AuthorTopic: GR#048 - Cyberpunkish RPG Tiles  (Read 22827 times)

Offline Perihelion

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GR#048 - Cyberpunkish RPG Tiles

on: April 01, 2011, 01:22:24 pm

I'd really love some crit on these. Still making more tiles, but if there are any problems so far or any room for improvement, I'd like to hear it. Interior tilesets are not my strength, so I'm really trying to push myself here.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 05:39:28 pm
Yo, this is pretty cool, I've seen some of your tiles for this game on pixeljoint, seems to be coming along fairly well. You have a good handle on the textures and colors, which are very well done. A little rough around the edges on some of the shading though, specifically some right angles on some of the colors on the wall. And the diagonal wall rendering looks a bit rough.

But what really is the next step here, besides making more tiles, is developing its visual function in the game and developing it into a hierarchy. What is this place? It seems to be some kind of factory but some context would be nice. The lights, which is a cool effect having them on the floor and illuminate the objects around them, could ultimately detract from the sprite level, and bring attention to something that is essentially a background detail. Use lighting/luminosity to control the player's eye to important actions on the screen. Atmospherically it looks great, but maybe some sprites in context will help the analysis of juxtaposition. Ideally the sprites are the brightest layer, so they can be seen, and because they are important because of their actions, whereas the tilesets serve as a backdrop and creates the space for them to act within.

Just some thoughts, very curious to see some more work from this game. :y:

Offline RetroRob

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 07:04:35 pm
I would darken the wall and lighten the floor.  To me it just looks a little flat like the wall and floor are on the same plane.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 09:07:27 pm


Added some sprites and lightened the floor and cleaned up the walls a bit (are they better now?). I usually develop tiles with sprites next to them for comparison, but I didn't this time because I guess I got sidetracked fixing up my old tiles and hadn't gotten around to doing a palette swap on the sprites yet. Since this area has such extreme lighting, I'm using a different palette for the sprites. Yeah, the floor lights might be too bright for floor tiles. Maybe smaller lights? I don't really need two rows of them.

This place is a high-tech compound with lots of esoteric stuff around. There are people in tanks and lots of complex systems supporting them, ergo the pipes everywhere. And also lots of really sophisticated computer hardware.

Offline pistachio

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 02:59:57 am
Actually I think if you darkened them it would be harder to read and rather confusing. Unless yo--RetroRob means, very very slightly.

Perspective seems a bit wonky. Floor is seen as if from a bird's-eye view, the sprites and wall are seen otherwise. I'd just decrease the vertical-to-horizontal ratio so the floor tiles are more like rectangles, not squares.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 06:22:18 am
Unfortunately, square tiles are a limitation of the engine. I see what you mean, though. I may experiment with half tiles, but it's not something I'm too concerned about. I appreciate the feedback, though!


In the meantime, I did a few more tiles.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 07:11:21 am
Loving those roof tiles! Hmm, maybe you could do some fake transparency on that wall shadow? Recreating the floor tile with darker colors similiar to how you did the light effect on them. I would say, take the floor lights down by 1 notch on your blue palette, so the lightest blue now becomes the second lightest blue only across all colors.

The sprite is pretty bright, but he almost looks like a ghost. Need to get some color back in there. As for the perspective you basically have 2 choices, dark floors, lighter walls, or vice versa. It can work either way as long as you control the layers of importance so the player isn't visually distracted. Right now if you try to focus on the sprite, your eye wants to jump to the floor lights because it has more color and is brighter.

Let's see those people in tanks, and maybe some HR Giger inspired tiles. Maybe some wires curling around the floor too.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 08:03:45 am
Unfortunately, square tiles are a limitation of the engine. I see what you mean, though. I may experiment with half tiles, but it's not something I'm too concerned about. I appreciate the feedback, though!


In the meantime, I did a few more tiles.

I think it looks cool just gotta say there is no need to post images that are double pixel because we can just click/shift click the image to zoom in/out.
Looks nice but.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 08:38:35 am
Did an edit with further wall cleanup, noticed you had some transitional colors you weren't using on the wall where it could help the flow. Also defined the shadow and tried my idea with the lights using the same colors, but ended up looking more like ice.:

I think you'd get a better result if you zapped some of the saturation out of the lights instead.

