AuthorTopic: CC Challenge - Hands On!  (Read 32320 times)

Offline EyeCraft

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CC Challenge - Hands On!

on: March 12, 2010, 07:49:18 am
This Commercial Critique Challenge is simple: analyse Shatterhand's graphics and then create a mockup to mimic the style.

This can be new level tilesets, new enemies, new bosses; or all of that... go crazy!

Keep in mind you'll be working under NES restrictions:



Some reference images:



Check out the Shatterhand Commercial Critique thread for more.

Enjoy :)

Offline blumunkee

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 03:13:23 pm
Just making sure... these mockups need to be Shatterhand+, not some totally different game, right?
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Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 05:58:23 pm
Precisely. Imagine it like extra levels for Shatterhand or some such. Shatterhand+ is the perfect name for it, actually  :y:

Offline Starscream

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 08:12:53 am
I'd enter... but I don't really get the specs.
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Offline sakket

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 10:03:08 am
first attempt at this! woot!

so my original thought was that the main guy srsly needs a shirtless mode (ala fist o' tha north star), so I tried whipping up a transformation sequence but somehow got sidetracked along the way and ended up having him doing some kind energy blast attack. With a little tweaking this might make for some kind of sweet finishing move, but the movement right now just seems to suggest a ranged shot.


littleroller.blogspot.com

Offline Photocopier

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 01:30:40 pm
taking the shirtless mode idea here, not finished yet but these be the keyframes for a shirt ripping animation


also is this pretty much a mockup frenzy sorta thing?

Offline McClaneGames

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 04:01:04 pm
I might make a tileset, if I find the time...

Offline Gil

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 08:07:06 pm
The banding on the trousers is pretty awful guys, I suggest fixing it

Offline Photocopier

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #8 on: March 13, 2010, 10:23:54 pm

 :hehe:
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 10:28:20 pm by Photocopier »

Offline sakket

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #9 on: March 13, 2010, 10:44:33 pm
The banding on the trousers is pretty awful guys, I suggest fixing it
i figured I shouldnt change the original sprite too much because it was sposed to be shatterhand+, not a total re-vamp. but I agree, somebody should prolly take a crack at that.
littleroller.blogspot.com

Offline Gil

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 06:08:00 am
Photocopier, your sprite is unfortunately not within NES specs. There's a reason the hands are white in certain places and flesh in others, it's because the palette has to change halfway the sprite to allow for the blue and white.

Offline sakket

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 07:33:47 am
Photocopier, your sprite is unfortunately not within NES specs. There's a reason the hands are white in certain places and flesh in others, it's because the palette has to change halfway the sprite to allow for the blue and white.
oho i was wondering about the white hands. feel stupid not putting two and two together. XD
littleroller.blogspot.com

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 07:46:48 am
Cool to see some sprite work! For some reason I was expecting people to focus on tilesets and largely ignore sprites (don't know why).

Photocopier: needs some more frames to get a smoother motion, I say. Also a little more of a snap to the clothes being ripped off could work well. Add more of an anticipation to the moment before the clothes tear.  ;D

sakket: Could use more follow-through/overreach, as well as more anticipation for the swing. In other words, he should bring his shoulder and arm back, then bring it forward and then have the follow through.

also is this pretty much a mockup frenzy sorta thing?

The challenge goes hand in hand (oh ho!) with the commercial critique. The role of the commercial critique is to ascertain the techniques that worked well/positively contributed, and the elements which didn't work so well/detracted. The role of this challenge is to exercise what has been learned by "extending" the content of the game being studied. This means trying to replicate the "good" techniques by creating new tilesets, sprites and mockups (for a hypothetical Shatterhand+), and eliminating the "bad" techniques with revisions of existing sprites and tiles in the game.

In other words, this thread is for taking what you have learned and applying it back on to the game you have looked at. In the process you will level-up in pixelling. :)

I'd enter... but I don't really get the specs.

What exactly listed in the specs don't you understand? There are many people here who could elaborate for you.

