Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Grundy on June 18, 2012, 02:46:35 pm

Title: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on June 18, 2012, 02:46:35 pm
Hi all,

I am working on a retro shooter. For now dubbed Elevatorshooter as part of the 7dfps contest which is now finished (the contest).
My friend does all the coding. I do the music and pixelart.


It's very heavy on pixelart and kinda looks like Wolfenstein.
Except for the fact that you are a stationary target.
I am a big toy-enthousiast and like to put in some GI-Joe style characters.

(http://7dfps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tank01cyclestryout02.gif) (http://7dfps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/runner01cycle-copy.gif)

The pixels are huge indeed. I work on pixel size and then double it to make it look extra chunky.
I am not really an artist so i really need your helps. Especially with the animations.
I will share some stuff here as the game progresses.Here are some walk cycles that i think could use some work.
I will post weekly updates on my site. www.grundysoft.com (http://www.grundysoft.com)

What do you think?
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: pistachio on June 20, 2012, 01:41:16 am
Hey, welcome to pixelation!

Like the design of the skull guy (ninja too but same things apply there) so let's focus on that in this post.


You have a lot of colors with little contrast between them, which seems to be the biggest problem. Got color count down from about 20-odd to 7, which works well with this flat cartoony style with grunge around the edges, kinda like a more cartoony version of Doom/Wolfenstein, like you mentioned. Could be an interesting art style. Either way, that many colors is unnecessary for pixel art and should be reduced.

The drawings themselves are good but the animation seems a bit jittery, one moment that stands out is the movement of his head before he steps onto his left foot. Consider spacing/timing of the animation frames as well. Could be more straight up/down movement instead of diagonal movement there, at least the head, it might make it more focused/determined on its target. But this is all more or less speculative rambling until it's put into motion, so those might be a few things you could try out.
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on June 20, 2012, 03:04:01 am
Hey! Thanks for helping me out with so much feedback!
I can't believe i didn't think of that cool shiny glint on the bazooka's edge!
Should've known that was cool from my Warhammer painting days.
Also, the addition of a black vertical stripe down the chest will help add to the motion if it gets animated.
It does however make it look less armoured, This guy is the heavy weapon dude.
But i think i can just turn it into darkened stripes like you see in Mass Effect on Sheppard's armour.

Cool that you took the time to sit down and remove some of the colours.
27 is indeed a tad much. But is also think 7 makes it look a bit too gritty.
Maybe i should still give it a go.
You are absolutely right that the darker parts have a bit too much unnecessary shading.

When it comes to animation i have a lot, a lot to learn.
I am currently designing 2 new characters and hope i have time to revise this guy somewhere this week.
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on June 21, 2012, 07:02:27 am

I posted an update on my site.
http://grundysoft.com/ (http://grundysoft.com/)
The pixelart is all wip. I know it's blunt.
I use really raw stuff to check if the animations/proportions look ok in-game and revise them if they need to.
If the overall look is ok then i turn to shading/details etc

But if you are into character design it might be fun looking into.
Also check if you like shooting at toys.
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on July 31, 2012, 11:09:19 pm
Ok. It's been some weeks since my last post.
Stuff has changed since then.
I even dare to say that i got better at this pixel art thing.
To be honest i was a total noob when i started this weeks ago.
I still am, only less so.

It took some time for me to get grips with color palettes.
Then i took a tried and tested 16 color palette from the internet.
And added 1 shade of dark red and 2 shades of pure grey.

Here is a screenshot.

The game still has the strange perspective i discussed in some other topics.
I have come to peace with it.
Thinking the weirdness of it was more in my head than anyone else's.
Maybe we change it still after playtesting with people.

We are close to releasing a demo.
This means that people can play our game.
An important moment to test our gameplay.

More info on my studio website (http://grundysoft.com/)
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grimsane on August 01, 2012, 05:53:34 pm
I don't think red as an enemy colour works on that background, especially if you need to scan the screen with your eyes and moving and clicking the mouse cursor with reflexes, so you have random colour assignments? or is this just a colour test? weird perspective, and the outlines look better I think, and help separate the sprites from the environment

complimentary palette test hehe  :blind:

I'm coming to the conclusion my palette is pretty flexible :crazy:
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on August 02, 2012, 05:17:29 pm
Hey man, Thanks for taking the time to dip it in your own palette.
(admit it. you kinda liked it! :D )

It's a bit less bright than mine.
I will stick to the palette i have but yours has pointed out one very important: mine has no purple.
I am trying to emulate GI Joe toys/cartoons with my game and purple might help.
Could be a sweet color for enemies. (it was a color test btw)
The "red on red dont see enemy" is partly true. Although motion helps people detect things too..

So. yeah: Mine could use 2 shades of purple/magenta as well.
It's just that im so afraid to add colors because i fear i mess it up.
This is what i use now. i took it from this site but i cannot retrace the source.
Props to the guys who made this!


The more i talk the more i feel like a total noob!
I feel like im naked in front of all the artists in the world.
But i gotta step my game up. So. Bring it.
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Seiseki on August 05, 2012, 01:09:51 am
The "red on red dont see enemy" is partly true. Although motion helps people detect things too..

Well that comes down to game design, you should only make them red if your intention is to make them a bit harder to spot.
And even then the idea is a bit questionable :)

I think all the enemies needs to pop out a lot more.
The shadows on the floor might be too much. I'd even consider removing any black outlines in the background and only use them for enemies.

Looking good though, love the designs and feeling!
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on August 07, 2012, 05:37:08 am
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my game.

I agree that from this screenshot the enemy's rod color is questionable.
Part of the anwser is that there are 5 levels. This level happens to be reddish.
But this wont be the case with all of them.

We are considering adding purple to the mix.
Visibility might indeed be a viable partypooper.

I am trying stuff without background outlines,

The demo is out soon.
We'll look at the response.
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: jams0988 on August 07, 2012, 10:36:02 pm
I don't think the enemies not having neon signs around their necks is really a huge problem, personally. Contra Rebirth is one of my favorite games of all time, partly because it's hard to tell exactly what the hell is going on half the time, with explosions and fire and flashing alarm lights covering 90% of the screen. All the visual noise made you have to concentrate ridiculously hard on the higher difficulties, and even map out where projectiles were going to end up a few seconds into the future, because they were obscured by all the stuff going on on-screen a lot of the time. It made the game very hectic feeling, and it was a ton of fun. I think it's a very legitimate design choice. If you were really fighting for your life, you wouldn't calmly picking out your flourescent colored targets; you'd be killing yourself to spot the enemies attacking you. Making the enemies a little difficult to see can actually help the game experience, in my eyes, at least.

Contra Rebirth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCuvLtt6KT0&playnext=1&list=PLA731B46A099E3A1C&feature=results_main
(Go to the one minute mark to see what I'm talking about.)

I mean, it takes me less than half a second to find all the enemies in Grundy's screenshots, and that's *without* motion to help me. I don't think it's going to be much of an issue, but we'll see with the demo, I guess!
Title: Re: Grundysoft shooter Game
Post by: Grundy on August 08, 2012, 05:28:51 am
Thanks, There is something to say for that as well.
Contra and other bullet hell games are based mostly on dexterity.
We are in that category as well but in a less hardcore extend.
Making it more difficult can be a choice as it becomes a challenge on its own to spot them.

Except it was not a choice. Rather a coincidence.
On the other hand i have just no trouble at all spotting them.
But who am i?

I'm the guy that played it a thousand times.
I'm a bit trained now and not representative for the average player anymore.

The jury is still out.