AuthorTopic: Berserk (NES) mockup  (Read 8185 times)

Offline Ryumaru

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Berserk (NES) mockup

on: May 29, 2015, 07:10:54 am
Hello all, Here's a thing I've been working on. I would like it to fit NES restrictions to the point where it could potentially exist on the console ( please disregard the non tile based text for this matter, as it's just for presentation, but I guess a tile based character alphabet would be 26/256 tiles in memory right?). Comments and general critique are welcome, especially when it comes to the portraits and restriction optimization. If you're lucky I might show my awful attempt at a more close up version of Griffith to match the one of Guts. Also, I will be making a new sprite for Guts to fit the original scene, this one just kind of happened and I thought it was pretty good.

full mockup:


full mockup once I remembered the shared tile color rule:


background only:


Griffith sprite:


Griffith sprite with overlay:


Could definitely use some optimization for his overlay, I'm sure there's a much more clever way to do it. I'd like to save as many sprites as possible for effects and such.

Thanks for viewing   :D

Offline Rosier

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 07:50:00 am
My love for these is like a truck BERSERKER.

Feels a bit weird that Guts' sword is blue tinted like that.  Kinda clashes with his red.  Otherwise I want to see soooo much more of this. 

Offline Cherno

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 08:07:22 am
Only ever saw one or two episodes, but I like the contrasting color scheme.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 08:57:33 am
Always love your mockups.  Do you have a portfolio to see them all together, or twitter to keep an eye on new bits?

I don't know too much about the technical NES restrictions (despite it being the only console I own atm) but it looks great, and certainly seems like a (particularly good) NES shot at a glance.

Offline kullenberg

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 10:45:07 am
Awesome! I especially liked how you refrained from using pure white for snow. The only thing I don't like is the tree which looks off.
First of all, it looks as a hardwood tree which doesn't make sense given the climate which would make the branches naked.
So I'm assuming it's either a spruce (the kind that you have for christmas trees) or a pine tree. A spruce's branches wouldn't start that high up I think, although there might be some kind that does. If it is a spruce I'm not feeling the conical shape, it looks roundish.
If it is a pine tree it seems awfully thick and again, quite rounded. Generally for most types there should be some thinner solo branches below the thicker ones.
Also, IMO it looks odd to have it as a sillhouette. The darkest snow shade seems to be the same as the sky, but I don't think that would be a problem.
Not to say that I'm an absolute expert at trees or anything, just my immediate thoughts.

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 10:48:02 am
Gut's Claymore looks to short. Guts always wields massive over the top sword. While yours use perfectly usable as sword, the very point of berserk is that Guts weapon always is ridiculously big.
Given that Guts is really tall (~,90) his claymore has a length of about 2,20m with a blade length of about 1,80m, width of the blade is estimated somewhere between 10-15cm to give you an imagination of how massive it is in comparison some of the common German Zweihänder have the same blade length but have an average width of (estimated) 6cm.
Yours looks currently more like a normal sword, I'd increase the handle length and exaggerate the bladlength since at the given size you need to exaggerate everything and the sword surely a lot more.

The other crit I can give you is that guts doesn't look like Guts.
You simply drew a face and added features like guts features, the underlying portraiture of the character doesn't express the feeling the character expresses.
Miura tends to draw very round cranial masses and that leads to very wide faces. the facial mass of most characters is always rather short in terms of height but characteristical in it#s width, the only character which strongly deviates from this scheme is actually Griffith.
The ears are about as big as the eyes for most of the characters (the exception here again is Griffith or some of the very tough men with small and earnest eyes (Azan, Zodd, Mozgus - all with faces of this Archetype. The eyes are only about half the size of the ears)

Features of Guts are a square face, really strong jaws, a concave nose, quite pointy ears.

At this (or any size close to it it also is better to us true horizontals and verticals for the faces since that needs the least work in terms of facial feature placement. With the limited colors you use you don't have the possibilities to make the stuff "right looking" with subpixel techniques, so just drop it and to the easiest thing you can, which is still hard enough to get good looking.
For example yourh mouthline and eyeline look terrible inconsistent.

I'd also use the same placement style for griffith. At the moment his face looks considerable smaller and his nose is by far too big in the current portraiture.

I also made you a small edit to address my points for guts:
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 10:59:41 am by Cyangmou »
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Offline Kasumi

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 10:53:52 am
NES is weird in that a lot of restrictions that most games had to deal with can be overcome with hardware in the cartridge.

I don't see anything in a quick check that makes it not possible. (Variable width fonts are even possible.) There are some things worth thinking about if you'd want this whole thing as a game and not a standalone image being displayed with the hardware, so I'll speak a bit on that.

