AuthorTopic: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]  (Read 82666 times)

Offline PypeBros

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my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

on: May 06, 2008, 04:15:08 pm
Hello, all. I'm working on a little "green zone" for a homebrew platformer project on the nintendo DS. I'm a bit "on my own" for the art and code, without a strong artistic background nor digital painting / pixeling guru around in real world, so you guys are my best chance to come with a cute and great world for the game.

So C&C are (more than) welcome.


The overall ambiance of the game is "happy / blue sky" as you'd meet in Zelda: minish cap or Super Mario Bros.

Latest art, please help me improve it

the berry-bat :

Bilou: the main Character

- -- - -

Initially posted prototype screenshot




Tilesets and misc. mockups.

-- - -

Some monsters --
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 08:59:21 am by PypeBros »

Offline sharprm

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 12:45:51 pm
The green background looks boring. The outlines for the rocks above the ground on the edges don't fit. Can I suggest you work on a mockup instead of posting WIP in game graphics. No mouth for the ball?
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 01:33:59 pm
The green background looks boring. Can I suggest you work on a mockup instead of posting WIP in game graphics.
Hmm, well, indeed. the plain green bg isn't meant to remain, of course. i guess i'm too proud of the result and expected it would be graphically convincing that way  :-[
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No mouth for the ball?
as a matter of fact, no. (not unless he shouts)

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The outlines for the rocks above the ground on the edges don't fit.
Not too sure i understand how they "don't fit" ... do you mean ?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 07:50:58 am by PypeBros »

Offline Majoris

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #3 on: May 08, 2008, 12:09:06 am
First of all, I like the ball...even with no mouth  :P

And yeah, I think what you pointed out there is what he means by not fitting. It does look a bit...anti-gravityish[?] in my opinion...I think it would look better if it looked more "solid" to the ground.

Also, I think there are some problems with the tree. The big one is where the leaves meet the trunk, the trunk overlaps the leaves and is square. Also the repeated pattern that the tree is composed of isn't very appealing, an neither is that mushroom[?]. It needs to be more defined as a mushroom.

I like the smiley face in the rock tile, nice detail, but there needs to be more contrast in it. The shadows of the specific rocks should be more like...on the right side of the right picture O_o, I don't know if that's the emulators fault, but it looks better.

Offline Joseph

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 01:32:04 am
have you posted that treetop somewhere else?  I know I've seen it before.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 02:18:07 am
except the tree tops which still comes from Zelda: Minish Cap.

Good work, detective!

Offline Joseph

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 04:53:04 am
oh, my bad.

Offline nova

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 09:32:39 pm
Out of curiosity. When you write games for DS, what language to you write them in?
From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity

Offline sharprm

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 11:39:41 pm


 No mouth for the ball?
as a matter of fact, no. (not unless he shouts)
Think about adding one to make the character more identifiable.
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Quote
The outlines for the rocks above the ground on the edges don't fit.
Not too sure i understand how they "don't fit" ... do you mean ?
Yep. The outline is very dark and is inconsistent with the rest of the piece. For example, the grass does not have a dark outline. Also, the hole in the rock is much brighter than this outline.

It is hard to tell if your flat characters (ie. they don't have much shading and contrast) fit the game if you just show us placeholder graphics and a blank background. Try to work out a consistent way to outline.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 11:41:58 pm by sharprm »
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #9 on: May 09, 2008, 07:09:12 am
Out of curiosity. When you write games for DS, what language to you write them in?
The game engine is in C++, and i'm using my own ugly scripts for behaviours, events and things alike (drawing inspiration from how Eric Chahi programmed Another World). Most people prefer to stick to C and use 'PALib', a wrapper around the hardware that makes the DS easy to use even for newbies in C (that still have good background in e.g. VB or similar languages).

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The outline is very dark and is inconsistent with the rest of the piece. For example, the grass does not have a dark outline. Also, the hole in the rock is much brighter than this outline.
okay. I'll work on that.

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It does look a bit...anti-gravityish[?] in my opinion...I think it would look better if it looked more "solid" to the ground.
would something like this do it better ->

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(about the mouth) Think about adding one to make the character more identifiable.
Well, i have to add that the character's programming isn't complete (e.g. sub-sprites for feet and hands aren't there yet). The complete character looks right like the blue ball on my avatar. Does it make it more identifiable or does that one still need a mouth anyway ?

Offline Majoris

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #10 on: May 09, 2008, 07:49:37 pm
Did you change anything there??  :-\

I didn't mean the ball man, person, thing if that's what you changed. I meant (yes, it made NO SENSE whatsoever, but I suck at describing things over the internet. I need to be in person!!! With hand gestures and everything....) that the space that you pointed out in your "look bad?" edit made the platform not look solid/secured to the ground because it "didn't fit".

I'm sorry I say things that appear to be completely random.  :-X

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #11 on: May 10, 2008, 08:37:57 am
Did you change anything there??  :-\

I didn't mean the ball man, person, thing if that's what you changed.
No, i haven't touched Bilou (the name of the ball).
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I meant (...) that the space that you pointed out in your "look bad?" edit made the platform not look solid/secured to the ground because it "didn't fit".
yep. And to fix that, i tried to move the tree and the extra piece of ground a bit "deeper" in the grass line, to make them better "anchored" in the ground, rather than just "dropped over the ground". I intend to add more "visible" grass around it (like around the tree's roots, but looking better  :P )


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I'm sorry I say things that appear to be completely random.  :-X
np.

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 05:20:35 am

Kill like half a dozen colours. You are using way to many and to little effect, organise a decent palette and apply highlights and shading according to the material, in the edit I have made I use 6 colours including transparancy and I chose a liquidy/reflective material. Hence the hightlight underneath caused by light reflecting of the ground. Use a grey background as the placeholder background, the green you have set on right now is way to saturated and will affect how your sprites seem to look.
View my Devlog... unless you aren't ready to have your mind blown.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 06:16:41 pm

Kill like half a dozen colours. You are using way to many and to little effect
Hmm. Very interesting update. it's a bit hard to me to admit i like the look of your Bilou while i've been giving him a rather "plastic" and highly-saturated look for about 10 years now :P As for the colours, the nintendo DS provides 16 palettes of 256 colours, so i tend to "overuse" some ... I might try to rationalize all this ...

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Use a grey background as the placeholder background, the green you have set on right now is way to saturated and will affect how your sprites seem to look.
Good point. Currently my sprite editor uses almost magenta background (it was supposed to be "stylish"), but it's indeed hard to work with low-saturation colours then ... i'll give grays a try :)

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #14 on: May 17, 2008, 04:42:53 am
Don't cop out on this like that, man.  Zeid is 100% spot on with his crits.  Your environments use straight brown and green ramps with colors that are way too close together, and the way you've been rendering i guess this blue ball with googly eyes for the last decade uses shades that are so close it barely even looks like pixel art.  Not to mention that the 16x256 setup on the DS is far and away the least efficient color mode with the fewest tiles!

Just because you've been doing something for 10 years doesn't mean you've been doing it right.

You need to think about shapes, volumes, color, contrast, and the fact that your character is even less interesting to look at than Kirby.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #15 on: May 17, 2008, 07:56:16 pm
Could you be any harsher on him, Adam? Where's the "constructive" part?

Personally, I don't see enough content to give a real opinion for, Pype. I need to see more development before I can provide what little advice I'm capable of.

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Your environments use straight brown and green ramps with colors that are way too close together

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You need to think about shapes, volumes, color, contrast, and the fact that your character is even less interesting to look at than Kirby.

Oh, I don't know, half my post?  Where, may I ask, are the constructive suggestions in YOUR post?

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #16 on: May 17, 2008, 08:58:01 pm
>>>
:D see not so glossy, thats all it takes to make it look a little more plastic and less slimey! Removal of 1 highlight in some areas makes it look a little cartoony as well. I hope that gives you some ideas...
Just because you can use a lot of colours doesn't mean you should. Animation for one thing will become a lot harder if you are trying to put loads of unnecessary colours in all the frames, it also becomes harder to make changes to the image. If you look at the two images of my and yours side by side, you might notice mine pops out a lot more, this will make it stick out to the player so he/she doesn't lose it in the environment. Furthermore it gains a better sense of volume/looks a lot more 3dimensional as it is actually portraying where the light will hit it. The ramping of the colours is subtle enough for no one to notice the stark transition, but also bold enough for it to look like a highlight.
I personally am not that impressed with the design of the character/s either the blob seems a little generic and the worm things look, well like worms from the same named game. However if that is the way you want to go, I suppose its fine though something a little more original looking wouldn't hurt.
This post was probably a little unnecassary as all it did was serve to re-itterate what has already been said... But meh'.
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Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #17 on: May 17, 2008, 09:51:57 pm
Adam Atomic also right that the environment uses colors too close together and have straight ramps.  You could hue shift the shades gradually from the reddish brown into more yellowish browns in order to have a better connection to the green in the picture.  And a little more contrast is definitely welcome, because I found that contrast helps build shapes, while less contrasting objects tend to look more flat.  Try not to be extreme, though, since you don't want sprites to clash with the tiles.

You could also desaturate the solid background color to make foreground objects pop out even more.

And the worms have bad selout.  It's better that you keep outlines connected, especially for sprites as small as those.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 09:53:37 pm by KittenMaster »

Offline MrMister

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #18 on: May 18, 2008, 07:56:47 am
10 years ago is exactly what I think when I see this.
The mushroom in the tree is really arbitrary and you should try adding some more of em to make the scene more interesting
it might be a one shot deal

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #19 on: May 18, 2008, 05:43:00 pm
Adam: My post was merely being honest. While it's true that he has some work there, I don't think that there's enough to start critiquing. There's not enough content. I'd like to see him add more to the piece. That's pretty neutral, and not a criticism. I don't think it was necessary to tell him his character looked less interesting than Kirby. That's a really good way to piss somebody off and not respect what you have to say. For all we know, he may have upgrades and other gameplay mechanics to attach to him and make him a more interesting character. Quite a few games start out with the main character looking rather drab and end up with him/her/it decked out and impressive. His shape may also be a gameplay mechanic in and of itself; he may roll and require momentum in order to jump.

A tileset, items, enemies, and main character are not enough to start critiquing?   Do you need to see his entire body of work before you can contribute one useful comment?  I don't see how your comments have been constructive or useful in any light.  I don't care if your post was honest.  It doesn't make any sense, and it is not critical.

As far as your problems with my comments...let's keep it to PMs from now on.  I don't especially care if somebody craps on me after I spend time trying to help someone else improve as an artist, but I would prefer it was done in private, if only for the sake of your reputation.

What we have here is something that we have on Pixelation at least a few times a year.  Somebody who claims years and years of experience, has massive flaws in their work, and doesn't make any changes based on lots of good feedback and edits, or even acknowledge the massive problems with their art, claiming it is their "style" and they've been doing it for a long time, so that should be good enough.

Generally speaking, coddling and soft words do not shake this kind of artist out of their bad habits and get them to look at their own work with the kind of critical eye that they need in order to improve as an artist.  Pixelation is not a feel-good, ass-patting pixel art message board.  Pixelation is for people who want to improve.  People who claim to want to improve and then justify the lack of improvement by saying the work is about as good as it is going to get...I do not have time to be polite to these people.  They get the truth, whether they (or you) like it or not.  That is the whole point of Pixelation.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #20 on: May 19, 2008, 06:27:13 am
Well, honnestly, guys, there's really nothing to get arguing about here.

I need advices to progress, that's certainly a fact. You gave pretty good ones, and i'm grown up enough to take critics the way they are, even if they are as rude as "less interesting than kirby". I'm not doing pixel art "like this" for 10 years, fortunately. I'm just getting back at "pixel drawing" after 10 years, and i'm sure amazed at what you guys manage to do with e.g. Arne's palette.

I don't have such skillz yet, and i'm doing both the code and the gfx on this project, meaning that if i later find someone that's doing better art than myself, everything you see might become "concept art" rather than "ingame art" :P
I just wish people had given crits over the complete character (e.g. the ball with hands and feet), but it's my bad to have posted straight screen capture rather than game mockup, so i can't complaint.

