AuthorTopic: GR#114 - Phantis: Protgonist Sprite - Sideview, Animation  (Read 26520 times)

Offline big brother

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Dear everybody,

My friend Andrew and I are working on a Phantis remake. He wants you to know that this is a quick project. I want you to know that he has done all the work. We want to get some feedback on two design directions for the protagonist.

Here's an in-game shot with the original design.


Here's an updated direction.


Here are assorted GIFS of the protagonist.






Tell us what you think about the two sprites. Do you have reasons to prefer one style over the other?

More screens of the original game can be seen here: http://www.mobygames.com/game/game-over-ii/screenshots

Offline slym

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 04:03:18 am
I definitely like the updated version more. There is so much more familiarity in the face and hair that the character is much more recognizable. Beautiful colors overall by the way. LOVE the direction of the art =)

Offline Dr D

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 08:07:27 am
I think the second one has a lot more character and is more cutesy (could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on the overall game), whilst the original feels a lot more like she would be a silent/badass type of woman.

Although based on the original game (I've never played it, just looking at screens), it seems like the original 'badass' sprite would be more appropriate for those kind of graphics. The updated version seems to fit the new graphic style more. She fits in better.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 10:25:24 am by Dr D »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 09:29:45 am
I definitely prefer the second sprite. Both are pretty well executed and there isn't much to say about that.

But if I look at the flying enemy and the background it seems that the whole game looks more cartoony and graphical than realistic. The second's sprite face with eyes provides much more character and possibilities to bring in fun expressions - I don't played the original game though.

I have to say that the smoke looks from the gr<adient better in the first screen and from the overall contrast better in the second screen, although it's imo to bright for that kind of smoke.

I hope you finish this, looks like something I want to play  :y:
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Offline Crow

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 10:20:50 am
Like the others, I choose the second sprite as well. I agree with Dr D on the "more character" thing. It just helps a whole lot when the person you're playing has a readable face. I also agree on Cyangmou's overall cartoony style point. The first sprite does seem a tad lost in that world.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 11:19:22 pm by Crow »
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Offline ErekT

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 10:52:57 am
Yo,

I prefer the first one myself. The second has nice facial detail and all but it looks like just another cute kid. Like you see in a million other platformers. The first one is more in line with the original character design. Also, the first gets less pervert factor if you sex her up like in the amstrad screenies :P
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 10:54:46 am by ErekT »

Offline Helm

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 01:42:53 pm
I would go with the first one as well. The reasons are kind of complicated. I do realize that most people would prefer the second because it has an actual face, but I do not enjoy the shift in tone as much. From a demographic perspective, if the artist has no attachment to either style, I am sure style 2 will prevail.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 03:01:19 am by Helm »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 07:23:20 pm
I like both styles equally.
Both characters are good, just with different qualities.
Because of this I think you will get a pretty even mix of opinions.
Personally I would look at it from your perspective as the developer and choose the one you find more rewarding to animate.

Some sort of combination could work.

And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 07:29:32 pm
I love all of them equally too, really great work.  The 2nd one with the face is particularly great, if slightly young.  The pigtails really don't help if you wanna avoid that.  Love PixelPiledriver's edit too, though just changing the hair is possibly the easiest 'biggest win' if you don't wanna change the whole thing again.

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 07:38:12 pm
First one by far.  Second one looks like Penny from Inspector Gadget and the idea of playing as some little girl is certainly off-putting to me (I don't particularly like playing as female characters either but I just find no joy in playing as a child in violent situations) and I'm probably one of the few here who often enjoyed playing the original game (as well as other games by Dinamic) on my Amstrad CPC. 

The second sprite design is the sort of thing that just reminds me of loads of obnoxious japanese platformers and anime I have zero interest in.  It's well crafted by you, sure, but I wouldn't play the game.  And I wonder what the reaction would be from gamers if Konami remade the Castlevania games using that sort of sprite design instead of the original.  For me the more realistic style has much more of it's own charm where the little girl with big eyes looks like it's trying to force it too much.

