A very generic term referring to visual part of a game. Thus try to avoid unrelevant usage and instead tag for specific grapics type (2D, 3D), API, framework or a library you are using if possible.

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224
votes
20answers
139k views

Where can I find free sprites and images? [closed]

I need sprites and images, such as characters, landscapes and others. Where can I find them?
82
votes
8answers
118k views

How do I get started making Android games? [closed]

I am new to game development. I am interested in developing 2D games for the Android platform. What is the best place to start with (i.e) What are the basics and how to proceed? I already have ...
49
votes
5answers
10k views

Which image format is more memory-efficient: PNG, JPEG, or GIF?

Which image format is more efficient to save memory? PNG, JPEG, or GIF?
45
votes
7answers
3k views

Why no night sky with realistic star constellations?

As an amateur stargazer I noticed that many games which have night scenarios use textures for the night sky where the stars seem to be arranged entirely randomly. It seems like they were created by an ...
43
votes
13answers
3k views

How to make some monsters appear more dangerous than others?

My game is an open-world co-op MMO with retro graphics, permadeath and no leveling system. The problem I'm facing, is the fact that I don't know how to make some monsters appear harder than others. ...
42
votes
8answers
9k views

Where to start with game development? [closed]

I asked this earlier in this thread at stackoverflow.com. One of the early comments redirected me here to gamedev.stackexchange.com, so I'm reposting here. Searching for related questions I found a ...
39
votes
12answers
3k views

Why can we recognize game engines?

About many games you can say "oh that's the Unreal engine for sure", "this was made by upgrading GTA 4", etc. We can often recognize the engine used for a game just by looking at its graphics ...
37
votes
2answers
3k views

How to render realistic ice?

I am trying to write an ice shader in Unity that looks good and at least semi-realistic. If the following shot (found on Google) was CG, what would its shader include? (the foreground cave). I might ...
32
votes
10answers
3k views

What makes a game look “good”? [closed]

I am working on a 3D space game using OpenGL and C++ and I am planning to focus on giving the game modern, eye-catching graphics, but the more I think of it the more I realise I don't really know what ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do games ask for screen resolution instead of automatically fitting the window size?

It seems to me that it would be more logical, reusable and user-friendly to implement flexible, responsive UI layout over a 3d or 2d screen, which can then be run on any screen resolution. Some ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you author HDR content?

How do you make it easy for your artists to author content for an HDR renderer? What kinds of tools should you provide, and what workflows need to change, in going from LDR to HDR? Note that I'm not ...
30
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the purpose of the stencil buffer ? More precisely, what is a stencil in computer graphics?

I read the stencil word a lot, and I don't have a clue what is its real purpose in computer graphics. Seeing the picture in black and white on wikipedia, I'm still having problem with it. Why do we ...
30
votes
1answer
6k views

Rendering SVG art directly in XNA

Suppose I have a bunch of 2D art in some vectorized format such as SVG. Is there an easy-ish way to render that directly without having to implement a full SVG renderer myself? Of course I could ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I make a good-looking explosion particle effect?

I'm not much of an artist, but I'm trying to make decent particle effects in a 2.5D game. I'm making a replica of Wii Play's "Tanks" and I can't quite get the explosions to look good. I'm not going ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

24-Bit Colordepth not enough?

I noticed that in very soft gradients, the 24-Bit colordepth is not enough as you can see the transitions of the color. This pops out the most in dark scenes or night skies. Why doesn't anybody ...
26
votes
6answers
6k views

About floating point precision and why do we still use it

Floating point has always been troublesome for precision on large worlds. This article explains behind-the-scenes and offers the obvious alternative - fixed point numbers. Some facts are really ...
24
votes
4answers
14k views

How can a programmer learn to draw 2D assets? [closed]

Are there any good tutorials for someone who wants to create 2D graphical game assets? Drawing classes for absolute beginners, preferably teaching skills that can be as relevant as possible to games - ...
24
votes
4answers
781 views

What viable way for an indie dev to test for epilepsy reactions on a game?

So I've been developing a game which is a bit.. blinky in terms of color and lightness contrasts. It's a game for the iPhone, so the screen's not gonna be so big.. But I've heard about wipeout XL ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I make this style of 2D “glowing” graphics?

I'm comfortable with the basics of building a 2d sprite based game in XNA, where all my objects are simply .png images that I move around. What things do I need to learn next to be able to develop a ...
21
votes
5answers
23k views

What is ambient occlusion?

I've heard about ambient occlusion and it looks nice, but what exactly is it?
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there 3D projections other than orthographic and perspective? [closed]

The question is pretty much in the title. Are there notable 3D projections other than orthographic and perspective that could be used in a 3D system such as OpenGL? In particular, are there any that ...
20
votes
9answers
9k views

Tips and Tools for creating Spritesheet animations

I am looking for a tool that I can use to create sprite sheet easily. Right now I am using Illustrator, but I can never get the center of the character in the exact position, so it looks like it is ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

What all should be happening during the “Loading” screen?

Do I just need to be creating instances of all of my graphics into memory that are loaded from file? What is the best way to handle this? Do I just need some sort of assets manager that creates ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How are physics or graphics components typically built in a component-oriented system?

