AuthorTopic: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!  (Read 3318 times)

Offline eliddell

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Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

on: April 10, 2021, 08:00:24 pm
Here beginneth my posting of the laughable assets for my game project, in the hope of improving them a bit.

This is my goblin.  You can call him A, because his placeholder name in the unfinished game UI is "A. Goblin".  A is the protagonist of my roguelike game project, currently known as "Goblin Mage".  He's presented here against a background colour that matches the main colour of the most-common in-game floor tile (we'll get to the tiles later).

I suspect his arms in the side views are too long, but I'm not sure by how much or whether there's a better way to position them (or is the perspective just playing tricks on me?).

I'm also not sure about the shading around his ear in the bottommost, right-facing view.  Hopefully it's at least clear that the light source is above-left.

I suck at drawing humanoids. :(  And I really need to do my best to fix this guy, because the player is going to be staring at him all the time.

A has a walk cycle.  The walk cycle is terrible.  This is partly on purpose (the idea is to use the smallest possible number of frames, because I have to do four-directional movement animations for ~30 different creatures, which will go much quicker if I use step-pause-step-pause 1-2-1-3 walk cycles out of the 8-bit era), but in this case, I know there should be some torso rotation on the two "step" frames but can't convey it without making things look worse, in addition to the problems from the static frames.


I've included the full game palette in the walk-frames pic.  The idea is to keep it under 64 colours.  Currently I believe it's at 51.  The game is grid-based, with a nominal grid-square size of 32px, but sprites can slop over a couple of additional pixels to the right and an indefinite distance upwards without causing significant breakage.  (The intention is to have some 64x64 boss monsters, but I haven't gotten to that part of the engine code yet.)
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Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 02:43:19 am
Placeholder for my response and possible edit from my part on Monday since I'm outside my place and I absolutely love doing characters :-*

Here I am and what's promised is debt!

From what I see one of your main concerns is the sheer amount of work involved on animating 30~ sprites, I gotchu there brother, just place the lightsource directly above characters, this will allow you to flip one frame of the walking frame, reducing the amount needed from 3 to 2, what's even better in this case is that you can flip the two frames you need for a walking animation with this technique, making the walk cycle 4 frames instead of 3, which may be perceived as a more fluid animation with the same amount of work! (The idea here is to draw the passing and the contact frames of the walk cycles)

But what happens to the extra missing frame? Should all be savings in efforts? Well, no. A good idea is repurpose that frame to give a standing position to your goblin, you can convey a lot of personality in a single frame so the idea is to use it as best as possible to communicate who your character is.

I did a redraw to the character trying to give it a little more personality and also making it resemble more the idea I have of a goblin in mind, and of course, with the lightsource directly above for the reasons I previously mentioned. (The idea I had in mind is a goblin trying to escape from a dungeon, playing as the bad guy to justify attacking his monster friends, kinda dumb, I know)

Other small detail that really adds up is to avoid the outline where the character feet meet the floor, this makes it feel grounded, also add a shadow.

Hope this helps a bit!

There's a lot more to address but I think is better if we help you with this one step at a time.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 03:53:59 pm by SeinRuhe »

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #2 on: April 13, 2021, 02:01:43 pm
(Text now, art probably this evening/tomorrow.)

I should perhaps give a little more background, because this is a comparatively mild-mannered goblin.

He's from a village at the bottom of a cave, where his ancestors have lived for generations.  Problem is, there's now lava encroaching into their living quarters, so they have to Get Out Of There ASAP.

None of the goblins have gone more than a couple of levels upward from their village in generations.  The village has collectively decided that the most useless person who still has a chance of clearing out the monsters on the floors above is the apprentice of the shaman/village elder.  So he's been sent out to fight not entirely willingly, and will probably spend half his time on the first couple of floors wondering how he got into this and why he was dumb enough to help finish off the supplies of mushroom moonshine they can't carry with them last night.  So grumpy and hung over, but not really vicious.  I should have given more thought to the facial detail and posture, though—currently, my version has a lot less personality than yours.

I take your point about the feet.  I've been holding off on cast shadows until I decide whether to go with a translucent version of the near-black brown already in the palette, or something else.  (They are going to have to be translucent shadows, because of the possibility the sprite could be standing on top of an item on the floor, which needs to be reasonably visible if he is.)

