AuthorTopic: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...  (Read 132173 times)

Offline Howard Day

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Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

on: December 08, 2009, 07:09:47 pm
...and I cannot resist its call. This all started when a co-worker of mine sent me this link: http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x9ol42 - it's a pretty neat animation, with a really nice art style. I watched and instantly thought: "This would make an awesome side-scroller/platformer.."
I kinda forgot about it for a while, then started doodling on my new laptop - you know, just to try it out.
I came up with this: using 3DSMax 2009, and some camera tricks to come up with the orthographic, angled camera. It sparked my interest, and I continued to mess about, till I got this: Then I sent that over to the co-worker who originally sent the video. She liked it, but declared that it needed more "whimsy". I instantly agreed and started adding things to the scene in my mind - trees, planter boxes, skylights, flapping flags, more pipes, a lot more greenery, etc.
After an evening of work, it transformed into this:

And I'm really liking it! I'm sharing here to ask for more ideas, suggestions, whatever. I have no idea what this will transform into, or if I'll even get *part* of an actual game out of it. It might just turn into a gloriously long mock up. :D
I still have the foreground/background layers to do, and I have some awesome ideas on where to take them...but I'd love any suggestions from you guys.

Offline happymonster

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 08:03:33 pm
This is really nice! I love the bright white lighting on the roof surfaces. However this does mean that the grey ground looks very dull in comparison. What about making the normal ground area brighter and have more variation in brightness due to kerbs, tiled areas, platforms, etc.. I'm thinking of some kind of desert / arabic architectural style and highly lit surfaces with the modern future buildings you have here.

Does that make sense? :)

Offline Jakten

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 08:26:31 pm
Yeah I agree that the ground should be lighter, it looks like it is in shadows right now. Also maybe make some of the buildings at different distances? It looks weird to me that they are all in a straight line.. or maybe its just that there isn't much room for a player to move. This is looking fanatastic though, I really like the building with the 5 on it. Could you post some wireframes maybe? I'm interested to see how much of the details are textured.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 09:37:24 pm
happymonster: Okay, good call. I had kinda been neglecting the roof surface itself - all the detail I'm putting in in other places, the roof should have some too, right? Anyway, I'm away from my primary computer right now, so I only have what I stuck on the jump drive this morning. Here's a shot of that scene with a brighter roof...no real additional detail, but a brighter roof. :D
or even one with a color-adjusted roof:
Jakten: The buildings are pretty similar right now, but there will be additional layers in the background to help deepen the scene. Right now I'm imagining this being very similar to metalslug in the gameplay arena - strictly 2d, with no movement into or out of the plane of play - those wooden platforms are supposed to represent the gameplay path in some subtle way. Anyway, luckily I have the scene with the building you're interested in here with me - here's the wireframe:
http://www.hedfiles.net/wire1.png

Thanks for the feedback - I'll work on adding interesting floor decorations tonight.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 09:44:14 pm by Howard Day »

Offline Manupix

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 10:45:16 pm
Wow, this looks great! And thanks for the video too.

The trees look too green and too leafy, I'd suggest to make them look more 'urban', with sparse greyish leaves.

The flags don't mean much to me, they distract from the futuristic feeling. No better idea yet though.

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 04:43:12 pm
Greenery ... well. I don't think it's too lush. It's just too plastic.



It's harder than concrete and metal because it's partly transcluent and being backlit as it currently is the light would shine through and make it a very nice warm luminous green, while the tops of the leaves would have less saturation and more sky blue in them - all in all the green deep super saturated color you've got going on would .. never exist. Yup, that's right.
' _ '

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #6 on: December 10, 2009, 04:12:49 pm
Jad, good call. So I've altered the texture on the leaves, as well as done a first run on more detail on the ground...

But there's still something bothering me - I realized that the camera angle was a bit too high - like happymonster said, it looked like the character would have more room to move around than a straight line...

I also played with the translucent material on the leaves a bit more, and I'm much happier with it now...I realize that they're very lush - but that's part of the whimsy. :D
I dunno - that looks pretty good. The only thing I see myself now changing is the horizontal angle of the camera - right now you'd be looking at the back of the oncoming enemies, and the front of your character. I think I might need to reverse that.
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 04:22:46 pm by Howard Day »

Offline ptoing

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #7 on: December 10, 2009, 06:22:12 pm
Looks quite nice. The flags look like orange bacon strips tho, dunno if that is good :/

I think the leaves are still a bit too noisy, perhaps you can tone that down somehow.

As far as perspective goes the bottom one looks good, but I would flip it so that the faces of the buildings you see are the left side and not the right.
This of course is assuming the player walks left to right.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #8 on: December 10, 2009, 09:43:12 pm
Ptoing: Mmmmm, fly high the banner of bacon-y goodness! Let the kingdom of pork reign supreme! No, good call, I've swapped it out with something a little less abstract...
and one with the anti-aliasing turned on - should help kill some of the noise in the trees.
I also switch the viewpoint right to left. Much better I think. I also flipped the building. I may not do this on all the buildings I've made - I almost didn't on this one, but there was too much cool detail on the right side that got hidden.
 Also - here's a shot at an explosion I'm working on - might be a bit big for a small enemy death, but one of the larger ones should be perfect.


Thoughts?

« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 11:30:26 pm by Howard Day »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #9 on: December 11, 2009, 01:14:54 am
I have to say this is looking pretty good  ;D

I also have to say that I think you should tweak your lighting.As nice as that backlit sillouethy thing you got looks, leaving most of your foreground to be lit only by ambient light really doesnt say whimsy to me....

Offline Dusty

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 01:18:04 am
I think this has a ton of Mirror's Edge vibe in terms of color scheme, and a hint of Dragonball Z building design... I'm not sure why I get that feeling but it just brings back memories for whatever reason. I also have to agree with Conceit though, having the foreground in the perspective of shadows doesn't make a lot of sense, and looked better prior to the camera change. I also think I liked it a bit better when the camera height and angle was a bit higher, as now it's a bit hard to even tell that the things on the ground are boards, if not for the original picture.

I think you should work on the timing of the explosion some. Maybe the explosion should be faster, while the smoke lingers a bit slower and longer.

Offline Indigo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #11 on: December 11, 2009, 01:24:12 am
I'm very interested in how you made the explosion - care to explain a bit?

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #12 on: December 11, 2009, 02:05:42 am
Conceit: Yeah, it's waaay prettier the original way.

Dusty: I will definitely cop to being inspired by mirrors edge - it's such a very pretty game, it's hard not to be inspired by it. As for Dragonball Z...I've never seen it - and I dislike most anime, so I can't account for any similarities. And yeah, the explosion timing needs work - that's just a first run to get the particle systems worked out.
Indigo: Yeah, no problem. It's a series of 3dsMax particle effects, with some procedural materials applied - that's actually true of all these scenes and models - there's only one bitmap used, the flag, in the whole lot. If you're really interested in the specifics, and can get your hands on the trial version of 3DS, then I'd be happy to make the file available if you'd like.

Offline Indigo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009, 03:03:32 am
I'd certainly enjoy taking a look at that.

Edit:  Looking at the scene, I'd love to see a parallax-scrolling background layer behind these pieces.  A bluer-desaturated cityscape full of this style of buildings would be absolutely awesome.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 03:05:43 am by Indigo »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #14 on: December 11, 2009, 04:47:13 am
Indigo: Cool, here's the file: http://www.hedfiles.net/explodedemo.zip - you'll need at least Max 2009 to run that.
I played with the timing of the explosion - I think it's improved.

I also found the time to make my first enemy - well, mostly, still playing with the animations...

DEATHBOT!

Thoughts?

Offline Indigo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #15 on: December 11, 2009, 04:56:25 am
thoughts?  I'm in love.  Really.  Everything is really well-designed and animated extremely well.  I want to see all these dang models on my screen so I can analyze them! yarrgh!   Thanks a ton for the file.  i'm going to look it over after I find Max. (i've been modeling in lowly wings)

Offline big brother

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #16 on: December 11, 2009, 05:00:17 am
Where have you been all my life?

Also, I admire your streamlined workflow. This is a big chunk of assets to get to a reasonably polished state in only a few days.

Offline Dusty

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #17 on: December 11, 2009, 05:03:54 am
Hmm, something about that bot bugs me. Its movement is almost like a limp of sorts, rather than something you'd see on a similar spider...

Offline WM

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #18 on: December 11, 2009, 05:12:10 am
Hmm, something about that bot bugs me. Its movement is almost like a limp of sorts, rather than something you'd see on a similar spider...
I think it's because the legs dont alternate perfectly; it's more of a sluggish gallop rather than spider-steps.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #19 on: December 11, 2009, 07:15:01 am
Indigo:Hope you're able to make use of it.
big brother: Eating cheetos. Thanks - it's not nearly as hard as it looks...
Dusty, WM: Yup, you're right. That first was just a first pass...

Much better, I think.
Thoughts?

Offline LoTekK

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #20 on: December 11, 2009, 08:08:14 am
That there is just sexy. Loving the visual style so far, and that spiderbot looks awesome. There's a part of me that prefers the more staccato movement of the previous animation, though. I think that would work better with a bit of cleanup.

Nice explosion, too, though there's arguably a bit too much flame action at the source. I think if you want to keep some fire going, don't animate them as quickly (their current timing makes them look more like weird firecrackers going off; though I suppose you could call them secondaries).

Got any concepts for the player character?

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #21 on: December 11, 2009, 08:47:59 am
Okay...added the guns and a prelim firing animation...

Thoughts?

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #22 on: December 11, 2009, 09:02:10 am
Okay...added the guns and a prelim firing animation...

Thoughts?

I love this style. The muzzle flash seems to go backwards though, and emits no lighting atm.  The animation of the recoil seems a little odd too though it's harder to explain why.

Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #23 on: December 11, 2009, 02:50:18 pm
I think you need to be careful not to run into visibility problems - your enemies and your buildings have the same color scheme. Combined that with the high saturation/contrast and intricate detail and you get a severe camoflauging effect.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 02:52:20 pm by Ben2theEdge »
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Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #24 on: December 11, 2009, 03:54:08 pm
Yes, I was going to say that - did the same guy build all the buildings and the bots? Well sure, that guy was YOU in TEH REALITY but think about it - I'd like a different but complementary color scheme on the bot. ' D '
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Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #25 on: December 11, 2009, 04:34:59 pm
You might even be able to get away with just doing an inverse of the building color scheme - orange with gray details. that'd still be pretty close but it would be a bit improved
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Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #26 on: December 11, 2009, 07:01:16 pm
LoTekK: Hmm. Well, I'm sure I'm doing more than one variation on the spiderbot theme, so maybe the difference in walk cycles can be one of the identifying features? I'll keep messing about with the explosion, too - I agree with the flickering going on at the source - much too busy. As for the player character...I have some ideas, but nothing solid as of yet. He's gonna be slightly taller than the spiderbot, maybe at most half-again, and in some sort of suit.
Ben2theEdge, Jad: Yeah, I agree - these little guys just get lost in the background. Ben - your suggestion of flipping the color scheme seems to have worked (mostly) perfectly. Nice catch!
- added flash lighting effects...I'll also continue tweaking the recoil animation...
- and a test with the little buggers in the scene - I think they stand out nicely, now.
Thanks again, guys.

Offline Pawige

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #27 on: December 11, 2009, 07:12:09 pm
I think the problem with the recoil is the strange chain of events. The gun fires, flash comes out, gun slides back, gun stops sliding back and then stops and suddenly swings up. I would suggest either swinging them up immediately, or just ditch that entirely and just have the slide back. I really really really love this. Can't wait to see more!  ;D

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #28 on: December 12, 2009, 04:35:29 am
I have little to no experience in 3D, but I can say that looks amazing. I can imagine playing this on the PS3, and the graphics rival most of the games I have.
I can see very little similarity between your art and the video, but it seems to have sparked some amazing creativity!
I really like how this is coming along, and I hope you make more!

What I can say is that the new color scheme has made the bot much easier to see, and the walker seems to walk funny, for most 4 legged animals its left-front, right-back, right-front, left-back, mainly for stability.
To me, at least, how you have it looks unnatural, but still manages to work! I still think it needs some fine-tuning, however.
The guns look very precarious, lolling about, etc. Its a nice effect but seems a little exaggerated.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 04:44:04 am by CrazyMLC »

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #29 on: December 12, 2009, 05:59:10 am
this is absolutely gorgeous. I love how much atmosphere and style you convey without any really off the wall effects or cellshading.

Offline 9_6

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #30 on: December 12, 2009, 06:05:15 am
The 3-coloured kind of thing you have going on reminds me more of mirrors edge where everything is red, white and blue rather than what I have seen in that video.
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Offline publicenemy1

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #31 on: December 12, 2009, 09:16:19 pm
Hi Howard,

the mockup looks very professional. What happened to your Possible Space Shooter Mockup... ? Is that game still in the making?
I work as a programmer for other kind of software but lurking to get a opportunity to work on a game.


So if you need someone for a game prototyp please send me a mail.

Offline Splode

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #32 on: December 13, 2009, 03:34:17 am
Absolutely beautiful.

The weapon needs a lot of work though.
 - The bug braces too quickly.
 - The gun's delayed recoil after firing is both odd and also excessive. Maybe if you had the gun on a sliding mechanism, so it moves backwards when it fires, rather than upwards after it fires (which looks unnatural)
 - This is just a possibility, but maybe the guns swing around too much when the bug walks?
 - The entire fire animation seems to happen too quickly. Let us enjoy those fantastic effects for a little more than that split second!
Current WIP:

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #33 on: December 13, 2009, 09:16:41 pm
Pawige:Yeah, I think I exaggerated the firing movement too much...Here's an update. , and I'm glad you like it - I gotta say, it would be nearly as cool without all the feedback I've been getting - and for that I thank you!
CrazyMLC: Thanks! I dunno if I am gonna change the walk order, but I agree on the guns....re-do:
Tuna Unleashed: Aaah, the wonders of radiosity. :D
9_6: Yeah, I went ack and looked at the video again, and was kinda surprised how little it resembled what I had come up with...
publicenemy1: Thanks. The space shooter thing is pretty stalled right now - I think it a combo of both I and DKH being distracted by other things...as for you kind offer, I think I shall have to turn you down at this point - I already have far too many projects I'm working on where people are depending on me to deliver assets - I'd hate to add yet another one to the list of disappointments.
Splode:I hope the previous 2 animations meet your expectations. As for slowing it down, I dunno - I've had the experience that whenever I slow animations down to showcase the awesomeness that occurs, it always looks really weird in game...Nevertheless, here are the newest animations at half speed...
And the latest version of the explosion:  and one with a little moar whumpff at the begining.
I'm working on the background buildings right now...

I know about the tree. Already fixed!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 06:04:27 am by Howard Day »

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #34 on: December 14, 2009, 11:38:20 pm
I recently looked into the original vid a little more...to be honest with ya, I originally thought that your interpretation had no true connection with the short (which plays a bit more like an intro).

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x9ol42 what's most like your background is the shot at 0:07 and the architecture is all slightly wonky, it was hand drawn and it shows...I believe you should tweak the verticals of your building so that it isnt really vertical, so that it looks just a little off. Also....you should keep in mind all of the buildings in the original have a very artisan looking aspect to them, unlike your building which somewhat feels prefabricated, it feels like a futuristic fantasy prop that could be maybe in megaman or similar.

There is a feeling of childlike curiosity all over the short which is wholly missing from the mockup. When I think of a game version of the short, I think http://adamatomic.com/canabalt/ only less punishing and with a bit of exploration into it...

The distancing from the short is also true for the spider sprite. If you want to keep the same kind of ambience I think you need a few hand drawn elements in the sprites or atleast elements that imitate hand drawn stuff (think viewtiful joe's scarf) or maybe the ocassional cel shaded element

I dont even know if you're going for the short's ambience anymore but I wanted to give u ideas in case you did even in the slightest. With work of this scope I feel the need to make crits of the same kind of scope :p it's all as inspring to me as the original short was to you and I wouldnt know where to start to do something like this, much kudos
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 11:43:34 pm by Conceit »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #35 on: December 15, 2009, 12:53:19 am
Conceit: I gotta say...I'm pretty content with going my own way on this one. The original video was great for inspiration, but the goal was never to copy it 1-to-1. I've done far too much of that in my artistic career, and its good to go my own way a bit on this one. I love that it inspired me to start the project, but I hold no more loyalty to the original video than that.

Offline Conexion

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #36 on: December 15, 2009, 06:47:32 am
Brilliant work. I love how cohesive it all feels, and the style is wonderful. I must ask, how do you keep the render colors so consistent? I use Cinema 4D myself, but have had the same troubles in my experience with 3DMax. I find I can either shade the models by hand without lighting, or use a standard light and get a million shades.

Great work though. Have you considered maybe making the shadows have a ting of blue to complement all of the orange going on?

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #37 on: December 15, 2009, 07:08:29 am
Speaking of blue, the blue on the spiders is very dull but they look like they should be sci-fi glowy lights.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #38 on: December 15, 2009, 10:12:47 pm
Conexion: Thanks. As for the render colors, that's a combination of an orthographic camera ( one with a viewing angle of effectively 0 degrees) and a Directional light (light with no position in the world, just an incoming angle). I let the advance lighting/radiosity do all the cool bounce lights and color bleeds. Not nearly as tricky as you might imagine.  The shadows are quite blue-purple right now, and I think they're saturated enough. if not, I can always up that at a later date...
CrazyMLC: yeah, ever since I switched 'em over from red they've been sort of lost. Here's an update: along with the inspiration to up the interest in the blue lights was the decision to change the muzzle flash to orange/green. Looks much more Raptor:Call of the shadows-y now...

And I thought I'd give you all a bit more of a look under the hood - here's the spider bot animation at it's original resolution:
And he are two untouched render frames direct from MAX..

And all together now!


Offline Conexion

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #39 on: December 15, 2009, 10:18:03 pm
Awesome stuff! Good to hear, I'll need to play with that myself :) And I should have clarified - I meant the shadows cast by the spider-bot guys.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #40 on: December 15, 2009, 10:18:56 pm
Ahhh, yes. That is an issue. I shall see what I can do.

Okay - added some color to the bot's shadow... Not nearly as easy as I thought it'd be. Joy.

And in the scene -
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 10:40:59 pm by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #41 on: December 15, 2009, 10:58:29 pm
The hull, especially close up, seems rather shapeless. I think it might look better with some accenting bumps on it.


And the legs also have a similar problem...


EDIT: Blast! Photobucket strikes again! Sorry about the jpg.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 11:35:44 pm by CrazyMLC »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #42 on: December 15, 2009, 11:17:03 pm
I just realised that Larwick would love this :) It's like Rustbug: the movie or something.

