AuthorTopic: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles  (Read 12338 times)

Offline Corinthian Baby

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[WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

on: June 14, 2011, 06:19:15 am
Working on a new environment for my cyberpunk RPG. This is basically any derelict building where thugs are holed up to sell and distribute drugs.

1. Orig wall and floor textures.
2. I realized the contrast was off and did a test with the walls/floor. This variation turned the brightness of the wall down by 50 with photoshop.
3.This one turns the brightness of the floor down by 100 from the original. I decided to go with this one even though it produced some redundant colors in my pallet.

One problem that has always hindered my game art is messing up the priority and/or the readability of the tiles or hero/sprites. I've discussed these issues and studied many games profusely but it doesn't always cement into my pixels so easily, it is easy however to get lost in muddy pixels, which I am trying to avoid. I included a pose of the main chara's sprite for comparison against the tiles.

Here are some refs I used/am using:

http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs26/f/2008/131/6/7/Holton_Abandoned_House_12_by_Falln_Stock.jpg
http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/45041.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WerfVfRhqdI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_mAfcGwRkM

I need some aggressive crits, tear this apart before I continue so it doesn't end up in a cycle of reduxing.

Offline Ovyx

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 12:39:42 pm
OK, here are all my issues after a few minutes of observation:

VERY IMPORTANT
-Perspective, the table, sofa, and stairs are partially topdown, while the character and walls are not.
-The yellow wall and the window offset the dark atmosphere. Keep a eirie atmosphere in mind while making tiles and you will get a better whole image.
-Contrast, needs more. (Just about everywhere.)
-The character's shading, its a little banded.
 
LESS IMPORTANT:
-Doorknob needs a spectacle, Its very hard to see.
-Holes in boards should not be the exact size of a board, its makes it seem deliberate and ruins the unerving feel holes create.
-Needs cracks around the holes in the walls, I don't see how it could break so perfectly.
-The boards on the window are WIP right?

NOT IMPORTANT:
-The stairs kinda go to nowhere, eh?  :P
-I don't think this is really cyberpunk..

     Your main issue in your pixeling is exactly what mine was, too little contrast and improper shading on alot of detailing. Not that there is anything wrong with heavy detail, but if you force yourself to work on more simple shading you will eventually carry over what you learned by doing so to your detailed style. By simple shading I mean you should work on creating objects/shapes with few colors, this will teach you proper color use, contrast, better shading, etc. Observe other pixel artist's works that have few colors/limited palletes.

Neat tiles, I like where it is going. I want to play this game!  ;D
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 12:44:27 pm by Ovyx »

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 07:56:45 am
Thanks for the breakdown, gives me something to think about. I'll go down the list.
Very Important

-The perspective is supposed to be partially top down a la classic rpgs. You have to bend the rules of perspective a bit given that it's a small res game (320x240). Look at stuff like chrono trigger or FFVI, the sprites aren't in the perfect perspective. I am open to the idea of editing the sprite to match, or what details could convey this more convincngly.
-Green wall also shows that it was once a real home, but now the tacky wallpaper is peeling off the walls. The idea is that thugs would just stay posted up at abadnoned apartments and homes, so it could have some remnants of the original owner.
-Reason for lack of contrast is trying to keep color count down, but also due to playing with darker/lighter relationships of base tiles, I'm having trouble finding out which one conveys depth correctly, which influences the colors I can use for secondary objects. Right now I can't decide if it's the blue wall on the light wood, or the grey wall on dark wood floor. Or maybe I need to mess with contrast even more?
-the banding on the sprite is trying to convey volume in a very limited size (24x32)

Less Important:
-Fixed doorknob/door in edit.
-The holes in the floor would be much more elaborate when done, I just threw that in to see how it might look. The problem is establishing the correct floor, and then editing it into missing boards/wrecked.
-I will add cracks everywhere.
-Yes those are wip, but help convey the right atmosphere.

Not Important:
-Stairs would lead to...the second floor, which isn't visible because would be a separate map.
These tiles are not quintessential cyberpunk, it takes place in the near future, so this would be like a modern house but beat-up and trashed. Maybe thugs would have small tech devices to show it a bit.

I have studied all sorts of different pieces/styles. And you're right, when things are simpler, readability goes up, and contrast issues become more apparent. However, with careful pixel manipulation you can have more complex stuff and have it still look clean. Maybe I should make light/value plans before starting tiles so I know how everything will fit together. To say that it looks like something worth playing is a huge compliment because this is hardly a fraction of the graphics created thus far, you should see the city.

Anyways, here's an edit that addresses some of the points.

