Ego @ 4/24/2017 08:36 commented on Insane Intestines

You fooled me! It makes me really happy to see that somebody did an OCEANSCENTED mimcry - I didn't have time to do mine. Real good stuff here

Ego @ 1/3/2017 07:21 commented on Living

I'm really excited to see a batch of new pieces from you, I've missed seeing your dogs and sheep and horrifying nightmare imagery. :)



Ego @ 5/11/2016 07:15 commented on Malevolence

This is so impressive. It keeps your iconic painterly look that I've come to admire, but without the rough edges on the clusters. Really stunning work. And even outside of the pixel-level cluster skill, it's also a well-composed and colored piece.

Ego @ 1/16/2016 00:09 commented on Baby Pictsie icon

FF43.0.4 on Windows 10 is all clear here.

Ego @ 8/11/2015 11:40 commented on Scanulation

I love the texture on this. It gives it a very "traditional medium" look.

I would be really interested in hearing about how you do clouds. Both here and on your piece Rapture, the clouds are really nice, and I'd love to hear what your approach is.

Ego @ 8/5/2015 12:10 commented on Lucario

Huh. I don't know what it is about it, but something about this piece appeals to me on an instinctual level.

Ego @ 8/1/2015 10:22 commented on Big Bird

This is totally unrelated to pixel art, but I figured that as a project by a pixel artist I could link my Kickstarter here. It's called Legend of the Elements and it's a tabletop RPG heavily inspired by Avatar The Last Airbender I've been writing for the past three years.

Sorry if y'all think this is just spam. In slightly pixel-related news, after this project is done I'm turning my attentions to Learning Pixel Art 2nd Edition!

Ego @ 7/20/2015 19:18 commented on Big Bird

And over on deviantArt Fool corroborated that claim, it's all legit.

Ego @ 6/6/2015 16:41 commented on Big Bird

I literally wrote a book for situations like yours, if you can spare a single dollar (and if for whatever reason your can't spare even that, throw me a private message).

Ego @ 5/25/2015 03:32 commented on Big Bird

I do vector work over traditional drawing (and illustrated the whole RPG I wrote), but I still consider myself a pixel artist first.

Ego @ 5/17/2015 13:21 commented on Fish Scented

Nice work! When I saw the preview on the front page I was all "that's kinda reminiscent of oceanscented!" It's not exactly like hers enough to actually trick me, but it shares a ton of her style.

Ego @ 5/15/2015 01:12 commented on Yeti

Yo phil, great to see you around here again! I've missed your presence. Everything you say is right-on.

@andrae: I actually really like this piece. It's not a technical masterpiece, nor would I expect it to be for a pixel_dailies piece, but it has great gestures - everything is clear and understandable, even though the clusters are sometimes shaky and jagged. The intention and feeling of the piece come through loud and clear, even without refinement. One note I WOULD give would be to mess with the contrast of the the brightest yellow and the background blue, they're very close.

My favorite part is how, despite the lack of AA and the rampant imperfect curves, the shapes feel right and the clusters still communicate their forms. Nice job! But totally think on what phil said, it's all good stuff.

Ego @ 4/18/2015 12:16 commented on Big Bird

If it's just about techniques, it's less the content that's important and more the size. At 35x75, clusters and color control are your main concerns. Dithering is pretty common for sand textures, but on this size it's especially critical to avoid noise, so only dither if you have to (especially because a 35x75 piece is likely going to be viewed 2x, so dithering becomes less effective anyway). To save on space you might need to forgo anti-aliasing sometimes, so getting the right color contrast is really important. A little banding might become a necessary evil at this size, so no need to go crazy trying to erase it all if it's needed for your clusters (within reason, of course). I notice in your gallery that you frequently use outlines in your pieces - you can do that, but note that it will take up valuable space.

All this is just my suggestions though, feel free to take it in whatever direction you feel like - there isn't any limit on what "techniques could be used" really. Hopefully it gives you some idea of where to start though. And seriously, 35x75? Not 75x35? It seems like a beach scene would normally be drawn on a horizontal canvas.

Ego @ 4/15/2015 11:34 commented on Big Bird

Happy birthday Hapiel!

Ego @ 4/14/2015 19:18 commented on Ghost Goldfish

Ooh, the palette is gorgeous.

Ego @ 4/10/2015 16:30 commented on Big Bird

No arguments here. A pile of trolls, the lot of them. Some real talent there though, and they didn't bite your head off if you could take blunt critique gracefully. For whatever reason (probably Stockholm syndrome) I still miss that place.

Ego @ 4/10/2015 14:59 commented on Big Bird

I was 13 when I found the place. At that point I'd been pixelling for at least 3 years, though I wasn't particularly great still. I don't remember perfectly, but I believe that a lot of old standbys at the forum Pixeltendo (those standbys including Badassbill, Shawn, and 1up) had links to their PixelJoint profiels in their signatures, and after a while I clicked through and got up the self-esteem to think I could fit in and joined. Eventually Pixeltendo folded and this place become the focus of my pixel art life (besides, this place is way nicer to people too).