I love reading these posts. Thanks for the full renders, very delicious to look at. I'll start dishing out comments if I see something go wrong, but for now, I think you're on top of it.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #43 on: December 15, 2009, 11:39:02 pm
Ah, Rustbug. Believe me, I was not trying to copy that. :P
CrazyMLC: I'm gonna leave the shape as is. For reasons already brought up by Ben2theEdge, the more detail I add, the more difficult it will be to read the shape of this think against the background. As it is right now I feel like it's at the bare minimum of readability - any more detail and it'll just be lost. That's my feeling on it, anyhow.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #44 on: December 16, 2009, 12:02:32 pm
About the firing - it's a little odd.  Basically the flash shouldn't move with the recoil, and the recoil should be pretty much instant.  Right now it's a bit slow, and the flash somehow changes position like it's a solid object.

here's how i might do it with 3 references i found after (turns out on film the flash pretty much happens with the gun still in place, this might be the way to animate too)


http://www.break.com/usercontent/2007/2/Slow-Motion-Muzzleflash-227935.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GljxcqqNeYU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOvqG_eTxq4
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #45 on: December 16, 2009, 10:47:23 pm
Guns really only flip up when being fired because of the way the wrist reacts to the force of the gun pushing back, and because the pivot point of the gun is on the handle, meaning the point that is actually firing is above the pivot point, meaning the gun will alway shoot up a bit.

For the muzzle flash its really just a flame being ejected out of the muzzle, right? I would imagine it would leave a trail of fire.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #46 on: December 16, 2009, 11:52:08 pm
I took the more classic recoil motion (which relies on the way the wrist moves) because it is recognizable, but that's really not what I'm talking about.  What I'm talking about is the fact that the energy blast is made up of particles which are not attached to the gun, and would flare out from where they were emitted and not drag back with the gun in recoil as they are currently.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #47 on: December 17, 2009, 12:04:42 am
Yeah, I was just pointing out the mechanics, and if you look at the graphics of the spider-bot the hinge holding the gun is below the barrel, so the gun should, in theory, tilt up a bit, unless the hinges really tighten up for shooting or something.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #48 on: December 17, 2009, 01:54:33 am
ndchristie: Thanks for that. I'll see what I can do to adjust the fire animation. More lag on the muzzle flash. I'll also be putting together an idle animation tonight.
CrazyMLC: Yeap, the gun recoil needs some work, too.

And here's what I did today, so far: New background
And re-vamped the first background

So, gonna head out for a bit, then check back in with some new animations...hopefully.
EDIT:
Boom.
Okay, and he idle animation: - and everything together!

« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:47:30 am by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #49 on: December 17, 2009, 07:39:03 am
Wow Howard this is absolutely astounding, I could watch this mech all day the walking animation looks fantastic!

Watching your most recent firing animation the kick back seems weird. It looks okay on the machine but the guns should kick back sooner I think. I think it might make it look like it has more force.

Can't wait to see the idle animation!

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #50 on: December 17, 2009, 08:27:46 am
What might help with the firing animation is a slight alteration to the the timing. Try having the guns straighten out before/during the "crouch". Right now it feels a little odd because it's almost as if the bot is sliding forward in order for the weapon to stabilise/straighten. Having it straighten earlier also allows you to make the recoil kick in earlier as well.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #51 on: December 17, 2009, 05:15:17 pm
...
Okay, and he idle animation:
...

Right now the it seems as though he's flinching/jerking himself around. Instead of having the legs moving the body in the idle, have the body slightly rock, which in turn moves the legs. The legs should follow the body's movement.


Not only am I astounded by the quality of your work, but how fast you can produce it! It's insanely productive!  :D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #52 on: December 17, 2009, 09:01:13 pm
Maybe you want to add in a looking animation with the little headlight on the front?

For an actual idle animation in an actual game you probably want to make a long idle animation along with a few little quirks to lead up to, like standing for a while, then a random quirk, like looking around.


You might want to make a starting/stopping walking animation, you could use the stopping right before the shooting to get rid of that slight choppiness.


(Getting so attached to this little guy.  ::) )
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 09:23:29 pm by CrazyMLC »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #53 on: December 18, 2009, 01:14:39 am
Jakten , LoTeKK: Both excellent suggestions. Here's the re-vamped firing animation...

WM: Good crit - I've attempted to address that here: - much less movement overall.
CrazyMLC: Multiple idle animations is a great idea. I'll get on that after I do the next thing on my list - the spider-bot projectile, and impact animations...
Everything stuck together.

Thoughts?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #54 on: December 18, 2009, 02:23:24 am
Seems much more like an idling robot than a hyper-active child. :P
Shooting animation looks much better as well. :y:
Really great work, always a treat to look at. Here's hoping for more!

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #55 on: December 18, 2009, 02:33:53 am
Hell yeah! That's feeling all powerful and punchy now. :D Also, I'm generally a fan of OTT muzzle flashes, so the one you've got warms my heart, being all blindingly-bright and huge. :p

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #56 on: December 18, 2009, 05:15:48 am
Thanks, guys. I'm glad I'm finally starting to hit all the right notes. :D
And here's where I got with the weapon effects...

Thoughts?

EDIT: Stuck another option for the weapon blast up there.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 06:19:01 am by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #57 on: December 18, 2009, 05:41:20 am
Ohh man! That firing animation has so much power now, I love it!

The effects look great but the energy it shoots looks kinda noisy, it might not look to bad up against its proper background though. I gues it depends on what kind of energy its shooting as well, right now it kind of looks liek electricity which is fine if that's what you wanted. I think if you wanted it to look like fire it should have more flow to it.

I think the reason why the idle animation looks twitchy is because it has a recognizable beginning and end. I think it would look nice some where in between the 2 you posted with a seamless loop. I liked how the legs seemed to move randomly in the first which you didn't really do in the second one.

By the way are you acctually planning on programming this into a game or is this just generally a mock up? Because I really want to play this!

Also do you have ideas for a main character? I was wondering if you plan to take inspiration for him or her from Baidir as well.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #58 on: December 19, 2009, 12:16:44 am
thank you so much, I have been trying to get here with bryce and poser for a long time. I am glad to see other using 3d to help them, I am doing my best to understand what is different about these from mine, and between all the different versions.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #59 on: December 19, 2009, 12:19:25 am
Jakten: Thanks! I stuck an updated version of the fired bolt in the last post. I agree with you - it looks really noisy and undefined. I will revisit that idle animation tonight. I have a couple ideas of specific animations I can do to split up the idle animations...
As of right now, this is just a mock-up. I'll see how much farther I get...that will decide whether or not I try and put an actual game together. As for the main character, I have a confession to make - I don't have a lot of character skills. I may try and put a human character together, but I have some ideas closer to a dude-in-a-suit, which would make the animation a hell of a lot easier for me. But I'm more than willing to try and expand my skills.
Lord Ash: Not sure I understood your post...are you asking for a rundown of all the different 3d programs?
Anyhow, here are 2 more variations on the bolt impact, as well as a mid-air collision version. I stuck the original in there for reference...

Thoughts?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #60 on: December 19, 2009, 12:54:05 am
Well, I would imagine the smoke would inherit the velocity of the projectile, meaning it would fly over to the left. Also, most explosions make big shockwaves, so the smoke would be subject to a lot of force, and remember, hot air rises. I'd imagine this plasma smoke (HUZZAH!) would be super heated, so it would also be rising pretty quickly.

The last thing I dislike about the smoke is that is seems to be a lot of blocks of smoke compacted together, smoke is a gas, so it could be seen as a large solid object with parts separating off of it.
(My best example I have on hand):

(Hooray for 3 year old easytoon animation!)

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #61 on: December 19, 2009, 01:57:28 am
CrazyMLC: Okay. Here are some updated versions. I also decided to make the big, main explosion less realistic than it's previously been... Curlicues!

And in the environment:

Any better?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #62 on: December 19, 2009, 02:20:55 am
That smoke is pretty washed out; unless it would go against the specific garaphical style you're working with, I suggest putting some darker purple in there (particularly near the end of the explosion).

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #63 on: December 19, 2009, 05:23:16 am
That is true. Explosion smoke usually is very dark, pretty much black.

That said the explosions look really cool, tho I have to say the small lighter stuff you have in front of it at the bottom does nothing for me, I'd like to see how it looks without that.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #64 on: December 20, 2009, 01:10:08 am
all this stuff is looking amazing....really incredible, you're actually making me feel pretty obsolete O_O

I agree about the darker explosion smoke, also if there's any way you could have swirls of smoke as the smoke fades away it will strenghten the effect.

The projectile is the one that needs most help, I would suggest you make it pulse instead of throwing all those particle backwards...think of hotaru's projectile (alt link) in Garou Mark Of the wolves.....

This is slight but I think the way the smoke in the spider's smoke effect also goes too fast from white to dark gray, it looks amateur compared to your energy projectile impact explosion
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 01:28:43 am by Conceit »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #65 on: December 21, 2009, 04:11:03 am
WM: Yeah, good call. I was trying for a more whimsical explosion feel...but that obviously wasn't working.
ptoing: Well, I didn't go all the way black, but I went much darker. A also minimized the white bits in the foreground.
I've also spent hours dicking around with GraphicsGale, trying to get it to interpret the alpha in my exported frames properly. It seems an utter crapshoot - sometimes it will work fine, with no tweaking whatsoever, but sometimes I simply cannot get it to recognize any color but pure white as the transparent color. Which screws up the hotspots on the explosions. I apologize for the anomaly, but I am at my wits end on how to fix the darn thing.
Conceit:Thanks, man. Here's an updated version of the projectile...

And I also did another idle animation - although this is more of a "taunt" animation... I imagine this being accompanied by a loud electronic roar.
And the new anim in a sequence:
Thoughts?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #66 on: December 21, 2009, 04:28:55 am
Smoke looks much better. Taunt animation is kick-ass.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #67 on: December 21, 2009, 04:42:09 am
The first explosion is looking a lot better. I'm not sure about how it contract's after expanding - doesn't make much sense to me? Or do explosions actually do that?  :huh:

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #68 on: December 21, 2009, 05:06:00 pm
Yeah I think when an explosion dies out it usually continues to expand or rise unless it is full of debris then it will sink down with some smoke still rising.

I think it looks okay though, usually when something explodes the smoke doesn't dissipate very fast and he can't keep the smoke on screen for very long because it will be distracting. I think it might look better if it dissipated outwards though, possibly rolling upwards.

Some reference
Another with falling debris
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 05:07:46 pm by Jakten »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #69 on: December 21, 2009, 06:23:52 pm
May I ask a question so all of these are made from GraphicsGale O.O?

Thats so damn awesome for making it with such a program :O

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #70 on: December 21, 2009, 06:41:27 pm
Looking much better :)

About the transparency issue, couldn't you render it in max against a background colour which you don't use otherwise without the stuff antialiasing on the outside?
That should fix your problems pretty well i would say :) (In case it works)
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #71 on: December 21, 2009, 11:57:15 pm
I think this isn't really allowed, but, I just want to express my love for this.

I don't have any critique, just love.

The models are amazing. Well designed, great colour scheme, fantastic animation. Reminds me of Larwick's rustbug, cept in 3d.
Really, really cool.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #72 on: December 22, 2009, 08:09:22 am
CrazyMLC, Opacus:Thanks, glad you like!
alspal:yeah, it's a function and result of how I was doing the particle effects... here's an update.
Jakten:Thanks for the ref!
micintexp : The images are assembled in Graphicsgale and exported to GIF format. They're initially generated in 3DSMax 2009.
ptoing: Sort of. The problem is that these particle systems use filtered textures for the explosions, and if I turn that off it looks really bad. With that on, however, I have no control over the interaction with the background. At this point I've just turned the alpha off.
So, made a new enemy! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the BUMBLEBOT!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 08:11:22 am by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #73 on: December 22, 2009, 08:21:43 am
I see awesome stuff here, keep it on cause this is gettin epic :y:

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #74 on: December 22, 2009, 10:23:30 am
I think you're having some transparecy problems with the explosions.
Your background is probably white, and lightest colour in the explosion is also white. So now there's some strange holes in the explosions.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #75 on: December 22, 2009, 10:28:55 am
I think the wings should be translated into 3D rather than 2D effect.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #76 on: December 22, 2009, 05:51:28 pm
endless_dark: Thanks, glad you like it.
Opacus: Yeah, as I mentioned in my previous posts, I've been having some very annoying problems in GraphicsGale when I import and try and color-reduce to b-bit. I've updated the explosions, but now all the smoke seems fun-kay. Can't win for losing, it seems.
CrazyMLC: Uhhh, what? They are a 3d object - twin rotor blades to be precise. Here's the animation at a higher res, and one of the frames from the animation...

Does that help explain what's going on? I think I may have overdone it a bit. If it's not immediately obvious what the moving parts are, I may have to reconsider how this is put together...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 07:15:05 pm by Howard Day »

Offline CaKsTeR

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #77 on: December 22, 2009, 07:52:55 pm
There's a pause in the blades at the loop frame, breaks the sequence a bit.

Looking amazing though :D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #78 on: December 22, 2009, 08:20:27 pm
In the small animation it's impossible to see that the near rotor overlaps the robot. If you make that more visible I think that will solve your clarity issues? :)
Oh yes naked women are beautiful
But I like shrimps more haha ;)

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #79 on: December 22, 2009, 10:05:37 pm

Better?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #80 on: December 22, 2009, 10:10:53 pm
Much better. You still have issues with the transparency tho. Hm, idea. Couldn't you render stuff twice? once render the image without alpha or whatever, and then render a 2nd pass where the model or particles are fully white and the background is black or other way round and then use that as alpha mask.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #81 on: December 23, 2009, 03:27:59 am
Well, ptoing, the actual rendered frames exported from MAX are fine. The only transparent issues I'm having are in regards to showing you fine folks the animated results of my work...a minor annoyance when it comes down to it.
So - first pass on the firing animation:

Thoughts?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #82 on: December 23, 2009, 03:37:22 am
Shot looking good. For the rotors I would probably render them seperatly and have them be 50% or so transparent in game on top of the sprite, I think that would look more effective.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #83 on: December 23, 2009, 04:44:06 am
Ahhh, the rotors make much more sense now.

I think it would look much better if the hydrolic cylinder was holding the gun in place, so the awkward recoil that I see doesn't happen, and the bee just swings back a bit. I'm also thinking a smaller 'caliber' should be shot from the swarms of bees, maybe more machine gun style?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #84 on: December 23, 2009, 07:22:29 am
I haven't actually commented here, but have been lurking and watching the development. I seriously love the style you have got going on here particularly you mechanised enemies.

The Bumblebot: I love the overall composition and especially the design. Nice powerful sting that beast has. As for CrazyMLC's comment about the smaller caliber.. I think that would best be left to a Waspbot cousin of this one. The rotors still have slight readability issues though.. I had to look at all the various images of it to fully appreciate them. Are both rotors spinning the same direction? Just wondering if making one clockwise the other anti-clockwise would help or hinder.

The Deathbot: Beautiful movement - especially the 'taunt' animation. The only thing that I find awkward is the huge amount of flash on the hull. It seems rather excessive for the size of gun mounted on the top.  While it might give a great effect when you only have the one enemy (like you did at the time) I can't help but feel this 'huge' flash will diminish the fear induced by potentially bigger weaponry on later enemies. In fact, the guns do seem smaller than the cannon on the bumblebot yet the kick and flash are much stronger.

Buildings/Scenery: The almost toy-like appearance works so well and adds so much charm. I can almost imagine you posted scenes as a panoramic 360į scene from walking around the top one such large building.

-Z-

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #85 on: December 24, 2009, 04:53:51 pm
Okay I want to say how simply amazing this is!

for the bug bot I'd suggest making the wings thinner but longer. This should then improve the readability, not to mention it usually gives off a false perseptions that te blades spin faster. (due to the fact that the outer circle of the blades have a father distance to travel in the same period of time.

A for the firing, I think it would be better off with some sort of mini gun or another mini-projectile that doesn't have such a large single shot recoil. (that woul make keeping flight rather difficult.)

Plus the variety of weaponry will make the enemies more unique.

Ok so you got a spider and bee/wasp. Now if only you had a centipede. ;D


Seriously though keep up the good work.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #86 on: December 24, 2009, 05:06:12 pm
Well, ptoing, the actual rendered frames exported from MAX are fine. The only transparent issues I'm having are in regards to showing you fine folks the animated results of my work...a minor annoyance when it comes down to it.

If you mean the ingame sprites are using alpha, then show the animations on a non-transparent background, so your alpha pixels don't go solid. I think you're getting a lot of crit on how the blur looks in the 1bit transparency gif rather than how it'll look ingame.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 05:08:09 pm by rikfuzz »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #87 on: December 24, 2009, 10:58:25 pm
ptoing: Thanks. That may end up being what I have to do.
CrazyMLC: Thanks. As for the awkward recoil...that's kinda the effect I'm going for. I'm not expecting something called a "BumbleBot" to be particularly badass. I *like* that it looks somewhat unstable.
Zoggles: Thanks. The rotors are counter-rotating right now - that's the only thing that makes sense, given torque issues. As for your (and others) concern that the flash might be to impressive...well, that just means I need to step it up on the big bad boys later on, right? :D That is a challenge I think I will enjoy. As for the roof bits - I'll be making and showing some roof edges and transitions to break everything up.
Ultimaodin:Thanks. I kinda like the width of rotors as they are - that they look almost too small to actually keep it in the air, is awesome to me. Really adds in the "bumble" part of the bumblebot. As for the width of the blurred portion of the rotors, good call. I'll narrow that down pronto.
I like the Centipede idea. Maybe for a boss?

Okay, so all the transparency issues have driven me a bit nuts. I've started using another gif-making program to try and get around them. This particular program also supports APNG, so if you have a browser that supports it, you should see correct-alpha animated version of the GIFs.



How's that work for everyone?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #88 on: December 24, 2009, 11:24:27 pm
Using opera here and it works fine, good job btw  ;D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #89 on: December 25, 2009, 12:10:35 am
Looks much better than previous versions.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #90 on: December 25, 2009, 12:55:33 am
Okay, that's good to hear.
Here's an update of the bumblebot with new rotors..

The projectile for the spiderbot:

And the various explosions...


Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 02:23:28 am by Howard Day »

Offline Ultimaodin

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #91 on: December 25, 2009, 02:06:49 am
Wow the level of epicness just doubled, and these were already pretty Epic. The new APGN's look sweet. What program are you using for the APNG's? I'm sick of using Jasc animation shop still.

I like the new rotors, they look smaller and don't lap the character much but I find them more distinguishable. Good job.  :y:

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #92 on: December 25, 2009, 02:07:05 am
Did you only apply alpha to that projectile? I have to say that projectile is looking much much better, though the opposite is true for the blasts, dont go overboard with the alpha...

