AuthorTopic: GR#128 - Battlescar - Sideview Gameart & Animation  (Read 36011 times)

Offline Decroded

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GR#128 - Battlescar - Sideview Gameart & Animation

on: September 17, 2012, 01:55:33 pm
Game art for my project codename Battlescar (because I haven't thought of a proper name yet!).

Old thread - http://www.wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=11587.msg120144#msg120144

« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 01:34:08 pm by Decroded »

Offline Decroded

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Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 07:25:03 am
And here is my first sword attack animation rough draft.
Appreciate any feedback on anything that looks off or tips to improve.



EDIT: Just noticed the jerks back too fast so will work on that next.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:28:03 am by Decroded »

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 08:59:22 am
One quick thing I noticed is that the leg moving right really SNAPS out to its full extended position in both steps of the run. (Between Frames 3 and 4, and 9 and 10) It's a lot of movement in a frame, so it's pretty jarring. Here's a quick edit of the first step that's hopefully helpful. I broke the palette in the process, though. :-[

This one just loops the step I edited. Mine on right.

Here's one with all 12 frames, but I only touched frames 2 and 3, so the snap between 9 and 10 still exists.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 09:06:24 am by Kasumi »
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Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 04:20:22 pm
Thanks for that.
I might basically redo that animation since I think their isn't enough "contrast" in the motion and I think I should lean him forward  more.


Now I've spent some time on this sprite below.


Is it too small now for a 320x240 game?
I'm trying to make it look better but I'm going cross-eyed here >.< so appreciate any advice.
I want to get this looking good as a reference for improving the sword animation and adding some new ones...

Thanks!

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 07:49:10 am
I'm getting the vibes it's a bit too dark, the colours make him look like he's not in the right frame of focus or something weird to my eyes, because you've got lighting that would work better with a tad more vibrance, maybe I'm crazy, here's an edit to portray what I mean, your original is in the middle.



if he is in foreground focus now (I mean the usual player position in any sidescroller) then he seems a bit dark and dull, and those highlights aren't entirely justifiable with such low values, specularity and highlights are only present in lights, so it just seems off to have signs of light when it's so dim and dark. makes it look odd and slightly flat or just off

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 01:13:43 pm
Thats really great colour edit I appreciate it, I need to go back over it with some brighter colours.
I had been working on the animation a little here.

Besides it beind too dark I'm after some feedback on the animation.
I removed one frame near the start and added more after the attack to try to emphasise it properly.


And here is the first frame that just shows the direction I'm headed with detailing it.


Started this alternate animation too as a different sword slash, while its very early I'd appreciate any comments on how to make it (the postures or whatever) less...crap?


Thanks.
There will be a colour edit soon too...

Offline Beetleking22

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 05:35:29 pm
Thats really great colour edit I appreciate it, I need to go back over it with some brighter colours.
I had been working on the animation a little here.

Besides it beind too dark I'm after some feedback on the animation.
I removed one frame near the start and added more after the attack to try to emphasise it properly.


And here is the first frame that just shows the direction I'm headed with detailing it.


Started this alternate animation too as a different sword slash, while its very early I'd appreciate any comments on how to make it (the postures or whatever) less...crap?


Thanks.
There will be a colour edit soon too...

Thats nice update!

I borrowed this from ptoing ... I really thing this help with running animation.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 05:37:04 pm by Beetleking22 »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 02:59:03 pm
Thanks Beetle, I actually was using that already :P
Been following your autumn thread too its looking really great.

Anyway I started going over the sword animation again and added the new colours (I'm hopeless with colours so just used Grim's suggestion for now???).
I'm going for a swinging attack now which probably fits in better and is more usable in my game.
Next I think it needs a few frames added after the attack to smooth it out.




I wish I could work faster, I get so caught up fiddling back and forward with clusters trying to avoid banding and such but find this difficult to do efficiently.
Any useful tips or links about this would really help me...
Cheers.

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 03:58:33 pm
frame #2 in the "timeline" view (with the blade hiding the eyes) looked a good idea to provide smoothness, but it looks like the rendered animation doesn't use it ...
or is it just me ?

