AuthorTopic: Sprite interpretations  (Read 44948 times)

Offline Arne

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Sprite interpretations

on: September 10, 2009, 09:09:52 am
I like to draw stuff based on old sprites, especially if there's very little other high-res art around.

Maybe I'm not alone? I think it would be fun if others joined in.

Z - Bitmap Brothers



Ref:
http://www.bitmap-brothers.co.uk/downloads/images/z/index.htm
http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/PC/index.htm#Z

Since the sprite and 3D version of the robot looks different, I took the liberty of picking the cherries.

The 3D guys had a nasty solid red (or whatever color) look, making them look like plastic soldiers. I decided to use the light gray (looks kind beige) torso color from the sprite to break up the monotone. The ribcage area (and perhaps the whole chest) still needs some work.

The eyes are green on the smaller sprites, but not on the portraits. I went for green eyes even though it's cheap (glowing cool eyes) and not as expressive as the organic eyes in the portraits. I thought it would be a good way to mark the face with a special eye catching color contrast.

I did draw some inspiration from the 3D designs. The belly disc was fun and serves to break up the red armor plating theme. It suggests some kind of core / engine.

I was trying to keep the 90 and 45 degree angles which are often used in the pixel art.

The darker piston parts are intended to break up the red with something of a darker value.

The rifles and grenades are based on the designs in the game. The head is just some kind of average of all the different portraits in the game though.

I made the drill sergeant a human because I like to add a familiar scale reference. The design is pretty much made up by nonsense and needs some work. The torso clothing splits in two around the abs, just like on the 3D robots. The beige color comes from the drill sergeant. The rifle is a modified version of the sniper rifle in the game.

The sketches are the exploration thumbnails which I haven't explored further, but I wanted to try and go for light, medium and heavy designs.

Offline Arne

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 09:31:24 am
I did this yesterday along with the Z stuff.

Journey to Silius / RAF world (Rough world?) - Sunsoft



Ref: There are no (good) sprite sheets. I doodled these while watching a 'let's play' (pausing for ref shots) and listening to the excellent music.

This game was apparently intended to be based on Terminator. The story seems to have been changed last minute or something, and it doesn't really work with the gameplay. The main character (only character) is pretty flat too.

Perhaps some dimension can be brought to the main character if it's revealed that he's actually a machine built by his father, and that the father also made the terrorist robots by mistake (and that they killed him). That would give the ending some tension, with the main character finding out that he killed his own kind, or that he needs to insist that he's different from them. Maybe the terrorist robots only wanted their own lot in the universe. Maybe the main character has... a... ssssisstahh?

So, yeah, I made the main character into a chibi thing, again. There are 3 or 4 versions of the main character. The Japanese cover, the Japanese sprite, the US sprite (no helmet and more chibi), The EU sprite (same as the Japanese one, I think). There might be some art in the instruction booklets too, but I have not researched that far yet. Anyways, other than basic use of colors, I didn't stay close to any design in particular. The Japanese armoured version has more blue on it, and the US one has a more white baggy pants look.

The enemies I just made quick roughs of. While the designs in the game are really haphazard, I think there is a fun thing going on with the white nonsense lump look.

I'd love to turn this into a 'metroidvania'.

Edit: Added a rough of the US main character. He's got some kind of thing going on with a black bar over his chest. I interpret that as some kind of hole/shadow under a collar of some sort.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 02:10:45 pm by Arne »

Offline QuickSilva

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 03:46:44 pm
Just wanted to say that I really enjoy looking at your reworkings of my favourite old game characters, it always brings a smile to my face :) Your style is as cool as ever.

Jason.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 01:52:59 pm
Awesome as always, Arne... I haven't played Z but from judging by the screenshots, it's got this weird sort of Spaghetti Western or possibly even American Civil War flavor mixed into it, except that's genuinely futuristic and not simply garden variety steam-punk. From a conceptual standpoint it seems that there's a lot of untapped potential there.
I mild from suffer dislexia.

Offline Squiggly_P

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 08:30:10 pm
I've always loved your stuff, man.  These are great.  I might join in, cause I've been watching some videos lately that I think you'd probably appreciate:

World of Longplays - http://www.longplays.net/

There's a guy who seems to be systematically posting these on Youtube as well.

http://www.youtube.com/user/cubex55

Basically they're full playthroughs of entire games.  There are Amiga and C64 videos as well.  Much nostalgia to be had.  So I might end up going back and re-envisioning some of those older games to work in a modern sort of way.  Actually, I've always wanted to do a remake of Kid Chameleon, so that's probably one I'd do...

