AuthorTopic: GR#004 Valkyrie no Bouken - NES Sprites & Tiles  (Read 27637 times)

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #10 on: March 31, 2009, 12:43:14 am
Thanks for the feedback.

Local static bosses are common in the game. The twin giraffe and scissor head are like titanic guardians. The mountain ranges and lack of recognizable features on the enemies makes them look huge. Characters with humanoid shapes look smaller because we know humans are small. That's my theory anyways.

I want to do special NPC enemies who have more complex and different behaviour. This rubs off onto the generic enemies. Even though they just run around and attack the player, the player will know that there's some depth to the monsters. I guess I could do stuff like "It's a secret to everybody" caves. It would be fun to have more complex behavior, like, creatures sitting around a campfire, then when the player shows up they attack.
Like this last idea. Gives the enemies personalities. Some are territorial, others more imperialistic and wandering, and a couple who are just fiercely private.
Yeah, the monsters are really a mish mash. That's why I tried to use odd colors on some, to alien them up a bit. I'd rather see unique alien enemies, but including a few local wildlife enemies doesn't bother me. There are some backstory elements, like the beasts of burden (ox/goat) turning into hostile enemies. Perhaps I should make the croc some other color to alien that up too. Most enemies come in Blue, red, black... and maybe some gray/white.

Pyramids, sure. I haven't played through the entire game yet...

The tree bottom bothered me too. It's too much from the side. At the same time I don't want to touch the design too much. I don't mind the trees being very graphical. I want to keep the common terrain stuff simple, then scatter all of these little unique landmarks about, or arrange the terrain stuff in memorable patterns. Woodland paths could be used to give the player a sense of orientation. He'd see a road and know where it leads (and there could be signs.) It would also give the world a sense of history. I want to do ruins too. I think there's a large ruined city near the end of the game, but I'm not sure (not there yet).

I like the Final Fantasy 1-2 houses. I think I'll do them 4 wide 3 high + 1 for the chimney. That's 32*24. I'll see.
I can't wait to see. I'll take another look through those links and check out the backstory. I keep getting the feeling I've seen some of those baddies before.
As for scaling, I use Firefox and it has shitty blurry scaling. That's why I 2x...
Yeah utter garbage. I reinstalled ff2.0 right over top about 5 minutes after I updated to 3.

Offline huZba

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #11 on: March 31, 2009, 07:15:15 am
Really nice looking stuff.
Some of them look like they're in a box from trying to use the 8x8 sprites to their fullest. To circumvent the boxyness, i think you can nudge around the individual 8x8 parts.
Like so
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Offline Arne

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #12 on: March 31, 2009, 09:12:19 am
Thanks!

Well, I've made no progress. I was supposed to play through the game, but I got caught up doing a LUA HUD for Metroid instead. It displays a minimap (filled in as you progress), and also enemy HP and freeze timer, item timeout.  Still got a ton of bugs to work out. You can do almost anything with LUA and FCEUX.


Anyways, most enemies in Solar Jetman consisted of small tiles which were individually arranged. I haven't really seen any other game do that... not that I remember at the top of my head. The MSX had some kind of 8x8 px tile thing going on, but mostly for maps. I actually kinda like the grid feel to game maps. I'd almost go as far as preferring square coastlines and tiling showing in the grass texture. It's a bit like... having numbers and dices in RPGs. It's very graspable and unpretentious. Realistic or organic maps can't offer the same level of... graspability. In this case the game mechanics would already be abstracted, so an organic map would feel out of place.

Offline huZba

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #13 on: March 31, 2009, 10:05:51 am
Oh sorry, for the enemy sprites i mean.

I agree with you about the griddy map. It feels more natural if the look of the world adheres to it's construction, in this case.

Offline Arne

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #14 on: April 01, 2009, 12:34:28 am
I worked some on my LUA HUD for VnB. It's not just to play around. The game doesn't present its information very well. There's a cap on the HP bar for example, so you can't tell how much damage you take. Zelda does almost everything right in this department. That game is very clear with its feedback.

Anyways, I'm thinking of doing perhaps small and larger versions of the enemies, and I mean perhaps 12,16,20 px versions. I think it's important to be clear with size, shape and color coding of the enemies. I just ran into the goats. They had 160 hp and murdered me with fireballs. I couldn't tell that from just looking at the sprite. Perhaps a 20px goat (on fire) would better convey that.

The game is kind of strange. I cheated a bit and gave myself 6m Exp., bringing me up to L68. I actually didn't do a lot more damage, and the low level enemies still manages to make short work of me. A lot of the Valkyrie's might comes from the items working in conjunction with the stats.