Altering the direction of the light is going to require changes to thirty-odd existing tiles . . . but I'm looking at on the order of 300 sprite frames (4-dir movement + 4-dir attack + a death animation per sprite, plus casting or throwing animations for some, plus single static sprite frames of 20 other goblin villagers).  So yeah, changing the lighting direction will probably be an improvement in the long run.

(Want to know what the really scary part is?  Thirty monster types is a really small inventory for this type of game.  Big roguelikes may have hundreds of monster types.  For some reason, they don't animate their tiles, if they even bother having any.)
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Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 02:17:23 am
The story background of the character seems quite good to me, try to convey absolutely the most of that story on the sprite, way he stands, way he walks, even on the attacks! A good yet goofy exercise I do when making characters is acting them in front of my window at night so I can see the reflection (I really need a mirror or a camera xD), believe me, the difference on the results is quite big.

Don't hold on on the shadows, or anything really, it's better to do some stuff twice or trice and be happy with the results than doing it only once and have a suboptimal feeling about it. Shadow specific, code them on a layer below the character and items, transparent or not that's only a matter of changing the layer properties or having to recolor the sprite with some alpha.

If you want to let me see the tiles I'll give them a look, maybe the lighting on them can be fixed without much hussle?

Lastly, I've played some dungeon crawlers, the sheer amount of content of some of them is plain scaring from the dev point of view, what most (If not all) devs do is to have small milestones, this keeps the moral up. For what I see you should even start with a lower count of monsters, have a minimum viable product and after that continue adding up more and more! I'm willing to bet there's still a lot you are trying to figure out for this game, so is better to redo a tiny amount of units and tiles than having to redo everything because you figured out better ways.

Looking forward to see how this plays out!

Offline cels

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 01:07:06 pm
I'm not good at sprites or tiles but I will offer some opinions as an amateur:

What I like about SeinRuhe's edit is that the legs and feet look three-dimensional and placed within a 3D world. I love the use of markers on the ground to establish the position of the feet relative to the ground. I also love how this edit accentuates muscles and bones in order to show actual structure as opposed to having Simpson-esque blob limbs. Even the structure of his cranium and his pronounced brows.

What I like about the original is that it's seen from above. The industry standard seems to be to have a weird perspective that is a mix of front view and top view, or simply just show the front view of a character even though it is seen from above. Like early Zelda games, where we see a sideview of a character in a top-down world. In SeinRuhe's edit, i feel like the torso, arms and head are seen from the front (we can even see under his nose and the shadow of his crotch), whereas in the original we're seeing the character slightly from above. Hence, we see the top of his feet, the top of his shoulders and the top of his head. I prefer the original in this regard.

On the other hand, the side views do not appear to be seen from above. Rather, they seem very strictly sideways. When seen from above, it makes sense that the arms appear longer than the legs (foreshortening) but when seen from the side, it makes him look like an orangutan.

I won't attempt an edit. Not yet anyway, until I have a better feeling of what perspective you're going for and whether you're totally bending the laws of physics like Zelda.

Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 08:12:00 pm
Great tips from SeinRuhe (plenty of them!) and cels.
I do agree with the side animations not looking like they're being seen from above.

It looks like the main problem with the sprite in general is structure. And it's hard to give solid advice without knowing the actual perspective you're using. Buuut... I'd say you could try and make a sort of basic, super simple 3D-ish character model using balls (for the head and hands, don't be silly...) and boxes. Solids, if you will. Then adding the features needed. Thus you would have a more convincing interaction between the characters and the environment they're in.

Something like...


(hopefully that'll get the idea across.)

EDIT: Whoops, silly me, forgot to add depth to the side view of the torso:

« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 08:16:18 pm by fskn »

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 02:06:39 am
I think cels has nailed just what was wrong with the side frames—they're too side-on.  That's what I get for using other people's sprite work as reference without checking that they got it right.  :blind:

Fresh attempt at the front frame, redone mostly from scratch:



Not quite sure about the legs, shorts, ears, or perspective, but we've gone from robotic-expressionless to, "Hey, I'm having a bad day, and if you get in my way, you're going to have a worse one."  That's probably an improvement.  He's also acquired a shadow, and some muscle definition.  Looking back at the original sprite, I'm not quite sure what I was thinking in some regards.