EDIT:



WIP. For some reason I wanted to go with a jungle temple loaded up with deployable tech-modules slotted into the ruins. 3 background palettes used so far  :hehe: Very fun to work with!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 02:31:51 pm by EyeCraft »

Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 02:12:09 pm
3 background palettes used so far

- Mossy rocks and walls
- Fence, main background and tech stuff
- Crates

That's the 3 you are talking about I assume.

The little support item box you have at the top left I am pretty sure is a background entity as well. When you look at the game you always have 3 palettes + the one used in the powerup items and some destructible terrain, like the big white pillars in the first level. Just because there is another background "behind" them does not mean they are sprites. The background tiles and properties simply get switched on destruction or usage.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 02:36:49 pm
Aha! I was wondering whether or not those were sprites or backgrounds... but it seemed a little crazy for them to be sprites, since the the player alone uses 2 palettes, so if the powerups used another palette that would only leave 1 other palette for enemies and maybe effects  :lol:

Offline Photocopier

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #15 on: March 14, 2010, 02:42:20 pm
Photocopier, your sprite is unfortunately not within NES specs. There's a reason the hands are white in certain places and flesh in others, it's because the palette has to change halfway the sprite to allow for the blue and white.
I was under the impression that there are 4 colours allowed per 8*8 square, as you can see my sprite can be devide up in such a way:

or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick?

EDIT:
Thankyou EyeCraft, I think these all follow the limitations now:
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:42:58 pm by Photocopier »

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #16 on: March 14, 2010, 03:07:33 pm
Remember, its not really 4 colours per sprite, its 3 colours + transparency. So black + white + green + flesh + trans = 5.

Offline Mathias

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 04:06:36 am
I thoroughly enjoy reviewing everything everyone comes up with during these critiques/workshops, but I feel compelled to admit, I just have no desire to design pixel art within these restrictions. it's interesting, but not for me. Limited palettes are fun, but creating tiles to comply with the 4 colors per 8x8 entity, etc, is a little wiggety wack for mathias. By all means, more power to those that have the skill/patience to do it. Eyecraft, that mockup is SWEET.

Offline vierbit

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #18 on: March 16, 2010, 02:08:00 pm
wip

Just some random tiles, will see if I can come up with some theme.

@EyeCraft
looks great :y:
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 02:11:57 pm by vierbit »

Offline Rosse

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #19 on: March 16, 2010, 05:41:29 pm
- EyeCraft, yours fits the style very well I think. Great work.

- vierbit, I love it. But look out that in the end you have "closed shapes" with "techno-texture" and not too much fuzzy details "around" the level geometry.


I'm not sure if I followed the style close enough. I don't have enough pseudo-techno-tiles and because I only used 16x16 tiles I don't have the same complexity as the original. Shatterhand works more in closed-shapes with techno-texture than actual blocks like mine, I think. The readability lacks too. The colors could work, tho. 3 of 4 palettes used so far, I think a green ramp would work great for addidional objects (like destroyable pillars)



I think I'll start a new one. The goal should be to fit the style, not just a random NES mockup, heh

Offline L___E___T

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #20 on: March 22, 2010, 11:10:10 am
Can't believe I only just saw this!  So, how much time left?  I see there's only a few entries so I assume I can still get invloved right?

Quick question - can we do TokkyuuShirei-Solbrain style - the original Japanese game?  I'm a Famicom fan and to be honest I always thought it was much cooler than a ginger guy on steroids.  Of course, tileset is 99% the same anyway.



     
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Offline Gil

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #21 on: March 22, 2010, 03:51:56 pm
The Japanese game was not the original, the NES version was the original ;)

And Pixelation's challenges don't have a time limit, so you could potentially enter something next year if you want.

Offline L___E___T

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #22 on: March 22, 2010, 05:27:21 pm
Sorry to nitpick, but the Japanese one definitely came out first.  Natsume made the game with the Solbrain license in Japan and it was then localised overseas by Natsume US for the NES.  Like I said, sorry, but Famicom games are my thing.  Though saying that, in a lot of ways Shatterhand is the cooler version.