Can't say I'm fond of the blurry non-pixel art background either.  It's distracting and messes with my eyes a bit when trying to focus on the nice crisp pixelwork.
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Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 08:20:09 pm
Hey Carnivac, man - the extreme bg of that shot was kind of an afterthought, but it looked alright, and I just left it in there. It's probably the only non-pixel thing in the game (well, that and a negative-space-ish foreground, because it's supposed to be kind of blurry).
I have decided to overhaul the player sprite because I just couldn't get attached to my original character design, which was somewhat more closely based on the original. The new design also seems to match the rest of the world and wacky characters a bit better, though it is definitely more cutesy.
Here - a video of the game in action with the "cute" design: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gJiIP9aTgw

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 08:39:23 pm
The background itself is fine and I like the colors and atmosphere of it, I just wish it was more pixelled and less overly blurred. 

And yeah seeing the cutesy sprite in-game walking about just kinda depresses me.  I have a huge dislike for that kind of character design at all (I just do not get why any grown male would want to play as a 'cute' little girl... creepy).  There's just something I really loved about the european feel of 8 bit computer games on CPC/C64/Spectrum and this just seems much more like a japanese console game (although the first sprite actually reminds me of suitless Samus Aran sprites but then Super Metroid always did feel more european compared to other japanese games, part of the reason I loved it so much on my SNES). 

I can appreciate the work gone into this remake but it's not for me at all.   
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Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 09:43:14 pm
Though I'm still not digging it as much, here is an edit of my original design:
(original)
(new non-cute)

As much as I loved the Spectrum game, I thought the cutified version reflected the spirit of the whole thing better, also kind of made it easier to root for the character, and yes - made it look more like a 16-bit console game, which was kind of the point.

Also, while I totally understand the nostalgia for the 8-bit version, it's not like it was some sort of a somber masterpiece.

Who wants to bet the artist used one hand while pixeling this?: )

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 11:08:47 pm
As much as I loved the Spectrum game, I thought the cutified version reflected the spirit of the whole thing better, also kind of made it easier to root for the character

In your opinion...   I can't really root for a character I find to be what looks like a child's proportions, face and pigtails yet has defined breasts and wears a skimpy bikini.    Yeah I know in Japan they love all that crap but they can keep it...

And yeah I quite like the edited one there though the hair seems a bit odd.  Works though.

Anyways it's your remake.  You do what you like.    I'm out of this topic.  It's bugging me too much.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 11:11:03 pm by Carnivac »
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Offline ErekT

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 11:56:51 pm
Gotta say, the youtube video really is appealing. Good job on what you got so far :)

Also gotta say my problem with the cute design, apart from the fact I think it's generic, is pretty much the same as Carnivac's. Sure it's the anime way I know, but anime cuteness in games has been done to death for one. And two, this is a remake of a game with some hefty soft-core imagery from what I can tell. Do you really want to go with the kiddie-look for your protagonist considering the source material?

The newest design looks very good to me. Has more character than the old one.

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #15 on: December 02, 2012, 01:43:43 am
That's my thing though, I kept some things from the original - female, somewhat scantly-clad, but got rid of others - more-realistic proportions, colossal, unspeakably, ridonkulously ginormous tits, and a jetpack that seemingly fires out of her nether-regions. Also, this isn't meant to be a re-coloring of the original, but more of a 16-bit, console-friendly reimagining. I don't intend to keep the cheesy, lover-saving plot of the original either.

I guess I was asking for trouble when choosing Phantis as a source material - the original's only standout feature were the above-mentioned titanic mammaries, so the line with the player character was pretty thin to begin with.

What if I keep the cartoony look, but make her outfit less revealing?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 02:51:20 am by DarkFalzX »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #16 on: December 02, 2012, 03:28:59 am
A cartoony look with more of the qualities of the title image could be cool.


Of course size becomes an issue.


And it is less of a departure as you want.

Quote
What if I keep the cartoony look, but make her outfit less revealing?
Definitely give it a shot.
More armor like perhaps.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 03:32:19 am by PixelPiledriver »
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Offline Conzeit

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #17 on: December 02, 2012, 04:58:52 am
Hey Darkfaxlz, good to see you old buddy =)  (camus here)

The enviroment of the game seems based on spacewar and surreality. The girl is sexualized but it's kind of common in this kind of game and I dont really mind it, obviously it's not realistic but neither ist that jumping chomping head, but if you want to reduce that and add armor then I wouldnt care.

