Critique > Pixel Art

Barbarian sprite with NES specs [WIP][C+C]

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So, I'm beginning a new project, inspired/influenced by Castlevania. So far I'm not too concerned on making it super optimized, more if the animation and overall look feel right.

I'm not too keen on that "idle" part, with him flexing his knees... I may cut it out.

Any comments or suggestions?
Thanks in advance.

Quick edit: Slightly different colors (different NES palette).
Also modified the face a little bit, making it look like he's facing a bit more toward the camera.

I think the sprite is quite good! I also like the animation but the main issue for me is that the punching technique is all wrong. And while that may seem like a trivial detail, I think the success of animation in games like Street Fighter 2 is that those animators really understood proper martial arts technique.

I would suggest looking at some YouTube boxing tutorials for how to throw a good right cross. Ideally, you don't want to lean forward at all. You want him to generate power by rotating his hips. Even for people who don't box, I think this will read as being more powerful. When someone is rotating their hips to throw a ball or a punch, it looks more powerful because it is.

I also wonder if the boots look a bit cartoonish relative to the rest of the sprite, as they only have two colors and appear to have dark outlines (except for the top of one foot).

Great work though, I like it.

Yeah, my main concern there was reach, but I took a BIG guess. xD
And now that I think of it, if he punched with his left arm he would've had a longer reach than with his right... But I'll probably give him a weapon and that would be the "stab" animation. Still, your critique makes a lot of sense. I'll look into some reference. Thanks!
I really should have done that to start with...

The boots do look a bit cartoonish, don't they? I think it's the upper part. I'll look into that too.
Right now I'm considering using two different palettes for the upper and lower body, but being that he's not wearing pants that would only affect his boots (if I don't tie it to something else, like a health meter and/or his weapons)... and the lower part of his shorts/loincloth, if I choose 8x16 hardware sprites instead of 8x8.

By optimizing what I have there so far I can make that use 20 sprites (out of 256) if I use 8x8... 16 if I remove the flex. But with the right mapper apparently I could bank swap for many animations and the swap itself could be super quick, so ... maybe I shouldn't be too concerned on using the fewest tiles as possible.
The challenge of trying to fit everything there does make it more fun, though...

So... yeah, decisions, decisions.

I can't help you with the low spec decisions, I have zero experience with that. I don't know much about animation either but years of kickboxing and other martial arts tend to make me persnickety about kicking and punching in games. So I am obliged to inform you that rotating the hips means that both punches have equal reach. It makes sense if you consider the symmetry of the body and the fact that one is simply rotating the hips. If one has more reach, it means you're moving your feet, hips or (hopefully not) shoulders closer to your target. In both video games and in real life, the cross (i.e. rear hand) often has more reach even though it starts further from the opponent because of the way people move their feet and/or hips. I can go into detail about that if you want but I expect you're not making a game about the Barbarian Boxing championship.  ;D


--- Quote from: cels on April 20, 2021, 01:40:45 pm ---I can go into detail about that if you want but I expect you're not making a game about the Barbarian Boxing championship.  ;D

--- End quote ---

Haha! I'm not... But I'm curious!

I'm not sure I could make him rotate his hips here. Maybe (and that's a big maybe) I'll have to keep the lower body static, but if not, then that sort of information will come in very handy.


EDIT: While looking for tutorials for eliddell, I found this one by slynyrd that could be useful for me. Like you said, he isn't supposed to be boxing, but maybe some of it could be adapted to make the attacks more interesting.


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