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #93 on: December 27, 2009, 01:29:37 am
Ultimaodin: Glad you like. For the APNGs, I'm using GIF Movie Gear - the demo version, currently, but I think I'll purchase the full. I am glad the new rotors read well, it was becoming a major concern of mine...
Conceit: Yep, those are what the exported sprites from MAX look like, just animated. when you say don't go overboard on the alpha on the explosions...what do you mean exactly? The explosions do need to fade out, right? I'm not sure what you meant by this.
Anyhow. Been going kinda slow, just done another couple of play area art pieces.

I think I need to do a projectile for the bumblebot, a taunt/alt idle animation, and a death animation.  I also need to come up with another enemy type - on the light/melee only type. I'm thinking something buld around a rolly-polly, with a green lighting taser attached. :D Ah, yes. Then I need to make the player character. I've kinda been putting that off because I'm not completely certain about the colors and style, but I think I'm snagged onto an awesome idea and I probably need to run with it.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #94 on: December 27, 2009, 02:26:43 am
I truly like this.
I thought the same thing about the explosions.

This one seems sharp when it fades out, and the small clouds are visible as discrete units. Very appealing.

In comparison, this one seems less sharp, almost airbrushed.

Also, when designing the backgrounds, particularly the buildings, you might want to consider methods of faking perspective utilized by old games, such as the selective angling of elements... here's an example.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #95 on: December 27, 2009, 03:52:16 am
That demonstrates it perfectly. Luckily, changing one number fixes it handily. I've also lightened up the smoke a bit - It was too realistic as it was, and I kinda liked the...goofy looking version more. Not a big change, but there you go.

And I gave the BumbleBolt a shot. It's close to the spiderbot, but the real difference will be in the impact animation.

Thoughts?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #96 on: December 27, 2009, 06:20:01 am
what I meant was that I liked the explosions when they faded out by chunks without alpha http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9591.msg105083#msg105083 it looks unique and pixelart-y.

The alpha fadeout looks more commonplace...I might be alone in that but that's what I think...honestly the new explosions I think have only improved in having darker smoke, the rest looks too unspecific to me. if you were to use the alpha smoke, I think it'd be a better use to have a smoked piece of the floor keep on releasing that translucent smoke for a while, that helps it look realistic (I've been to riots and even small potato bombs leave smoke for a while)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 06:36:07 am by Conceit »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #97 on: December 27, 2009, 08:27:12 am
Conceit: I see. Well, I'll do another pass and see if I can come up with the look you're expecting.
Anyhow, I did a pass on a bumblebot taunt animation.


Thoughts?

Offline Lizzrd

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #98 on: December 27, 2009, 09:51:03 am
Can't see the images.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #99 on: December 27, 2009, 06:40:44 pm
Firefox 2 displays static images instead of animated. Can someone confirm that Firefox 3 shows these?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #100 on: December 27, 2009, 06:49:31 pm
I'm using Firefox 3.5.6, and they show up just fine.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #101 on: December 27, 2009, 07:44:01 pm
Chrome over here, static images.

Offline Photocopier

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #102 on: December 27, 2009, 08:20:30 pm
Opera version 10.10 is still showing everything absolutely perfectly.
I like how the taunt looks but I'm not exactly sure how it would work ingame, When do they taunt you?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #103 on: December 28, 2009, 01:58:00 am
Conceit: I see. Well, I'll do another pass and see if I can come up with the look you're expecting.
I agree with him. The new smoke fades into airbrushed clouds instead of the crisp pre-rendered look of the rest of the images. It's way out-of-place, and even if it wasn't for the game, half of the animation is crisp and solid and then the last half is a blur of clouds.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #104 on: December 28, 2009, 08:30:28 am
Alrighty, here's an updated look at the explosions, as well as a first pass on the bumblebolt impact anim...


That more what you guys are looking for? :D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #105 on: December 28, 2009, 02:00:00 pm
Firefox 2 displays static images instead of animated. Can someone confirm that Firefox 3 shows these?
Seems like these are PNG-anims. Firefox 3 can display them, while programs which do not support png-anim, are only displaying the placeholder-image in the PNG-file.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #106 on: December 28, 2009, 03:23:15 pm
I feel like the explosions were pretty good about halfway through, but that they took a major turn south when you started applying light to them.  They became incredible hard shapes that don't make much sense I feel.

Dust is not a very hard material even when it's quite thick, and it tends to be extremely matte (because it lacks a surface), see if you can't get them to stack so that there's basically 2 zone (smoke in light on top, smoke below that's shadowed) with very rare instances of lighter or darker where it's particularly sculptural.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #107 on: December 28, 2009, 07:36:39 pm
You guys are very difficult to please. I like it. :P
So, here's the latest version, trying to please everyone:

How's that for an attempt?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #108 on: December 28, 2009, 09:24:21 pm
lil wasp dude is perfect now...I think among aniPNG and the alpha explosions everyone's neglected to say that :p. I agree with Adrias, the light effects and the alpha dissolution on the explosions took the fun out of them, do you have the 3d versions of the ones I linked to anymore? The new ones seem bubbly as they fade out....and the fire is also meh-er

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #109 on: December 29, 2009, 05:08:07 am
Once more, unto the explosions.


Better?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #110 on: December 29, 2009, 05:56:25 am
You guys are very difficult to please. I like it. :P
So, here's the latest version, trying to please everyone:

How's that for an attempt?
This one was my favorite. The newer, lighter ones look bubbly. Bubbly in a different way than this one. Bubbly in the kind of way kids blow clouds of bubbles, only a little more violent and with a bang.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #111 on: December 29, 2009, 06:17:50 am
Agree with Xion, the newest version looks like bubbles dissipitating into nothing. I think you were better off with the one previous to it.

I'd criticize more, except that I can't find anything wrong with any of the animations. I'll leave the nit-picking to the pros  :y:

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #112 on: December 29, 2009, 06:42:45 am
These ones almost look like they belong underwater.

I think these are the best ones.

Keep up the amazing work btw. :)

edit-
Consider this a vote for #2, the translucent smoke shows more depth and ultimately fades away the smoothest, I think #3's smoke is too solid and would look rather distracting in game.
But to be honest, any of them would be fine :P
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 02:01:26 pm by .TakaM »
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #113 on: December 29, 2009, 06:52:03 am
These ones almost look like they belong underwater.

Keep up the amazing work btw. :)
Could not agree more!

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #114 on: December 29, 2009, 08:19:42 am
Wow. Okay, seems like everyone has a different take on how these things should look. Well, I'm putting it to a vote.

1:
2:
3:
4:

And if there's no clear winner, then I most likely will just choose one. Right now I'm pretty much leaning towards #3. In the mean time, I'm going to lave it alone for a good long while. I'm going a bit insane doing all these variations.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #115 on: December 29, 2009, 08:24:47 am
Definitely 3.
Smoke doesn't reflect light like it happens in the other variations imo.
Does scaling an image blur it?
Opera fix Firefox fix

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #116 on: December 29, 2009, 11:15:26 am
3, I think the paler ones just look unrealistic.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #117 on: December 29, 2009, 11:18:38 am
Out of the four, I'd say three as well. I believe that the highlights on the "earlier" smoke particles are too strong though. All of the four animations have that problem. This makes the smoke particles look a bit like metal balls at one point. Not cool.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #118 on: December 29, 2009, 11:41:52 am
make the smke on 3 more brown.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #119 on: December 29, 2009, 03:13:56 pm
I vote 3, looks the best out of all of them  :)

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #120 on: December 29, 2009, 04:42:43 pm
I can't decided between two and three

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #121 on: December 29, 2009, 10:24:36 pm
2.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #122 on: December 30, 2009, 01:41:50 am
Definitely three.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #123 on: December 30, 2009, 01:55:24 am
#3 for sure, but i still think the smoke should be matte
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #124 on: December 30, 2009, 02:15:22 am
2.5  ;D

(I would like to see what something halfway between 2's and 3's smoke dissipation effects would look like)

EDIT: If I had to choose between the two, I would floor my answer down to two.  :n:
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 02:17:55 am by WM »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #125 on: December 30, 2009, 05:10:58 am
Wow, thanks for all the feedback, guys! I'm looking at #3 right now, with less lighting on the smoke, with perhaps a bit lighter and more transparent smoke towards the end of the animation.
In the meantime, I've made the death animation for the bumblebot. The idea here is that it's hit in mid-air, and spins into the ground and explodes. It will have a separate smoke and debris trail for added awesome.

I've also re-touched the weapon fire to better match the other effects...it's subtle, but necessary.

And I've finished the next enemy - the RollyPollyBot...I'm not 100% happy with the attack animation - I think it needs some work, but I'd still love any feedback you guys have!


I'll keep the vote on the explosion going for a couple more days - I'm in no rush to make a decision on this, because it's been such a pain so far to get something everyone likes. :D
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 01:32:44 am by Howard Day »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #126 on: December 31, 2009, 03:55:02 am
Okay, did some revision on the rollypolly attack...
and some taunt and idle animations...
and everything together:
and I went back to the explosion...

Can't stay away. :(
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 08:07:04 am by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #127 on: December 31, 2009, 12:10:04 pm
I really like what you're doing here. The last explosion looks best IMO (alternatively #3). Though I guess that seeing them on a background would make deciding easier.
The "rollypolly" looks good, but I think the idle pose is a little strange. I think it'd look better if it lay flat on the ground and would lift it's head as taunt pose. But that's just my opinion.
Great work so far :).

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #128 on: December 31, 2009, 05:09:30 pm
For some reason the little appendage on the rollypolly really looks like a penis.
Creeping me out, dawg.

Anyhow, remember the animation I posted? When the smoke was dissipating it was swirling around. Explosions do that too.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #129 on: December 31, 2009, 09:12:00 pm
Hello,

i like Nr. 4 for it keeps the style of the animation. Nr. 3 is nice, too but the smoke at the end does not fit 100% imho. Anyway nice work so far.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #130 on: January 02, 2010, 05:01:00 am
For some reason the little appendage on the rollypolly really looks like a penis.
Creeping me out, dawg.
Really? First thing I thought of was a bee stinger, given the robot's similarities to a bee.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #131 on: January 02, 2010, 10:52:42 am
He was talking about the lil' rollin' one.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #132 on: January 02, 2010, 11:39:18 am
It's supposed to look like a rattler tail - it's even striped to exemplify this. :D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #133 on: January 02, 2010, 12:25:23 pm
It's supposed to look like a rattler tail - it's even striped to exemplify this. :D
That was directly my thought, so I guess it's at least readable for me :D.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #134 on: January 03, 2010, 10:46:42 pm
lil' bug is way way too little for any of the details to be readable, this guy should be only general shapes. You're  pushing the limits of 3d stuff posing as pixelart too far.

I get a general sense of lack of scale in all of the sprite art, as if you did every element in the same amount of zoom and then resized it to it's corresponding scale. There wasnt a need for alpha in the first explosions because for example fades out in particles that are around a pixel's size while fades out in big blotches of unconvicing bubbles, you should break these bubbles into smaller and smaller bubbles until they become around pixel size, that's what I do by hand when I pixel effects fading out.

I have to admit that if you MUST go with alpha explosions, this is a lot better because it actually gathers some depth from the alpha...I think if you're gonna do alpha fadeouts you should skip this brush aproach and render some semistransparent smoke swirls, make them gather  as if encircling a sphere, wrap and twist as they fade out...I think you've probably seen what I mean in anime sometime.

I dont really like the wasp's explosion either...I'm not particularly fond of this wind-waker-ish curly explosions that you have now, I think you're fusing the first stages of the explosion all into one and it kinda takes away from the whole thing

« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 12:09:43 am by Conceit »

Offline skeme_IN5

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #135 on: January 06, 2010, 05:17:24 am
i absolutely love all this stuff you are working on! i vote for smoke #3 btw.
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Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #136 on: January 08, 2010, 10:04:15 pm
Konrad: Thanks. #3 seems to be the crowd favorite!
Conceit: Wow, lots of critique there! So, As it turns out, I am determined to go the alpha route. I see what you're saying about the size of the particles and I agree - I'd definitely be going that way if I hadn't decided to do alpha. As for the alpha swirls - an excellent idea, and one I shall have to explore. As for the bumblebot blast, yeah, the explosion itself needs some work, I agree. As for the curly explosions, I kinda have to disagree with you - I love 'em and think they make the effect. :D

Okay, so I've been kinda preoccupied recently, I did get some work done on the main character, with any luck I should have something to show for that this weekend. In the meantime I did a quick run on a Hud element - the health bar. The little box is where your current item goes. The starting dull green bars are how much health you can have, the bright green bars are how much health you have. :D

Also came up with a name for the project:

And a first walk test for the main character...

It's very, very rough, I know. Still gonna be doing some major tweaking.
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 08:43:11 am by Howard Day »

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #137 on: January 11, 2010, 09:19:30 am
full of awesome as usual.  I'd love to see details on your workflow from max (ie, what anti-aliasing settings, bg color, alpha matte / processing if any, sprite-software steps, etc.,) to these apng's - extremely impressive.  I've been using 3dsmax since, well, since it was 3ds on dos ;) and this stuff just slays me with awesomesauce.  HUZZAH.

On the gorilla:  Perhaps more movement in the hips & back - it looks too solid / inflexible. 
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Stratto

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #138 on: January 11, 2010, 01:19:35 pm
Wow, I never expected the main character to be a mecha-Gorilla.
Would you mind explaining the title and the character?
So far, it's coming out excellent. Keep up the good work.

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #139 on: January 11, 2010, 01:37:13 pm
Main character irks me, design-wise. Not because I don't like my occasional mecha gorilla (I love the shit out of it) but because it looks so slow ): and the original video that you posted for inspiration was so full of speed and rooftop runnings I thought that'd be part of the inspiration for this project.

I really think you should add some agility to his general design. What comes to mind is an ape's focus on agile arms and how they serve as limbs made for movement as much as for environment interaction. An agile ape with much focus on arms. Well I dunno, that's just what my brain told me to tell you, if you don't feel my words, please do go ahead with your original vision and impress me, I'm sure you will <3
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #140 on: January 11, 2010, 01:49:58 pm
I was personally really hoping for something more organic as the player sprite. Looks like it's going the opposite direction - to something even more boxy and mechanical than the enemies.

Offline linx

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #141 on: January 11, 2010, 07:40:38 pm
Yes im deeply dissapointed with the main character. I was hoping he would look something like how he looked in the video :\

Offline NaCl

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #142 on: January 11, 2010, 08:05:20 pm
Yeah, I have to agree that the main character is totally lame. This is personal opinion of course, but with how awesome everything is so far, having a friggin gorilla as the main character just doesn't do it justice. To me, it looks like there is this theme of conflicting technology and nature, or at least some awkward comprise between the two. There is this mechanical and sterile environment, with trees trying to fit themselves into that. I mean I guess it could be cool, but personally I think a bumbling buffoon gorilla is not right. Of course DK country had a gorilla, but I don't think anyone played that game for it's aesthetics, just the gameplay.

Love the color scheme on him though! That blue will look awesome in the orange environment.

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #143 on: January 12, 2010, 12:02:48 am
Heh. I never expected a gorilla as main character ;). Definately interesting. But I'm sorry to say that I'm not really fond of it. But I guess that depends on how you put him in the setting. So a bit more explanation would be nice.

Pros:
-looks cool
-more "realistic" possibilities to interact with environment (don't you hate it when HUMAN characters can jump around like tarzan in games ;) ?)
-remember TOKI ? Cool game, although you're playing an ape ;). It's something different

Cons:
-what's his weapons ? just fists ? Would be boring imo. And weapons attached to the "shell" wouldn't look good, I think.
-although I see enough possibilities to interact with environment, I see less or even NO possibilities for weapons, powerups, vehicles. At least none which I like. I guess spitting bullets like in TOKI has gotten out of style ;).

BTW: Is it just me, or is he not completely facing right in this render ?

The character has to have a much more dynamic movement. Right now he looks like he's just "lingering around" (do you say so in english ?). It's not looking bad or unrealistic, but boring for the game. The movement of the main character affects the feeling for the game speed. A main character moving like this slows the whole game down.

Tried to find a video of a running gorilla on YouTube, but couldn't find a good video. Need some sleep now ;). Perhaps someone else can help you out there ?!

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #144 on: January 12, 2010, 12:57:57 am
honestly i love the idea of a gorilla for the main character, but im also not huge on the mecha thing. i could see maybe a single mecha arm or something but the full robogorilla makes him seem no different from anything else. im also not big on the colour scheme

Offline 9_6

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #145 on: January 12, 2010, 12:28:53 pm

How on earth are people supposed to dodge anything with such a ginormous main character?
Unless you just go all like "HULK SMASH PUNY BUGS GRRR" on them with their shots not really hurting you at all which would be awesome.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 12:32:47 pm by 9_6 »
Does scaling an image blur it?
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #146 on: January 12, 2010, 12:45:03 pm
How on earth are people supposed to dodge anything with such a ginormous main character?
Unless you just go all like "HULK SMASH PUNY BUGS GRRR" on them with their shots not really hurting you at all which would be awesome.
That was more or less the idea of Psygnosys' walker shoot-m-up, where you had a sort of "heat gauge" affected both by hits taken and shooting rate, iirc. And it was said to be quite an exciting game to play.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #147 on: January 12, 2010, 08:08:34 pm
And a first walk test for the main character...


Talk about a departure from the original video! I wasnt expecting a parkour kid anymore but jeez! not only is it a big robot gorilla, he's stiff as hell! do you really mean to make him such a slow walker? I guess his torso is stiff because it's a preliminary walk, but with that speed I can only imagine that working if it becomes more of a beatemup instead o a platformer.

Also, in sidescrollers we kind of have a standard of the characters facing the audience in 3/4 , 1/2 or full profile at most regardless of wether they're facing right or left, are you purposedly going against that by showing us the hero's back most of the time?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 08:18:26 pm by Conceit »

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #148 on: January 12, 2010, 09:20:09 pm
WOW!  All this hate for the great ape! 

Size, animation, orientation - these are all very preliminary things and can be easily tweaked.  ROBOKONG as a player-character - I think it's pretty unique and could be fun to be this giant robo ape terrorizing a town full of smallish sprites (who have no hope of stopping, nay even slowing, giant robot simian terror!). 

