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Messages - Arachne
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Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Dinothawr
« on: December 08, 2012, 10:20:28 pm »
Almost done with exams, so I thought I'd update this thread. :crazy:

I renamed the game so it's a little more catchy. I changed the dino's legs to make the perspective less wonky. I also enlarged the ice cube and tried to make it look more like ice. Not sure what style I want to go for with the text yet.

Can't you give him some eyelids? :D

Better now?

Here are the new tiles so far. I'm still in the process of softening up the rock tiles.

The requirements for the slippery tile set changed somewhat, so now I'm trying to emphasize the grid to make it easier to imagine the block paths. I ended up with a style of tiles which doesn't really give the impression of smooth ice. I was thinking I could add some brighter, diagonal lines on top to indicate smoothness or something like that. There's also the issue of style consistency within the set, which I'll have to focus on in a final pass.

Another important thing is the lighter borders around the edge tiles. Here's an example, where one of the ice blocks has been pushed onto an empty tile. I'm wondering if I need to emphasize the borders more or if it's easy enough to tell the difference between the two cases.

I also made a GUI mockup for the level selection screen. It looks fairly similar to what we have implemented, except we're not using a separate tile set to draw the miniature level.

At this stage, it doesn't seem worth it to add separate tile sets for the miniatures, but maybe once we're closer to finishing the game (or if enough people complain about it :P).

Oh! I just noticed that the colors in the screenshot are more washed out than in the mockup, so I'll have to look into that. :ouch: Edit: For some reason, images I save in Gimp won't appear correctly in Firefox.

Quick color edit:

I really feel like the icy environment is not having nearly as much of an effect on the dino's colors as it probably should. The highlights especially, I felt, were too warm. I pushed the highlights and shadows into blue, tried to keep midtones somewhat green.

I see what you mean, and I'd probably go with something less cheerful if it were any of my grimmer projects. I think the sunnier tone fits the mood better for a silly, cartoony game like this, though.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Dino Defrost
« on: July 19, 2012, 03:21:13 am »
How about having skates as a temporary powerup? With it, the dino would gain better traction and control while on ice. But they would only show up on certain levels. Might be possible to construct other types of puzzles from such a feature.

Once we hit a limit with the current mechanics we'll consider other options, but I was actually surprised at the number of different puzzle types which could be made from the few, simple mechanics we already have. At the moment, it seems like it'll be a while until we've exhausted all the possibilities, but it's still a bit too early in development to be sure. I'll keep any gameplay ideas in mind in case we need them, though. :)

  • I like your rocks and how you put so much detail into the tiles, but you've been doing this style of stone for a while and to me it looks less like natural stone and more like granola. Like a bunch of rocky bits stuck together with something. This might be personal preference since we expect some abstraction with tiles anyway
  • That said, the glacier floor looks a lot like stone! Like cobbles, actually.
  • Maybe diagonal lines for the icy shine?

Yeah, I see what you mean about the granola-like rock texture and the stony floor.

  • The sprite really fills his square but there's not very much liveliness in his motion. I think if you ditched the outline (it's probably unnecessary since you know he'll always be on backgrounds of a certain brightness) you'd gain some pixels to move him around  more and to fit in some more detail.
  • I don't know, even though everything is outlined I don't think it improves the readability of the sprite anyway.

Good points. I guess I've been doing enough outlined sprites in previous projects that it felt more natural at the time. Removing the outlines as well as increases the sprite sizes should give him some more room.

  • Consider adding a secondary colour (like a differently coloured underbelly or something) to make the character a little more interesting and a little more readable.

Yeah, good idea.

Super quick take on the dino sprite:

Maybe it will give you some ideas. The contrast is probably eye-breaking because I was dealing with bright glare off my laptop screen when I drew this. The main thing I was trying to show was the dinosaur actually having a different posture for the sliding animation, I think it would add a lot.

Yeah, I really like that edit. I'll see what I can do. :)

Titles: swag water effect :y:, Probably the speed lines would indeed look more natural going horizontally. The jaunty angle of the cube still gives it a bit of a bobbing, floating feel as oppose to sliding though and is also a little smaller than the in-game counterpart.

I'll try to enlarge the ice cube a little. I ended up drawing it as if it's sliding on its edge, since it seemed like the easiest way to edit the last version. I'll give a different angle a try to see if it works better.

Tiles: yeah, something like those others sans divisions would be nice. +1 Lackey; currently, although individually great it is looking just a bit grey and homogeneously sized overall. More icy blues and larger geological features for interest would be my inclination. I got a bit carried away with a doodle swapping out the icey 'cobbles' for straight-up toony snow for contrast/readibility + tried some ice stuff too.

Very nice! :D I'll see if I can do something more like that when I redo the tiles.

Currently pixeling on my laptop, so I'll have to deal with any palette issues later, but I tried to change the dino sprite a bit according to some of the advice.

