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Messages - garsh
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Pixel Art / Re: In need of some feedback on game graphics.
« on: August 01, 2007, 03:54:08 pm »
Wow! This is looking really great! It immediately brought James Pond to mind for me, too, but I think your style is less sloppy and looks cleaner and more deliberate. Great job on the tiles, too, you're getting a lot of visual variety from relatively few tiles.

My biggest gripe for the moment would be that the black areas look a little too black. They're creating breaks where I don't think they belong, especially in the rock/dirt tiles. What's the point of having such a hard line under the grass, for instance? If you were going to use true black on a platform, it should probably be an outline so the player can better tell exactly where the real "surface" of the platform is (all around the outside most top and sides -- although I don't think this would jive with your style, it's more of a Mario thing). It looks like you're trying to use it as a shadow, but with the rest of the image so less saturated, it just looks a little off to me, and the depth it creates for the grass seems excessive.

Really though, I like this a lot and my criticism is minor.

Pixel Art / Re: Gameboy Attempt
« on: August 01, 2007, 03:43:34 pm »
I really love this stuff and can't find any fault with it. Your style is incredibly cute, but different from typical cute styles that we used to see in games of this kind. Your style has its own personality and it's good. The rag doll look of your characters is especially awesome. For the record, I prefer the originals -- before the thicker outlines.

Instead of a thicker black outline, if you really feel like something needs to be done for readability, you might take a cue from real designers who worked with that hardware. There were many games back then, especially in the later years of Gameboy's lifespan, that used a "white" (lightest shade of cabbage green) outline, tracing the "black" outline. Does that make sense? I'm sure I could dig up an example if you need it, there were plenty.

The only problem is you'd either have to reduce the size of your sprites by 1 pixel on each side to account for the extra outline, or just throw the sprite size limitations out the window. You said you didn't think you were exact with that already, though, so it may not matter. Anyway, that would be my suggestion, if you think you need something to improve on perfection.

Otherwise I say congratulations. This is the kind of game I would have played for graphics alone. That's a real accomplishment when you're working with 4 shades of cabbage.

General Discussion / Re: Contra 4 DS - Developped by WayForward
« on: June 25, 2007, 01:17:59 am »
Even though the scan robs the image of any clarity, I can see already that the graphics are truly amazing; far surpassing my expectations. From that quality, it's evident you guys (Wayforward) genuinely care about this project as much as it deserves. This is almost enough to put all my concerns to rest. I'm certainly not apprehensive anymore, anyway. Good job! I'm excited.

General Discussion / Re: Contra 4 DS - Developped by WayForward
« on: June 23, 2007, 12:36:43 am »
I'm really apprehensive about this. Even if Konami was doing it, I'd be nervous. I just hope you guys don't over do the narrative. Contra is about shooting aliens and dodging all the crap that's flying at you from all directions. That's all there is to it, really. It doesn't need the "drama" and stuff from the PS2 games.

Also, Contra's supposed to be a little tough, but I thought they over did it in Contra 3. It's a problem when it gets to be unfair, like when it's just not possible for a moderately skilled and dedicated player to avoid every hit in the game, or when it just gets exhausting to try and do so like in Contra 3. Moments of intensity should be broken up by comparably relaxed stretches. I think that's what worked in the NES port of the original Contra. Many of the stages were really not that hard, but they had hard parts, and the bosses were somewhat demanding.

I know you guys posting here are probably involved in just the graphics, and I don't know if you have any say in design, but those are my concerns. I know you guys will have the visuals covered.

Pixel Art / Re: Retro Platformer Mockup
« on: June 22, 2007, 09:00:13 pm »
I like the janitor. What's this new guy supposed to be, some kind of Chinese demigod?

If I was gonna add a frame to the flail (and I think you should) it would be 1 last frame after the fully out stretched frame, retracting the "hook"(?) all the way back to the handle.

Personally I find the blues on the background tiles a bit garish; too much contrast. Overall, though, I like what you're doing. It looks like it could been a Lynx game, but it's better looking than most Lynx games.

Seriously, though, the janitor rules.

...They say Mario's a plumber, you know. Just saying.

Pixel Art / Re: Isometric characters (wip)
« on: September 26, 2006, 11:37:24 pm »
I don't know if you're getting the point the others are trying to make about your style. It's a good and valid style, but the NES is not capable of the colors you're choosing. It can only do 4 colors per sprite, including transparency, so if you want your graphics to actually look like "good NES" quality, you'd have to reduce to those limitations. Your current style is highly reminiscent of Earthbound, which is an SNES game designed to remind players of NES without actually resorting to those authentic restrictions -- just like you.

