Abduction Action! UFO Graphic Evolution
The main character in any game is very important. This character may be cool or funny or hip or rebellious or simply kick-ass, but most importantly, you need gamers to want to play as him / her / it. Your game is destined to be an epic failure if you don't make a character that gamers want to be. It is for this reason that I have spent a good deal of time creating and recreating the UFO in Abduction Action!.
The original UFO was a 3D model that I exported into Adobe Photoshop and then slightly modified (mainly just a little shading). The plan was originally to continue to work with the 3D model, but it quickly became apparent that I don't know 3D modeling very well.
The second variation of the UFO took the same body shape but I added some additional shading, modified the location of the light reflection on the dome, and added some blinking lights for effect. The overall UFO looked better, but still didn't look great.
The third (and current) version of the UFO is the most drastic change... aside from the blinking lights, it's a completely new graphic made from ideas gleamed from the previous installments, created in Photoshop (no 3D models this time). I kept the blue dome but the size is a bit wider and less high along with getting a slightly different coloring. The body is much less pointed now, having a look that reminds me a bit of the front of Luke Skywalker's sand speeder. The body dips a bit around the dome too, a subtle effect but sometimes its the little touches that make all the difference.
To design this new UFO, I mostly used trial and error. First I tried different dome and shape colors. When I had one I liked, I moved on to getting the body right. The body is really two matching half ovals and then a rectangle strip between them. Once I got the shape right, I spent a good deal of time with different shading effects until I had a look that I really liked. Finally I dropped the lights on, the same as from the previous UFO but just a tad brighter.
Is this the final version of the UFO? Probably not... I'm done with it for now, but in a week or two, I might have some more ideas to make this look even better. I tend to do that with the artwork I work on... several iterations over time, each a bit better than the last.
Let me know what you think of the new look UFO or any ideas you may have to make it look even better.
If you want to see the new UFO in some screen shots and see how the graphics of the entire game have evolved, check out this link.
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