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Scenario 6: Game Scenes

Are longer prompts really better?​

According to Midjourney's official documentation, not necessarily:

Prompts can be very simple. Single words (or even an emoji!) will produce an image. Very short prompts will rely heavily on Midjourney’s default style, so a more descriptive prompt is better for a unique look. However, super-long prompts aren’t always better. Concentrate on the main concepts you want to create.

But you'll find that the prompts shared in the Chinese community are very long. If you look closely or use a translation tool, you'll find some interesting things:

  1. Some words are misspelled. This is because some books don't allow copying and pasting, so people use OCR on prompts, resulting in recognition errors that get propagated as people share prompts, which has become a sort of new age watermark.
  2. Some words are highly repetitive, like 8k, UHD, Ultra Quality - they're all talking about the same thing, high resolution. Adding more doesn't have a compounding effect.
  3. Many words you have no idea why they're needed, but everyone seems to add them. Like 8K - have you thought about whether this word is necessary or useful? In fact, these words are not officially recommended, and can even damage your images (see Midjourney's FAQ section for details).

If you read through my tutorial, you'll find that many of the example prompts I provide are very short, yet generate great images.

Of course I'm not saying you can't write long prompts - if your desired content is complex, a longer prompt is understandable. But ask yourself if each part is truly necessary.

Pixel Game​

Talking about games, my favorite style is pixel art. Pixel art styles generally include:

  • 8-bit
  • 16-bit
  • 32-bit

Feel free to try them out. Here's a prompt I wrote - with the latest Zelda game Skyward Sword releasing, I really liked their sky island setting, so I used Midjourney to generate a 16-bit pixel art version:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?16-bit pixel art16 bit style
What is the subject?island in the clouds, ancient ruinsSky island, with ancient ruins
What is the background?nullAlready described in the focus, so didn't repeat
What is the composition?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?Zelda styleSince it's based on Zelda, added Zelda style
ParametersnullNo parameters

Here's another scene with Pokémon:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?8-bit pixel artChanged to more retro 8 bit style
What is the subject?types of PokémonI want the AI to generate something like a Pokémon type chart

Both prompts are short, but generate fun, playable images - feel free to experiment more:

MJ047.png

3D Game Scenes​

Due to length constraints, I can't cover all 3D game prompts - I'll just share some of my favorite styles. I'm also not a professional 3D designer, so apologies if I get anything wrong.

For 3D game scenes, I love the isometric pixel art miniature style, though I'm not sure if that's what it's called 😂. Here's a sample prompt:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?isometric clean pixel artI asked ChatGPT about this style name, not 100% sure it's right
What is the subject?robotics labA robotics lab
What is the background?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the composition?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?nullAlready mentioned in type, so didn't repeat
ParametersnullNo parameters

The images below show a Mars factory on the left, and robotics lab on the right:

MJ065.png

3D Game Characters​

I won't go too deep into character descriptions, but want to share key elements for 3D prompts:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?blender 3dI tested it and 3d alone also works, but for some reason doesn't look right - adding blender makes it much better. Blender is a 3D modeling software.
What is the subject?Dark Vader, full body, cuteFull body image of Darth Vader, but I want it in a cute chibi style
What is the background?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the composition?isometricIsometric projection, a way to represent 3D objects in 2D - you'll see in the generated images below.
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?Pixar, style of artstationAdded Pixar style, and like how I mentioned Behance for illustrations, I added Artstation which is similar but for 3D/game art.
ParametersnullNo parameters

Here are the images I generated of Darth Vader and a stormtrooper - I think the stormtrooper looks pretty cute:

MJ048.png

3D Game Equipment​

There are so many types of game equipment I can't cover them all, so I'll just share what I'm familiar with. For rings, many fantasy games feature signet rings:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?blender 3dCan include or omit
What is the subject?star war, signet ringStar Wars signet ring
What is the background?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the composition?isometricIsometric projection - can include or omit
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?nullNot too important, let AI decide
ParametersnullIsometric projection - can include or omit

Another common one is item collections - you would write it like:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?blender 3d, game sheetGame sheet is like those info sheets showing different equipment
What is the subject?lightsabers, paladin armor,I want to generate a collection of lightsabers and paladin armor
What is the background?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the composition?nullAlready mentioned in type, so didn't repeat
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?style of HearthstoneI love Hearthstone's style and am curious how a medieval style would look with sci-fi elements
ParametersnullNo parameters

Here is the final generated image, though I'm not fully satisfied with the equipment collection - later I'll share a technique to iteratively improve generated images:

MJ050.png

Tip 10: Iteratively Improve via Controlled Variable Changes​

Many compare AI image generation to alchemy. It's true that small mystery tweaks in prompts can greatly change the output.

But while the process resembles alchemy, I don't think we need to take an ancient trial-and-error approach to find the philosopher's stone. I believe the best way to use Midjourney is: iterative improvement via controlled variable changes.

Let's take the equipment collection image as an example. My goal was for it to generate equipment, laid out piece by piece, but the lightsaber effects also looked strange. Let's methodically go through the prompt:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?blender 3d, game sheetSeems off - the Hearthstone style I wanted isn't this polished 3D look. It's more of a clay render style.
What is the subject?lightsabers, paladin armor,Possible issue - maybe I should have written "different types of lightsabers" to get more variety.
What is the background?nullSeems fine
What is the composition?nullSeems fine
What lens?nullSeems fine
What is the style?style of HearthstoneDoesn't have the oily medieval armor feel - but might improve if I change the clay render? Might need tweaking.
ParametersnullSeems fine

We've identified 3 potential issues, with the first clay render issue also related to the style issue. My suggestions:

  1. Only change one variable at a time, keeping others constant.
  2. Once a change meets expectations, move onto the next.
  3. In my experience, tackle content first, as it can influence other variables.
  4. To verify consistency, you can regenerate with the same prompt - though this costs money, so optional.

Let's follow these principles and tweak our prompt. Adding "different types" helped, we're getting more lightsaber variety:

MJ051.png

Next I tried changing blender 3d to clay render (left 4 images), keeping 3d blender and adding oily (middle 4 images), and both clay render + oily (right 4 images).

MJ052.png

I feel the combination works best (right 4 images).

Comparing to our original, I think the final images are improved, demonstrating how you can methodically write better prompts vs copying others.

Game Art Concept Sheets​

One more potentially useful game prompt - character/scene concept art sheets:

PromptExplanation
What is the type?concept design sheetConcept art sheet
What is the subject?female paladin, character design,Female paladin character design
What is the background?white backgroundConcept sheets are usually on white
What is the composition?nullMentioned in type, so didn't repeat
What lens?nullNot too important, let AI decide
What is the style?nullLet AI decide, not too familiar with game art styles and artists
ParametersnullNo parameters

Here is the final generated image:

MJ056.png