Welcome back to Dev Log #9 🎉

models so far A few of the models that we’ve made so far

Right now I’m working on the art assets for the first in game city. It’s the home of the Tree People, who are known for being the most laid back of the three main races.

Just over 6 months ago I wrote about Struggling with Art and how I was getting a bit overwhelmed while creating game assets. Since then I’ve gained a much better handle around making art, but I’m still very, very far away from being able to get into a complete state of flow and produce at an acceptible quality bar.

Needing to hone my skills isn’t the real problem though. By now I understand that skill will come with more time, more practice and needing to make more visuals with more unique constraints.

I know that just doing this a lot will make me eventually half-decent, then good, then damn good.

The real problem is that I haven’t yet fully grasped that my talent gap means that I shouldn’t be spending a bunch of time trying to nail down little details.

Sure, it’s important for me to give a go at getting things right, but I shouldn’t be aiming for perfection just yet. I need to get consistent touches in until doing art doesn’t deplete so much mental energy so quickly.

And that means that right now I need to focus on quantity, before quality. Getting more comfortable with the process before aiming for visual appeal.

A new approach to art

In light of trying to do more before doing better, I’m experimenting with structuring my time and tasks around more rapid asset creation.

The idea is simple - any art asset that I’m working on has a due date. Once I hit that date I need to add whatever I have done into the game.

When all of the assets for the city are created I am then allowed to come back and re-do any asset that I please. But until everything is in the game I must stick to my very short due dates.

trello assets Combatting getting overwhelmed while creating assets by using due dates

I’m hoping that will teach me to quickly get to the point with my assets. Instead of focusing on small details that I don’t quite yet have the artistic ability to execute on, I’ll instead need to quickly speak towards the big picture. I’ll have a limited time to get the core silhuoute in place, and make something that, while imperfect, communicates the basic essence of what the asset is.

By the time I come back around to clean things up art will be that much less daunting for me, so I’ll be in a much better position to start devoting attention to the smaller details without burning out.

What’s next

Who knows if this approach will work, or if it’s truly my best path forwards. Either way, I’m try it out and learn from any mistakes that I make along the way.

As always, you can check out the progress of the game as we’re making it on the Lighthouse Tale website.

‘Til next time,