VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

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Evy
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VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#1 Post by Evy » Thu May 11, 2017 11:17 am

Hi guys. I'm thinking of making some customizable, free-to-use VN sprites in my downtime, and I figured I'd conduct a sort of survey to see what people's preferences/needs are. Please note that this would be for relatively anime style sprites that are neither moe nor super mature.

So let's get on with it!
  • Do you prefer having full, pre-made expressions, or do you prefer the Mr. Potato Head method in which you can switch around each facial feature variation?
  • Do you prefer the sprite to show the entire body? Or do you prefer having a certain cut-off point? (Mid-shin, knees, hips, etc.)
  • Do you prefer having different sprite bases for each body type variation, or being able to mix-and-match body portions?
  • With hairstyles, do you prefer having a whole hairstyle on its own layer, or mix-and-matching front, side and back parts to further customize hairstyles?
  • Do you prefer having set color options, or being able to edit the colors as you see fit?
  • Is pose variation really important to you?
  • What kind of characters would you really want to see more of? Plus-sized characters? Older characters? Etc...
  • Is there anything else you'd like to note?
Keep in mind that this is kind of tentative! And if I do go through with it, it would be in my free time when I'm not working on commissions or my projects. Basically my idea would work very well as a dollmaker, but... haha, hell if I know how to code a dollmaker.

So yes, if you could take a minute to answer these questions, I'd appreciate it! o/

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Nuxill
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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#2 Post by Nuxill » Thu May 11, 2017 11:35 am

I've played around with extremely customizable sprites before, and personally I find going through all of the options can be kind of tiring. I don't have the patience to go through every front hair, back hair, eye style, eybrows, etc... Personally, a sprite that has a few set hairdos, a basic amount of stock emotions and a few alternative outfits is way more appealing than something that's SUPER customizable. Of course, I can draw my own sprites, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt.

For pose variation, I think having several arm positions for each base would be appreciated by people, even if it would extra work. Though if you were going to make a large pool of sprites to choose from, it might not be as important. There's not a lot of sprite groups out there that go beyond 3-4 characters.

And we need more variety in the types of characters available. High school students are popular, but if you want to make a different type of vn there's a lot less to choose from.

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Banya
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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#3 Post by Banya » Thu May 11, 2017 11:47 am

I hope this helps :)



1. Pre-made expressions and PNG sprites in a ZIP\RAR file
2. Until the hips is fine
3. I didn't get this ^^"
4. Whole hairstyle
5. I'm fine with a static sprite, but color options are cool
6. Children (for flashbacks)
7. It would be good a set of at least 5 people, so you can make a game without using sprites from different authors

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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Thu May 11, 2017 12:44 pm

Evy wrote:Is pose variation really important to you?
Yes. I think that it's a good way to convey the character's mood or attitude. It can add to the expression on their face.
Evy wrote:What kind of characters would you really want to see more of? Plus-sized characters? Older characters?
Either would be fine. Those options would help a creator design a variety of characters.
Evy wrote:Is there anything else you'd like to note?
I don't think you will benefit from a style which is "relatively anime style sprites that are neither moe nor super mature." Instead, look at what individual illustrators and studios have created. Think about what you like and dislike regarding their art. Then create drawings which reflect your personal tastes. Aim for distinct art which can stand out when compared to other illustrations.

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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#5 Post by Mammon » Thu May 11, 2017 5:13 pm

