AuthorTopic: GR#039 - Dark Style Sideview Game - Sprites, Tiles & Mockups  (Read 21211 times)

Offline Gromit

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Hi all,

Those of you who read my thread in General Discussion will be aware that as part of my third year project I have to put together a playable game suitable for a PSP resolution.

So here’s a few of the current mock-ups I have for it. The colour count might still be a bit high in the background elements. The light source is supposed to be a moon in the top right but it looked a bit bad so I took it out for now.
 
I know they’re a bit empty right now I had planned to have more sprites to populate it but I had no idea it would take me this long.










Characters Character

Currently there’s only one but I'll show all his animations and sprite sheet. I ended up redoing this guy about 6 times in total. The run is probably a little inconsistant from the others as it's the oldest one. All in all I really should have started the dwarf first.  :y:




Sprite sheet and tile set







I’ll post these up as well

Comments and criticism will be greatly appreciated even more so on the character. I really struggled with the back muscles on this chap, and I have a feeling overdid it. Oh and death animation is temporary until I can get a better one done. I might use the first frame for a damage animation though. Oh and yes I did use a layer dissolve for the other frames. I was actually contemplating doing a Shadow of the Beast style death for him but I couldn't actually find the original animation anywhere and my Amiga is buggered.

I actually did enjoy working on this in all fairness, I think I learnt a lot about pixelart in the process. It's a pain in the backside and takes a while but I enjoy it more than I do 3D work.

Anyhoo thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 06:41:41 pm by Gromit »

Offline theorb77

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 07:07:45 pm
I don't know why no one else has commented, I think these are awesome.  Good work!

For me, taste-wise, the animation could go a little slower or maybe have more frames.  Playing a game there has to be a satisfying "Oh I just beat your ass down with my button mashing" feeling to the attack, and these feel like pressing the weak attack button in Street Fighter II.  Style-wise for some it may work, but a bigger, beefier attack would be nice.  Still, I like the animation a lot.

The art's very nice, as well.  My critique is similar to the animation.  I feel like you're holding back a bit; it comes off a little flat (some shadow behind those pillars, even if they're intended to be inset) and a little thin (the wood elements, particularly, would benefit from some added visual weight).  I see a Dracula X / Rondo of Blood type vibe here, nonetheless, and I'm very enthusiastic about it.  If you use none of what I've said I think it's very strong as it is.

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 07:53:37 pm
I don't know why no one else has commented, I think these are awesome.  Good work!

For me, taste-wise, the animation could go a little slower or maybe have more frames.  Playing a game there has to be a satisfying "Oh I just beat your ass down with my button mashing" feeling to the attack, and these feel like pressing the weak attack button in Street Fighter II.  Style-wise for some it may work, but a bigger, beefier attack would be nice.  Still, I like the animation a lot.

The art's very nice, as well.  My critique is similar to the animation.  I feel like you're holding back a bit; it comes off a little flat (some shadow behind those pillars, even if they're intended to be inset) and a little thin (the wood elements, particularly, would benefit from some added visual weight).  I see a Dracula X / Rondo of Blood type vibe here, nonetheless, and I'm very enthusiastic about it.  If you use none of what I've said I think it's very strong as it is.

I think the lack of response is because I've posted a lot in one go, I should really have stuck to my original plan and posted as I progressed. Ah well.

Thanks your comments though and I actually agree with what you're saying. The pillars are actually quite terrible, I'll go ahead and say it for you :lol: I'll  work on those and give them some wear and tear and make them stand out a lot more. The wood elements, I agree again. I think I could add some extras into the tileset that will have the subtle lighting from the torches too. The background work is pretty inconsistent due to me starting out there. I'm going to work on what you suggested and also make the graduation on the grounds in the rough terrain areas more prominent. I need to throw in some extra tiles to break up the grid too. especially in the dungeonland with pillars area

The animations are a bit on fast side I will slow those down. Perhaps I had the wrong mindset with the attacks, I wanted his attacks to be fairly quick but I agree they are too fast. I always hated that about Shadow of the Beast (amongst other things), there's nothing more manly than punching everything in your way but his punch always felt a bit weak.

