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KHI makes a KH game! Discussion #3: Art Direction and Interface Design



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Shamdeo

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Gosh, I was really blown away by all the designs people submitted in the previous discussion thread. (And it's still going really strong too!) So after a bit of a delay (busybusy!) we're going to tackle the next topic which will be a bit more difficult to approach at first, but will evolve over the course of all the discussions. This discussion will take a bit more time to take off and fully blossom, but will be integral to the final product we want to compile. It's probably a good idea to throw out some preliminary thoughts and bounce back and forth to the other discussion threads for this one.

This week's theme is:
Story, Narrative, and Themes Design
Characters and Character Design

Art Direction and Interface Design
World and Level Design
Gameplay and Battle System Design
Character Growth Development and Encounter Design
Tertiary Gameplay Design (Mini-Games)
Analyzing the Total Experience


So what is art direction and interface design?

Wikipedia on art direction said:
"Various artists may create or develop specific parts of an art piece or scene; but a sole art director unifies the vision. In particular, the art director is in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience. The art director makes decisions about visual elements used, what artistic style to use, and when to use motion."
So in a nutshell, the art director needs to be able to wrap all the visual elements up into one comprehensive vision. This way it doesn't seem like one big sloppy mess of different ideas all incorporated into one project.

Kingdom Hearts is a mishmash of two different franchises with many different titles with their own art direction. Two very distinct approaches to art direction from Square's different Final Fantasy games and Disney's different animated films. What we need to do is create a vision for the original elements of our game that acts as the buffer zone for these two elements. While they clash in a good way, we don't want them to be two entirely different-feeling entities.

A good example of this is Traverse Town in which both Square and Disney elements interact with the original elements we introduce. So what we need to see here are various color palettes and examples of visual style (these don't have to be fully fleshed out ideas yet, since this discussion is going to extend over a large majority of the summer).

Keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily just mean that we're designing how things look. A great example of art direction is how Kingdom Hearts opening menu executes before you start the game by fading in softly with music and panning across different artworks to give you a certain feeling as you're loading up the game.

Orchestrating these moments is key to art direction as well.

As for interface design, this is also something that is going to evolve depending on the battle system that we create and what sort of character ability growth system we create as well. But still, it's nice to toss around preliminary ideas of what you'd like the battle HUD and menu system to look like. Try sketching out what Kingdom Hearts does already (which is a takeoff of the Final Fantasy style menu), and then try something totally new altogether.

Some of the things that would be included in interface design:

+ Opening menu design.
+ Party menu design.
+ Battle HUD design (The command menu, character portrait and HP/MP bars)
+ Character interaction with visual elements (ex. Glowy triangle that appears in KH2)
+ Text bubbles for dialogue or information.
+ Shop menu interfaces.

Examples of an interface (but used with a lot of pre-existing ideas).
[video=youtube;LCSFCZzRAt0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSFCZzRAt0[/video]
[video=youtube;VUla09CeR5A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUla09CeR5A&feature=channel_video_title[/video]
[video=youtube;bKVKLPB8llo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKVKLPB8llo[/video]

So this week I'll forgo the prompts to see how the discussion pans out. If we need a bit more focus then I'll go and add them in.

Looking forward to your ideas guys!
 

Dale

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I just wondering here, has the game been decided on a particular system? Will it eventually be available for download to KHI users? And how do we intend to get by copyright laws here?
 

DarkRiku-12

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@Dale- This is just a hypothetical game. And even if we were to make it, it would probably be free/ non-profit and therefor there probably wouldn't be any copyright dispute, as people make fan games all the time.
 

Able_Beard

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I really like this dearly beloved
[video=youtube;2iXRsb8QxTA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iXRsb8QxTA&feature=grec_index[/video]

Closing song?
[video=youtube;cRJVtJs1Vyk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRJVtJs1Vyk[/video]
 

quiteMAD

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It'd be pretty easy to get around the legality issue. We just 1) can't make any money off of it, meaning non-profit and free to play though that doesn't mean we can't ask for donations to support the creators instead of the game 2) emphasize that this is fan-made and protected under the realm of "satire". At least, that would be the only way we could use the Kingdom Hearts name/logo/characters/world.