I have spent the last 48 hours reading up on Object Component systems, and feel I am ready enough to start implementing it. I got the base Object and Component classes created, but now that I need to ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between mesh and a model?

Which one is created first? For example if a team worked on a graphical asset of a car, what would be a model and what would be a mesh of the car?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What should every graphics programmer write [closed]

I've seen this question on SO, but here i want it to focus on GFX. So in your opinion what applications/features should every aspiring GFX programmer write/change to get better? Community wiki since ...
16
votes
12answers
2k views

3D theory before graphics APIs? [closed]

I'm a software engineer and I'm hoping to move my career towards game development. I'm reading a book right now on 2D using C++/DirectX. When I get into 3D I know I want to do it correctly. For ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Quick 2D sight area calculation algorithm?

I have a matrix of tiles, on some of that tiles there are objects. I want to calculate which tiles are visible to player, and which are not, and I need to do it quite efficiently (so it would compute ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

The practical cost of swapping effects

I use XNA for my projects and on those forums I sometimes see references to the fact that swapping an effect for a mesh has a relatively high cost, which surprises me as I thought to swap an effect ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I improve or replace my programmer art? [closed]

Say I'm a programmer who has done his own sprites or 3d models which would fall into programmer-ish kind of art. What steps can I take in order to improve or replace my own art?
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Where do I start if I want to independently learn game graphic design? [closed]

I want to learn how to create custom graphics, not use freely available resources. But I have been looking around for articles or tutorials on how to start with 2D game design in general, and I can't ...
14
votes
7answers
10k views

What are some cool examples of procedural pixel shader effects? [closed]

What are some good examples of procedural or screen-space pixel shader effects? No code is necessary; I'm just looking for inspiration. In particular, I'm looking for effects that are not dependent ...
14
votes
1answer
583 views

Rendering oily/polluted water?

Any shader wizards out there have an idea of how to achieve an oily/polluted water effect, similar to this: Ideally, the water would not be uniformly oily, but instead the oil could be generated ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the graphics card do with the fourth element of a vector as the final position?

From this question it appears you would want a four-element position vector, as it is simpler to modify its position with matrix multiplication. On its own this would imply the fourth element should ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Pleasing isometric hexagons

What angles and long-side:short-side ratios give the most aesthetically pleasing and graphically regular isometric (squashed, flat side up) hexes; that additionally resolve to whole pixel sizes for ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

boolean operations on meshes

given a set of vertices and triangles for each mesh. Does anyone know of an algorithm, or a place to start looking( I tried google first but haven't found a good place to get started) to perform ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Bezier curve arc length

How can I find the distance traveled by a Bezier curve? For example, the distance traveled by a Linear Bezier Curve is: distance = sqrt(pow(x[1] - x[0], 2) + pow(y[1] - y[0], 2)); But what about ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

What does the term “channel” mean when used in regards to computer graphics?

I was studying terminology for computer graphics, and this statement came up that confused me. The image can have alpha channels for transparency. I tried searching for the meaning of the term ...
13
votes
4answers
575 views

How to implement soft edge areas with particles

My game is created using Phaser, but the question itself is engine-agnostic. In my game I have several environments, essentially polygonal areas that player characters can move into and be affected ...
12
votes
3answers
737 views

Recreating this flat-shaded look

I'll keep it short. How does one achieve the effect depicted in the image below? Is it feasible to do in realtime? It looks deceptively simple, but it probably isn't. Are there any keywords I can ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I scale down pixel art?

There are plenty of algorithms to scale up pixel art. (I prefer hqx, personally.) But are there any notable algorithms to scale it down? My game is designed to run at a resolution of 1280x720, but if ...
12
votes
3answers
820 views

What platform were old TV video games developed on?

I am very eager to know how TV video games (which we all used to play in our childhood) were developed and on which platform. I know how games are developed for mobile devices, Windows PC's and Mac ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

High Performance Vector Graphics Solutions [closed]

I'm looking for a high performance vector graphics library I can use in my games. I'm thinking along the lines of vector graphics such as those that can be made with SVG. I'll consider any language ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I query available video memory using DirectX?

How do you query the amount of VRAM available when using DirectX?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

HLSL Translucent Plastic Shader

I'm trying to produce a shader to replicate a white plastic object with a colored light inside. Either by having a shader that will be translucent and if I put a light inside the object the light will ...
12
votes
2answers
404 views

Clear reference implementations of MLAA?

Does anyone know of a clearly written reference implementation of morphological antialiasing (MLAA)? Intel provide a paper and reference implementation at the following address, but I find the code ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is Y up in many Games?

I learned at school that the z-axis is up. It is the same in modeling software like Blender. However in many games the y-axis is up. What is reason?
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Fastest way to create a simple particle effect

I am looking to the fastest way to create really simple particle effect that will be spammed like hell on the game... Basically, my game looks like a vectrex game, made mostly of lines... I want to ...
11
votes
1answer
419 views

Breathing for game/movie characters

Breathing (the movement of chest and face features): I'd like to ask if it is hard to model and whether it is computationaly expensive. I recently noticed the great effect it has in Madagascar 3 ...
11
votes
1answer
847 views

How do 2D art assets (eg. sprites) work?

I have an idea on a game and planning on developing a 2D game using XNA for Windows Phone 7. I've started off today by free hand drawing some concept art of what I want some of the characters to ...