Thanks agian for your comments

Offline Lizzrd

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 08:39:25 pm
The background in the castle tileset might be a tad too light.
Photocopier: the fact that arne can also code so well
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Offline ErekT

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #4 on: December 12, 2010, 02:04:14 am
Quote
Playing a game there has to be a satisfying "Oh I just beat your ass down with my button mashing" feeling to the attack, and these feel like pressing the weak attack button in Street Fighter II.  Style-wise for some it may work, but a bigger, beefier attack would be nice.  Still, I like the animation a lot.

+1. He needs to put more body-weight into the swing; lean back then throw his upper body forward and let the swing follow right after. The running looks a bit weird too, he should lean forward more.

Love the colors and bg  :D

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #5 on: December 12, 2010, 02:12:54 am
Alternatively you could put a slower stronger attack that finishes a combo after a couple of hits like a lot of beat-em ups do.

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #6 on: December 12, 2010, 09:21:37 am
Thanks for all the comments.

Yep the attack is getting reworked because it is fairly weak looking. I've added a new frame where he leans back first and the final frames have been redone to make it look more powerful. It's messy at the minute but I should get it done fairly soon. The comment on the run is also valid. I just don't think I'll have time today to redo that but I will improve it and give him a lean forward.

[EDIT]

Ok here's what I have at the minute.



It's a bit dirty still (I think I make a lot of banding errors) so it all needs cleaning up but it's an improvement over the other one I think. 
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 03:27:02 pm by Gromit »

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 12:19:27 am
Wow - that's a lot of art! Is there a playeble/tech demo version of the game somewhere, or at least in works?

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 05:46:30 am
Wow - that's a lot of art! Is there a playeble/tech demo version of the game somewhere, or at least in works?

There isn't yet but I'm hoping to get a tech demo of this up fairly soon. Once it's done though I'll be putting it up on here.  :y:

Offline aramaki

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 01:50:10 am
I think everything is too dark even for my TFT monitor. On CRT monitor I could't see a thing. Pure darkness. Maybe some brightness can be applyed.

Offline RCIX

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 05:59:46 am
I gotta agree with the previous poster. Way too dark. But other than that, it looks awesome!

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #11 on: December 17, 2010, 07:52:09 am
I'm getting a lot of conflicting opinions on the brightness. It's a little dark for me in some places so I will increase it and increase the character a bit also and see how it looks.

I should also have some more updates on this later. I'm testing out a demon's crest inspired platform style and implementing new additions.

Thanks

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #12 on: December 19, 2010, 12:31:33 pm
I've updated his run. It's slower and he now leans forward more. I bulked him up also to match the other animations as he was a lot thinner on the older run. The anatomy is off in the back I think, I really struggle with that area and the deltoids need fixing in some frames and the sword needs fixing too. Any tips for those would be greatly appreciated.


Also added the still frames to photobucket.

http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa474/Turrican2/dogface1.png
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa474/Turrican2/dogface2.png



There should be tech demo of this coming fairly soon also.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 01:20:40 pm by Gromit »

Offline Noiprox

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 06:34:08 am
Way to go, these look good!

My main criticism would be about the way your character handles his sword. I don't know if you have ever used a longsword before but it is quite heavy, typically they weigh about 4-5kg (8-10lbs). So I must agree with what others have said, the attack needs to have more follow through. A short lead-in animation is good although in martial arts you generally train to minimize the lead-in time. The thing is it is really hard to stop a heavy piece of metal swinging at full speed in front of you at arm's length. Instead what happens when you swing is the sword completes the arc and slashes over the surface of your enemy's body as you go. It never abruptly stops unless perhaps you hit bone, and even then it's more likely that the enemy would be knocked down than that your sword would just instantly stop.

Also when you are running with a heavy bar of steel in your hand you probably won't swing it back and forth in a wide arc like that with each step because you would get fatigued. Just pick up in one hand anything that weighs 5kg, run around and you will see what I mean. Instead people tend to keep the sword relatively still and move the other arm a little more to compensate for the imbalance. You would also never hold a sword in your outstretched arm behind you, because you cannot generate any power there, it leaves your body completely exposed and takes a long time to swing from there to your target in front of you. Neutral stance with a sword is with your back straight, shoulders square and sword held so that your point is aimed directly at their throat (or their heart if they are much taller than you).

