These past two weeks I have been drawing inspiration from other side scroller games in order to develop a style unique to Monsters and Sprites!

I have found Braid to be a particularly good source of guidance because it is a successful game with an inspiring art style. The art for Braid is both as encapsulating as it is functional. Additionally, this is the first serious game I’ve worked on, so it helps that Braid’s artist, David Hellman has a SUPER amazing process blog of his own out. I’ve been using this blog as guidance for how to approach our project here at Anthropic Studios.

One of the steps Hellman used to create Braid’s art was tracing. He traced scenes from games such as Mario, re-making them in possible Braid styles. I’ve traced a few levels from Braid and other side scrollers with focus on incorporating the color schemes from last post into more functional and stylized “screenshot” scenes.

Through this exercise, I’ve stumbled upon things I would like to incorporate into the game:

  • Angular “rocks” (which can easily change to suit new color schemes and make variable puzzle pieces
  • Foliage which can be easily made into variable puzzle pieces.
  • A brighter foreground and a dimmer non-interactive area
  • The use of water as an obstacle (I would like to imagine the Sprites would melt on contact!)

This tracing exercise has also made it apparent there are some things I need to correct/ think more about as the journey of creation continues:

  • While I like the jaggy rocks, I’ll have to make sure the “walkable” areas need are obvious and completely intuitive.
  • The pools are a really fun and aesthetically pleasing. But I’ll need to do some soul- searching and peer review to make sure they are not too distracting.
  • The interactive pieces (gates, teleporters, etc..) need to look a bit more detailed.
  • I think I’m on the right path, but the non-interactive background needs to be developed a bit more!

Below are some “traced” pieces and the original screenshots:

Top Image - My Art
Middle 2 Images - Braid Screenshots
Bottom Image - My Art

Top Image - My Art
Bottom 2 Images - Traced Screenshots