I'll get back to work now, try to integrate your remarks, work on better animation and palette manipulation tools, add rayman-like animation to the main character, and come back when i'll consider to have any improvement.

Offline Willows

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #21 on: May 19, 2008, 09:09:44 am
So "helping someone improve their work" consists of telling them how bad their subject or concept is? There's a difference between offering good criticism that can help someone and regular, negative criticism that any person can give. It doesn't take much to be negative toward someone's work. I understand where you're coming from Adam, but there's no real excuse for being so harsh. As far as the "truth" goes, I'm beginning to see it quite clearly.

(Just a forewarning, it is not my intent to hurt your feelings, here, PypeBros!)

In your perfect world (Xelados), people would continue giving cheery, constructive comments and Pype would continue to sift through them and listen to the ones he wanted, and ignore the ones he couldn't easily use. Though I can totally relate to that kind of a mindset, it isn't doing anyone any favors, as it wastes the time of the critiquers and doesn't help the critiqued improve at all.

Adam just turned up the volume a bit, used a couple shock tactics to see if he couldn't get himself heard.

And you must admit there's a certain amount of ego involved in yourself, expressed by your refusal to resort to PMs.

And to pypebros, even if you think someone is TOTALLY off their nut with whatever comment and criticism they've given you, give it a try yourself anyhow. It couldn't hurt.

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #22 on: May 19, 2008, 09:53:28 am
I think this big argument over whether or not Adam Atomic was being harsh or not is pretty unnecessary... It’s possible a lot of what PypeBros is saying is getting misconstrued. I take it from his blog http://sylvainhb.blogspot.com/ and his writing that English isn't his first language. Whether or not he was dodging the work doesn't matter now I suppose as he has said he will be continuing work on this or getting someone else to do it.
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I'll get back to work now, try to integrate your remarks, work on better animation and palette manipulation tools, add rayman-like animation to the main character, and come back when i'll consider to have any improvement.

From this quote:
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I need advices to progress, that's certainly a fact. You gave pretty good ones, and i'm grown up enough to take critics the way they are, even if they are as rude as "less interesting than kirby".
I take it he is mature enough to listen.  :D
Furthermore the fact he has a blog and a working game engine shows that he must have some commitment to this project. So really I don't think the discussion warrants any more mention.

If someone is not willing to take on advice despite asking for it, it becomes frustrating for those who are issuing the advice. So I can see AdamAtomics justification and I agree some people just need a wakeup call. However in this case I'm not sure if it was necessary. Keep in mind this person is working on the entirety of this game, this is very time consuming so might explain why no sprites are coming back yet. I suppose only time will tell whether PypeBros is taking on bored what we have said or not.
************
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I just wish people had given crits over the complete character (e.g. the ball with hands and feet)
:P the shapes are fine, just use the same principles I applied to the blue body to the entire character, furthermore the entire scene. Everything needs its palette reduced and colour selection improved. Rather then going from just dark to light add yellow as you get lighter (highlights), also add blue/magenta as you get darker (shaded), this is known as hue shifts as oppose to straight luminosity shifts. Also dont forget to alter the saturation of colours, you can make the highlights and shadows more desaturated then the midtone to help improve the palette. A lot of this is trial and error.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 10:09:22 am by zeid »
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Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #23 on: May 19, 2008, 12:38:18 pm
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Rather then going from just dark to light add yellow as you get lighter (highlights), also add blue/magenta as you get darker (shaded), this is known as hue shifts as oppose to straight luminosity shifts
tried to apply your suggestion and get an alternate raster to build trunks, and just in the last minute, i realised i used red shadows rather than blue purple shadows :P (with three alternative rasters at varying saturation) ...

They'll hopefully get more convenient for trees than the good'ol Tyrian palette i'm stealing so far. Thanks for the tip.

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English isn't his first language
#true, though i have quite good level to discuss (computer-science) technical issues. However, all that colour/shape/drawing vocabulary is new to me ... and i don't get at all the meaning of sentences like "Don't cop out on this like that"  :-[
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 03:13:43 pm by PypeBros »

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #24 on: May 19, 2008, 04:09:04 pm
Xelados - You have a strike now.

PypeBros - These ramps look way better!!  You should continue in this vein, and keep getting away from that Tyrian palette ;)  That is bad news.  You seem to know this already, but if I give harsh advice it is because I really want to see you and this game improve and impress people.  As little as graphics matter in the long run, they make a huge difference on people's first impressions of a project.  Finally, I think you'll find that as long as you continue to experiment and try new things that you'll have no problems advancing your own skills and the quality of your game!

As far as the Kirby comment goes...there is kind of some history to this.  I am a freelance artist and programmer, and I was hired a little over a year ago to put together a demo for this weird company with crappy artists.  This game was called "Pod & Rodney" and was a sort of embarrassing ripoff of Sokoban and Puggsy.  Anyways, the character "Pod" looked almost EXACTLY like Bilou - he was a blue ball with big, joined eyes, little light blue feet, and little rayman ball hands.  Aside from his similarity to Kirby, to me this type of character has come to represent sort of the ultimate in extremely lazy character design.  I would love to see you push the design beyond this stage, and create something more memorable and recognizable!

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #25 on: May 19, 2008, 07:27:21 pm
Anyways, the character "Pod" looked almost EXACTLY like Bilou - he was a blue ball with big, joined eyes, little light blue feet, and little rayman ball hands.  Aside from his similarity to Kirby, to me this type of character has come to represent sort of the ultimate in extremely lazy character design.

I understand ... It's not about being lazy but rather knowing that (10 years ago) we had no real thing to program something much more complicated. With time, the graphical style of Bilou has little evolved (but evolved anyway), but i worked with a couple of friends to build a whole world of other characters around him. A sidekick companion, wise NPCs giving him advices, etc.

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  I would love to see you push the design beyond this stage, and create something more memorable and recognizable!

I'll do my best. I'm especially working on mechanisms to be able to give him a large palette of expressions both ingame and when interacting with NPCs. If you'd like a preview of his "character", you can get a look at the "concept-art" comic on the other side of my blog  ;)

Offline ndchristie

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #26 on: May 19, 2008, 11:53:30 pm
The strike was unwarranted, since I'm acting within the rules of this community. I wasn't being an ass or anything. I'd ask why you added the strike, but I'd get the same response I'd get from any other mod on any other forum, "I'm a mod and I can do that, now stfu." I'm not taking it to PMs because the discussion started in this topic. It's also very easy to just delete a PM without even considering its content. If you want your message to be noticed, you post it in the relevant topic.

Point by point: your comments were out-of-line and off-topic (and continue to be), that is why you got a strike.  the mods are human, but not vindictive.  Were a consensus taken of the non-mod members, that same would probably be found.  It's very easy for a mod to destroy public posts, too, but they tend not to out of respect to well, you.  If you don't care about your reputation, you wouldn't need to be noticed.  Your discussion is not relevant to this topic.

Usually I think it's another mod that deals the strikes than the one who was involved in the argument.  I don't think you'd find any debate amongst them though here.

Why am i coming up so strongly against you?  Because I've been in your place more than once and it's the wrong place to be.

Adam's message was harsh, but not unduly.  Sometimes you need to make a statement.

Pype - your chart of colors there is not a bad one, even if you didn't go to blue.  It's increased the liveliness naturally which was important.  If you do go to blue, I suggest getting there through one of these reds.  One last thing about the palette, you have a jokeload of swatches.  you can easily do with half the shades you've presented.  As far as the character is concerned, it's been done, yeah, so I agree that there needs to be a little more to him.  You can keep the relative shape so long as he's got something unique.  most characters are very simple in their original designs and then become more complex as they go.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 11:56:14 pm by ndchristie »
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Offline Sherman Gill

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #27 on: May 20, 2008, 12:55:31 am
Xelados: Trust me, the mods here are some of the most fair I've seen. In the one and a half years I've been here I've only seen two or three people get strikes. And if you ask why you got a strike I'd be very surprised if Adam didn't oblige. If you really wanted your message to be public, put it in the OT thread or something, just not here, since this thread is supposed to be for PypeBros.

Pypebros: Your character does have personality, but the problem is that visually he's not recognizable. Having a blue ball as your main character is fine and all, but it still needs some unique feature. Since he's pretty much made of circles, I think it'd be best if it was something angular. Perhaps...

            oy vey
                   \


 :hehe:
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 12:57:12 am by Sherman Gill »
Oh yes naked women are beautiful
But I like shrimps more haha ;)

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #28 on: May 20, 2008, 03:18:05 am
Even Kirby had unique features.  He grew 4x his size when he puffed in air, for one, and his ability to absorb enemy features helped (it changed his appearance in later games), and his design was originally just a placeholder sprite.

So yeah, even simple designs can have some definitive feature that makes them stand out.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #29 on: May 20, 2008, 06:38:12 am
Pypebros: Your character does have personality, but the problem is that visually he's not recognizable. Having a blue ball as your main character is fine and all, but it still needs some unique feature. Since he's pretty much made of circles, I think it'd be best if it was something angular. Perhaps...

bull-headed Bilou ... aouch  :P

Well, if you're talking of "recognizable" in marketting terms (such as any fool on earth can identify the 3 circles defining Mickey Mouse), i have to admit that Bilou would probably be the last thing picked up by a sales representative. Since i don't plan to sell the game (making it will be hard and long enough -- this is long-term hobby project), i don't care too much.

As for the "accessories" that could help give Bilou uniqueness, he used to have some kind of "sunglasses" with antenna and microphone so that he can keep in touch with the Stellar Convention paying him. They're supposed to be a power-up later in the game, but the last time i implemented it (well, i *really* sucked at gfx by that time), i found that he had more personnality without them than with them.

Just out of curiosity, is there something that makes the tiny furballs in "fury of the furries" recognizable in your terms ? Since that game is one of my top references in pixel art, if it is conceptually flawed, i prefer to learn it now :P

Offline Sherman Gill

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #30 on: May 20, 2008, 06:56:21 am
Well, for one they've got a wider range of facial expressions, or atleast each expression is reflected more in their face then Bilou's.
It would help alot if someone more knowledged in character design then me comes in though :-[

JohnK has a LOT to say on character design:
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/
Unfortunately, it's buried, rather deep, and I'm too lazy at the moment to fish it out. :(
Ugh edit again: Digging made much easier by the rather hard to see search function. Fuck. Last month I went through 7 pages of stuff to find the character design stuff again :(.
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search?q=Character+Design&x=0&y=0
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search?q=Character+Design&updated-max=2008-01-09T09%3A19%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=20
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 07:04:09 am by Sherman Gill »
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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #31 on: May 20, 2008, 07:29:02 am
Yes, the main characters in Fury of the Furries are conceptually flawed to a degree, within the framework of most schools of thought on how to design main characters.

Quote
Even Kirby had unique features.  He grew 4x his size when he puffed in air, for one, and his ability to absorb enemy features helped (it changed his appearance in later games), and his design was originally just a placeholder sprite.

Kirby has memorable animations and abilities. This is key, any single frame of a Kirby sprite is pretty much a pink blob doing gay (happy! I mean happy!) things. Yet in motion he's pretty memorable. This is a good lesson to learn for your main character, PypeBros: animate cleanly, extensively, with character and purpose, all the various abilities of your ball sprite mainman. Now, I won't lie to you, ball main characters are the absolute staple of 'hello, I am a programmer making a game for the first time!' types of games. They evolved directly from programmer placeholder art, and they're not a very good idea for a game character outside that context, Rayman legs and arms notwithstanding. I'd go as far as to say that any other platonic solid would be more interesting to look at than a ball. Give me a triangle or a square or a polyhedron rolling around with little Rayman arms and legs and expressions, I'll be slightly, just slightly more endeared to them.