Problem for me is nto that she's cartoony but pink everywhere with the pigtails and big kawaii eyes. That makes me expect to find items made of cuddly kittens, hearts, makeup and muffins :p

Why dont you give her some spiky hair? make the pigtails asymetric? turn the pink into purple, use pink less or with a complementary color and give her some goggles or b&w striped leggings or some accesory like that. Try putting a bit of Bjork or Pink  or your favorite Rock chick in there. Make me think of FLCL/Dead Leaves/Gorillaz/SkullGirls not...Bratz/PollyPocket/hello Kitty :p

You dont like the sexualized intro picture, but other than sexualized she looks positively alien, she has weird plastic shit over her eyes and the eyes dont even have sclera just one big blue pupil. The pink looks pretty magenta, you could even make it purple based on the intro pic

EDIT: looked at the original...the jetpack seems to be a disk that she's sitting on, not her nether regions themselves :p maybe that knowledge'll be useful
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 05:41:59 am by Conceit »

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #18 on: December 02, 2012, 06:05:31 am
Conceit, man - I don't want to make her THAT different - all I did with my cartoony edit (which was NOT meant to be anime-inspired BTW) was make her boobs nearly non-existent, enlarge her head and shrink her legs by a pixel. It is also probably the reason for Carnivac's flipout (he has since deleted all open suggestions of me being a pedophile: ) - I left too much of the original character design in. However - If I start redesigning her from the ground up, I might as well abandon this project right now, as it will never get done.

PixelPiledriver - I love your idea, unfortunately - your sprite is nearly double the original in size. Here - I have made an edit of how I would LOVE Serena (that's her name BTW) to look - and her shrunk down to the size I am using in the game. A bit pointless, unfortunately.

Offline Redshrike

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #19 on: December 02, 2012, 06:44:31 am
Actually, I'm not so sure--I think there's more appeal in that last one than you give it credit for.  It could probably use some cleaning (especially around the knees), but I rather like it.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #20 on: December 02, 2012, 07:41:22 am
The right one didn't shrink too well because it had a bit more noise which gives the downscaling algorithm more trouble. This means a messier immediate sprite, but with clean up I think it would be just as viable for the game as the pigtailed version.

I shrunk down PPD's because it had more solid color areas. From there, I did very little clean up, and I think similar work done by better hands than me could work well.

Although for all I know, it could be much more difficult to animate which is also a factor.

Edit: Tried to change my tone. Reading it again, it could have been perceived as a little negative.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 08:05:03 am by Kasumi »
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Offline big brother

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #21 on: December 02, 2012, 08:03:09 am
I found the first take to be more heroic, more compelling to control. The cuter cartoon-like versions match the rest of the art better, but maybe it's not bad thing for her to stand out. She crash landed on an alien planet, after all. 

I made an edit (far right) of the first sprite (far left).

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #22 on: December 02, 2012, 10:09:18 am
Hey Ian - that's pretty awesome. Though at this point if I will redo this character again - I might as well upscale the entire freaking deal to be easily ported to, say 3DS or iOS.
...Honestly, I was hoping people would unilaterally say the cartoony style is more fitting, so I could just finish this project by new years and be done with it. Now that it's all been ripped to shreds and I've been called a pedophile, I'm not so sure I even want to. Not being a big pussy here - just saying it how it is. Up to this point this whole thing has been propelled by a single breath of enthusiasm and what you saw in that video was drawn, animated and coded in just over a week in my spare time. After today the enthusiasm is almost entirely gone. I still want to finish this game - as I promised Mr Carlos Abril - the creator of the original 8-bit game (who BTW signed off on the cartoony version), but now I have an enormous amount of doubt weighing down my vision in addition to all the art I need to redo, not to mention all the art I still need to draw.