About the tiles—I was mostly just kvetching, truth be told.  The only terrain tiles that would be affected are what would have been shadowed wall corners under the old lighting scheme.  The item tiles that will need to be reworked are mostly 1. mushrooms or 2. armour, and some of the armour tiles are pretty terrible anyway.

The perspective is intended to sort of match the cabinet perspective typical of SNES-era Squaresoft games like Final Fantasy VI, but the sprites in those are so small it's difficult to figure out whether they're perfectly side-on or matching the terrain.  I'm not doing the weird Zelda perspective where you can see all four walls at once or anything like that.

I do have this broken down into chunks/small milestones, although I sometimes get a bit ahead of myself.  Next set of art assets required:  the goblin and his move, attack, and die animations, and one monster (giant rat) and its move, attack, and die animations.  Next coding milestone:  hook up certain bits of the UI so that they're displaying real information and not placeholders, and debug the minimap that's supposed to be appearing on the bottom right.  At that point, I can either work on basic combat or sidestep into dungeon feature placement for a bit.

Existing terrain tiles (I'm not thrilled with the floor tiles, but they don't look quite as bad in context as they do here): 


Existing item tiles (the mushrooms will not be grey in-game): 


Terrain tiles in context (procedurally generated level with old goblin sprite and unfinished UI bits): 
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Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #7 on: April 16, 2021, 03:50:47 am
Great work! Now that's a Goblin! I'll get on some specifics regarding execution this time, bear with me because it may get a little dense.

I think you are over rendering the character and this prompts some issues I'll try my best to explain them and how to fix them:

- There's a lot of banding on the character, this is when there are two sets (or more) of pixels that goes along the other like a staircase, since I suck explaining I'm also adding a visual explanation.

- There's also room for improvement on the light department, I'll explain this with the head only, basically, when an object is lit from above, the planes that face more towards the light will be the ones that receive most light, so they will have the brightest shade, so the top of the forehead should be brighter than the middle of the forehead, but more than that, the shading on the top of the head should touch the outline.

- I see that you are trying to describe the arms as round with the shading, for this is better to have the darkest shade in the middle of the form (Where the terminator is located) due reflective light, this does not need to be super accurate and reflect the correct hue, just a change of value is more than enough. Also keep in mind that limbs resemble a bit more a box than a cylinder, actually a mix of both  :crazy: .

Tiles, sketch or not, look kinda good, my only advice would be to rely more on clusters of pixels to generate texture instead of noise/orphans.

Items suffer from something weird caused by how they are shaded, if you shade with the lightest shade on top, the mid shade on the middle and the darkest shade on the bottom stuff starts to look like a block (think of Mario question block from the NES) try to apply the thing I said earlier of the terminator, you may see an improvement, if not just apply what I said about the planes, and if not let me know to do some extra research  :D .

Lastly, I'm almost certain the screenshot you posted last has some kind of compression because it looks really antialiased.

If something I said makes no sense let me know and I'll try my best to explain it better.

Offline cels

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #8 on: April 16, 2021, 08:45:22 am
SeinRuhe beat me to the punch and did a better job but I will post this as a show of solidarity.



- Totally agree about too much banding.
- I also notice that your color ramps are a bit linear (all basically the same hue, rather than going from colder to warmer). Not a huge issue but may be worth thinking about.
- In regards to lighting, banding and clusters, I think it's potentially problematic that your sprite currently has so much detail packed into it and so few large clusters. It's going to be more labor-intensive if you're going to highlight every ab muscle and use five different shades on his arms. If you look at some of Wolfenoctis' sprites (here), he's very clever at conveying detail without using too many colors and too detailed shading. He also uses very large clusters sometimes, which is probably great for animation. So it's not that one is better than the other, but if you're doing a lot of animated sprites, it might be worth thinking about. Even if you keep the most important sprite (the goblin) more detailed.
- In regards to items, totally agree about clusters vs orphans / noise

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 07:40:17 pm
Okay, iteration the next: 


Reduced the banding, reshaded several areas.  I think that unless you guys can spot something grossly wrong, I'm going to leave it at that, and move on to the back and side views.

I'm aware that I tend to introduce way too much banding and grain into my work (and then have trouble spotting it myself).  Not doing much in the way of art for a couple of years probably made it worse.

Minor details:  the gradients are hue shifted, just not by very much—if you look at HSV samples, the lightest green has a hue of around 80, and the darkest is around 100.  Too conservative, probably.