And yeah, darkening the floors hurts the readability of the wall, but there is something off in the wall/floor relationship that's causing that reaction. If you made it slightly darker, it might help.

A further edit trying to incorporate above points:

-darkened floor (should make the sprite pop more)
-unsaturated lights
-more pipe definition to the right and forward facing roof.
-added grey (from floor tile) to transition the lightest green on the main wall.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 09:04:54 am by Corinthian Baby »

Offline Jad

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #9 on: April 02, 2011, 06:04:48 pm
The way the light reflections in the floor has some single pixel noise in it doesn't feel nice for light. Light looks weird when it looks fuzzy. Try to make the reflections on the floor feel either sharper or smoother, and less fuzzy.
' _ '

Offline Dusty

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 06:24:15 pm
Hmm, are you limited with the amount of tiles you have? Having a few more tiles to show the light fading off could be beneficial, I think:

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 10:16:48 pm
@Decroded: I know; that was actually a screenshot. I was testing it out to see how easy it was to map with. I resized it this time.

@Corinthian Baby: I see what you mean. I've made some palette adjustments and did a ton of cleanup. Hope it looks better now! I like the idea of the shadow, but I may want to use this wall tile with other floor tiles. I'll make some shadow variations when I'm done with everything else.

@Dusty: Wow, your lighting looks SO much better than what I did. Thanks; that was a big help! I like what you did with subsequent blocks being lit too, but I think it might be too annoying to tile with. I'll look into it when I've got everything else straightened out.

@Jad: Is this better?


Uh, I think that gray fading light color might be too purple. I'll keep messing with it. I think the floor palette is also not still right, so I'll mess with that more too. Also, as a note, if the character's skin looks too whitish, she's an albino.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 12:08:18 am by Perihelion »

Offline AlexxShadenk777

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 10:57:23 am
Man, that's very nearly professional work right there, I especially love the colors, which make the general design of the room all the more appealing. The other members have got you covered, so keep it up.

Offline Helm

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 11:40:59 am
I think you have contrast problems!

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 08:47:49 pm
Oh wow, Helm, you're totally right! My stuff always has way too little contrast on the first pass for some reason. Is this better? I changed the floor tile too.



The sprite's eyes are supposed to be red glasses, btw. Also, this is designed for viewing at 200%.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 08:52:16 pm by Perihelion »

Offline Mathias

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 09:08:31 pm
Yep, much better. Though, I think the dark bg blue ought to be desaturated a bit.

Offline AlexxShadenk777

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #16 on: April 04, 2011, 01:24:02 am
Ehh, I liked it better with less contrast. It gives the room a hazy look that fluorescent blue lights should make in that kind of area... and that flat dark blue background just looks out of place. Now the whole room looks a bit less special.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #17 on: April 04, 2011, 07:24:55 am
Thanks for the feedback, but I prefer it with more contrast.

Also, update!



Might redo the doorway pipes. They need a shadow anyway. And the figure in the tank is much smaller than the sprite. And I forgot lighting around the tank. Hmmm.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 07:34:15 am by Perihelion »

Offline Mathias

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #18 on: April 04, 2011, 06:14:28 pm
That's a figure in the tank? Just looks like cracks in the glass. Lighting highlights on those 4 large pipes flanking the figure tank should probably only be at the very crests or troughs of the arcing bends, unless the light green are not highlights.

Offline ZargonX

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 06:47:18 pm
I also thought that those were cracks in the glass as opposed to a silhouetted figure.

