The Art of Dex
Today, a more relaxed update, with more visuals than words. We decided to share some of the concept art and the process of making animations and scenes for Dex.
Sprites and animations
We start with a concept - traditional drawing (paper and pen) or digital drawing.
Once we have the concept done, we can start making sprites. Since sprites are quite small in the game and there are lots of them, we can't focus on details. Instead, we aim for the whole shape to be characteristic.
Once we have the final look of the character in sprite, we can start with animation, frame by frame.
The same process is also used for the in-game locations. We start with a short storyboard – a simple series of frames showing the idea and atmosphere of the location.
Once we are satisfied with the “idea” of the location, we create the whole location in simple draft form. Below is a sample of the process for our latest map, the Scrapyard, situated outside the city borders. First, the draft:
We continue with a more detailed study of important views and objects on the map.
The main portion of work happens in Photoshop, where we have to prepare all the assets used in the map to fit nicely. Lastly, the final image of the location is processed into the game, layer upon layer. We add physics and collisions, generic objects (vents, doors, buttons, machines), dynamic particles for fire and smoke, and presto, the in-game map is ready for your playing pleasure!
The last image is a post-processed detail of the rightmost part of the Scrapyard.