I don't mind the concept, I'm sure it'll turn out fantastic as everything else here as you polish it up.
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline linx

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #149 on: January 12, 2010, 09:32:29 pm
The reason im so dissapointed in the Ape is all this time he was making the monsters i was imagining playing as the character form the original video, not a giant gorilla  :(

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #150 on: January 12, 2010, 09:38:04 pm
Wow. Lots of dislike in here. :D
So, to explain the thinking behind some of these ideas...
Yes, the walk is slow right now - it was mostly a test to make sure the rig worked. The final animation is meant to be much quicker, more acrobatic, and smoother. I've since improved the rig to include bending the torso, neck, shoulders, and made the feet smaller, so I can do more with the motion of the legs. There's also a major element missing right now - the gun. As originally intended, this guy would have a shoulder-mount weapon (that upgrades as the game progresses) that independently tracks enemies. Something along the lines of this:

And yes, the Karmans from AT 43 have been among my main inspirations for this guy - them and Cygor. I'm still very much in progress of working on this character.
The scaling of this guy is also off - the camera was improperly set up - It's about 25% closer than it should be. The "facing away from the camera" issue is another thing entirely. I was trying to be utterly consistent in the camera angles used by these sprites - which lead to the camera being slightly behind the character. If I'm honest, I sort of like this - seems a neat diversion from the standard sidescroller formula where the main character is the main focus of the scene. This way you're more focused on what's going on *in* the scene, than what your character's doing. *However*, I have tried the camera facing the other way, and it doesn't look nearly as jarring as I might have thought. I'll do a post with both options whenever I get the animation and character to a good point.

As for the name of the game, here's the basic story:
Your character is an uplifted, human-level intelligence scout gorilla (who's been genetically altered to have several other animals survival traits, sense of smell, hearing, balance, reflexes, that sort of thing think 50% Cougar). You're returning to your home planet for debriefing. While in orbit, you signal your controllers of your arrival. As soon as your signal is sent, your ship is targeted, fired upon, and shot down. You wake up next to your wrecked scoutcraft somewhere outside the city. Your goal is to find out what happened to your controllers, and why all the dwellings and city outskirts seem to be deserted.
Thus the name - Absent Eden. There are no people here, just psychotic utility and police bots. All of them intent on eliminating you.
Not the most original, but hey. :D

One final note: After reading some of the criticisms posted in response to the gorilla, I considered replacing the gorillacat with a more conventional character - even an anime-style guy pulled almost directly from the video I posted as inspiration. I ran this idea past my friends here at work, guys and gals who's opinion I trust enormously, and I was threatened with physical violence if I replaced the monkey. So for now, the monkey stays. I shall try and make it more interesting, however. :D
Give me a few days to work out the animation. It's not my strong suit (I've never really animated characters before) and I'm still learning.


Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #151 on: January 12, 2010, 11:15:20 pm
hahahaha, monkey's good. The walk just seemed unworkably slow :p then I looked at that "walker" game and realized it would be ok if it worked more like a shooter game...which from that picture it looks like it might be what you do.

Maybe I should wait to get the frontal look of the lil fella, but I feel like you should try more options with the design before settling on this. I like the gun monkey pic you posted, and the other gorillas of the AT-43 and they fit with what you got with the bad guys, but the gorilla seems like he isnt up to the quality of either your previous stuff OR the AT-43 series....it's your hero after all, you should think about it a bit more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZItE4FQU784&feature=related Real gorillas are fun too, maybe you should watch them a little so you make your own caricature of them and your own armor configuration

I'm liking the look of the spiderbot more than the Gorilla the way it is right now. I feel like the model itself isnt too attractive looking, the shapes are sort of clunky instead of emphasizing the basic forms that compose him (as opposed to the wasp or the spiderbot) so the blue/white lines lose their purpose too since they stop drawing your eyes around the basic shaps and instead just sort of add directionless detail. Also, the thing that differentiates him the most from the enemies (other than color) is his biologic parts, and they're looking pretty drab and boring right now...think of all this and try diferent designs before settling on this one!

IDK how you might want to do the gun...but I think it'd be fun if it was something gorilla-ish, like maybe he doesnt fire it by pulling a trigger but by smashing it on the floor, or smashing it against his head or something lol....maybe it could be stick shaped or ball shaped...it'd be fun to have something like that so maybe with diferent items he smashes it in different ways and different attack patterns come out :p

EDIT:
Give me a few days to work out the animation. It's not my strong suit (I've never really animated characters before) and I'm still learning.
wow, really? you mean spiderbot and such were your first tries? that makes it all even more mindblowing!! I'll readjust my crits accordingly when you post the blu ape then =D
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 11:40:49 pm by Conceit »

Offline linx

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #152 on: January 13, 2010, 02:53:56 am
--Starts plotting on how to kill the co-workers--
Gorilla just seems too big for this. I expected this to be fast pace  :(

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #153 on: January 13, 2010, 07:35:41 am
..., but the gorilla seems like he isnt up to the quality of either your previous stuff OR the AT-43 series....it's your hero after all, you should think about it a bit more!
I'll second that. The AT-43-gorilla you posted looks much morge organic and as if he's wearing an armor/shell.
Your gorilla looks really flat, and more like a robot. I'd prefer the organic look.

I think it'd be cool if the armor/mechanical parts would resemble powerups. So in the beginning the gorilla would look more or less like a normal gorilla, after collecting powerups the bodyparts get covered with mechanical parts (i.e. high-jump-upgrade > mechanical legs).

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #154 on: January 13, 2010, 08:04:57 am
Well, the gorrila idea doesn't make too much sense to me, but I like the theme of mammals vs bugs.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #155 on: January 13, 2010, 09:39:26 am
Conceit: Okay, I definitely agree with you on the quality thing, and I hope I've at least touched on that in the latest set. And yes, these are indeed the first character models I've ever made in their entirety. I've made a couple of torso only models before, but not done a whole lot of animation. It's all a learning experience.
linx: Hey, now. I guarantee that they're tougher than you are.  Anyone who can make it through crunch time on 3 sequential Tomb Raider games are not to be F**ked with.
Okay, latest animation set, both from the front and the back. I've removed the armor on the nearest arm, added the back mount for the gun, added the cat ears, and a host of other changes.
Moving a lot quicker and smoother now, too. Re-scalled, as well, though I'm noticing that the back view one is...slightly larger than it should be. Damn these touchy cameras.

As always, thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
 

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #156 on: January 13, 2010, 12:19:38 pm
- Why those ears ?!
- I rather liked the darker fur. Something in between ?
- I think the legs should extern further.
- Can you give the legs more volume ? Rounded, not flat ?

Offline Larwick

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #157 on: January 13, 2010, 01:23:50 pm
Hey Howard, i was really happy when i found out your protagonist was a robo gorilla! With big, clunky sound effects this could be really effective. I think i had the same physical issues with one of my characters once, in that they were very big and clunky - but i think you may have solved it with the massive gun :P

The pink ears don't really sit right with me either, it just seems odd and hard to understand - i don't think that if i saw this without any clues i would be able to guess they were cat ears. It almost looks like a big cartoon wound.

Would the shoulders look better with some kind of highlight patch on the top? The upper arms look a bit monotonous at the moment with the hair texture imo. I keep thinking maybe i prefer the dark hair but i'm still unsure.

I've been lurking on this thread since the start, your work is really great, i appreciate you sharing it with us.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #158 on: January 13, 2010, 11:46:20 pm
Slight update. Dunno if I've made it worse. Something on the rear legs is looking worse. Got rid of the ears.

Offline CaKsTeR

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #159 on: January 13, 2010, 11:57:49 pm
His hind legs are hesitating before they actually make contact with the ground. That's probably a major contribution to what's making this run odd.  :)

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #160 on: January 14, 2010, 12:57:27 am
Really like the main character choice!
Maybe there could be more movement in the waist area? Although his armour seems to restrict that. I'm not really sure how goriallas move but it seemed a bit stiff.
It almost seems like he has 2 different types of fur on his arms (the lower and upper areas), the fur also seems like it's made of crystals  ;D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #161 on: January 14, 2010, 04:49:48 am
There should be more vertical movement I think. The head and torso almost seem stiffly held in place. In a kind of bounding gallop, I would imagine that the head would move in a nice arc over the frames. Also, it'd be nice to see his facial features more exaggerated, enhancing the simian quality for this scale. Your world seems kind of cartoony, and the furry detail doesn't really jive.

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #162 on: January 14, 2010, 05:16:00 am
the back legs are really floaty. i like the character design way better now, but i agree darker fur would help. nice progress

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #163 on: January 14, 2010, 07:02:58 am
Konrad: It's a GorillaCat! ...I don't know why those ears. I thought they might look good. I was obviously wrong. I like the robo legs, they're gonna make more sense when you see the gun. :D You're right on the leg extents.
Larwick: Glad you like it! The ears were obviously a bad choice. As for the upper arm, I think what's jarring about that area is the extreme range of motion of the biological arm right next to the almost non-moving torso armor. I stuck in a sort of shoulder pad to help dampen that movement.
Jad: Thanks for the support! I think I'm well on my way to proving that the idea is solid. :D
CaKsTeR: That should be fixed in the latest.
aspal: Glad you like! I'm definitely still tweaking the overall movement. And good call on the specular on the fur - it was too much. Removed.
big brother: Done - added in there. I'll hit the facial features when I do the close up talking portrait. Sometime in he future. :D
Tuna Unleashed: Fixed and fixed.
So a while back someone asked about the Max settings and workflow that I'm using. It's pretty simple - I'm rendering the images at twice the final resolution with Blackman AA. I then shrink the images in post using nearest neighbor sampling - that's the only way I've found to get these nice, crisp edges. The lighting is one directional area light, and max's advanced lighting radiosity.
Here's a preview of the next image set - quickly done with none of the cool stuff turned on.

That's your first look at a player gun. It's one of the high-level ones, if not the highest-level one. :D
Thoughts?

I'm rendering the final quality frames now. I'll post 'em up when they're done.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #164 on: January 14, 2010, 07:21:51 am
The legs and event he torso needs some work imo, and the palms should be pointing inwards a bit more.
the stride seems a bit off, heres a reference video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHi3xYS3cOs

I like the legs but they seem very plain and archaic when looking at the beautiful, flowing armor and electronics of the spider and company. Gorillas are a lot like humans, and the belly should stick out a bit more than it is now... unless this is a super weightlifter gorilla! :D

The gun looks big and cool, but also very bulky and heavy, and it seems to be more on the gorilla's left side, and that would probably make walking, or even standing, very hard.

Offline Stab

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #165 on: January 14, 2010, 08:17:04 am
Thoughts!

First off: Fantastic, ridiculous, if I can concoct stuff at this level of quality some day, I'll die happy.

Second: For your Gorilla... if the function defines the form, then what is his body armour/cyborg-ness doing? What is he supposed to be doing?

The rest of your work seems to make sense in this regard. Not much seems incongruous; everything is where it should be, reads easily, and supports a function.

For example, the Deathbot. From a few seconds of looking, my brain picks it up as a tough, frontal-defense robot, built primarily to stand its ground and repel a number of medium-to-small, relatively slow targets. This idea of the robot is gathered from the way it appears to be crafted. It has a single, nonrotational optic up front, mounted low and moderately well defended, as well as two frontward-facing guns, seemingly well-protected legs and an energy core placed behind it all where it's very unlikely to be hit at all. Your design of the character is fantastic, and tells the viewer a lot of things that probably won't even register unless he thinks about it.

In comparison and using the same analysis, I wanna look at your Gorilla. It has a giant friggin' cannon, which is very clear in intent and purpose. It appears to be built to charge headlong into a battle and exploderize everything by virtue of the fact that its gun is so large aiming is just a suggestion, not a necessity. It is incongruous, however with itself and its own percieved function by the way it is crafted. If it IS a beast (Cyborg primate whatever) meant primarily to juggernaut its way in there and leave bits of robot strewn across the earth, then why are its two most important physical forces entirely unarmoured, save for two bracelets that remind me more of restraining devices than anything else? Also, why is there more protection on the rear end, where nothing is likely to even be scratched, let alone permanently damaged?

The character's design isn't telling me what it's meant for. My heart says it's made to rush in there fastlike and crushinate (Also, I feel like I read this somewhere), but the character design isn't supporting that thesis, or offering another suggestion (If the gun had a longer barrel, and the gorilla had freaky optics, I'd think sniper gorilla. If it was clutching a nuclear warhead, I'd think kamikaze gorilla.).

What I'd be playing around with or attempting to do would be to push the idea that this gorilla does not believe that "slow", "backwards" and "stop" are anywhere in the dictionary, and that forward progress despite any obstacle is the only way to go, ever. The character doesn't project any definite idea right now, and I think that's where it suffers most.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #166 on: January 14, 2010, 08:41:06 am
Alrighty - the final quality sprite. Not final, just final quality.


CrazyMLC : I'll play around with the arms/hands a bit more. And as much as I like the way the legs are made right now, I'll take another look and see if I can't come up with something better. As for the size and placement of the gun...I'm willing to forgo total realism in this case, in favor of sheer awesome. Remember - that weapon is a late-game deal, most of the game will be played through with weapons far smaller and less cumbersome than that.
Stab: You bring up some excellent points - and if I'm honest, I don't know how to properly address them. The only thing that comes to mind is some way of showing the player that that gun mount was not originally intended to *be* a gun mount. Something along the lines of at the very beginning of the game, right after the scoutship is shot down and you, the player, wake up - having some sort of mangled comm gear that he tears off his shoulder. The player is supposed to be a scout returning from a mission. That's actually key - he's never intended to *be* a frontline weapon, but a passive, furtive observer. Thus, his hindquarters would be armored, for running away, legs altered, enhanced, so he could be faster, yeah? And a neat-o satellite dish with some bad-ass binocular attachment would make a lot of sense. And the shoulder mount could just be a generic mounting point, like an AC socket. This all makes sense to me, sure - but I'm really close to the character and the project. You're right - the key is communicating the knowledge I have to the player.

I'm rendering out another take on this, from the rear view. I'm fairly certain that I'll be using the front view from here on out, but I thought some might like to see.
 

Offline 9_6

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #167 on: January 14, 2010, 08:54:24 am
The player is supposed to be a scout returning from a mission. That's actually key - he's never intended to *be* a frontline weapon, but a passive, furtive observer.
A gorilla bigger than the biggest enemy (so far) is meant to have the role of an passive observer?
That's like taking the hulk and giving him the job of a scout.
Does not compute.

Also if it's meant to be a scout, robotize its frond legs and de-armorize its chest or something to communicate mobility cause right now, that's way too much armor for something that's not meant for battle.
But then again, that's way too clunky and heavy looking for a scout, with or without that gun!
How could you, out of all possible mammals, pick a gorilla as the "passive observer"?
Gorillas are neither stealthy nor (do they look) agile. They're gorillas! They're hell of strong! They're the most hardcore apes in existance!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 08:57:44 am by 9_6 »
Does scaling an image blur it?
Opera fix Firefox fix

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #168 on: January 14, 2010, 01:26:49 pm
imo you should have the gun mounted on his back. i mean i know its exaggerated but... wow, that might be a bit much. he ought to topple over as long as he's going under mach 10. i do like the gun though

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #169 on: January 14, 2010, 02:13:12 pm
The reasons Stab posted are very, very good, and I think represent why he should find some new armor, but knowing your reasons, Howard, make it make sense.

Still, I think its in conflict with the huge gun... you say that this one will be later in the game, so how about having the armor be upgradable to fit in with it?

One thing is, arms are part of gorillas' stride, so why are they left unenhanced and organic?
They're also needed for movement, so I'd think keeping them intact would be top (or second to top? >_>) priority...
The legs are hard to read, I can't tell if they're in really boxy armor or robotic legs.

The torso armor, apart from the the hip area, looks like a single piece of armor, the chest and spine need a lot of room, and you see how in medieval armor its all segmented to allow motion, I think you should apply this concept, especially for a scout.

The socket would make much more sense in context, I think seeing other gorillas/people attached to the bottoms of planes, etc, ready to be dropped off, or or having is be part of the seat belt for the plane he crashes in, or something like that. If you do something like that you probably wont have to worry about it, but for even a civilian/scout to be using it, when they're not supposed to be constantly using guns, there'd have to be a lot of use, or need, for it

One way you could get away with the armor being like it is is having a personal shield on him.

Or, how about he makes/finds new armor, or cobbles things onto it to make it fancier?
On his ship he crashed in, was there no suit of combat armor?
Does he not come across any deserted police stations with police armor?


Like I said earlier this is evolving into a game i'd love to play, heres hoping it gets made!

I liked seeing the mock-ups with everything on the screen, can we see one with the gorilla, HUD, etc? Pleeeease?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 02:17:41 pm by CrazyMLC »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #170 on: January 14, 2010, 10:47:59 pm
Alright. Update to the animation.


I'm pretty much gonna leave it there for the time being. I'm gonna go back and try some new things with the legs tonight, and some more background plate stuff to calm me down. :P
After that I'll try sticking some of this together for another still-image mockup.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #171 on: January 14, 2010, 11:33:50 pm
I think that barearmed gorilla is looking very good, I also like the lynx ear, they blend more with the design than those cat ears...the hero is looking pretty good now.

the cat ears and the gun sort of clash though, the gun's paintjob together with the wires on the back and the cat ears make that whole area look a little too crowded. I think the yellow/black wires call too much attention and are thematically less important because they are just MORE of the character's cyborg features, while the Lynx ears are the only hint that the gorilla's genetically modified, therefore far more important. You need to take the focus away from the wires (I'd remove them) and make those ears stand out a little better, they get lost on top of the gun.

Also, I cant see the gorilla's face you need to make it more caricutarized, or give him some cool glasses like those toys you referenced.
This is is an aspect of pixelart that you should keep in mind "design 4 size", you're designing for the final aspect ratio that things will be shown in, so you should put only the details that can be shown in your intented resolution, not less not more.

The animation lokos pretty good, it just lacks analysis of refferences. I really think you're understimating how you can make your own design a lot better if you refference real life and draw your own caricatures, rather than try to do what others have done.
Look at this gorilla walking from the back
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8afAqnar3qw&feature=related check this after 2:02

Gorillas dont walk straight, one leg goes in between the arms, the other goes to a side. They are in a spot between pibed and cuadruped that's why their walk is flawed.

their whole walk is them putting their arms forward, pushing down...then swinging their body diagonally to avance. You should incorporate some way for your guy to move his shoulders, there's a LOT of that oll over a gorilla's motions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDxA8-01cp4&feature=related
they throw their arm forwars with a lot of force, and then they tense them to push their torso and legs off the ground..(this is the point where they're highest in their walk and you sorta diluted it) then they swing to a side and fall.

Your walk right now kind of assumes that the tiny legs are powering it as much as the huge arms do, which obviously cant be so it looks floaty and sort of unnatural.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 12:02:15 am by Conceit »

Offline Stratto

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #172 on: January 15, 2010, 12:48:00 am
I suggest making his back legs a little bit bulkier.
In my opinion, the yellow cables on the back look pretty good and I tink you should keep them, but make the antennas more visible.