...Meanwhile at the depression cave!
<<<Animated the larger walk cycle.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #23 on: December 02, 2012, 10:39:01 am
And I wonder what the reaction would be from gamers if Konami remade the Castlevania games using that sort of sprite design instead of the original.

Off topic, but they essentially did in a game called 'Kid Dracula'.  There's room in the world for both.   ;D

DarkFalzX, the new pics are looking great!  But all versions have looked good - don't get too bogged down in trying to please everyone, else you'll never enjoy what you're doing! 

Offline ErekT

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #24 on: December 02, 2012, 11:05:49 am
Quote
Honestly, I was hoping people would unilaterally say the cartoony style is more fitting, so I could just finish this project by new years and be done with it. Now that it's all been ripped to shreds and I've been called a pedophile, I'm not so sure I even want to.

Never saw any pedophile allegations thrown around and I sure never intended to. But it's a critique forum. People critique. If you already made up your mind about the direction and just want affirmation then maybe posting on the PJ gallery would work better...?

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #25 on: December 02, 2012, 02:37:28 pm
Hey Ian - that's pretty awesome. Though at this point if I will redo this character again - I might as well upscale the entire freaking deal to be easily ported to, say 3DS or iOS.
...Honestly, I was hoping people would unilaterally say the cartoony style is more fitting, so I could just finish this project by new years and be done with it. Now that it's all been ripped to shreds and I've been called a pedophile, I'm not so sure I even want to. Not being a big pussy here - just saying it how it is. Up to this point this whole thing has been propelled by a single breath of enthusiasm and what you saw in that video was drawn, animated and coded in just over a week in my spare time. After today the enthusiasm is almost entirely gone. I still want to finish this game - as I promised Mr Carlos Abril - the creator of the original 8-bit game (who BTW signed off on the cartoony version), but now I have an enormous amount of doubt weighing down my vision in addition to all the art I need to redo, not to mention all the art I still need to draw.

...Meanwhile at the depression cave!
<<<Animated the larger walk cycle.

If I look at the video I can feel this enthusiasm you had and I doubt that there is place for improvement, if you keep the whole thing in mind. Of course a change in resolution leads to more awesome graphics, but you are nearly finished and it looks great as it is. Honestly I don't see any point in redoing the whole thing just for the sake of graphics. Use your time to improve the gameplay or make another game instead - and than you can always start with a bigger resolution and then other issues and challenges will occur for sure.

People who will play the game aren't interested in awesome character art - they look at it as a whole thing and they like it or they don't like it - and if they don't like it I think it's because of the gameplay.

The question is always what works and what doesn't work. Well in the image you can see that I think that in the first lines the one with the red frames have the most character. Number 2 of them although has a bigger size, so it isn't fitting to the rest (doesn't work imo although it looks pretty nice).
If you analyze both framed sprites it you will see that the biggest difference in shape is the hair. I made a sloppy copy paste edit with another sprite of the first row to see if it might work with different hair. Maybe it does if you are exactly reproducing the shape of the hair of sprite "2", I was to lazy to try it out, because in my opinion the "1" sprite has a pretty strong shape and just looks good.
Edit: I also recognized that the torso of "1" is quite big compared to your resized edit - this could also change the impression from a young girl to a woman.



To your bigger char: PPD made a magnificient edit, although I think that the female impression of his sprite is caused by the strong tilt of the pelvis ("5") and that the legs are close together.
Your sprite has a static horizontal pelvis and one leg is painfully disconnected to the pelvis. All in all it reminds me more of the classical male strong and static superhero stance which is "guarding" something. Although I also have to say that I really prefer your style of lighting.

Because of this I tried to bring the advantages of both sprites together ("6"). I changed the pose, toned down the knees and the upper arm (they took imo too much of the attention) - although the changes are slight they completely alter the impression. Decide it on your own.

However I'd use this big char as character study for another game and stick with the stuff as it is in the video. Ask people who aren't pixel artists, but played the original game and also ask different people how it looks. I doubt anyone will say it's made bad.

