AuthorTopic: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup  (Read 5882 times)

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

on: November 10, 2013, 06:14:59 am


I'm trying to make a mockup of a survival type game, where you run around and try not to die, pretty self explanatory. It takes place during the wild west time period, so the character is a cowboy type, with a horse. So far I'm using two of the four bg palettes, and two of the four sprite palettes.

Two main questions, Is making my tree a sprite a good idea? I was thinking it could get chopped down, and the sprite aspect of that would be useful, I'm not sure if background tile's can be removed. And can you have a sprites like the bison and horse I made? or would I have to shove them into an 8x8 box?

Besides that, just regular old C+C!  ;D

Offline VinceBetteridge

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 06:32:34 am
Most interactive elements are made into objects (or sprites) at the programming stage. What this means for you is that you would want the your objects (tree, bison, horse, etc.) and all their animations set to a sprite sheet with transparency. After the player harvests the tree it could be left in, but back in the NES days you needed every asset you had used for more important things. This is why you often saw objects either disappear immediately or fade away via blinking.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 12:12:49 pm
Quote
I'm not sure if background tile's can be removed.
Sure. Every time Mario hits a block by jumping the background is getting updated. Blocks are even turned into sprites just to animate them. To bounce up, they need to not be aligned with the grid. So they're erased from the background, drawn as sprites moving up, then back down. When they're aligned again, they become part of the background again. Or, if he's destroying the block, the parts are exploded as sprites, and the block is removed from the background.

What you'd want for the tree depends. The biggest thing to think about is that the tree needs 7 sprites to be drawn, nearly 1/8 of the 64 that can be on screen at once. That said, it doesn't look like an environment where you'd need a lot of them. You could also make the top slightly less wide to use only 6 sprites. If it's in the background, you could fill an entire area with them the way Mario fills 1-2 with brick blocks.
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And can you have a sprites like the bison and horse I made?
Yep, you get transparency for sprites. Different 8x8 parts of a larger sprite also don't have to be aligned in any specific way or be the same palette. Sprites are pretty free on NES.

It's definitely worth using an extra sprite (or two) to make the horse a little more horse like.

Quick edit using 1 extra sprite, don't be shy about extending upwards. Could use two extra sprites and make the legs super tall, which would be more reminiscent of a horse.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 12:14:48 pm by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 07:45:31 pm
I'm having a hard time making a HUD for it. Can a hud use transparent tiles? or can they not show the playing field through the back of them.

I'm thinking having something like this



I'm not sure if It's possible to pull something like that off without extreme tweaking with the palette/ working around the limitations, though I guess thats half the fun. I'd probably also put something in the lower right to balance it out a little I guess.

Also, There's no god damn skin color, besides the one!

Offline Johasu

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 08:22:34 pm
A lot of the old NES games used a black border and placed their HUD within that. This was pretty common well into the SNES days as well.
I suspect it was because of the color restrictions and it allowed much more dynamic HUD styles as they didn't have to compete with the screen sprites and such.
Maybe this will help you?  Maybe not.  I thought I would put it forward though.

Edit:  If you made your transparent the black for the border?  Another thought.  :huh:
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 08:34:02 pm by Johasu »
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Offline Kasumi

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 08:26:19 pm
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Can a hud use transparent tiles?
If it's made out of sprites. See Metroid's HUD. But of course, there are only so many sprites.

You could do what you've got in maybe 24 sprites if you shrink it a fair bit. (I'm thinking get rid of the portrait, 6 for each bar, 4 for each item slot, 4 for landscape.) That may not even be so bad considering how small everything is. Gotta watch palettes, though.

The other option is a Kirby's Adventure or Battletoads style HUD with a few things overlaid as sprites, as mentioned by Johasu.

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Also, There's no god damn skin color, besides the one!
The NES palette is pretty bad. Not quite atrocious, but definitely bad.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 08:30:29 pm by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline r1k

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 02:12:58 am
maybe you can use a combination of sprites and tiles for the HUD.  like this



so say, you want this filled in circle with transparency.  The pink squares could be tiles since they dont need transparency, and the green could be sprites since they do.  Just an idea.

For the skin I think you have to be willing to use exagerated colors if you want more shading.  This way you can dip into the darker reds or other colors for shadows.  Though itll need to be in the right context or it could just end up looking weird.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 05:13:29 am
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A lot of the old NES games used a black border and placed their HUD within that.

@Johasu: Yeah, I was thinking of doing that.

@Kasumi: Hmm, for some reason I thought that HUD had to be made of bg tiles. That's nice to hear then. And thanks for the continued help!

@r1k: I had actually thought about that. Seems like the best of both worlds

What I have so far:



I feel like it might be using too many sprite though. You can only have 8 sprites per scanline, correct?

Offline Kasumi

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 06:42:29 am
r1k, that works as long as the game doesn't scroll. If it does, the hud will scroll with the rest of the screen in an undesired way. Player walks 1 pixel, the game scrolls and the map (including the HUD) also moves because tiles must be tile aligned. (Well, of course the parts that are sprites wouldn't have to move, but them not moving would look even more odd.)


What's more, tiles are 8x8, but you generally only get one palette per 16x16 pixel region not 8x8. So in this case if one uses the hybrid approach, the HUD should be a cross of 16x16 squares instead of 8x8 squares, or the parts of the map you're using the sprite to show through could potentially be the wrong colors.

The reason games dedicate an entire horizontal bar is that if you lock scrolling for some of the vertical lines, anything that's the to the left or right of the HUD would also be locked.

The grass to the right of the HUD won't scroll because it occupies a horizontal line that's scrolling locked for the HUD.

The reason to use all sprites is they aren't confined to a grid and the scroll value. Not sure if this is a scrolling game or not, but more to think about before decisions are made.

Yes, only 8 sprites can be displayed on a scanline. The most you've got is 7 if you go all sprites, and going a few over is not a big deal. You just have to draw a different set of 8 each frame like this (for the example, the entire HUD is sprites):

(also, it'd be much faster, but webbrowsers don't like fast gifs)
If you go WAY over (to say... 16), only HALF the sprites on that scanline will be visible each frame. But it can be a different half every other frame. This is how quickly Mario in Super Mario Bros. blinks after he gets hit and he's still pretty easy to see during that period.

The scene you've got would be 66 sprites if the trees/HUD were to be all sprites. 51 if the trees aren't. Much like the scanline limit, going over is not necessarily a problem. But more than 64 can't be visible in a single frame.

Apologies if I'm getting annoying!
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline r1k

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Re: NES Restrictions: Survival Mockup

Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 07:38:29 am
thanks for the info.  I was thinking about games that dedicate a bar at the top of the screen for the hud, so I wasnt sure how scrolling worked for huds with tiles and all that.  Cool gif about the sprite flickering, I didnt realize thats how it worked.