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 06:45:08 am
Thanks, I lost it somewhere between photoshop and photobucket  ???
Fixed:

Now feel like it just needs more frames after the strike to smooth it out and bring it back to the ready stance.
Once I've done that I want to make alternate frames for 2 hit combo where sword slash is opposite direction (from up-away to down-towards), but I have no idea what to do with the footwork yet.
Then onto a 3rd hit power/finishing strike  :crazy:

Also pretty keen if anyone has suggestions on how to make the "slash" thing look better?
I just want to start with a basic one for now but later will have some variants for fire damage, frost damage etc.


« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 07:05:39 am by Decroded »

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 08:38:41 am
Also pretty keen if anyone has suggestions on how to make the "slash" thing look better?
I just want to start with a basic one for now but later will have some variants for fire damage, frost damage etc.
It looks fine to me the way it currently is. The only odd thing is the guy's hair sticking upwards in the last frame.

Quote
Now feel like it just needs more frames after the strike to smooth it out and bring it back to the ready stance.
#true.
Quote
alternate frames for 2 hit combo where sword slash is opposite direction
or make him spin, and strike in that direction again so that he's exploiting his own momentum rather than fighting against it :)

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 08:29:20 pm


>

nice progress on the animations, I went and made a slightly more subdued variation on the palette bringing it slightly back, my light edit was quite bright and high contrast, it was a quick approximation and suggestion, also my LCD's eco-setting was on conserve at the time so in hindsight my monitor was a bit dim when i chose them, but a suggestion if palette swapping isn't too difficult, or sprite sheet swapping for that matter, it might be a cool idea to have a few variations on the sprite sheet colour scheme, one for daylight, one darker for interior and you could go as far as doing others with colour hints for mood/atmosphere, ie a warm red-orange tinge if you were in a volcanic cave, or you could have a very neutral value range and have additive or subtractive lighting

one reason I am making a point to do this colour edit is because it could become problematic, when you want to have bright objects in your scene there isn't much brighter you can go relative to the player palette, but it's all depending on the mood you want for your game, I think your subdued darker tones had some merit but felt they were a bit too dull, the bright edit i made was mainly to illustrate, but if you chose colours like that you'd have a more vibrant bright gameboy advance style graphical tone. just thought I'd point that out, it's upto you what mood and overall value range you want to go with. also depends how much you want the character to pop from backgrounds etc, and yeah colours aren't the easiest topic when you get into all the subtleties even before addressing the technical aspects

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 01:26:12 am
thanks for the help.
ive been told before i might need various palettes like you suggest so ill probably end up doing that.
m working in photoshop though and dont know how to use limited palettes properly so the way ive been doing colour replace is by eyedrop a pixel, change the colour then buck fill (no contiguous) and its done.
this has worked fine on still images with not many layers but its a pain with an animation.
do i need to learn to work with indexed colours u think?
or should i just make the change to graphicsgale?


now ive detailed the shield and added some more frames after the attack since this is the delay before you can attack again (got the idea from SOTN).
i feel like it needs 1 more frame before it goes back to the idle stance but i also feel like im wasting a large amount of time on all these frames when i could just simplify and go for a more arcade style look.

i havent added a strip this time because i dont know how to do this without making a separate image and copying and pasting each frame in it - anyopne know how to automate photoshop to create a sprite strip? this would help me when importing to the game as well.


x2

Offline tim

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 02:44:41 am
In Photoshop, go to image > mode > indexed colors.
And look in the help, you'll find a way to manage your palette.
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Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 04:16:15 am
Hi thanks but when I do that I lose all my layers, which instantly destroys my animation.
Am I doing something wrong? Can you animate without layers or something?
I really like the layers though because it lets me see the layer underneath at 25% so i can sketch the next frame kind of like using paper.
Plus, I don't know if its considered NPA or whatever but I'm not pro enough to work without layers even with mockups and tile creation since I want to do things like reuse the same tile sections but make some variations with some plants on it or something so layers help alot with that, as well as making separate layers for fore, mid and background.


