AuthorTopic: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer  (Read 1051 times)

Offline Ma3vis

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 12:55:05 am
Girl's knees look bent together as well

Offline Vinik

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 01:55:01 am
Agree, it has been like that from the beginning, and it is probably intentional. I think you are going for a very girly feet position, like when some girls stand with their toes facing each other to look cute and childish, but they only do that for a few seconds and it makes for an uncomfortably looking idle stance. However, I admit it gives her a lot of character. Hard decision to be taken here.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 01:57:15 am by Vinik »

Offline pebblesage

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #12 on: December 26, 2018, 02:15:06 am
Yes, I am actually going for that "girly" stance. The original version had that purpose too, but the stance was too awkward and felt difficult to start smooth animations for the rest of the movement states. However the legs from @loni_art's edit were capturing both that girly feeling and seem comfortable to change animations from it in an organic and "cutesy" way.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 02:28:33 am by pebblesage »

Offline pebblesage

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #13 on: December 27, 2018, 12:36:49 am


Changed the height, legs and various little things on the guy. Girl remained the same. I have various minor issues with them but these forms seem more functional than before to me.

There are still many issues to be solved like level and type of details, final colors, highlights on hair (of both, one or none of them), pixels here and there, them looking more of the same style etc. However, without the tileset of the environment and some true enemy sprites, those decisions are difficult for me to make right now, so for now I think I will use them as a broad stylistic base for the rest of the characters and tiles.

Hope they look nice.

Edit : Fixed a coloring mistake on the guy, where I mistakenly used 2 different blues.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 10:02:38 am by pebblesage »

Offline Ambivorous

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #14 on: December 27, 2018, 11:36:24 pm
You have made some splendid progress.


I felt like they needed just a little more unification, so I made a little edit:



Following the simplifying process loni used, I made our male protagonist a little easier to work with.
I pushed some of the nice shapes on the characters. The flow of the girl and her jacket, and gave the guy some overall shape.
I added shoulder thingies to the girl's jacket and changed the guy's outfit a bit.

So, I wanted to define some narrative here:
They're wearing two halves of one pirate captain's outfit. The girl is wearing the hat and jacket while the guy is wearing everything that he'd wear under that.
To me this says that either the guy was a pirate captain and gave his sister the hat and jacket because she needed clothes (maybe she was rescued from kidnapped or something), or that their father/uncle/godfather was a pirate captain and left them the gear because he died saving their mother or some sappy thing. Either way, the two of them are incomplete versions of a pirate captain. They obviously belong together and there is some backstory as to why just in what they're wearing.

Do you have an actual story as to what's happening to them and why? This might help us with guiding you to a fitting art direction, especially if this is the basis for all future art.
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Offline Ryumaru

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #15 on: December 28, 2018, 12:26:50 am
Hey there, lovely sprites and good progress in the thread! noodling with little pixel changes is fun for everybody ^_^

The biggest issue I see is the flat faces- the dude almost gets away with it as it gives him a strong jaw, but on the little girl it almost looks like an unflattering mask. Loni had a good solution in his edit.

Also on her legs you've gone straight past pigeon toed and into broken/ out of socket territory. Something more subtle will look and function better.

I tried two different face solution, one bigger and one smaller- which can change the perception from cuter to more realistic:



Offline pebblesage

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #16 on: December 28, 2018, 08:31:25 pm
Thank you both for your comments and suggestions.

You have made some valid points and it seems I will need to consider a major rework on the girl's body, since I have a few more issues with her myself ( mainly skirt sharpness ), while trying to retain as much cuteness as I can. As for the faces, my studies mainly involved Castlevania, and the squarish faces but with a more of a jRPG flavor are what I am actually going for  :).

For more info concerning artistic direction and narrative of the characters and setting :

Artistic direction

As I said at the start of the thread it's mainly darker backgrounds with brighter foregrounds. Below is one of my visual experiments with the game engine. Please ignore the extremely ugly tiles that seem to pierce the eyes. Don't zoom too much. I am putting the image here to show the general relationship between the values I am going for and the size relationships of the characters with the level. They are one of my quick experiments to get a visual feedback on general colors and not representative of the actual environment I am going for. More about that on the narrative section.



