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Topics - Arne
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Valkyrie no Bouken came out just after Zelda 1, but wasn't released over here. The sprites for the terrain is pretty good, I like the graphical trees and grass knobs. The enemies fell very cardboard however. Zelda 1 has flat enemies too, but at least they rotate. Most enemies in VnB does not. Graphically, they're not very striking, and the game kind of lack striking and clear designs such as Octorocs, Tektites, etc.

Since the enemies come in a variety of colors anyways, I decided to not stay faithful to the color schemes at all. Instead I'm using some of the art as reference. Also, I stay away from palette swaps and just do different versions of the sprites instead.

Some of my sprites have an extra color, or consists of several sprites with different palettes. I used the NES palette, or a version of. I haven't tried the animations out in the cases I made one. I guess mine look to the side a bit, so they could perhaps flip to face the player, but that would cause trouble with the right/left-handedness.

I also dumped the sprites myself because I don't like StategyWiki's presentation.
Some Art:

Edit, old:

Edit: Sprite & value ref, without the proper colors/palettes.


Valkyrie: Double sprite trickery. Couldn't get her hair to work graphically if blonde. She's dark haired on the original sprite anyways. I'm using a fireball gradient palette for the overlay sprite. It can be used for other stuff too, like... fire balls, eyes, whatever. Commonly occurring things. I can't remember how many FG palettes the NES has. 4 or 8. Also, this palette could be changed to choose her Color (you can choose Zodiac, Blood type and sprite color in VnB). I also tried a pure 4 color version. Looks very gameboyish. Maybe I should do something with the wings. The white is a bit flat.

Caveman (Tatta): I changed his skin tone so he looks more alien, because a plain caveman feels a bit... plain. I imagine they are a race of ogre/troll/orks . There's a bronze armour version called Dadatta, but the original sprite it looks little like the Tatta. My Dadatta is just a Tatta edit, but maybe I should pay more homage to the slight 'black-face' of the original sprite.

Jester guy (Quarkman): more striking cute pink with a cute cap with eyes on, like the frog costume worn by that kitten, or Snake man's helmet. My sprite doesn't read well. It's very crowded. Might be clearer if animated, or not.

Kiwi: I don't know what's up with the original sprite. It looks like a skipping Tentacle Kiwi. I used the some later VnB painting as reference.

Fly Drill: I'm not sure how this is supposed to be a flying mandrill. I made a flying mandrill, bird, and Monkey-Gargoyle. Used a blue on the brown Mandrill for the sake of the characteristic nose.

Scorpion: I really liked the one in Legacy of the Wizard, so I tried to make something similar, without swiping it. The Scorpion in LotW has a really beautiful curved tail, nice values on the hind legs, and a good form on the mouth/head which gives it perspective and volume. Overall, the LotW sprites are great.

Sand Reptile (Sandra): Not much to say. I'm skipping the outline at places to make things feel less cutout (and gain an extra pixel or two). There's a friendly Sandra (Kurino, iirc) which has a lighter green. Maybe I could use another palette for the dark (evil) ones.

Robotian: Gave me some trouble. I eventially made him more black so I could push in the unique color for the face cross. Probably the most fun design in the game. They actually did full 4-dir rotation for the Robotian sprite.

Goat-bull (Talos): Boring enemy. The sprite isn't very fun either. I made mine gray like in on of the art pieces. There's something going on with the tail. I'm not sure how I want to angle the horns.

Croc: Made a few variants. The original sprite is one of the best I think. It's difficult to improve upon, but I made my own version anyways. Actually I made several.

Twin Cyclop Giraffe (Twin-Girasu): I like this design. Not sure if I made it justice. I wanted to add some shading/volume to that black. Ended up using a shared palette.

Scissor head (Shizasu): I'm not sure what's up with this design, but atleast it's unique. Better that than generic. I used a single extra white tile to pick out the eye and belly.

Hovering Wyrm (Enmakonda): Another oddity. I think it's a dungeon boss. I haven't gotten that far. I haven't settled on a palette yet. Head top has another palette than the body. Big nemies look very boring with just 3 colors... well, two, excluding the outline.