I tried to make his look more consistent with the frontal view, reduced the use of outlines, added a little bit of color to his belly and changed the viewing angle a little. I'm not sure the perspective is changed radically enough to go with the top-down perspective of the tiles, but I'll test it later and try to find a way to either get the tiles to go with it or edit it further. In any case, I'll have to figure out how to offset him with the new size or if the drawing order has to be changed so that he doesn't overlap with the tiles in jarring ways.

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Dino Defrost
« on: June 22, 2012, 07:03:43 pm »
Glad to hear you like it so far! :D
That little dino could use some more body & head movement when walking, though.

Yeah, I'll see what I can do. :)

My only real critique would be that the side and front sprites are hard to relate to the same 3D character.

Agreed. Maybe his head should be a little narrower in the front view? I'll experiment.

Any project to make give the tail its own room so that it can giggle behind the dino when walking up ?

Yeah, that should be doable.

The tiles especially are great although almost feel a bit over-detailed, po-faced for the theme. I much prefer interior rock tiles to some of the alternate, bordering ones; perhaps the variation there is unnecessary.

Initially, I thought about going with a style closer to an earlier tileset of mine. Would something like this, except with less of a tiled look, be better?

Titles feels a little flat so far. Descriptively; looks like the top of a waterfall more so than an ice rink and I can't tell that it's a frozen dino-buddy and not an anthropomorpic beverage-cooler :P.

Yeah, I added some more details to the frozen dino, so I hope it's better now. :) Also tried to make it look more like it's a water layer on top of ice.

I think the speed lines need to be toned down and maybe given a different angle. I also want to see if I can make his closest hind leg bend more naturally.

Idea: can you give the dino little skates. please?

Edit: the water-slick tiles are exclusive from the ice with lava under it. I can see how that makes sense from a game design design perspective if blocks are to stop there but it still looks strange.

Once you're on the slippery tiles, you have no control of the character until you hit a different kind of tile. I wanted to make that lack of control more obvious to the player by adding the sliding animations. I think by adding skates, there would be some implied control, which he doesn't always have.

Not sure what else to do around the lava block that would read well within a single tile space. I agree that it looks a little odd that there's ice around the lava, but no water.

is the side-sprite + top-tiles perspective mix voluntarily, btw ?

It seemed like the easiest choice at the time, but it does look a little jarring. I'll see if I can try to make him look like he's viewed a little more from above.

Pixel Art / [WIP] Dinothawr
« on: June 21, 2012, 01:06:18 pm »
Hey, guys! ;D I'm done with school for a little while, but I'm moving to another city to continue my studies. In the meantime, I'm making a puzzle game with a friend of mine. The engine is close to finished (mainly just needs a level select screen, I think), so most of the remaining work is puzzle design. I've added most of the graphics we need, but it was thrown together in a few days, and I'd like to hear some suggestions for improvements.

The color restrictions are 5 bits per color channel (color values are multiples of 8 ) and 1 bit alpha.

Title screen so far. Our hero is a dinosaur who wants to save his frozen friends by thawing them over lava.

Here's a screenshot showing the different tile types. The main elements are rocks (stationary), ice blocks (pushable), frozen dino blocks (pushable), top of glacier (floor), water layer (slippery) and lava (goal tile). The floor and slippery tiles need polishing and need to look more like ice and water, I think.




Thawing dino and cheering.

Things I still want to add are a pushing animation and more tile variations (especially for floor and level border).

What do you think of it so far? :D

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: December 09, 2011, 06:39:58 pm »
Evening, ladies ;)
Speaking of which, what url or name did Pixelation go by around that time? I'm hoping to find some of my old stuff with the

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: [WIP] 32x32 RPG tiles C+C
« on: December 02, 2011, 09:56:47 pm »
"(the shoulders do move, BTW)" ---> takes out the shoulder movement I was talking about.
Well, whatever. Either way, it's looking much better now, hahah. Good work. =)

Also, I like your original water more than Facet's....even though Facet's looks nice, I think it clashes a bit with the rest of your set. It might be mostly the looks a bit too bright and saturated to me. I pushed the colors in Facet's edit more towards something like you had in your original water:

*Shrug* I dunno, to me, it feels like it fits better with the tile set's atmosphere. I imagined it as kind of a dark bog/forested area, though, so Facet's edit might be closer to what you want, depending on what you're trying to do with the set. I *still* like your original water the best, though, even with the color changes. Your water just looks so muddy and murky! Plus, your stream is being viewed from a pretty high angle, so I don't think it'd be all that reflective. From what I know, the closer you get to viewing water from a 90 degree angle, the more you can see through it. The lower the angle you view it at, the more reflective it looks. I'm no water/math/physics expert, but I always imagined this is because light hitting water head on at a 90 degree angle has a higher chance of piercing the water (thus, hitting the dirt at the bottom of your stream before bouncing back into your eyes) whereas light hitting the water at steeper angles will ricochet off of it more, making the water look more reflective.

I have no idea if my "science" is correct, but that's how it's always seemed to me, heheh!

Yeah, think the purple colored water looks better.

