A Start-to-Finish Guide for Making a Video Game

Art

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fter the relatively rigid process of conceptualization, we get to the much more free-form step of art design. One thing to remember, whether you love this step or hate it, is that your game will need a lot of it. Every background, button, health bar, and every frame of every character animation is going to need a separate piece of art.

Don't despair, if your preparation from the conceptualization step is solid, it's easy to follow any templates, sketches and concept art you've made. There is a lot of room for changes and improvisation here, but sticking to your concept will make sure everything meshes well together. Nothing's worse than having to go back and redo a ton of assets because of a late-game change.

The one important sticking point is that the art can be as pretty as you want, but it always needs to serve one purpose: It needs to add to the game, not take away from it. Don't go covering up a nimble-fast moving character with smoke and particle effects, or drawing out his attacks for emphasis to the point of being sluggish. Unless that's what you're looking to achieve.

What You'll Need

Concept Material
Having all your hard work from the pre-production phase will make this step much easier.
A Comfy Workstation
You will be at a computer for most of this process, making it as pain-free as possible is very important. Set up your workstation for comfort and ergonomics. Your future self will thank you for good posture.
Snacks
See above
Pressure-Sensitive Tablet (Optional)
If you have an art tablet, it can make this step much easier. It's not required, but most major art programs have optimizations for tablets, and they can speed things up quite a bit.