2D graphics for online games

About the specifics of the artist’s work in the mobile segment of the gaming industry, as well as the most common mistakes.

This article will give you a general idea of ​​how to draw cool 2D graphics for games. This is not a step-by-step tutorial, this is something much cooler! The article is intended for those who have some familiarity with 2D game graphics. First of all, this applies to people who are engaged in programming and who want to create high-quality gaming resources. Further – just to everyone who wants to create game graphics. 2D resources in the text mean any 2D images for games: from character sprites to large backgrounds. This article will give you a quick introduction to solid traditional design concepts and how they can improve your game. It is supposed to save you time and not develop bad taste. It won’t cover things like file formats, raster versus vector graphics, or the software used in the article examples.

Before you start talking about 2D game art for sale, you need to decide what it is in its essence, how it differs from illustrations and concepts. To begin with, all three types of art serve different purposes.

An illustration is more like images for books or magazines. They have more in common with paintings than games. In game development, illustrations can be used to create posters and covers for game discs.

Concept art is conceptual sketches that an artist can later transform into a model (of an object, character, environment). And this model can subsequently come into play.

Game art is what we see directly in the game. It lacks a lot of detail so as not to distract the player’s attention. In the game, he must clearly perform his functionality.

That is why in 2D games, characters are most often simple geometric shapes with clear edges, and not various octopuses or stars with a lot of small elements. All this is necessary in order for the player to clearly understand whether he touched the enemy, whether he encountered an obstacle, and so on.

A 2D game artist needs to be aware that he draws not for himself, but for the player. And players usually like bright, clear and kind pictures – all this imposes certain restrictions on the creative process. And you need to be ready for this, especially for novice artists.

What a game artist does in real life

Aspiring artists often think that their work will be focused on creating characters or game environments, but this is not always the case. Due to the fact that companies prefer not to “bloat” the staff, the artist has to do many different technical things. Here is a rough list of tasks:

  • preparation of art for insertion into the game;
  • UI \ UX development. The artist does not need deep knowledge in this area, but the minimum skills should be;
  • creation of logos. Every game needs a logo that will be featured in app stores, featured on promo materials, and so on. Perhaps this is not the most frequent task for an artist, but sometimes it is nevertheless posed;
  • creation of particle effects. Explosions, bounces and other visual “decorations” make the game “juicy”, so artists need to be able to do them at least at a minimal level;
  • minimal animations. The artist usually does not engage in animation, but sometimes situations arise when you need to schematically show some movement, to indicate how it will look in the game;
  • marketing materials. Preparation of screenshots, banners, fake screenshots, and so on. All that allows you to beautifully “pack” the game;
  • be able to use tools like svn, git, Asana and jira. This, of course, is not the main task, but these are working tools that you need to know;
  • be able to use the game engine. If Unity is used in the work on the project, then it will be useful for the artist to be able to “fill” art there and see how it looks and behaves in the game.
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