EditII:


quick copy&paste + resize for the character - proportion studies if you want so. The second one uses the legs of the first line resized sprite, the third one resized legs from my PPD&yours together edit.
Maybe it helps too.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 02:55:00 pm by Cyangmou »
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Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #26 on: December 02, 2012, 06:22:19 pm
Never saw any pedophile allegations thrown around and I sure never intended to. But it's a critique forum. People critique. If you already made up your mind about the direction and just want affirmation then maybe posting on the PJ gallery would work better...?

I DID NOT start this thread. Ian did because he was unhappy about the character design in a game he contributed some wonderful art to. As far as I was concerned - my "sick and perverted" character design was just fine, and at no point did I plan on revisiting it as I still have shit-tons of other art to complete before this game is done.
It was Carnivac who threw the biggest fit over my character design, but has since edited his posts - not you.

Offline ErekT

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #27 on: December 02, 2012, 07:16:04 pm
The pervert factor comment was actually made as kind of a joke. I know big brother has done some tongue-in-cheek works with well-endowed females before so yeah... I meant nothing by it.

I'm not gonna edit my posts tho, why would I? You can take them into consideration or disregard them, entirely up to you. Anyways, I'll stay out of this thread from now on.

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 07:39:26 pm
Oh, no man - I would NEVER ask anyone to edit their posts, nor would I EVER hold anything anyone says against them. Please re-read my previous post - that's NOT what I meant.

As a side-note though - the "sick and perverted" label doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact - if it was just me making this game, I'd double down and make the character even more loli-like. Hell - I'd put pedobears into the game as enemies!... now THAT's an idea... (**opens a new ProMotion tab**)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 08:02:21 pm by DarkFalzX »

Offline Crow

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 07:52:17 pm
Alright folks, nothing to see here, keep moving, keep moving. Carry on, please~
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Offline big brother

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #30 on: December 02, 2012, 07:52:49 pm
I know big brother has done some tongue-in-cheek works with well-endowed females before

Baseless allegations, sir. Damned lies!

EDIT: Reinterpreted the sprite to fit the cartoony style without losing the air of Amazonian power. She's closer in design to the title pic. No need to upsize! :crazy:
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 01:39:18 am by big brother »

Offline Helm

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #31 on: December 03, 2012, 03:21:18 am


This is my take, which is based on the original art as much as I could get it to. There's a different philosophy behind my choices of stand and anatomy here because I believe an amazon warrior should have an assertive stance, as well as more stronger legs than bigger boobs. At this size getting a face in there was tough but it kind of works, I think? This size is perfect for real pixel art skills to shine. I believe a lot of disambiguation in the shading would help regardless of which physique you go with. If I were you I'd remove a lot of highlights, let the middle shades assert and explain the forms.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 08:48:17 am
Hey Ian - that's pretty awesome. Though at this point if I will redo this character again - I might as well upscale the entire freaking deal to be easily ported to, say 3DS or iOS.
...Honestly, I was hoping people would unilaterally say the cartoony style is more fitting, so I could just finish this project by new years and be done with it. Now that it's all been ripped to shreds and I've been called a pedophile, I'm not so sure I even want to. Not being a big pussy here - just saying it how it is. Up to this point this whole thing has been propelled by a single breath of enthusiasm and what you saw in that video was drawn, animated and coded in just over a week in my spare time. After today the enthusiasm is almost entirely gone. I still want to finish this game - as I promised Mr Carlos Abril - the creator of the original 8-bit game (who BTW signed off on the cartoony version), but now I have an enormous amount of doubt weighing down my vision in addition to all the art I need to redo, not to mention all the art I still need to draw.

...Meanwhile at the depression cave!
<<<Animated the larger walk cycle.


WHAT? if you got the signoff from the original creator then go with what you had....I wouldnt even have come here in your place :p.

People throw around labels for no reason on the internet, dont torture yourself over that. The little girl looks a little off in the world of guns and stuff, but really considering the source material I dont think that's anything to be worried about, you just tried to take the oversexualization out of it.