Ego @ 4/7/2015 14:18 commented on Misty Staryu

I love it. It's clever and fun, and that's enough to ignore any of the technical things (of which there aren't too many anyway).

Ego @ 4/3/2015 22:18 commented on Mt. Dog

Good ideas, I agree. Generally seems like you got this well in hand!

Noise and texture are really difficult to reconcile. If you were looking to still clear it up some, applying the texture more heavily on the fore/background rocks while having the dog head itself be a bit more clean would still work if you had them sharing the same palette I think. It would tie them together, and so long as there's still a little texture to the dog head it would read as the same material. This only really matters if you bring it to 2x though, at 1x it all reads fine.

Hope to see more stuff from you! And I'd love to hear more about this story some time.

Ego @ 4/3/2015 20:25 commented on Mt. Dog

I looked at the image on the front page and immediately thought "that mountain looks like a dog!" even before I read the title. So good job!

The resemblence fades a bit as you zoom in on the image (pretty normal when the texture is so noisy), so if you're going to be blowing it up for the story I recommend cleaning up some of the clusters a bit.

(if you don't know what I mean by that, just say the word and I'll explain further)

Ego @ 3/26/2015 20:38 commented on Serinox (Avatar)

Sent it your way!

@TAG-Nadia: Thank you very much! Glad you think it was able to touch on some topics that aren't often discussed; that was one of my main goals :)

Ego @ 3/25/2015 14:15 commented on Serinox (Avatar)

Thank you for the printing information! That actually helps a bunch. The dpi/ppi settings are where I ran into a bunch of strangeness - it was difficult to calibrate that with InDesign. If I try to make a print version (or even just a 2nd edition) I'll be trying to make it perfect on those things.

Yeah, font stuff is something I'm still not confident in. The main font is Droid Serif; I picked it because I knew it should work with just about anything, especially on smaller screens. I'm a bit confused by your headline font comment - it's the same font (unless you were one of the first-day downloads that has spreads; I had a conflict issue and updating the book should fix that). It is, admittedly, simple. I definitely agree that I could have tried to do something more clever with the layout design, and I'd like to in the future, but for my first release I wanted to play it a bit safe. Thanks!

@Friend: Facepalming right now, that would have been such a simple solution! Ugh. More notes for 2nd edition I guess! And thanks, glad it was able to reveal some stuff to you!

Ego @ 3/25/2015 11:07 commented on Serinox (Avatar)

I'd like to be able to make a real book eventually for it, but I honestly don't know what the process would be for making that happen (both publishing and making the document "print-ready," if anything is even needed)

Fair point on the typography; graphic design and typography are things I'm kinda learning by feel. What about it bothers you?

(@adpdl: check your inbox here on PJ)

Ego @ 3/25/2015 commented on Big Bird

I would argue that playing a variety of games is an important factor in learning to design. I won't weight its value against diligent practice, but consider this: I'm no video game designer, but I am a writer, and one of the absolute most common pieces of advice given to fiction writers is "read a lot," even though they could be using that time to write more. Now, "write regularly" is also a big piece of advice, so I think there's a balance that should be struck between consuming media and producing it. Here's my take: when you just practice, you get good at what you're doing. However, your technique set stays limited to what you already know and what you work out on your own. When you play games, specifically games that a) do something innovative/different than the pack, or b) are wildly successful, you can learn new ideas (either doing the innovative thinking part for you or selecting out which techniques are effective, respectively), though you won't gain any skill at integrating them until you go back and try them yourself. By playing to learn, then practicing to improve and put your own spin on ideas, you improve your own games' interest factor. You can make interesting games without learning the techniques from other games, but you have to do all the work yourself when someone else has already done the bulk of it. (ie it keeps you from needing to reinvent the wheel)

The key skill I think that might not even require playing as much as understanding a game is the ability to pick out what makes a game unique. Example: Risk of Rain's interesting ideas are a time-based difficulty escalation, a class-based roguelike, and a cooperative roguelike. It's not perfect and the experience isn't particularly amazing (though I find it quite fun, the second of the two things I named is the only one that resonated well with me), but that in itself provides insight into learning techniques. Superbrothers combines episodic storytelling and twitter integration (along with more conventional notions and great aesthetics) to make one of the best experiences you can have with mobile games.

Maybe that's just my approach to improvement though.

Ego @ 3/24/2015 23:19 commented on Lin 2.0

You've improved a lot, not just in the nine months since the original piece but even just in the last two months in general. Between this and Kit Fisto, you've come quite far in a short amount of time.

Interested in some crits?