AuthorTopic: Jumping Sprites?  (Read 16818 times)

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 01:54:53 pm
http://youtu.be/5I7pukuy8sQ?t=15m25s is the reaction of the player to that over-animated jumps (and other issues with the game, I do admit). Note that in this game, jumping on ennemies is the primary way to defeat them, and leaping over them is the primary way to avoid them (as one would expect from a platformer).

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Many modern 3d twitch-based games have longer that that
.
I'd say it is a reasonable delay if the action isn't required to avoid contact with ennemies. I wouldn't mind such a reaction time in Contra, for instance.
If I had to jump half a second before it's required so that the eyetoy can detect the move (I'm thinking at the kind of "you're on the adventure river, jump to grab bonuses and bend to steer your raft, here) and make my avatar jump timely, then the gameplay is (imho) just flawed, and the game will look heavy and sluggish. Definitely not a virtual-reality experience.

That may still be okay if it's "never seen before" (or allows to play against a distant friend), but to be honest, it's the very reason why I'd avoid most games on (old, button-based) mobile phones (including PoP ports) because the character becomes impossible to control and you need to over-compensate that by learning the whole level where quick reading and dexterity should have been enough to get out of nasty situations. Such a device is no match against a good ol' gameboy with 1/30th reaction time, imho, no matter the resolution/color depth and similar things.

And definitely, introducing it artificially for the sake of "realism" in a world that is made up anyway (strength of the character, ability to recover from severe injuries, etc) is mostly misunderstanding the core gameplay of platformers.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 01:57:28 pm by PypeBros »

Offline Helm

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 02:51:29 pm
I agree it's no good when the main method of evasion and attack is all jumps and I know how much in love most players are with instant response to their keypresses but then again games like Flashback and Dark Souls are my favourite and there's a degreee of strategy and forethought to the commands you give to the player. I would not be adverse to a platform game where there's no air-control, for example (Ghouls N' Ghosts comes to mind) and I'm not fundamentally against a wind-up jump animation. It's a matter of game design. The original poster should describe what sort of game they mean to make and then the solutions to his jumping issue can be informed of that.

Offline Ymedron

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 06:13:08 pm
As a small note, as I glanced over briefly the thread:
Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus use the anticipation brilliantly for their game. However, it's not a platformer so it's not necessarily relevant.
Edit: Let me be more precise: It's not megaman-style platformer. Sorry.
Delayed jumps allow for an extremely scary stressful time when you are sneaking, running away and trying to avoid getting caught. It also makes your mindset while playing different - you like to plan jumps and be careful about how you go about it. However, it has a different jump while running that is far less delayed, so it lets you have your cake and eat it too in a sense. Still, the running jumps (esp. when chased as is often the case) need some practice.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 06:16:45 pm by Ymedron »
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Offline Helm

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #13 on: May 18, 2013, 08:32:51 am
Flashback operates on the same merits. Plus, several frames from its turnning and jumping animations (and climbing upwards) are invincibility frames and necessary to learn to play the game on a high level. Flashback is very fondly remembered but not very fondly *played* at such level, so there's merit to both sides of the argument, i.e. you can make a platformer with animation priority but don't expect most people to learn to play it well.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #14 on: May 18, 2013, 02:36:38 pm
Flashback operates on the same merits. Plus, several frames from its turnning and jumping animations (and climbing upwards) are invincibility frames and necessary to learn to play the game on a high level.
Clever to make it possible, but a clear violation of "form-fits-function" that makes the game learnable without assistance from reverse engineers or slow-motion capture, imvho.

Offline Helm

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #15 on: May 18, 2013, 03:54:17 pm
Well I figured it out just by playing it, so...

When an enemy suits at you at such a deterministic game such as Flashback and miraculously you don't get hit because you were in the middle of your turning animation, you ask yourself "is this game glitchy, or is there some game rule I've yet to realise?" and you go by there.

PypeBros, in general you seem very certain when you talk about game design and I don't know if that's helpful. There's ways to make counterintuitive concepts work in videogames if one really wants to. If the person that started this thread wants proper jump anticipation for their platformer, I am certain they can achieve it. It won't be loved by everybody, but it can belong in a good game design, I would bet on that.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 03:56:22 pm by Helm »

Offline tim

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #16 on: May 18, 2013, 05:20:41 pm
Agreed.
I always preferred games with delayed response, no air control, and better jumping anticipation, animation & feeling.

