Today, we put up the first in a line of Modern Tileset packs created by one of our very wonderful and friendly forum Admins: Lunarea.
This pack includes everything you need to build a city street, and a home interior!
I took the time to catch up with her and ask her some fun questions about her experience with RPG Maker, Video Games, Art, and creating tiles. So let’s get started!
What is your background with video games?
My first video game was Lazy Jones on Commodore 64 (oh, gosh, does that age me or what?).
Hmmm, I think we can try and avoid the age issue, for both our benefits, aha.
It was a very strange game about a lazy janitor and pretty much consisted of going into random doors and playing bizarre mini-games. I was never really good at it, but it opened me up to the idea of video games and how much wonderful fun they could be.
After that, I quickly moved to adventure and RPG games, eventually getting RPG Maker for Playstation as a birthday gift. I never got very far in that PS RPG Maker version, but it got me thinking that it must be easier to make events via the computer. And that’s when I found RM2K. I didn’t seriously get into any RPG Maker communities until RMXP, and the rest is history.
What got you into doing art?
My mom is an artist, and a darn good one at that. She didn’t make it her career and she didn’t really invest into it as a serious hobby until I was in highschool. But both her and my dad always made sure that my brother and I received a lot of exposure to arts and music. I’ve spent most of my childhood and early adulthood going to art galleries, festivals, concerts, theater, and libraries. So, art’s always been a part of my life to one degree or another.
I got into doing resource-related art mainly out of necessity, which I think is a place most resource artists start at XD. I think I initially gravitated toward tileset art because I really enjoy mapping. It was also very challenging after VX was released, because the style went from pixel to painting. It felt like I had to learn how to do art properly twice. It was great practice, though, and tons of practice is really the best way to get good at art.
What are your suggestions for aspiring artists?
I have tried a ton of methods over the years, and the best and quickest way I’ve found is to sit down and recreate an existing piece. Take some object from the RTP, zoom in, examine it thoroughly. Then take a brush and try to recreate it. There’s two main things that are helpful. The first is that it gives you the base for learning proportion, brushwork, palette and texture. The second is that you have a perfect piece to compare your work to. Working with a reference is awesome, but it can be difficult to put a real life reference into a style like the RTP – with its wonky perspective and all. So, find a style you like, recreate it, practice and then figure out if you want to branch away or stay within it.
What is your favorite kind of art to do?
I like lots of color and detail. So, tilesets and portraits are my absolute favorite to do in game-related art. I want to branch out to doing more figure drawing and character design at some point, but I feel like I’ve still got a lot to learn. Outside RM, I like softness – so I tend to gravitate to watercolors and pencil colors. I’m hoping to find some time down the line to get into oil on canvas. I want to paint happy little trees like Bob Ross does. I just need to find enough time to do it.
You are also a volunteer admin on the RMW forums, what is it that draws you to the community?
It’s just amazing to me to see people from all walks of life who have a passion for games and all the things that go into making games. I think video games are an incredible medium for self-expression and it’s just incredible to see what everyone comes up with. And whether someone is good or bad at making games, I always feel like I’m learning something from them. It’s a very cool feeling. I’ve also met so many wonderful people through the community. I’m so lucky to be able to call them my friends.
Do you have any other plans for future commercial graphics packs?
Yes! As I may have mentioned, I’m going to be working on some add-ons for the modern tiles (specialized tiles like shops, offices, transportation, etc). Beyond that, I have several very exciting and very-much-secret tile projects lined up. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you have an RM Project that you are currently working on? If so what is it about?
I have two at the moment. My main project is Twice Upon a Hero, and it’s a different take on a classic RPG adventure. My side project is Wish Upon: Starlight, and it’s a very lighthearted and cute adventure game. I’ve also got a secret little something I’ve been working on that I will be unveiling in 2 weeks.
What makes you interested in an RM Project?
I download a game when I get a strong feeling that the developer has spent a lot of time and effort on their project and when they’re an active part of the community. I’m definitely much more likely to check out your project if I’ve seen your name in discussions or if I’ve seen you showing support to fellow developers in some way. I admit that I always check out the screenshots first (who doesn’t?!), but mainly because I have a bit of photographic memory and it helps me remember projects better if I remember images associated with it. I do really love seeing RTP used, especially if it’s used creatively and used well.
You made a lot of the Modern pack while livestreaming, did you find this enjoyable? Do you plan to continue doing this for further projects?
I am definitely going to livestream more tileset-making sessions. Not only was it fun to chat with people as I’m making objects (and it was tremendously fun to watch “guess the random object Luna is making now!” game), but it kept me very focused on just making tiles. I often get sidetracked by forums or the Internet in general, which ends up making the tiles take much longer.
I know that I enjoyed watching you create the tiles in the livestream too! Hopefully more people can join us in the future. Thanks for the interview, Lunarea, it was wonderful to talk to you. To all the RMers out there, I’m sure I say from all of us from the RMW community, have fun, and make your dream games come true!