AuthorTopic: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story  (Read 21843 times)

Offline goat

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Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

on: June 07, 2006, 04:56:29 pm
I think we know the drill by now, go!

You can find Instructions for downloading the game here.  For Mac users, lazy people, etc, screenshots can be found everywhere.  Hotlinking is a victimless crime bad!!!

Since this CC is a week late, it will run a week into next month.  Next month's critique will start on the first so for a week both will run at the same time. Didn't want to upset the regularity or anything because of some dumbassery on my part.
typing ewith fdace

Offline toastie

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 03:26:03 pm
I would just like to say that the .pbm files that cave story uses for its graphics are actually plain old bitmaps, so if you wanna see all the character sheets, just rename them to .bmp from PixelBitMap :)

Offline Ayavaron

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 03:34:12 pm
You don't need instructions on downloading it. I have a .zip of it on my website with the English language patch preinstalled.

http://www.ayavaron.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/Cave%20Story.zip

I think there's also a savegame in there by mistake.
I'm not much of an artist, but please trust me when I criticize your hard work.

Offline Akira

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 06:00:09 am
mac version can be found here: http://www.gameflaws.com/cavestory/

oh and on a side note, could the completed commercial critiques be added to the wiki somehow? they are a pretty good learning resource imo.
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline Ayavaron

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 03:02:27 pm
[Actual critiquing! Gasp!]
I notice from that spritesheet the sprites are actually kind of weak. They completely lose all of the definition when viewed from a dsistance at high resolution.

However, at higher resolutions, the sprites look much better. The lack of contrast in the shading becomes less and less apparent.

The colors that Pixel chose to use are odd because they lose visibility on black and white backgrounds. This is especially odd given the fact that much of the game takes place against a black background.

I decided to try adjusting the colors a little bit and I think they look better. The increased contrast, I think, adds more to the definition and makes him a little more distinct as a character. Of course, it doesn't help much with the low-resolution but it does add a better separation from those little green things and his face.



I tried to put this into the game though. Wouldn't work for some reason.
I'm not much of an artist, but please trust me when I criticize your hard work.

Offline Opacus

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 07:54:00 pm
I played the crap out of that game.
It was totaly awesome.

I really loved the charm of the sprites in the game.
It just had something that caught my eye.

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006, 09:57:58 am
okay, it appears no one wants to start this one :P

so, I'll give it a go :)
the backgrounds in cave story were almost always pretty dark, most likely because it was inside caves :P but this helped a lot with most of the sprites, easy to aa the edges because almost every time, every sprite would be on a dark background. nothing terribly clever about this.. but I guess its worth mentioning

I cant really think of much to say lol, so I'll bring up some sprites with techniques used I found interesting in the game
this sprite is really quite rough, i think pixel may have been intending for the object to look as if old/damaged or whatever.. but I think it ended up just looking messily made
just a few strange decisions made with the aa-ing, atleast to me >_>

and I like the colour choices in


I think something pixel tried in a lot of areas was, where the lightsource hit each sprite, there would be little anti aliasing between the colours, and as the sprite progressed to a darker colour he aa'd more
take

for example, the lightsource is from the top-right, so he didnt make the top right edges aa into the background and in the few places where the lightest and second darkest I think it is hit theres no use of the middle tone to ease the transition, sometimes he even goes out of his way to make the darker and lightest tone touch jaggedly.. logic behind this?
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Offline Larwick

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 11:33:48 pm
Wow, the first sprite to me seems to just have the eye edited scrappily on top of the older image (although there are some changes to the area around the eye, it really doesn't seem to help atall).

And i agree about the AAing on the frog.

~

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 02:47:52 am
I tried to put this into the game though. Wouldn't work for some reason.
All the PBMs aren't exactly purely BMPs. They all have a file signature appended at the very end, and if the executable does not detect this signature, the game throws an error and flips out. The file signature appears to be "(C)Pixel", though I've yet to load up a Hex editor and confirm this.

(Yes, the following are JPGs. I just don't get web designers these days, and I'm too lazy to take my own screens, haha.)




These are 2 screens taken from the plethora of end-game screenshots. There are very strange differences between the two. The second is more profusely AA-ed than the first, which lacks AA in certain parts here and there. In the first screen, the bottom half seems to be sketched out and abandoned (this may be due to the number of colors there are, the fact that the bottom half is darker). Pixel seems to have used different palettes for Quote and Curly, because that are planty of shades to AA with on Curly that ever see a drop on Quote in the first, whereas in the second, shades are more frequently reused. Perhaps the first screen for the credits was actually a WIP?