  • Do you prefer having full, pre-made expressions, or do you prefer the Mr. Potato Head method in which you can switch around each facial feature variation?
    A lot of variations is neat looking but usually doesn't actually do much. As the pose and general appearance will stay the same, even if the hair and skin color can be changed, the sprites will look too similar for the 'same art style' advantage to apply.
    However, I personally prefer a .psd file where I can not only do a Mr. Potato head but also make everything but f.e. the eyes invisible so that I can make that an image of its own. Works well with im.Composite 'ing the expressions faster and easier if there's a lot of them. And the amount of combinations rise exponentionally, plus there's no need for the expressions (and expression statements) x2 during a costume change, if that applies.
    So: If you mean 'you can make multiple characters from it' then no, but if you mean allowing the player to switch up the expressions then yes. Or just do both, the expressions will have to come from that .psd (or whatever you use) anyway so you already have it.
  • Do you prefer the sprite to show the entire body? Or do you prefer having a certain cut-off point? (Mid-shin, knees, hips, etc.)
    Entire body is better, but rarely used and most likely people will crop the feet off anyway so I wouldn't say it's that necessary.
  • Do you prefer having different sprite bases for each body type variation, or being able to mix-and-match body portions?
    You mean that someone would have multiple arms (hanging, stroking chin, holding an invisible apple etc.) or something in that regard? That would be quite nice, but don't combine it with multiple outfits. That's a hell to do.
  • With hairstyles, do you prefer having a whole hairstyle on its own layer, or mix-and-matching front, side and back parts to further customize hairstyles?
    Whole would probably be best, it'll be hard for you and maybe a bit awkward if you'd make them all in a way that they'd work together.
  • Do you prefer having set color options, or being able to edit the colors as you see fit?
    That makes me wonder if there's even a way to add such a 'choose your own color' feature simply in a standard CC sprite file. If there is, I'd say custom colors is preferred as long as it won't take you a looooong time to do.
  • Is pose variation really important to you?
    Ah, so that's not what you meant with 3, oh well. It's nice, I did so myself for P&Y and plan to use it again later, but with a CC it might be difficult to tell what will and won't be used. A pose variation where the head (and thus the expressions) don't change is a must to remain sane though.
  • What kind of characters would you really want to see more of? Plus-sized characters? Older characters? Etc...
    I think that the regular characters that one'd often use such as the typical student etc. would be most likely to be used, and by not giving them a school uniform or making them more adult you can probably diverge from that cliche. Characters that are barely seen in VNs probably won't be used that much simply because they probably won't make a story of their own or don't match with the art style of the other characters.
  • Is there anything else you'd like to note?
    To become a much used CC, wide usability and a large set of characters is probably paramount to success. See Uncle Mugen. Maybe make a few simpler sprites to get acquainted with what and how people want CCs before you spend a lot of time on something that doesn't get used a lot, so that you already have a larger selection for them to choose from.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#6 Post by kwhero » Fri May 12, 2017 7:32 pm

A lot of these questions seem to be about presets or more versatile options. The way I see it, versatility is always better, but also harder to make. But if you feel up to the task, the more options, the better. But about the characters I'd like to see more of. I never see enough male or older sprites available, so that might be nice. Have fun with your project!

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Re: VN Character Sprites - Questionnaire

#7 Post by Chiagirl » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:50 pm

Nuxill wrote:
Thu May 11, 2017 11:35 am
I've played around with extremely customizable sprites before, and personally I find going through all of the options can be kind of tiring. I don't have the patience to go through every front hair, back hair, eye style, eybrows, etc... Personally, a sprite that has a few set hairdos, a basic amount of stock emotions and a few alternative outfits is way more appealing than something that's SUPER customizable. Of course, I can draw my own sprites, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt.

For pose variation, I think having several arm positions for each base would be appreciated by people, even if it would extra work. Though if you were going to make a large pool of sprites to choose from, it might not be as important. There's not a lot of sprite groups out there that go beyond 3-4 characters.

And we need more variety in the types of characters available. High school students are popular, but if you want to make a different type of vn there's a lot less to choose from.
Bascially this. But to actually answer the questions myself:

1. full, pre-made expressions

2. As long as it's kept consistent throughout the set I don't think it matters as much. I rarely see VNs that use sprites below hip level, but full body is nice as it can be cropped or left in depending on what you need.

3.different sprite bases for each body type variation

4. hairstyle on its own layer

5. Options are nice, but if they aren't done as separate sprites but rather something I have to go through and change manually and then resave myself (see above in the quote) then I'd rather have only 1 or 2 variations set up and ready to go than a dozen I have to put together myself.

6. Pose variation is EXTREMELY important, and I think is the biggest thing lacking from free to use sprites as most only have 1 pose. If you look at any commercial quality VN the characters all have several poses; I would provide at least 3 different poses at the bare minimum. I'd rather have 10 expressions and 3 poses than 50 expressions and 1 pose if that helps you get an idea of how much I value them.

7. More teenage to young adult males, or more characters that could be used as parents, teachers, or bosses of characters in said age range. The majority of free sprites are teenage to young adult females which is nice if you want to make a dating sim for guys, but if you want an otome game its extremely hard to find sets with more than 2 males. Adult and young children sprites are hard to find as well, especially in sets. I'd also like more than just you typical "modern day average Joe" as far as sprites go and would love to see more fantasy, Victorian, and medieval sprites as those are genres I've always been interested in. As the same characters in several different age ranges would be nice for a story that spans a lifetime, as well as for flashbacks and time travel VNs.

8. The one thing I wish more sprite packs would include is CGs (the unlockable gallery pictures with the characters used in special scenes). I know it's hard to predict what kind of game people want to make so making so making CGs likely to please the majority of users is difficult, but every good game has them, and those using sprite packs likely lack drawing skills and so obviously don't have the talents to make them ourselves. If there could just be a halfway decent sprite pack out there that included these as well as multiple poses, I may actually be able to get a game done that looks to be commercial quality as opposed to an extreme budget VN.

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