Stick with your style if you're happy with it, just understand that it doesn't look like "good NES" sprites, because it would be impossible on the NES. If anything it looks more like amateur Gensis quality graphics.

Now for my own input, I think you'd be better off with a much higher contrast in your colors. The darker red on the red jumpsuit is way too close to the lighter red to serve much purpose. In fact, I'm concerned it wouldn't even be visible at the pixel's native resolution. Same goes for the two shades of grey on the same guy's shoes. It's a detectable difference at 3x, but no competent artist would do that even on SNES where color wasting is more affordable.

They're cute, I especially like the sand person in your avatar.

EDIT: Something else I meant to tell you...

...You might study the graphics of Cave Story. It seems designed according to similar ambitions as your own. The designer made surprisingly decent use of low-contrast shades and came out with some highly attractive graphics that speak to a true NES aesthetic. In fact, his work looks considerably more authentically NES than yours, despite breaking many of the same rules.

Here's a commercial critiques thread on this same forum to get you started if you'rer not familiar with Cave Story.

Pixel Art / Re: Small image dump
« on: April 01, 2006, 12:11:35 am »
Commander Keen, a cop (is he a specific cop?), ?, Lara, Lara, Charlie Caplain or Jack the Ripper?, Ronald McDonald

?, Darth Vader, Storm Trooper, Boba Fett, Cpt. Zapp Brannigan, Homer Simpson

Duke Nuke, ?, Mario (fire flower powered up), Link, Beast (from Disney), one of those Tronn bots

Snow White, Robin Hood, wizards..., Hunchback and the gypsie (Disney style again)

?, ?, tencacles from Maniac Mansion (or Day of the Tentacle), Jessica Rabbit, Marvin (Hitchiker's Guide), Yoda, Chewbacca

And might I say, I'm most envious of your ability to render so many instantly recognizable likenesses with so few pixels. Well done.

(I deliberately didn't read other posts so as to avoid "cheating".)

Pixel Art / Re: Tiled BG for competition
« on: March 12, 2006, 01:02:54 am »
I see an image, and a pretty impressive one. You managed very decent use of color to make it seem rich with just those 11.

You have some angles that don't match and with such a strong angular trend, anything that doesn't match it really throws things out of whack.

For instance, the angle of the roof-tops needs to be lowered. The traffic lines should be angled at the ends to match the rest of the image.

Also, the trees (I assume) in the background look more like green fire, so that could use a different pattern.

Nice texture on the pavement, and it's courageous of you to waste tiles on details like a bottle and paper. :)

Pixel Art / Re: T-Rex: a comic one :P
« on: March 09, 2006, 01:43:05 am »
I like the shades and texture and colors just like they are. And even though the anatomy is all out of whack, there's something I like about that, too. It's like he's made of modeling clay or something. I think the lack of colorful "blue and yellow" hues adds to that feeling.

Tremulant said everything I would have about the anatomy, so I won't double that, but like I said--there's something enjoyable about his wobbly, disproportionate, gingerbread-cookie-gone-wrong look.

This would be outstanding in a game with other similarly styled characters and backgrounds. I'd love to see your take on a cave man.

Pixel Art / Re: Need advice on 320x200 adventure game sprite(s)
« on: February 08, 2006, 09:28:30 pm »
First of all, what are you talking about in that thread title? That huge 320 x 200 resolution is what made me click. In retrospect I assume you were referring to an intended screen resolution and not the sprites themselves. :)

Your sprites are vaguely similar to the style used in Illusion of Gaia for SNES (if you know what that is). But it most resembles the secondary characters and NPCs, meaning they were the ones that got the least attention. So yes, in answer to one of your direct questions, I would say you haven't done enough.

Then again, you've presented a number of sprites here. Perhaps you're just spreading yourself a bit thin on experiments and trying to find a style before you invest so much into it. I'm guilty of this myself.

From what you have here, your best work seems to be the far left figure under "Septembre '05". I like it better than your current Ray. The colors are a bit muted, which is just a personal preference of mine, but also you seemed to be shedding (or at least disguising) the so-called "pillow shading" at that point.

Pillow shading isn't necessarily bad, mind you, it just tends to make most "real" pixel artists cringe. If it's a style you're going for, though, then don't let anyone tell you different.

Generally, all the characters seem a bit dull to me and could benefit from some style. Considering the nature of your game plan it sounds like it will be all or mostly humans, which is fine, but if there are no interesting monsters to leer at it strikes me that it might be a good idea to pump some style into the humans.

Exaggerate a bit, you know? Barrel chests or pot-bellys, and whatever other cartoon anotomical features, might go along way to making it feel more like a visual feast. Good luck trying to achieve that with such small sprites, though.

You're on the right track with your most recent Ray -- his hair definitely has style!

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