Thread Hijacking:
I want to thank people for pointing this game out to me. Even if this CC doesn't pick up, much thanks. The game itself is bloody amazing. I'm fairly certain I can call it the best platforming I've ever laid hands on since the old-school megaman games on the NES.
Kudos to Studio Pixel. Madd kudos. Especially to the coder(s) and level designer(s). The game is incredibly well programmed, scripted, and designed.
Especially the Sacred Grounds/Hell, which boasts what's gotta be the most absorbing, tiring, spasmodic, relentless, and again, amazing level in a platformer I've ever played.
This game = WOW.
... WOW. Thank you guys. I would have never bothered to check out Cave Story if it wasn't for this board. (Heh, the name turned me off. It reminded me of some corny anime RPG, a genre that's been shamelessly exploited, sadly.)

Offline Dusty

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #9 on: June 12, 2006, 03:47:07 am
Quote
for example, the lightsource is from the top-right, so he didnt make the top right edges aa into the background and in the few places where the lightest and second darkest I think it is hit theres no use of the middle tone to ease the transition, sometimes he even goes out of his way to make the darker and lightest tone touch jaggedly.. logic behind this?
I personally think this is because of colour count restrictions. For the lightest to second lightest colour, this is no available colour to use to AA unless he added a colour, so he was limited in what he could actually AA and ended up recycling colours to AA instead of having dedicated AA colours.

Offline Turbo

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #10 on: June 12, 2006, 01:40:21 pm
What i found more interesting about the graphics was more the character design - blot-y, minimalistic cartoon, how i'd describe it - than the pixelling techniques in themselves, which aren't too elaborate. Also, interesting mix of mostly semi-desaturated colors with ocasional high saturated ones.

Offline toastie

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #11 on: June 12, 2006, 03:16:15 pm
Re: Thread Hijacking et al.:

Just keep in mind that the whole game was made by one person, including all the code, graphics and music. So go easy on poor Pixel here :)

Offline Crazy Asian Gamer

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #12 on: June 12, 2006, 10:11:38 pm
Re: Thread Hijacking et al.:

Just keep in mind that the whole game was made by one person, including all the code, graphics and music. So go easy on poor Pixel here :)
....
That's not sane!  :o

Offline Billeh

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #13 on: June 12, 2006, 11:39:36 pm
Only one person??? Thats freaking incredible...to me atleast XD.

Offline bumman

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #14 on: June 13, 2006, 11:40:20 pm
Hey guys. I've been lurking around on here for a while, but I couldn't resist when I saw a Cave Story critique.

Putting aside all the great things about Cave Story, I will say that the pixel art in it is sort of a mixed bag. Everything works pretty effectively, although it's pretty evident Pixel just wanted to get the thing done after a while. I think like someone mentioned earlier though, his art did get better as the game goes on. For example, I find this one really awesome...



Even though it is just an edit of the regular core, I really like the mouth and eyes that pop out heh. Also, some of the ending pictures are a little so-so, but I thought these looked pretty cool...

(is that a stray white pixel on the top right? lol)



They definitely could be spruced-up with a little more AA, but at least they're better than some of the others...

(GET 'R DONE)
or
(Good grief edit)

So yeah... the art is mostly good. It'd be nice to post some screenshots too since most of the sprites don't look half as good on a lighter background. Still, It'd defnitely be interesting to some more edits like Ayavaron made.

Critiques aside though, I gotta give the man credit for doing EVERYTHING in the game (although, I think I heard somewhere that he had a little help with the music). The pixel art isn't perfect, but it definitely works and has a cool style of its own. I'm actually glad to see a game with "ungodlike" pixel art as it gives more room for critiques ;)

edit: lol, trolling...
« Last Edit: June 14, 2006, 03:08:48 pm by bumman »

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #15 on: June 14, 2006, 04:51:16 am
Quote
for example, the lightsource is from the top-right, so he didnt make the top right edges aa into the background and in the few places where the lightest and second darkest I think it is hit theres no use of the middle tone to ease the transition, sometimes he even goes out of his way to make the darker and lightest tone touch jaggedly.. logic behind this?
I personally think this is because of colour count restrictions. For the lightest to second lightest colour, this is no available colour to use to AA unless he added a colour, so he was limited in what he could actually AA and ended up recycling colours to AA instead of having dedicated AA colours.
well, if you look where the lightsource is directly hitting the object, pixel rarely antialiased that area into the background. In areas where mid-tones and the darker tones, he still AA'd them into the background because cavestory almost always had a dark BG, its strange he took advantage of that for all areas except where the lighsource hit objects
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Offline ptoing

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #16 on: June 14, 2006, 06:49:35 pm
I love the everything about this game. The graphics are not stellar but they have an awesome amount of charme and i think that comes from them being imperfect.

while the endgame pics are not supersmooth they have good composition and convey what they need to perfectly.