The image host seems to have recompressed the big screenshot at the end of my earlier post  :( .  Good to know before I post about this project elsewhere, I suppose—I'll need to use smaller screenshots, find a higher-bandwidth image host, or dig out my login info for the webspace I've had for the past ten years but never used.  (Some of it would have shown anti-aliasing anyway, since the most of the UI is built out of primitives drawn by the game framework, but nothing like that.)
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Offline cels

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #10 on: April 20, 2021, 09:46:58 am
Huh, I guess different programs have different ways of displaying hue. Grafx2 and MS Paint come up with different values for your hues. However, they both display the exact same hue for your three darkest greens.

It's definitely a big improvement from the original. Looking back at SeinRuhe's edit, I think he really did a great job with contrast. Moving forward, what area do you need the most feedback on? I'm not sure if all the tiles and items represent your latest work and I don't want to spend time editing something you're already planning on changing.   :)

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 01:32:43 pm
(I've been working on code-related rather than art-related stuff for the past couple of days with respect to this project, so nothing to show yet.)

Several of the items are going to need to be redone to account for the shift in light source.  The wands (second row), amulets (third row), and most of the weapons (fifth row) other than the rock and the bone club that needs to be redone from scratch are fair game for crit in their current forms.

The tiles are a bit complicated, because a lot of them are not meant to be shown on their own, but stacked one on top of the other—frex, take the first tile in the second row, stack the first tile in the seventh row on top of that, and then the second tile of the third row on top of *that*, and you've got a hole full of water.  Omit the topmost tile in the stack, and you have a dry ditch.  Replace it with the second tile from the fifth row, and you have a ditch full of lava.  The engine also does some recombining of quarter- and half-tiles to make things fit together smoothly.

The truth is that most of the tiles aren't the greatest.  The dirt tile was a reject from a different project and consists of brown pixel noise, and I need to break up some of the darker clusters near the top.  I've never been able to draw a water tile I liked, so I went as simple as possible here in order to get something that at least wouldn't result in violent revulsion.  The lava tiles are duplicates of the water tiles, which is a bad idea for gameplay reasons (a colourblind player might not be able to tell them apart).  The ice tiles (that's the fourth row) are just lazy.  The floor tiles have the same problem as the water—I just cannot get one that I like.

The only ones I'm okay with are the wall, stair, and ditch tiles, and I'm aware that those are grainy, but I don't think it's worth the effort to re-work them again (other than fixing the light source thing) and then having to fix the edges and quarter-tiles until everything joins smoothly again.

So if anyone has any advice on those damnable floor tiles, it would be appreciated.  :'(
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Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #12 on: April 20, 2021, 03:09:24 pm
I have next to zero experience on doing this kind of thing, buuut... I think your wall tiles look too overly detailed when compared to the floor tiles. The top ones don't seem to be lit properly, and they really look like someone piled up some rocks there. They don't look like cave walls, if you were going for that.
The bottom ones where the rocks seem to fade into the shadow do look nice. Perhaps because they look more regular, not so much like blobs.
Not that those should be regular too, but the way you've done them, I can't feel the form.

As for your lava tiles, I would suggest adding bubbles, as if it were a big bowl of thick soup. But I don't know if that's too cartoony. Maybe.

And I mean, you could always look at some reference for all of that. Both in terms of photographs of caves and such, and of tiles from similar games that you like. And tutorials such as those by saint11, slynyrd or sadface_rl.

https://saint11.org/blog/pixel-art-tutorials/
https://www.slynyrd.com/blog
https://www.deviantart.com/sadfacerl/gallery/66636178/tutorials
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 04:04:30 pm by fskn »

Offline cels

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #13 on: April 21, 2021, 08:59:25 am
Hi, I'm cels and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Trying to increase readability, reduce noise, create larger chunks and shapes.

I think one potential issue is that if you have too few pixels (e.g. 24x24 canvas) to imitate a large item, like a spear or a staff, then there's really no way to make it visually interesting. It just ends up as being 2-3 diagonal lines of different colours. So I think one key problem is to figure out how to make items visually interesting by either increasing canvas size, creating more elaborate designs or something like that. I think you have to go out of your way to make the items more visually appealing. Instead of showing a top down view of a square amulet with squares on it (which... is a bunch of squares), I think it's better to make it a 3D shape with cracks and gems or something. Find a way to pimp it, basically. That's what I would do, if I was a professional. Which I'm not.  :-[

Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #14 on: April 21, 2021, 01:29:27 pm
cels, you're doing a top notch job. *chef's kiss*

Looks like eliddell is using a 32x32 px grid:



But I don't know how much of a margin he needs between items, if any at all. How much depends on where the items are going to show up, how they're going to be displayed. If he doesn't need margins, then there's a bit more room for larger items.

