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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

When working on my latest XNA game project, Super Mega Brick Smash, I decided to give it a go and do all the art myself.

After all, how hard can bricks be to draw?

Keep in mind, I'm no artist. There's a reason HA! never had any graphics and it isn't just for nostalgia's sake.

So the rectangle bricks came out ok, although not terribly flashy, and the ball was simple enough. I did both of those, and the paddle in MS Paint.

Ball: 

Brick:

Paddle:

(If you're curious about the magenta background, it's a way to tell XNA to render that part transparent.)

So I had my basic elements, and the initial gameplay is done (more to come on that... still have to add powerups, etc) and I wanted a cool title graphic for my game. I'd pretty much reached the limit of my artistic ability above, so I decide to try something different to get the effect I was looking for.

Word Art!

I know, you're thinking I've lost my mind, but check it out...  if you really really suck at graphics, it's better than nothing.

All I had to do was open up word, pick the font I wanted, click on INSERT and WORD ART and start typing. Once I found the style I was looking for, I stretched it out to the right size and Voila...  my new title:

Then I just had to get it in the game.  A quick copy and paste into Gimp, crop the image, add a transparency layer (Click Layer, Add Alpha Channel), then use the magic wand to select the outline and cut it out. save as PNG. Drag and Drop into GSE. Done.

It may not be the prettiest thing you've ever seen, but it took me 5 minutes todo. 

The point here, and there is one, is that you don't have to be an awesome artist to make a fun game. Don't let it stop you from trying.

Posted on Friday, November 2, 2007 2:03 PM Game Development , General Interest | Back to top


Comments on this post: Art for NonArtists 101

# re: Art for NonArtists 101
Requesting Gravatar...
Oy! As a designer, I am glad to know these things. Meaning how developers go about the process of thinking about design. Thanks for the hit on the head, and doh! I needed. I came into the world a designer, so I tend to take things for granted.

Now... if you can get me to think more logically... you got something worth some money. :)

Dee Sadler
Adobe User Group Manager
Adobe Certified Instructor
Adobe Community Expert
Photoshop | Illustrator | InDesign | Dreamweaver | Flash
Left by Dee Sadler on Nov 14, 2007 4:50 PM

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