Offline Stab

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #173 on: January 15, 2010, 01:24:35 am
You've sold me on it, Howard. Now that you've explained it (and I'm sure it'd be explained in the game as well), I'm having a much easier time reading a sort of "reluctant hero" in your main character.

Conceit's got good points about the animation, though (Though you misplaced your links, Conceit! It's the 2nd link that has runs after 2:02 :P). I'm not sure I entirely agree that aiming for a realistic (according to the video Conceit posted) run is a wise design choice, as it looks to me a lot more like two midgets doing the wheelbarrow than a powerful, fast run.

Iunno. I can't make any informed judgements, and I think the catlike run -is- the way to go, but Conceit is very right about it floating.

I'll do some experimenting, you'll hear 'bout it if I get anywhere.

-e- nope, I got nothin'.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 04:42:17 am by Stab »

Offline Gil

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #174 on: January 15, 2010, 02:34:44 am
This game would be so cool if you just control the gun and not the running. Gorilla just goes stomping away and you have to clear the path.

Seems pretty easy to program actually, have you thought about actually creating the game or is this purely art side?

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #175 on: January 15, 2010, 01:51:51 pm
Okay, guys. It's really late here. Ridiculous Animation Update.


And I did a background plate...

And some screenshots of the prototype...

As I said, it's really, really late here - I'll try and post responses to everyone sometime later.
Keep 'em coming, though.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #176 on: January 15, 2010, 01:59:42 pm
Dgawwwwwww...
Ack!
*cleans drool off of keyboard*

Wow, thats really nice when its all put together, but I find its kinda hard to make out the arms in the prototype screenshots.

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #177 on: January 15, 2010, 04:33:06 pm
Weeee. I wanna play this on my peecee !
Looking good :).

Offline big brother

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #178 on: January 15, 2010, 04:41:46 pm
The gorilla run is looking better. His upper body still defies gravity, especially when both his hands come off the ground (his body starts to dip, but then stops itself BEFORE his hands touch the ground again).  It might be nice if the gun had a little more weight, like he leans toward the left side during his run. It's hard to believe something that big isn't heavy.

Offline twodayslate

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #179 on: January 16, 2010, 05:15:33 am
Need testers I hope! :)

Offline linx

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #180 on: January 16, 2010, 06:05:07 am
I'm waiting for that gun's fire animation  :D

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #181 on: January 17, 2010, 01:12:13 am
9_6: Key words: "So Far". :D
CrazyMLC:I'm actually considering having a "block" type shield. Simple power-recharge mechanic to make it interesting. That's make the bracelets the shield emitters. :D
Conceit: Thanks. I think I'm gonna stick with the less-realistic animation style I've got going now. Thanks for those walk/run refs, though - those are in fact hugely helpful. as for the guy's face - I need to re-do that anyway. it was based off a rather crappy reference, and I know I can do better.
Stratto: Yeah, I'm still playing with the legs. haven't come up with anything noteworthy yet, though.
Stab: Thanks - glad I was able to convince you. Now to convince everyone else!
Gil: That is...extremely interesting. I hadn't considered that idea, but it's definitely one I'm going to have to. Would be a really neat gameplay mechanic!
CrazyMLC: Yes! I'm working on fixing that - I'm making the arms slightly brighter and more steel-gray. hope to update that shortly.
Konrad : Right now everything I'm making is designed and formatted for the PSP.
big brother: YES! Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is exactly the problem. Hopefully fixed in the next update!
linx: still playing around, but I'll have something to show soon.

Now for something slightly different!
http://www.hedfiles.net/AE/index.html
IT MOVES! Hit "a" to turn the logo on and off.

Thoughts?

Offline Pawige

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #182 on: January 17, 2010, 03:16:36 am
Bloody lovely!! The gorilla's animation and design looks much better in motion and on the background. One thing I think that might help is slice the farthest background up into a few pieces and scroll them very very slowly. At the moment it still seems a bit flat.

 |
\ /  Uhhh... What?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 03:38:29 am by Pawige »

Offline Stab

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #183 on: January 17, 2010, 03:35:43 am
Perhaps not the best place to initiate a discussion (or, more appropriately, "rant"), but it is relevant to what's going on here... an' pixelation is one of the few hidey-holes on the internet where you can pose your thoughts and have reasonable hope for an informed reply!

So, I begin.

How much does it matter?

In this case, the "it" is the feeling of weight of the gorilla. In the context of the game, how much does it matter? The animation, as is, looks... well, like a gorilla running. it doesn't necessarily look like a slaughterous, 900 pound cyborg primate feline, it doesn't necessarily project each of our specific images for what it -should- look like*... but at the end of the day, in the context of the game, it -is- emitting a mood and seems to be performing the actions it is supposed to be performing.

It is/was also being judged primarily (by myself, at least) as a stand-alone animation, without regard for the context it was in. If/when it is seen in its home context, I have a hard time believing the already small errors of weight in animation will be all that easy to pick out, or noticeable... especially considering the player will likely have more important things to worry about, such as robots shooting LASERS at his FACE.

This is my opinion, though. I was raised and have always taught myself in a more or less absolute, black-OR-white yes OR no sort of way. The reason I'm raising my voice here is because there's quite a few minds (helm-who-must-not-be-named ( :P ), NDChristie and/or Adarias (I still fight with your name change!) would be the two most vocal) who comment upon and point out the merits of subtlety in game design and art in general. I've never outright disagreed with that notion, but there are times when I struggle to see its strength, and times where I see the pursuit of subtlety be damaging to the process in general.

Off on a bit of a tangent, here, but I'm sure I'll work my way back to... uhh... somewhere.

"It's the little things that count" is a saying that comes to mind. I don't disagree with that saying. It is one that popped up occasionally in my formal education, and every time I heard it I could think of examples where it rings true. Take the entire "knytt" series as a shining example. There's a ton of subtle environmental interaction and sound effects and... things that all wonderfully support the main theme of the game. Most of 'em you don't even consciously register until you realise that it's the subtle things that are sucking you in, and start looking for 'em. It works brilliantly, and why it works brilliantly, I think, is directly connected to a saying that was welded to my chest by my formal education.

"YOU'RE POLISHING THE TURD". The reason "knytt" works so well is because its core is solid. The concepts, gameplay, and progression all work, and all the little subtle things compliment the fact that the core is solid, and make the whole game enjoyable (for some). To get away from the game theme, and back to why/how I find focus on subtlties to be detrimental to the whole process is this: Often, I find myself (and other artists) focussing on something that essentially amounts to "polishing the turd" (NOT YOU, HOWARD DAY! I'm off on a tangent, just needed to clarify that this does not pertain to your work!). For 'zample, how often have we seen (and done!) someone working really hard on a human face, trying to convey this precise emotion, drawing and redrawing and redrawing the smile and CURSING THE SKIES BECAUSE THIS FRIGGIN PORTRAIT ASDFFFFFFFF... only to have someone walk in and mention "Hey, your perspective / proportions are off!"

Same thing goes for people attempting to draw drapery over volumes they don't understand. Adding the interaction of subtlety over a core that is broken is only going to result in it being shiny poo.

I think I did that thing where i answered my own quesiton. Lemme check. Yep!

Subtlety matters, but the biggest thing to remember is that subtlety adds, not masks.

HOW this relates back to the topic and subject and whatnot (Kay, Howard. This is you again!) is that either our, the critic's view of the core is bustigated, meaning we don't know something he does that makes it work... OR the core of the beast is bustigated, meaning it is not designed or constructed in a manner that makes sense or reads correctly to the viewer.

Personally, after a bit of observation, I'm opting for the latter. Unless the character is redesigned in a way that supports more believable subtle motion (Primarily, I think, the allowance of shoulder motion would do wonders. I'm not too sold on the rotating disc shoulder joint, as it doesn't allow for much chest rise/fall on impact, and I feel that a lot of the weight in four-legged creatures of this nature is shown by the shoulderblade breaking the contour of the back/neck.)

OF COURSE, that is just criticism in the context of Howard Day's pursuit of believable animation as an artist. I don't have any criticism for the animation in the context of the game, as I think it works well now, and adding anything further to it will excessively complicate matters without reaaaaaaaaally adding that much.

This post was something of an experiment. Thanks for allowing me to let my train of thought do a couple laps around the mountain!

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #184 on: January 17, 2010, 11:52:39 am
Its all moving a bit fast, if the spider bot was walking at it's speed and the gorilla at its, they would just smack into eachother.

The background is really nice but maybe you should make it a tad larger, so it can also scroll slightly.

A nice effect you could add is a slightly jerky motion with the camera, like every time the gorilla takes a leap forward the camera jumps forward, you know? Just a little subtle effect like that would help a lot.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 11:54:11 am by CrazyMLC »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #185 on: January 17, 2010, 04:37:58 pm
Pawige: Good call! I broke up the background and added a bit of atmospheric haze while I was at it.
Stab: Sweet god man. :D Thanks for the...support? I do greatly appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. I think it's made te whole thing WAY better, so keep it coming!
CrazyMLC: Well, I am gonna give this guy a normal walk animation, this is more of a sprint. I already split up the background - the link should be updated.

http://www.hedfiles.net/AE/index.html
Updates: The monkeys got new fur, new animation, and the background is now far more dynamic.
Here's the new ape anim:

And the first run on the gun animation - both walking loop, and firing animation.


Thoughts?

Offline Stab

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #186 on: January 18, 2010, 12:50:51 am
I don't think the off-timed double barrel recoil is helping you much, if any.

Also, I think it'd probably be wise to stick some sort of recoil absorption method on the pivot, so the character doesn't rip his own shoulder off every time he fires. Exaggerated and too powerful, but an edit:

http://megaswf.com/view/9ca90f9d0cd1dbd1540cea733cbfdd8d.html

Ehh, or maybe the double barrel recoil is cool. Iunno.

http://megaswf.com/view/59222dc505cd9e974b2d0de77581be2d.html
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 01:06:43 am by Stab »

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #187 on: January 18, 2010, 02:06:17 am
Nice Howard, really nice.  I like the recoil-effect on the weapon;  the orange thing below screams laser-targeting system to me ;)  Perhaps if you offset the barrel's recoil more - so it was bang / BANG - a few more frames between the two barrels firing / recoiling...

The fur is nice - I think that will stand out a lot better against your BG elements.  I think there should be some more hip rotation resulting in some up/down motion on the hips as he plants and pushes off w/ his feet - something to consider.  Perhaps some more specular highlighting  - it's a tad dark in your processing build linked above; hair at this scale is hard to duplicate though - and should be anistropic if shiny.....  hrm. 

What AA & rendering engine are you using for these?  Scanline?  I gotta say, the antennae thingies aren't my cup of tea, but they help convey the motion - I'm curious to see if they'll get lost with the cannon up on his shoulder or what.

KEEP IT COMING :) 
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #188 on: January 18, 2010, 03:05:59 am
Update - made the muzzle flash more ferocious, and added some recoil.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #189 on: January 21, 2010, 10:16:47 am
So, yes - still working on this, after being delayed intermittently by apartment floods, buying a new house (TIMING!) and virus infected jumpdrives and work computers. Joy. Anyhow, I started working on the intro sequence - not a whole lot of gameplay here, but lots of pretty. Here are two shots from the intro.

That's the scoutship approaching Eden - just before it's shot down. And yes...those *are* a pair of DualShokCannons strapped to the nose of that thing! Now we know where that big-ass gun comes from!

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #190 on: January 21, 2010, 04:15:00 pm
Love the ship design ! Is there space for a landing gear between those dual cannons ? Not that it's required anyway ;).

Offline bengo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #191 on: January 21, 2010, 11:07:46 pm
God this looks awesome, this is gonna be a game right? I wanna play the shit out of it!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #192 on: January 22, 2010, 06:59:20 am
Thanks, guys. Here's the first run on the first scene of the intro. http://www.hedfiles.net/intro01.mov - 21MB H.264
sculptedpixel : I am indeed using scanline in MAX 2009. For AA settings, I render at 2x the needed resolution with Blackman type antialiasing, then reduce post-render to 1/2 the resolution using nearest neighbor smoothing. This is the only way I've found to get really nice crisp lines.

Thoughts?

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #193 on: January 22, 2010, 08:06:04 am
I really like the movie, though there is a problem, the panning and movement of the camera is really choppy.

If you look at it, the beginning is, 'Alright, move down. Wait. Move left. Wait.'
What I'm trying to say is that the camera's movement needs to be fluid.


Other than that I think it looks wonderful, especially the ship and the planet.

Offline JonathanOfDrain

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #194 on: January 22, 2010, 09:16:58 pm
I really like the movie, though there is a problem, the panning and movement of the camera is really choppy.

If you look at it, the beginning is, 'Alright, move down. Wait. Move left. Wait.'
What I'm trying to say is that the camera's movement needs to be fluid.


Other than that I think it looks wonderful, especially the ship and the planet.
I felt like that was intentional, though we can ask Howard about that. I thought it had a robot feel too it like footage from a surveillance space camera. Though if it wasn't from that POV it was indeed choppy and needs to be retouched.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #195 on: January 23, 2010, 09:15:25 am
Eeee. Yeah, that was a mistake. The original camera movement came from me trying to make an orthographic camera work, and didn't clean it up after I did manage it.
http://www.hedfiles.net/intro02.mov -21MB
Updated version, new camera movement, touched up effects and planet.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #196 on: January 24, 2010, 03:51:18 am
Welll howard, I've got to say I really really admire how headstrong you've been about this whole thing
we all oughta be doing our own projects like this instead of fartin around :p

Dude, I think by now you owe it to yourself to make a thread at TIGSOURCE or the game developers refuge or SOMEWHERE and get yourself a programmer. I think they would start commenting on it too and you'd feed even MORE from that and round out the game as a whole....I'd love to see this stuff playable someday!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 03:57:17 am by Conceit »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #197 on: January 24, 2010, 06:58:42 pm
I'm a programmer at Game Developer's Refuge and I'd love to give this game a crack, but let's not push Howard until he's ready to think further than the creative process.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #198 on: January 26, 2010, 08:02:46 am
Conceit: Thanks, man. For te record, I've always intended to program this sucker myself. I'm gonna use MMF2 since I'm a klick'nplay user from waay back when, and that cause/effect mentality is one I understand well. In other news, I'm still working on the intro, on and off, but I'm also finding inspiration in the oddest of places...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/darkkazmo/4302802555/

Offline alspal

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #199 on: January 26, 2010, 09:02:57 am
I'm gonna use MMF2 since I'm a klick'nplay user from waay back when

ahh, good choice.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #200 on: January 26, 2010, 10:52:55 am
Hey Howard.  This is looking great.  I have some critique which may be completely irrelevant, but maybe useful none the less.  I've been playing with some overall image processing of your game - much like one would for photography - and I've got some interesting results.

It seems like if you spend some time post-render to really process these assets, you may come up with a really unique and unified look.  Here was one of my tests for example:


(before processing)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 03:17:02 am by Indigo »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #201 on: January 27, 2010, 02:22:45 am
Conceit: Thanks, man. For te record, I've always intended to program this sucker myself. I'm gonna use MMF2 since I'm a klick'nplay user from waay back when, and that cause/effect mentality is one I understand well.

=O hell yes  ;D

PS: I LOVE that caterrpillar, the strangest of places is EXACTLY where to get your inspiration

PS2: (lulz) you're gonna regret not giving the gorilla moving shoulders I tell ya! :p
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 02:25:38 am by Conceit »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #202 on: February 01, 2010, 12:30:21 am
Super Awesome Update time! I've spent the weekend putting together the first run test of the game. And here it is!
http://www.hedfiles.net/AETest.zip (12MB) Unzips into a self-contained EXE.
Things you can do in this demo:
Run around (arrow keys)
Jump - Up arrow, no animation or behaviour for this as of yet, I am currently working on this.
Fire - left mouse button
Watch pretty explosions
Exit using Alt-F4!!

New things in this demo:
PlayApe's got an idle animation now
New animated cursor
New animated Flags
New animated foliage (foreground only, I'd appreciate some feedback on whether or not the background plates need it too)
Assorted other fixes and tweaks.

There's a whole lot missing from this - Enemies, Health, Menus, Save/Load, Dialogs of any sort, and any kinda of actual gameplay. This is only intended to show you that I am indeed working on this, and give a current state of my progress.
Not bad for a couple days in MMF2, huh?
Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 01:31:04 am by Howard Day »

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #203 on: February 01, 2010, 01:22:35 am
holy crap - a way to close the fetching program would have been nice.  even when I alt-tabbed out of the application, my mouse wouldn't move from the center of the screen so I cound't control my task manager.  I tried every button I could imagine to close the program.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #204 on: February 01, 2010, 01:30:39 am
Alt-F4 should do the trick. The next version will have a menu. Apologies.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #205 on: February 01, 2010, 07:53:49 am
Make the next version either windowed or stretch proportionally for people without widescreens too.
Cause it looks terribly squashed over here.
Does scaling an image blur it?
Opera fix Firefox fix

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #206 on: February 03, 2010, 05:41:12 am
ALT-F4 works fine. Looks really promising :).

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #207 on: February 03, 2010, 12:08:06 pm
all i can say is...WOW! absolutely amazing.
if this game gets finished it will be effing awesome!
theres a few bugs/glitches i found although i know the real purpose of this demo was just to show the graphics and animation etc.
1) i cant jump straight up in the air, only forwards or backwards(this maybe a problem with my keyboard though)
2) sometimes the animation on the foliage doesnt work.
Come in peace or leave in pieces

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #208 on: February 03, 2010, 05:41:49 pm
Okay, NOW it's superduper update time. :D
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEwithmenu.zip 12MB Unzip into directory...
Changes:
Hitting "Esc" now pauses the game and brings up a menu. The options here control the display settings, resume the game, and quit. There's a fourth option for a help menu, but it's non-functional at this time. Click on the ViewMode selector to change your display setting - if it's different than what you already have, when you hit "resume" it will ask you to confirm.
When you're in the game itself I've also enabled a temp shortcut for this, should the menu not function properly (more leftover from my previous bugtesting, as is that little counter in the pause menu) Hitting 1,2,3 will switch between Normal, 2X Zoom, and Fullscreen options.
KNOWN BUGS!
The confirm dialog pop up will not scale properly to other display modes besides "Normal". I am working on this, and I think I have a solution - I just need to get home and try it out.

9_6: it shouldn't be squashed...I look into a proportional fullscreen option.
Konrad: Thanks. You now have a QUIT option as well!
skeme_IN5: Thanks! For the jumping, I'm currently using the out-of-the-box platformer movement that comes with MMF2. This is going to need to change. On the foliage side...out of curiosity, is it the plants on the extreme right of the level? If so, I've simply not gotten there with the plant animations yet. You might have noticed the lack of moving flags as well. :D

Still looking for feedback on the foliage - do the background plates also need animated foliage?