All that being said, the 'hello I am a ball' main character didn't stop 'Within A Deep Forest' by the Knytt dude from being a good game, but were he to come to Pixelation and ask for critique for his game, he'd rightly be said that a ball is no good main character, no matter how good the gameplay mechanics came out to be.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #32 on: May 20, 2008, 08:01:42 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJs5_k7aBxc&feature=related

I just thought of this cartoon. Maybe you might find it relevant. It has a cartoon fly (ball shape with feet) that is very expressive.
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #33 on: May 20, 2008, 02:50:06 pm
Now, I won't lie to you, ball main characters are the absolute staple of 'hello, I am a programmer making a game for the first time!' types of games. They evolved directly from programmer placeholder art, and they're not a very good idea for a game character outside that context, Rayman legs and arms notwithstanding.

i didn't realised it was *that* common for hobby-developed games :P And, yes, i have to admit that sometimes i, too, hate having that ball as main character, as it's impossible to dress, and every non-trivial pose is a challenge to render properly.

I'll keep on practicing on other kind of characters for minigames, but i have a whole platformer to do for this guy, so i'll go on for this time, provide memorable monsters, movements and fun gameplay ... and we'll see.

(in case i sound "lazy gfx" here, think of it as "redoing-from-scratch-everytime coder" instead :)

Offline ndchristie

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #34 on: May 20, 2008, 04:10:12 pm
another thing to keep in mind is that many game which use simple characters use them as "the multitudes" :



now, Pikmin and Zoombinis are not setting records for character design, but they still work pretty well.  Also, i'm not so much for the "give him an item" because this feels a little bit forced.  If you really define his attitude, it should come across in the character designs with clear choices - not tack-ons.  if you can't really define the character, or at least define important aspects of the character, a couple of horns are not going to make him memorable.
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Offline zeid

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #35 on: May 21, 2008, 12:36:21 am

I cleaned up my edit and finished off the whole body. I think in regards to character design you have a few options; You could leave the character as is and bring more character to him through animations/abilities. However I think what question you and everyone else should really be asking is "what is he?" or "what is he like?"
An animal? A full stop? A pebble? A water droplet?

What exactly Kirby is, is rather ambiguous. However kirby is aimed at young/beginner players predominately and hence gets away with a very simple and generic design. Because kirby is aimed towards new gamers he is one of the first blob characters many gamers will encounter, hence other blob characters immediately feel like Kirby copies. To be fair your character seems to express a more mature nature then that of kirby and I would find it odd to see something with disjointed arms and legs absorbing people in the way kirby does. So there is some character there, but it is still a very simple and common design that beginner game makers use all the time.

I would say ask the question and see what you get, if you get the answer, "Bilou is a Bilou..." then you will need to express his character through his animations and abilities. Not necessarily a bad thing at all.

Another way you could look at going with this which hasn't been addressed yet is through a dramatically different style to the art of the game. A good example of this is Okami

He is a wolf with fire and a big plate on his back, but the art style dramatically adds character to the creature. It ties him more so into the theme of the story and makes him very recognizable.
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Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #36 on: May 21, 2008, 02:08:19 am
Good post, zeid! The character really does need some unique flair. A specific way I think you could give Bilou some more personality is to simply add a mouth. That's not gonna solve the problem completely, but I think it'll help.

Edit (based on zeid's):


Hope that helps any. :)


*removed response to OT discussion*
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 03:40:18 am by tehwexxl0rz »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #37 on: May 21, 2008, 03:33:30 am
I edited your post above to take away the flames, yet you edit them back in, just to pick a fight. Instead you will get a strike, as will anyone that derails this thread any longer.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #38 on: May 21, 2008, 03:46:41 am
I edited your post above to take away the flames, yet you edit them back in, just to pick a fight. Instead you will get a strike, as will anyone that derails this thread any longer.
Wait, do you mean me? I'm sorry! I left the "Modify Post" window open while I was working on my edit! I didn't know you had ever edited it! I only meant to update my post with the edit. I never would have put those comments back intentionally!

Do you understand? I know you have the authority to give strikes. But in this case I'd really appreciate if you'd reconsider. Sorry again. :(

Offline infinity+1

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #39 on: May 21, 2008, 03:48:20 am
i took a crack at trying to give him a little bit more character, without changing the design.
take what you will from it:

« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 04:00:27 am by infinity+1 »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #40 on: May 21, 2008, 06:30:37 am
Good post, zeid! The character really does need some unique flair. A specific way I think you could give Bilou some more personality is to simply add a mouth. That's not gonna solve the problem completely, but I think it'll help.

Edit (based on zeid's):


Hope that helps any. :)
I really love your edit. it's impressive to see how close it is to hand-drawn personnality, and the sub-pixel effect in the eyes opens many perspectives in the animation. And, yes, considering the way you dotted the mouth, i think i'll re-work my sprites to show it more (after all, Bilou *has* a mouth. It's just almost invisible when he closes it).

I realise now that my #1 error was probably that i wanted to stick to the 'good old' deep-blue of the EGA palette for Bilou's body, but that color is just too dark to let any detail appear, which forces things like mouth, etc. to be shown in plain black (which is both not nice and hardly readable on dark blue anyway).

(now i need to fix my Sprite Editor damn quickly and push those cute colors of yourszeid in my palette for some testing ;)

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #41 on: May 21, 2008, 07:58:37 am
<-- tel :: me --> -->
I think i'll saturate the body a little more, though (the DS' colors aren't that shiny), or i'll have to de-saturate my whole palette. It takes more colours (since i didn't re-saturate hands and eyes, for instance), but the whole guy remains under 15 colors.

edit: i gave a try at a small "surprise" animation in the eyes, but it doesn't work as expected. I missed to animate the outlines of the eyes, obviously, and the body as a whole (hands, feet -- noone would get surprised and stay perfectly immobile :P) ... i definitely needs my editor on DS to be back: Gimp is no good for spriting.

edit: @infinity: yes, he's got more "style" that way, but imho, that wouldn't match the 'children-oriented' universe i've got around him  :blind:
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 08:59:40 am by PypeBros »

Offline madPXL

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #42 on: May 21, 2008, 10:27:55 am
PypeBros -> never take the pixel made by other for yourself with 2/3 corrections on it... REcreate it !

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #43 on: May 21, 2008, 10:34:33 am
PypeBros -> never take the pixel made by other for yourself with 2/3 corrections on it... REcreate it !
#true; though i wanted to quick-test the possibilities. I'll re-create for the game, of course, or it wouldn't be fair (and i'd learn nothing)
yet,
Quote
i definitely needs my editor on DS to be back
hence the quick-edit in the Gimp, which is too unpractical during coffee-break for a complete remake.

Offline madPXL

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #44 on: May 21, 2008, 11:09:28 am
a try...

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #45 on: May 22, 2008, 10:20:14 am
a try...

heh. reminds me of loco-roco (is that feathers on his head ?) more than bilou, but nice anyway ... it's amazing to see how every artist has his own style and vision of "a blue ball with eyes".

Btw, i'm trying to depart from Rayman and Kirby gameplay (who have beaten me on the abilities/super-powers i planned years ago), and comments such as "His shape may also be a gameplay mechanic in and of itself; he may roll and require momentum in order to jump." makes me come with a nice alternative: powerups that alter the material Bilou is made of. I'll have fun pixel'ing "steel Bilou" that crash into walls, but indeed needs to gain momentum or "superball Bilou" that bounces again and again (and is more translucent like Zeid's first edit), etc.

Well, anyway. Let's get back to work. I'll keep you updated when something concrete happens again.

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #46 on: May 22, 2008, 01:52:51 pm

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #47 on: May 23, 2008, 03:16:23 am
I hate to drop this bomb, but...http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2006/05/within-deep-forest.html
If PypeBros is going to keep Bilou's hands and feet (like the drawings), I'm not convinced that's really such a bomb.... Also hopefully the environment will have more personality than those screens.

Offline chriskot

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #48 on: May 23, 2008, 03:39:12 am
I hate to drop this bomb, but...http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2006/05/within-deep-forest.html

I actually started playing that game a couple of days ago. I'm enjoying it a lot and the game actually has a good chunk of atmosphere without any really elaborate graphics.

Anyway, I wouldn't consider this much of a bomb drop considering that, apart for the ball character and changing materials feature, the two don't really seem to be all that similar. "Within A Deep Forest" is more of an open, ambient, minimalistic sort of adventure than this seems to be.

Also, it's not like either of these games invented the "change materials for strategy" idea. (I'm not bashing the idea. In fact, I'm in full support. It almost always works out nicely.)

Offline Helm

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #49 on: May 23, 2008, 07:24:28 am
I hate to drop this bomb, but...http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2006/05/within-deep-forest.html

If only you read other people's posts in the threads you post in, before you post, moderator :P :P

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #50 on: May 23, 2008, 06:33:30 pm
makes me come with a nice alternative: powerups that alter the material Bilou is made of. I'll have fun pixel'ing "steel Bilou" that crash into walls, but indeed needs to gain momentum or "superball Bilou" that bounces again and again (and is more translucent like Zeid's first edit), etc.

While it was mentioned before, it was well before he came up with the idea to alter the materials...which is basically the whole mechanic of WADF :P  I thought that maybe by linking to the actual game it might help!

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #51 on: May 26, 2008, 08:00:40 am
ah. So that's what's happening in those "long run video" of WADF when a menu appear on the left ... the ball is changing what it is made of.

And, well, it's indeed not quite unique. Even just in the Super Mario series, we've seen "steel mario" that cracks things and be heavy enough to walk underwater. There's also the 'mario babies' of "Partners in Times" that can be flattened to access secret area and fly because of their new shape. If instead i make Bilou capable of bashing bricks with his head or throw his punch ahead to smash monsters, it's really looking too close from something super-known. And no, i don't feel like giving him sci-fi power-ups (the game is supposed to involve little magic from the "magic gems" Bilou collects after each boss), nor do i think flappy wings and bow are a good suit for Bilou (that's Kirby's job, after all).

Well, this is still under discussion with my brother (co-scenarist) anyway, but thanks for mentionning the likeliness.

Imho the "change material" has the advantage to bring consistency in power-ups (just like Mario in SMB3 gets his super-abilities by changing costume)

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #52 on: June 06, 2008, 09:31:34 pm


Not yet what i want, but i have progressed enough on my editor to be able to give Bilou a new try with those new colours and style. He's way too small like this ... i'll keep you updated.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #53 on: June 07, 2008, 01:53:27 am
Why have the lightsource coming from his back? Wouldn't it be better from the front, so it illuminates his face? Looking good so far. No outlines for hands?  :(
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #54 on: June 07, 2008, 08:04:10 am


Some more. I tried working on a larger base ... Had fun animating it etc. and then crashed my editor ^^". Here's what i managed to save :P

Quote
Why have the lightsource coming from his back?
Well, because lightsource is topleft in all other tiles of the game. He'll have his face illuminated when he'll turn the other way, i guess (still have to figure out if that's realistic).

Quote
No outlines for hands?
Well, at that size, i didn't managed to make some, but he'll definitely need them. I'll give it a try on the new, larger base.

Offline sharprm

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #55 on: June 07, 2008, 09:42:58 am


Just a disclaimer - it has been a while since I pixelled. Maybe the above edit can help. Tried to reduce the number of colors and used a full outline. I think your one on second row, far right is good - you should develop that.

edit: RE below: yep, the shading is inconsistent with a sphere and lightsource from above, but changing to a 'James Pond' facial structure is always an option. Main point of edit is u should reuse colors on body on the face. Oops, didn't read the whole topic, THEWEXLORZ's edit seems spot on for outlining and such.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 11:04:44 am by sharprm »
Modern artists are told that they must create something totally original-or risk being called "derivative".They've been indoctrinated with the concept that bad=good.The effect is always the same: Meaningless primitivism
http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/phi

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #56 on: June 07, 2008, 10:05:17 am
Thanks. Your outline seems to do a better job than my sel-out, and the little line between the eyes does a great job too. Highlight on the face does not convince me, however. It gives the feeling that there's something shiny on the ground, and if we just try to make the light come from up-right corner, then we will see no highlight at all (only the eyes will get light).