It also looks like the pipes don't quite attach to the floor at the proper angle at some ends. Might want to consider re-aligning the endpoints to be more in line with the overall perspective.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 08:13:13 pm
Yeah, always use the sprites as a unit of measurement for the scale, in this case, 1 x 2 tiles, (16 x 32). And idk if silhouette is the right approach, it may be cool to see a blue/dark tinted sprite with his eye closed, maybe even floating animation (moving vertically by 1 or 2 pixels.) Amazing ref if you haven't already seen it:
http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/43377.htm#
And the top right/bottom left wires look weird because they look like they should be connected to the wall. Oh and for some floor variation, why not try different sized panels? 32x32, 32x16 versions of your original would look great.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 11:15:29 pm
@Mathias: I tried messing with it, but it didn't look right to me with the highlights moved. I think you're gonna have to show me if it's a big concern.

@Corinthian Baby: Yeah, I love that piece by Adarias. And great idea about the floor panels!



Okay, I made some changes. How's this? I feel like I need more animated light around the tank now. I'm thinking about making the pipes look like they're full of glowing liquid with bubbles moving through or something, but the lighting might be annoying to make tile correctly, so maybe not.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 11:24:48 pm by Perihelion »

Offline Dusty

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #22 on: April 04, 2011, 11:33:35 pm
Would probably look leaps better if it was very slow. And I personally love the tubes, I don't know why though. They're very smooth, and the highlight works so well for them, as well as the lighting on them gives them some nice depth.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #23 on: April 04, 2011, 11:52:50 pm
You're right, it was definitely way too fast.


Is this better?

Offline Helm

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 12:05:09 am
Why slow? I liked it better fast. If you're going to do it so slow you'll neeed to make inbetween frames and possibly subpixel animate at that. Harder, but it might look better. You need almost subliminal movement, if you're going to do it slow. Faster is more 'campy' but it works better for a videogame, perhaps?

I have to say I disagree with the way you've shaded the ground tiles themselves a lot now, but it's something that if I saw it on a game I would learn to live with. Just an aesthetic consideration.

Quote
I feel like I need more animated light around the tank now.

Absolutely, by the way. Don't be afraid, you just need a few variations to make the animation work. Do it, it'll enhance the effect very much.

Also another idea. The 'rim' of the tileset, the scaffolding around the tiles, I suggest you try this trick. Duplicate the palette entries and give them complementary tints (complementary color to green and cyan and blue and purple on the color wheel are the exact opposite), so make the border of the image warm while the interior is cold. It might mess with the red tint you have on the walls however, so if you try this, remove that tint (I know, it's hard to remove something as cool as that, right?). So the rim has a complementary palette and pops up, shows elevation and cradles the composition.

It might look like ass, but it's worth a try!

I really like this, I just wanted to say :)

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 12:11:46 am
Thanks, I'll try that! If you don't like the floor, how would you suggest I shade it? I always have problems texturing flat metal.  :blind: The way I had it before doesn't scale as well to the big floor tiles, but I can probably go back to that if that was better.

Also, about the tank, I felt that the rapid flashing of the animation was too distracting and eye-grabbing and looked weird with everything else still. I think the slower version looks more convincingly floaty and less distracting. It's supposed to be a mostly background element. I see what you mean about needing more frames at that speed, though. I'll mess with later tonight. I don't really want to add a bunch more frames, so maybe an in-between speed would look good.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 12:26:23 am by Perihelion »

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 12:48:15 am
About the floor, peep this example from the old masters: (A scene from ff6)

Not the best, map, and maybe not as noisy as this, given the smoother style you have, but it should give some ideas. Also, check out how they used machinery here, an interesting way to use a tech aesthetic, without it really serving a purpose outside of decoration.

Offline Helm

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 12:50:43 am
Heh it's been a while since I did art like this.

Personally I prefer soft washes on metal like this



but that might be too realistic for the style. It's worth re approaching though.

Offline Dusty

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 12:57:48 am
Why slow? I liked it better fast. If you're going to do it so slow you'll neeed to make inbetween frames and possibly subpixel animate at that. Harder, but it might look better. You need almost subliminal movement, if you're going to do it slow. Faster is more 'campy' but it works better for a videogame, perhaps?
I dunno, I feel slow is more fitting for an object in a container of water with mostly no movement. I don't see why they'd be bobbing up and down so fast, and it felt unnatural to look at. I think slow portrays the stagnation of the body better, though I agree simply slowing down the three frames is not looking right.