Anyway that's just my 2c. This game looks like fun! Keep up the good work. :)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 06:37:44 am by Noiprox »

Offline ErekT

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #14 on: December 28, 2010, 11:54:14 am
Quote
I don't know if you have ever used a longsword before but it is quite heavy, typically they weigh about 4-5kg (8-10lbs).
Maybe give him a lighter blade to swing around instead, like a sabre or falchion? Err.. wait, never mind. Noiprox' points apply anyway. Running looks good btw :)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 12:00:33 pm by ErekT »

Offline Shoba

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #15 on: December 28, 2010, 03:12:51 pm
... typically they weigh about 4-5kg (8-10lbs)....

Even though I have to agree with the biggest part of your post, I have to disagree. The Claymore for example, one of the biggest swords in European History is slightly over 2 kg. A Broadsword is above 1 kg and below 2 kg. I have a few Movie Prob Sword from Conan the Barbarian. Those tend to be heavier then normal swords. Nobody could swing around 8 kg for more then a few times ... well, maybe a masculine Werewolf could. From my knowledge of sword fighting, which I mainly have from Japanese Samurai Movies and some real ... fake ... Swordfights of trained ... err (what the hell does "Schaukampftruppe" mean in English?) Guys, if you have to run while wielding a Sword you do it in a Position which allows a Strike which uses the momentum of your running. Which means something like holding it over your head or behind you. I admit, that would look rather dumb. I suppose that's the reason why Castlevania Heros only draw their blades when they attack :3.

BUT! 350 pounds of Werewolf muscles may handle physics different then the rest of the universe.

Anyway, I suppose this will be a fun game once its finished :3. Keep up the good work.

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 05:02:46 pm
I do have a longsword but I can't really swing that around. I did have a claymore and that's the reason I won't swing the longsword around.

I actually went with that pose because most people who saw it actually liked it. The other pose was more realistic but was more the generic barbarian pose. I agree it's a ridiculous pose he has right now and I'll likely change it in the near future. I'll probably do a few drawn out concepts first and see what the verdict is on those. For now though I doubt I'll have the time to change all this.

The way he holds the sword in the run isn't something I'm a fan of either. I'll be changing that so he holds it more steady. It did look a bit stiff last time I tried but I'll give it another shot.

I also never liked the idea of having a pose that featured no weapon like the castlevania series. I suppose it might be the best way of doing it though.  Still I suppose I could use the 350 pound werewolf copout, although I should really fix the look that he's been chewing on streroids a little too much :y:

Technical demowise, that should be up in the new year. There won't be much to do other than walk around at the moment so it won't be exactly interesting.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 05:07:11 pm by Gromit »

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #17 on: January 01, 2011, 06:41:14 pm
Well as promised here's an early tech demo of the game. There's still lots of work to do be done on this. The new Demon's Crest inspired terrain is in and the character has changed colour so he isn't lost in the backrground anymore.

http://data.stormweavers.com/download/blight.exe

The physics are still in the beta stages so they'll be a little off in some areas.

The controls are the arrow keys for movement. A is attack D shows the collision. Potions are there for decoration at the minute and can't be picked up.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 11:18:26 pm by Gromit »

Offline ErekT

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 09:44:09 am
Quality-nice!  :)

It became obvious to me real quick that the amount of frames doesn't always fit the overall quality. You need more frames in some transition anims (from standing to going down a ladder for instance), and especially for the jump anim. You have two frames right now and it looks real jerky. Why not go for five or even seven?

Offline Noiprox

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 09:13:36 pm
True enough, I did overstate the weight a little. Even so a sword that size would be heavy and take some effort to swing around.
I like the tech demo a lot. It resembles Castlevania a little bit, which is great since that series is awesome. I can't wait to see it get fleshed out into a full game.
Well done!

