AuthorTopic: platformer sprites and animation dump  (Read 21783 times)

Offline Frankiesmileshow

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platformer sprites and animation dump

on: July 31, 2008, 02:56:57 am
im working on a platformer game right now, with game maker. Ive been doing some work on it on and off for a few months, mostly doodling sprites, but I've only recently started to work on it seriously.
I'll dump stuff I do for it here as I do it and also screenshots or mockups. Feel free to play around with them and give me them' crits!


The basic premise of the game is that you have a bunch of aliens that are stuck in a large, sick labyrinth made by a some unseen evil genius of sorts, and one after the other, the evil genius lets them try to escape. Im designing quite a bunch of aliens, but so far I only animated and programmed the movement of that green three-eyed one, so you will likely see him a lot more in the screenshots at first.

Heres two screenshots showing the two "sceneries" that exist in the game right now. One is like, high tech facility and the other a cavern.


One thing I think I might change is the tone of the background tiles for the hi tech-ish area. Instead of darker blues and greens, I think ill give them a red hue, so they really contrast more with the foreground tiles.

Heres a few sprites of the first alien:

Heres an image showing some of his states, which is something related to how this alien is controlled (all of the aliens have weird gimmicks tied to them, this one gradually turns into an horrible monster as he is exposed to a certain radiation. As this monster he is more awkward to control, slower and easier to hit, but his attack becomes stronger)


And heres some sprites for one enemy ive started to draw. Its some sort of walking mine.

Heres the explosion for when that mine goes off. Ive juuust finished that one and im pretty proud of it!


And finally heres a few other enemies I thought about and made quick sprites of. The first row are like, of the same "species" as the mine, but like, they shoot at you instead of just blowing up. The second row will be tougher to beat but slower guys who spawn enemies from the first row. (Maybe upon death or maybe every X seconds, or both, not sure yet)


I should very soon have some sort of technical demo playable to show how it moves and give a better idea of what all of this looks together. Movement works, just got done with some room transition problems and such, and got rid of a few bugs involving the cavern area's slope surfaces.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 03:35:01 am by Frankiesmileshow »
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Offline chriskot

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 03:17:48 am
I really like this. The explosion and mine activation animation are both really nice.
My only criticism would probably be that I find the backgrounds distractingly noisy, at least in these screens.

Offline EvilEye

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 04:25:57 am
Nice work on the animations.

Are you limiting yourself to 16 colors or something? Seems to be a lack of color variety.

The first background is confusing as to what its supposed to be.

Offline Frankiesmileshow

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 04:53:16 am
Im still working on the sets of tiles for the backgrounds. Basically I'm trying to make lots of tiles of various patterns and then brick them together for the walls. Heres my current tile set. I'm trying to keep down the number of tiles and colors used, without going overboard with the limitations.



The main problematic tiles here are the two groups of 6 tiles at 0,3 - 2,6. There the ones I use for the "hi tech" section of the maze. The six top ones are the ones I use for walls, the six bottom ones are for backgrounds.
I think I will try to use less of them and go with large areas of flat colors, and just use these to break the flatness at certain places. I don't know, I'm not sure how to approach that!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 04:58:20 am by Frankiesmileshow »
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Offline Helm

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 05:00:51 am
I'd fade those cavestory rock tiles to a flat color tile after one or two tiles of depth, and just have added detail tiles in the masses of dirt. You don't need the noise I think.

Also congratulations on what is probably the best Pixelation avatar right now. Have a cookie.

Offline qunit

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 10:26:45 am
wow great animation - expacily the explotion and the jumping mine-field thing
 
besides that i think you should make your tiles less detailed and highlighted.. it would make your sprites bolder.
In the cave tile you could add some holes in the wall... or worms or something to make it look nasty

but overfall great work  :y:
One pixel at a time

Offline Lurdiak

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 01:04:54 pm
I think part of what makes some of your tiles seem so flat is that they kind of parse as "a bunch of dots" in some places, which is compounded when you get a larger area of such tiles next to each other. As a simple fix for the cavern tiles I'd suggest varying the size of the little rocks that jut out, and try to give an illusion that some are jutting out further than the others as well. Before even that, breaking the feeling of symmetry will keep the eye from parsing it as a grid.

I made a really minor edit (technically my first tile work ever) to show what I'm talking about:

I edited the middle tile of this group:
(yours)
(mine)

It's barely noticeable when viewed like this, all I did was make some of the squares bigger and add little bits to ones near it to both create an illusion of depth and to break up the grid symmetry. It's a very minor, very sloppy edit, but look at the difference it makes when I replace that tile on your cave screenshot:



As you can see, it no longer parses like a bunch of dots on a flat background, but more like a textured surface. Obviously this is FAR from perfect but I just wanted to give you an idea of just how valuable asymmetry, varied shapes and varied sizes are. This sort of randomization and depth wouldn't work as well for your techno background, but the problem is still the same: it parses like a grid, which makes it look flat. I suggest looking at various techno tiles from megaman and other such games to get an idea of what you can do, and minimize the ammount of "dots" you have, even if all you do is make them bigger and add highlights and shadows around them.

