AuthorTopic: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [WIP][C+C]  (Read 5809 times)

Offline fskn

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

on: April 19, 2021, 03:05:17 pm
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.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 08:23:34 pm by fskn »

Offline cels

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 09:38:14 am
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.

Offline fskn

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 01:16:36 pm
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.

Offline cels

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #3 on: April 20, 2021, 01:40:45 pm
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

Offline fskn

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #4 on: April 20, 2021, 02:12:54 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

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.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 03:14:26 pm by fskn »

Offline cels

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #5 on: April 20, 2021, 03:12:02 pm
I don't have time to do an edit right now, but maybe you can look at sprite sheets from other fight games in order to learn from the masters?

https://www.spriters-resource.com/fullview/118266/

The gold standard is Makato from Street Fighter 3, in my opinion. But she is obviously heavily exaggerated in her animations. Which is cool.

Offline fskn

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #6 on: April 20, 2021, 03:19:58 pm
I don't have time to do an edit right now, but maybe you can look at sprite sheets from other fight games in order to learn from the masters?
I was thinking of doing exactly that. xD

Street Fighter was my first thought, anyway, but... I may need a different type of reference. More brawling, less martial arts.
But don't worry, I'll do some research.

Offline fskn

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 03:00:14 pm
Slow progress. I redid some of the punch animation. And did an alternative "hook" (-like) punch.
I'm thinking if a smear/speed line/arc thingie could be used to make the reach a little longer...



It feels a little choppy right now.

---

Maybe if I just keep the head in profile the whole time...

« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 03:14:18 pm by fskn »

Offline SeinRuhe

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 05:50:02 pm
Hey! Look, more time for the forums  ;D

I totally love the character design, reads so clear that is scary, I may have to put you down to eliminate the competition :mean:

First of all I have to say I've never worked with restrictions in mind so my advice may not be as useful for this specific case but here I go:

- As it is, well, the punch feels weak and the reason is exactly what Cels told you, It's all about those hips baby, my advice when animating anything is to picture yourself as the subject, in this case, throw some punches and try to feel what every part of your body is doing.

- More specific, I think there are two principles of animation that can be applied here without hindering playability: Anticipation and Overshoot. Since this is for a game anticipation can't be actual frames, instead of that use the smear to convey that anticipation, simply draw the smear from his back to the front, this gives the impression of anticipation. As for overshoot, well, in this case is better to add another frame for it and push everything a pixel further, the feel a single frame can provide is out of this world.

- Again, not sure of the palette or the restrictions, but for the idle you may want to try sub pixel animation like in Metroid for the SNES, so, some movement of the outline, followed by movement on the shading only (Pretty much an after image, like Megaman dash)



I'm sure my edit has many improvements that can be implemented to give it a better feeling so if you guys have any ideas I will be really happy to read them! I hope the edit helps with your project!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 05:54:51 pm by SeinRuhe »

Offline cels

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Re: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [C+C]

Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 06:02:23 pm
Nice! I definitely prefer the version with the head turning. I don't have a gif editor but I wonder if it would be possible to rotate his rear foot as he's rotating his hips.  If this is meant to be seen at 4x or 8x, I can understand if you're worried that it'll be too choppy. Maybe more frames can fix that.


(The highlights on the boots look weird but I included them in case you didn't want the boots to flicker as he punched)

In terms of making the hook reach a little longer, I guess you could do that. It's not realistic but it looks good and it makes it easy for the player to understand and read.

PS: Really great edit by SeinRuhe and I note that he's twisting his rear leg as he's punching as I was going to suggest. This is a natural consequence of turning the hips and helps reinforce the feeling of power like it's not just upper body.  :y: ;D