Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - goat
Pages: [1] 2

General Discussion / What's going on: (BUG REPORTING THREAD)
« on: April 17, 2007, 07:00:39 pm »
We had a few unforseen issues getting our visual template to agree with our newly updated forum software.  You can still browse and post (almost) normally, and your messages will not be lost or compromised in any way.  We are working to restore order :p Happy pixels!

Everything should be back to "normal".  If you see anything out of the ordinary, shoot me a PM.

If you notice any weirdness going on with your login status, or if the forum seems to switch skins when you load different pages, try clearing your cookies.

General Discussion / NOTICE (stuff and image zoomer)
« on: September 20, 2006, 06:15:34 pm »
If the forum seems a little up and down today, we're making some last-minute tweaks to the layout, scripts (image zoomer and such), etc.


The image zoomer is now back in.  The controls are (still):

LEFT CLICK: zoom in once

CTRL CLICK: zoom out once

ALT CLICK: return to 1x view

If you want to display a non-zooming image in a field that doesn't allow HTML, use the nozoom tag surrounded by the [] brackets.

with img tag:

with nozoom tag:

General Discussion / Error: Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
« on: September 20, 2006, 04:56:13 pm »
Someone, who shall remain nameless, missed a few zeroes when entering the bandwidth limit for the forum :p it was a temporary issue and has been resolved.  I personally apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Commercial Critique / 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.

Pixel Art / Super Ghouls N' Goats (wip) Updated contrast
« on: May 31, 2006, 09:02:29 pm »
My portoflio's really old and I haven't really pixeled in forever, so I've been trying to create a new one from scratch that reflects my current ability.  Unfortunately school and work (nonpixel work, hoping to get back into the loop once I finish a newer portfolio) are making it difficult, so my plans of actually finishing this before posting it went the same way as my plans to shower this morning.  This was inspired after a really hot weekend alone with ZSNES and a couple Capcom platformer roms.  I've been poking at it off and on for months and figured some C+C would motivate me to finish it.

EDIT: New colors, this is how it looked on my monitor originally.  Looks like my gamma was messed up :p doh

23 colors total (Helm's gonna bend me over, watch), 9 for the foreground, the rest are in the moon

old washed out colors

Because I know people are going to say something, the moon was blobbed out in greyscale, imported to Photoshop, filtered with clouds, accented edges, burned, dodged, shrunk, gradient mapped, color reduced, brought back into Graphics Gale and then manually color tweaked once again to match the current palette better.  I left the moon on its own palette because in the actual game-that-will-never-be the moon changes colors based on certain game states and this makes a palette cycle a lot easier.  What I'm saying is, spare me the "the moon isn't pixel art!!!" lecture ;)

A week late, but still better than never.  Damn finals!

Here are a few popular titles that didn't make it last time.
Suggestions are open--if you have an idea for a game we should cover, share it!

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Yoshi's Island
Dragon's Fury (thx u Turbo)

This one will run into the first week of July (along with the July critique) so we get a whole month out of it without really disrupting the flow.  Voting will end on the 7th.

Commercial Critique / Commercial Critique May 06: Demon's Crest
« on: May 01, 2006, 11:26:37 pm »

For those new to commercial critiques, this is an activity where the community selects something, usually a game, containing interesting examples of pixel art.  We then discuss the pixel art as a group, analyzing and dissecting techniques that work for the art, and techniques that don't, in order to learn and grow and all that warm fuzzy stuff.

This time it's Demon's Crest, by Capcom.  For better or worse, few people have a neutral opinion of this game's graphics.  Set in a gritty theme and style similar, although superior in execution, to other Capcom platformers at the time, is this game a shining example of what some consider to be a golden age in gaming, or a mere iteration in Capcom's Generic Occult-Fantasy Platformer Machine? 

Finding screenshots for critique:

- Screenshots of this game are available at different review sites and whatnot, but perhaps the best way to get them is to grab them yourself.  The ROM of this game is available for download in quite a few places.  As for emulators, I recommend zsnes.

- I started a bit of a study on this game a while ago that I left unfinished.  Some screens I grabbed of the early game for examination are here.

I would have loved to kick it off with some critique but as you can see I'm already running a little late, expect my opinionated perspective soon though :p

Archived Activities / Next Commercial Critique (MAY 06): Suggestions
« on: April 24, 2006, 09:26:49 am »
For those of you who might be new/not know the drill, this is where we decide which game gets the next commercial critique spotlight.

Here some popular choices from last month to start us off (any new suggestions are welcome):

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Demon's Crest
Yoshi's Island (thanks Xion Night)

Go nuts!  The one with the most votes will be critiqued on the first of May

Commercial Critique / Commercial Critique: The Chaos Engine
« on: March 28, 2006, 12:05:13 am »

For those new to commercial critiques, this is an activity where the community selects something, usually a game, containing interesting examples of pixel art.  We then discuss the pixel art as a group, analyzing and dissecting techniques that work for the art, and techniques that don't, in order to learn and grow and all that warm fuzzy stuff.