Your character and animations are beyond reproach, and that is a sweet explosion, so I'm afraid that's all the advice a nubish like me can give you.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 01:06:51 pm by Lurdiak »
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Offline Frankiesmileshow

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 03:48:11 pm
Thanks for the tips! Its true that all this same pattern over a large area got pretty boring, followed your advice helm and adding large areas of flat color. Im making kind of stratas of alternating rocks and flat.

Also thanks Lurdiak, though I'm not sure there, I do see there is a grid problem with the dotted tile (And actually there is a MUCH worse grid problem with the background rock tiles: I left an actual grid of black on it by mistake, and I didn't see it until now! Like, you can clearly see a vertical and horizontal black line on them, look at them closely) it lacks randomness so a pattern can be seen, but adding some larger dots in the middle like you did might just make it worse, making the single tiles even more easy to pick out because an element stands out in em. I think I got rid of the grid now though, I reduced random dots to single pixels instead of 2x2. It stays sort of uniform yet its more random and sparse this way.

new-----------------------old

(I only applied the new tile pattern on the cliff below Pepito here (the green guy's name is Pepito how awesome is that)

ALSO! I changed some tiles:

most changes are on the cavern tiles and the dark blue tiles of the hi tech maze, where I used less of that third pale color and made them overall darker, and added some red to one of the colors used. Now theyre much less distracting I think!


Next step for these tiles is to add some machinery in the back. I will leave large areas of black and place some machines, maybe adding animated parts to some. They will likely just be drawn with like 2 or 3 colors so they dont stand out too much and arnt mistaken for elements your dude will be able to step on. I'm not sure what kind of machines I should put there though. Pipes and boilers or something I guess, or maybe weird nonsense mechanical parts, like huge cogs. hehhh castlevania.....


Also right now I'm encountering problems of another nature! Game maker doesn't seem to let me turn pixel interpolation off (both the "set_texture_interpolation(false);" or something code and the game options checkbox dont seem to change anything to it), so everything is sort of blurry, like what that new firefox version does to scaled pixel art. If anyone knows how to get rid of that nasty effect, gimme a holler!
I could just make the game set the players' resolution to 320*240 or something while he plays but that would only be a FINAL SOLUTION, since people with widescreen monitors would end up with nasty wide pixels, and its overall annoying when a game forces your resolution down to that extent. Any GAME MAKER GURUS here...?
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Offline Lackey

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 08:30:26 pm
Animations: adorable!

Caves: potentially awesome!

Break that junk up, though.  The tiles are nice but even now they get into this samey kind of repetition that looks a bit like tweed rather than rocks.  Now I'm not saying actually use tile junk like this because it looks ridiculous.  Do actual transition tiles and everything like you have been doing if you try this:


The objectives being:
1. Make that foreground stick out some (dark colour in the middle makes the edges stand out)
2. Break up the texture and reduce distracting tiling with odd bits of rock.

The machinery tiles are...really distracting.  Did you draw these on the mockup or did you draw them first then put them on the mockup after?  I don't advise the latter.  Have you considered maybe doing platform beginning and end tiles to make it look less like wallpaper?  Basically just give it a little more structure, I think, and it would look better than rows of identical tiles.


Quote
Also right now I'm encountering problems of another nature! Game maker doesn't seem to let me turn pixel interpolation off (both the "set_texture_interpolation(false);" or something code and the game options checkbox dont seem to change anything to it), so everything is sort of blurry, like what that new firefox version does to scaled pixel art. If anyone knows how to get rid of that nasty effect, gimme a holler!
I think this is actually because Game Maker is using hardware, rather than software, now and there's no way around that.  One thing you can try is to scale the view up instead of changing the resolution (like make the view size 320x240 and the window size 640x480) but there are some issues with that.  Graphics can appear glitchy, there's usually some visual tearing while scrolling, and if you have anything moving at sub-pixel rates it will actually draw them between pixels.  Same with draw events, a 1 pixel line will be one pixel relative to the screen resolution rather than the view.

Anyway, this looks great and I'm looking forward to seeing it come together  !yus!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 08:39:58 pm by Lackey »

Offline Cow

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Re: platformer sprites and animation dump

Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 09:28:56 pm
Quote
Also right now I'm encountering problems of another nature! Game maker doesn't seem to let me turn pixel interpolation off (both the "set_texture_interpolation(false);" or something code and the game options checkbox dont seem to change anything to it), so everything is sort of blurry, like what that new firefox version does to scaled pixel art. If anyone knows how to get rid of that nasty effect, gimme a holler!
I think this is actually because Game Maker is using hardware, rather than software, now and there's no way around that.  One thing you can try is to scale the view up instead of changing the resolution (like make the view size 320x240 and the window size 640x480) but there are some issues with that.  Graphics can appear glitchy, there's usually some visual tearing while scrolling, and if you have anything moving at sub-pixel rates it will actually draw them between pixels.  Same with draw events, a 1 pixel line will be one pixel relative to the screen resolution rather than the view.
One other possible way is to scale everything up in the object's creation event, image_xscale and image_yscale at 2 or however much you want to scale it, works very well. This is what Cactus does. Only problem is that you have to account for the upscaling in the room view, put gaps in the blocks and that sort of thing. It's kind of tedious but works like a charm afaik.

Another way I've heard is drawing everything to a surface and upscaling the surface, though I've never actually tried this.