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

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #17 on: June 15, 2006, 11:51:14 am
took some screens of my cavestory file, I tried to get screens of some interesting stuff:
































yeah I killed all the bats with the duckie gun and only lost one health  :P







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Offline Tinygiant

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #18 on: June 15, 2006, 02:29:50 pm
Although, as has been pointed out, some of the sprites are not technically all that amazing but stylistically they are wicked, just shows that no amount of technical, colour choosing, anti aliasing knowledge can make up for pure unadutarated talent.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #19 on: June 15, 2006, 08:44:22 pm
I think what lends well to this game is it's consistency and it's simplisticy. As a complete package, everything balances out pretty well. There's nothing in the graphics which outshines the rest of the graphics, so when you play, you don't feel like the graphics are lacking anywhere, but rather you feel it is just how they are suppose to be. It's more a style choice which fits and makes sense.

Offline Helm

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #20 on: June 15, 2006, 10:16:35 pm
I see how everybody's approaching the graphical shortcomings of cave story with a lot of liniency because pixel made this whole game by himself, and that's fine. There's also the issue that when you do pixel art for fun, and then you shift to doing pixel art for a game, you have to do tighter scheduling and a lot more utilitarian than artistic decisions that make the art look worse, but you can make it faster and more consistent. For example, I rant about color unification in pixel art. Well, in game art? It makes more sense to have mostly separate ramps for remapping or just for neatness. Not everybody works with a universal 256 colours palette, that is premade before art. And so on for colourcount choices and how much time one spends on a single animation... if you take the top hobbyist pixellers from here and make them make a short game each, nobody will make art on the level of their hobby stuff, they'll all deteriorate to 32x32 tileage we've seen before and megaman-clone gameplay, probably.

I don't find the art in cave story amazing or even very good. But it serves it's purpose and the game plays very well. Artistically it's sometimes charming. I can't speak technique for this, as there isn't much of it. It frankly amazes me how some people in this thread have apparently pulled techniques out of thin air to talk about pixel's work, whereas I see fast, non-AA'ed cell-shaded game art.

Offline vierbit

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #21 on: June 16, 2006, 01:08:04 am
hm.. cave story.
played it two times to the end.
I like the sprites(the smaller ones), even im not a big fan of detailess simple shading.

I think that cave story got the most votes more because it has some kind of
strange popularity rather than outstanding pixelart technics.

Tiling looks on some places to obvious.
Here and there is strange aa going on. some sprites and backgrounds have some,
others not or only on parts.
takam already mentioned the one eyed metalblock thing,
thats pure lazyness.

And the ending pictures are more oakaki(or somethink like that)
than real pixel work (imo). 

thats all of from a artistic point of view.
The game its self plays really good and its good balanced.

Offline .TakaM

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #22 on: June 16, 2006, 04:36:28 am
so no one thinks his aa'ing was a style?
it is pretty simple but I think he did it deliberately
both these sections are from the same sprite:

in this section the edges of the sprite are all either mid-tones or the darkest tone, and he aa'd them into the background (another dark background ofcourse)
but on the lightest section of the sprite:

he didnt aa it into the dark background at all, I assume to make the lightsource look harder

opinions?
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Offline Helm

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #23 on: June 16, 2006, 05:36:29 am
Opinion: bored to do full AA from lightest shade to darkest.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #24 on: June 16, 2006, 06:40:28 am
I think i have to agree with Helm here. The "aa against the background" on the sprite is minimal and might not be even meant as proper aa, could be incidental.

Edit: Just wrote an email to pixel and asked him some questions. Lets see if he responds.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2006, 06:52:51 am by ptoing »

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

Offline AlexHW

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #25 on: June 16, 2006, 06:51:24 am
there's only one way to know.. find other instances where this choice of aa occurs. If this is the only occurence, then it's not a style choice.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #26 on: June 17, 2006, 11:43:43 am
nothing else in these screens that makes me think that it was a deliberate style choice, though it would have made sense
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Offline Zolthorg

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #27 on: June 18, 2006, 04:56:14 pm
I feel obligated to post in here.
Everything i would've said has already been said however :l

edit, oh, if i may.


You need to grab yourself a hex editor and append (i believe, open a pmb with the hex editor to check)
"C pixel" to the beginning of the file, then rename it pbm before it can be used in game
« Last Edit: June 18, 2006, 05:00:21 pm by Zolthorg »

Offline Cow

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #28 on: June 18, 2006, 07:30:11 pm
http://www.gsarchives.net/index2.php?category=all&system=computer&game=doukutsu_monogatari&type=backgrounds&level0=non-animatedbackgrounds
Just felt I should throw those out there. Ending pics in GIF format.
Quote
The graphics are not stellar but they have an awesome amount of charme and i think that comes from them being imperfect.
That sums up what I wanted to say. ;)

Offline Stab

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Re: Commercial Critique June 06: Cave Story

Reply #29 on: July 23, 2006, 04:27:17 am
Curious that he incorporates eyes into a lot of his boxes.