AuthorTopic: Blaster Master  (Read 6978 times)

Offline Derek

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Blaster Master

on: July 12, 2007, 12:59:05 am


Jason Frudnick and SOPHIA 3rd Nora MA-03 (with new paintjob)

Found a little free time to pixel, so I thought I'd do something I've wanted to do for a while now... Blaster Master!  I always thought it was a shame that they never made a decent sequel for the original, which is a classic.  What do you think?  I'd like to work my way up to a full mockup of a new BM game.

Also, I'll just throw this Sega Genesis I pixelled in here:

(based off of this image)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2007, 01:01:33 am by Derek »

Offline JonathanOfDrain

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #1 on: July 12, 2007, 06:52:26 am
I really like this! I think blaster master was one of my favorite NES games.
I really like your choice of colors. The little guy's gun holding arm is kind of hard to read, I think you should have redesigned the wheels only because they look kind of funky. Maybe get rid of that "tail" on the back of the tank.

P.S.
I think the original wheels look like a poke' balls.

Offline philipptr

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #2 on: July 12, 2007, 07:09:24 am
nice genesis. I wuould add some AA to some of the lines but other that than that I think most of it works very well.
Ah that brings back memories ;)

Offline Derek

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 10:02:05 am
Thanks, guys! :)

Fixed the wheels and tweaked the spoiler.  And did up a mutant for the hell of it.

Offline dille

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #4 on: July 12, 2007, 10:10:11 am
This looks cool!

But i would like to see some stronger high-lights!

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #5 on: July 12, 2007, 02:55:29 pm
Hey Derek!  welcome back :)  I'm loving the shading on the interior of the chassis, but the heavy outlining, bland colors, and fluffy shapes on the wheels are really hurting this piece.  The mutant is pretty good but I think relies too heavily on outlines as well.  Great start, and you're right, its a total shame!

Offline bengo

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #6 on: July 12, 2007, 03:05:58 pm
I think on your purple guy it needs more selout, I think the black should be replaced with a dark purple and like Dille said, you should use some stronger highlights.

Offline smiker

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #7 on: July 12, 2007, 08:01:15 pm
note about the genesis:
at that pixel resolution, you should be able to make more readable letters for the genesis logo, i think...
any other icons, very nice! i like them all!
^^ :y:
long life to nostalgics!

Offline Helm

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #8 on: July 13, 2007, 02:03:48 am


Went ahead and gave it a 16 color palette instead of 19 (I think it was). I don't think gray is a color that should be used lots in video-game protagonists, but others might disagree. Anything from a slight tint to a whole secondary ramp (as I've done here) I think unifies the colors much better than 'green + gray parts'. It gives you the chance to suggest the hue of the lightsource as well as portray a more pleasing range of volumetrics, I think. I went ahead and added much contrast, cleaned the design a bit, changed things I thought would look better (strictly personal thing. I never would put the cannon of the vehicle behind the cockpit, though that might have been the original idea for the NES sprite for all I know). I changed the wheels dramatically, which I think were the biggest fault. I made the protagonist sprite much simpler because I think the NES sprite had a certain charm that must be retained. The smaller the sprite generally, the less colors and detail there should be pushed in there.

I hope this helps. If you keep anything from my advice, make it 'more contrast, more distinct colors'. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 02:06:08 am by Helm »

Offline Derek

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #9 on: July 13, 2007, 05:00:52 am
Thanks, guys.  I've been making some small tweaks to the vehicle and the mutant.  I'll post them once I've done a little more.  Much of your advice makes a lot of sense, I'm just trying to figure out how to integrate it.

Sweet edit, Helm!  I agree with you about the contrast and a bit of tinting, although I feel like your edit goes further than I would want to in this case.  It's a little grittier looking than I was aiming for.  I'll definitely take your advice to heart, however.  You can see if I improved it in my next post.

By the way, in the actual vehicle the cannon and the cockpit are like two hemispheres of the upper part of the vehicle.  Take a look:

http://bmunderground.chaosr.com/gfx/02_images/ads/NP_BM_poster.jpg

It would make doing a remake a little annoying, because to be accurate you couldn't just flip the sprite.  Still, I think it's a unique design and I'm sad that they changed it for the Genesis sequel. ???

Offline Arne

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #10 on: July 14, 2007, 10:44:52 pm
There's not a single good spritesheet for this game on the net (just bad rips). I think I gave you the stuff I extracted though...?