I changed a pixel in the guy's face to change the feel of the hair, changed his skin to a redder shade and made his blue a bit purpler. Changed both their darkest color to dark red.

The reason for those changes is that I am currently aiming for mainly using colder colors for most  of the environment with judicious (hopefully)  use of the warmer ones. So I made both characters closer to red to contrast the environments and differ from them. Maybe I will return the male character's skin to the one before if he is tiring to the eyes.

As for miscellaneous stuff, the Castlevania type GUI is temporary and mainly because I initially made the code for a NES Castlevania type game (minus stairs) so I could have a basis and then evolve it from there according to what I want. The current game's design itself is a child of Castlevania 3. The resolution of the game is 400x240 as shown by the image.

Narrative

The setting is heavily influenced by the "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" movie's setting concerning the ecosystem, bugs and technological ruins.

Their world is at the end times. It's been years since their sun disappeared ( there is a reason they are still not frozen or devoured by a black hole or something ), while the gate at the end of the world, where the old gods sealed the "demons" from another world, has been breached and an alien ecosystem is constantly spreading from there.

In this world two orphans were living in a village playing and growing up together. One day, in order to save the boy, the girl suddenly grew insect wings. The girl was exiled from the village as an insect "demon" and the boy followed her. Together they made a living in this harsh world by turning to piracy as a duo. Trying to loot a ship that was heading towards the end of the world they found a journal mentioning wonders of the gods and people-like existences with insect wings beyond the gate. Wanting to find both, for different reasons each, they set out towards the end of the world and the truths they would discover beyond the gate.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 09:23:52 pm by pebblesage »

Offline pebblesage

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Re: [Feedback] [C+C] Characters for a NES-style platformer

Reply #17 on: January 03, 2019, 05:25:09 pm
Belated happy new year everyone !



Edit : Update ( version with changed arm on the guy )



Edit : Update 2 ( partial contours / shading ). These are actually my favorite versions but they do have the problem of the focus difficulty mentioned in the contour section. I keep both versions for now until I settle on definite backgrounds.



These are my latest versions. I think apart from some pixels that might change, I am mostly satisfied with them, but how do they look to you ?

Below are the changes I did and the reasoning behind them :

Contours

The most obvious change are the contours. Although I prefer the lack of them visually, there were problems when  the characters were placed in a screen where the background was not a single dark color. If the background was black or dark blue with some simple and small background props of one color ( similar to the picture in my previous post ) they looked nice, but in more complex backgrounds that also used the second darkest color, I had problems following the characters with my eyes. I don't know if it's my slight motion sickness, or how the human brain functions, but it was more relaxing and easy for my brain and eyes to track the characters and enemies if they had contours. It will also keep my options open in case I need brighter backgrounds at some point.

Both

Changed the cute shape to taller and more "realistic", in order to make handling them easier as @Ambivorous and @Ryumaru suggested. Indeed, animation experiments have been far easier with these shapes. I think they are also more unified than before.

Girl

Generally, apart from the hat, she had a complete makeover. Changes to pants and boots similar to Nausicaa ( from the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind movie ) and the blouse/jacket became a poncho with a pirate symbol to reinforce the theme. Less extreme pigeon toed stance. Added a small dark spot on the face to make it look less squarish. After @Ryumaru commented on it, it started bothering me too, but I still want to keep the overall jRPG feeling.

Guy

Not many changes apart from the more realistic look. Changed the legs to look like they have metal knee guards. It is not a classical pirate setting, but also a bit fantasy and a lot of sci-fi, so I found no problem with that direction. Also added a blue scar and some other minor changes. I am not 100% percent satisfied with the legs but I don't have any major issues.


« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 03:04:08 pm by pebblesage »