Still, would it be a problem for me to use that?  It's only the main character really so I can make two versions either way.  Glad to know there's no time limit!  The last one took me ages..
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 06:14:53 pm by L___E___T »
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Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #23 on: March 22, 2010, 06:06:32 pm
Does not really matter which one you use really, the style of the tiles, which is the main thing here is the same. Just have fun and learn something along the way  :y:

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #24 on: March 22, 2010, 06:37:06 pm
Sorry to nitpick, but the Japanese one definitely came out first.

I just looked at a google translation of the Japanese link that was posted in the other thread. And that seems to say that Shatterhand was the original design and it was only later when dev was a good way through changed to Solbrain for the Japanese market, probably because they thought it would sell better than an original IP.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline JWW

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #25 on: March 22, 2010, 10:26:42 pm

I haven't pixelled in a while and rarely post, but I thought I'd give this a try.  I'm guessing I violated some restrictions without realizing so if anyone sees them, don't hesitate to point them out!
I also took some very small liberties with the hud and characters.

Offline L___E___T

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #26 on: March 23, 2010, 10:04:00 am
I wasn't sure if you could overlay foreground tiles on background tiles with alpha like that - doesn't that effectively make them a sprite?
Looks ace though!
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Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #27 on: March 23, 2010, 01:18:54 pm
Looks nice, but it is not doable at all.

I think the challenge here would be to make something as nice looking as the actual game without going over the restrictions it is bound by.

If you look at this, these are all the base tiles used for Area A (plus some more for tile animations on stuff like the fire, but this is a good base for how many tiles you have to waste)


Things to keep in mind:

- 4 palettes for background consisting of 3 colours each + global background colour (black in most games)
  you are mixing around quite a lot.
- Try to keep stuff on tile boundaries (collision and all that and again more colours than possible, girder!)
- Try to keep your tiling efficient and do not make tiles which have only 1 pixel in them and are otherwise blank (stars, some of the windows)
- Same goes for the stuff on the houses where you have a tile which is sky and 2 columns of pixels on the left, this is a wasted tile taking the restrictions into regard.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline JWW

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #28 on: March 23, 2010, 08:03:36 pm
thanks a lot for breaking it down for me.  I'll be working on it.

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #29 on: March 25, 2010, 11:04:34 am
Damn, some really nice mockups brewing!

I tried to cut down the amount of tiles my mockup is using. Quite enjoyable finding ways to recycle tiles for other roles. Here's how its going:





Still way too many tiles  :lol:

Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #30 on: March 25, 2010, 12:32:54 pm
Actually no :) You have 183 8x8 tiles atm and that includes all the white stuff (without the barriers from Area A) without animation, so I guess perhaps you are at 200ish? Well within the limit. Looking really nice. I especially like the way you are doing the wooden X shape with just 2 tiles, very efficient.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline A.B. Lazer

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #31 on: March 28, 2010, 12:48:50 am
Ah! Shatterhand * is an apogee of the NES platforming, cult classic that left more praised hits far behind. A game which has everything done right. I think that my PJ buddies Shiru** and Cast Out*** would say the same thing.
------
*Or rather Tokkyu Shirei Solbrain which was more common in Russia - but let's face it - controlling metal hero robot was a lot cooler than to play the games with a guy in shades (oh no!).
**Traces of Solbrain/Shatterhand can be seen in some of Shiru's works. Also he written a lot about the game on russian retrogaming forums.
***Cast Out lended me the cartridge in nineties and seldom seen it again.

The information that Solbrain came out second comes from the interview with Solbrain's composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki*, which myself and Kommander conducted in 2005. Sadly this interview never saw release in russian as intended, only japanese version was published on Kommander's site here:
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hzk/kommander/natstaff.html
(You can see explanation of A.B. thing on the bottom of the page)
------
*One of two who worked on Solbrain - Iku Mizutani composed all tracks for Shatterhand, Hiroyuki Iwatsuki done all sound effects and composed music for those parts in Solbrain which differed from Shatterhand: intro and Amusement Park level.