Outlines on sprites the size of Jason doesn't work well, imo. Proportionally you're wasting a lot of pixels on lines, both internal and external, where color/values contrast between adjacent pixels would suffice to separate parts. Every pixel is precious. I recall seeing a badly ripped BM spritesheet with added outlines.

I don't think you're adressing the key features of the design. Looking at the orig. sprite and design, we conclude:

    It can jump by using suspension, the wheels are not firmy attached are relative to a center node, and can be morphed/replaced with other things (in my remake: jets, legs, tracks, propellers, suction cups).
    It's a tank,
    ...with a huge gun.
    It can rotate it's turret around a center node.
    Jason can enter and exit the cockpit easily via an opening hatch.
    The wheels have a screw-like feature so you can tell they rotate.
    It's red-pink and white.
    Decorative rear wing.
    (Also, the robots are grey. )


Right now your Sophia has a lot of little knobs, grills and decoration which uses up space which could be better utilized defining the gameplay relevant properties of Sophia.

Of course, one can feel free to change a thing or two, but the more you deviate, the less BM remains.



Yeah, grey can be dangerous to use for the protagonist because it's mid everything, making the character harder to spot. Red with a purple tone along with white is a good high contrast solution featuring an unnatural color unlikely to appear in terrain etc.

I'm not sure about using the more obscure images of the Sophia design as ref. The design people have been staring at is the gameplay sprite.

I'd place the turret on a ring which goes across the cockpit center.. somehow... hmm now I gotta draw that.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2007, 10:46:24 pm by Arne »

Offline Derek

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #11 on: July 16, 2007, 02:17:15 am
Hey, Arne!  I think you sent me some rips once... on IRC maybe?  Because I can't find it in my GTalk downloads folder (where I keep the rest of my Arne pics ;)).

But yeah, re: your critiques... I'm not sure I understand completely how my design deviates (other than the color).  It seems that the basic elements you mentioned are there.  Generally, I tried to look at as many sources as possible and then selected features that I liked.  I think looking only at the original sprite itself, you run into problems, because of the limitations of the hardware.  For one thing, the design deviates within the game, from ingame to the cutscenes.  A lot of the concept art is official, also.  The Nintendo Power version seems to be in line somewhat with the ingame concepts.

Also, my intent isn't to recreate the first game, which is perfect for what it is.  Which isn't an excuse for poor pixelling, but I think I can get away with adding some of my own ideas (for better or for worse).  My idea now is that Jason Frudnick, having been in so many battles with the Plutonium boss, has become irradiated and is himself turning into a mutant (another incarnation of the Plutonium Boss?).  He goes nuts and takes SOPHIA the 3rd with him.  You're playing as someone else, maybe his son or his assistant, and you're piloting a new generation of vehicles.  Maybe the ATHENA (All-Terrain Hyper-responsive Energy-efficient Neutralizing Abdicator)? :hehe:

But thanks for the advice - I'll spend some more time thinking about what you said and see if I can improve the readability of both sprites.  What everyone is saying has merits and I'll see how capable I am of making the improvements.

And I'd love to see your take on it, as well, if you have the inclination. :)

Offline Derek

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 11:03:00 am

Offline tocky

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #13 on: July 23, 2007, 11:53:00 am
Looking pretty schmick. The main thing that bugs me is the stone tile, because you can see where it's mirrored in parts, and it doesn't tile well vertically - whereas the stone in the original tiles endlessly, even if it doesn't do it very well. I don't imagine it'd be too hard to pull off something similar to that, but, you know, better. Here, I'll see if I can't show you what I mean.

Offline Derek

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #14 on: July 23, 2007, 11:59:08 am
Looking pretty schmick. The main thing that bugs me is the stone tile, because you can see where it's mirrored in parts, and it doesn't tile well vertically - whereas the stone in the original tiles endlessly, even if it doesn't do it very well. I don't imagine it'd be too hard to pull off something similar to that, but, you know, better. Here, I'll see if I can't show you what I mean.

Thanks!  I know exactly what you mean - there are seams in the tiling!  Will be taken care of in later updates. :)

Offline tocky

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 12:22:13 pm
Yeah, I had a feeling you know what you're doing :D

I threw together a quick edit, anyways.

Offline Xion

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Re: Blaster Master

Reply #16 on: July 23, 2007, 03:55:49 pm
The shading on the sides of the cliffs confuses my poor li'l brain.