In some cases he may not need to show them fully, though. For something like a spear you may only need to show the tip, really.

Like:


Or something else representative of that object.
Swords, on the other hand... D:
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 01:37:20 pm by fskn »

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #15 on: April 22, 2021, 04:50:32 am
Finally I have time to read the forums!

Listen to Fskn and Cels with the items, those are really valuable tips, the only thing I may have to add is to draw the items in perspective when they are too big or when you want to give them extra interest! A sword may be too big for your 32*32 size unless you spit(n) it and make it fit  :-* (Aaaaand that came up way too nasty and it's not representative of who I am)

Now... Tiles! For what I see the main aspect to improve is noise, although I get why you use it. Stone, dirt and other textures we find in natural environments tend to have lots and lots of small details, which may be seen as noise, the idea here is to resemble that noise without killing any parents, so no orphans which mean no Batman on this forum.

A good way to replace that noise with clusters (Besides the obvious one, grouping pixels) is to shift the hue of a color while trying to maintain the value, so they kinda blend but not entirely, this can make subtle textures that will read as dirt, wood, etc.

Also, when it comes to dirt, is better to have lots of tiles to avoid pattern recognition from the player's part.

Namely, texture on A is easier on the eyes than B. The example I'm posting is not exactly tiled but you get the idea, shift hue a little, value a little, make clusters not batmans, a little shading here and there, some random cute clusters to emulate noise, and that's it! Bear in mind that the example is far, far, far away from finished, sadly I don't have time for more due work :ouch:



Hope this helps and again, eager to see the progress of your project!

PD: Start using imgur to host your images, it's pretty good.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 05:38:27 am by SeinRuhe »

Offline cels

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #16 on: April 22, 2021, 07:31:26 pm
(Aaaaand that came up way too nasty and it's not representative of who I am)

Indeed? The NSFW portion of your Pixelation portfolio is suspiciously absent. Or perhaps it was censored by the mods. :-\

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #17 on: April 23, 2021, 01:53:12 am
Finally caught up with myself again.  First, some rear and side goblin views:



I'm not sure whether the side view with the flexed legs (matches the front view better, but not really the rear one) or the side view with the straight legs (probably makes more visual sense) is the better one to go with.  I'm not thrilled with the legs of the rear view, either.

Items:  yes, these are 32x32 (same size as the tiles), no margins required.  These are representations for viewing on the map, to indicate "there's a rusty knife on this square" (or whatever)—the items menu has a space reserved for larger pictures, but I'm not looking at those again until I have the items menu coded.  I don't intend to make armour/helms/shields visible on the sprite or in animations for version 1.0, and I'm undecided about how to handle weapons during the attack animations.  The cop-out would be to use an early-Final-Fantasy-style "shake the weapon in the direction of the enemy" animation and sub a weapon sprite in, but realistically there should be different animations for stabby and cutting/bashing weapons.

I'm not sure about using only parts of the items.  I don't think it's quite the right thing to do here.  I'm aware that this is going to mean that some items aren't quite to scale (but then some of them would be nearly invisible if I drew them to scale, so . . .)

The format of the amulets was a (likely bad) worldbuilding thing.  The goblins are still stone-age and have almost no access to wood (only small quantities of driftwood), so most of the items they have are made of rock or bone.  Hence, simple bone amulets, with carved surface grooves filled with earth pigments.  However, 1. the goblins could easily have access to clay (and do have fire), making crude ceramic objects possible, and 2. some of the amulets could have been dropped by human adventurers.  So I hadn't thought that through as thoroughly as I maybe should have.

cels, I like your axe and knife with the "very bone" handles.  They convey the materials better even if they're not strictly realistic (judging from all the time I spent staring at stone knives courtesy of Google Image Search, although I think a lot of those were actually antler handles).  I'll see what I can do with that idea at some point.

fskn, thanks for the tut links!  There's some there that I haven't seen before.

