From Concepts to Pixels

Hey everyone, this is Vincent from the Fatal Flash team. My main responsibility on Fatal Flash is working on concept art for character designs. However, I also work on illustrations, the website, playtesting, and pretty much anything else that’s asked of me!

   What makes my role in the team a bit interesting is that I’m not a pixel artist, but the game is entirely created in the pixel style. My work has more of a realistic and gritty edge, so one of the challenges of this role is designing characters that our amazing pixel artist can translate into his style for the in game-assets.

    When I was originally brought in, the game already had a few working characters. But they needed some visual tweaks. Using the existing pixel art as reference, I worked on translating the designs into my style, which would then be adjusted back into the pixel art style. This might seem like a round about way of working, but it actually offers a vast amount of benefits for the game.

                                                                                                                   Early Assassin design sketches by Vincent.

                                                                                                                   Early Assassin design sketches by Vincent.

   Sketching ideas quickly is one of my strengths, so getting a wide variety of ideas for the character designs can be very effective on my end. Also, without having the restriction of a lower amount of detail that pixel art can sometimes be limited to, I have the opportunity to influx the designs with a lot of creativity from a different mindset.

   The key is to balance this style and workflow in a way that Cam, our pixel artist, can translate into the in-game art. This back and forth between our two styles ultimately creates a unique artistic dialogue, which in the end offers up an original design which is stronger because of the sum of it’s two parts. It almost shouldn’t work, but in practice it ends up being a perfect storm.

                                                                                                        Early Technomancer design sketches by Cam.

                                                                                                        Early Technomancer design sketches by Cam.

                                                                                                                 Translations of Cam's initial art by Vincent. 

                                                                                                                 Translations of Cam's initial art by Vincent

   With a basic design fleshed out and approved by core members of the team, Cam is free to polish the character in his style, as well as work on the animations. If needed we will have extra meetings to discuss movement, abilities, and how everything should look and work in game. During this time, I’ll also work on some marketing art for the character, a fully realized version illustration in my style that depicts the epitome of the character.

   It’s certainly interesting to see the differences and similarities of my final version, and Cam’s in-game art. So far it’s been a special workflow that offers up many different strengths that bolster the final design. My main goal has always been, and always will be, to make the most interesting and visually awesome characters I can.

   Hopefully players will enjoy the designs we come up with. Thank you all for reading and we look forward to getting your feedback in future playtests. Thank you!

                                                                                                                Technomancer final sketch by Vincent. 

                                                                                                                Technomancer final sketch by Vincent

              In game Technomancer pixel art by Cam.

              In game Technomancer pixel art by Cam.