AuthorTopic: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi  (Read 59828 times)

Offline ptoing

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #10 on: June 05, 2007, 02:49:26 pm
There are many games which do it just as well or some things even better. Ever played Metal Slug? (up to 3 all the newer ones are meh)

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

Offline djork

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #11 on: June 05, 2007, 03:22:27 pm
There are many games which do it just as well or some things even better. Ever played Metal Slug? (up to 3 all the newer ones are meh)

I shouldn't have been quite so broad in my statements :)  Metal Slug certainly does look as well done if not better than DoDonPachi, but among SHMUPS, this one is hard to top.  I think that's fair to say.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #12 on: June 05, 2007, 03:31:46 pm
I agree, very hard to top. Imo the Raizing games look very nice as well tho.

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

Offline huZba

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #13 on: June 05, 2007, 03:35:05 pm
While the edit is nice and i like it, you said that they're too busy, yet you add dithering to make it even more so. Gotta remember that in arcade the screen resolution is extremely low and they're usually behind a magnifying glass so the ingame picture what you see is much closer to 2X view than 1X on a high resolution monitor. Also the selout in the sprites is there for a reason. The backrounds are ~80% low value so the selout pixels hardly ever expose themselves in a bad (backround)light.

Selout is evil if you're not in control, but there are plenty of games that use it to a great advantage. So common knowledge shouldn't say that don't use selout, but use it only if you know what you're doing.

I still like the edit tho, saved it to my awesome-pixel-arts folder. Might want to try placing it against some of the game backrounds to see how it works.

Oh and the shadows are a bit harsh but that seems like a graphics engine trick since every sprite has a shadow like that, even the flying ones. Gotta play the game again. Never got past level 4.

Offline Krut

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #14 on: June 05, 2007, 05:38:15 pm
Actually, i dont think that edit works.

Its pretty much a washed out version, when you need to have a fair share of contrast; Like most have said before, and i say it again for those that havent played it; You dont lose vision of the action on the game, the background plane stays exactly where it should be, backed the fuck up.

I remember when Ndeal (someone who in my opinion really handles perfectly this style) and i studied it, when we were helping Jawsh with a gig he had.

Basically what we saw was the "isometric" shading aproach used on top down sprites.
The overcrawded details you guys are talking about are merely a few bolts, lines, lower levels, an engine here and there, with the "isometric" shading aproach applied to them aswell (wich keeps the design line of big ass ships-mecha style with lots of shit in there wich we have no idea what they are for).


On Helms edit, we see clearly and improvement pallette-eficiently-wise (wich works better if you present it as a standalone sprite maybe), and some "enchased" use of the highlights;

The "enchased" use of highlights loses the original point, wich was mainly to show the borders and different levels of height;

I think the more eficient / washed down palette would hurt the gameplay tremendously on movement, because the high amount of contrasting colours helps out the player distinguinshing enemies players and bullet at every moment, even though you are not "watching" an especific part of the screen at the moment.


Also, Helms edit of the "evil selout", makes the enemy ship blend more with the background, add the washed out pallette, and you got a gameplay killer right there.

From what we gathered back in the day, it was fairly simple to implement once you got the logic out of it...

I wish Ndeal could talk here, since hes better at explaining that i am; but i hope that at least some of what i said came trough.

Excuse the shitty english.

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #15 on: June 05, 2007, 06:01:35 pm
I like alot of what Helm did with the edit, the mix of tones I find to be far more appealing. However the contrast (primarily the shadow) seems to have taken a blow. This, in couple with the apparent reduction in saturation is probably why people are saying its "washed out". I think slightly stronger contrast, and it would be a great improvement.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #16 on: June 05, 2007, 06:03:20 pm
I agree that Helms edit would not be as good in game. Even tho there is evil selout in this case it actually is better than none, because it denotes a thickness of the wings and an underside which in Helms lacks on the wings and makes them look paperthin.

The dither also does not help, it actually does make stuff look fuzzy, which does not go well with the rest of the clean cut style.

As for the desaturation, atm the sprite looks almost like something you would see in a background, if it was a actual enemy the bg itself would have to be either superlow detail or desaturated like fuck.

Sorry Helm, I quite like it as a standalone, but in a game like ddp it would not gel at all imo.

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

Offline Krut

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #17 on: June 05, 2007, 06:14:40 pm
Also AA is barely (only on VERY VERY specific ocations, and not with the purpose that we commonly give it, but instead make the colour flow more calmed) used, i dont say unexistant, because there are examples, but like i said, its not with the common purpose of AA, of making softer/rounder shapes; DDPachi, uses hard edges, and it takes advantage of them, highlighting them even.

I saw for example on Helms edit, that he AAed some of the wings white stripes, on the original that pure white on purpose.

