AuthorTopic: Barbarian sprite with NES specs [WIP][C+C]  (Read 6689 times)

Offline fskn

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

Reply #60 on: May 22, 2021, 03:13:15 am
Looks amazing! I'm super jelly. Out of curiosity, are you planning to add some kind of warping or smearing to compensate for the few frames?
Thank you.

With the NES hardware in mind, I could only do a few things. (as far as I'm aware, so prepare your grains of salt.)
First, movement in general is handled by the game code, so positioning things on screen on a frame-by-frame basis and how smooth that transition between frames looks is basically a matter of having high(-ish) framerate and positioning the sprite(s) in small increments.
I could've tried to simulate that in Photoshop (and I might) but I was trying to be quick and "git it dun" so I could have an idea if those frames of animation were working, if I would have to change anything, adding more frames or what. I'm thinking those are plenty, though... Dunno how things are going to look like in the morning. :lol:

In terms of adding smears like what I did with the sword slash animation (which btw desperately needs a revision...), I think I can do that to some extent (obviously drawing those smears by hand), but then it could be hard to reuse bits of those sprites in other frames.

Let me try to define a few things here in order to try and make things less confusing (?!?)

This is Ninja Gaiden III running on the FCEUX emulator:


The smaller window is the PPU viewer, which shows all the tiles used on that screen. Each of them is 8x8 in size.
On the left, the background tiles, and on the right the sprite tiles. Underneath that some options that don't matter much to the discussion here, and at the bottom all the color palettes used in that frame. In the first row those reserved for the background tiles and in the second those for sprites.

Those sprite tiles are arranged in a way and stored in memory (somehow, dunno exactly how those things work) to form "meta tiles" which in this case are the frames of animation for the respective sprites.
Here are some I arranged inside of Photoshop:


There you can see how a lot of those are reused to make different frames and be efficient in order to use the least amount of space in a cartridge as possible.

Now, those are not all of the tiles that game uses for Ryu's animations (and there are no enemy sprites there either), so those graphics are swapped for a different "page", unlike Super Mario Bros, which (again, as far as I'm aware) has all of its graphics assets in two of those pages... And I don't know how many of those I will, eventually, have available for me...

So, yeah, I want to do the best I can while still being reasonable, trying to make a shippable game, but I don't know yet how much I could fit in a cartridge.

And the NES hardware is really limited by today's standards, I can only flip those sprite tiles horizontally or vertically, not rotate them, so anything that should indicate rotation would be limited by that and me drawing new graphics to accomodate it.
Thus why in the "flip" animation I had to make a 45 frame, otherwise it would be very choppy.

I've taken a look at the NES sprites for the original Prince of Persia after you mentioned it, and that uses a lot of tile pages for the Prince (not to be confused with The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. :P)... but that may be a very special case.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 01:41:28 pm by fskn »

Offline cels

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

Reply #61 on: May 22, 2021, 06:51:29 pm
Ah, that's interesting! Thanks for the detailed explanation. It'll probably make it easier to understand where you're coming from.

I'm not sure I'll ever want to work with such extreme (by modern standards) restrictions, but I suppose it will be very rewarding when you finish this. Did you already find the basic gameplay parameters that you're happy with? Movement speed, attacks, jumping height, etc? Are you playing the game already in a 'white box' stage? Might be difficult to adjust certain things if you've already done the animations.

Offline fskn

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

Reply #62 on: May 22, 2021, 07:15:09 pm
Did you already find the basic gameplay parameters that you're happy with? Movement speed, attacks, jumping height, etc? Are you playing the game already in a 'white box' stage? Might be difficult to adjust certain things if you've already done the animations.
Nope, still just a very vague idea of what I would like it to be. I'm not a programmer so I can't really do that part, but I think I could try implementing something in a friendlier engine, say, on Godot or Stencyl or something. Just so that I can prototype stuff and show it to whoever ends up programming it for the actual thing.

There's a bunch of stuff that I can still do, though, I think. Which is the basic graphic stuff. Characters, enemies, items and backgrounds.
And I feel like I need that to then find a person that would be willing to collaborate, so I can, hopefully, whet their appetite. :P

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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

Reply #63 on: May 23, 2021, 01:53:43 pm
I've been busy the last few weeks and haven't had a chance to drop by. You've done so much amazing work in that time! I particularly like the running jump/flip. The font is also great, although I wonder if the 'M' could be reworked because it appears more squat than the other letters. I had a go but couldn't quite figure it out. I think the issue comes from the curves at the bottom of the stems, although it's hard to do anything about it without making them look too chunky.

I don't really have any other comments yet because this looks so good!

Offline fskn

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

Reply #64 on: May 23, 2021, 02:05:08 pm
I've been busy the last few weeks and haven't had a chance to drop by. You've done so much amazing work in that time! I particularly like the running jump/flip. The font is also great, although I wonder if the 'M' could be reworked because it appears more squat than the other letters. I had a go but couldn't quite figure it out. I think the issue comes from the curves at the bottom of the stems, although it's hard to do anything about it without making them look too chunky.