Alright guys, keep all the awesome feedback coming!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 06:21:57 pm by Howard Day »

Offline skeme_IN5

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #209 on: February 03, 2010, 10:04:19 pm
Okay, NOW it's superduper update time. :D
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEwithmenu.zip 12MB Unzip into directory...
Changes:
Hitting "Esc" now pauses the game and brings up a menu. The options here control the display settings, resume the game, and quit. There's a fourth option for a help menu, but it's non-functional at this time. Click on the ViewMode selector to change your display setting - if it's different than what you already have, when you hit "resume" it will ask you to confirm.
When you're in the game itself I've also enabled a temp shortcut for this, should the menu not function properly (more leftover from my previous bugtesting, as is that little counter in the pause menu) Hitting 1,2,3 will switch between Normal, 2X Zoom, and Fullscreen options.
KNOWN BUGS!
The confirm dialog pop up will not scale properly to other display modes besides "Normal". I am working on this, and I think I have a solution - I just need to get home and try it out.

9_6: it shouldn't be squashed...I look into a proportional fullscreen option.
Konrad: Thanks. You now have a QUIT option as well!
skeme_IN5: Thanks! For the jumping, I'm currently using the out-of-the-box platformer movement that comes with MMF2. This is going to need to change. On the foliage side...out of curiosity, is it the plants on the extreme right of the level? If so, I've simply not gotten there with the plant animations yet. You might have noticed the lack of moving flags as well. :D

Still looking for feedback on the foliage - do the background plates also need animated foliage?

Alright guys, keep all the awesome feedback coming!


yeah, its just at the end of the level.  i should have realized lol
about the background foliage - i thinks its ok as it is now as it kind of makes the background look farther back. i think adding animation may give an undesired illusion of the background looking closer.
its hard to tell really. it'd be better if you just did another demo WITH the animated background foliage just to be sure. it may end up looking better.
ok, im off to check the demo.
Come in peace or leave in pieces

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #210 on: February 04, 2010, 08:53:38 am
Well, I finally worked all the bugs in the menus out - should work flawlessly at all resolutions. I also did a bunch of polish work, cursors, animations, that sort of thing.
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEupdate.zip 13.85MB
Updated in this version:
Movement keys changed to WASD
Updated menus
Volume control
Enhanced flash effects on the weapons and explosions

Next up on the list:
Correct movement animations for the main character.
First enemy type: The RollyPollyBot.
Correct spawning behaviour
Visible In-game HUD with health, score, and heat monitors.
Intro, Main menu.

In that order... I think.
Thoughts?

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #211 on: February 04, 2010, 06:24:30 pm
man, in motion it looks mighty great....specially the paralax in the background gains a whole lot more life

The gun and the shots also look great, I think the explosion might be a bit much for this? I think u should go for something that keeps the same size the bullet had....might get confusing in practice with all those explosions.

Also, are you settling with fullscreen or windowed? fullscreen the fuzzy parts are more visible and all the shifting pixelsl in the gorilla's fur gets a bit distracting, and I still think the gorilla looks cluttered, it's more visible up close like that.

If you're planning to fix the animations, I really really reccomend you make the shoulders quite moveable, a gorilla has a LOT of movement there, not only when he walks but when he jumps and when he does anything.

Gameplaywise, is the gorilla going to stomp the enemies he lands on? because if he's not it might be annoying to jump and not be able to aim downwards.

keep it up, amazing progress!

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #212 on: February 04, 2010, 10:03:07 pm
I feel that the bullets have too much .. form and definition? I want to see them as BLURS OF POWER that just zoom into their target for DEADLY DAMAGE DESTRUCTIONS

the sorta zigzaggy quality they have .. If I were to hand-animate a bullet flying somewhere I wouldn't draw it with that kind of shape. It .. slows it down and makes it feel strobey - something that can be offset by just streamlining the bullet more with the direction it's travelling ...

I think? I'm trying to describe a stomach feeling here @ D @;
' _ '

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #213 on: February 04, 2010, 10:39:07 pm
Conceit: Well, that gun is one of the very best weapons in the game - It's meant to feel EXTREMELY powerful, and a little bit of confusion isn't too much to ask for that level of firepower if you ask me. :P As for the resolution, the target platform is the PSP.  So Normal mode on a standard 1650x1080 wide-screen is about the pixel density I'm looking for. I agree that the monkey needs work. I'll definitely be putting in some shoulder movement, and probably toning down some of the detail on him.  Less furry sparkle, and I need to re-do his face to be completely animated. As it stands it's...not. :D Also, when in mid-air, you'll have the option of double-jumping, or doing a ground pound that throws up some AOE damage.
Jad: MOTION BLUR! Yes! Good call. I'll put that in tonight.

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #214 on: February 05, 2010, 08:00:46 am
Well, I lied. I wound up fleshing out the animated background, taking some of Indigo's Crits and trying to separate the foreground and background more - I went warmer in tone than what he did, but it did end up fairly close.
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEupdate2.zip 13.25MB
Updated in this version:
Updated menus with Bugs
New weapon fire - with motion blur.
Fleshed out all the animated foliage.
Added bugs around the flowers
Update the flags.


Next up on the list:
Correct movement animations for the main character.
First enemy type: The RollyPollyBot.
Correct spawning behaviour
Visible In-game HUD with health, score, and heat monitors.
Intro, Main menu.

This time I promise. :D
Any thoughts?

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #215 on: February 06, 2010, 08:56:06 am
NICE UPDATE!  ;D  I really dig the fireflies in the menu.  The - butterflies?  - magenta/purple flying thingies in level - I think they work pretty well but I think you have too many in each little flock.  Everything else looks good, looks like it's coming along.  Nice!

re:  I asked you what AA, you said Blackman at twice res then re-sized - what do you do the scaling in, max (ie, video post) or photoshop or?  Thanks!
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Indigo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #216 on: February 06, 2010, 10:50:14 am
You know, in all honesty I think the small canvas size is holding the quality of this game back.  games at this res in full screen look good when they've been pixel-pushed - but to make high-res graphics, scale them down, then scale it up again to be full screen - where is the sense in that?  I feel you may as well do a high-res game with this art.  I think it feels much too messy/jaggy at such a small res.  Would it be too much to ask you to throw together a mockup with high-res assets so I can evaluate?

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #217 on: February 06, 2010, 08:40:39 pm
sculptedpixel: Thanks. Good call on the butterflies. they are indeed overboard. The newest update fixes that, and also makes the little buggers stay around the flowers. For the re-scale, I use a batch action in photoshop. I export all my outputs from MAX into a "convert" directory, then tell Photoshop to do it's thing on everything in that directory. Pretty quick, actually!
Indigo: Well, like I said, this is designed for the PSP. Those various viewing modes are for PC users only. As for putting together a highres version? That's unlikely. I'd pretty much have to re-do a hue amount of work, and I really doubt it would look as good when I finished. I've been carefully tailoring the level of detail for the half-res end result.

This is the latest version!
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEupdate3.zip 13.25MB

Known issues:
There's nothing to shoot at quite yet.
The GunApe doesn't animate properly when jumping, runnning backwards, or doing anything other than standing still or running forwards.
The Menu options "Credits" and "How to Play" do nothing.

Updated in this version:
Fixed the butterfly motion and behaviour.
New camera system, has some ease-in-ease-out. Much easier on the eyes.
New intro
If you stand idle for too long, a GO! prompt pops up!
Fixed a bunch of haze effect problems.

Currently working on: The GunApe's animations, model.

Next up on the list:
First enemy type: The RollyPollyBot.
Correct spawning behaviour
Visible In-game HUD with health, score, and heat monitors.
Intro, Main menu.

Any thoughts?

Offline twodayslate

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #218 on: February 06, 2010, 08:55:51 pm
I really like when you shoot the bugs they disappear. You probably won't notice this in game but it is the little things that add up! Good job!

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #219 on: February 08, 2010, 08:22:37 am
Twodayslate: Thanks. It's my hope that eventually, *all* the bugs will disappear when you shoot them :D

http://www.hedfiles.net/AEUpdate5.exe
Known issues:
The GunApe doesn't animate properly when jumping, running backwards, or doing anything other than standing still or running forwards.
The Menu options "Credits" and "How to Play" do nothing.
Some framerate issues - odd, since they don't seem to be related directly to the new enemies...

Updated in this version:
Fixed the butterfly motion and behaviour.
New camera system, has some ease-in-ease-out. Much easier on the eyes.
New intro
If you stand idle for too long, a GO! prompt pops up!
Fixed a bunch of haze effect problems.
First Enemy type, the rollypollyBOT has been implemented!
Player health has been added
Lots of other tweaks...

Currently working on: The GunApe's animations, model. Sorta stalled on the new face model. I get the feeling that's gonna take a while to get right.

Next up on the list:
Complete the visible In-game HUD with health, score, and heat monitors.
Intro, Main menu.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 08:57:58 am by Howard Day »

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #220 on: February 08, 2010, 07:23:58 pm
Hi HD!

I was linked here from http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9818 on the Pixel Joint forums, and just about had a heart attack!  I don't know if I've just been leading a sheltered life, or what, but this is probably the most impressive stuff I've ever seen.  Without the probably.

I didn't even notice the link to the movie clip that inspired this until after I had fallen into complete love with this project.  Thus, I have no qualms whatsoever with any of the conceptual decisions you've made.  I instantly read the environment as a colony on an alien world and was rather gobsmacked by the visually arresting look of the orange and white concrete and paint style, garnished so well with the great foliage.

And then, to add to this feast, came that wonderful player character!  A vision in blue and white to perfectly complement the red enemies.  How did you know that the gorilla was my favourite primate?  They have such power, grace, and soul - and are far more lovable and sympathetic than, say, chimps, even though they aren't as closely related to us.  And decked out in that full rig of armour - I tell you it's hard to come across something that really stands out when you get bombarded daily with countless amounts of visual information online, but your PlayApe stopped me cold, cleared my buffers, and made me take notice.  (though I really miss the shoulder armour that balanced the design style, and helped the character read as some kind of transorganic living vehicle - there's just not enough blue and white on the body without it!)

I love how the rendering, and resolution, give this all the charm of a classic sidescroller (I'm a SNES and Mega Drive guy, I have to admit, and pine for the 'glory days' of pixelled gaming) but with the eye-popping benefits of modern 3-D graphics (though having to chase down those dratted orbs every time they pop is a little annoying...).

Most of all I'm impressed by how quickly the project has advanced, and the dedication you've shown to it (I'm all too familiar with the endless stream of unfinished mockups posted all over online that never even progress to a playable demo).

My only regret is that I'm not yet accomplished enough for my praise to be as significant as I want it to be!  I'm just a writer, artist, and game designer trying to learn pixelling so I can branch into making my own games - but now I know it's people like you I'm trying to become as good as!

Love love love this!
Please please please keep it coming!

Hotly Anticipating in Eagerville,
JD

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #221 on: February 10, 2010, 07:33:50 am
Ninja Crow: Thanks for the enthusiasm, man - I'm really happy people are getting a kick out of this. It's a lot of fun on my end, and it's good to know that's coming though.

Tasty, Tasty Update time!
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEUpdate6.exe -15.5MB
Known issues:
The GunApe doesn't animate properly when jumping, running backwards, or doing anything other than standing still or running forwards.
The Menu options "Credits" and "How to Play" do nothing.
Some framerate issues...not as bad as they have been, tracking them down further.

Updated in this version:
BumbleBot Added! HE LIVES!
New intro logo...mebe temporary, but I kinda like it...
Lots of other tweaks...

Currently working on: The GunApe's animations, model. Sorta stalled on the new face model. I get the feeling that's gonna take a while to get right.

Next up on the list:
Complete the visible In-game HUD with health, score, and heat monitors.
Intro, Main menu.

I should mention that I got levels of difficulty working - it's currently hard-coded to the hardest, but it's in there and it works!
Thoughts?

Offline twodayslate

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #222 on: February 10, 2010, 06:00:25 pm
I like the firefly intro. Just need to clean it up a bit perhaps but I love the idea.

I think you need an alternative explosion for the flying things. The same one repeating over and over again gets kinda boring.

What do you think of when the flying things explode on the ground that they kill the rollie guys? Or hurts them a little at least.

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #223 on: February 11, 2010, 12:15:03 am
<MUCH TEXT AND LOVE>

Love love love this!
Please please please keep it coming!

Hotly Anticipating in Eagerville,
JD

Haha, this is fantastic! You know how us mods enforce a sorta fuzzy 'no asspats'-rule? THIS IS SUCH AN EXPLOSIVE EXCEPTION

is people were this detailed with their 'asspats' then that rule would be turned completely obsolete. Haha
' _ '

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #224 on: February 11, 2010, 06:27:56 pm
Jad:  Thank you :)

Howard Day:  The new intro rocks (love that developer name) and the idea of the floating fireflies is also nice (you see, it's thoughtful details like this that convince me our relationship will be a good one!) but I couldn't tell whether they were being sucked into the words or being bug-zapped on them.

Bumblebot is such an awesome creation - a triumph of design and animation - and he's way fun to obliterate, too!  I just noticed, though, when you're shooting at enemies that those amazing explosions are too big against their bodies, and should be smaller so you can see what's going on - until they blow up, of course, which requires the biggest bang you can find!  (oops, it's only for large groups - when they're on their own there is actually an awesome-looking pulse for hitting them.  Sorry, man!  :-[)

I don't know if you noticed, but the 'T' key makes an explosion under the reticle.

These observations are mostly just to show I'm paying careful attention - they're certainly not show-stoppers - so please ignore them if you think they'll get in the way of your momentum.  Just about any tiny detail can be fixed in 'post' after the rapid prototyping stage where enough work is done that no one doubts it can be wrapped up easily (I wish Christmas presents wrapped up easily...).

Speaking of the game, I hope you keep a PC version, because I don't have a PSP!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 07:33:54 am by Ninja Crow »

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #225 on: February 14, 2010, 10:15:01 am
Holy crap that's great Howard!  It's really coming together.  What's next on your list - enemies, player character animations?  You're building this for psp distro - is there a marketplace for indy dev on psp via psn?

I actually have hacked up pspdisp on an old psp to test games built / prototyped in flash - in usb mode it works pretty well. 

Every time I come through this thread I'm blown away.  Keep it up.
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #226 on: February 16, 2010, 10:07:54 am
twodayslate: Thanks. Both of those suggestions are in - variation for the explosions, and splash damage when they hit the ground bots...
Jad: Exuberance!
Ninja Crow: Thanks again! When the sound is added, it'll be clear that the bugs are getting zapped. The "T" key is an outdated  test key to try out alternative explosions anywhere on the screen. I'll remove it in the next release. At this point I have no solid plans for a PSP release - It's more of a personal arbitrary choice and imitation.
sculptedpixel: Mainly player animations. The goal is to eventually release on the PSP - the road to that is extremely long and unlikely, though.

Super Succulent Update time!
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEUpdate8 -40MB - BROKEN LINK CRASH BUG
Known issues:
The GunApe doesn't animate properly when jumping, running backwards, or doing anything other than standing still or running forwards.
The Menu options "Credits" and "How to Play" do nothing.
Jump is disabled...for the time being.

Updated in this version:
updated intro logo...cleaned up a bit
Inserted temp intro video - accounts for much of the 40mb file size. Future example releases will not include this.
Added Heat Gauge - your gun now heats you up - overuse it, and you'll cause damage to yourself.
Hugely updated the background art - lots more variation.
The health and heat gauges fade out when not in use
Adjusted firepower ratios for the DualShok Cannon
Lots of minor under-the-hood tweaks.

Currently working on: The player model and movement in general. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the monkey - I'm having a lot of trouble getting into doing a relatively complete remodel...

Next up on the list:
Complete the visible In-game HUD with the score and life counters
Intro, Main menu.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 05:23:16 pm by Howard Day »

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #227 on: February 16, 2010, 08:37:23 pm
Oh man, a broken link!  (and I been starvin' myself all week so I could splurge)

If you don't mind something fiddly, I noticed in the previous build that the exclaimer in the 'Mission Start!' is hard to read, because the diagonal stripes hide the break between the bar and the dot.

Can you specify a bit more about your troubles with the monkey?  Is it how to animate (as in, where should the arms be in each frame) or a technical issue (something in your 3-D modelling programme) or is it design (legs aren't the right length/shape/colour/whatever) or what, exactly?  Is it the face?  That monkey face is pretty small - I don't think you could read its expression unless it was exaggerated like a Mario character anyway - the devil is in the details, and this would bedevil me if I didn't save it for last.  How explosive are you imagining the final movement abilities of the monkey?  Can he leap around like in a comic book?  Yeah, I guess you could say I'm really interested.

Speaking of jumping, I'm also interested in how that will work.  Will there be a variable jump height?  Air friction?  Air drift?  When he reverses direction will there be turn friction?  (I consider these things to be the essential platformer elements, and demand them for platformer engines, but I don't know how much of a platformer you're looking at this being.)

Thanks.
[chants 'fix link, fix link!']

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #228 on: February 16, 2010, 09:35:20 pm
Thanks, Ninja. So the link is broken for a reason - if you don't have some obscure version of Quicktime installed it crashes. Thanks MMF2! For the troubles on the monkey - I need to re-make the face to be more expressive, animated, and generally better. The monkey himself also needs modifications for animation (mostly done) and alter the model to have a visible radiator on the back (like a backpack) to represent the heat sinks... For the movements, he will be able to jump around quite a bit, double-jumping and ground-pounds and the like, but I'm not going to get too crazy...
I'll re-export the game with no intro tonight, that should fix all the many issues.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #229 on: February 17, 2010, 06:58:58 am
http://www.hedfiles.net/AEUpdate9.exe - 20MB!
Updated in this version:
updated intro logo...cleaned up a bit
Added Heat Gauge - your gun now heats you up - overuse it, and you'll cause damage to yourself.
Hugely updated the background art - lots more variation.
The health and heat gauges fade out when not in use
Adjusted firepower ratios for the DualShok Cannon
Lots of minor under-the-hood tweaks.
Non-moving vertical jump now works perfectly.

Currently working on: The player model and movement in general.
Next up on the list:
Complete the visible In-game HUD with the score and life counters
Intro, Main menu.

Thoughts?

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #230 on: February 17, 2010, 07:45:10 am
The overheating bar takes up too much space on the screen in my opinion. I'd love to be able to see the health bar even when it isn't going down.

I think you should start thinking about music and sound effects.