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 04:54:32 am
@Corinthian Baby: Yeah, I love FF6's tiles. That gives me some ideas, although I may save them for later tilesets.

@Helm: Wow, thanks for the edit! That was incredibly helpful. I just learned a TON about shading metal. Also, I tried your idea about the border pipes, but I couldn't get it to look right. I did add some more red into their palette, but I can't decide if I preferred the original or not.



I really want to avoid doing more frames for the pod if I can, so I reduced the time. Does this look goofy still?

I may need to fix up the walls so they match the floor better. Gonna animate the sprite eventually.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 05:09:54 am by Perihelion »

Offline big brother

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 08:23:31 am
I think adding one more frame at the top or bottom of the cycle would do wonders. Don't make that new frame too different from the old extreme so it adds weight to the animation. Does that make sense?

This environment has a very different mood and atmosphere than the original. I almost get the sense that you didn't intend the original to be a dark, creepy place. Your first version felt colder with less personality, which made me think of a spaceship. This one is more dungeon-like. It really depends what your goal is with this tileset.

Offline Demian

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 09:49:53 pm
Heh it's been a while since I did art like this.

Personally I prefer soft washes on metal like this



but that might be too realistic for the style. It's worth re approaching though.

Hey Helm, your metal stuff is awesome! i look at it closer but can not fully understand the technique, could u explain it a bit?

@Perihelion: man, amazing work, really! The only thing that disturbs me is the juxtaposition of the POD and computer.
^^

Offline trough

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #32 on: April 05, 2011, 11:43:59 pm
This is great Perihelion! It's exactly like looking at a screenshot of a well-pixelled SNES RPG. Helm's edit on that metal is very interesting (I'm going to study it because it's exactly the type of effect I've tried and failed to achieve) and yours, while not as quite as smooth, is looking heaps better than the last update! :y:

One criticism though, I think the rows of rivets (holes?) between the floor tiles are confusing and strange, though I cannot pinpoint the reason. The rivets appear to be in a gutter between the tiles, and this gutter is about as wide as the character's foot, so the floor must be really uneven. It must be a pain to walk on that! Why are there so many rivets to hold down just one tile? Right now there is no transition between the grates and the rivets so it looks kind of flat and out of place...

I'm very new to pixel art, so this advice might be worthless garbage. I hope it helps though :)

Offline Perihelion

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #33 on: April 06, 2011, 02:59:37 am
@big brother: I tried it, but I don't think it's an improvement over the original version. I might need to either suck it up and do proper between frames with the lighting and everything or just be happy with the current animation. I want to animate a lot of tiles in this game, though, so I don't want to spend forever on each one.


Also, this atmosphere is much closer to what I originally envisioned for this area. I was really dissatisfied with the original on both a technical and atmospheric level, which is why I decided to redo it.

@Demian: I can move it, but the idea was that the monitor was supposed to be displaying a readout for the pod. It doesn't look very integrated, though, so I might try a different monitor design.

@trough: Yeah, his was really smooth, but something that smooth would have looked out of place with the rest of the tiles, so I tried to take the general idea and do it with fewer colors.

The idea with the rivets is that they're there to add visual interest to the floor. It's hard to make things look correctly scaled at this size, so they'd be too invisible if I made them smaller. It's not 100% realistic, but I think it looks nice. Good point about the grate; I can add a border.



Edit: Okay, I fixed up the tank.



Better now?


Edit 2:


Does this look done?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 03:24:52 am by Perihelion »

Offline Helm

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Re: Making some RPG tiles.

Reply #34 on: April 07, 2011, 07:00:12 pm

Hey Helm, your metal stuff is awesome! i look at it closer but can not fully understand the technique, could u explain it a bit?


It's just a wash. When you have so close colors in a palette it's easy to do a few layers of feint washes, dither between them, add a bit of darkness here, a bit of a different hue there, a bit of interlace dithering elsewhere... It's pretty mindless but the end result looks kinda realistic. I'm not sure how to explain my technique further here because it's a subset of how I draw generally and that's an altogether larger subject. You could do worse than skim through this