Anyway here's the first enemy which is an orc, based off a pencil sketch from a friend.
There will be a few different versions of him with various armour and weapons but this was just a quick job to show the sketch artist.
The stance is a bit awkard but there are more sketches coming soon and he will be moving around and attacking pretty soon.


And here is a progress of some mockup art I started the other day.
Colours are off in early images since I was only drawing on a TV (in bed with broken foot and no mouse!!).
I'm using reference and learning technique from that pixel artist I think his name is Hank but I can't find his site to post the reference (saved copy http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l615/Decrosion/hank.png)
Really after some feedback about this scene, the colours, the process, the forms I feel can really use some improvement but I just don't know what exactly I should be doing.
I know the background mountains are horrible I want to completely change the background but still havent decided what I can do with it.


Offline Lazycow

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Re: Platformer animations [WIP]

Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 08:47:35 am
Super-nice style. But I miss these marvelous green hills in the latest mockup. I hope you want to bring them back in, they added a better mood to the picture, I think.

For the running animation: If you redo it, you could probably force him to make smaller steps, seems like he stretches his legs a bit too far.
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Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #16 on: October 15, 2012, 05:21:57 am
Thanks for the feedback, appreciate any crits and ideas.

Here is the draft for the new run cycle since the old one was crap (please crit if u see how i can improve before i start detailing):

Its only 8 frames at this stage, not sure if i need more frames or not?
I'm trying to convey a bit feeling of weight in having to carry weapons and items.
This versions seems ok for when the hero's weapons are not drawn but i feel the arms are swinging way too much with sword and shield drawn.
Any suggestions what to do with the arms?
I could shuffle them back and foward instead of swinging, really not sure TBH.


Added the hills back into the mockup progress and started making a cave entrance:

Offline Seiseki

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #17 on: October 15, 2012, 09:28:43 am
One thing I noticed with your second sword slash is that it looks more like he's punching someone in the chest rather than swinging a sword.
First of the arm and sword needs to rotate more, second the sword should follow the arm, not be in perfect sync with it if you understand what I mean.

Offline Lazycow

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #18 on: October 16, 2012, 06:13:48 am
Ahhh! Green hills!  :y: ;D

-
Ok, an 8 frame running animation - I cannot resist... The running frames are very dynamic, really great. But now, I would like to increase his step length again, that's too short. Also, I made the bouncing stronger by 1 pixel. I could probably tweak it a bit more, but I am out of time for today. (raw edit on the legs)
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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 07:30:39 am
I really love how you made his run cycle look very athletic! +1 for shoulder move.
Is he going to pack his weapon on his back before running and only walk when ready to strike ?

The geometrical shapes you used for your mountain area work really well.
I'm eager to see that tree leaves polished. The drafted shape looks interesting, but I'd have no clue how I'd finalize something like that so ... I wait and hope to see :)

Green hills imho nicely fill the screen. I'm less sure about the rocky formation we see in the background. There might be something in the perspective or in the size similarity that make me think it should look different, but I can't tell how different yet.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #20 on: October 16, 2012, 10:02:59 am
Ahhh! Green hills!  :y: ;D

-
Ok, an 8 frame running animation - I cannot resist... The running frames are very dynamic, really great. But now, I would like to increase his step length again, that's too short. Also, I made the bouncing stronger by 1 pixel. I could probably tweak it a bit more, but I am out of time for today. (raw edit on the legs)
Hey thanks. I was conciously trying not to make the leg stick out because I did it too far last time.
On this version I was also initially influenced by this animation by st0ven http://www.spriteart.com/art/gallery/pixel/Batman__run.gif , but found it to be leaning a bit too much forward to fit in.
So I was doing this one with basically no reference after I'd been studying at a bunch of videos and animations.

Anyway how's this one?

I made a bunch of little tweaks this time but I can't help the feeling that he appears to be "prancing" a bit like a ballerina.
Does he give off that appearance to you guys? maybe he's a bit too pointy toed??
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:44:36 am by Decroded »

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #21 on: October 16, 2012, 10:52:19 am
isn't he missing a frame with the rear leg fully extended (at least compared to that batman reference) ?