I'm testing blue wall on original floor. Sprite posted as well as a readability trial, fully on floor, and half on wall (where he blends somewhat into the wall, but is somewhat saved by skin tones.) Upped contrast on door, red color makes it a noticeable entry-way, added some highlights on it as well. Also added a picture, and some exposed wall boards, that would be applied on layer 2. Also, the darker the floor is, the harder it is to see our main character, so idk how much darker I should go if editing the dark floor from orig post.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 08:08:29 pm
Resurrecting this topic from roughly 4 months ago. I let the tiles sit for a while and decided to redux recently. Here's what I came up with:

16x16 tiles, standard rm2k3 chipset template.

Mockup/tile test:

My biggest concern is nailing the readability/priority hierarchy. Depending on how the levels function, different objects will be incorporated into game play, and would come into the priority spectrum as well, which means right now I'm showcasing the essentials.

Also if you have suggestions of objects/pieces to add let me know.

Ignore the high color count (82 out of a possible 256) for now, I used some borrowed tiles from my other sets with different pallets, which created a lot of redundant colors. Depending on how things go, I might try to lower it. I would like crits about the colors used/saturation and balance.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 08:10:23 pm by Corinthian Baby »

Offline Atnas

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 08:31:58 pm
Very nice blending on some of these tiles, I especially like the walls. I see in the set the door has a frame, yet in the mockups it does not. The main thing that jumps out at me is how out of place the door looks. Perhaps because the bottom border of every wall is dark, and then the door, instead of being in the middle of the wall, seems to be pushing forward into the room from the outside?

The wood on the table doesn't work, nor does the bright desaturated outline on the edge. I'd make the wood pattern more regular in a single direction, and probably change the wood palette a bit more in the direction of orange/yellow, though it is important you keep the dirty look.

Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 09:58:59 pm
This looks nice!

I had laugh at the "CRACK" decal. Come on, that's a tad silly don't you think? hehe   But hey, nothing says crackhouse like a house with crack written on the well eh?

Great colors.

Seconded; door is dissonant.

Great wall texturing. Keep going!

Offline API-Beast

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #6 on: December 02, 2011, 10:49:42 pm
The readability really needs some work.
The basic way for that is using different color ramps, the bigger the contrast inside the color ramps is the easier it is to see. That can be archived by high saturation in combination with hue shifts or by darker dark colors and brighter bright colors or of course both in combination. Generally you should avoid using the same colors for characters and background elements.
If you need even more separation you can add black outlines, but thats probably too much already.

Offline Facet

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 11:52:05 pm
Just caught this as I was logging out, It's late so I'll be brief; everything appears to be globally illuminated. No shadows whatsoever, I would have thought that the manipulation of light might be top priority in an atmospheric environment like this.

Maybe you were planning to do overlays in-engine but you haven't mentioned it anywhere and I think you would  benefit from mocking them up if this is the case.

Some ideas to consider;
  • Film Noir-esque long cast shadows
  • Flickering light bulbs
  • Sinister-looking anomalous shapes in corners you only catch terrifyingly brief glimpses of. ;D

'Losing' sprites in the environment could be a game play mechanic here if you wanted it to be, and greatly reducing your palette could unify the scene.

Offline Corinthian Baby

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 10:20:55 am
Thanks for the suggestions/crits! I shall take them into consideration.
   -About the door, I made it red so it would read against the cool colored bg, a visual ref point to an interactive object.
   -Crack yeah it does seem obvious, but I saw some cool ref photos where this was done kind of ironically.
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeyh/325305140/) and (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamrice/187462438/)
   -You can see my attempt at a light on the tileset, need to make a bigger/better one. And yeah shadows would help greatly, would probably be supplemental, kind of like the methodology used in SD3. I'll run some tests.
   -The sprite could be kind of blended in this environment, however, it's not an excuse for all environments. The reason for clash is that I'm naturally drawn to cooler desaturated colors, ie blue, purple, green, etc. It's something I need to work on.
   -I can play with the wood patterns/colors if necessary
 

I do have one question though. Whenever I rip the pallet from photo shop, it seems to organize them randomly, which upsets the ramps, maybe I'm doing it incorrectly? Also I want to know if there is an easier/faster way of replacing all the redundant colors in the actual tiles themselves other than going in and hunting each color by hand.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 11:59:28 pm by Corinthian Baby »

Offline Atnas

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Re: [WIP]: Crackhouse RPG Tiles

Reply #9 on: December 03, 2011, 01:54:41 pm
Graphics gale, go to All Frames -> Color depth -> 256

Your palette will be indexed and from there every tweak of the palette is echoed in the image.