Quote
(...) changing to a 'James Pond' facial structure is always an option
you mean giving him cheeks and big node so that he better catch the light ? hmm ... i'd rather not, i fear.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 11:39:04 am by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #57 on: June 09, 2008, 12:30:07 pm

Gave it a bit more polishing and pushed hands and feet. Also tried the "flipped" Bilou (thus with face highlighted), and i'm surprised to see him much more "shy", or reserved or whatever when he's heading left. I'll have to keep that in mind when designing levels :P

(/me wondering whether i shouldn't include an intermediary shade between ultra-dark-for-outlines and the second darkest blue ...)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 04:53:43 pm by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #58 on: June 10, 2008, 09:17:42 am

New bilou among new trees. Treetops are now mine (very inspired from minish cap, i admit, but mine anyway ;) ), though still very Wip. Roots are still very WIP as well. Good thing is that i can now vary the width of the trees though the largest one doesn't completely convince me atm (if you can point out my mistakes there, you're welcome).

Hope you like the de-saturated tree and bushes in the background too ;)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 12:16:47 pm by PypeBros »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #59 on: June 10, 2008, 09:29:30 am
I'm not sure it's such a good idea for Bilou to be smiling the whole time he's beating up bad guys and facing epic perils.... :o

Trees are looking better! I'll give some more real critique, but I'm too tired atm...

Offline Tarenken

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #60 on: June 10, 2008, 09:32:22 am
I don't know what angle you want the game itself at, but the trees seem to disagree with the angle the rest of it is. Like, you shouldn't be able to see the 'tops' of the trees (if that's what the blank green stuff is) if the space is flat.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #61 on: June 10, 2008, 09:33:56 am
I'm not sure it's such a good idea for Bilou to be smiling the whole time he's beating up bad guys and facing epic perils.... :o
lol. He won't, don't worry. It just happens that it's the only sprite that is completed with hands and feet atm. He'll have a more neutral expression for the rest of the game, smiling at the player is for the "idle" animation, after he blinked a couple of time. :P
Quote
Trees are looking better! I'll give some more real critique, but I'm too tired atm...
np. /me staying tuned.

Quote
I don't know what angle you want the game itself at, but the trees seem to disagree with the angle the rest of it is.
well, the angle is roughly similar to what you can see in Rayman 1 : you won't see walls, but you're slightly above the ground, so a circular whole on the ground would look like an 4:1 ellipsoïd or so.
The flat, green area is more supposed to be the side of the tree than rather the "top" of the tree. I call them treetops due to my lack of a more appropriated word :P
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 09:39:50 am by PypeBros »

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #62 on: June 10, 2008, 11:36:47 am
Trees need to be closer to the background.  Your character is not standing in front of the tree, he's standing against it.  If those trees are meant to be background detail, then they need to be drawn towards the background just like your desaturated tree.  Trees that are on the same z axis as the player indicate to me that the tree is an impassable wall.

I would recommend recycling the kinds of trees you have now just so you can use them as platform elements, but add to the background you have.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #63 on: June 10, 2008, 11:50:40 am
Trees that are on the same z axis as the player indicate to me that the tree is an impassable wall.
I would recommend recycling the kinds of trees you have now just so you can use them as platform elements, but add to the background you have.
OOps. You're right. These trees are supposed to be impassable walls, indeed. Fixed the mockup so that Bilou is no longer in a wall (though he's trapped, now). Added bonuses, too.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #64 on: June 11, 2008, 11:47:17 am
--->
tried to break the "straightness" of the trunk, and worked a bit more on trunks. any better ?
(well, i'll have to beam up a palette for the mushroom and try to work on that, now...)

Offline garland

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #65 on: June 11, 2008, 01:09:36 pm
Trunks look good, although I wouldn't have pointed out anything wrong with the way they were earlier. I would like to see the rocky base of that platform spread out a bit more. As it is, it looks like it's going to fall over on the right side.

The graphics you have right now appear rather blocky. All of the individual pieces are very clean cut. Although this is difficult to avoid because of engine constraints and such, (Tiles...oh darn your square-ness.) nature appears very uneven at times, and I would like to see more of that represented in your graphics. Unless the blockyness is an aesthetic choice, which it doesn't appear to be from what I've seen illustrated on your blog.

Perhaps you could add some bleeding over of the grass into the bottoms of the tree-trunks or a few piles of rock around the base of that platform.

Overall, though, I believe it's coming along nicely. :) Keep it up.

Offline wah_wah_69

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #66 on: June 11, 2008, 01:46:19 pm
Your character reminds me of lolo from Adventures of lolo/eggerland but with snorkels eyes.





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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #67 on: June 11, 2008, 02:26:59 pm
Yes, it's often been said that this is a character that's been done before!

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #68 on: June 12, 2008, 09:11:00 am
Quote
Your character reminds me of lolo from Adventures of lolo/eggerland but with snorkels eyes.
If i'm to admit influence in the character design, it will be Pacman (i mean, in the cartoon, not in the game) rather than Lolo(lo) of eggerland (which i only discovered through his cameoh in Kirby's Avalanche game, after years of Bilou drawing), honnestly. But again, it's so damn far away in time, that it's cultural background more than real "reference material" ... As Helm pointed out, it seems that a ball with hands and feet is just a stereotype of "i need a character for my game" just like "a red hammer" is the stereotype for "think of a tool of some color" (at least for french-speaking guys).

--> --> ,
By the way, it seems that as the time goes, they modified his appearance so that he quits being just a ball and has some more "recognizable" (?) combination of colours (though my own mind identifies that as "omg, poor Sonic, what did Dr. Eggman do to you ?" -- don't ask why).

Anyway, i plan to stick on Bilou's appearance because he is immediately recognized by the people around me that are waiting for a Bilou's game for years. I acknowledge that if i were to pick a new character or targetting large audience (or if i was to write a game with Helm in my team ;) ), i would avoid blue balls, but none of this are true. I'm just trying to come with some decent graphics and writing the game is long-term hobby rather than market-driven job.

Quote
Perhaps you could add some bleeding over of the grass into the bottoms of the tree-trunks or a few piles of rock around the base of that platform.
You mean something like (1) ? (please, excuse the very ugly-edit-in-a-rush-at-work)
Quote
Unless the blockyness is an aesthetic choice, which it doesn't appear to be from what I've seen illustrated on your blog.
blockyness is only partly a choice. It's over-blocky here due to WIP, and (2) shows more how it's meant to be. I say "partly a choice", because leaves and treetops are meant to be platforms you can climb on, so i decided to stick to "rounded rectangles" look for the trees.


I plan to have more "natural" trees in the parallax background plane (which are über-wip atm but let's just add them) and are based on background for DK:King of Swing. They'll be 16-colour so that i can afford more tiles there.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 09:29:15 am by PypeBros »

Offline madPXL

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #69 on: June 12, 2008, 09:46:55 am
for your background, take a look at World of illusion on genesis :



make more contrast on shadows for example, your character is in a forest, so try to create a light/dark ambient :)

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #70 on: June 12, 2008, 11:17:28 am
for your background, take a look at World of illusion on genesis :
make more contrast on shadows for example, your character is in a forest, so try to create a light/dark ambient :)
Hmm yeah. background is popping up as if being beamed on a screen behind the scene, isn't it  :blind:

vs.
any chance a contrast/brightness change improves it, or should i completely start with new colours and style ?


does that light/darkness things explain too the contrast seen in the above picture of Yoshi's island?

Maybe my error is to build a whole "ceiling" of leaves while my tiles are currently drawn for "open air". Though most pixels are not directly from me on the image below (my blog's banner), the same mix of colours seemed to do a better job, somehow.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 11:30:47 am by PypeBros »

Offline Ichigo Jam

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #71 on: June 12, 2008, 10:28:37 pm
vs.
any chance a contrast/brightness change improves it, or should i completely start with new colours and style ?
I think the single biggest problem here is the middle layer, where you're using darker colours than the foreground, and just as much contrast (i.e. the tree behind Bilou, and the bushes). I think this is why the darker image looks better - the middle layer feels more like it fits.

Still, I think both its overall brightness and contrast range (of the middle layer) should probably sit in between the foreground and background layers.

Maybe try something like this? (I also had a quick fiddle with some of the hard edges such as the base of the near trees and platform.)

Although I may have overdone the de-saturation if you want a really bright look, hopefully this will give you some ideas.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #72 on: June 16, 2008, 03:25:09 pm
vs vs vs
experimenting contrast/lightness/saturation adjustment of the various planes ...

That starts looking like a wood, but i can't decide whether it did the job ...

Quote from: ichigo
hopefully this will give you some ideas.
Yep. I'm re-working grass, roots and things alike ;)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 08:25:38 am by PypeBros »

Offline tehwexxl0rz

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #73 on: June 16, 2008, 08:13:41 pm
The contrast and readability in number three looks great. :D

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #74 on: June 17, 2008, 08:24:23 am
thanks. I have a doubt on the bushes contrast, though. I find them too far away while they should give the impression that we could move behind them easily, but that they aren't on the path. Also included my more recent grass effects (thanks again, ichigo) and a (hopefully) more recognizable mushroom.

I might try other colours for the mushroom, though. It's currently so eye-catching (imho) that it could be used as bumper. Maybe orange mushroom would be better.

--
Also worked on some 'slope' tiles (only 5 new 8x8 tiles for a 22.5 slope ... /me proud  ;D )

(PS: included the image as #4 above too for comparison purposes ;) )
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 08:39:03 am by PypeBros »

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #75 on: June 17, 2008, 09:10:58 am
The outline on the rock formation is a bit...  Hard, especially compared to the trees.  It has enough contrast on its own to separate from the background, so it should be okay to outline with some of the shades.

The grass on the ground and on the rock formation could probably use a bit more contrast as well to define its shape a bit better.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #76 on: June 17, 2008, 10:19:01 am


you're right, thanks. Historically, those blocks of rock were designed to be read against darker bg rocks to do caves etc. With the higher contrast, they really don't need any outline, indeed.
I tried to improve grass around the rocks, too, but i'm not sure i got your point completely ...

Offline Lackey

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #77 on: June 18, 2008, 07:31:20 am
Hmm, sorry for not reading the whole thread (I did, I just skimmed!) but is there a fixed palette in this?  I do not understand the progression of grass shades, particularly the greyness of the lightest shade.
This isn't an even spread of colours and it's a bit dark, but I think it makes a bit more sense:


Conceptually I think you could do more with the cliff tiles.  I know this is a platform game and all but forests tend to display a distinct lack of 90 degree angles, maybe you could go for something a little rounder, a little lumpier?  I think the tiles as they are have a definite appearance of an empty space you had to fill with your boulder shapes.  The slope tiles will alleviate this, but you still have open cliff face which I think will look odd.  I don't know if this will be helpful:

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #78 on: June 18, 2008, 11:57:25 am
Quote
but is there a fixed palette in this?
Well, there is a palette of max. 256 colours taken freely in the 5:5:5 RGB space, so that's not a fixed palette as on a NES or C64, but i'm supposed to stick to relatively few colours. Though, i'm editing the mockup in Gimp, so erasing some pixels and changing contrast etc. produced an insane amount of sub-colors that are not intended to survive :P

Quote
I do not understand the progression of grass shades, particularly the greyness of the lightest shade.
true, i've got troubles with that one. Sometimes i see it and fix it (e.g. on the slope), sometimes i miss it when importing stuff. Btw, the way you introduced darker shades in the grass on top of the rocks. i'll try and see if i can edit in that way.