Offline r1k

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #22 on: October 16, 2012, 12:43:08 pm
you could imply more weight when his foot hits the ground.  heres a quick edit

sorry its a strip though, not sure of anyway to make a gif that isnt a big hassle.  the frames are 100x120 pixels though.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 08:42:46 pm
Here's a gif of r1k's edit. ASEPRITE can easily make a gif of a strip with its import sprite sheet feature. Just put in the dimensions of the individual frames, and it's done.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 08:45:27 pm by Kasumi »
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Offline r1k

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #24 on: October 17, 2012, 06:40:19 am
thanks Kasumi, I ussually use Gamemaker to test animations and such, but the gifs it exports dont loop, so I used to have to save each frame of the animation as a seperate file to make gifs which was annoying.

Offline Helm

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #25 on: October 17, 2012, 07:19:38 am
I do think that animation is too tippytoey. r1k's edit is a step in the right direction, certainly.

But I wanted to talk about the original sprite.

There's something wrong, I think, when you take away a whole layer of brightness and a sprite immediately reads better as a physical entity:



I think you're overhighlighting. I do not know what lighting conditions would lead to surfaces that have sacrificed almost all of their middle hue space for highlights, but it would take a lot of light and a lot of reflective surface. Which the sword might be, but clothing and leather really shouldn't. Highlights work best as small accentuations of edges.



Here I did a lot of scultping and editing, I would urge you to go in with your pixel program and study the differences side by side.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #26 on: October 17, 2012, 04:02:46 pm
you could imply more weight when his foot hits the ground.

Hey thanks, how's this look?

I tried to convey more weight on the landing frame and tried to make less tippy-toed.
I also adjusted the hair a bit but I'm still not happy, thinking about redoing it so it sticks back more and just waves instead of dropping onto the shoulders every time.

I think you're overhighlighting.
Here I did a lot of scultping and editing, I would urge you to go in with your pixel program and study the differences side by side.
Thanks alot, your input is always valuable.
I really struggle with form and lighting so I'll spend some time studying your edit (trying to understand HOW!) and see how I go.


I've also started detailing the tree from the base and working up.
Will probably add some bunches but more sparingly than the rough sketch.

Worried that it looks really out of place sitting on a rock like that. Maybe I need to add some plants or something :-/
Resisting the temptation to make the tree's colours more vibrant too since i don't want it to interfere with the sprite layer.

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #27 on: October 17, 2012, 08:59:51 pm
- -
I would maybe try to move the leg a bit more to the front when it hits the ground, otherwise the momentum is somehow lost. Excellent otherwise. I also tried to add the shield, that would work, but the front arm moves a bit too much to grab the sword. Yes?

He could also put the sword away before he starts running. But then you would need a walking animation with sword.

Any plans for the game, so far? Hack & Slay? Action-Adventure?
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. Yes we can!

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #28 on: October 18, 2012, 01:50:41 am
Hey thanks, i also tweaked the back foot when he is about to push off to be less back to try to smooth out the distance the foot is moving, though I want to keep the emphasis on the push.

And here I've pushed him forward and drop back to try to emphasize more.

Too much?


Plans for the game...aiming to make it a little more open world and quest based rather than a completely linear hack n slash.
Just got to find the balance between story driven and replaying areas to achieve side quests etc.
Suggestions welcome ;)

Also since he is basically a rogue fighter with no real magic ability, there is a magical creature (like a faery, haven't designed it yet) that teams up with you to help in the main quest, and this is where the spells will come from.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 01:52:47 am by Decroded »

Offline Kcilc

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #29 on: October 18, 2012, 03:01:13 am
Heya, Decorded, I'd like to congratulate you on the new run! It's much better than the first one.

You've got all of the right motion in your run, I just feel like it's a little bit disjointed. It just needs some more polish. Most of this would be intuition. Study what happens when you run yourself. See what it is your body is doing, and really focus on the key points in your motion. Find out where your highest point is, and lowest point. That's usually a good place to start for key frames in a running animation. Everything beyond that kinda builds on the key frames, and I'm sure you could figure the rest out on your own.

