Let me preface by saying, I still have AR5. I didnt buy AR6 because it doesnt look to offer much of anything of significance over AR5 to justify spending much if any money to upgrade. I feel the same way about Vitae(though I was going to upgrade just to support future development as I love Artrage, but due to it being MS store exclusive, I will not be buying it.). Anyways, after looking around the forums, it appears as though I'm not the only person that feels there has been little in the way of significant upgrades between versions. Vitae, as far as I can tell, the only new feature of note is the collaborative paint thing, and lets be honest, how is that anything more than a gimmick for most of us and only something a small handful will utilize?

So, for whatever the next version of Artrage is, it would be nice to see some significant and legitimate upgrades to the program. Things of substance that will improve the experience of creating art and give it more of a competitive edge in the market.

Some things that I'd like to see:

Some dedicated features for making Pixel art. Artrage and most other digital art programs literally fight to keep your art from looking like pixel art by default. So you have to jump through hoops to make it work. Even then, its not as pleasant an experience as using a dedicated pixel art program such as Aseprite or Pro Motion NG. There is a HUGE community out there that love looking at and creating pixel art. This would be an amazing thing to embrace and incorporate into Artrage. Canvas size presets, based on traditional pixel art from various game systems, and sprite sizes, a dedicated pixel brush, various color pallets based on those utilized in past games/systems. Honestly, just buy a program like Aseprite, dive into it, see what makes it so much more convenient for creating pixel art over other programs and incorporate it into Artrage. Some filters to convert your art into pixel art would be cool too to give you a place to start from at the very least.

Speaking of filters, would be nice to see some better filters in Artrage. The current set of filters are pretty weak. And the "Adjust Layer Colors"... doesnt always respond like you want it to when you're just trying to adjust lighting with contrast and brightness. Yes I know you can use 3rd party filters and thats cool. But I feel Artrage should at the very least have some robust filters for lighting and sharpness.

A healing tool... It would be so nice to have healing tool in AR.

A spray bottle tool... I love drips and runs. They can be amazing when utilized correctly. You ever watch someone like Alex Pardee and how they use a spray bottle to create drips/runs? I realize creating a global gravity/fluid simulation is probably not going to be feasible and would impact performance bigly. So how about a "Spray bottle tool" based loosely on something like the knife tool or the custom brush tool(in how it picks up and blends colors)... You "spray it" on some painted part of the canvas, and it distorts/blends/washes out the existing paint and creates drips/runs that always go down based on whatever parameters are set for the tool. Perhaps there could be a "distance" parameter that when set closer, it would push the color out into all directions to simulate the impact of the water hitting the canvas.

Improve on whats there...

How is it that the oil brush still cant be loaded with multiple colors? Its such a popular technique in real life to dip your brush half and half in two different colors. This should have been done a long time ago. Same goes for the knife tool.

The oil brush again, there should be some way to just jab with the tip of the brush without it trying to taper, go in any direction, or anything... Think Bob Ross when he's painting leaves and foliage. Just quickly jabbing the tip of the brush into the canvas.

Watercolor... the fluid dynamics of the watercolor brush just aren't as fluidy as I'd like them to be. On real heavy grain canvas, the color should bleed and spread into the cracks/crevices and create a variety of shades. It does not... its perfectly consistent and unrealistic as of now.

The stencil system. There are a variety of improvements that need to be made here. I use the crap out of these and often find myself frustrated with multiple things about them. First off, there NEEDS to be a "Duplicate Stencil" option, something to create a stencil that is exactly the same size as the one you duplicated. I often work with multiple stencils, and resizing each one to match another of the same stencil is just silly. Stencils dont work with symmetry as you'd want them to. Put the stencil on one side of the screen and the other side is free to just catch all the crap you're blocking on the stenciled side obviously just wrecking the whole idea of symmetry. Going outside of a stencil is often an issue. Should be a way to automatically select the stencil or to simply toggle the ability to paint outside of it. Or maybe just simply being able to extend/adjust the outside border without skewing or resizing the stencil?

And lastly/most importantly.... Dont make it exclusive to the MS Store. Make it available here as well. Or if you have to have some type of DRM service at least go with one that isnt prone to issues both technically and morally and has a lot of other things going for it... Steam. Hell you could even take advantage of the Workshop on Steam and allow people to share AR resources there. Or since you have the collaborative painting thing, the friend/social system could be pretty cool and useful for quickly hopping into a paint session with friends... Or simply being able to Spectate and watch people paint, same as you can spectate and watch friends play a game would be really cool.

Thanks for reading.