I don't really have any other comments yet because this looks so good!

Oh, wow, thanks Bisonte.  :-[

Um... Yeah, the font has some problems. I have to fit each character into a 8x8 square so the M and the W end up looking too compressed horizontally. I'm thinking of a way to make it look like a lowercase "m" but having it just be the last "leg" of the m, and combining it with the "n". So 2 characters for the letter m.
Some other game has done that and I thought it was so clever I may end up stealing that for me. :P (maybe, I don't know yet.)

As I have 2 other colors to "spare" there (sorta) I might also try and redo every letter in a higher resolution, then use the posterize trick to handle the anti-aliasing, then give it some manual touch-ups.
*mythbuster's announcer voice* At least that's the theory!

Offline fskn

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

Reply #65 on: May 24, 2021, 12:00:14 am
Crouch > roll 1st pass:



I think I made him bigger in the inbetween frames...

Offline cels

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

Reply #66 on: May 24, 2021, 12:29:05 am
In my opinion, this animation lacks the fluidity, energy and realism of your other animations.

Obviously this comes down to preference and what kind of gameplay you have in mind, but I think I would do one of two things.

A: If the point is to make the character move underneath objects or incoming attacks while moving forward, I would do a slide instead of a roll. Yeah, it's kind of Titanfall / Mirror's Edge and was super cool 10 years ago, but I just think it's more fun and dynamic. Crouching down and then rolling in a tight ball on the ground like a kid at gymnastics class or like a slow Sonic the Hedgehog would not be my first choice. You can do a sprint straight into a slide and get some really good 'flow' for the player. Something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9_17IULPlw&t=234s&ab_channel=SuperDukes666SuperDukes666

B: If you can afford the tiles and you want a more realistic and dynamic roll, I would do something like Unworthy (EXAMPLE) or like a judo forward roll (LINK), where the character isn't first crouching down and then tucked into a tiny 8x8 cannonball, but rather hurtling forward in a huge arc, rolling over his shoulders while legs are relaxed and slightly extended, instead of tucking the knees under his chin. Looks more appealing and feels better in terms of gameplay, I think.

Sorry if my feedback comes across as unhelpful or harsh, I guess this is a pet peeve I didn't realize I had. Crouching and rolling in 80's games. But at least you're not doing the crouching bunny hops of Prince of Persia. God help you if you do that.  :yell:

PS: I'm not doing an edit because I'm a bit pressed for time and it may be pointless if your reaction is simply: "Yeah, no, I prefer the way I envisioned it". Which is entirely your prerogative, needless to say.  :)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 12:30:36 am by cels »

Offline fskn

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

Reply #67 on: May 24, 2021, 12:57:10 am
Hmm, yeah... I don't think a slide fits, and I really didn't want to do that because I want to do something that looks more weighty (although, yeah, that jump is quite unlike someone that's heavy), but the judo roll fits it p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y. Thanks for the reference and for the lengthy reply!

I'll look into Unworthy a little better throughout the week!

Offline SeDiceBisonte

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

Reply #68 on: May 31, 2021, 08:46:39 am
Um... Yeah, the font has some problems. I have to fit each character into a 8x8 square so the M and the W end up looking too compressed horizontally. I'm thinking of a way to make it look like a lowercase "m" but having it just be the last "leg" of the m, and combining it with the "n". So 2 characters for the letter m.
Some other game has done that and I thought it was so clever I may end up stealing that for me. :P (maybe, I don't know yet.)

Interesting! Would that also apply to the "w", except with it starting with the "v"? I actually like the shape of the "w" a lot at the moment, but I imagine having both it and the "m" as double-width characters would look consistent.

Offline fskn

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

Reply #69 on: May 31, 2021, 09:47:55 am
Interesting! Would that also apply to the "w", except with it starting with the "v"? I actually like the shape of the "w" a lot at the moment, but I imagine having both it and the "m" as double-width characters would look consistent.
Yeah, I think so. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that because that last part of both M and W would have to be pretty wide otherwise the space between letters would be really bothersome to look at, like the uppercase "I" and lowercase "l" and "i" usually are... And both N and V would have to touch the boundaries of an 8x8 tile.

The W, for instance, would have to look something like this:

I guess it works better for squarish letters. Or 8x16 characters, as the gap between "N" and "\", and "V" and the other "V" could be small enough to sort of disappear.

But I'm undecided right now for what kind of a typeface would look more inline with this game. It could be something more 70s looking, more whimsical, or just heavier and more solid looking...

I did this other font face one these days which I could use instead:




Playing around a little bit with the 4-palette, 16x16px area per palette limit of the NES... Still got 1 palette to "spare"...



I don't think I'm going to use this anywhere, I'm using it more for practice.
I wasn't thinking about doing that when I started, so that's why there's too much color clash... Some optimization would be required (moving things around, changing some shapes to conform, etc.)

This is how those areas are divided:




Could use something like this if I were to use all 4 palettes (not counting those for sprites, just using bg tiles):

« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 03:28:44 pm by fskn »