Untrusted - Development Retrospect - Choosing a style

One fairly common question I am asked is along the lines of "how do you draw the art in Untrusted?" so I though I'd make a post to share some of the process behind Untrusted :)

The short answer is: I don't - I'm not an artist, so while I can handle easy and simple icons, for everything more complex I rely on freelancers.

Lets see a couple of examples :)

Skill Icons

Some skill icons are easier than other. You may have noticed that all icons have a certain minimal / shaded background that I make in gimp, but some icons are hand drawn (crudely by yours truly) , then drawn better by an artist (in this case, Weatherly Tan) and ultimately brought back into the game style with the aforementioned background by myself, to ensure a certain degree of consistency as I sometimes make the more simple ones myself.

The image below shows the progress from crudely drawn (left) to artist rendition (middle) to final asset for the game.

Class Icons

Class icons were more difficult as initially I had to find an art style that would work well with the rest of the minimal UI, while still being unique enough, easy to recognize (no point in having class icons if all icons looks the same, right?) and one that I should easily be able to replicate consistently.

Initially, I had some good success by  cutting and pasting randomly generated faces on stock photos and applying certain filters from Gimp.

Gimp  would give a great, gritty look, that I loved, but aside being a time consuming task, I couldn't get consistently good results due to having the source images too different in style.

Since I'm not an artist I ended up using my reference (left) to investigate possible styles, including a short-live japanese-style experiment (middle) and the design that ultimately I settled on made by Twigs (right).

The one I made,  while I loved gritty looks, was a bit too realistic for the minimal taste I was going for, the Japanese experiment was too cute, and Twigs' style was excellent: minimal, yet detailed.

Other Art & final thoughts

There is not a lot to say about the remaining art: as the game is pretty minimal, I can get by even by not being an artist.

Avatars are mostly purchased assets, some coming from the Humble Bundle Fantasy Bundle 2019 for example and everything else is made with excruciating pain by yours truly via trial and error :)

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek in the developmenet process :) come play Untrusted with us!

We have regularly scheduled playtest (the next one probably on Sunday 22 November 2020, 19UTC) : check our discord at http://discord.playuntrusted.com and learn more about the game at www.playuntrusted.com !


Untrusted-Beta-Linux_x86_64.1061.tar.gz 42 MB
Nov 06, 2020
Untrusted-Beta-Win64.1061.zip 41 MB
Nov 06, 2020
webgl1061.zip Play in browser
Nov 06, 2020

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