Offline Dmartian

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 10:01:56 pm
Quote
Playing a game there has to be a satisfying "Oh I just beat your ass down with my button mashing" feeling to the attack, and these feel like pressing the weak attack button in Street Fighter II.  Style-wise for some it may work, but a bigger, beefier attack would be nice.  Still, I like the animation a lot.

+1. He needs to put more body-weight into the swing; lean back then throw his upper body forward and let the swing follow right after. The running looks a bit weird too, he should lean forward more.

Love the colors and bg  :D
Use a prime number of frames for the run cycle and boost the in between frames a bit more please. Everyone loves a lush run cycle. If anything, bring out the life of the character through the weight of his step or the soft wave of that fox like tail. You can do this! Prime numbers my friend animate with prime number frames. They boost the max number of non repeating frames.

Offline Dmartian

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups (image dump)

Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 10:04:24 pm
The background in the castle tileset might be a tad too light.
Strongly disagree.

Offline Gromit

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 11:33:51 pm
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. When I finish my term I can really devote the time back into this and implement these suggestions so don't think I won't!

@ ErekT, Thanks. I totally agree with you on jump animations it seems to be common complaint that there needs to be more frames in those. The reason it's like that is 1, I thought I could wing it with just one frame and 2, I just got to the point where I wanted the sprites done so I could work on the other classwork.

@Noiprox Thanks, I will come up with some new pose ideas that are more functional and post them here.

@Dmartian Thanks, I'm fairly new to animation and so it's quite a weak area for me. It's an area I want to get a lot better at though. I've noticed prime number animations a lot in the book The Animators Survival kit but I haven't devoted enough time to really reading it properly I don't think.  I'll take a more detailed look at all of the examples and make a new run animation from that.

It's looking like most of the animations will need redoing from all the feedback I've got up to now, none of which isn't a bad thing as I think I can do a much better job this time in probably half the time. I'll post up the roughs for these first however and work on getting the motion down before getting down to the actual sprites.

Again thanks for all the comments.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 12:05:32 am by Gromit »

Offline lithander

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 03:30:24 pm
I gave the demo a try! I'd really love to play a game like that. Please finish it! :) Have you considered to make it in Flash to make it accessible to a broader audience?

Critics:

I liked overall style but it doesn't seem very practical. It's hard to discern what's foreground and what is background. Maybe this article can help you to make your tiles be more functional in the context of a game.

I also really liked the character animation but jumping felt off. I think you should have a dedicated animation for the jump, the air part (falling), and landing. Also a parabolic movemenpath would feel more natural. Currently it seems have constant horizontal velocity either upwards (right after the jump) or downwards.

Lastly the torchlights in the caves are odd. They seem to add strong speculars but don't really make the viscinity or character any brighter.

Offline Skyfort

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #24 on: January 29, 2011, 06:35:43 pm
Most excellent tech demo =) I personally did not have any trouble with the brightness or with discerning foreground and background...but I think that's because there isn't anything to interact with yet, so everything is really background. ;) Once there are enemies and items and suchlike, we will see how difficult it is to differentiate.

Besides an overall grin of appreciation, I will just say that I found his knees to be surprisingly shiny while I was playing, as bright as his sword and belt buckle. Is it supposed to be ripped pants? If so, you may want to yellow them a bit.

That is all :) Good show, good show.

Oh, one other thing -- I thought the standing attack animation had him pausing a little too long after the slash, compared with the crouching one which felt faster. I think the overall time the slash takes is fine, but it feels slow because of the way he holds his sword motionless for a moment after striking. (Like, "haha! I sword you! I am a wolf! *pose*"). I only really notice it if I attack while running.

Offline stormweavers

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Re: 2D Platform game sprite + mockups + Tech Demo.

Reply #25 on: January 30, 2011, 01:23:55 am
I gave the demo a try! I'd really love to play a game like that. Please finish it! :) Have you considered to make it in Flash to make it accessible to a broader audience?

Thanks!

The goal is to bring this to mobile (android and iphone). It might be a bit delayed as Gromit might work on a smaller game first, but stay tuned this will be a fully released game.