Okay, now back to the dirt tiles.

The truth is, back before XMas, I was already struggling with the damned dirt tiles (although this wasn't the project they were intended for).  Among other things, I looked at a whole bunch of dirt tiles from commercial games (granted, mostly older ones).  Nearly all of them consisted of pixel noise.  Those that didn't, tended to be a single solid colour.  The best I was able to come up with was this, which I located today in a file containing a mixture of stuff-I-didn't-use:



Tile + variation loosely based on a tile from one of the SNES-era Breath of Fire games.  Anyway, definitely not pixel noise, but it didn't work with the grass tiles I was also working on at the time, so I shelved it.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to create useful transitional tiles from this.

And finally, image hosts.  I don't use imgur because I not-infrequently run into situations where something hosted there just won't display for me.  For instance, in the currently running "Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]" thread on this board, I can't see the image in the opening post (or any other pics except the one in cels' most recent post).  I don't know whether imgur hates Pale Moon, or Linux, or my ISP, or my high-security no-Javascript-or-cookies-unless-specifically-permitted setup, or what, but there's obviously  something not quite right.  Postimages is obnoxious in a number of ways, but I've never seen them completely flake out that way.
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Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #18 on: April 23, 2021, 03:40:20 am
Quote
I looked at a whole bunch of dirt tiles from commercial games (granted, mostly older ones).  Nearly all of them consisted of pixel noise.  Those that didn't, tended to be a single solid colour.

Be especially careful when doing this, the graphics for your game strikes as current, not old style. Referencing nostalgia is really important but it's better to look at contemporary pieces to develop graphics, looking backwards not considering 20 to 30 years of common knowledge growth on pixel art may not be the best dirt path to take :blind:

Regarding the Goblin, seems like the new side view struggles more than the first one ??? You are taking into account the centre of balance but not masses and poses, what makes it seems like he's going for a doodoo is the position of the spine and head, a way to fix this is to have a clear picture of the pose in your mind and add a little tilt to side poses, so it's a 3/4 instead of a full side view, this only for the standing frames, when walking you can go full side view since there's movement.

I don't think I have the time to do an edit on your piece this time so I'll add a really quick sketch of a rotation for my render of your character for you to check. The very best advice I could give you is to work on a software that has layers or a timeline, in that way you can switch layers or frames to see the rotation and possible inconsistencies in volume and positions (Onion skin is not that useful when doing this rotations).

« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 03:43:36 am by SeinRuhe »

Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #19 on: April 23, 2021, 12:00:07 pm
Items:  yes, these are 32x32 (same size as the tiles), no margins required.  These are representations for viewing on the map, to indicate "there's a rusty knife on this square" (or whatever)—the items menu has a space reserved for larger pictures, but I'm not looking at those again until I have the items menu coded.  I don't intend to make armour/helms/shields visible on the sprite or in animations for version 1.0, and I'm undecided about how to handle weapons during the attack animations.  The cop-out would be to use an early-Final-Fantasy-style "shake the weapon in the direction of the enemy" animation and sub a weapon sprite in, but realistically there should be different animations for stabby and cutting/bashing weapons.

I'm not sure about using only parts of the items.  I don't think it's quite the right thing to do here.  I'm aware that this is going to mean that some items aren't quite to scale (but then some of them would be nearly invisible if I drew them to scale, so . . .)

Them being out of scale isn't really a problem. The important part is that they must be readable. In which case, and if you want them to be items on the map, you could simplify them to the point where they're basically just silhouettes.

I'm thinking of something like the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild interactive map, and iconography for that game in general (UI-conography? :þ)
https://interfaceingame.com/wp-content/uploads/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-map.jpg
https://interfaceingame.com/wp-content/uploads/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-bow-zoom.jpg

They do use fully rendered depictions of those items too, though, when they want to be more specific:
https://interfaceingame.com/wp-content/uploads/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-buy-items.jpg
https://interfaceingame.com/wp-content/uploads/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-food.jpg

Old-ish maps also have single color icons to represent what's in a certain spot.
TSR used to do this for D&D too, back in the day.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6f/5c/27/6f5c278de97b3703cb3ffc561c2e32da.png
(BIG image warning: 3565 x 2894 px, 4.29 MB)

But I think it would be wiser to design the screens completely in Photoshop or whichever graphic program you're using so that you can first have a good overall look of the whole thing, and also so that you can change things quickly. Then design icons that would fit that layout.
(I'm assuming you're doing the other way around, designing icons first.)

