Pepper&Carrot: The Wizard

I did my best; the result is not good.

Screenshot of Pepper&Carrot: The Wizard, showing Pepper looking through a window with a speech balloon that says “Some kind of duck, I believe.”

As has become usual for me, i tried to do write a simple, point-and-click graphic adventure game. This time, however, i planed to add some elements of escape room.

Reasons are threefold: I was going to use a library with the common code i developed during previous jams, so i was not going to start from scratch this time and was confident that i could add more puzzles thanks to this; an escape room, by definition, would limit the game to a room, maybe with intro and outro scenes, thus reducing the number of backgrounds to draw; and we created the unimaginatively named “escape room” project on Gitlab two years ago, but was not getting anywhere, so i wanted to close this project once and for all.

The result is not an escape room. It is barely a game. And the only reason that it even has a complete, albeit short, story is because i did not need to spend that many hours with the code, thanks to the aforementioned library of common code. Otherwise, i think i would have almost nothing to submit.

There was a thing i did not take into account: The time i would need to draw the graphics in the more or less same style as David Revoy’s, author of Pepper&Carrot.

David Revoy is a professional artist, and a very competent one, whether or not you like his art, therefore his style is way more refined than the poor, unskilled drawings i usually try to pass as game graphics. And i am a rather mediocre programmer, not an artist, and even less a skilled artist, thus i needed a lot more time that i anticipated to try to do something that would be a passable first rough draft of a Pepper&Carrot episode, at least.

Here is an example. This is the reference image i used to draw in Inkscape the background of the first scene:

A derivative by Perita of Spooky Cute House by David Revoy, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0. Changes made: Scale and crop.

This is the version i did:

A redrawing of David Revoy’s Spooky Cute House in Inkscape by Perita, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

My version is noticeable worse in every possible aspect, but at least is “recognizable” and has a somewhat Pepper&Carrot likeness. That is what i was after.

Of course, seeing as most of the art by David Revoy is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0, the most pertinent question would be why did i not just use his images as is, as other, smarter, developers have done. And the answer is: Animations.

Pepper&Carrot is a comic and, naturally, the characters (usually) do not move, which means i had to draw them whether i wanted or not. I already tried to do animations with Krita for The Lighthouse Keeper and quickly realized i do not have the necessary skill (yet?) to do keyframing animations, as i have lots of trouble to draw the same thing from scratch but with slightly variations, even with onion skin. With Inkscape i just need to duplicate the current image and then “move vertices around” until the character is doing the pose i need; way easier for someone like me to do. Of course, that also means that the characters then move more stiff, like a robot.

And, once i had the characters redrawn in Inkscape, i could not just drop David Revoy’s art as background, because, as good as they are, would not match at all with the cleaner style of the vectorized characters. Do not get me wrong, i am completely sure that good artists could draw the characters in a way that would match Revoy’s art; it’s just that i am not a artist, and i can’t do that—either all is vectorial or all is done in Krita.

As i already said: I did my best; the result is not good.