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #231 on: February 17, 2010, 08:52:53 am
Really nice, it's coming together :).
A little criticism:
- the heat gauge is too big and doesn't fit the rest of the hud, IMO you should think about a redesign
- make energy bar and heat gauge always visible

And a suggestion ;):
- I'm a fan of Walker for Amiga. I like it that you can't fire when the guns overheat.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 08:55:14 am by Konrad »

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #232 on: February 17, 2010, 07:23:54 pm
This is darn sweet.

But I need a health refill item to make it to the end of the level!  (a 'mission complete' when you reach the end would also be fun.)

If you walk off the left edge of the screen, you can't walk back (this is probably just a nitpick that doesn't need immediate addressing).

I'm also interested in your thoughts behind the jumping - what is the philosophy behind speed/gravity/height, &c.  What drives the 'feel' of the jump?

Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #233 on: February 18, 2010, 09:58:53 pm
Cool stuff Howard.  I'm a big fan of the gameplay concept that the heat-meter provides, but I gotta say, the 'oven-burner-meter' thingy isn't working for me.  It's very hard to estimate, as the meter approaches full, how many shots = a rotation around the curve, and how quickly it dissipates / cools down;  something easier to read would work better imho.  Love the details, love the intro-screen, keep it coming.
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #234 on: February 19, 2010, 06:20:00 pm
CrazyMLC: Yeah, that heat gauge looked waay better in my head. I've updated it. I've been talking to the Hyperduck guys about sound effects and music - I dunno if that's gonna go anywhere, but it's a start, at least.
Konrad: Fixed, and It was a total pain in the ass to get those two little bastards to go away when not being used...but I can see where you're coming from. I'll take that out. And the guns should be disabled when overheated. Check.
Ninja Crow: Thanks! Try jumping around like a retarded weasel. That seems to help. :D I'll be fixing the myriad of collision issues this weekend, and that includes putting in a Success! screen. Stats and the like.
As for the jumping, I've not really tweaked it much. I was content just to get it triggering properly at this point! But there will definitely be some major tweaking there.
sculptedpixel:Thanks, and that should be fixed in the latest.



http://www.hedfiles.net/AEUpdate10.exe - 20MB!
Updated in this version:
Added New Heat Gauge - matches the rest of the UI...
Lots of minor under-the-hood tweaks.

Currently working on: The player model and movement in general.
Next up on the list:
Complete the visible In-game HUD with the score and life counters
Intro, Main menu.

I'm going to really try and get the player re-animated this weekend, I want to go into Monday with that friggen GunApe working properly.

Thoughts?

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #235 on: February 19, 2010, 09:25:56 pm
The new heat HUD is awesome, and really goes with the style, and really gives a feel for how much is left before meltdown!  I also am looking forward to seeing if an always-on HUD is better (the fade in/out was a little distracting).

Let me just say immediately here that this time playing through the level, it wasn't just a salivary visual tour, I was having a blast!  And, since the addition of bumblebot, it's the first time I've made it to the end of the level, so I'm building up playskill for the game, and that's always a rush - I'm grateful!  (Danc from http://lostgarden.com/ commented on the fun of learning game skills in a post on 'Soul Bubbles')

I love how the clusters of bumblebots ambush you.  BTW, do you have a name for your rolly-polly-bug-bot yet?  May I suggest pillbot?

I love the ground level change midway, and I love that plank you walk over at the end - it may not require any special balance, but it activated the same thrill areas of my brain anyway.  Sweet.  In fact, I was hoping to mention that I want to jump up onto things, but wasn't sure if it would be appropriate - now I just can't help but hope for small buildings and scaffolding platforms (&c) to be in my way!

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #236 on: February 21, 2010, 11:10:31 pm
I don't like how the hud conforms to the style of the game so much. Or rather the style of the backgrounds.

It makes it seem like it's all a puppet show, and that both the concrete and abstract parts of the game are of equal substantial value in the gameverse. Thus puppet show.

I want my abstraction abstract and my concret..tion concrete.

See what I'm getting at? Not that I demand you adopt to my views or anything.
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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #237 on: February 22, 2010, 01:04:22 am
If you are to keep the current HUD, I would suggest making it blue rather than orange (the outer embellishment colours) - not only so that it separates from the background, but so that it's more easily relative to the main character.

EDIT: Although saying that now after reading Jad's comment, maybe that would be worse - by making it seem like some kind of thing that actually hovers over the protagonists head in the actual world. Hmm.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 01:06:34 am by Larwick »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #238 on: February 22, 2010, 09:41:14 pm
Ninja Crow: Glad you like it...And for those of you curious, there will be 4 difficulty levels - the game is currently stuck on level 3 - "Really Damn Hard". There's one more, and the count of enemies is truly redonkulous. As for the rollypolly - I just call him rolly-polly. I suppose I could switch, but I don't know how important that might be... And I do plan on adding more terrain variation - building height changes, that sort of thing. Make it more dynamic and interesting.
Jad: Hmm. That's a pretty fair criticism, and definitely one I had thought of myself...though I'm not certain why I didn't do anything about it. My initial thought is to make them some sort of holographic representation, though, like Larwick said, that might make it worse... I'm not certain what I'll do at this point. I sort of like how they look, specially now that they're blue like Larwick suggested. Regardless, it's a good point.
Larwick: And I did so, and it looks much better now. Still has the issue that Jad mentioned, though. I might just have to make a version that's obviously UI in nature. I have some thoughts down that path, actually...Hmm.

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #239 on: February 23, 2010, 12:48:29 am
Holographic is ok; I think what I want is for the GUI to just feel different from the play field, material-wise or whatever.

Difference in essence, just that - contrast. It shouldn't be lit in the same way as the world, shouldn't share the exact colours

shouldn't share the reality, so to say. Thus holographic is cool. You can interpret it as part of the gaming world if you want - but at least that takes some interpretation, you don't initially suppose it's part of the game world.

What you've got going on now will require the brain to separate the GUI from the background by analyzing behavior and symbolic value of different game elements; not bad per se, but you've got the power to provide more clarity and contrast, so please do think about it
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Offline sculptedpixel

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #240 on: February 24, 2010, 10:37:10 am
steller howard.  that's much better.  It's nearly impossible to read 'critical' when it's going critical but the meter conveys the situation fine ;) 

How are you rigging (biped?) him and what kind of animation style do you want to use?  Is he like kong, or just a large silverback with blasters (heh)?   I'd love to see a melee attack - like in metal slug how you'll knife someone immediately in front, it would be awesome to see him toss enemies up for his guns or squash them with his giant hands. 

Will the main weapon will be upgradeable? 
"If you canít beat them, arrange to have them beaten." ó George Carlin

Offline Mike

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #241 on: February 26, 2010, 11:26:48 am
I feel like the main mechanic of the gun overheating is really limiting what seems to be the core gampeplay and thats shooting.  This is a similar idea to what Vanillaware did with their game Odin's sphere.  In the game there was a power meter that would limit you to how much you could attack at one time.  So lets say you are just furiously attacking an enemy each time you hit them with your sword your power bar meter will go down by 1 or sometimes more and you only have like 10 bars and when it reaches zero you can't attack until it cools off.  I imagine it was for eliminating button mashing and trying to increase the strategic element of combat.   However for me it just kinda made the game feel like it was taking away control pointlessly because if you used all the Power you couldn't attack and it would have a cool down phase which would make you wait until you could attack again and your only option is to run away.  Basically they were punishing you for attacking consecutively which is weird because you have a 3-4 hit combo on some characters built right in. 

Thankfully in their next game Muramasa Demon blade the power meter made more sense.  Instead of being some arbitrary number/bar it was linked to the swords actual health so if you were blocking a lot then the sword itself takes damage and if it takes too much damage it breaks and while you can still use it to fight it will only do meager damage and the way to heal it is by switching to another sword.  Fortunately you don't just carry one sword you carry three.  Three swords which you can switch between in real time with one press of a button.  While you are using one sword the other 2 swords are healing themselves over time.  It's a lot like Marvel Vs. Capcom 2's Allie system.

I'm not suggesting you do anything like that but that is one way to do it and make it feel more apart of the game.

The way I feel about your game right now is this. 

1.I'm blown away by the prerendered graphics, takes me back to FFVII, Abe's Odyssey/Exodus, Skull Monkeys, Heart of Darkness etc basically it takes me back to the PS1 days.
2.The controls themselves are pretty decent.  Immediately I felt connecting to the shooting...once I figured out you use the mouse.  When I knew that it was pretty smooth sailing
3.Awesome I'm shooting things, killing stuff shooting, shooting, shooting and I'm dead...
4.Oooooh the gun overheated and blew me to hell and back.  I see.
5.Awesome I'm shooting things, shooting, shooting, dodging stuff and waiting for gun to cool down...waiting...waiting.  Ok I'm shooting, shooting, shooting, dodging stuff and waiting...etc  While I'm waiting I'm itching to shoot some stuff.  I feel like it's unnecessary downtime.
6.And demo over, not bad overall

Please stop me if I am way off base.  I don't have a clue as to what you will do with this game lol but I just want to point it out.  Also even if you include things to refill the gauge like for example after you kill bugs a powerup will pop out that will cool down your gun I feel like you might as well not have a heat up gauge at all.  Reason being you are always going to be killing things thus always refilling your heat gauge.

Wow that was a lot to type hope I didn't offend or anything.  Good luck and great work!  I aspire to have your drive, passion, focus and ability to get things done.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #242 on: February 26, 2010, 12:55:28 pm
I feel like the main mechanic of the gun overheating is really limiting what seems to be the core gampeplay and thats shooting. 
(...)
5.Awesome I'm shooting things, shooting, shooting, dodging stuff and waiting for gun to cool down...waiting...waiting.  Ok I'm shooting, shooting, shooting, dodging stuff and waiting...etc  While I'm waiting I'm itching to shoot some stuff.  I feel like it's unnecessary downtime.
6.And demo over, not bad overall

Which I'm reading as a pray for a "quick cooldown bonus dropped by some shot monsters", personnally.

Offline Mike

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #243 on: February 26, 2010, 11:09:15 pm
I already went over that.

Quote
Also even if you include things to refill the gauge like for example after you kill bugs a powerup will pop out that will cool down your gun I feel like you might as well not have a heat up gauge at all.  Reason being you are always going to be killing things thus always refilling your heat gauge.

Offline Jon

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #244 on: March 02, 2010, 10:18:01 pm
First I want to say, this looks really awesome. I'm really loving the HUD. :y:

But... I don't know what engine you are using, so it may be too hard, but is it possible to make a mac version?

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #245 on: March 02, 2010, 11:54:10 pm
I already went over that.

It's not a contest, dude.

Anyway, the game looks nice, but I find a few things a bit off :

1 - choppy, low-res 3D means I can't fullscreen without it looking like shite and if I can't fullscreen I at least have rouble seeing the playfield.  I have to blow it up to what I'd call pixel-level detail, and since you're not giving this pixel-level attention, the results of the zoom are lackluster at best.  An HD version would be a good start...as currently a lot of your work goes to waste on being too far zoomed or too small to see.
2 - doubleshot action looks great but it's slow, confusing (as it follows the cursor), and is just another hiccough in the gameplay, which makes my gun feel both jumpy and unresponsive (neither is a great feeling).
3 - heat gauge remains ugly and unreadable.  It needs to move in one direction and one direction only, because I don't intend to spend my game watching the HUD, i plan to spend it shooting.
4 - character is massive for the playfield and slow; the jump in particular is like hopping on the moon.  result is that dodging is nearly impossible and in this level it means you die or play parthian.  I think you would benefit from having more aggressive/nimble movements (I'm thinking specifically a forward charge to get out from under bullets).  Even if more nimble I think you need a smaller main guy unless he can take way more punishment than you're offering, or have tactics (such as power/heat/movement-based shields) that eneable him to.
5 - We need animation for the unreachable angles or to CLEARLY not make them shootable (change cursor color, some kind of "warning")

I think that's about it...

Edit - no wait, why do i lose a quarter of my health before I'm giving control of my character? that's crap!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 12:06:32 am by ndchristie »
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Offline Mike

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #246 on: March 03, 2010, 08:18:06 am
oh so you can give him advice but I can't.

Did you happen to miss the large amount of praise I gave him as well?

(edit) sorry, I was a bit too passionate about my critique.  Carry on  :y:
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 04:57:17 pm by Mike »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #247 on: March 03, 2010, 08:34:42 am
Yikes. Let's keep it civil, folks - It's been nothing but quality criticism so far, let's try and keep it at that high level of awesomeness. So, I'll address the individual points in more detail with my next full update, but for a quicky status check, here goes:
I've been working on adding sound effects to the game, and also been playing with the HUD design and "feel". As many have pointed out, having the hud in the same style as the level itself, while kinda cool looking, does make it hard to differentiate what exactly is going on.  It's a valid concern, and one I am striving to fix. Something else I've found - adding a progressively more insistent warning klaxon as the heat level increase helps greatly in adding to your awareness of that hud element. If I could pipe the smell of burning rhesus monkeys into your computer's smell 'o vision, I would. Mmmm. Burning Monkey.
So that's pretty much where I'm at, the implementation of some of these sound effects is a bit, wonky...but I'm slowly figuring out a solid method of getting the results I want. Sorta.
And I'm using MMF2 DEV for the PC. I have no idea if it can build a Mac program. I sort of doubt it. :/
 

Offline alspal

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #248 on: March 03, 2010, 12:18:32 pm
It can build a Mac application using the java runtime, however Clickteam are working on an iphone/OSX version too.

Offline Mike

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #249 on: March 03, 2010, 04:55:23 pm
Soon clickteam will release the flash compiler which should maximize your audience. ;)

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #250 on: March 03, 2010, 06:46:39 pm
oh man oh man. I was watching this project just admiring the work done, but I never expected to actually get to play it! (mac user)
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Offline be0ez

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #251 on: March 17, 2010, 03:35:16 am
Some pretty fab stuff man. Really loving this. This encourages me to work more on my pixel artwork. So you can say.. you've kinda inspired me  ;D

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #252 on: March 21, 2010, 06:26:22 pm
Eagerly awaiting an update on this project!

Offline Jad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #253 on: March 22, 2010, 12:12:43 am
People, too much onelining going on in the thread - I don't mind the encouragement but if future readers will have to scroll past half pages of 'looking cool, man', that'll suck.

We're trying to keep this a verbal forum, in our wonderful elitist pixelation spirit (eh, what am I sayiing!) so do give feedback on what is already posted, or be patient for another update. Or if you want to convey your anticipation, like crazyMLC, feel free to send Howard a PM.

Over and out! <3
' _ '

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #254 on: March 22, 2010, 08:59:43 pm
alspal, Mike, and sakket: It's unlikely I'll have a Mac or flash build of this game - too many of the MMF2 Dev plugins I use won't compile for java or flash. Sorry. I tried.
be0ez: Glad you like it, man!
CrazyMLC: happy to oblige...
Jad: Well said.

Okay, so! Some major improvements - I got the music and sound in, but I'm running into a crash in the sound engine. I'm using the Onu Audio Engineer...and I don't know how to fix it. :( Still working on it, of course...and I might have an idea on how to fix it. *might*. The other big improvement is that I've added debris and corpses when you kill the bugs - stuff that sticks around. Also scorch marks from your gun, on the ground. Makes it feel way more visceral - and there's a neat sense of accomplishment when you see the junkyard full of damage you just wrought upon your mechanical enemies. :D

In the mean time, I've started re-making the intro - the video I had been making, while cool, was too different in style to the rest of the game. With that in mind, I've put this together:
http://www.hedfiles.net/intro.exe 1.4mb
Still sort of broken, the sun doesn't act properly, and the ship is missing, as is some printing text action! I'll hopefully have an update tonight.
Enjoy!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #255 on: March 24, 2010, 09:46:35 pm
http://www.hedfiles.net/intro2.exe 1.4MB - better motion, things work right-ish now. Got on-screen text, working sun flare...goodness.

Offline Perciv@l

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #256 on: March 24, 2010, 09:52:04 pm
please add a header to the window!
the application window is starting half off the screen and I can't reposition it to the center.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #257 on: March 26, 2010, 07:32:05 pm
Perciv@l: Sorry about that - I've added resolution tuning in the latest...

Here's the most recent version, and pretty much complete...graphically, sounds still need to be added.
http://www.hedfiles.net/intro4.exe -7mb, Use 1,2,3 to change the resolution. Next up: sound FX.
Enjoy!

Offline twodayslate

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #258 on: March 27, 2010, 01:22:26 am
I would love to see the intro when it is not 2x zoom.

The intro looks good. The only flaw that I saw was the fire when the ship went into orbit. The flame is completely horizontal. I feel that it should have some tilt and then also decrease in saturation as if to fade away a little better.

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #259 on: March 27, 2010, 04:49:43 pm
It's beautiful Howard, though I have to use my task manager to kill it (and is there any way to have a full screen with bars at top and bottom for the proper aspect ratio?).

I can't believe that nice blue planet - I have never seen such interesting and lovely patterning.

I'll try to make this a useful post by saying that the text tends to blend with the background, making it somewhat hard to read, and on the line where it is mentioned that the GunApe is returning, the word "returning" prints on the second line and then gets bumped to the third when it doesn't fit (a paragraph-ending character could be put just before the word with no detriment to the meaning, I feel).

But these are little little things, and do not affect the fact that it functions which is the important thing. In the interests of rapid prototyping, I would never fix anything that doesn't keep the game from functioning until the game is completed, because it is all too easy for a project to stall - even indefinitely - while fiddling on trivia.

Thank you for the update - again, I think it was beautiful and had a great atmosphere.

Offline Photocopier

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #260 on: March 27, 2010, 05:38:34 pm
It's beautiful Howard, though I have to use my task manager to kill it
alt+f4

Offline eobet

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #261 on: April 13, 2010, 05:44:54 pm
Hoooooly crap this looks absolutely fantastic!

Only discovered it today and spend a few minutes being more and more impressed by each page I saw.

The main character still feels a bit like an odd choice to me...

oh man oh man. I was watching this project just admiring the work done, but I never expected to actually get to play it! (mac user)

Whoah, what? Did I miss a mac version somewhere? Tell me where, please!

iPhone version too perhaps? ;)

Totally commercial quality on the graphics anyway. I hope the gameplay holds up!

Offline Vertigo-zero

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #262 on: April 15, 2010, 01:19:47 pm
Like eobet I also found out about this project today, and i've read every single post! I'm in love with the progress so far!
I have a question, I'm also making games in MMF2, but how do you get frames to have semi-transparancy (for example in the smoke).
Is there an easy way to place/paste frames in MMF2 with transparancy?

Keep up the good work! You will be able to earn a lot of mony with this game (by either letting a company sell it or by selling it yourself).

