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Messages - Darien
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General Discussion / [video] How "oldschool" graphics worked.
« on: August 19, 2015, 12:26:26 am »
Saw this today and thought you guys might enjoy a watch--short breakdown of how graphics works in the C64 and NES era.

General Discussion / Re: ASCIIPaint
« on: October 23, 2010, 05:05:46 pm »
No, I don't think so, because every dither pattern is a character and as far as I know it only allows one character per 'tile'.  Don't know if Melly plans to add support for layers.

That pic looks good though!

General Discussion / Re: ASCIIPaint
« on: October 23, 2010, 02:22:32 pm »
As far as I know that's the only font that's supported at the moment.  Melly said he was planning to add more, and he asked people to suggest other font/palettes to add to the program, so if you had a particular one in mind I would head over to that thread and let him know.

General Discussion / ASCIIPaint
« on: October 23, 2010, 02:23:59 am »
Hey guys,

I thought some of you might be interested in playing around with this:


It's a program specifically designed for making ASCII art.  Here's some examples:

By Xion

by Zaratustra

by mthw

I thought you guys could do some neat stuff with it  :)

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: October 20, 2010, 04:13:28 am »
I don't know.  I think a big part of Pixelation feeling like an active community is having a core group of people who are actively producing work and critiquing each other.  I haven't been active enough myself to say how the Pixel Art board feels right not, whether we have a solid group of people or just people who wander in for the odd post and who never appear again.  It feels like a ghost town to me because I'm not active and when I browse the forums I see all these names I don't recognize.  Or maybe the forums are just too inactive right now for all the separate boards it has now.  I forget when that happened, but it made more sense when posts per month were over 2000 rather than the 800 or so Pixelation is getting now.  I know I typically don't ever check the challenges board (I have always thought that it was better to keep one or two active challenges stickied in the main Pixel Art board rather than hidden in their own board).  But what really would matter is not how the forums appear to me but how do they appear to the people that are actually active.  Like I said before as long as there is a core group of people who are feeling a benefit from the place I think it should be considered successful.

So basically: when you say people perceive the boards to be a ghost town, who do you mean is feeling that?  Is it just the oldbies who check the place out but don't really post anymore or the newbies?  Helm and ptoing usually have a steadier finger on the pulse on the community than anybody, so if they feel like the place is doing okay it probably is.  Not saying it can't be improved--the numbers don't lie, and frankly most communities could always use more activity.  But I think it would be more beneficial to discuss ways to increase activity on the forums rather than being bummed out about it.  No scratch that--it'd be more beneficial to just start doing things.

Rydin:  I wouldn't take Helm's comment personally; you don't remember the times in Pixelation's past where someone would begin to feel that Pixelation wasn't "what it used to be" and this discussion would start, with little positive outcome?

General Discussion / Re: Official Off-Topic Thread
« on: October 19, 2010, 11:06:49 pm »

Here's some fun with numbers.

Last month definitely had the lowest number of posts since this incarnation of Pixelation.  Not by a whole lot, though.  I wouldn't be too worried about, although the trend does seem to be a general decline in activity.  Too bad we don't have stats from the Blue Board and Pixelopolis, too... it'd be interesting to look at the activity since Pixelation was founded.  I wonder if it just feels like a ghost town because the there is a high turnover in membership in art boards like this (at least it seems to me).  But as long as the currently active members are posting and learning from each other, Pixelation is doing well, I think.

Isn't our 10th birthday coming up soon, by the way?  

General Discussion / Re: Best Pixel Art
« on: October 09, 2010, 05:17:36 am »
superbrothers, you must do superbrothers!!

General Discussion / Re: What makes a good plot
« on: June 10, 2010, 04:53:53 am »
I agree that Gil's suggestions seem a little typical.  I would suggest that you don't look to other games for plot ideas.  The turning your hometown upside down thing has been done to death, and although games like Mother 3 find ways to do it in new or interesting ways, I think it's worth considering other options.

It might be worthwhile to not bother establishing the status quo at the beginning of the game, especially if you already are thinking of it as 'boring'.  For instance, The Grapes of Wrath starts with Tom Joad coming back from prison and finding his family kicked out of their home and packing to go west.  We don't need to see them working in the fields to get an idea of what their life is like.  The Odyssey starts with Odysseus away from home after fighting in a long war--I'm not too familiar with the poem myself but I don't think Homer felt the need to show Odysseus holding hands with his wife so we know what he is trying to get back to.  The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a critically acclaimed American novel published in the past few years, starts well after some sort of civilization ending war/tragedy.

I think for starters you ought to think about what your main character or characters motivations are.  Again I would advise against the typical video game epic motivation: save the world.  The Grapes of Wrath, the Odyssey, and The Road are epic narratives or modeled after epics, but the primary character motivations are pretty small in proportion to the world.  The Joads are trying to survive/keep the family together, the father and son in the Road are trying to get someplace that might have a better climate/food/good people (more accurately, it is the father's goal to get his son to some place that isn't so dismal).  And in the Odyssey, perhaps the most important epic in Western literature, Odysseus is simply trying to get home so his wife doesn't marry another man.  Now, there are elements in each story that have grand proportions--the Joads are in the midst of the Great Depression, the father and son are in a dismal post-apocalyptic America, and Odysseus is constantly facing challenges from the gods, but what drives each story is a motivation that is self concerned and deeply personal.

I didn't pick these stories as examples because I like them, but that I think journey stories are good for illustrating the spark of a plot, especially for a platforming game, which inherently suggests travel and action.  I don't think your game would have to be 'epic' at all, but you ought to consider why your protagonist is platforming to where he is platforming and what that means to him.

General Discussion / Re: Ramblethread! A brainstorm approaches!
« on: June 08, 2010, 06:18:39 pm »
Perhaps to say Owlboy looks like SNES and superbrothers doesn't look like old games was a little simplistic... of course there are many ways that Owlboy is new school just as there is a lot of new pixel art that doesn't look like it was lifted off a Mega Drive or SNES.  I guess when I said Owlboy "looks like SNES" I meant mostly in terms of attitude toward itself and where it comes from, rather than technical rendering--perhaps that it is very comfortable with itself in continuing and expanding upon the tradition of old 2D games and game art.  Superbrothers on the other hand seems to me to have a different attitude... one that is a little less loving toward its roots, maybe.  It doesn't look like an old game to me because I never saw that attitude before.

So although I found your points very interesting, I cannot say we've come to an understanding.

That's okay, I haven't thought about these subjects much before and so I am still trying to come to an understanding with myself.

General Discussion / Re: Ramblethread! A brainstorm approaches!
« on: June 08, 2010, 03:34:26 pm »
Most of the old talented pixelation members are still making big-headed sprites or muscly warriors or the like as though there is nothing else to do with the medium (...) . 

I .. I, really, no, or ... ? Is that really so? Muscly warriors? Isn't that just a sorta bad example. You could've said 'game-y art' and I'd have agreed with you.

I originally wrote "muscly demons" but I didn't want to take such a direct knock at st0ven.  But I don't think "game-y art" really approximates what I mean... superbrothers can be very game-y (and remember my intention with that post was to explain why superbrothers was anti-retro, not just to say why I've been bored by recent retro pixel art).  I think "game-y art that still clings to 80s or 90s sensibilities" is closer to what I'm talking about.  And that's what stops superbrothers from being strictly retro for me--the way it, I think, very deliberately doesn't play into those old school sensibilities.

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