Thoughts on mixing pixel and hand-drawn assets

Gabrelik

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So, I was working on Haven's Embers and got to thinking about this approach. I'm currently attempting a fully hand-drawn aesthetic, and while we're planning on map sprites done in equal fashion, I couldn't help but wonder about the feasability of utilizing premade sprite bases that are pixelart. The prompt for this is mostly in the higher level of availability in premade assets, as well as artists with skill enough to manipulate them for behaviors, etc.

I was mostly just curious what people thought about this. If you have seen this done before, I'd love it if you could share some examples and give your insight and perspective on the idea of mixing pixel with hand-drawn assets.

As an example, here is a WIP map of the style I'm using, with one of Hiddenone's amazing HINE sprites:

1634600825174.png

Thanks, and happy making! :)
 

Finnuval

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Usually I tend to be on the 'dont mix visual styles too much' side. Tho I will admit that this screenshot makes it appear as if your style does mix well with Hine sprites - however it's hard to truly judge from a single still image.
 

Gabrelik

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I tend to err on that side of things, as well, but have come to a similar conclusion here. :D To be fair, Hiddenone's spritework is amazing, so it is small wonder that they look good anywhere.
 

Finnuval

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Yeah, Hiddenone's work is indeed amazing.

Also your artstyle is pretty awesome aswell I might add especially the coloring is... Well, I'm a little jealous honestly :)
 

Gabrelik

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There are some amazingly talented people working on this project, and I couldn't be happier with that. I think we're going to continue forward with the drawn sprite concept, I just got to thinking about it and can't recall if I've ever seen anyone do pixel over hand drawn before. I was using this sprite as a placeholder and realized it doesn't really look all that bad. Got me wondering what others might think as well.
 

HexMozart88

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I think usually, I tend to be a bit skeptical of mixing styles. But there's a game that managed to mix 3D assets with pixel art and do it really well, so if you can figure out how to make it work, go for it. I'd say the image looks pretty good, I'd maybe raise the contrast or something on the sprite because right now the house is standing out more than the sprite, probably because it has an outline.
 

KazukiT

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I did that with my first game "Path of the Martyrs" where some were tiles I made and others were RTP. I think people who have played enough RM games will notice them. That's why my current games mostly all the tiles and characters I have made myself but, it takes a lot longer. However, the style is consistent and something I could call my own. As long as the styles are close enough it won't be as jarring to look at unless you are creating a scene where you want the environment to look jarring (mainly used in horror/surreal games/scenes.)
 

arsMori

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For me, it would be pretty jarring, especially if the difference between the "pixel size" is clear. However, in your example, where Hiddenone's pixel art is pretty HD, I think it would be passable.

Nice style though, really loving those wood textures :kaoluv:
 

Gabrelik

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Thanks! Yeah, I think it can work in some situations. Currently looking for some existing examples in successful projects, just for perspective.
 

tiabuni

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Doesn't look bad in the screenshot, but it is only one screenshot. At the very least you will have something more visually unique than 99% of RPG Maker games.
 

Gabrelik

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Fair point. Could always get a full map done and then try it out to see how it integrates fully? I think the full hand drawn sprite is still the plan though.
 

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