Quote
(the tiles ...) have a definite appearance of an empty space you had to fill with your boulder shapes
hmm. not sure of what you're talking about here. The larger rock in the middle of the platform, maybe (which was intended to break monotony in larger patches of rocks) ? I could agree it does not really belong here ... From your reference cliffs, i see i missed something with more global highlight/shading of the cliff as a whole. I have a straight wall of round rocks rather than a coherent platform. Reusing cave walls as cliffs definitely doesn't make it. I'll give those tiles of their own.
<-- does this address your concerns, or are you more worried about the grass on the rocks being horizontal ?
... or maybe you mean i having both horizontal grass and mainly-vertical rocks is one too much ?

i first noticed i could do it that way while looking at Dan's website banner :

which seemed a better way to go that the "random jigsaw rocks" i used to do (very) earlier.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 12:23:33 pm by PypeBros »

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #79 on: June 18, 2008, 02:34:06 pm
I think lackey's point is that your wall appears to be a pile of rocks that are all kind of glued together or stuffed into an invisible cube, rather than looking like a boulder or an outcropping you might see in real life somewhere.  This is not, obviously, to say that it should be realistic, only that it should be more believable.  Most of your tiles right now have a distinct flavor of referencing other platformer games more than they are referencing art or real life, and I think because of that they are very scattered, abstract, and flat.  You'll notice on both Lackey's mockups and Indigo's banner that the stone/rock/dirt tiles seem to form one cohesive surface, rather than a shambles of stones piled up like an old midieval hut of some sort.  This is a more believable surface than a pile of stones that are sort of unbelievably vertical in their orientation.

At least for me, something that has helped my level art a LOT is to draw basically to-scale mockups in my little sketchbook, usually away from the computer entirely.  I'll go through and doodle sections of the level, and any part that I'm having trouble executing int he sketchbook i KNOW i will have a lot of trouble executing in pixel art.  For things like rocks, dirt and grass especially this has made a huge difference for me.  Sketching is generally much faster than doing a fully realized pixeled test, and it can go a long ways toward helping you explore what works and what doesn't.  It's an opportunity to think about and explore the materials and surfaces that you want to render without getting hung up on the particulars of palettes and AA and all of these trappings of good pixel art.

I feel like if you were just making a pencil drawing of some grass with a rocky outcropping you would not draw it like a pile of pebbles!

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #80 on: June 18, 2008, 03:12:49 pm
thanks. Said that way, my error are obvious, indeed  ::)
I'll see if i can come with something better. My priority (gfx-speaking) is rather on treetops right now...

Offline Lackey

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #81 on: June 18, 2008, 08:21:50 pm
Oops, sorry I didn't explain myself as well as I could have on the rock issue!   :-[

Quote
At least for me, something that has helped my level art a LOT is to draw basically to-scale mockups in my little sketchbook, usually away from the computer entirely.  I'll go through and doodle sections of the level, and any part that I'm having trouble executing int he sketchbook i KNOW i will have a lot of trouble executing in pixel art.

I think this is good advice.  You can do it with the treetops, and it will be good practice. Those little lumps I doodled I do with my tablet, which makes it quite similar to sketching. I find that if you don't it ends up looking very much like space filling, when you start with the high intensity pixelling it's all finish and no base, heh.

The treetops will be tricky.  Usually when you're in a forest under the canopy you don't really see the bunches of leaves, just the branches, the chunks of foliage are only visible from outside the treeline.  You don't have this because in the platform game view it's a bit like you're in a field outside the forest looking in, if that makes sense.  This just means you will end up drawing trees, from the side.

Still use the chunky simplification on the foliage, no need to consult the Nieborg Codex on this one, but draw it like you would if you were seeing the forest AND the trees. Of course then you need to justify the hanging bits, hence my branches.  Anything can be broken up into tiles with some ingenuity and it's usually fun to try.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #82 on: June 19, 2008, 07:59:35 am

Hmm. I was investigating a very different way yo proceed, but i have to admit your "bunches of leaves" are terribly appealing. certainly complicated to pixelate in my 16x16 grids, but it would be worth giving them a try, definitely.

My main concern is that i don't see how i could possibly tile something like this, but maybe the double-layered map will bring the solution (e.g. have 64x48 bunches that overlap. Yeah, that sounds terribly challenging, maybe too much of a challenge for me, but the look it has definitely makes me want to try it, even if that means i need to introduce a new "sketching" mode in my sprite editor  ;D

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #83 on: June 19, 2008, 04:43:54 pm

still wip, but i think it could be not as hard as i first thought. That would make ~24 tiles for branches leaves and treetops plus some 8 tiles per branch type (horizontal/sloped left/right). I think i can afford it.

edit: i still lack a proper exporter tool to get that tree out of the DS, but if you're looking forward for what those leaves will look like, you can have a sneak peek on this level editor screenshot on flickr.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 08:42:54 pm by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #84 on: July 02, 2008, 08:16:59 am


okay, finally i could get my branches out of the console ^_^
i haven't worked much on the branches, but i'd be tempted to consider leaves as "a good first round", though the resulting tree seems to lack a bit something... it has a kind of "8-bit" look to me, but i can't really tell whether that's good. what this probably mean is that i lack some "joining" tiles.

Original pixels for the leaves are found apart under the tree (should i have been using more dark shades ?) and the tree is completely built on only two layers using some 8x8 tiles straight for the leaves, so yes, the whole treetop is done with 48 tiles.

any suggestions to improve this ? (except the roots, i know i still have to break the square-ness of those roots)

Offline victorX

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #85 on: July 02, 2008, 09:03:17 pm
Yeah, you should use some darker colors for the leaves. IMO, it seems to saturated. The tree does seem out of place compared to the other sprites. Here's a quick edit:


-Used darker colors on the leaves
-Reduced amount of colors used on the wood from 13? to 5

Fun practice.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 09:10:43 pm by victorX »

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #86 on: July 03, 2008, 09:07:11 am
-->

Quote
-Used darker colors on the leaves
-Reduced amount of colors used on the wood from 13? to 5
those darker colours made we want to try a third layer behind the rest, but it doesn't really came out nicely. It somehow looks ... flat :/ i also fixed some odd effects of the initial "construction", but there are few things i want to fix in the lightest "bush" anyway ... i'm using too dark colours near the bottom right (but not quite at the bottom).

As for your edit on the wood ... i don't know ... i'm a bit uncomfortable with how "cracky" it seems ... I have 256 colours for my forest and working on wood with the current raster just came out "fluently", so i think i can afford a sufficiently large raster for them. maybe i'll cut down the lightest shade or so to have 3 tints free (alpha excepted) for drawing grass near the roots if i really need to switch to n*16 colours tiles instead of 256 colours.

Offline pixelaro

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #87 on: July 12, 2008, 04:16:50 am

grass hurt my eyes. didnt pay attention so i edited an edit instead of original. just changed colors and tried to add some depth. sry for bump i always forget to upload when i edit something.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 04:19:51 am by pixelaro »
:::....

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #88 on: July 22, 2008, 07:32:46 am
hmm, but then, you're re-introducing the problem that grass and front-layer of leaves are darker than the background of the scene :=P. I'm not really convinced by the new colours you introduced in the trunks, but shifting towards green in between the rocks might be worth more investigation
(sorry for the damn' late reaction : i was on offline holydays ;) )

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #89 on: July 22, 2008, 11:41:28 am
Nearby = high contrast
Far away = no contrast

Nearby = high saturation
Far away = grey (well blue on this planet because of particles & photons)

So front should be both, darker AND lighter than background. The further away, the more vague it gets.
As for that matter, as well as readability of separate elements, pixelaro's modifcation is much better than the original.

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #90 on: July 22, 2008, 02:37:46 pm
The colour changes in the edit given are definitely for the better, though a quick tweak to stop it from getting/remaining to washed out is a good idea. This is a rather minor point to bring up and a rather sketchy example:
--->
View my Devlog... unless you aren't ready to have your mind blown.

Offline pixelaro

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #91 on: July 22, 2008, 03:21:14 pm
nice colour edit zeid. I agree and think yours is way better, but perhaps taken a little bit to far for my own taste.
Pypebros: in most day scenes from platformers the foreground is actually darker while the background is more washed out and lighter/tinted to blue. One time that you will want the foreground to be lighter than the bg is if you're making a night area.
Basically what trevious said is the truth and science, and what i say is a common way to simplify this and make it even more readable in platformers. generally you would want your foreground to have an as normal as possible range of colours. then the background beeing either greyed and lightened, greyed and tinted to a colour or grayed and darkened.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 03:48:01 pm by pixelaro »
:::....

Offline Souly

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #92 on: July 22, 2008, 06:32:13 pm

I noticed how you took bunches of leaves and just layered them.
I just edited off yours.
I took the same bush you used, and changed the pallet to the darkest colors removing the highlight.
Flipped the bush, and then threw some of them behind the rest of the leaves.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #93 on: July 24, 2008, 08:29:45 am
@souly: interesting trick ^_^ I'll give it a try with reverted tiles going behind the trunk & branches

@zeid: kinda surprised that you actually did an edit with "fg darker than bg" here and another with "bg darker than bg" there...

@pixelaro: yes, i admit the "far = low saturation, low contrast ; near = high saturation, high contrast" thing. Maybe i'm just emotionally bound to bright grass, but i have the feeling that a bush in the background of the scene should send less light to the eye than grass nearby, too. and imho, this is no longer the case with your edit (and the bush is even more gloomy in zeid's edit).

Some pictures (not exactly references, more photos that happen to show something similar to what i have in mind):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/straightfinder/174183291/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/visbeek/2618425424/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/happy_sleepy/2499770237/
(oh, and of course, rayman's primary forest had a strong influence) http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger/5640/3676/1600/796313/AA1.jpg

Btw, this is supposed to be level 1, a friendly and happy forest. I'll keep the freaky jungle for later on.

Quote
Pypebros: in most day scenes from platformers the foreground is actually darker while the background is more washed out and lighter/tinted to blue.
agree for "open" areas, where you see the landscape far away and get direct sunlight, but i wouldn't apply that straight for a scene that takes place in a forest (well, unless i'm wrong to think this, of course)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 10:45:17 am by PypeBros »

Offline ndchristie

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #94 on: July 24, 2008, 11:02:19 am
sorry to be the salt to your pinch, this really is not such a great way to make a tree :)

I kinda blame tsugumo and st0ven for the broccoli-ball-tree plague (and it's sister-strain, the nonsensical blue ambient), but mostly I blame the games that they were referencing.  the 90's was all about how to make the most appealing graphics as fast as possible, which includes a lot of practically "medieval copy-book" type constructions.

Just in an effort to try and dispell this a bit -

1 - few trees branch well above the halfway point.  most branch a third or even a quarter from the ground, and some conifers even lower than that.
2 - most major tree branches seldom, if ever, point inwards, due to the need to collect sunlight.  gravity and such can alter this, but generally, the branches go up and out.  They then form many nets to catch the sunlight, not balls, for the same reason that the tree itself is not a ball, but a giant net - balls cast shade onto most of their leaves.
3 - few trees branch from a single point, with many large branches.  most trees split into only two or three parts at a time.  Most deciduous trees also do not continue to have a large trunk - branching is the whole kit and kaboodle.  every split divides the branch into two or three parts, which serves to divide the major shape of the tree.  round trees tend to branch in roughly equal ratios between branches, while more interesting trees give more energy to one of the new branches.

are there exeptions to these ideas?  of course.  many shrubs are thick-bodied, keeping themselves in shade, and many trees branch high, particularly in regions where climbing animals exist (the trees which are harder to climb tend to survive better because their fruit develops with less interruption).  However, this still doesn't mean that all trees should be broccoli  :y:.
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #95 on: July 24, 2008, 12:03:16 pm
Quote
grass hurt my eyes.
Well, enough with rumbling and "i prefer it like that" etc. let's try if i can fix those readability and eye-hurting stuff (though you picked an edit where i still had some of this "ugly light-grey-tainted shade of green").
->
* maybe i'm just using a too wide 'band' of the lightest shade in the grass. I tried to slim it (see the cliff) somehow
* clearly, i wasn't using enough shades in the "leaves chunk". I changed it and introduced a touch of dark-blue to increase contrast (/me partly convinced only)
* i pushed some more dark pixels on the right of the left trunk and between its roots. Maybe i need to have a larger "shadow" area ?
* maybe having a band of lightest shade in the grass is a completely bad idea. I removed it and replaced with few "highlighted hair of grass" here and there.