Do a little fix like getting rid of the pigtails if you want to, but dont turn this fun project into some boring chore
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 08:57:17 am by Conceit »

Offline Beetleking22

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #33 on: December 04, 2012, 09:04:41 am
Hey Ian - that's pretty awesome. Though at this point if I will redo this character again - I might as well upscale the entire freaking deal to be easily ported to, say 3DS or iOS.
...Honestly, I was hoping people would unilaterally say the cartoony style is more fitting, so I could just finish this project by new years and be done with it. Now that it's all been ripped to shreds and I've been called a pedophile, I'm not so sure I even want to. Not being a big pussy here - just saying it how it is. Up to this point this whole thing has been propelled by a single breath of enthusiasm and what you saw in that video was drawn, animated and coded in just over a week in my spare time. After today the enthusiasm is almost entirely gone. I still want to finish this game - as I promised Mr Carlos Abril - the creator of the original 8-bit game (who BTW signed off on the cartoony version), but now I have an enormous amount of doubt weighing down my vision in addition to all the art I need to redo, not to mention all the art I still need to draw.


Really? I like your old ones much as your new ones! Imo I dont see problem there and most of people is going to like it because its really well done! I really think Most of the people dont care if the style is realistic or anime, Cutenes.. If its quality stuff then there is no problem and even if the quality suck there audience who prefer more to gameplay.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:07:33 am by Beetleking22 »

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #34 on: December 04, 2012, 09:40:10 am
WHAT? if you got the signoff from the original creator then go with what you had....I wouldnt even have come here in your place :p.

People throw around labels for no reason on the internet, dont torture yourself over that. The little girl looks a little off in the world of guns and stuff, but really considering the source material I dont think that's anything to be worried about, you just tried to take the oversexualization out of it.

Do a little fix like getting rid of the pigtails if you want to, but dont turn this fun project into some boring chore

Can't agree more - it's great to take on constructive criticism, but it's not mandatory to address every single minor (:lol:) concern.  It's much better to enjoy and finish your project.   :D

Offline Jim16

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #35 on: December 04, 2012, 11:26:35 pm
I was going to comment on this yesterday, but didn't know how voice myself. Conciets put it very well though. And to add, a few people here, have very specific preferences and are very narrow minded when things fall outside of these preferences. I've seen to many of these type of threads all over pixel and indie communities and it usually involves the same people.

I loved the youtube video, and I do hope this game will be advertised well, so that I can play it.

Offline ErekT

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 01:35:38 am
And to add, a few people here, have very specific preferences and are very narrow minded when things fall outside of these preferences.

While belittling people with 'specific preferences' when they voice their opinion wouldn't be narrow-minded in the least, would it? ::)

Just so it's said tho, it would suck if DarkFalzX lost his gusto because of criticism he didn't ask for in the first place. It's very good stuff overall, and even if personally, the second style is my least favourite among the lot, it's still a very well-made character.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #37 on: December 05, 2012, 10:22:06 am
I tend to prefer the older design, because the lack of facial features is more mysterious, there is no expression of emotion that could clash with the player's expectations. (You're falling in a lava! Stop smiling!)
When I think of all the low-resolution game characters like this one, (first version), with focus on realistic body proportions, I remember mostly their athletic ability, and sometimes body language. "Faceless" character helps self-identification, IMO. (edit: Which might explain the popularity of ninja characters when I was young ?)

edit: I did play the original game on the CPC, but outside Spain, the protagonist was changed to a blocky, rigid, sexless space suit.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 10:51:51 am by yrizoud »

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #38 on: December 05, 2012, 10:50:55 am
"Faceless" character helps self-identification, IMO.
And it also helps identifying the character as a soul-less body, which given the inherent sex appeal of the character, quickly turns her into "it".

Quote
there is no expression of emotion that could clash with the player's expectations.
But again, having emotions that stands against player's expectation is what allows your character to have character of her own.

I don't pretend there's a "right" way and a "wrong" way here, but there's definitely a strong design choice to make. Do you want your heroine to be percieved as a soul-less avatar under full control of the player, or some cyber-entity of her own that the player guides, who's able to talk to other NPCs (I wouldn't expect a face-less avatar in an RPG, for instance) or have remarks of her own, etc. (which imho is fundamental for the player to create a relationship towards the character, which in turns helps the game to be "remembered of").

