Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: willfaulds on April 04, 2009, 01:26:19 pm

Title: 1-Bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 04, 2009, 01:26:19 pm

EDIT/ This post has been updated to house WIP animations

I'm working on a set of 1-Bit flash games... a compendium really. One file with 3 or so games all built on the same core game engine.

I'd like to try an open work flow and see how it goes... Basically designing, building, playing, designing... All in little chunks

Dev log:

-One button gameplay. UPDATE: Basic keyboard movement.  UPDATE: Mouse movement - spaceship has inertia.
-Single screen. Wrapping game environment UPDATE: Side-scrolling with parallax background layers. UPDATE: Single screen & scrolling with parallax background layers (level dependent).
-Basic gameplay abduct people. UPDATE: abduct and avoid projectiles. UPDATE: abduct, avoid, destroy, move objects

Game play mockup:

You'd be amazed what a different the larger spaceship makes - so much more fun... you feel all powerful.


(http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/1bit_Characters_1X.gif) (http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/1bit_Walk_1X.gif) (http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/1bit_Run_1X.gif) (http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/Horse2+.gif) (http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/InformalInvasion_Tank.gif)

Everything is  inspired by games of my youth - played on a Mac Plus. Dither patterns are mostly the ones I played with years ago in MacPaint...
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Iceman on April 05, 2009, 03:16:59 pm
Very nice start...I like it.  ;)

One thing tho..... this guy (http://archive.willfaulds.com/2009/pixelation/1bit_Run_1X.gif) needs a bit of work.  I know you have limited the animation frames as you said, but he is missing an arm. You need to add the left far-side arm to this, but I am looking forward to seeing how this work progresses.
(It reminds me of work I did on the Dragon computers eons ago :) )
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 06, 2009, 09:36:34 pm
Polished some bits and pieces.

Iceman thanks for the crit. I got distracted - not being sure whether I was taking the project in an interesting enough stylistic direction. I think the answer I came to is that the animations can be a bit more fun than I was making the first ones. I was doodling and made the varied characters and thought it was more appropriate. Ease up on the realism. Make it more quirky and exaggerated.

I'll update with new character animations when I can.


and for anyone willing to pass judgment of the screen effects;
http://pixelbeard.willfaulds.com/blog/2009/3in1bit_ScreenEffects.swf (http://pixelbeard.willfaulds.com/blog/2009/3in1bit_ScreenEffects.swf)
That's about the opacity I'm happy with. It also has the animated bar distortion (still not sure what to call that). Good or bad?
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 07, 2009, 10:31:57 pm

& in context

http://pixelbeard.willfaulds.com/blog/2009/3in1bit_ScreenEffects.swf (http://pixelbeard.willfaulds.com/blog/2009/3in1bit_ScreenEffects.swf)

happy with this one.

EDIT/ never noticed the insert flash button before ^_^ ... though it doesn't seem to work anyway.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Chris2balls on April 09, 2009, 04:32:22 am
That looks great.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Souly on April 09, 2009, 08:44:48 am
Is he standing on the horse?
His arm seems looser then the horses tail.

The horses weight isn't convincing I think it make be the back legs.
It looks like a dog run more then a horse, and at some point I read as though the horse has 1 back leg.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Jakten on April 09, 2009, 08:55:43 am
I agree with Souly, the horse run seems strange. Though I think it's more so because of the shape of your horse. His legs are way too thick at the tops especially the back ones. And although the tail doesn't move much in this reference I'm about to post I think it should flow really nicely.


Quite cool though, i hope to see this project finished!
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 09, 2009, 11:01:10 am
Thank you:


(Once someone mentioned the dog similarity - I'd seen this earlier but thought maybe it was tired eyes - it had to be amended)

Reference was useful  ;D - 1st on was done from a still photo ref - interesting to see where it differs from what I thought.

And yes he is standing - decided I could have a bit more fun with the characters - who needs realism? :crazy:


What resolution would people rather play a game like this in?

Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Iceman on April 09, 2009, 12:31:57 pm
I think this project is going well willfaulds, your getting it all together :y:

As for the rez of the game screen, it does depend if your wanting to make it look a lot like an old retro game played on an old 8bit screen limited computer.  For myself I would stick with the smaller screen, because it gives you a wider play screen that more things can fit on at once, plus the smaller characters do tend to look better than the bigger, more chunky ones.

You may also have to change the game play and game design (EG: enemy waves, difficulty levels etc) with a bigger set.