Offline Helm

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #18 on: June 05, 2007, 07:36:37 pm
Heh I'm happy that at least my edit is grounds for technical discussion. I'll try to adress a few points, and agree with others.

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I know I'm a barely-double-digit-post-newb here but I think the edit above is downright sacrilege.

Check your holy cows at the door. This is commercial critique.

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yet you add dithering to make it even more so

Hm, yes. It's a bit of a give-and-take. I decided to try it in a few places, in order to have on one hand a bit more texture - which is not good given that the detail on this piece is overkill to begin with - but also have a bit more hue-variation, which this sprite sorely needs. There's a general art credo that applies strongly in here: you can't have everything. You have to sacrifice one potentially good thing to get some of another thing. As far as clarity goes for example, an 1bit sprite with no dithering and very strong planes would read better than anything else in the universe. Yet you don't see DDP being in 1bit, right? So they sacrifice some clarity to have color in there, then they sacrifice some color variation too for clarity, so on, so forth. A game designer prioritizes what he needs and creates a hierarchy which he gives to his art team. I bet the DDP hierarchy was:

1: THIS IS A MANIC SHOOTER. CLARITY MOST OF ALL
2: colorful design, not 'gritty realism'
3: technobabblish machinery

or some-such. My edit puts chromatic cohesion a bit higher than clarity, and obviously that would hurt the gameplay. But would it hurt it to the degree where you wouldn't be able to identify the ship against a -similarly Helm-fixed background? - probably not. I wouldn't edit a single ship and put it in the game, I'd have to edit all the art in there to make it work in unison.

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Selout is evil if you're not in control, but there are plenty of games that use it to a great advantage. So common knowledge shouldn't say that don't use selout, but use it only if you know what you're doing.

There is nothing that selout does that you can't do with light-weighted outlines and controlled breakage of such. All-around-paper-cutout-selout is the devil and you won't be able to change my mind, nor will anyone else. I will concede ptoing's point about the extra darkness under the small wings, and I could go back and edit another line under there but it's a simple edit one can imagine just as well without me actually doing it.

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Actually, i dont think that edit works.

I am not extremely enthusiastic about it because my eyes rebelled against what I was doing as I was doing it. I have played DDP for so long, it's so difficult for me to see the art in any other way than how I've seen it up to now, but it was actually good psychologically for me to say 'forget what you've known, what would you do?'.

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Its pretty much a washed out version

Comparatively to the original. That's the thing, any sort of edit would look odd to a DDP player because of the effect I described above. Try to look at both of these side-by-side and pretend it's the first time you see both, and tell the artist which you think would work better stand-alone (as I said, in-game in a game you already know is unfair since I'd have to edit all the bg art as well to have a fair comparison).

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when you need to have a fair share of contrast

My edit actually doesn't mess with the contrast almost at all. It messes with hues, and saturation. As far as how the eye would read the levels (lighest, light, dark, darkest) the edit is pretty much the same as the original. There's less warmth, and that does push back the sprite as far as priority goes a bit, but would it do so to a game-breaking degree? I think probably not. Would it do so if I theoretically had my way with every piece of art in the game? Nope.

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Like most have said before, and i say it again for those that havent played it; You dont lose vision of the action on the game, the background plane stays exactly where it should be, backed the fuck up.

Actually that's not exactly true on level 5. The enemies and the background do bleed over each other there. What ALWAYS remains on top however, is projectiles. You can see all the BRIGHT, PINK, RETINA-BURNING BULLETS very well at all times. But let's not pretend we can see the ships here:



as well as we should.

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Also, Helms edit of the "evil selout", makes the enemy ship blend more with the background, add the washed out pallette, and you got a gameplay killer right there.

exaggerations! :P

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Sorry Helm, I quite like it as a standalone

It wasn't supposed to go inside the original game, all the art would have to be readjusted to degrees, as I said. Oh man, don't make me edit the colors in a whole screenshot!

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Also AA is barely (only on VERY VERY specific ocations, and not with the purpose that we commonly give it

actually I think this isn't so much an artistic choice, but a choice of necessity to keep pixelling fast. All the 45 degrees to avoid AA. It's just faster work to not have to buffer curves and such. I do feel however that highlighting around every hard edge from every angle is overkill and leads to a bit of the 'embossed' feeling I mentioned. Only the edges that catch highlights from a supposed topwards lightsource should be brightened. Then again, DDP has a lot of rotaty sprites, so again this is a good choice from necessity. You trade some volumetric clarity by making everything embossy, but then you can rotate the piece and it won't have any irregular shadows.

edit:

newest version with adressed points

« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 07:49:57 pm by Helm »

Offline Krut

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Re: Commercial Critique - Dodonpachi

Reply #19 on: June 05, 2007, 09:54:00 pm
The latest attempt i think is a improvement, you dealt with the inner contrast issue on the engines/arms/whatever area...i would still add a darker shade to the "outline" of the bottom wings though.