You're right about the reflection in that it'll vary with the viewing angle. It's called the Fresnel effect, and I found a video example which might be helpful. Find the point where the angle matches the angle of the scene and see what amount of reflection is needed from that, maybe? But I think it will be hard to pull off simply because it's hard to factor in all the things that would be reflected in the water with 2D art, since the sprite/tile viewed from below instead of above can drastically change what it looks like.

A solution could be to add some current to the water which obscures and fragments the reflections enough that you can't look at it in combination with the scenery and think something looks off.

General Discussion / Re: #pixelation
« on: November 08, 2011, 05:17:21 pm »
Seeing as I don't really have much time for posting these days, I thought I'd start hanging out in the IRC channel. If anyone wants some speedcrits and I'm on, feel free to poke me. :)

Pixel Art Feature Chest / Re: AdventureGame Mockup
« on: November 08, 2011, 04:55:34 pm »
I did a little edit of the grass tiles. :) It's not perfect, but I wanted to try to make it a little more tranquil.

I found the palette a little tricky to work with, since it seems fairly random at the moment. I like a bit of hue variation, but there are such huge leaps. I think it could work if applied more sparsely, or toned down a little, but now it seems like it's added for the sake of style more than function.

I'm basically creating patches of various types of tiles, and then scanning through and blending them/changing single tiles based upon adjacent tiles. I still need to expand upon this and make sure things blend in every situation.

I don't really understand your approach. To me, it seems like you're trying to go for single-tile representations of everything, without transition tiles. Is the idea is that a single tile should function as a kind of universal transition tile between two tiles? I don't see how that's doable. I think this has potential, but while you're trying to go for a realistic style, I think what you need is something much more symbolic and simplified. I've seen this approach work well with two-color tiles, but as it is, I think you're trying to cram too much information into the tiles. I think there has to be more tile clusters (like 2x2 tiles) to convey larger elements, like ferns or whatnot, which are currently struggling to fit within their tile spaces without looking cramped.

What are you using to test and edit the tiles? It kind of seems like each tile is drawn to stand on its own, with little regard for the whole. The grid is also very noticeable in places, especially the grass. When you have such small tiles, I think great care has to be put into each pixel placement.

Overall, it seems like the aesthetics have taken a backseat to a somewhat confused approach. It wants to be small in size and simple to generate, but it also wants to convey complex information in a small space. I think you need to pick one or the other. ???

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: June 28, 2011, 09:57:46 pm »
GUYS, I'm back briefly to whore myself out! I have a kickstarter.
It's not doing great, so any support means a lot to me :(

Yeah, go go! I really want some of these. :0';D

Pixel Art / Re: [WIP] Curse of the Caves (EGA DOS game)
« on: March 28, 2011, 07:04:49 pm »
Hey, guys, sorry about the delay! D:

Diary pages have been implemented, but mainly for testing purposes at the moment.

I'm trying to limit the diary pages to six lines per sheet and two sheets max per entry. I think some slightly wider margins would be nice, and I haven't updated the kerning pairs yet, but that should give you an idea of how big they'll be at most, contentwise. Next, we'll have to see what it looks like when displayed in the background.



This is for the dual page entries. I thought I'd try something a little more natural than some kind of indicator icon. Think it reads well enough?

I hope you don't mind, but I took a shot at the skulls you're working on:

The metals were definitely a challenge, gold being the most difficult mainly because of that annoying pink/orange. I think the gold one was the worst.
 On the silver skull, I took out a lot of the blue hues which made it look a lot colder and icier (unless that's what you were going for.)
I also changed the width of the skulls, since I thought they were a bit too chubby.

They might not be excellent, but I hope this helps. good luck  :y:

EDIT: after a few iterations, I managed to get this:

the only downside is dithering, which may take away the smoothness of gold.

Hey, thanks! I used the tiny skulls as bases, and that made them a little too square. Narrower is definitely better, and I agree the silver skull was too blue to look metallic. I also agree that dithering  should be avoided for smooth surfaces.

How's this?

If you ever want to do a flash port of this project, i'd be more than willing to help(i'm a flash developer). Hell I can even help with the pixel art if need be (big EGA fan).

Thanks for the offer, but I think we're pretty far away from even considering ports at this stage. At the moment, the restrictions on the engine make sense since we simply can't do it any other way. If we'd gone with Java, like our initial prototype (or any other, less limited platform), it would have turned into a completely different game. My main concern as far as graphics go, is that it's going to be difficult to combine the EGA palette and realism to get something that doesn't look drab, but at least now the limitations serve a purpose. As far as the engine goes, I imagine we'll be cutting back on features and simplifying a lot to squeeze into the target system specs. I think a flash game with the same restrictions would seem a bit crippled, so I don't really think a port is a good idea, personally.

If you want some graphics to play with, here and here I have some far less limited Creative Commons art you can use, although the tile sets are a little unwieldy. Otherwise, I don't mind if you play around with the stuff in this thread.

Any details about gameplay?

We have a general idea of where we want to take it, but we're still in the planning stage as far as gameplay goes. The trickiest part is going to be meeting the performance requirements, so I don't really know what's feasible at this stage.

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