Blood Ship: Day 17

I’m exploring art options. I thought it would be a pleasant break from the nuts and bolts. It’s not.

Don’t get me wrong: I love to draw and I think I’m better at it than the average person (only child + socially awkward = lots of practice), but this shit is hard. It’s one thing to slap a sprite together as a placeholder or to let your imagination run wild in a sketch. It’s an entirely different thing to make something with a specific purpose… that you wouldn’t be 100% humiliated to show others.

I love 2D vector graphics when the artist can keep them from looking like a less-than-average mobile game, but they present certain issues if you’re using Gamemaker. I also feel there isn’t enough documentation on the process to feel good about using it. I’m not ruling vector graphics out at this point, but it looks less and less likely. I’m shying away from 8- and 16-bit pixel art, too, and my short-lived idea to make this stuff in Blender felt cheesy. I’m kind of running out of free options, here.

Yesterday I spent hours messing around with programs like Photoshop, Pencil 2D, Aseprite, and Inkscape, trying to find the workflow I like best. I took the easiest sprite to animate and went over it in each of the programs with disappointing results. Today I downloaded the trial for Spine and, even though I’m not thrilled about the price tag, I’m hoping it’ll knock my socks off. The problem is I noticed the “(1)” at the end of the file name, indicating I’ve downloaded this thing before. Hopefully it’s not a time trial.

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