This time around we'll be critiquing The Chaos Engine, by The Bitmap Brothers.  To give a little background, The Bitmap Brothers played a huge part in bringing the Amiga platform to the front lines of popular gaming in the late 80s and early 90s, due in no small part to their freaking awesome graphics and immense levels of pixeling talent.  The Chaos Engine was selected by popular demand because it exemplifies some of the pixeling techniques that make their graphics great by today's standards while still working within the limitations of the Amiga's Original Chip Set (in case you wondered what all that OCS stuff people have been babbling about stands for)

Finding screenshots for critique:

- Screenshots of the OCS version (the original version, often preferred due to more subdued colors, particularly on sprites) are available here and here, among other places. 

- The DOS version of the game is available for download here.

- Those of you who prefer to kick it oldschool can download the Amiga OCS rom here.  You'll need an Amiga emulator and an lzx-capable file decompressor.

Remember, kids: hotlinking images is a terrible thing to do.  If I still had hosting I'd put them all up on it for linking, but such is life.

We obviously have a lot to learn from these guys, and their art.  I can't wait to hear what grabs you about these graphics, and why, as well as dissecting some of these awesome techniques with you so that we can learn, move up, and move on as pixel pushers.

I'll throw my hat into the ring first.  One of the first things most people mention when giving this game its rightful praise is the color selection.  The artists managed to keep colors down while retaining a very high level of quality and fidelity in the art; in fact, many of their color optimization techniques became cornerstones of their style, or at least contributed to the atmosphere of the games. 

Here's an early cutscene grab that I scribbled on.  This shot is an excellent example of one of a popular technique for color reduction.  As you can see, even though the general tone of the image is definitely a yellow-green, there are a few different things going on here colorwise; the grey of the dino's skin and top of the plateau, the brown on the ground, the pink of the gums and tongue, the skin tones and clothing on the wee people.  However, this image only contains 32 colors.

If you look at the colors I smudged out near the bottom of the image you can see that the palette cointains one big pale greenscale with a few mini-gradients of grey, brown, and pink to make up the rest of the colors.  By dithering colors from the greenscale into these other color palettes, especially within the transitional shades from light to dark (since the highlight and core shadow colors are the most important in showing the color of the light and the object it's hitting), they not only kept the total color count down to 32, but also gave the image a green, moody ambient color cast appropriate for a cutscene.  Near the top I blew up one of the little worker guys to examine how a full compliment of shirt shades was derived from two blues mixed with colors from the main greenscale.

Now for some actual gameplay graphics:

These two shots show a practice popular with The Bitmap Brothers, their many imitators, and Amiga era pixelists in general, namely taking what we know and love about hue rotation and turning it on its head.  Most pixel artists (at least, most around this board) think of a hue rotation or a hue shift in terms of moving hue either up or down across the hue slider as a color becomes darker or lighter.  In these shots the hues seem to bounce back and forth, to different degrees on different objects.  First, let's look at some metal stuff from the first shot:

Most of us learn early on that banding light and dark values next to each other is the key to creating believable metal textures in pixels.  The artists take it a little further here in that they're banding hues along with values.  A piece of metal that goes from light, to dark, to light again could also go from blue, to green, to blue again.  To look at the relationship between hue and value in these objects, my geeky ass made a graph:

As the colors go from dark to light, the hue jumps around, making larger leaps towards the middle range.  As predicted, the colors on the metal go from light/greenish to darker/bluish and back to light/greenish, but wait! There's all kinds of reds in there! Right smack in those middle transitional shades as well as at the very darkest end, the hue jumps to the deep reds and the desaturated oranges (browns) you find in the ground.  Not only does this create intermediate shading without adding more colors onto the palette, but it gives the impression that the metal is catching and reflecting the ground colors.

Here's a grab of some ground tiles from the same level.  We see a few runs of similar hues with different values, like a few dark greens we saw in the metal, middle browns for the bulk of the ground, etc.  We also see the hue jumping back up to green and even into the blues towards the brighter end.  We see greens and blues in the upper ranges of the metal too, apparently the artists are indicating the color of the lightsource as best as they can without wasting extra colors. Same deal with some cave wall tiles grabbed from the first level:

different palette, same principle.  Accentuating the blueness of the natural daylight gives the whole scene a cooler ("subdued" as Ptoing or someone put it) appearance.

I have more to say, but I'll shut up and give you guys a turn, and give myself a chance to prepare a little more.

General Discussion / Next Commercial Critique -- Closed (Chaos Engine)
« on: March 21, 2006, 10:50:27 pm »
*caps lock off*

The following commercial pixel thingies have been suggested for critique:

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2)
Chaos Engine/Speedball 2 (Bitmap Bros. stuff) (2)
Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Magical Vacation
Princess Crown (pending good image source)
Demon's Crest
Out of This World/Another World

Don't worry, I'll actually go out and get true uncompressed screen grabs for the actual critique :p

Feel free to post your own suggestions or voice your support for one on the list; the game/whatever with the most votes will be critiqued first.

Thread closes Friday 3/24 at midnight,  and the critique can be expected the following Monday.  Vote or die

Pages: [1] 2