AuthorTopic: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast  (Read 32834 times)

Offline Helm

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #20 on: November 25, 2006, 11:29:11 am
Defender of the Crown was a gem in any age though. Jim Sachs amognst others, some of the best index painted graphics on the amiga. Ever. It's unfair to compare. Xenon I can take or leave.

Scotteh

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #21 on: November 25, 2006, 12:35:51 pm
This may be a bit random, but could someone give me a link to play the game?  But only if its free  :D

Offline TheAbyss

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #22 on: December 10, 2006, 05:04:04 pm
One word. Google. http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/abandonware/amiga/games_sa_si/shadow_of_the_beast_1.html

Ps. You may need an emulator, I don't know, and I didn't feel like finding out.
Japan + Canada = Japanada

Offline Mathias

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #23 on: March 24, 2007, 08:08:03 pm
Looking at the screenshots more, I just can't believe the monotonous color ramps this guy used for everything. Amiga500 I know, but come on!'

Pixeling has come a long way indeed.

Offline Mixel

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #24 on: April 14, 2007, 08:06:25 am
Sorry if this is considered necroposting, it's a few weeks since the last post, and the topic was posted ages ago!

Wow.. This thread was the straw that broke the camels back and got me to join the board.. It's really good to see people discussing SOTB. Was one of my favourite old Amiga games, and though not 100% because of the graphics, it was in large part.. The combination of graphics/music/atmosphere really grabbed me.. Well something must have, as the gameplay wasn't too hot!

I think the 1989 thing is a good "excuse" for the odd technique.. Some of it's definitely sloppy and pillowy.. But a lot of the gradients remind me of some older airbrushed fantasy art - which you don't see so much anymore.. The smooth gradients showed off what at the time was a crazily big colour palette, too. Its hard commenting on such an old game.. Where would this guy have learned spriting back then? Messing around in the demo scene as practice with DPaint, and no online communities for feedback or anything - I think he did an insanely good job. Especially if what I've read is true, and the entire game was put together in 9 months.

As Lackey touched on; I love the consistent inconsistency in the monster designs too.. They are totally random seeming.. But they add to the alienness of the world and made it more rich, I think. The world/backgrounds though I'd say were very consistent - something jarring there and the atmosphere could be completely broken.

Has anyone played the Marty/FM-Towns version of SOTB? I think that showed that increasing the colour palette and "improving" the graphics could seriously mess up the atmosphere.http://sotb.free.fr/Fichiers/screen_fmtowns.html - a bit of a travesty, it's like they completely missed the point when redoing the graphics *and* music..

Technical spec of the A500.. 32 colour palette + 4096 colour copper gradients (the background sky) except using 64 colour halfbright mode (which I'm pretty sure SOTB didnt, as it ran on the A1000).. By making the critters all 4-6 colour mono, at least you got some variation between the different enemy cols within each section of the game.. In games like Xenon2 (mentioned earlier in the thread) the palette of each level could be pretty overpowering.. Everything coming at you in orange/grey. :) I think the field you start off in, with the parallax and the sky and everything is what really sold the game, and lots of Amigas..

Looking at it now I still think it looks crazily good for 32 colours + a sky gradient.   Brings back memories.. Watching the youtube movies.. The "paff!" noise when you punch enemies, and the way they just fall off the screen.. Brilliant, haha.. Shame he didn't do enemy death anims for some of them at least. .. Sorry I haven't really added anythign new to the thread here, its.. Just.. SOTB!! I had to write something.  :lol:

Offline Helm

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #25 on: April 14, 2007, 07:34:36 pm
Thanks for the post, don't worry about necroposting. These threads will stay around forever, that's how they're made to be.

Quote
I think the field you start off in, with the parallax and the sky and everything is what really sold the game, and lots of Amigas..

That's quite the case. First of all the rest of the game is nowhere near as imaginative in design or coding as that section, though there's a few bits just as atmospheric (treehouse, castle) and secondly, it's so damn hard I can see a lot of people never even seeing anything than the plains-roaming stage.

Offline JJ Naas

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #26 on: April 14, 2007, 08:50:16 pm
In the games that Psygnosis released during this era, including Sotb 1 and 2, Ork... and several more, the fact that the foreground was less saturated than the parallax background constituted to a feeling of otherworldliness, which I still find quite unique and.. kind of spooky, exciting. So, totally wrong in terms of colour theories and such, but combined with odd creature designs and musics by Tim Wright ( esp. in Sotb2 ), an atmosphere was created that I haven't experienced anywhere else.

Offline Rob

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Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #27 on: January 11, 2009, 02:53:50 pm

Sorry for necro-posting but I thought I'd point out some technical details that could be interesting for anyone analyzing these graphics.

The game uses two layers of 7 colours + transparent in all scenes. This is a hardware limitation and a necessity. You could manually draw 10 layers of 63+t colours if you wanted to, but in this 1985 system it would run in just a few frames per second, and it was always desirable to have your game run in full frame rate. The game does a bit more pushing of limits and a bit less of being sloppy, for necessary reasons.

Most moving enemies are sprites, true hardware sprites with limitations as opposed to the current popular use of the term for just anything that is moving around on the screen. The system has 8 sprites of 16 pixels width and 3+t colours, with the possibility to combine two sprites into a single sprite of 15+t colours. While the system can generate 4096 possible colours you can't select any 3 or 15 colours for your sprites, they are bound to certain ranges in your 32 colour palette, which imposes even more restrictions as this palette is shared with the bitmap graphics.

Where the sprites didn't suffice to draw the moving enemies, they would be drawn into the front bitmap layer, and so they would have to make whatever use they could of the designated 7+t colours for that layer.


Someone mentioned the zeppelin in the outdoor scene. I think it makes an excellent detail, hinting of something unknown and greater than just open plains and distant mountains. I like the overall style of the graphics and environments, but I agree that the shading in some parts wouldn't look good no matter how many colours were thrown on it.