And before anyone asks, no it doesn't have to be funny to be satire.

Basically just look at the disclaimer before any DBZ Abridged video, and replace "DBZ" with "Kingdom Hearts" and "Toei TV/Akira Toriyama" with "Square Enix/Disney"
 

Rexy

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now that you talk about it KHI could make a bunch of KH fan-made games xD
like the keyblade war or Eraqus, Xehanort and Yen Sid Childhood, at least Eraqus en Xehanort...
 

DiceKiller

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might as well throw in some sort of idea...

I do like the Kingdom Hearts opening menu design since it's nice and simple, so it would be nice to stick with something very similar. Pretty much:

New Game
Load
Options(?) <-- Maybe having the game options in the title screen might have some sort of benefits.
Theater <-- Would be unlocked when you beat the game (maybe only if you meet certain requirements)

Regarding the theater option, I always thought it would be nice if there could be a "music room" along with the cutscenes/movies from the game. Maybe having a separate, more/less difficult requirement for beating the game, depending on if people here weigh music over cutscnes.
 

Dale

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Hang on guys were getting ahead of ourselves here... what about programming the characters? Modeling them even, developing a 3D interactive environment rendering the cutscenes along with character movement? Does any of us have the knowledge necessary to even bein to develop an advanced game like Kingdom Hearts?
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Hang on guys were getting ahead of ourselves here... what about programming the characters? Modeling them even, developing a 3D interactive environment rendering the cutscenes along with character movement? Does any of us have the knowledge necessary to even bein to develop an advanced game like Kingdom Hearts?
-_- We aren't making a real fan-game.

And I'm pretty sure there are a few members here who know how to do so. I know there are a ton of people knowledgable about computer science, animation, rendering, art, graphic design, and beyond. (It is not hard to learn, either. A tutorial online and playing around with some of the programs is generally enough to get a grasp of the basics) -_- Please don't assume we wouldn't have the ability to do so if we were.
 

Dale

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yeah certain members may not be into developing a real game but some of us have finished exams and have a lot of free time up so im considering it maybe some of us may want to establish a group for doing so? It would be a shame if all of the members artworks and Plotlines from the previous threads were to go to waste. You know what i say why not? And i apologize for my previous post i wasnt sure of who was on here to be fair.
 

DarkRiku-12

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I drew this up for the possible title screen. Same basic idea as previous KH title screens (main chars. to the right with New Game and Load Game on the left) it's a very rough sketch of one of the main characters, feel free to improve on it if you wish. I remember quiteMAD saying he hadn't even finished him yet, that's why I left him mostly blank (no real clothes, keyblade etc.), but I thought it would be a nice thing to get the conversation going.

ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
 

quiteMAD

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Man bonk. I say we try to make this shit happen. We can, pretty easily, as long as we plan in a manageable fashion. For instance, a 3-D game is pretty much out of the question. Think more along the lines of Chain of Memories, maybe even more akin to a classic RPG. And I wouldn't count much on cutscenes, not animated ones at least. Maybe a flash comic, but that'd take a ridiculous ammout of effort.
 

DarkRiku-12

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Well, that's just the thing, do you know how many 2d games there are on the internet? If we make it in 3d, that will make it something special to admire and remember once we're done with it. And it wouldn't be that hard to make a 3d game, I'm sure we have some programers on KHI, and given about 2 months (probably 3 months during the school year), and the proper templates, I would be able to make a respectable game model in Blender (or even faster with Animation: Master but I don't own that program). If we have multiple people working on it at once, we could do this. Although I think we should work out menus, gameplay, graphics etc. before we are to do this in 2d or 3d.
 
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Oracle Spockanort

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(lol Just made a button...which is not going in that spot...mind you I have no experience in PS at all having just obtained it today...I've only ever touched GIMP to make GIFs so I don't know what the hell I am doing.)

Well, we can make a flash game with 3D menu but 2D gameplay...something like a simulation game with options and story and puzzles.
 
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