Anyway, I played Solbrain/Shatterhand for the first time in 1996, and feel inspired by it ever since. Most obvious one is in the piece To The Stars:



I never thoroughly analysed the style of Solbrain, though. These two threads shurely will be a catalyst. Should visit Pixelation more frequently...
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 01:08:54 am by A.B. Lazer »

Offline L___E___T

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #32 on: March 29, 2010, 05:29:40 pm
I'd like to ask - are we sticking to the 2x2 block palette rule? 
I laid out my mockup last night then realised I hadn't adhered to it and all my favourite parts had to be changed as a result.
It's no bad thing necessarily, as it actually means I'll dither into black much more and it'll hopefully look more consistent with the theme.

I thought I'd ask in case we didn't have to stick to it - and early enough to save people having to change theirs down the line..
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Offline Gil

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #33 on: March 30, 2010, 02:46:02 am
These CC challenges aren't contests, they're challenges. You don't have to adhere to any rules. The more rules you follow, the more proud you can be of yourself, but harming artistic value of a piece over a rule you didn't notice would be silly.

The NES specs above are by no means the full rules you'd be following when developing a NES game. The engine and cartridge could require you to be stricter or relieve you from some of the limitations. On top of that, we don't know the full set of restrictions the actual Shatterhand engine imposed.

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #34 on: April 07, 2010, 02:46:22 am

I haven't pixelled in a while and rarely post, but I thought I'd give this a try.  I'm guessing I violated some restrictions without realizing so if anyone sees them, don't hesitate to point them out!
I also took some very small liberties with the hud and characters.

I love the city background, but why the 2 moons? Also, I'm pretty sure (at least on Earth) the moon can't be top-lit like that. Then again my knowledge of lunar cycles isn't exactly enviable.

Actually no :) You have 183 8x8 tiles atm and that includes all the white stuff (without the barriers from Area A) without animation, so I guess perhaps you are at 200ish? Well within the limit. Looking really nice. I especially like the way you are doing the wooden X shape with just 2 tiles, very efficient.

I was just so amazed by how few tiles the original game used that I was determined to get in the same ballpark, so to speak. And the 2 tiles X I totally stole from Vierbit  :lol:

I'd like to ask - are we sticking to the 2x2 block palette rule? 
I laid out my mockup last night then realised I hadn't adhered to it and all my favourite parts had to be changed as a result.
It's no bad thing necessarily, as it actually means I'll dither into black much more and it'll hopefully look more consistent with the theme.

I thought I'd ask in case we didn't have to stick to it - and early enough to save people having to change theirs down the line..

As Gil said, it's your call. I actually started mine with 16x16 tiles, but now I realise I really should have been working in 8x8 with the 2x2 restriction in mind from the beginning. Would have saved me a lot of reworking and lead to more efficient tiles.

Offline L___E___T

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #35 on: April 07, 2010, 10:08:14 am
Everyone's look so good, I wanted to try and make something near that quality but sticking to the same restrictions, I know it's not a competition or anything but it feels kinda like cheating otherwise and missing the point.

I have something, but I'm not a talented pixel artist and at the moment it lacks depth.  I thought that Shatterhand broke the 2x2 BG tiles palette rule but now I'm pretty sure it doesn't, so I've gone back in an effort to fix as it's a nice rule to adhere to.

The main thing I'm struggling with is not using too many tiles.  I have lots right now, but with help it can be slimmed down :D
I'll upload tonight when I get in, still excited about this!


« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 12:59:31 pm by L___E___T »
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Offline tocky

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #36 on: May 08, 2010, 10:29:21 am

Offline VDX

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #37 on: July 29, 2010, 09:55:46 pm

Random Long range Smack down, No graphic effect of the Ground hit not shown yet.

This was just cause I wanted to see how they made him back in the days, one of my favourite games after all. :)

Might add more soon, as this was slightly fun.

This may break the 3colour + Transperancy though, hmm.
Remember, its not really 4 colours per sprite, its 3 colours + transparency. So black + white + green + flesh + trans = 5.
But doesn't the original sprite have all of those?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 04:03:26 am by VDX »

Offline ptoing

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Re: CC Challenge - Hands On!

Reply #38 on: July 30, 2010, 02:54:31 pm
It is multiple sprites.

There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.