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OrsonDeWitt

Stylized Ancient Egyptian drawings instead of sophisticated CGs?

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I have a crazy idea.
I am working on a historically accurate (as much as it can be) visual novel set in Ancient Egypt right now, and before today, I thought I would make it look just like a regular visual novel with realistic CG, but I'm having second thoughts know, and here's my new idea:

What if instead of backgrounds and character sprites looking at the screen I would make the whole game play like an animation movie made up of individual Ancient Egyptians drawings? Like in the Ice Age cartoon.

The idea would be to blend modern graphics with Ancient Egyptian drawing style, and this could also be used to denote different scenes (e.g. sunflare would give the impression that the characters are outside), so that would eliminate the need of backgrounds. The drawings would only change when you click to continue the story.

I made a mockup with pictures from Google:
https://imgur.com/tWVUr01
And another drawing style:
https://imgur.com/a/zwAU01K

The way I imagine it the characters would move their heads and hands, have emotions, take different poses and interact with each other (e.g. a character could be killed by another with a spear, etc.)

However, the question is whether it would be interesting to follow and wouldn't it be like too much movement for such a game (some people don't like things moving when they're reading, and these sprites would change with nearly every reply). 

Another thing I'm really concerned about is that it would look cheap. My current artist can draw the most beautiful environments that can captivate people, and reducing her to Ancient Egyptian drawings seems counter-productive. I mean, if you were to look at screenshots on steam, would you really consider buying such a game, even if the interface looked pretty, and the characters weren't too shabby?

Thanks.

Edited by OrsonDeWitt

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Looks pretty meat to me - definitely unique, as while there are tons of nicely-drawn VNs on Steam, I haven't seen much this. Also it shouldn't look cheap, if you stylize the UI and execute the artstyle well enough...

It might be a bit too much if the game game was just this IMO. Still, if you combine traditional sprites and backgrounds for more casual scenes and use the hieroglyphics to portrait more complex/important ones, I'd be all for it. Also, if these are easier/cheaper to make, it will simply let you include more unique illustrations, which is always a great thing. EVNs often end up very light on CGs and leave many events understated because of the budget constraints. Hieroglyphs are a very nice tool because they let you show many things in a very simplified manner (court events, battles etc), which might be "inferior" to drawing them realistically, but much better than just describing them.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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17 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Looks pretty meat to me - definitely unique, as while there are tons of nicely-drawn VNs on Steam, I haven't seen much this. Also it shouldn't look cheap, if you stylize the UI and execute the artstyle well enough...

It might be a bit too much if the game game was just this IMO. Still, if you combine traditional sprites and backgrounds for more casual scenes and use the hieroglyphics to portrait more complex/important ones, I'd be all for it. Also, if these are easier/cheaper to make, it will simply let you include more unique illustrations, which is always a great thing. EVNs often end up very light on CGs and leave many events understated because of the budget constraints. Hieroglyphs are a very nice tool because they let you show many things in a very simplified manner (court events, battles etc), which might be "inferior" to drawing them realistically, but much better than just describing them.

Yes, the constraint on the number of CGs was one of the motivators for this. Don't you think that mixing drawings with CGs would change the atmosphere too much while in game? I'm thinking of having CGs exclusive to all the multiple endings instead. 

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4 hours ago, OrsonDeWitt said:

Yes, the constraint on the number of CGs was one of the motivators for this. Don't you think that mixing drawings with CGs would change the atmosphere too much while in game? I'm thinking of having CGs exclusive to all the multiple endings instead. 

It definitely could, but it much depends on when you use them and how you handle the transitions. I imagined them being "interludes" of sorts between the normal story sections, showing the events that are bigger in scale, cover longer periods of time or include many characters outside of the main cast (just as you would see storybook-style, narrated segments in some RPGs, filling you on events that aren't shown through gameplay), but obviously I don't know how you story is going to be structured. Saving them for the end might be a good idea too, if you think you can tell the core story properly without any CGs. 

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