The worst part of the game is the thieves. They just appear out of nowhere and steal all your items. Yes, that includes vital key items. I think you can buy them back on the black market though. There are also annoying invisible pits. The dungeons just feels really half arsed overall .Boring boss (the same in every dungeon). There's no theme to the enemies. They're dark by default and you don't want to waste inventory space for a lantern, so you mostly run around against a black BG bumping into things, falling into invisible pits, getting killed by wall hacking enemies. I much prefer Zelda's non scrolling dungeons. They put all the information on screen.

The way many monsters can just move through walls makes the world feel a lot less tangible, and it also puts the loot out of reach. She needs a boomerang. See? Zelda thought of that.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 03:37:42 am by Arne »

Offline Arne

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #15 on: April 01, 2009, 03:36:01 am
Experimenting with sizes and some degree of color coding.

Offline Arne

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #16 on: April 01, 2009, 07:40:04 am
Houses and landmark experiments. I stopped caring about color restrictions here, but I think the houses needs more colors, or the ruins need less. The houses with the big round doors are closer to the game, but I don't like them that big. I need to do more house variants though. And the pyramids. The houses have to work with the tree scale I think. I'm also thinking of doing larger mountains (2-4x or larger), and call the smaller ones... hills. Maybe the bad guy made them come out of the ground with a terrible quake, like teeth. So, they're not really mountains.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 07:48:47 am by Arne »

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #17 on: April 01, 2009, 10:33:50 pm
I love those houses with the sloping roofs. Such a sexy look. When you said you were thinking of 3 tiles horizontally, and 2 vertical, I though you were referring to 16x16 tiles as a base unit. This is such a better fit and I like how they scale with the environment. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but the little garden shrubs you have highlighting the area for a sprite to enter is a good visual touch. Kinda like a landing strip. I'm not so sure about the ruins which feel busy. Maybe if you took the green out of the ruins closest to the top. I think the bottom ruins could work though.

The blue stone and fang both seem a bit flat. Might be the belt/treads stuff on the bottom for the blue stone. I'm not sure what to suggest for he fang, maybe draw it on an angle like your sprites?

I love all the new bigger and smaller variants of enemies. The pink alligator is pretty damn cute. The bat-winged, one-eyed snake boss is pretty awesome in his largest form. I rellly like how you change the expressions for most of your baddies as they grow up.

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #18 on: April 02, 2009, 01:59:58 am
That's pretty kickass, Arne. Most of all I admire how you put such a great of uniqueness amongst everything you make, especially the sprites, with so many limitations, and they read very well.

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Re: Valkyrie no Bouken - NES sprites

Reply #19 on: April 02, 2009, 07:10:09 am
Thx! Yeah, the sloped roofs works better, breaking the squareness. I'll see what I can to about the ruins. The most ruined ones works the best, because they have flat grass masses on them. Perhaps I should concentrate on corners. I could also use more busy grass and bush tiles around the busier ruins to build a transition. I'll see what I can do about the landmarks too. I want to throw together a lot of them. In this day and age of the internet, you can't have simple secrets because people use walkthroughs. Some games, like Namcot's Druaga were designed around the idea of people actually collaborating on finding the secrets though. It would be fun to design secrets which are so obscure (and hidden in code obfuscation) that it would take years for people to find them. Valkyrie was designed so a boss, special tile or special arrangement of tiles would mark a secret location, so the player always knew that there was something to find. My landmarks could work the same way, I'd just have a lot more of them, and only make a few of the easier secrets mandatory for plot progression. This would leave people with a reason to play the game some more, because it would never feel 'exhausted'. Something new and interesting could be behind the next corner.



One problem is the indoor/dungeons. The over-world scale shouldn't clash with the dungeon rooms. There are a bunch of statues indoors which would look enormous outdoors. One thing which I could do is not sharing enemies like Zelda 1 did. That's one point of reference less.

I'm thinking about larger mountains, but with the same overall shape, like a fractal, with smaller mountains on the slopes.
I'm worried about the player thinking he can pass between the mountains though, so I might have to put some stuff there. The largest ones are like 4x4 16px tiles now. I'm not sure if I should make 2 versions so I can build 2^(4*4) different mountains. The larger stuff might become repetitive more easily than small stuff which doesn't have as much sub-detail.



Also, Scorpion sizes. I tried to make it less of a plain scorpion by doing a heart/ceratops shaped head and a cannon on the tail. I really like how Zelda handled the enemy design with the Tektite being a grasshopper-crab-cyclops hybrid. I want to pull the VnB sprites in that direction, while staying faithful in some way. I tried making the Vulture into something strange tall and black, with a graphical circle on the belly.  I think it works better as a 1*3 sprite. Maybe some larger version is flight capable, but I gave this one stubby wings.