Here's a little edit to illustrate:


While all of the motion should mesh well, it's important to remember that each joint or point of motion is partially independent. The hips pull the knee which pulls the ankle for example—that really affects how all of a person's limbs will move through each frame. Make sure those points of motion make sense. It's extremely rare to have motion not go in a nice, swooshy, fluid line.
Yours:

Mine:


Obviously, mine has its fair share of problems, but I hope that it'll give you a good idea of where I'd go with this. Oh, and I'd recommend not adding the horizontal head movement. It just makes it look strained and more choppy when it's actually in game.

Remember, you've got all of the motions down really nicely; it's just a matter of going in and tweaking things.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #30 on: October 18, 2012, 09:04:03 am
Here's a little edit to illustrate:

Hey thanks the fluidity is really noticable and interesting like the delay in the back arm dropping.

Quick question though what do you mean by horizontal head movement?
I haven't run it in game yet, do you mean how in my last edit the whole guy is pushing forward and back?
Or is there something in all the versions you're referring to?

Offline Facet

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #31 on: October 18, 2012, 06:52:22 pm
Looking great, animations have improved tremendously :y:.

Backgrounds are more my deal though, so some foliage stuff: the bushes look pretty pillowy & front-lit next to your directionally lit treetrunk, I think generally you could do with toning down the per-leaf detail and highlights, much as Helm mentions of your character, and focus more on volume and the combined effect (the willowherb-like thing to the right is nicer though). I chucked in a few more (bushes) mostly because I love greenery but also for it's bordering effect; helping concentrate attention onto the path and perhaps allowing for more detail/interest in the background without it effecting readability.



I also roughed in some tree canopy/shadows & foreground silhouettes ideas in the next frame too, 'cos it felt a little sparse and I was enjoying the idea of the scene. I think the roots over bare rock looks fine really if not so realistic. 

Hank = Henk Nieborg ;)

Edit - Ah, sorry for barging in with some bg stuff in the middle of some sweet character/animation discussion; I started the edit the other day. I think Kclic just means the little nudge backwards on (blue leg) contact; it does slightly betray the loop, where the smooth arcs of the limbs don't.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 09:28:02 pm by Facet »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #32 on: October 22, 2012, 12:59:11 am


:o
Hey thanks for the great tips about bordering front and back and toning down the highlights, hopefully I can pick up these great techniques.
Your tree canopy and shrubs are really nice, I'm still trying to figure out how to get this kind of structure and volume (I feel my biggest weakness).

Here's a couple of dull, uninspired sketches I was working on after work.
The tavern exterior (town area) is so boring I stopped and need to get some more interesting references.
May clean up the forest scene a little just to use as another little playable or story area but its certainly not interesting enough to be used for larger exploration areas (especially since its so flat).


Touch of reworking the hero sprite here too as per Helm's suggestions but was only a quick edit, still working on that.
The dark furry thing will be animated into a bouncing, jumping, biting blob enemy. More of a nuisance than a threat, good for learning the ropes at the start of the game.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #33 on: October 25, 2012, 09:35:23 pm
This is all looking nice. I made an animation edit, continuing on from r1k's edit. I think to eliminate the prancing you need to really emphasize the movement between having the leg extended without weight on it, to having the full weight of the body on that leg. I did that by increasing the change in how bent it was. Right before he lands, I made his leg very straight. Then, the next frame it is very bent. This gives a good illusion that he is really landing on that leg. I also moved the bent leg forward because it is more important to show the landing than the smooth movement back.

Also, I changed how he is bobbing up and down. He really only needs a movement of +/- 3 pixels. I labeled it such on the image (0 is the baseline, it's +/- 3 away from that, not from the previous frame). Use the top of the head as a reference. If the impact frame is not the lowest, it will give the character a feeling of weightlessness. He needs to squash and stretch, basically. Think more of a sine wave than a series of arcs.

One last thing, I'd reduce the shoulder and head  rotation a bit. It's a little too much.



Sorry it's not a GIF, I don't have software to make them.