@ndchristie: your description of trees sounds interesting. I'll read that thoroughly a bit later. From my observations, how tree branches depends most of their environment (standalone trees tends to maximize the volume they can exploit, being less engaged in a "race towards the sky"), and i find trees that have many branches at a low level, preferrably grouped more interesting. Anyway, i'm not exactly trying to mimmick mother nature here. Branches and leaves are platforms here, and trunks are impassable wall, so the trees are really part of the level design.

@pixelaro: oh, yes, i noticed your edit on the apple too. i'll have to study it later and find out whether i prefer it or not and how i can improve mine (obviously, i want to keep its round shape).

PS: sorry if i seem to stick on such "incremental" edits. I'm mostly trying to find the right path to take before i can go on and to a major revision of my tileset...
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 12:08:02 pm by PypeBros »

Offline ndchristie

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #96 on: July 24, 2008, 04:50:35 pm
I'd urge you to look into ways that allow you to make platforms without looking stiff.  This is the purpose of good graphics - to create structure without being restricted by it.

sloppy 5-minute attempt :

A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

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Re: my little world ... [please C&C]

Reply #97 on: July 25, 2008, 11:05:36 am
so if i interprete your sketch correctly, you suggest things like a tree that starts blocking (high contrast) and is inclined backwards so that it's no longer a wall after a certain height, right ? and it has a branch pointing towards the screen between the two (which is a platform in the yellow-box).

It also had two branches on the left and the right (red boxes) that are walkable platform, but the highest branch is moving backwards too (low contrast) so it's not walkable by the player (it could be a booby trap, though).

Yeah, that could be interesting things. I don't know if i'm capable of drawing something like that yet, but it is definitely a good idea. (somehow reminds me of flashback's jungle ;)

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #98 on: July 28, 2008, 05:13:50 pm
--
I don't have my "rayman-like" animator yet, so i'm stuck to "regular" animation in a 16x16 grid, but anyway. I had fun making Bilou walk and roll (on floor, or maybe spin in the air ... not yet decided).

Any comment on that ?

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #99 on: July 28, 2008, 06:41:03 pm
Sorry for such a late reply. No edit this time either I am afraid.
Quote
@zeid: kinda surprised that you actually did an edit with "fg darker than bg" here and another with "bg darker than bg" there...
Well I never said that a light background was wrong or a darker one was wrong. It is all completely dependent on the mood you are trying to set, with the trees and colouring you provided I assumed you wanted a lighter background. Typically when someone wants to create a happy upbeat forest they choose a brighter sunny background where as the jungle scene I made the edit for has canopies blocking out much of the light and creating a completely different atmosphere and environment.

You can create the game environment however you please but I do think that the colours you have now need some reworking at this stage. The foreground is probably in more fault then the background as it doesn't currently have as wide a range of highlights and shadows as it should, in the recent edit when you add the darker blue shadows to the trees, the readibility level of the scene improves. You pretty much need to apply this kind of effect on the entire forground (including characters). The higher the range is in the foreground, the more range you can put into the background. This will make ndchristie's suggestion of making things look more organic and natural a lot easier.

The most important reason we make the background more washed out isn't because it is more realistic, it is usually more of a readibility thing then anything else. Other such ways include increased/decreased luminosity and increased/decreased detail. You can also use +/- hue. However if you are hoping for a wide variety of colours as oppose to a pong game you are going to want a combination of these things.

I think the walking animation looks nice, you should research a little "sub-pixeling". Particularly sub-pixel techniques concerned with animation. That way you can get some of the motions such as that of the eyes to look smoother.
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Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #100 on: July 29, 2008, 03:20:00 pm
Sorry for such a late reply.
np ;)

Quote
The higher the range is in the foreground, the more range you can put into the background. This will make ndchristie's suggestion of making things look more organic and natural a lot easier.
Hmm. Haven't thought about it that way so far. Thanks for pointing that out.

Quote
I think the walking animation looks nice, you should research a little "sub-pixeling". Particularly sub-pixel techniques concerned with animation. That way you can get some of the motions such as that of the eyes to look smoother.
Will try that. And i will try hard to avoid introducing more colours while doing so :P

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #101 on: August 02, 2008, 06:09:45 pm
Here comes a baddie for that little forest: the "Appleman". I tried to do some sub-pixel animation on him, but i'm not sure i completely understood the technique.


(edit: okay. server is back. images too ::) )
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 07:19:07 am by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #102 on: August 05, 2008, 11:34:03 am
rhaa! i can't decide which one i should pick:
- vs - - vs - - vs -

I tried green feet too, but that's really not working at all.

Offline artisan

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #103 on: August 05, 2008, 12:33:40 pm
haha i wouldnt mention subpixel with the rant thats going on in my thread.. :D..

the animation looks good from what i can see i think it conveys character maybe more then the main guy... i would say avoid the orange foot cause it makes it look like a giant tomato to me i would go with the brown, but both shades look alright to me.

you seem to have some unescesary greens on the leaf.. i think it would look the same and just as good if the leaf was all one colour.
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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #104 on: August 05, 2008, 03:11:37 pm
I vote #2.  Also, nice job :)  You're definitely improving!

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #105 on: August 05, 2008, 04:02:01 pm
I vote #2.  Also, nice job :)  You're definitely improving!

Thanks. This place is a rather nice good "school", i must say. With a bit more lines of code, i guess i'll be soon ready to pixel out of those 16x16 boxes ...

Quote
i think it would look the same and just as good if the leaf was all one colour.
My initial intent was to have the leave reinforcing the tilt, sometimes showing its upper side (shinier), sometimes showing its lower side (darker). maybe i should extend the range of that green ramp (?) ...

Quote
the animation looks good from what i can see i think it conveys character maybe more then the main guy...
Somehow, i find it easier to give character to baddies/npc than to my hero. The hero is not allowed to express excessive aggressivity or fear (since he's the good guy) ...

When using it in "comic", it's easier to involve the reader in the difficulty of the path taken, but it's not quite practical to have in a game.
--

Is the player feeling at risk ? or is he feeling all-mighty and over-comfident towards the danger, seconded by the Goddess of Luck ? And should that reflect to the hero's appearance ? I'm mostly a Zelda/Mario player, where the hero barely has personnality so that he's just a virtual avatar of the player in the video game, though it's clearly not the case in Sonic whose own character is more defined.

Maybe i should get my hand back on that "10 questions to define your (theatre) character" list and figure out more "who is Bilou". Funny enough, these last years, i mostly refined his sidekick Bouli (how original, i know)

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #106 on: August 06, 2008, 05:25:33 pm
--
i didn't managed to give more character (nor do sub-pixel afterwards) on the "walk" animation, but i've got a "running" animation that is working rather good. I allowed Bilou to frown while running -- after all, if he runs, that's certainly not for the pleasure in the game, and that probably means time for exploration has gone.

Please excuse the WIPness of hands and feets on the run. Shading will come next.

Offline Souly

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #107 on: August 06, 2008, 07:48:45 pm
Your little ball sure has come a long way.
The run animation is good, my only problem with it would be the eyes.
The right eye also got a pixel smaller then the left eye, looks weird.

Offline Dusty

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #108 on: August 06, 2008, 07:53:09 pm
A little late, but I first noticed ND's post about platforms not looking stiff... I think an easy way to accomplish this is by having the platforms drawn OVER the player. You see this in games like Metroid and Cave Story. It allows you to make the platforms dynamically shaped, yet still look natural when the player runs straight across a slightly hilly area because the player is behind it.

If your tree platforms were draw above the player, it would give the impression the player is standing on branches inside the leaves, instead of the leaves themselves... allowing you to make the leaves shape out differently than just a straight platform.

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #109 on: August 06, 2008, 07:57:39 pm
For such simple character designs, these have a whole lot of charm. :) I adore the run animation, especially the focused expression on his face. Enemy-wise, I'd agree the second one looks the best. There's enough contrast on the feet to separate them visually without being obnoxious.

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #110 on: August 06, 2008, 09:30:11 pm
The right eye also got a pixel smaller then the left eye, looks weird.
point taken. i tried to fix that (though with sub-pixels, you'll barely notice it). And i think i'll need an intermediate shade if i want to keep the eye outline...
-->

i'm also working out some transition between the idle stance and running, and unifying some details (outline, shadows) or it almost look like i swapped character between the two animations.

Quote from: dusty
I think an easy way to accomplish this is by having the platforms drawn OVER the player.
Yeah, that was my intent, though i'm having hard time to figure out how i'm going to do that (i have 2 hardware layers for the foreground, but sometimes Bilou need to stand in front of both, and sometimes between the two).
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 09:47:45 pm by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #111 on: August 22, 2008, 01:00:10 pm
-->
i've got troubles with my conversion scripts, but here comes my latest version. higher contrast on fg leaves, better roots (hopefully, though i seem to have messed them up in the process), real "top" branches, and a place for the Wise Owl to rest between two pieces of advice ...

(*edit*) hmm. There start to be a sort of "vertical band of meaningless noise" in my tree which doesn't please me. I shall re-work that.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 02:01:56 pm by PypeBros »

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #112 on: August 22, 2008, 03:32:30 pm
Quote
I tried to do some sub-pixel animation on him, but i'm not sure i completely understood the technique.
Well I think you nailed it pretty well.

I think the main issues hurting your piece are colour, contrast and volumes.
A quick volume sample
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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #113 on: August 22, 2008, 03:57:32 pm
Woaw ! Did you managed to do that with my own colors only ?
Clearly, i'm working 'too small'. I eliminated the lightest shade almost everywhere because it just introduced disturbing pixel and you managed to make it the color of choice for larger details ... Somehow that's natural. Only big disturbance can bring sufficient large "highlight" areas so that they send us enough light. Since i was only doing small ripples, i had no chance to have those required.

I definitely love the look it gives. I'll do my best to manage to get something alike that is tilable too.

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #114 on: August 22, 2008, 05:13:18 pm
Well I cheated and added an extra shade, but it was a 5 minute edit so I have no doubt you can get practically the same effect whilst keeping the original colour count.
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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #115 on: August 23, 2008, 08:07:45 am
-->
wow. the 32x32 edition mode was really helpful here. what a relief to get beyond that 16x16 limitation with the DS' stylus.

Lightest shade has been added afterwards, since with my initial palette only, the result was somehow "washed out" and still lacked contrast (see below), though except around the hole, i've got the feeling i haven't mastered those new light yet... maybe placing them wrong ? the branch will need to be re-done, too. it's really not working this way.


(* aftertoughtedit *) i've got the horrible feeling that my tree should be twisted the other way, given the position of its roots :P
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 08:17:05 am by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #116 on: August 25, 2008, 09:06:39 am
=>

did a dirst try at mixing two depth of trees on a single one as ndchristie suggested ... don't know if that looks convincing to you ... that means "much work still needed" to me :P

Offline Arachne

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #117 on: August 25, 2008, 02:00:52 pm
I don't know if it's been mentioned already, but I think you really need to look into how to shade cylindrical or round objects. Also, leaves! Think of these clusters as a pile of disks. Make them more fragmented. Look at some reference if you're not sure of how to place them or shade them.



Hope that helps! ;D

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #118 on: August 25, 2008, 03:18:09 pm
I don't know if it's been mentioned already, but I think you really need to look into how to shade cylindrical or round objects.
You mean i haven't been frank enough in how dark the tree gets on the edges, i guess ... i'll try to fix that.
Or is e.g. the big branch of the hollow tree flawed too ?


(*edit*) i re-did the trunk focussing on volume only, in a rush, with coarse tools.
Is that proper interpretation of cylindrical shading to your eyes, or am i really to dig for tutorials?

Quote
Also, leaves! Think of these clusters as a pile of disks. Make them more fragmented. Look at some reference if you're not sure of how to place them or shade them.

