AuthorTopic: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest  (Read 52281 times)

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #50 on: April 24, 2016, 11:56:23 pm
About Castlevania's Engine: I learned that Castlevania (at least appears to) hardcode which 8x8 tiles are collision enabled. (Most games tie it to larger structures.) So (quite laughably), what makes a lot of these not work is too many unique tiles that are meant to be collision enabled.

I wouldn't consider adding that restriction to this challenge, since it's conceivably a thing they'd have changed if they had art like this. But it's the main thing that made hacking art in no fun.

Probo: You've got 134 non unique tiles, and no palette errors. Getting under tile count would be pretty easy for you. You've got three unique floor brick structures. Could use just one.

As far as animating the fire (assuming its background), it's possible with CHR RAM (which Castlevania uses), but easier with CHR ROM. And I don't remember Castlevania updating tiles that way mid level anywhere. (Could be wrong. I should note it'd be a bit of a different thing than the breakable walls that exist in the game.) 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 11:58:41 pm by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline Probo

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #51 on: April 25, 2016, 11:05:02 am
Oh that's interesting, so is that restrictive because it would have to hold a long list of collision objects in memory, memory that could otherwise be used for more important things? Or it'd slow performance because it has to check through the list every time it checks for collision or something?

Thanks for checking the pic for me, I might edit it to bring it under later in the week.

Offline Kasumi

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #52 on: April 25, 2016, 10:54:38 pm
Collision detection on NES is the same as any other tile based collision. Choose a point on the screen, see if "what's there" is collision enabled. "What's there" being whatever structure contains if a thing is solid or not.

Castlevania's levels are built out of 32x32 (four by four 8x8 tiles) structures. They could have stored collision info with these structures. If having collision as fine as 8x8 was important to them, that means they "needed" a bit per tile (solid/nonsolid). Which is two extra bytes (16 bits at 8 bits per byte) per 32x32 structure.

Or... one could use the tile's number to store that information for "free." If the first 128 of the 256 tiles in the set are collision enabled, and the last 128 are not I can use the highest bit of the tile number itself to check if something is solid or not. Obvious caveat that you can't have more than 128 of either solid or non solid things. To get around the caveat, you could store a byte with every set to define the numbered range of collision enabled tiles, which is not "free" but is more versatile, and also way better size wise than two bytes per 32x32 structure.

Castlevania certainly appears to (I'm not getting out the debugger) tie its collision to 8x8 tiles in some way, which depending on how they did it might have saved them a fair bit of ROM. Less to do with RAM or performance since they (probably) didn't save a lookup.

But most games do store their collision information with some larger structure. For one thing, the same tile might need to be used in multiple contexts. (A solid color tile that is not solid/water in on structure, and solid/grass in another.) To do something like that, you'd need to have duplicate 8x8 tiles in your set. Generally you're storing more than solid/nonsolid, so even if you arrange tiles to save one way, it's tough/impossible to arrange them such that a range check will work for all the information about a tile. A lot of games store collision info with some 16x16 structure because NES palettes can't really be set per 8x8 (barring rare hardware). Since there already had to be definitions for palette at that size, why not put collision there too and be done?

So it didn't occur to me that Castlevania would... not do that until I was a bit of the way through putting graphics in, and then Simon kept falling through the floor. Changing the tile numbers of the floor alone seemed to make him fall, even though it was the same structure. May as well just post this:


The graphics I was working with were Phoenix849 and Prism's. Though Phoenix849's may not appear in the gif.

End note: Like I said, haven't got out the debugger to check the game. So if anyone wants to do that to tell me I'm wrong, or find out where/how it's storing collision info feel free. With that knowledge, hacking the game is... easier. I wish I had spent the time I spent hacking replicating the movement in my own personal engine. Because... getting the graphics in that was easier.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 10:57:20 pm by Kasumi »
I make actual NES games. Thus, I'm the unofficial forum dealer of too much information about the NES

Offline Probo

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #53 on: April 26, 2016, 08:50:16 pm
that's really interesting, thanks. I love the idea of programming nes games but its way over my head! Maybe ill make a nes-faithful game in game maker one day :P

I need to make some more castle tiles for my game at some point, i got some ideas doing this!

Offline TOMOYA

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #54 on: April 27, 2016, 01:28:54 am
Great info there, Kasumi. Since I discovered this thread I was wondering about the posibility of getting these mockups into the real game, and how difficult it would be. It would make a great long-term project for the forum if we managed to get a lot of people interested on it.