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #34 on: October 25, 2012, 11:12:49 pm
here's the above animation by NaCl

edit: slower

Quote
I don't have software to make them.
Try GraphicsGale or something similar.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:49:40 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline NaCl

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #35 on: October 26, 2012, 12:05:43 am
Thanks. I use GG but only the free version, can't export gifs. You mind slowing it down a bit? It's supposed to be at 10ms per frame

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #36 on: October 26, 2012, 04:34:54 pm
Maybe this will be helpful to you -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QrlPmK4B94  ;D
For me a good reference is half of the job.

I really like your style, and the color choices (especially in the forest scene ).

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #37 on: October 26, 2012, 06:50:01 pm
@harven: really interesting reference. I wouldn't have guessed that they'd have their feet getting contact with the ground almost vertically below their torso, although for fast enough running, that makes perfect sense.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #38 on: October 27, 2012, 12:21:04 pm
Started a jumping sprite (haven't drawn sword yet).
Plan to animate this a bit soon (move arms and legs).

Trying to develop the rendering style a bit from previous attempts, removing over-highlighting while trying to retain some interesting contrast to pop from the background.
Still a bit of selout here but after playing around a bit (not shown here) I did notice alot more freedom without selout.
Interested in opinions on how this style of rendering looks, any tips to clean it up a bit.
This is the old style for comparison:



EDIT:
And here is the same with trims on the shoulder pads to make it more interesting...better or too stereo-typical?


ANOTHER EDIT:
Been considering a cape for a while to make him more interesting. I didn't want it to be too long but hope its not too short.
Does it look ok or too much of a SOTN rip-off?  ;D

The reason I like the red though is I figure its going to help bring him forward from the generally cool backgrounds.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 12:53:02 pm by Decroded »

Offline buddy90

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #39 on: October 27, 2012, 10:25:26 pm
In terms of character design, I do like the cape more, although do be aware that it will be a much bigger pain animating him now. But, it will look cooler.

Although I think he has way too many color themes. Green pants, silver breastplate, red cape, and blue shoulderpads makes him seem too colorful. If you want to make him warmer, I'd say change the blue and green and try browns and beiges. If his color scheme was brown, red, and beige, I think he would look more cohesive as an entity.

Also, be careful with the banding! I notice you're trying to use AA, but you're overdoing it.

Offline r1k

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Re: Platformer WIP [C+C please]

Reply #40 on: October 27, 2012, 10:38:31 pm
the cape is cool but makes him seem like a prince instead of a knight or something.  So it just depends on who you want the character to be.
I agree with buddy though, the colorfulness makes  him feel a bit like a superhero to me, though that may be a result of the pose too.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #41 on: June 09, 2013, 10:32:28 am
Well I haven't worked on this for a while due mainly to wanting to think through design issues.
I'm fairly happy with the look of the latest (jumping) sprite but need to redo the earlier sprites to match this.

Anyway started drafting up another area trying to improve on previous attempts
Getting a bit darker into the forest here (still plan to go darker!).
The ground here doesn't really match the background I just slapped something on top.
I'm still torn about what angle to draw the ground, whether straight on like this or with a slight top view  :yell:
Any opinions?


My biggest struggle right now is foliage.
I started with rough strokes on the left going for big variation in leaves and plants but the right side is more stereoptypical leaves.
Its a style decision but I'm torn which way to go (damn indecisiveness  :yell:).
For leaves on the right I meant to make a progress shot of this to show how I'm using selection mask to fast-track leaf creation but I'm wondering how this has turned out and if there's any tips to improve / where to go from here?
It seems so simple for some people to whip up a bunch of leaves but I'm finding it all fairly intense...

Offline Sohei

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #42 on: June 09, 2013, 11:33:49 am
Quote
I'm still torn about what angle to draw the ground, whether straight on like this or with a slight top view
I'd suggest going with angled view. It may be harder to make, but it looks way better and creates great atmosphere.
I'm struggling hard now on my own project with straight view, and its limitation is pain. And however cool tiles I make it doesn't contribute as much as any slight perspective effort (i've tried it on trees, buildings and interior). Straight approach may be cheaper and easier when executed properly, but I'm trying to squeeze some beauty and art out of it, so it basicaly loses cheapness and easyness. And I can't abandon it now.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #43 on: June 09, 2013, 11:53:24 am
Thanks for your opinion there I have the same feelings.
I get torn because I'm also so in love with awesomely simple tiles such as:

I actually struggle more with the flat view because it feels easier to define forms when there is an angle.