Today, nothing has changed, and there is still two ways of designing a game. It's called "body awareness", and some people prefer FPS with instant response like Quake, UT, L4D, COD, where you feel like a floating camera, usually you don't see your feet and the ironsight is extremely fast, and some others prefer FPS with body awareness, slower ironsight, slower turn speed, progressive acceleration, games like Killzone, Arma, Mirror's Edge, etc.

So basically it's a question of game design. Is your game fast-paced, and does it relies on jumping all the time, with short reaction times and a great landing precision ? If yes, if your jumps need to be precise, then go for a free jump mechanic, allow air control, and let the player jump instantly and land exactly the pixel he needs to. The animation is purely graphical, it's not tied to the gameplay. This is typical Japanese game design. This is like Mario, Sonic, Megaman, Devil May Cry or even Uncharted. If not, then prefer a predefined jump, with anticipation, that need to timed and planned, where animation & gameplay are really linked. This is typical occidental game design. This is like Flashback, Abe's Odyssee, or the old Tomb Raiders.

Make your choice.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 05:27:38 pm by tim »
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Offline Azuyre

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #17 on: May 19, 2013, 04:27:00 am
Oh wow, I hadn't realized everyone was replying, thanks for all your thoughts you guys! :D

So, at the moment the plan is to have the characters in the game have instant jumping similar to Mario or Mega Man, though their in-air controls may vary a bit. Delayed jumping like Prince of Persia and Flasback can be pretty interesting but it probably wouldn't fit well in this game. The delay in Fantasia doesn't seem too bad at all though, it could work really well for a bigger character to help make them feel just a bit heavier then the rest of the characters, there's a total of 10 characters in the game and two of them are somewhat bigger characters so I think I'll talk with some other people on the team about the idea of giving those two very slightly delayed jumps like in Fantasia. Besides that though the main plan is instant jumping.

The main thing I'm trying to figure out is the amount of frames I should use, I'm currently using 8 frame walk cycles so I'm trying to decide what would be a good average number of frames to use for the jumping to make it match. I've been thinking that 3 for rising and 3 for falling plus inbetweens when necessary should work pretty well.

I also like the idea Carnivac mentioned of using the crouching sprite during the landing, it seems like it could work pretty well.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #18 on: May 19, 2013, 08:02:40 pm
PypeBros, in general you seem very certain when you talk about game design and I don't know if that's helpful.

Thank you for that remark. I am indeed a coding person more than an artist and I've devoted significant time to study game design over the last years, both through the Critical Gaming blog and through historical reviews made in retro-gaming press. I'm far from being a guru, but I noted how many times I did myself screw a game's design by ignoring some fundamental rules.

I guess it wouldn't hurt, though, if I toned down my comments a little bit and spice them with "imho" and "afaik" as I'd do for pixel art. You suddenly made it obvious to me, and that's why you're thanked ;)

Quote
There's ways to make counterintuitive concepts work in videogames if one really wants to. If the person that started this thread wants proper jump anticipation for their platformer, I am certain they can achieve it. It won't be loved by everybody, but it can belong in a good game design, I would bet on that.

You're right. Breaking form-fits-function can bring interesting mixup. Breaking controller's intuitiveness and direct control may bring something that gets further away from a game and closer to a simulation (space invader vs lunar lander coming to mind). Yet, much as in (drawing) art, I think that it's important to realise that some rules guide how people "read" games (compared e.g. to perspective rules) and to make the violation of one rule a design choice that you're fully aware of (like e.g. an Escher trompe-l'oeil picture). Breaking too many rules at once, or not realising that you're doing so is something I'd definitely warn people about (please excuse the habbits taken during 10 years of teaching students on coding, here).

I'd sure love to develop, but that would be fully of-topic ... likely in a future blog post.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Jumping Sprites?

Reply #19 on: June 07, 2013, 04:54:31 am
random thought coming up this morning: on a jump with anticipation, it would make sense that releasing the "JUMP" button would cancel the anticipation animation, possibly at the expense of reduced jump height. That would be direct, intuitive and dynamic.