangovers. Then just detail the pixels and animate them at the same time. You'd probably be able to release a game with that sorta manpower.

Or you could remove the big fist part (it covers up a hefty portion of the screen I feel, and although artistically pleasing isn't necessary when you have to deal with enemies in the bottom left) and opt for a smaller weapon signifier. The health idea is ace, so leave that for sure, but you could afford to centralize it a bit more then. We're going to assume new stuff is either going to come from the left or right, so I often feel the best part to cover up is the bottom middle, then top middle. Most games don't feature enemies drilling straight from below, and a lot of times flying enemies won't come from straight up. You'll tend to want to see the corners so you know what's coming.

Yeah I'm probably not much help, you've done great work here and I'll never be able to fathom it. Wonderful stuff again, great to see a mockup.

chelle (Level 3 Hatchet Man) @ 12/1/2008 01:00
I agree with xXHalfieXx. The main character and the vulture rendering style seems way off from the background and HUD design which are very stylize. Aside from that, everything is great

xXHalfieXx (Level 4 Lieutenant) @ 12/1/2008 00:08
It all looks very nice.

Although you wanted to keep the character's elements on a low-profile, I think it does not fit with the elaborate background and tiles.

Related & Tags

barbarian, soldier, eagle, fantasy, skull, platform, platformer, sidescroller, game, Savage World Mockup avatars, Savage World Mockup icons, Savage World Mockup pixel art, Savage World Mockup forum avatars, Savage World Mockup AOL Buddy Icons

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