But yeah I think sticking with the angle will work better on this project as you say.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #44 on: June 10, 2013, 01:41:45 pm
I prefered the mockup with a slight angle too. I suppose it will strongly depend on whether you want to introduce a vertical-exploration dimension in your game. Earlier mockups suggested a gameplay more in the vein of Golden Axe than Metroïd, where you have to align with monsters before you blow them with your sword.

Offline Sohei

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #45 on: June 10, 2013, 04:58:18 pm
I get torn because I'm also so in love with awesomely simple tiles such as:
I doubt that it is beauty of tiles itself. Your fantasy assembles together sound, motion, dynamics, animation, music and produce a feeling on another level of comprehension.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #46 on: June 17, 2013, 03:13:33 am
I prefered the mockup with a slight angle too. I suppose it will strongly depend on whether you want to introduce a vertical-exploration dimension in your game. Earlier mockups suggested a gameplay more in the vein of Golden Axe than Metroïd, where you have to align with monsters before you blow them with your sword.
I LOVE Golden Axe and certainly inspires combat elements, but this project doesn't have that vertical motion.
A LARGE portion of this game concept is about exploration platforming, fused with rpg elements (quests, inventory etc.), and all tied together by an overworld map.
The earliest such game I've seen is Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY-YryVEXZQ
And I just stumbled across this snes clone called Wanderers from Ys which I'm yet to play but looks very interesting - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVbhCkNVv9Q
There are a few old arcade games I've seen borrow from this sub-genre (does it have a name?) but I don't mention because the gameplay is based on coin swallowing rather than a world you can enjoy getting lost in.
I'm also inspired by titles such as Metroid, SOTN and more recently Shadow Complex though I would like a touch more grinding to make replaying areas more interesting.
I'd like to blatantly plagiarize ideas from these titles and add a bunch of my own ideas along the way, hopefully tying it all into something that feels fresh.
And I'd love to hear about other similar titles on any platform so I can leech off them too  :lol:

I'm still so undecided on the style of combat because there are so many options so I think it will come down to a matter of trial to see what feels best.
A huge hindrance here is that I'd like to run it on mobile devices which severely limits button combinations, ultimately forcing me into simpler gameplay than I would like :(
The upside is that probably widens the appeal to more casual gamers.

Idea for overworld map is Super Mario style node-based, inspired mainly by Puzzle Quest (original) believe it or not.
The exception being that each playable area may have 2, 3 or even 4 entry points (so yes, hidden exits).

Graphically, Henk Neiborg is my predominant inspiration though I'm struggling to translate his style above Nintendo DS resolutions (or get anywhere near his quality  :'()

I doubt that it is beauty of tiles itself. Your fantasy assembles together sound, motion, dynamics, animation, music and produce a feeling on another level of comprehension.
Ha so true, except I think the effect of playing Super Metroid (on my wooden TV in my awesome double-garage bedroom) has wired my brain to associate these graphics with beauty.
I'm keeping in mind that my perspective is perhaps skewed by never completing the game because the damn battery in the cartridge died when I was close the end!  :yell:
But still for me, pure simplicity meets functionality while remaining aesthetic is beauty in itself.
If I would still play a game with basically the same style of graphics then maybe it would appeal to others so hopefully one day I'll get to make something in this style.


Anyway enough drivel...
Making some attempts at ground "tiles".
Still struggling, as always, trying to make some nice rock tiles with forms that "make sense".
Abandoned this for now because it looks like different kinds of rock that just look...weird when put together


Now I've started on this one which I like better than previous version and is more appropriate for a forest environment.
Can I please get some feedback on how this looks?
Structurally it is basically a bunch of random rocks but does it work?
Should I try to go for a more consistent pattern?
I have trouble making larger rock formations but should I try for more variation in the size of the rocks?