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #39 on: December 05, 2012, 03:01:50 pm
I think my argument stands no matter the gender : look at the protagonist of 5th axis or Impossible Mission, they are anatomically detailed, but faceless, like these wooden dolls  that you pose for drawing. They are generic enough that the player can feel like "one of" the characters able to do what their avatar does : "A" ninja, "A" spy, "A" commando.
Instead of a specific one chosen by the game designer : The plumber called Mario, The miner called Willy, etc.
As you said, it's really a matter of design choice.

In the case of Phantis I've only known the version for sale outside Spain, where the main character was a very generic asexual space suit. So "adding character" is what feels stranger to me.

By the way, I don't think the original Phantis has a crashed ship. Is it an intentional nod to Freddy Hardest, an older game by the same team ?

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #40 on: December 05, 2012, 04:46:18 pm
I think my argument stands no matter the gender (...). They are generic enough that the player can feel like "one of" the characters able to do what their avatar does : "A" ninja, "A" spy, "A" commando.
As you said, it's really a matter of design choice.
I'd even turn it into "it's a design choice that really matters". As such, it may be worth in such a situation to step back and orient the choice given the type of response one wish to induce in the audience.

btw, although I haven't played the original (censored or not) game, but the character for "Jill of the Jungle" was somewhat similar (strong feminine shape, no face). Despite being named, she's not establishing communication with the player. On the other side, you've got the character in "Legend of Kyrandia: hand of fate" that has just the minimum amount of pixels required to define a face, and is making amusing remarks about the situation.

I do admit that faceless characters are common in action games (another world, in addition to those you already mentioned), and it clearly makes sense when you're trying to push realism (including motion capture) as a key feature of the game. You got one in Flashback, too, which is an interesting case where people talk to the avatar, but the player almost never responds (merely gives item).

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #41 on: December 05, 2012, 04:59:12 pm
Quote
By the way, I don't think the original Phantis has a crashed ship. Is it an intentional nod to Freddy Hardest, an older game by the same team ?

Nahh - there was no crashed ship in the original game, but the nod to Freddy Hardest might've been subconscious: ). I was thinking of incorporating both - the ship and the swamp sections from Side A into my game, but at different points. For example - Side B has a small swamp section followed by a helicopter ride  - I might replace the helicopter ride with the kangaroo section, and maybe tack a ship stage at the end, or not: )

I liked Freddy Hardest, even though in retrospect it was not that great a game - still - I wish someone does a proper update to it, as THIS (http://www.freegamearchive.com/download-games/freeware/actions/freddy-hardest-xxl/16990) just wouldn't do.

I am currently doing two things - working Ian's (Big Brother's) model into the game and working on a scaled up version of the game for a potential eShop port.

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #42 on: December 16, 2012, 05:06:25 am
Hey guys - hilarious new development. Apparently this exists:


Her name is Lorna, she is from the Heavy Metal universe, and the artist who did the Phantis cover wholesale ripped her off was the same guy who did the comic! So, the question is now - do you think if I continue with this in-game sprite and cutscene look - do I run a chance of pissing off some lawyers somewhere:

(WIP)

CORRECTION! According to MobyGames MSX credits for the game - the same artist did the cover art as the comic! Whoah - this just got freaking weird!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 05:19:36 am by DarkFalzX »

Offline numlock

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #43 on: December 16, 2012, 06:02:51 am
hi I have nothing much to add since I think protagonist looks great tough I loved DarkFalzX's edit on ppds work, that looks like some pro work, my only complain would be (which it might be in development) that in the video first part http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gJiIP9aTgw the jumping guy whos following her around is kinda messes with my eyes, somehow disorienting maybe, might be just me tough still I think something more smooth looking might be better, also might be because if game is 30 fps, is it 30 or 60 fps?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 06:06:25 am by numlock »

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #44 on: December 16, 2012, 06:16:18 am
hi I have nothing much to add since I think protagonist looks great tough I loved DarkFalzX's edit on ppds work, that looks like some pro work, my only complain would be (which it might be in development) that in the video first part http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gJiIP9aTgw the jumping guy whos following her around is kinda messes with my eyes, somehow disorienting maybe, might be just me tough still I think something more smooth looking might be better, also might be because if game is 30 fps, is it 30 or 60 fps?