---

EDIT:

Changed the squatting goblin to what I think would look more in line with the front and back facing sides.





Changed the posture, made the nape not too low, longer head, changed the position of the feet, shape of the arms... smaller nose, gave him more of a muzzle... Tried to make his feet look like they're pointing outward not straight forward...
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 01:15:06 pm by fskn »

Offline ornamentsbyelves

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #20 on: April 29, 2021, 09:55:07 am
Altering the direction of the light is going to require changes to thirty-odd existing tiles . . . but I'm looking at on the order of 300 sprite frames (4-dir movement + 4-dir attack + a death animation per sprite, plus casting or throwing animations for some, plus single static sprite frames of 20 other goblin villagers).  So yeah, changing the lighting direction will probably be an improvement in the long run.

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #21 on: May 04, 2021, 01:18:31 am
Thanks for the edit, fskn!  I'm afraid it's going to be another week or more before I have more time to work on this, though.  Currently involved in coding stuff on a different project.

@SeinRuhe:  The catch is, I'm familiar with a lot of old 2D console RPGs, but not so much with more modern games.  Graveyard Keeper is one of the few that I have knocking around that has good-quality graphics of the right type.  Anyway, I'm hoping to run off a copy of https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3990489 before I get back to the goblin, which ought to help with pose consistency even if the limb lengths are off.
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Offline Voidfyre

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #22 on: May 08, 2021, 08:26:49 pm
Hi, so far I've only been a lurker, but something about your project really called my attention and decided to make an account.

I love all things roguelike/lite, and I love the premise of the story and the idea for this game, wish I could play it now!

So, regarding the sprites, the edits other members made and your edits all look more "pro" if you will, but there was just something so endearing about the original one, it's my favorite one! I think its expression fits the lore you describe better, and the other designs look more like the generic idea of a goblin, more villain-esque, whereas the original one fits a player character better, in my opinion.

If I were you I'd keep the original one and work on improving its quality while keeping its essence intact, and use the other sprites as enemies or maybe NPCs from the goblin town.

Anyways, this project is looking awesome, I'm a sucker for tilebased roguelike sprites.
Keep us updated!

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #23 on: June 02, 2021, 02:11:59 am
Ugh, back after what I know only feels like forever.

@Voidfyre, thanks for your kind words.  I hope the game doesn't end up disappointing you when and if I finally manage to get something playable out of it.  As for the original sprite, there are a lot of other problems with it, but I'll think about the expression on the current one.  I was trying for "a bit irritated, but not vicious".

Anyway, I have a few new tiles to show.  First, some dirt:



I went ahead and added transitions to the tiles I showed before.  At least it isn't pixel noise.

Second, some lava:



These aren't quite the final tiles—there are still some issues with the bottom edges and tiling—but it no longer looks like orange water.  It helped that I realized that, unlike the water and the ice, there's no gameplay reason for the lava to be translucent:  any object that falls in ain't gonna be fished out again.
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Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #24 on: June 02, 2021, 10:01:54 am
The dirt looks nice, and it really isn't pixel noise (which is good) but it still pretty noisy (which is bad).
I would try using flatter-looking areas with perhaps a few mounds of dirt here and there for variation.

It may look good enough if you painted some blobs of a single color on top of what you have there...

By the way your host or something compressed the image again, it's all full of artifacting.
Imgur is a much better image host (at the moment anyway) and it won't compress your PNG files or turn them into JPEGs. You can actually copy paste images there and then grab the link, no need to go through the process of saving a copy then uploading it there.

Offline eliddell

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #25 on: June 02, 2021, 11:20:26 am
As I've said before, images on imgur often just don't show up for me, and I'm not sure why.  That makes me reluctant to use it.

Time for me to unmothball that webspace, I guess.
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Offline fskn

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Re: Sprites and tiles and UI bits, oh my!

Reply #26 on: June 02, 2021, 02:18:22 pm
As I've said before, images on imgur often just don't show up for me, and I'm not sure why.  That makes me reluctant to use it.

Time for me to unmothball that webspace, I guess.
Ah, yeah, I forgot. It sucks that most image hosting websites are meant to store photos so they will most likely compress the images you upload.
I guess alternatively you could try this one: https://imgbb.com