Hope that helps! ;D
Given how great it looks, i hope it'll help. I initially did studied the "minish cap" style of leaves, which i unfortunately wasn't able to reuse. I came with the current buch of very small and dense leaves as a refined version of those clumsy bunch of leaves with "polka dots" seen in the background of the scene.

those you suggest are brilliant, although maybe a bit too "unstructured" to my tastes (e.g. if i manage to do something that approach that level of awesomeness, i'd love to make the player believe that the orientation of leaves comes naturally from an invisible network of branches, too)

how do you proceed to get something alike ? start with gross BG shape in dark and then add leaves layer after layer, casting shadow on the previous ones as you add new ones ?

Anyway, thanks for your edit and comments. If i manage to apply that, i'll have learned lots i guess :P
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 03:57:47 pm by PypeBros »

Offline Arachne

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #119 on: August 25, 2008, 06:30:49 pm
What I did to learn this was that I went outside and started sketching clusters of leaves. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet, but I like that approach to it. Personally, I find it easier to stylize if I know how to draw something realistically.


(It didn't occur to me that you would be interested in how I did it, so I didn't save all the steps.) I just used the shapes you already had, started from the top with a few bright leaves, worked my way down, divided it up a bit with some darker areas in between and some leaves scattered around it.



As far as cylinders go, here's a rough, but hopefully somewhat accurate explanation. The angle of the surface decides how much light gets sent your way. Well, that and how reflective the surface is. Rough surface means that the light is dispersed more, so it's not quite as simple as this, but it'll give you a guide to where to place highlights and such. I hope this makes sense. Just flip the ray around the line that forms a 90 degree angle with the surface. You can apply this to spheres and flat surfaces too, and it can help you figure out reflections.


So for the tree, I'd do something more like this. It's a bit straight and smooth in places, and not quite right (it's a difficult shape, and you should try to master the basics before you start with the more complicated stuff), but I hope it shows what I mean. I'd tone down the divides between the three parts of the trunk and try to focus more on getting a cylindrical base shape, sort of.

Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on something. I'm better at showing than telling. :)

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #120 on: August 25, 2008, 06:45:37 pm
thanks for those extra explanation, and glad to see we have the same theory for cylindars (actually, i studied that kind of stuff from a theoretical point of view years ago when i was trying to code a phong-shading algorithm  :crazy:). It's just that i haven't mastered how to use them on a more complicated shape, nor have a very good intuition of "how large" each region should be considering my palette etc.

But i *want* it to be a somehow complicated shape as this is (imho) what will make it interesting to look at and to have in the game. I admit that trying to have trunks that tile so that i can make them any width was a mistake that made my former trunks look fairly flat, which did not really speak in my favor.

Well, enough words ...
Now to pixels and try to render

Offline AdamAtomic

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #121 on: August 26, 2008, 07:03:18 pm
Something I found helpful when I was learning how to approach things a little more scientifically was to shade the big shapes FIRST, then go back and start working on surface stuff.  So for a tree, even if it had cool, gnarly detailing all over it, you would shade it like a big cylinder first.  Then, when you could see how the light was reacting to the basic, major shape of the object, you can go back and start working in the details, using more appropriate colors (and with a better sense of the overall lighting).

BTW you are making great progress, keep at it!

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #122 on: September 08, 2008, 08:28:45 am
-->
Some newer leaves i made basing on Arachne's technique. There's not half as nice as hers, but they're already doing a nice job (imho). While posting, i realise the major trick that i haven't used : large areas of shadow near the center of the "bunch", which is due to a "hole" in the leaves through which we see the much-darker inners of the bunch. I only casted shadow on immediately neighbour leaves instead.

Yet, starting from the top and going downwards was a much better idea than working from lowest layer and moving up (which i tried to apply with my former "minish-cap-style-trees", but without much success).
I did the outline of the leaves with the darkest shade, then 'filling' the leaves and finally softened the outlines into correct shades (depending on the surrounding, whether they cast shadow, etc.)

Offline Helm

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Re: my little world, new animations ... [please C&C]

Reply #123 on: September 08, 2008, 11:26:47 pm


What I think is most missing from your work is a good sense of contrast and value range. You have too much bright and nearbright colors and a huge range in the middle and then nothing towards the darker edge. You might be doing this to keep the game cartoony, but I think it's hurting the art very much. The relatively straight, full-saturation colors are not a good idea for any sort of game in my opinion.

Also I don't know how you pixel, but your color managment is wasteful. This was 28 colors in your version, it's 14 in mine, do you feel it's less or more colorful? A slight hue tint won't hurt your art nor will it make it instantly GRIMREALIST. In fact, it will make it *less* realistic and more surreal and fantastic if handled correctly.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #124 on: September 09, 2008, 08:55:08 am
I have to admit that i'm really struggling with those palette choices issues, and the low contrast of the DS screen doesn't help much here. I confess too that my palette has turned into a real mess, and that more lines of code are required before i can truly reorganize it.

I will investigate your edit further tonight to find out where were those 14 colours you removed. Obviously, the way i stick new art (here the leaves) onto existing mockup (e.g. trunk) lead to an accumulation of "obsolete" colours in some forgotten pixels ... I'll try to put more effort in the "cleanup/post-processing" phase when building mockups.

As you asked "do you feel it's less or more colorful?" ...
Clearly, no. Not less colorful. More interesting to watch, and shooting to my eyes "look, migh leaves and trunk highlights are not finished ! please give me some more polish"... while my version tended to "hide" this. I'm uncertain about the pure-black shadow for the tree in your edit, though.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #125 on: September 09, 2008, 12:08:23 pm
still in the process of studying helm's colors and techniques. shadow on the trunk definitely plays a significant role too.
Left to right: helm's, mine after killing exceeding colors, wip color reshaping...

I figured out that i was using over-saturated shadows (which makes them not-so-shadows). Also tried to increase the hue-shifting in the leaves, highlights still being untouched. I'll give casted shadows a try when i'll have a bit more time.

Offline Helm

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #126 on: September 09, 2008, 06:12:52 pm
It's a definite improvement. You took the idea and adapted it to your vision. I still think more shadow would work but eh, when I see it in the full mockup then we'll know.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #127 on: February 07, 2009, 05:21:54 pm
<-- old -- run -- new -->

Last month have been heavy at work, but here's a new little walking animation for Bilou (yeah, i couldn't resist with all those great posts on animating walk/run cycles these last weeks). I hope the sub-pixel animation for the eyes do the trick here as they did for the "run" animation.

I guess i'll need to do something on the front feet as it's virtually impossible to see it over the grass right now. Maybe just shading will do it.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 05:28:03 pm by PypeBros »

Offline Lazycow

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #128 on: February 09, 2009, 11:54:17 am
The leg-movements look good! Some minor things: Is his head turning while walking? Then his pupil should move too.
I would change the color of the green shoes. (because of the green grass)
If there is only one movemode, I would prefer the running animation, because it does look more dynamic.

More creatures please!  ;)
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. Yes we can!

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #129 on: February 09, 2009, 12:29:14 pm
The leg-movements look good! Some minor things: Is his head turning while walking? Then his pupil should move too.
The head/body moves, right. But since he's focusing on where he goes, his pupils compensate the head move (or at least, i figured out that if it was me, i wouldn't have my gaze go right and left while walking)
Quote
I would change the color of the green shoes. (because of the green grass)
That'd be the easy way out, but i want to keep the shoes green (he'll cross other lands too where there won't be grass). Instead, i'm trying to fix that with more contrast on the "shoes", but i'm not satisfied with my shading yet.
<- vs ->


Quote
If there is only one movemode, I would prefer the running animation, because it does look more dynamic.
Both walking and running will be available in game. Haven't decided which one would be the default one, though. I'm not that fan of SuperMario run that requires you to hold a button down during the whole game. Clearly running is more interesting, so i could go for the "prince of persia" approach and have a "keep quiet" button to avoid running rather than the other way round.

Quote
More creatures please!  ;)
Heheh ... i'll try the 'fruitbat' tonight. Thanks for your support.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 12:13:15 pm by PypeBros »

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #130 on: February 12, 2009, 08:47:37 am
More creatures please!  ;)

--

No fruitbat today. Instead, here comes the Boppin' Toadstool.
Beware his mad-high bops that will come every 4 bops, and better not touch it at all as it is poisonous.
Any crits/suggestions ? he's not as dynamic as i'd loved him to be :-/

Oh, and before you blame ... Yeah, he's a tribute to Commander Keen's mad mushroom and the decided to borrow colors from larwick (the pixler who drawn that haunted pumpkin and the mushroom-with-a-whole-universe-in-his-mouth).

edit: yes, he's indeed wearing sunglasses
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 04:17:42 pm by PypeBros »

Offline surt

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #131 on: February 12, 2009, 09:40:17 am
Mushroom needs contrast and lots of it.
Eye's don't much work for me. Are they meant to be sunglasses? If so you might want to add the temples to make it more clear, even if there's nothing for them to hold on to.
Some squash of the face during landing might give it more character.

Offline aregon810

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #132 on: February 12, 2009, 02:02:48 pm
about the tree mabey this topic helps you a litle

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=7383.0

i had some great crits there

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #133 on: February 12, 2009, 04:01:31 pm
Mushroom needs contrast and lots of it.
---->

Better ? (just did a color edit ... or should i also review how many colors/how i used them ?)

Quote
Some squash of the face during landing might give it more character.
I'll try that tonight ...

Offline Dr D

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #134 on: February 12, 2009, 06:47:02 pm
Still needs more contrast.. Really try to extend the rank of your ramps, make full use of what you can do.

Offline Boazadreal

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #135 on: February 12, 2009, 10:03:42 pm
Ah I see Commander Keen influence seeping into the character design. Bouncing mushrooms, and yellow worms (almost look like the slugs).  Reading over the posts, your art is looking great. The biggest thing is picking a style and sticking to it, but not being afraid to tweak that style if need be.

Offline surt

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #136 on: February 13, 2009, 02:39:57 am
I played with it a bit much, but I think it should demo a better contrast level at least.
I removed the blue from the sunglasses as I think it only confused things. I think solid black works well enough, or a simple specular highlight as in the edit.

Offline Mathias

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #137 on: February 13, 2009, 05:04:10 am
Wow, sweet edit. It features a strong sideways lightsource, though. Whereas the levels have more of a diffused ambient lighting going on. The sprite's lighting has to make sense with the scenes lighting. What happens when Fungus Fred mirrors to bounce to the left instead of right? Seems a top-down primary light would fix that. Less dynamic, I know.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #138 on: February 13, 2009, 09:53:11 am
Huge thanks for the edit, surt. It is highly instructive. I love how you played with the highlights and shadows to define the volumes of Toady's face ... he almost looks like being modelled in clay and i like that.

That settles the next challenge for me.

@mathias: Bilou already has top-left lighting, as well as every other object in the tileset. I'm not afraid of giving "Fungus Fred" (don't know where you picked that name, but i damn' like it  :crazy:) a fully different sprite when he's facing right instead (Funky Fungus always bounce at the same place, he's not really moving in the level). The nintendo DS has plenty of VRAM and bandwidth to handle this and it will teach me not to be lazy when animating ^_^

(yesterday, i was mad at having lost my edits on Toady due to a stupid bug in SEDS... suddenly it doesn't matter anymore to me  ;) )
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 01:05:02 pm by PypeBros »

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #139 on: February 16, 2009, 10:24:12 am
I played with it a bit much, but I think it should demo a better contrast level at least.
I removed the blue from the sunglasses as I think it only confused things. I think solid black works well enough, or a simple specular highlight as in the edit.


-- vs --
Yeah. applying your advices make my former attempt laughable. The hat is intentionally kept spherical (to oppose the poisonous Funky Funghy against the cute and helpful Mushroom people that i still have to pixelate).
I also refrained from introducing "yellows" in the hat unlike what you did. Though now i'm hesitating on whether it was the right thing to do.