A really quickish check makes it seem like 56 sprites are being used, which is quite a few. (It could probably be less, depends on how they're distributed. I'm convinced after counting you had a different palette arrangement in mind than what I used to count.  :( )

NES has a resolution of 256x240, yes. But you should pretty much count on at least 8 pixels being cut off the top and bottom, and probably more due to TV shenanigans. It is very unlikely you'd be able to read, "GUTS LV: 40", and "GRIFFITH LV:20". If the player needs to read that stuff, it should be moved down. The bottom of the parry bubble might also get cut off, but maybe not the actual text in parry if you're lucky. Ninja Gaidan games are kind of interesting to look at in this respect. 1 played it very safe and left three whole rows of tiles above the HUD, plus 1 row of tiles below the screen blank because they figured you wouldn't see things placed there. 2 and 3 left two tiles above the HUD, none below the screen. (There's no action below anyway, so it doesn't matter if you don't see it.)

I would absolutely not use an overlay for Griffith's sword. It is already the widest part of the character, and the 8 sprite per scanline limit exists. So not only is that horizontal piece of him requiring six of eight across even without overlays, you're then adding two more for the extra colors. You're basically guaranteeing the sword will never be fully seen properly colored.

The game would have to not scroll with what you're doing with the character portraits. (Unless they go away when the battle starts.) Even if they did go away, it's a slightly unusual choice assuming you're not using a truly epic cartridge. (It seems you're honoring 16x16 palette boundaries, not 8x8 which means you're not using said truly epic cartridge.) Because the portraits share scanlines with the scene, any tiles in the portrait would have to be stored with at least part of the scene. That's 19 redundant tiles duplicated for every different background it needs to be above. It's the same for the Griffith portrait, but it's a non issue if that Griffith portrait will only appear with that background. (I know nothing about the series. I'm assuming Guts is the protagonist.)

As far as font, there's really no technical reason not to use lowercase letters. The text never shares scanlines with the scene, and the tiles used to draw the screen can be swapped out at the beginning of a scanline. So it's not like the extra letters would cut into what you could use to draw the scene. All caps might be a style choice, but I figured I'd mention it.
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #7 on: May 30, 2015, 01:04:50 am
Rosier: Heh, glad you like! I might also do things such as title screen and cutscene stuff. Of course the dream would be to have a little playable demo on the actual hardware. Also, I agree with the sword thing, but Griffith used more colors and the sword was an easy opportunity for a different palette, but maybe it's better just to keep it with his.

Cherno: Thank you! It's a great story that has influenced some great things ( Dark Souls, enough said) I'd encourage you to read the Manga if you have any interest! Warning; gallons of blood and quite a bit of sex.

Rikfuzz: Thanks for the interest man! I really do need to get them up on my website once I can get it going the way I'd like to. You guys get to see pretty much all I do this stuff wise- however I do cross post on twitter my instagram stuff which has anything from painting to sketches to slice of life stuff. @chrispariano

Kullenberg: Thank you! You are not wrong about the tree at all, it's mostly half assed by me. Below is an image of the original scene, I believe it is supposed to be a spruce or pine, but I know nothing about tree anatomy.

Cyangmou: Hey! My original excuse for the sword was that I was trying to conserve sprites, but you are right, realism means nothing to Guts, and neither should hardware limitations. I've spent two more sprites on it, I think that's all I can justify giving it for now.
Thanks for the edit! I wasn't completely sold on the portrait in the first place, but I didn't know where to take it.
Heh, it's funny, because I dont think YOUR guts looks too much more like the "real" one than my Guts. I think we all have an idea of him that's slightly different than anyone elses. Miura is pretty inconsistent in his drawings ( not any more than other manga artists; and it's quite understandable when you realize how long it's ran and how spaced out the chapters are). Also I was referencing the latest anime adaptations of him when doing the portrait. You're definitely right, I was trying to do to much with the angle of the head. Ditching it for pure horizontal and verticals is better.
I will most likely try for another Griffith closer to the range of the Guts one, but for now I just shaved off a couple of pixels on the nose.