I love the idea of programming nes games but its way over my head!
Totally agree with this. I also have an unfinished Castlevania engine that I started some years ago, after realizing how much time, work and how many headaches would take me to put all my ideas on an actual NES hack.

Offline SeanNoonan

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #55 on: May 02, 2016, 09:43:59 pm
I don't think I'm ready to contribute just yet, but man, I'm seriously impressed with this stuff.

It would be great to see a remake like this :)

Offline 7Soul

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #56 on: May 17, 2016, 09:46:59 pm
>

Tiles and palette:


Edit: another one
>
(also nice in blue and orange)

Tiles and palette:


Edit2: Can't stop won't stop
>

Tiles and palette:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 08:07:09 pm by 7Soul »

Offline Marscaleb

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #57 on: May 21, 2016, 04:39:13 am
Hello, I was poking around on the internet and came across this thread.
I just wanted to take a moment to express how pleased and even amazed I am to see a lot of these images.

I am currently building a Castlevania-inspired game within the exact NES limitations, and if I had the money for it, I would be offering to hire a lot of you folks.  This art is great!

I just want to say, some of my favorites:

By Phoenix849:

This gives me a lot of inspiration for some of the designs I'm making in my game.  I love how rustic and rich the castle looks!  Although I do think it ought to have a few more tiles at the top so that it looks like it goes past the top of the screen.


This is really great!  I love how dark it appears, but you still have given plenty of definition to the tiles the player can collide with.  The hanging greenery adds a nice touch.  I love how the second platform has a slightly different pattern than the first, giving that much more personality.

By wolfenoctis:

It overall looks a *little* more cartoony than the Castlevania series ought to, but the colors are fantastic!  I love how that whole wall looks so grey but gets those blue highlights!

By TOMOYA:

This sepia look is visually stunning!  The only real problem with it is, how do you follow that up?  I just don't see how you could keep the rest of the game follow that theme without going overboard on the sepia tones, which would ultimately dry out and look bland.  But as a stand-alone piece of art, it is simply incredible.

By 7Soul:

This one honestly stunned me.  That sunset just popped right out and looked amazing!  And the colors for the rest of the scene contrast so well with it, too.  The green block look a bit off, though.  I think it is great how they are clearly different from the rest of the scene so that the player doesn't have to guess about what is ground and what is not, but you might consider experimenting with a different shade or two.  Possibly a deeper green, possibly a less-yellow highlight.  Also the bulbous shape doesn't really suit the setting, (It should be hewn stone, not natural rock,) and adding in a variant of the tile every few blocks would really sell it.  But the whole rest of that scene is fantastic!


I love everything about this one!  I love that grey part of the background, I love the look of the blocks, I love how some of the blocks have a colored top on them, I love the broken stones and the broken pillar, and I really love how those stairs stand out more than they did in the original!

Great job, people!  I'm impressed!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 04:43:21 am by Marscaleb »

Offline TOMOYA

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #58 on: May 22, 2016, 08:44:17 am
Wow! We keep getting amazing art on this challenge!

Marscaleb: I'm glad you liked my mockup, and you have a really good point on your review of it. The dark and sepia choice of colors can really get dull and boring after a while, and I didn't think about it too much when making this mockup, so I don't have a long term plan for the rest of the game. But right now I'm having some small ideas for little bits of color variation without breaking the previous tone too much. I think I could play a little with different light sources, providing different colored lights, or even some bright colored enemies. As soon as I get some free time I'll try making a mockup of another part of the game to see how those ideas could turn out.

Hope to see something of your game soon! I love Castlevania, and I love games that follow older systems' limitations, so I'm already really interested in your project!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 09:08:47 am by TOMOYA »

Offline zodiac

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Re: Commercial Critique Challenge - Tilevania: pixel's quest

Reply #59 on: June 23, 2016, 02:08:37 am
Saw this and couldn't resist giving it a try, here's the famous "enemy hall" before the grim reaper. Looking for some thoughts and critiques though, I tried a purple curtain version to free up the HUD palette, but I think the red curtains are an iconic callback to the original. As a cool twist, the glowing eyes on the 'Bona Lisa' would kick in as you approach, using an 8x8 sprite to animate.

> >


« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 02:18:55 am by zodiac »