AuthorTopic: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]  (Read 3921 times)

Offline MagneticRealms

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Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

on: February 05, 2014, 03:46:06 pm
Hi everyone, I released an indie game a few months ago and was hoping to get some critique on the graphics. This was the first time I'd seriously attempted pixel art (or any graphics for that matter) so there's many things I'm not happy with but overall I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I spent a lot of time reading threads here and picked up so much good info I can't begin to thank you guys enough for this fantastic resource and the generous sharing of advice from all the regulars.

The game is a sci-fi flavoured action adventure, inspired by many of the classic games of the Amiga and other home computers. Besides lots of reading here and studying Arne's art tutorial and so on, I spent a lot of time closely examining graphics from old games (mostly Amiga but other platforms too) but didn't restrict myself to the technical limits of those platforms.

Here's a few screenshots of the game:




(Background clearly inspired by Flashback  :) )








(Tiles were recycled a lot with different palettes)




Some tileset examples:


(Background)


(Foreground)


And some sprites:


The player idle pose and some variations for other crew members. I was fairly happy with how these turned out, but someone mentioned the pose made the player look like an orangutan :)


The player run cycle. Some of the individual frames are a bit messy. I found this quite hard, and just constantly placed and removed pixels until it looked ok, without much of an overall vision of how it should look. After a lot of iterations I ended up with this. When running down stairs it often looks as if he's running backwards for some reason.


Climbing ladder animation. This was singled out in a review as being particularly awkward and funny!  :o
This one was also particularly hard, since everything else I'd drawn up until this was side-on. It was a struggle to translate the look of the side-on view to behind, probably again because I was just endlessly shuffling pixels until it looked ok, without a clear idea of the character's appearance.


Pretty happy with this one.

Some enemies:



I really don't like the mouth on this one but couldn't come up with anything better. Overall it seems very "flat" and bland too.


Some props:


I'm happy with this except for the broken glass, which doesn't look very good.




This is supposed to be some scientific equipment that is found in various locations. This one looks too flat and bland as well.

Any C&C would be great. Is there anything that stands out that I should work on to improve for my next game?

Thanks in advance!
Matt.

Offline Kosvid

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 07:10:08 pm
Hello.  :)

First, the idle pose. It is really strange: I have not ever seen a person standing like that when idle. Honestly, I can`t figure out what pose characters should stand in to look natural. I know that in some unserious games like Rayman it looks quite good when a character stands with completely silly pose and face.

Why does his body stay still when he shoots? Seems a bit weird. It always go back.

In other details I can`t advice something useful (nah, I didn`t anyway), so let experienced artists say their word.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 07:41:41 pm by Agent00X »

Offline Johasu

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 07:25:13 pm
I agree that the idle pose does look a bit ~hunchy~  like he is flexing his pecs.

The ladder climb seems out of alignment with natural flows too.  Opposite arm and leg raise.  Those were the things that stood out to me when I glanced over it.

I like your environmental setup.  It's not too noisy and the edges stand out in nice ways.  Although your player sprite is a little dark for most of the settings which could make it difficult to track him during play.
Gallery:  http://johasu.deviantart.com/gallery/
Twitter:  @johasu232

Offline MagneticRealms

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 01:26:50 pm
Thanks for the comments guys!

Agent00X:

Regarding the shooting animation - it's just due to lack of time and skill. I had a lot on my plate doing everything myself, so it was easiest to just move the arms only. I agree it could be improved a lot. I'll try an edit soon.

Johasu:

I tried a quick edit of the ladder climb with the movement changed as you described, and I think it does look better:



The funny thing is I actually tried it myself on a real ladder earlier today and I thought the original one was right. Maybe I just do it weird? :)

Regarding the idle, I agree with you both and will do an edit soon. I think I just somehow convinced myself it was ok after working on it for a long time.

Offline Probo

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 02:11:14 pm
the recoil doesnt necessarily have to affect the body with a pistol i dont think, there are degrees. some pistols barely move, particularly in the hands of someone who knows how to fire them. controlling the recoil at the elbow like seen here is also a thing i think. i guess it depends on how powerful you want it to feel, and how the animations work in relation to the gameplay. if you want the gun to fire quickly, you may not want lots of animation in the recoil. or you could have quite a lengthy recoil animation that just resets to the beginning every time you press fire, but then it might look odd that not every shot from this powerful gun knocks your shoulders back

what is that second enemy by the way? its hard to figure, is it a dismembered humanoid alien with tentacles sprouting?

with the scientific equipment looking flat, you just need some perspective to fix that.

Offline ErekT

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #5 on: February 07, 2014, 12:30:43 am
Hello. Congrats on taking your game all the way to completion! Respect :y: If this is your first serious venture into spriting then even more respect. It's especially good for a first attempt. I did a couple of quick edits on the running and shooting anims:



Beware trying to cram too much detail into small sprites. At that resolution it can quickly degenerate into noisiness and mess up readability. Better to use what little pixel real-estate you have to define primary volumes.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 12:57:44 am by ErekT »

Offline MagneticRealms

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 12:44:28 pm
Probo:

Yes, that's a flying enemy and it's supposed to be pretty much what you said. A variation on the walking one above it.

Can you explain a bit more about what you meant by needing some perspective to fix the flatness of the science equipment? I'm not sure how to add perspective when it's viewed straight on like that.

ErekT:

Thanks! :)

I really like your edits. The added movement in the shooting anim really improves it, and it's amazing how much smoother the run looks! Nice work on that, I'm gonna study it carefully to see what I can learn from it  :y:

Thanks for the tip about not trying to cram too much detail in too, I'll definitely keep that in mind.

Offline Probo

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 06:19:44 pm


I mean you could put background objects at angles in the background like figure 2, instead of everything being parallel to the wall like in figure 1. if you made a game like this again you could also draw everything in the background, including the wall, like the player is looking at it from a slight angle like in figure 3. youd still draw the characters side-on and itd play the same, its one of those weird gaming perspective things that still works :)

i guess your alien quadriplegic was readable enough then if i got it right! do they have a backstory as to how they came to be floating amputees?

Offline MagneticRealms

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 03:45:43 pm
Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Seems like a good way to go, thanks for clearing that up for me Probo  :y:
I'll try and get some edits finished soon...

Offline MagneticRealms

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 01:51:14 pm
OK, so I finally got some edits done...

I took Probo's third suggestion and did an edit of the scientific equipment:



This perspective seemed the most straightforward to me, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Also here's a quick adjustment to the idle pose. I only adjusted the arms but it looks less weird I think.


Offline Kosvid

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 08:28:24 am
I only adjusted the arms but it looks less weird I think.


The man now looks better, but still far from natural. Too tense. It would be a nice pose for combat preparation, but not idle... I think he should stand more straightly, arms should be straightened down more, too.
I offer you to leave this pose as a pre-action one (when he runs to a particular place, then he stands in this pose and the action happens. When you can`t control the character. Forgot how it`s called), but you should try more if you are going to do your best with the game.

Offline Tapsu

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Re: Inescapable: Amiga inspired action adventure [C+C]

Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 09:25:20 am
I am very suspicious about the proportions of his left leg.