You want us to just post our own interpretations in here?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 08:37:27 pm by Squiggly_P »

Offline Arne

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 07:28:46 am
Yeah, it would be nice to see other people's interpretations. I tend to give everything a chunky toy look.

Been subscribing to cubex55 for years. Youtube is great for quickly finding out what a game is about, or zooming to a certain point in the game. Perhaps I'm old, but I find it more fun to watch people play games nowadays.

Offline Jakten

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 08:16:48 pm
I gotta say I love these things, you are so good at it and I love that you post your thought processes. I really admire your stuff.

I've tried similar things before but nothing really good came of it, I've got a couple of games lined up that I'd like to try. Here is my first one:

Castlequest/Castle Excellent - ASCII Corporation


Gameplay video

I used to play Castlequest a lot as a kid, i never made it anywhere though as we did not have the map that went along with it. I enjoyed the idea of it though and always thought it could be better than it was.
Anyways when I first started I didn't realize there was hardly more than 5 sprites in the whole game. I took the ones I thought were the most interesting and decided to redesign them. So I chose the main character, some birdman with a hammer and an angry viking who was basically just a giant beard.

There were 2 decent sized pieces of art i could find for the main character, the box art and there is an image of him from the ending of the game. I decided to play more off the in game sprite though. I added some blue because i though it looked a bit bland. I kept his inconveniently short dagger because I thought it left him at somewhat of a disadvantage which could make for interesting gameplay as well as making the castle seem a bit scarier.

As for the bird i thought it would be more interesting if he had a larger hammer and I decided to make him blue as the brown looked horrible with the pink. The viking is beardier than ever.

Thats, all i've really got. My thought processes aren't nearly as interesting lol. Ignore my horrible use of gouache, I'm just learning how to use it.

My next game I want to do is Legacy of the Wizard.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 10:10:10 pm by Jakten »

Offline Arne

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 02:18:18 pm
Fun stuff. Unfortunately http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Castlequest insists on ruining the sprites, but I managed to find some pictures there. The mage is kind of generic looking, but perhaps something interesting could be done with its face (it has a rat face on one of the covers). The knight... well, it's a knight and it's always fun to do those. Seems like it is gray in the NES version and has a different visor with slits.

I never liked huge feet on chibi characters, so I mostly make upside drown drop legs too. It helps put the focus on the upper body portrait part. Not so great for clearly showing the walk animation on sprites though, if you want to do that. I've been struggling to find a scale and style which works for sprites as well as character art.

Milon's Secret Castle has some pretty... fun and awkward designs.

I've been wanting to Legacy of the Wizard as well (dump of the latter). I have some thumbnail sheets of LotW, but nothing online atm. LotW has pretty good enemy designs I think.

I'm trying to clean up my Air Fortress doc now.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 02:21:02 pm by Arne »

Offline Arne

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 01:46:49 pm
I didn't get very far into my Air Fortress project.

Psycho Fox



This is a Sega Master System game which I have fond memories of. It's one of those games which I only played a few times at a friend's place, so it kept its magic, never seemed repetitive, etc. It is certainly better as a memory. There are not enough enemy variants in the game, and the few existing designs are kind of all over the place. There's a Shinto (?) theme showing here and there, but the overall theme is... silly/nonsense.

You can't see ahead of yourself much, which is bad because you can potentially run quite fast. The levels are linear but offer some degree of exploration (horiz+vert scrolling). Unfortunately there's not much to find, because there are so few power-ups / collectibles.

The main strengths of the game are character switching, cuteness, and a feeling of happy-fun. There's also a few interesting mechanical devices in the game, such as the folding stair cases and pneumatic 'springboards'.


Ref:
Psycho Fox video, maps, screens.

EDIT: Updated image.


The SMS had more colors per sprite than the NES, but I haven't really seen a SMS game with delicious pixel art. Maybe I just haven't seen enough games. The SMS used a 6-bit_RGB palette, and according to the gfx specs it used two 16 color palettes with colors from the 64 color (r4*g4*b4) palette, one for the FG (sprites) and one for the BG.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 08:18:26 am by Arne »

Offline Jakten

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Re: Sprite interpretations

Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 05:27:32 pm
I'm glad to see you bump this thread because I love seeing stuff like this.

Ultimately your redesign looks a lot more like a Sega game than the original did! But I'm curious, why did you decide to give them guns? I guess it seems to fit the story and name a lot better in my mind. The enemies feel a lot more like they are from sonic so the guns might seem out of place if the enemies they were killing were also the creatures they were saving. I guess it depends on what the gun would fire.

I love how much character each of the main animals have.