Quote from: Boazadreal
Bouncing mushrooms, and yellow worms (almost look like the slugs).
Well, more influenced by inchworms than slugs in first place, though they received a Worms 2 - inspired revision (like many other characters in the game ...). I swear i won't make them poop around ^_^
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 11:06:35 am by PypeBros »

Offline Dr D

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #140 on: February 16, 2009, 10:36:01 am
Don't be afraid to play with the contrast on foreground objects and sprites, it makes them pop and stick out from the other things, which is probably what you want/need for them, and in that case, the hat could be a little brighter, if you want it to.

The specular thing on the sunglasses have right now aren't really reading as speculars, but more as just a dot, or a pixel, placed there, or possibly an eye that you can sorta-kinda see through them.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #141 on: February 16, 2009, 01:29:32 pm
Don't be afraid to play with the contrast on foreground objects and sprites, it makes them pop and stick out from the other things, which is probably what you want/need for them, and in that case, the hat could be a little brighter, if you want it to.

The specular thing on the sunglasses have right now aren't really reading as speculars, but more as just a dot, or a pixel, placed there, or possibly an eye that you can sorta-kinda see through them.


Well, i'm unsure about how to bring brighter shades in the hat ... i'm already reaching 100% value, so i'm only left the option to desaturate, but then the highlight looks "greyish" to me  :-\

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: my little world, WIP tree ... [please C&C]

Reply #142 on: February 16, 2009, 01:44:36 pm
The hat's highlights have gotten better.  You seem too afraid to go to extremes when it comes to shades, especially when it comes to things such as your tree.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! [please C&C]

Reply #143 on: March 06, 2009, 01:08:25 pm
-->
<-- possible alternative colors, 'blackcurrant' look.
Here comes my 'fruitbat'. It is supposed to be a 'mutated', mono-eyed greenberry.
Please ignore the last berry, which is a "berrybug" attempt.

Does it look "juicy" enough ?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 02:13:07 pm by PypeBros »

Offline Souly

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #144 on: March 06, 2009, 01:46:06 pm
You need the tips to go up as he pulls down if that makes sense.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #145 on: March 06, 2009, 02:17:00 pm
You need the tips to go up as he pulls down if that makes sense.
sorry, but that goes beyond my english skills  :-[
can you rephrase that, possibly pointing frame number rather than "pulls down" ?

I tried to have the static point of the animation roughly 1/3 of the berry/wings fixation as i expect for wing'd guys: he 'lifts up' when flapping down (frame 1 -> frame 2) and falls a bit when preparing the next flap (all other frames).

Offline Dr D

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #146 on: March 06, 2009, 08:00:47 pm
As the wings push down, the air will push against the wings, mainly the tips, as they're pointed down the most, and force them back up, at least a little.

Offline Gil

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #147 on: March 06, 2009, 08:12:54 pm
The problem is that it moves inversely. Instead of going up slowly, then falling down, it seems to slowly fall down, then shoot up when he flaps. Try looking up some references? I might be wrong entirely, that's what my instinct tells me...

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #148 on: March 06, 2009, 09:43:19 pm
Quote
-->
<-- possible alternative colors, 'blackcurrant' look.

reference video <-- which i wasn't using when pixeling.

Okay, so the whole purpose of the wings-flapping of bats is to maintain the gravity center still in this video, just like you'd have your body moving at constant speed when you walk because that's what minimize the energy you spend. If the bat had to "lift up" at every flap, it would be constantly fighting against its own inertia ...

I tried to convey the idea that the berry-bat is too heavy to fly efficiently in my animation. Below, an overview of "monster design" sketch for the fruitbat that should detail what i have in mind.


Therefore, i made the flap-down fast so that it gets more energy and "push" the berry upwards, at the expense of a slower flap-up (wings recoil ?) during which the berry falls down a little.

I'll give it a try with a "stable" bat, but i have the feeling that it'll be less interesting...
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 09:40:34 am by PypeBros »

Offline Willows

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #149 on: March 08, 2009, 12:23:30 pm
People are saying you need some wavey-type-action for your wings.

Take a piece of paper, right now, and "flap" it downward. The part of the paper that you're actively gripping will get pushed the furthest, and every other bit of the paper will follow the action of where you're gripping. The further the distance from the origin of force (grip point), the "slower" it will trail the main force.

The same goes for a bat (or ball)'s wing's. When a bat flaps its wings, most of the force is applied through the shoulder (or seems to be! I could be mistaken :) ) and as such, the bits of the wing furthest from the origin of force (in this case the shoulder) will move down at a slower rate, and thus appear to be higher.

In doing this, things form "C-curves" that instantly tell us where the force is, how much force there is, and where it is going.

The biggest problem with your ball, at the moment, is that its wings are always in a C-curve that suggests they're moving UP, and never acheive a C-curve that suggests they're moving DOWN. Confused?

C    <---- that would be a C-curve suggesting force being applied leftwardly
)     <---- that would be a C-curve suggesting force being applied toward the right.

The top curve is suggesting more force is being applied to it than the bottom curve, because of its more extreme... curve. There aren't up and down brackets, far as I know, so I hope that's clear enough! Your wing's C-curves are always suggesting UPWARD motion, and you need to imply DOWNWARD force in order to show that the body of the beast is being held UP by this DOWNWARD pressure. IF the only pressure ever seen is UPWARD, it'll sooner be seen as flying/swimming downward, rather than flying upward.

If that's not enough, I suggest you do some researchy bits on "Anticipation, Action, and Reaction" and "overlapping action / wave action" for a couple core things on animation and animating.

Offline zeid

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #150 on: March 08, 2009, 05:10:09 pm
really sketchy but:

Consider using some animation techniques for creating a sense of termoil and speed in the characters movement seeing as they are under a grave deal of strain.  Whilst you are giving it bat wings make note that insects tend to have a greater body to wing ratio then these larger animals and so may also serve as good references.  This edit is just meant for ideas, I would also reconsider the face as from what you said he should be under strain not angry.
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Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #151 on: March 08, 2009, 09:34:18 pm
thanks for your tips. I have emergencies right now, but i'll let you see what it became by mid-week, hopefully.

Offline thedaemon

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #152 on: March 08, 2009, 11:44:08 pm
I made a little picture to explain the wings visually.  Really I would use 7 frames of animation if you want it real clear. But whichever you feel like doing. I hope this helps. Remember to keep the wings mostly up at the top of arc and down at the bottom of arc. You don't want to draw a wing in the middle. It will be bad spacing for a flap. :)

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #153 on: March 10, 2009, 08:41:08 pm
thanks willow and thedaemon for your patient explanations. And thanks zeid for your sketch.

I'll have to dig for more videos of flying bat, but i have to disagree with your proposal of "full force down" reverse-flapped wings. I agree that a sheet of paper would do that but unlike a wing, a sheet of paper don't make me fly. Afaik, what makes something fly is either
- speed (like with a plane) and difference of pressure between the two sides of a wing
- wing movement "catching" the air within the wing and "pushing the air down" to lift up.

If you get a look at this video of goose taking off, you'll notice that only the very end of the wings (that is just a feather's length where feathers are separated for direction control, not for lifting up) bends like a sheet of paper. The rest of the wing follows the angle of the bone, and much like i cannot scratch my back with my hand because of how my elbow is made, a goose cannot really appear as the frame #2 of thedaemon's picture.

Depending on which video i watch, it seems that bats do even smaller (but much faster) flaps than those goose, but they still won't show as on frame #2, which i see completely "non-batty".

Offline thedaemon

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #154 on: March 10, 2009, 10:26:27 pm
But you are doing an animation of a cartoon bat with limited frames. You want the clearest read. You want the viewer to know that he is flying. In animation terms this is called "breaking the joints". Check out Richard Williams book for more information on this technique. But again, it's all up to you. I'm just suggesting a clear read of the flapping. It may not be accurate, but neither is your drawing of a bat. Since you have a cartoony style I assumed you wanted a cartoony feel to animation and didn't want to animate 12 frames of animation for a smooth realistic bat wing flap.  Here is a post about breaking joints that should clear some things up.(with pages from Richard Williams' book.)http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/?p=1331

Offline Willows

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #155 on: March 11, 2009, 04:05:36 am
I'll have to dig for more videos of flying bat, but i have to disagree with your proposal of "full force down" reverse-flapped wings. I agree that a sheet of paper would do that but unlike a wing, a sheet of paper don't make me fly.

A paper reacts the same as feathers or a leathery bat wing would, just to a different degree because of the difference in rigidity. I also do not believe a bat's wing would bend as far as a piece of paper, because I know the bat's wings are reinforced by bone, which doesn't bend like paper ;)

Even though it won't bend like paper, that doesn't mean it doesn't bend at all.



Hah, created a whole lot of new problems in that hasty edit, but I believe it looks like it's flying now, if not a bit erratically.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #156 on: March 25, 2009, 11:14:27 am
A few more attempts. I can't find the proper way to do it, obviously.

-- --

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #157 on: March 26, 2009, 12:32:06 am
Okay, here we go.



I tried to get the curved wing thing going on here. I think this is more or less what they're talking about here. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think the perspective's right but I think you'll get the general idea though. This is only half the animation though. The other is making the wings go down. It should just be a simple copy and flip job though. What I basically did was animate the line and change it to a curve. This page might serve as a good reference.

http://tkool.jp/fancontents/lecture/graphic/dot/2nen/2_05.html

Yeah, it's in Japanese. But the main point should just be understood by looking at the pictures.

Sorry if its a bit fast. Darn GIMP and Firefox.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 12:34:04 am by xhunterko »

Offline thedaemon

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #158 on: March 26, 2009, 01:06:09 am
Ok, a quick edit to show you what I meant. Also slowed it down a bit.

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #159 on: March 26, 2009, 10:34:56 am
@daemon : thanks for the edit and the link. I have obviously did it the wrong way.
<-- earlier animation step-by-step

Esp, i have "broadened" the wings on frame too (in a motion blur attempt), but it doesn't work well at all with wings as it works with feets :/
I also have the feeling that i snapshot'd the wrong picture on frame #3. Probably by this time, the wings should start folding again, and no longer be "broken" by the effort.

I note, however, that the technique mentionned on michael's splog is merely a way to "flatten" what happens in reality. If i throw a ball, i'll indeed have my elbow moving first and then my forearm gaining speed by un-bending and finally give it the maximum speed with a wirst twist. No joint break, but i'm moving my arm in 3D using other rotation axes than i used to "charge" my throw.

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #160 on: May 04, 2009, 08:29:23 am
edit on the "berry bat"
--

tried to make it look more like a berry, experimenting color themes for the wings (that might be its leaves), used "speed lines" rather than broken wings in frame #2. Seems to be the best compromise so far... Shouldn't have anti-aliased the eye that way: it makes it look less angry ...

references: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24070952@N07/2898208206/ (plus some illustration on my favorite fruits drink which doesn't show up online :P)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 09:58:13 am by PypeBros »

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #161 on: May 19, 2009, 09:51:33 pm
-
^ ingame image of the new demo

(please ignore red background, just a bug). Any suggestion on the cave/ground tiles ?

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #162 on: May 22, 2009, 06:34:50 pm
Aha, actual mockupry.  No comments? I have some quick comments - the walkable ground is almost indiscernable as walkable when in front of the rockface tiles, case in the point: left sceenshot, bottom middle platforms. I almost missed them  entirely. They appear to bump out from the rockface at all. That's a huge problem. The grass coloring doesn't mesh well all with surrounding colors; looks neon. It think your greens in general need toning down. And those rockface tiles need more variation tiles to break up that monotonous repetition, yow.

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Re: my little world, monsters! ... [please C&C]

Reply #163 on: May 23, 2009, 08:48:17 am
Thanks for the tips, Mathias. I'll try and address these, and hope the greens will be more suited to the "real" background that is coming, otherwise, i'll tone them down.
As for the "bottom middle platforms", they are not actually platforms and the rockface is really a "concrete wall". I hope to use them as 'cheap' way to introduce variation or possibly secret passages.

But you're not the only one to find it confusing whether a given item is wall, platform, secret area, etc. so i will have to review this all.

the story goes on here
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 03:02:05 pm by PypeBros »