Is there a suitable software or a good tutorial for creating 2D rooms/scenery for adventure games from real photos?

Is it possible to achieve good results by using photos, or the hand-drawn style will always be the best choice?

Thank you!

--- EDIT ---

I want to clarify that I'm particularly interested in the art creation process, not on the environment in which to build games. I'm writing the game in Java for Android, but I don't think it matters.

Also, I'm not trying to decide if the game will have photo realistic rooms or not - I want to achieve 2d pixelated, old-school style background scenes and I wonder if this can be made from photos, because I cannot draw them myself.

For example, can I shoot a scene with my camera and then make it look something like the image in the following link:


I know that I cannot get the same quality as an absolutely hand-drawn pixel, but I'm looking for some decent technology/tutorial/software to make them somewhat similar.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you talking about point-and-click type games? \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Skiles Oct 15 '12 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I'm interested in point&click type \$\endgroup\$ – luben Oct 15 '12 at 12:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a wide topic, but for now, I'll leave this "post mortem" here: Making the Graphics of Faery Tale by "Ookami Kasumi" - is this something you're looking for? \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Sojka Oct 15 '12 at 15:42

I won't say it is impossible, I will say it seems impossible but I love the idea and you should definitely try it.

I would start with duplicating the question on https://photo.stackexchange.com/

As for what techniques I would try:

  • make a photo with a high contrast lightning, probably achieved by some back-light, e.g. a lamp hidden behind one of trees (or multiple lamps).
  • then mess with RAW file achieving even more contrast
  • apply some sharpening filters
  • apply pixelizing filters - I think the effect will be best if the filters aren't applied to whole image, but only to a part of it
  • apply some edge-tracing filters
  • decrease color palette using weak dithering

With these, I could turn this into this. I like former better, but style obviously changed.


It is possible to create an adventure based on real photos. The question which is better, comic/hand-drawn style or realistic, depends on the style and content of your game. Myst is a fairly old but also popular example of realistic adventure games.

There are plenties of free solutions which helps you to create such a game.

If you are interested in the background or some concrete solutions please specify which programming language you are using, or if you just want some game maker like solution. A widely known solution is the Adventure Game Studio, which allows you to import your own backgrounds, define zones for click interaction and lay out a basic Point´n Click adventure. Hope this gets you started!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll edit my question, because it seems that it's not clearly asked. \$\endgroup\$ – luben Oct 15 '12 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok I think to this redefined question the answer given by Markus von Broady is what you are looking for. \$\endgroup\$ – floAr Oct 16 '12 at 8:14

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