I have four different Suzu models, and I want to try them all to see which is the best fit for the in-game graphics. Today, I completed the first test, using Suzu version 1:
I used an art program called Clip Studio Pro (formerly Manga Studio) to cut up the image into individual body parts. I then imported those parts into an animation program called Spine in order to create a poseable model:
Not bad so far. Sure, it looks a little rough - it's a cut and paste job, after all - but a lot of these flaws disappear when you reduce the character down to a height of ninety-six pixels, which is about as tall as I want the in-game character to be.
I next reduced the image size and imported it into a playable area in Gamemaker Studio 2 to see how it looks against my test background:
This flat-out doesn't work. For this model to work, she would have to be a lot bigger in terms of pixels. Unfortunately, ninety-six pixels is already a lot. I can't make her too big, because if I do, she'll eat up a huge chunk of the playing area. I'm already pushing it at 96. It's now time to try a different model - specifically, this one:
This is a much different image - more squat, more cartoony - but check out how it looks against the same background:
She fits perfectly and looks like she belongs in the scene. I can make her bigger or smaller and she would still fit. Her proportions are just right. Therefore, she will be the next one to go under the knife.
This version of Suzu is a late entry but I'm happy I commissioned it. I'll post again when her puppet is done.
For my first blog post, I'd like to explain how Musume's main character, Suzu Aoyama, came to be.
She started life as a character in an RPG Maker MV character pack:
But as much as I like the design of this character, I knew I needed something original for my game. Enter an artist named Xesxus from Fiverr.com, who created the following two images:
Two amazing pieces of art, but I still felt like her battle suit could use some tweaking.
Enter @JunP, an anime artist on Twitter, who created this image:
I love this picture. It's simple, dynamic, and - most importantly - easy to animate.
So what's the next step? Simple: make her move. I basically need to separate this image into distinct body parts, assemble her in Spine, and animate her. Once that's done, I can start building the rest of the game around her.
The current goal is to have her moving around in a mockup of her dorm room by the end of January:
I plan on making the computer interactive: standing in front of it and clicking the action button will play one of @MsMoonraccoon's songs. I also plan on putting one of Moon Raccon's album covers on the back wall as a poster - a neat little easter egg in plain sight.
There's a lot of work to be done still but it's going to be done in baby steps. And the next step is to get Suzu to move. More posts as it happens.