Thank you: )
My computer is kind of old and crap, so the video recording software I used didn't record all that smoothly, especially since I've tried recording a higher-res to reduce artifacting. It all looks MUCH smoother IRL.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #45 on: December 16, 2012, 06:57:17 pm
I think you should only worry about lawyers if the game turns out to be an Angrybirds type of homerun hit.

Still, even if that happened, Lorna's design pretty much boils down to blonde bombshell+pink onepiece+Laser guns. The onepiece part isnt even consistant, she's naked half the time :p

Also, why not just contact Azpiri? azpiri at free.fr it's right on his webpage.

Lorna is just blonde bombshell, all you really have to do is give her something more than that to indentify her and she's already a differeant character than Lorna, a single identifying accesory is enough.  You already know I think that something should be something wacky to fit the atmosphere of bouncing chomping heads and guns.

EDIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ikThZaHds did you know about this? :p

http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=950492&Aux=43975&From=gallery&GSub=117380&GCat=68688&UCat=0 check it, the original cover art.

Looking at Azpiri's art on that site, Phantis is supposed to be a different character than Lorna...as far as I can tell she's got a bit more angular hair and that's it :p You got the ok from the original creator, who probably commisioned Azpiri to design Phantis right? so you shouldnt worry after all :p

Still, knowing that the source character WAS just a blonde fucking every alien robot and human in sight puts everything in perspective. I think that <3 at the end was not rosy after all :p
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 08:28:25 pm by Conceit »

Offline DarkFalzX

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #46 on: December 16, 2012, 11:14:11 pm
I think you should only worry about lawyers if the game turns out to be an Angrybirds type of homerun hit.
True. But this also makes it kind of publisher poison - so my dream of putting this on eShop is pretty much fucked.

Still, even if that happened, Lorna's design pretty much boils down to blonde bombshell+pink onepiece+Laser guns. The onepiece part isnt even consistant she sometimes has sleeves.

Lorna is just blonde bombshell, all you really have to do is give her something more than that to indentify her and she's already a differeant character than Lorna, a single identifying accesory is enough.  You already know I think that something should be something wacky to fit the atmosphere of bouncing chomping heads and guns.
One thing I wanted to give her was either a scarf or one of those tall, wide sweater collars, but it's totally not workable with the current model. Damnit - one way or another, I can feel another model overhaul coming up: /

EDIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ikThZaHds&feature=player_embedded. did you know about this? :p
also, why not just contact Azpiri? azpiri at free.fr it's right on his webpage.
Damn - I'm no journalist, but the story behind this game appears to be a lot more interesting than I could have ever imagined, and might be worth something like a HardcoreGaming 101 article: )
Also - not impressed by that video in any shape or form. I might contact the artist for the hell of it though.

Still, knowing that the source character WAS just a blonde fucking every alien robot and human in sight puts everything in perspective. I think that <3 at the end was not rosy after all :p

Never read the Lorna comics, but did play the PC and Spectrum games. If she is this way - I guess she is just a Barbarella knock off after all.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 01:03:53 am by DarkFalzX »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Phantis: Protagonist Sprite

Reply #47 on: December 17, 2012, 03:29:58 am
I found a comic online, and it is pretty much just that :p. I didnt even see any gunfights. I'mma PM it to you cause I dont know if the public at large wants to see this :p it's still pretty easy to find at the same website all these images are from.

As far as I could tell though, Lorna is supposed to be something different from Phantis and the illustration you're basing her off of was made by Azpiri so I think you should be fine.

These 3 pieces are supposed to be of phantis
http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=963131&GSub=57029
http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=958461&GSub=57029
http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=950492&GSub=117380
she has a bit of a bowlcut while

http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=943400&GSub=57225
Lorna has just one reaaally long bang at the front...:p not much of a difference but there you go, she is legitimately a different character and she was made by the same artist so not really a knockoff...just lazy character design I guess.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 03:45:04 am by Conceit »