Exploring the ship to Enceladus

I had a bit of a crisis of confidence over the last few days as I realized I was going to have to draw a bunch of original art assets. One major obstacle to this task is that I don’t know how to draw. But I calmed down when I realized that, 1) the graphics don’t really matter all that much to the market I’m pursuing, and 2) I wasn’t ever going to learn how to draw unless I started doing it. After all, I didn’t know C# or XNA when I started this project, and now I’m less than horrible with each. So I shoved my doubts aside and got to work producing some truly… interesting pixel art to furnish the ship.

Not many pixels for that much work

The idea behind this art, besides the pixel aesthetic, is that the images are meant to be iconic representations, rather than aiming for realistic reproductions of objects. So I didn’t really draw a couch; I drew the idea of a couch, which is immediately recognizable despite its lack of detail. My wife didn’t realize that the lighted monoliths were supposed to be super computers, but once I animate them to make the lights blink on and off I think it should be obvious enough.

I’ve now furnished five rooms of the ship plus the hallway, leaving only the engine room to draw. Here’s what it looks like way zoomed out:

A digital dollhouse

If you’re feeling patient, you can take this full-sized guided tour around the ship. It starts in the cockpit, then moves onto the lounge, through the hallway, on to the dormitory, then the kitchen, then the brig, and ends up in the cargo hold.

There’s still work to be done on the camera system to accommodate the transitions between rooms, and then to place NPCs and write their dialog. There’s also a door in the base of the ship, which is how you exit once it’s on the surface of the moon, but I haven’t bothered to get horizontal doors working yet.

Be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you think of the art so far — and if anything looks too terrible to live!

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