coding or art first?

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coding or art first?

#1 Post by aeestha » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:57 am

hey i am an artist and i am very new to creating visual novels. I have an idea but i donot know how i should start. Should i create the art first or start coding first? Any beginner friendly advices?

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Re: coding or art first?

#2 Post by Elsa Kisiel » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:30 am

Coding first.

Definitively coding, or at least writing first. If you draw first, some drawing are going to be unnecessary because some scenes have been removed. Or some scene might be rewritten and the drawing are going to have to be modified, ... Or you might go with a totally different interface than what you planned. (Exemple: you wanted to do character portrait, but you're gonna go with full body instead.)

Now, it doesn't mean you can't draw anything before coding. I usually draw a few concept art, especially characters concept art, or props concept art for important elements, to help me writing. But when I draw these concept art, I do it knowing I might not use them at all in the finished product.
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Re: coding or art first?

#3 Post by akio93 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:17 am


Especially if you're beginner in coding. That way you can assess on how many expressions you need, CGs you need to make, effects, item, etc etc (Sketch is okay to help for visualization). So you don't waste drawing them then getting stuck on coding cuz you can't figure out how the code works, frustrating you so much that you losing all interest to the project. Also, start easy. Don't force yourself to learn everything in one go.

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Re: coding or art first?

#4 Post by Mutive » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:05 am

I'd argue that you probably want to do both in unison, at least somewhat.

You're probably best off putting a framework for the story in place (as far as writing and coding go) so that you know what art you need and don't make a bunch of stuff that ends up being worthless.

But once you have the art, you'll almost certainly need to do more work with coding as far as adjusting positioning and posssibly improving other aspects. This may also take some tweaking of art. (E.g. you might realize that an animation looks really funky because something about the legs is off when you actually see the sprite walking.) You may also end up re-writing some things then, as certain ideas may not make sense in execution.

Note that a lot of this is more pertinent to a game with a lot of programming than a very basic visual novel. (For one of those, you might not have to work through multiple iterations.)
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Re: coding or art first?

#5 Post by isobellesophia » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:41 am

Its better to do coding, all of that, you might also need to start over your character's sketch for a WIP every detail, so after you managed to do all their details, you can now go straight foward to your coding and learn the basics up to the advanced ones, don't worry about python, you can make a simple one novel only using RenPy basics and learn it from the Tutorial given by the character Eileen step by step.
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Re: coding or art first?

#6 Post by verysunshine » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:44 pm

It's much easier to do placeholder art than it is to do placeholder coding. Get the coding done first.

Build the basics first, then add all the fun bits.

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Re: coding or art first?

#7 Post by ketskari » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:29 pm

Coding, probably. I say probably because if you already have the script or design written out, then you can figure out what art assets to make and can make some or all of them before coding it in... if you're very clear about what you want or if you're working with a team and everyone's doing everything more or less at the same time then this becomes almost a necessity.

However, and especially if you're solo, it's wise to code and plug the script in first, because you'll get a much better idea about the art assets you want to include after you've got the story and code in. It's very useful to be able to "play" the script and see what's wrong with it, and make changes before you commit to making art assets.
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Re: coding or art first?

#8 Post by Hseo » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:25 am

Both, but start with doodle art, you will thank me when you decided to change GUI or something.

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Re: coding or art first?

#9 Post by chellophane » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:17 pm

definitely coding/writing!

nothing hurts more than having to re-do art because a part of the story change. trust me, I speak from experience.
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Re: coding or art first?

#10 Post by SkepticalTiger » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:58 am

As a software engineering student who is pretty good at writing, I'd suggest the coding route.

Think of it this way, you could create an amazing game with interactive cutscenes, gameplay etc. with nothing more than stick figures and still have people like it. Unlike Pokemon RBY we don't always have a Satoru Iwata to save us if our code isn't working lol. If you know that history then props :-) Jokes aside from what I have seen with VN's, great art only goes so far if the UI or coding is not good and typically that's passible in NSFW 18+ type games.

Like your art skills, once you understand how to code something it's not very difficult to NOT use if that makes sense and most importantly as you build your project and nail down a solid UI or other core elements that'll be reused you don't really have it touch it past that. In coding we call this the DRY principle (Don't Repeat Yourself). Since I am a coder and writer first; artist second, I tend to want the foundation built before anything else.

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Re: coding or art first?

#11 Post by gabigoto » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:47 pm

I'd say writing and concept art first but you also should be aware of your coding skills.

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