But it is your project and either way Im sure it will be worth the wait.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Ben2theEdge on April 09, 2009, 01:35:40 pm
I greatly prefer the doubled up pixels. Too much negative space on the high-res version.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: philipptr on April 09, 2009, 06:14:18 pm
I totally agree with Ben2theEdge.

This reminds of a game I started once looking very similar.
Actually it was 1-bit and about abduction too.
Only difference was that ones task was to control an ufo and abduct cows.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Mathias on April 09, 2009, 06:58:46 pm
Double pixel is better. 1x res is probably too tiny for larger monitors set to high resolutions.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 10, 2009, 05:36:24 pm
Thanks for your comments.

For now I'll work with this at 200% - I was concerned about larger resolution monitors too.

So here's a touched up reduxed title screen - reduxed because it just fits the genre (no aversion to going in deeper and correcting bits).
Until I've decided exactly how character look while being abducted I'll leave the repetitive fillers...

I'll leave it 1 size but be aware it will be scaled.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Dr D on April 10, 2009, 07:24:12 pm
Well 'Abductoid' isn't a real word, but I think you misspelled it anyway. Unless you were trying to spell 'Abduction', which is, still wrong. But of course you could have wanted it like that, so in that case you can disregard that.

It looks really nice, though. I suppose it could use some AA'ing in some parts.  ::)
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Mathias on April 10, 2009, 07:49:24 pm
Haha, AA . . . I'd love to see you do some 1bit AA, dr D.

Yep, it's title screen time. Always a joyous occasion. Yet, like already brought out, the name is a typo no matter what the intent. All the dithering is done well enough, but it seems so overdone/too much. I'd try leaving the letters a pure white fill. I'm really dissapointed with the boring font choice. Why don't you try creating an actual logo?
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Dr D on April 10, 2009, 08:34:00 pm
Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I got the impression there was gray or something. I suppose dither-smoothing could be an AA supplement in this case, though.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 10, 2009, 09:28:01 pm
Thanks for the crits. Things to think about  ;D

Oops 'Abductoid.' Yes a typo. Nonsense word - I realise that.

As for the typography - that was from making it resemble a 50's alien movie poster - moved away from that graphical idea though. Will definitely look into the type though as its a legacy asset now really. Or maybe look into reinstating the 50s feel. Looking at it now I can definitely see its not giving enough of a 50's feel to look significant.

Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 11, 2009, 10:42:38 am
Thank you for crits with fresh eyes I think I've amended them all.

Looks a lot better in my opinion

The abducted man is filler (waiting till I've finalised the actually abduction animation) otherwise I think its good to go.


EDIT/ Maybe the man isn't even necessary?
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Ai on April 11, 2009, 11:41:56 am
Thank you for crits with fresh eyes I think I've amended them all.

Looks a lot better in my opinion

The abducted man is filler (waiting till I've finalised the actually abduction animation) otherwise I think its good to go.
When I see 'words' such as "sieze" I must say -- run!, don't walk to the nearest spell-checker! :)

Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 11, 2009, 12:30:16 pm
hmm 'seize' makes a mockery of the 'i before e except after c'  :-[ .though that doesn't work in so many other instances too.

2 typos. poor form from me  :-[
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: eobet on April 15, 2009, 08:09:30 am
Just a tip: If you want the authentic black and white Apple look, try this:


Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Helm on April 15, 2009, 11:07:03 am

So beautiful.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Mathias on April 15, 2009, 04:32:02 pm
Photoshop does that in a few clicks.

Hey, the new title screen rocks. Big text improvement. Have you considered making the text 3D extruded (http://www.tutorials007.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/3d_text_5.gif)? For that extra Ten Commandments grandeur retro feel. Tried blending the big saucer beam behind the title text into the text yet? As if the massive light was kinda glowing onto the text, where they overlap. This would lessen the distinction between the title in the foreground and the background scene, not sure if that's a good thing.

Did you draw the background image, then apply a black and white dither filter? Without the abductee, people might mistake the saucer beams as weapons, destructive lasers. I like him there. I might try fading him out, though. Like the other saucer beams are faded. Never seen so much dithering one place.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 17, 2009, 10:00:26 pm
I've been following a workflow I heard somewhere was used to create the first populous - play it, change it, play it, change it...

Major changes;

parallax backgrounds


Feeling much more excited about this version.

Thanks eobet I'd seen that before but forgotten about it.

Mathias: I'll come back to title screen a little later on - I might be tempted to take it a little further with the movie poster feel - looking at putting an alien drooling over an abductee. 3D text is worth further investigation although it didn't work out any better last time I tried it. The background was comped in Photoshop and reduced in ImageReady then tweeked.