Kasumi: Thanks so much for dropping in! I actually was sending you a personal message last night inviting you to drop some knowledge on me, but my horrible internet ate it and I needed to go to sleep!
Yes, I would ideally like this to be able to work as a game on the console, and not just be a viewable image.
My new version below I counted in at 52 sprites, which is a lot, but it's not too much, right? ;] I want it to fit the restrictions, but will push the limits whenever possible.
Ah, this bit is something I never would have known. I've edited it so there is a tile of space on the top and bottom, I hope this would be enough because I don't think I can spare anymore without aesthetics taking a dive.
Noted. I've redone the griffith sprite and overlay in a much less dumb way. with this one I would even be fine with it not having the overlays. However, I must admit defeat on the 8 sprites per scanline rule. This one hits hard and I don't know any way out of it, I know I basically can't with the way they are posed. Can you tell me about any magic that might would make me feel any better about this?
Luckily, the game does not intend to scroll. This would be a battle only screen and completely static. It might would have a traditional top down rpg overworld style for everything else, but it would not be a traversing sidescroller ( although I guess it could be if the portraits were battle only? Kind of the opposite of what you were suggesting, heh). I would intend to have mutliple enemy portraits that would show in a similar fashion. Would this mean that all of them would have to be on every tileset? Only Griffith would appear on this background, but many different enemies would appear on multiple different backgrounds.
For the font, really it's just one of few pixel fonts I have in photoshop and I happen to like how it looks! You mentioned that variable width fonts are possible, how would that be done?
I also wanted to ask you about the 8x16 sprites. Could they be of any use here or no? I read your description of them in the restrictions guide, but it soared right over my little head.

New Version:


New Griffith:



This is a shot showing just a little of  how i'd arrange the gameplay stuff I had in mind. Imagine a kind of turn based system That relies on prediction, catching little cues on animated sprites, and knowledge of how starting certain actions prevent changing into others on the next turn ( vertical slash- high can't change into thrust- low, but it can turn into block- high or horizontal swipe- mid, etc) all done under a reaction timer bar to add pressure and emulate the quick reaction time necessary to read and counter an opponents move, and learn how to mitigate the damage of mistakes that you've already selected previously in the action tree.



And the original scene. Is it too late for a *spoiler warning*?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 02:24:10 am by Ryumaru »

Offline Cyangmou

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #8 on: May 30, 2015, 03:08:04 am
Heh, it's funny, because I dont think YOUR guts looks too much more like the "real" one than my Guts. I think we all have an idea of him that's slightly different than anyone elses. Miura is pretty inconsistent in his drawings ( not any more than other manga artists; and it's quite understandable when you realize how long it's ran and how spaced out the chapters are). Also I was referencing the latest anime adaptations of him when doing the portrait. You're definitely right, I was trying to do to much with the angle of the head. Ditching it for pure horizontal and verticals is better.

I agree the mine isn't perfect either, I took your portrait and exaggerated on a few of the critique points I said.
For this style of portrait and size a single pixel takes up by far too much space to capture all of the little proportions exactly plus you exclude subpixels, so there is no way to get it exactly "right" because even with subpixels it's sometimes really hard..

If "I"  design Guts for a conversation portait I'd most probably go with a completely different approach than you did
-The first thing I'd change is that I'd most probably go with a viewing angle from slightly below to underline that Guts is huge.
-The other major consideration is that I'd avoid to let the left side of the face facing the viewer - since that wouldn't be great after the carnival.
-Then I'd go with the exact proportion design Miura used for the scene /chapter, since it's pretty inconsistent (and a lot of it has surely to do that he also refinded his style and techniques)



And Anime characters aren't consistent, although an artist rarely changes his proportion measurement approaches for a character.
The movie designs were as far as I know not done by Miura and therefore completely different.

eye/ear size is clearly different in the styles - the movie's proportions are a lot less stylized and much closer to reality (esp. cranial ball - and I guess that's the main reason why it looks completely different.The movie just uses a completely different proportion ruleset and a differnet styleset)

stuff one would have to compare with more angles (I just name some of them unrelated to the image because I checked it out for myself as I saw the movie)
width of chin / size of the ball of the nose / height of the line from ear to jaw / shape of the ear,
general distance from upper eyelid to middle eyeline to eyebrow ( a lot narrower and different proportions in the manga, even for angles from below)

(left image in the spoiler is actually from the movie, right one is from the Retribution arc and those don't share the exact angles, but where the ones I managed to find quickly via google images for the lazy ones here in the thread ;)
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Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Berserk (NES) mockup

Reply #9 on: May 30, 2015, 03:43:24 am
I think the bottom line is, 32x32 is barely enough to do anything :p
I'd love to see you take a stab at it if you found the time, although I know for us that's often precious! Doing it with a viewing angle from below in 32x32? You're a braver man than I! Haha
I actually did make a portrait post carnival ( is that the official spoiler free name?) and even tried to get the mark in there. Why hide it, when you could put it on display? Miura definitely hides his eye sometimes, but then he also has lots of frontal images even on covers showing it off. My purpose in this angle for the portrait was just the stereotypical  looking right = towards progression.
Yeah the movie changes a lot, definitely highlighting some of the homoeroticism Miura included there. The most bad ass man ever created also has the most beautiful eyelashes.

Post Carnival portrait, even more an example of trying to do way too much in way too little space: