Unified Bestiary Project

Unified Bestiary Project

pennomi's picture

I'm not quite sure if this would be the place to suggest a project like this, but I've been thinking of it for a while now. In fact, it might not be a good idea at all, but I figure I'd get some input to see what you all think.

One of the main concerns about Open Game Art is that there's not really a lot of unified art being submitted. We get submissions that range from terrible (My submissions can often claim this territory!) to decent to simply amazing. It's really hard, however, to pull all of that art together into a single game because it is all so different.

One striking example of good, unified art is Clint Bellanger's (pfunked) FLARE assets. He creates excellent, low-poly, rigged and animated 3D models which he renders as 2D sprites for the game. I've seen several projects now that make use of both the sprites and the 3D models.

(Now, here's the pitch:)

What if there was a compendium of monsters, all in a unified art style, already pre-rendered in several formats to facilitate the use in other games? Imagine a website where you browse by monster name, and when you go to the monster's page, the art is automatically available in many formats: blend, isometric spritesheet, top-down spritesheet, platformer spritesheet, portrait, concept art, etc. All of them look like they belong together, so it's easy to pull the assets together into one game.

A good baseline for .blend quality I'd suggest starting with is similar to FLARE. They are low poly, but still high enough quality to look good in many formats. A good selection to have a goal of creating is nethack's monster list: http://ubuntuone.com/p/tfi/

So I guess what I'm suggesting is a website, with content much more strictly regulated than OGA, that holds just monsters. Naturally, all content there would also be uploaded to OGA (since I really believe in OGA). I guess it could be a partner site. I'm certainly willing to pay all the hosting costs, and do a significant amount of coding there (I do PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, etc.), but I have no experience with Drupal (which would almost certainly make it much easier to code). Also, one-man projects typically fail (FLARE, once again, being a notable exception ;) ), so help would definitely increase my potential for success.

Would anyone be interested in contributing to a project such as this? I'd need help coding and with the art itself. Probably once it got going, I'd figure out a way to offer bounties for the most necessary art assets (I've got a couple of ideas there for how to fund that...).