I need to redo the grass on the left but I'm fairly happy with the next bits to the right.
What do you guys reckon?

EDITS WELCOME AS ALWAYS :y:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 05:07:36 am by Decroded »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #47 on: June 17, 2013, 02:33:24 pm
yet more rough work.
drafting a dungeon area.



i really need back to some coding since i haven't had time to touch this project for far too long.  :'(
so i will probably make a few of these rough drafts and get them into the game so i have something playable, then look at cleaning them up as i go along.
probably should add a torch or 2 on that wall first though...

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #48 on: June 17, 2013, 07:35:20 pm
You're way beyond the level at which I can give artistic suggestions, but I just note one thing. Much like what was done in Rayman art, you could easily make derivative of your rock shapes so that you have some that are partly isolated and stand out from the dark mass of the structure, breaking the artificial monotony of the plain color area.


Because they're enclosed in a rectangle of your darkest colour, they can be arranged at will. They are low-contrast enough to avoid readability interference with the playable surface, too, but provide a feel that "guys who did this game care about details".

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 08:33:01 am by PypeBros »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #49 on: June 17, 2013, 09:08:37 pm
I played a bit around with your dungeon. It seemed like a good start, but it was also a bit boring. I concentrated mainly on ideas to make it more interesting, not on execution.

I also changed the perspective to a slightly lower on, the viewing angle seemed a bit steep, forgot to add it in the gif.

This is what I came up with:


Here is a gif:


1: lit the edge of the playable area
2: simplified the brick texture
3: underlined the playable edge with a cast shadow
4: brought in some architectural details
5: added depth to a piece of wall
6: added depth to the doorframes and changed the architecture to make them more interesting
7: brought in more forms at the bottom of the wall
8: added a column
9: added a light to give it some atmosphere
10: increased the light radius that it affects some nearer edges
11: re-added the jaildoor
12: added a foreground column to get more depth while playing and some architecture details beneath the stair (destroyed the light edge of the bumped wall.. . maybe not the best decision)
13: added some details, more foreground tiles and changed the door to a stair
14: adjusted the contrast level
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 09:13:35 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #50 on: June 18, 2013, 03:41:51 am
Thankyou for taking the time to edit.
Lots of good stuff, especially that foreground column I hadn't considered.

I also wanted more structure and less perspective, but I kinda got caught up aiming for ideal tileability.
Here's my logic:

The red line being the actual path/solid (still fiddling with that ramp location), with the green being what i marked out to line up with the grid.

Notice with your edit the ground meets the wall in the middle of the tile?

I was trying to avoid stuff like this to reduce the number of tiles and increase their re-usability and options for variations.
For example I figured if I ended the back end of the ground at a grid line, then I can have the option of a either flat wall there, or something different like a large archway (with more ground and stuff behind).
As it is in your example, I would need double the number tiles to get this result, then multiplied by possibly several combinations of ground and background tiles :yell:

Anyone know any tips or examples on handling this better?
Right now it feels like a trade-off between aesthetics and funcionality.

EDIT: I hadn't considered using multi/sub tiles which I can have in the engine.
This way I could have most commonly used tiles as a single but spit some of them into 2 when I want variations.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 04:12:09 am by Decroded »

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #51 on: June 18, 2013, 08:40:41 am
sub-tiles are indeed useful for such situations.Or tiles that are only partly opaque and two planes of tiles which you will scroll synchronously.

I find the foreground pillar very interesting artistically speaking, but don't forget it's a blind spot for your player. Treat it as such. (personnally, I'd keep it for places that are inherently safe or I'd make sure that monsters that ambush there leave a hint like claws that could be noticed and needn't to be learnt by trial/error -- at least on the 'default route' of the game).

Offline Decroded

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Re: Battlescar WIP [C+C please]

Reply #52 on: June 18, 2013, 08:55:42 am
Yeah thanks thats kinda what put me off doing that earlier.
In the case of something like the pillar I will probably make it fade in opacity when anything get really close.