How does one draw an endearing snail?

Posted on March 22, 2011 | 3 minute read

How does one draw an endearing snail?

I’ve been working so much on the mechanics of my game that sometimes I just want to take it easy and flesh out the design and some of the illustrations. I know, this isn’t really “taking it easy” - it’s also hard work. However, it kind of lets my brain switch to something different. I think I’ll need to find a balance of working on the gameplay and the style of the actual game. Besides, at this point things like implementing snail illustrations are still a very technical task for me. I’ll need to learn how to assign certain snail avatars to snails with different primary attributes, for example.

For now, however, I just want to find a way to draw a “cute” snail and assigning this generic snail image to a particular snail. I’ll worry about attribute-specific avatars and growth stages later. When I say “cute” I don’t really mean cute…endearing and cute aren’t the same thing. I don’t want the snails to be super-cartoony-adorable. That’s not the feel I’m going for. However, they do need to be attractive and unique. People have to look at their snails and say: “This is my snail. It looks pretty fricking awesome.” With most mammals, it’s pretty easy to imagine them as endearing illustrations. But an animal that most people don’t really think of as attractive in the first place, like a snail? Not that simple.

I know I definitely want the snail illustrations to be stylized, not realistic. I did a few doodles, but am having a big problem sitting the snail eyes on top of the antennae. Not to mention I’ve never drawn snails before. I just keep wanting to draw them on the main area of the head, even though I know that’s not where a snail’s eyes are. If this game actually nears completion, I might even look into investing in some custom illustrations. But for now, developing an art style and actually creating the art is all part of this big learning process for me.

On a slightly different note: I really feel like posting more in-depth progress on the game here to get advice from developers and other readers, but what do you all think of revealing ideas to the public while they are in the early stages of development? Too risky? I mean, seeing as I’m learning as I develop the game I know that if someone who knows what they’re doing did feel like ripping off this entire idea, they’d be able to complete it and get a finished product out there well before I would. In fact, someone around here already used this very game idea as “inspiration” (where’s that eye-rolling smiley?) for something on another platform earlier. They claim it was just for practice and that it won’t be released, but it just reiterated the need for secrecy to me. Maybe I’ll password protect the more in-depth posts and give the password only to certain people? It would limit the feedback and advice I get greatly, but it might be safer…

Tips? Feedback? How about posting some illustrations of snails that you like (with maybe a few words on why that particular illustration appeals to you?)

PS: For those who have accessed the current progress of the game on the live sandbox site, just a quick note that I’m now developing everything locally. The sandbox version is outdated, so don’t bother. I’ll take it offline when I can be bothered.




Categories:game dev dev games
comments powered by Disqus