The background and the tiles are indistinguishable

What’s going on game developers?

Here is an image of the background implemented in the game.
Here is just the background

In the game that I work on, the background and the map tiles are pretty indistinguishable for new players, probably because they have similar colors and theme.
Are there any tips and tricks to make the background more like a background and be distinguishable from the map tiles?

The game has motion blur which kinda helps, when the player is running the background gets blurry therefore making it more distinguishable from the map tiles.
However, that is clearly not enough.

Any suggestions, tips or tricks will be greatly appreciated!

Hey developers! I did over 15+ variations of this background already, and here are some of them:

(darker and way more blurry)
(dawn colors and some blur)
(one of the coolest things I’ve done + blur)
(one of the coolest things combined with dawn colors + blur)

I managed to find one that fits perfectly, you can download the game for free over here, I know it’s a multiplayer game, don’t worry I personally take care of the servers :wink:

Add blur to the background.

Depth of field is realistic.

I tried that, unfortunately it doesn’t look good combined with the motion blur :’(
I will try to play with the motion blur a bit more meanwhile, and perhaps find a stable amount, do you guys have any other ideas? :slight_smile:

Add a misty appearance to the background since in real life far away objects are masked by air particles that reflect various colors (dirt, sun, etc).

Give the tiles more well defined edges with good contrast of brightness. Perhaps lower the color saturation of the background and raise the saturation of the foreground. Having highly detailed backgrounds naturally makes them stand out, when you really want them to not constantly grab the attention.

Another option is to uniformly make the backgrounds dark and foregrounds light, or vice versa. That way theres a good chance that they will always be distinguishable.

Instead of just saying that it doesn’t look good, why not post a picture of what it looks like?

I think you have a broader problem in that the image you posted is very noisy. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on: what are those brown blocks? What are those blue rocky looking blocks? What are the trees? What is that yellow thing? What are those skulls and red thing?

So it’s hard to tell what’s what: what can I walk on? What hurts me? What’s just background?

Another thing that adds noise is that you’ve got a bunch of different art styles going on: it looks like one person drew the background, one person drew the character, one person drew the tiles, one person drew the trees, etc. If I had to guess, I’d say that you probably just downloaded these from different sites. (Hopefully you’re planning on giving credit and/or money where appropriate.) Having a more uniform art style might help you out quite a bit.

My advice would be to try to simplify: use a simpler background, have fewer things on the screen at one time, try to use the same art style (and within that art style, you could then use different types of art to help categorize game items).

Keep it simple.

Hey you are right, I am sorry, I edited the comment, and also edited the thread with some really cool updated backgrounds.

I also tried to make it simpler, as you can see in the last 2 pictures I added to the thread post, let me know what do you think.

If anyone interested in playing, you can download the game completely for free here -, I know it’s a multiplayer game, don’t worry I personally take care of the servers :wink:

Something you could try as well is a dual layer background. have the “further” background move slower than the upper layer of the background. the “further” layer could be a bit darker. not only will that distinguish the layers, but with the way they move, it’ll feel more like a game background. Don’t get me wrong, the background looks very good and suites the game, but i understand what you mean about the background mixing in with the foreground

I think you need to add some shading. Make sure they’re all from 1 point/light source