I began my test by creating some new assets which I photographed inside my new portable photography studio:
As you can see the new studio gives nice even light across the entire object which is what I was hoping for. Next, I created assets from these photographs by cutting around the shapes in GIMP:
I then imported the assets into Unity and created some test scenes with them:
I’m really happy with how these scenes turned out. I think the lighting is probably what makes these scenes look particularly good, especially the darker scene. The process of creating this lighting isn’t too complicated either; it simply involves adding the right kind of material to the sprite and a directional light to the scene at the right angle. If you place the sprites close together in the z-axis, you can achieve a nice drop shadow effect from the directional light. I then used point and spot lights throughout the rest of the scene to achieve the look above.
Denizen’s levels will probably be less compact than these tests scenes, but I think the process of creating them will be very similar to this. Thankfully, these didn’t take long to create at all, so I’m hoping that when I begin to create Denizen’s actual levels, I will be able to iterate quite quickly.
Now that I know that this art style is viable and that I can create decent looking scenes in Unity using this method, I want to start designing some characters.