Also, FCEUX now has LUA support. This is pretty amazing.
I couldn't find the script online, so I made my own. It was pretty rewarding to oogle around in the RAM for stats, positions, health, etc and then have it displayed graphically. It's really simple to write the LUA HUD stuff too. I suppose you can use it for all sorts of things, like making a Mini Map for Metroid 1 (if Samus' global position can be easily decyphered that is).

Edit: Started on a map, but I'm not really following the NES restrictions here. I'm mostly playing around with feel. Tile maps are tricky, because you'd think that it's better to make some variations of the tiles to make it look more random, but everytime I've tried that it has looked... disorganized. I think it's better to use unique arrangements, local themes, landmarks. One way to do that is to keep the tiles simple, but place them in unique groups. For example, sand texture can be local and bunched up, leaving other areas empty. I'm thinking of doing a few big versions of some tiles, like the big tree, the big mountain. Other ideas for landmarks are Wells, houses, ruins, obelisks, a dead forest, towers... Some may be meaningless, but they'd serve to break up the monotony of the landscape.

General Discussion / 32/64 colour generic palette
« on: January 21, 2009, 01:00:08 am »
It would be interesting to tackle a 32 / 64 color palette sometime. I remember Ptoing and I musing about it. It's almost daunting though, seems like a lot of work getting the most out of ramps, 'cross ramps' while covering the most useful part of the spectrum (like I histogram'ed). However, while the 'generic' 16 color palette was kind of geared towards being useful for games with smaller sprites, a palette with more colors could also be used for demo art (i.e. traced Boris Vallejo paintings ;) ), photos, etc. The, uh, color space weight field of useful colors would be different. I started a bit on a tool for visualizing how ramps relate in color space, but didn't get very far. Just imagine little pearl necklaces jumbled into a cube, cone or cylinder. with R,G,B or H,S,V tied to any of the dimensions (Radius, Angle, Height)

A warning: Don't screencap the Color Table in PS (5.5 atleast) and rescale down to 16*16 pixels to make a palette image. I'm guessing that color profiles or something affects those colors, so they won't be the same as on the canvas.

( I may have mentioned this before, but my CRT monitor was slightly mis-calibrated when I/we did the 16 color palette. Then I re-calibrated the monitor, and it got a little better. However, now I have an iMac with 2 flat screens, but of course, there are still calibration issues. Also, one of my eyes has a red hue and the other a green. Maybe the amount of color receptors varies. Anyways, before I had calibrated at all I couldn't see any color below 20-30 (grey) well. This meant that I was mostly working in a shorter range, making my stuff too bright and grey. I have to curve a lot of my older stuff. I'm not sure if I've calibrated the palette for the iMac LCD yet, it seems the latest version is 20 and it was made on the old PC. I might need to adjust it for brighter back-lit LCD screens. )

Pixel Art / C64-ish smileys
« on: June 21, 2007, 03:46:33 pm »
I'm sure these break a buncha rules (#colors and width). I just wanted to explore that (C64) palette a bit. Being forced to ramp and hueshift using the available choices is interesting.

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Feature 05 - Generic 16 color palette
« on: June 18, 2007, 04:36:54 pm »
I've been working on a general purpose 16 color palette. I got some nice feedback on IRC, and I'm at version 11 currently.

The main philosophy is to (if possible) have:

-Pleasant common colors, like sky blue, vegetation, skin tones, etc.
-Cold-Warm ramps
-Cross color ramps (Red-Orange-Yellow etc.)

I had to sacrifice full white, but I think it's working. Full white is kind of obnoxious and dull temperature-wise.

The red is a bit dark, but I've found it to be useful that way. It can be worked up in value by using some of the lighter colors.

The most recent change is the dark brown. I needed a dark color for background stuff, but brown seem to be a good choice since it can ramp with a lot of colors (green, yellow, red, purple).

I'm doing a few mockups to see how it works in practice. Samus and her friend is ported from my mini Metroid project (which is 32 colors). The platform mockup is kind of uninspired.

Jet Set Willy II Speccy screen PO. I need to play that game some. The Speccy version seems superior, otherwise I often prefer C64 versions of old games.

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