My project is not exactly a visual novel, but I have no other way to describe it. It's a kinetic motion comic visual novel kind of combination. The reader is not a character and every character is in the scene like actually sitting at a table or sleeping in their beds, like a normal story. There are no choices (though I have considered alternate endings)
I'm at the phase where I am building backgrounds and props. There are multiple layers in 1 "scene". The sky (with layers of clouds).
- The background (distant buildings and landscapes)
- background sprites/props (random bg characters, cars, bikes, etc)
- the midground (the walls of the room they're in if inside)
- midground props/sprites (this is where the characters will usually be with the objects they interact with like a table or bed)
- the foreground (possibly doors that might slightly block the view)
- foreground sprites/props (maybe a character talking to someone in the room from behind the door. Or if outside, a tree or lamp post to make the place feel real)
Below is my first attempts at a "consistent" design. Ignoring the colors (and line consistency, I didn't break out my tablet to do this, I was just testing and seeing what could be done), I figured I would draw each room kind of in a one point perspective, but cut off the other side of the room so I didn't have to fully commit to a one point perspective.
At first I was please... until I place dummy sprites in the room and tried to replicate the method outside. You see, outside has buildings and landscapes and hills. It just didn't look nice. I can't quote explain it. (I know this mock up is hideous, but bear with me. Lol)
I went back to the drawing board. What could I do to make designing the backgrounds simple enough for me to follow a pattern and keep things consistent? At last, flat vector design gave me inspiration and guidelines. For example
Of course, I don't plan to keep my art this clean cut and vector like, but the design is "flat", yet holds so much detail. I can easily plot characters into a stage like this. So I ended up with something more like this, a flatter perspective (again, don't plan for my art to be so vector like, just a mock up)
It's not TOO different, but it's still much more... "flat". You see less of the floor or walls. There's much less of a height difference between standing at the sliding door vs standing at the table. It's almost more like a stage than it is a room. While I am happy with it, worry sank in.
Is this boring? Is being "flat" boring? Even if I dress it up and add all kinds of things, would the perspective itself just get too stale? I know I haven't given you much to go on in terms of my own examples since I'm still in the thick of it, but what do you prefer? Do you prefer the attempt at a one point perspective kind of room, or a flatter room?