EDIT: Does anyone know if there is, and if so what's, the Japanese symbol for pixel?
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Mathias on April 17, 2009, 10:38:24 pm
Sounds good.

Hmm, dudes on horse back and tanks?

When I first loaded this thread just now, I scrolled down to see your latest mockup and immediately thought, 'hey he added more colors'. The 50/50 dither looks just like pure light beige on my screen - a 19" CRT set to 1600x1200. I had to zoom in to figure it out. Even then, I went ahead and put yer new image on a lower res so I could actualy discern the dither pattern at 1x zoom to truly beleive what I'm seeing, hehe. Even if I tweak my monitor's color converganece settings it still looks like convincing light beige. This will be an unpredictable effect so I wouldn't count on it, though.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Shrike on April 17, 2009, 11:16:23 pm
A few quick thoughts;  I haven't been keeping up with this thread but it rocks.

the tank and horseman area is a little hard to read.  A little too much going on, though maybe once in motion it'll be fine.  Don't know, up to you.

Why is the abduction beam black?  It would be better/more realistic to have it be mostly white with a few black touchups, maybe outline it 1px in black.

Good work.
Image filter thing rocks my socks.

Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 18, 2009, 07:18:24 pm

Mathias: I won't expect that result as it'll be scaled up anyway ^_^

Shrike: Once I get the the game up to this level of detail I may need to add a 2 pixel (currently 1) outline to all characters if the movement isn't enough to separate them. I tried the beam without so much black (the core is white) but this in my opinion was the best result. I'd be interested in seeing another take though.
Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: willfaulds on April 30, 2009, 05:25:11 pm
Sorry for the delay in getting more things posted. Implementing some of the changes particularly the parallax took a bit more time... and I'm not getting directly paid up front for this project so it can't come top of the pile all the time.

New title screen, new name....

I'll be compiling some WIPs and popping them in the first post (been and interesting project working by evolution almost - not that efficient but interesting) as they show tell a tale.

Title: Re: 1bit...
Post by: Shrike on May 01, 2009, 02:00:25 pm
I... assume it's saying 'beard snatchers 1954'?  If so, it took me about a minute to figure out.  Not very gamer-friendly...  Angry german kid would not be one to reckon with.
I'd make the letters a little thinner and fill in the missing space in that 's'!  Beard doesn't read to well either (literally).   :crazy: :lol: :P :huh: :-[ :-X

However the guy looks great, and the dithering/shading style totally catches that old-photograph/cheesy TV news report look.   :crazy:  Well done.
Title: Re: 1-Bit...
Post by: willfaulds on May 17, 2009, 03:17:29 pm
new animation


and a short gameplay test - you can see how the beam has evolved a little here and see the animations in context.


The frame rate had to be cut so some animations aren't complete.
Title: Re: 1-Bit...
Post by: Tobe on May 17, 2009, 08:51:22 pm
I've been following the thread because I find it amazing how 1 bit games can look so nice
But just to nitpick a little, I see from the video link that the UFO beam got cut off at the very end. I thought that looks a little faulty. Other then that, can't wait to see the full game : )
Title: Re: 1-Bit...
Post by: willfaulds on May 18, 2009, 05:23:27 pm
Thanks tobe,

I think I see what you mean  - I altered the code a little to safe guard against that happening. Though I couldn't recreate it and it may have just been frames getting chopped during the video capture.

Your comment did make me alter the closing animation though - it has good impact when you miss an object but no so much when you've had something in the beam so I added a dithered first frame (see below)

So for anyone interested these are the tiles used to generate the beam

Spawning loop (12 Frames)

Transition to capture (4 Frames)

Capture loop (8 Frames)

Closing (8 Frames)

These look a little nonsensical out of context (I'll try to find time to upload a little SWF where you can just test the transitions)

Also I'm interested to know what people feel about the screen effects in the video?
Title: Re: 1-Bit...
Post by: willfaulds on May 20, 2009, 08:42:20 pm

interactive tile demo thingamajig.
Title: Re: 1-Bit...
Post by: willfaulds on June 18, 2009, 11:10:15 am
I've been flat out with some other projects recently

BUT I found time to work on an ident for my games
I would really appreciate any feedback (audio or visual)

As for Beard Snatchers I've pixelled up some new backgrounds (part visible in the blog header) and developed the story. I hope to post some works for crit next week.

Dinosaurs and zombies are immanent...