Offline McClaneGames

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #263 on: April 26, 2010, 08:57:47 pm
http://www.pixelprospector.com/indev/2010/04/absent-eden/

I've got PixelProspector in my subscriptions on YouTube, and was excited when I saw the game featured there.  Keep up the great work!

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #264 on: April 26, 2010, 10:01:41 pm
Ninja Crow: Alt-f4 should quit, as will hitting Esc. and selecting "Quit" (in the actual game). I shall fix the text to be more legible, perhaps I'll change the color. I'm not gonna blow a whole lot of time on it, but I should get it to a good place before I move on, right?
Photocopier: Thanks. :D
sakket: Sadly, there isn't currently a Mac version available. Some of the additional MMF2 extensions I use don't provide executables for Java builds. This is really unfortunate, and if I knew of a way around it I would go for it - unfortunately the extensions are rather important - IE the sound engine. :(
eobet: Thanks! I was honestly going for an odd choice for the main character - I have grown tired of every other player character being some random anime guy or action girl. I thought I'd mix it up a bit. I may still change it at some future point - I'm in the midst of re-modeling the main character. I may change my mind, but don't hold out too much hope. :P
Vertigo-zero: Thanks. On the MMF2 question...I'm not actually creating any of these assets in MMF2 itself - I render them out from 3DSMAX as PNGs with alpha channels built in. When I import those assets into MMF2, it automatically finds and respects those alpha channels. From what I've seen of the MMF2 internal image editor...it doesn't look to handle alpha channels very well. I'm not sure how to solve your problem. :(
McClaneGames : Yeah! He pinged me with that this morning. Pretty cool!

So - here's what's up. I've done very little on this project in the last month - I purchased a house, and have been running around like an insane person trying to cover all the needed tasks related to the whole thing. It's taken a month to get to the point where I had my first free day to relax (yesterday) and I didn't give any thought at all to this project then. :D Too busy vegging.
That said, I'm back into it!
CURRENT TASKS OF TERROR AND DOOM
Fix intro text
fix intro re-entry flame (too goofy right now -I think I can do better...)
Then, continue on to one of the following - I have no idea which one I'll hit first:
Add SPIDERBOT to the game...
Add health and coolant pickups to the random dropable system
Create a crate and container system
Create a point/score/money/RPG/selective end of level upgrade system
Continue creating intro sequence and main menu - as well as a "how to play" and credits screen
Start making City Rooftops Level End-boss. (MUWHAHAHAHA)
More Cityrooftops art - including kites and shit in the backgrounds...

Yeah, lots to do. If anyone would like to chime in and comment on *which* of those they'd like seen done first, go for it!

Offline Reo

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #265 on: April 27, 2010, 04:53:05 am

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #266 on: April 27, 2010, 05:52:31 pm
@Photocopier & Howard:  Thanks for the help, guys!

GunApe == coolest new game character of the decade!

If it's not too much trouble, could you list the MMF extensions you are using?  I have Game Maker, and I'm curious if Fusion is superior in this plug-ins department.

Pixel Prospector looks like a cool site, congrats, Mr Day!  (though I do feel a little left out by havin' you on that other forum behind our backs... ;))

>I'm not gonna blow a whole lot of time on it, but I should get it to a good place before I move on, right?
Great philosophy - especially for games with such a small team! ;)  Nothing seems a greater risk to the birth of a game than to be hopelessly mired in details that could be fixed after all the important stuff is done - or never - just as long as they are at that minimum good place.  Of course it helps when the very first workable version of things is as awesome as your stuff is - seriously, there's hardly anything you've put into it from day one that didn't already kick all kinds of butt!  :y:

As for what to put in next, it depends on your personality:  Do you get bored if you work on the same task past the beginning 'hey, that'd be neat!' stage, always looking for a cool new challenge, or can you soldier on at the tasks that are the most important to next finish?  I would label each new thing you think of to put in the game with the following three settings:
  • Green.  Anything put in the green category is something either so esoteric that only a developer would ever notice, or with which the game could actually run, play, and be released without it ever having been implemented (e.g. wanting a colour change to an enemy, or having a special text effect over credits, or making something swish when you run past it, etc.).
  • Yellow.  These are things that make a difference, but which do not keep the game from running.  This category includes non-serious bugs such as an animation fluttering.  If you can actually get from start to finish without a feature, then it's a Yellow category feature (e.g. no specific animation for being knocked back by enemies, or no sound effect for an action like jumping, or no intro story, etc.).
  • Red.  These are serious issues, like the kind that can kill game play dead.  These are the missing sprites, fall-off-the-screen, 'what happened to my controls', 'where's the last level' type of issues.
Therefore, anything you label as a red category action would be the first to be worked on, even if something else were more fun.  The only exception would be if the fun thing could be done in a day or less!  If you are the type who has to have everything perfect before you can even think of moving on (vs. someone who paints in the broad areas of colour and then comes back to details if they have time or inclination) then this may rankle you a bit....  (in case you can't tell, I'm speaking of myself here  :) and have to go against my natural obsessiveness and try really hard to finish big things before the little things, even though the fear of people seeing my stuff half complete is nearly crippling - how about you?)

I don't know if you want to use such a system, or have one of your own, but if you'll permit me, I'll take the liberty of labeling your 'To Do List' (including past items and a couple of my own...) in the following way:

1. Fix intro text - green
2. fix intro re-entry flame - green
3. Add SPIDERBOT to the game... - yellow
4. Add health and coolant pickups to the random dropable system - red
5. Create a crate and container system - yellow
6. Create a point/score/money/RPG/selective end of level upgrade system - yellow
7. Continue creating intro sequence and main menu - as well as a "how to play" and credits screen - yellow
8. Start making City Rooftops Level End-boss. (MUWHAHAHAHA) - red
9. More Cityrooftops art - including kites and shit in the backgrounds... - green
10. terrain variation - building height changes, that sort of thing - red
11. I might just have to make a version that's obviously UI in nature. - green
12. The player model - yellow
13. and movement in general. - red
14. Complete the visible In-game HUD - red
15. Intro - yellow
16. Main menu - red
17. decide if there will be any in-game collectibles and if finding all (including hidden ones) is necessary for 100% & 'good' ending - yellow
18. level two concept - red  ;)
19. task someone who can be both prolixy and pithy to craft the story text or a set-up novelette - green  ;)
20. name the levels (one suggestion for city rooftops:  Ghost Colony) - yellow  ;)

You may wish to get a community consensus as to the category of each item, or make your own judgement, of course.  (I've numbered the list so its items can be easily referrenced)

Congrats on your new house!

JD

Offline eobet

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #267 on: April 28, 2010, 01:51:34 pm
So this is game maker? Great, now compile a mac version pronto:

http://glog.yoyogames.com/?p=817

Pretty please with sugar on top?

Offline Gil

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #268 on: April 28, 2010, 02:04:08 pm
It's not Game Maker, it's MMF2 or something like that.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #269 on: April 28, 2010, 05:14:53 pm
Reo: I actually added health pickups - just to see how complex that sort of system might be. Long story short, not very. Gonna add a coolant pickup (far more common than the health pickups) I really like how the small health pickups look. I think I nailed it. :D
- the first one is when the pickup is spawned and bouncing around, the second one is when it comes to a rest.
Now I just gotta make a "Pickup" effect when you grab it, so they don't just disappear.

Ninja Crow: Holy nuts. I will try and get you the list of extensions with the next update - I don't have it with me, and I've got waaaay more installed than I'm actually using. Off the top of my head, I've got the Onu audio engineer...and I don't really remember any others. :(
That's a hell of a list and an neat way of categorizing them. Personally, I can get somewhat bored easily - I've been meaning to re-do the player character animations for months now - but I keep getting distracted by shiney objects.

eobet: Sorry, I'm using Multimedia Fusion 2 Developer Version. It can do Mac builds, but only through Java executables.

Gil: Yep.

EDIT: So aI added an activate mode and altered the bouncey spawn...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 01:53:46 pm by Howard Day »

Offline Dr D

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #270 on: April 29, 2010, 04:17:23 pm
Why'd you change the 'bouncy spawn', the previous version was much more fluid and better looking. Although maybe the animation on it could be slowed down a bit. I think that would be a nice in-between.

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #271 on: June 21, 2010, 04:02:44 pm
Dr D: Sorry I didn't reply straight off! In answer to your question, two reasons: First, I lost the original animation file, and had to re-do it, and second, the smoothness of the original was actually a problem - it didn't look like the health powerup was actually hitting the ground at any points. Adding some stutter to the animation solved that problem.

Anyhow, I'm back working on this! I've kept working on the intro and got quite a lot further on it. I've also started working on the backgrounds for the first level. Your scoutship crash-lands at night in a secluded part of the Forest outside the city I've already built. Anyhow, here's what I've got!
The furthest back layer/the sky/atmosphere base. The stars go behind this. :

Midground hills:

MidForeground hills:


So those glowing mushrooms are gonna have little bugs zipping around them - since I'm not having the trees move on the beginning levels - I'm going for a more pastoral, calm before the storm sorta feel.
Anyhow, I'm pretty excited about this. I really like how the combo of dark forest, stars, and pale green glowing mushrooms turned out. I'll post up the latest intro tonight when I get home.

Enjoy!

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #272 on: June 22, 2010, 08:53:30 am
@ Howard Day:
Glad to hear from you!
I can see the stars twinkling and hear the crickets chirruping in that forest already!

(p.s. before I spend too much time looking for the right setting to change on my old monitor, I should probably ask, are the forest images supposed to be only silhouettes?)

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #273 on: June 22, 2010, 03:43:57 pm
Ninja Crow: Hahaha. Yep. Those are actually supposed to be fully detailed. hard to tell in the way they had been presented.

That should better show how it looks in-game.

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #274 on: June 22, 2010, 08:14:29 pm
Your colours must be very dark, because my CRT only shows a large black square with a few green dots at the bottom.  :'(

On my friend's LCD, though, I see a violet horizon, and trees, and hills, and even stars!  ???

I put the image in GIMP, and when I click the auto-adjust colours button for all channels, a beautiful, vivid image pops into view with greens, reds, and purples.  It's a striking and attractive image, I must say.  :y:

Is there something wrong I'm doing on my end? (sorry to suggest that the 'otherwise' is that it's your fault - the last thing I want to do is put a burden on your development.  :()

Offline dkh

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #275 on: June 22, 2010, 09:47:05 pm
It's pretty much fine here, especially when I put it in fullscreen mode.

Looks very nice as always, Howard. Two things:

- I don't like that one big cross star that's in the sky three times. It sticks out too much and looks cheap IMHO. The smaller ones are all fine.
- I don't like how the bright green spots are actually brighter than the stars. Looks weird and artificial to me. I would increase the brightness of the stars to make them pop more and reduce it slightly on those plants (?).

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #276 on: June 22, 2010, 10:31:41 pm
In fullscreen mode its nicely readable on my big screen; though with a bright background around it (the image being windowed, or in this situation just on the page of the forum), as well as on my laptop screen it shows as near shilouettes. Although the stars and mushrooms are visible, I suggest you compare this more to the previous display of imageinary which looks just fine on any screen; because although an image may be nice in some cases, it should be in all, regardless of anyones screen settings. Very appealing work though, the layers should read somewhat more clearly even after readjusting the colours I think, but the way the light is arranged it really pops out nice with an effect of nearly contours still displaying texture of leaves on the trees. I'm definately glad you keep going on with this, as I have been looking at its previous level from a learning perspective for myself as well.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 10:34:10 pm by TrevoriuS »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #277 on: June 23, 2010, 05:33:01 pm
Ninja Crow: Well, sounds like your CRT needs to be calibrated. ;) Take a look at the Animated intro, and tell me if it looks any different.
DKH: Thanks, buddy! The cross stars were temporary, and have been replaced. Good call. I'll play with the relative brightness of the stars and glowing mushrooms.
TrevoriuS: I will be adjusting the brightness of these layers to better show up. Take a look at the moving/animated version and tell me if it works for you.

So. Iíve finished the introÖmoving on to the main menu.
http://www.hedfiles.net/AbsentEdenIntro.exe -40MB

Lemme know what you think.

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #278 on: June 23, 2010, 07:30:30 pm
      ???



      :'(

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #279 on: June 23, 2010, 09:23:19 pm
Seriously? I've run it on three different machines. Could you give it another shot?
That really doesn't make any sense.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #280 on: June 23, 2010, 10:26:43 pm
If i can provide my own opinion, my screen is very bright and well calibrated (not perfect, but very good) and I would also consider your screen unnecessarily dark.  Unless you plan on having a very dark game I feel like you could bring it up quite a bit; in fact I'd recommend this as I think the bullets on screen will be blindingly bright and wipe out any sense of the background unless you had absolute calm for a moment.
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #281 on: June 24, 2010, 08:28:15 am
> That really doesn't make any sense.

I know, and I tried like half a dozen times, and in three different screen resolutions (INI hack...).

I don't even know what stdrt.exe is.  So I searched it, and found this at the click team forums - don't know if it helps?

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #282 on: June 24, 2010, 10:51:53 am
     ???

[IMG ]Error[ /img]

      :'(
I also get this error. :'(

Nice to see you back working on this, Howard!

I'd like the comment on what I can see, the backgrounds.
I can make out the shapes and forms, but it's taunting me. I can't really see the whole image for what it is, primarily because it's just too dark!
The stars seem dim, as when you go outside in real life the stars are shining brilliantly in the night sky.

Otherwise, from what I can make out, it's beautiful. :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:53:28 am by CrazyMLC »

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #283 on: June 27, 2010, 11:09:30 pm
ndchristie: I had simply calibrated it to be as dark as possible and still be readable on my monitor. Luckily, the first level has no energy weapons, and the second has only limited usage.
Ninja Crow: I have done a few things I hope have fixed your crash. since I'm not gettingthe same thing, I can't test my fixes.
CrazyMLC: Hope the new build fixes it for you, as well. I have lightened it up considerably - in fact it's more than twice as bright.

There's a new compo, sans stars. much brighter.
http://www.hedfiles.net/AbsentEdenIntro2.exe -50MB

Enjoy, and I hope it works...

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #284 on: June 28, 2010, 08:39:50 am
In the image you posted, I can now see a dim, navy blue band across its centre.  I don't know how you feel, philosophically, about the imagery being visible in all possible monitors (though making it 'as dark as possible', especially if your monitor happens to be set rather bright, seems like a sure way to catch at least some people at a disadvantage...) so if this is getting to be too bothersome for you, I won't feel a bit bad if you back-burner or drop the issue.

As for the new intro - same problem.  I know nothing about MMF, but when I Googled 'stdrt.exe' the page I found seemed to suggest that it might be created because of a compressed runtime.  Do you compress your runtime?

Offline ptoing

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #285 on: June 28, 2010, 10:03:23 am
Hm, I have no problem with the new image. Looks good to me, the banding is nicely hidden by the diffuse dither.

Ninja Crow: If you seriously see quite visible banding it might be your monitor not having the full 32 bit or even 24 bit range.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #286 on: June 28, 2010, 10:19:01 am
It's perfect now, Howard.
The brightness, I mean.

I tried it again, and I got the same error. :(
Maybe I can send an error report later.

But, I went over to a friend's computer (he uses linux) and he was able to run it.
It looks good, but the framerate is a little low. The scene with the ship entering the atmosphere needs a bit of work, the ship's effect to make it look like a fireball could be better.
The bullets just seemed to come out of nowhere...
Perhaps you should add a little scene of turrets popping out of the ground or something to that effect?

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #287 on: June 28, 2010, 02:34:51 pm
NinjaCrow: Gaaaah. I'm frankly not willing to go any brighter on the night time scenes - it's already very hollywood bright - far brighter than I think it probably should be. I realize that's neccessary for people of various monitor configurations; but if all you can truly see is a blue band, you might consider re-calibrating your monitor to a test image. I do compress my executable - because when I didn't my sound management system didn't seem to work at all. Unfortunately, that very same sound system seemed to be causing the vast majority of the bugs I've been dealing with. I've removed it in the latest version. That also means no sounds.
ptoing: Good, glad it's up to snuff.
CrazyMLC: Damn. On the atmo entry, I agree that the fire ball could use some smoke behind it, also perhaps a faster framerate.
http://www.hedfiles.net/AbsentEdenIntro3.exe -50MB
Uncompressed executable, no sounds effect engine.

Hope that works.

Offline Konrad

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #288 on: June 28, 2010, 08:00:31 pm
I'm with you Howard. The background is much too bright now IMO. Stay with the brightness it initially had. You can't take every monitor configuration in consideration, especially those not calibrated.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #289 on: June 29, 2010, 04:23:02 am
Hey, mine's calibrated.  :'(

At the size the game seems to be at, it seems like it's for a hand held console of some sort. If that is the case, you should try to optimize your brightness for that screen.
But still, it could go a little darker.

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #290 on: June 29, 2010, 08:32:54 am
So I calibrated my monitor using these two sites while I waited for the third intro to download.  Wow, no wonder everybody on PJ said my avatar was so desaturated!  Anyway, on your posted image:  Sky gradient, tree layers, and glowing mushrooms all show up just fine now!  I may have to darken it back a bit, because it seems a little too bright at a 'perfectly calibrated' setting, but for now I have:
  • gamma = 1.6
  • brightness = 1
  • contrast = 45
(How does your monitor compare to the sites' calibration charts, compared to mine?  If I can match yours, I'll be safe in the future!)

And when I activated your intro, it played! ;D

\o/

Definitely worth the wait - it was simply amazing.  Dynamic, exciting, efficient, colourful, and a great tease for the rest of the game.  Great ship, great font, and great fireball (I like how it spits off a smaller bit for a real feeling of breaking up, and maybe even foreshadowing pieces to recollect).  I love it.  I watched it in awesome full size, since the default resolution plays buried in the lower right corner of my screen.

I would consider it perfect now, and I can't wait to see the forest level!

(and thank you very much for being so patient with me :-[)

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #291 on: June 29, 2010, 05:20:48 pm
Phew. Okay, glad that seems to work for everyone. I'm re-building the sound effects, and I'm going to need to re-build the dynamic music switcher. Which is probably going to be a lot of work, but hell, challenges are what I live for. Well, challenges and awesome artwork.

Offline Deidara

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #292 on: July 03, 2010, 09:08:24 am
I love this!

Although I liked the enemies better before you make orange the main color. The white fits better IMO.

Offline ElectricGrandpa

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #293 on: December 02, 2010, 06:23:58 am
I'm brand new here, and I've just been browsing this board for the past couple hours and stumbled upon this thread... Sorry if I'm breaking any rules or whatever, but I'm just wondering what happened to this project? It looks absolutely awesome, but none of the download links work anymore, and I've search high-and-low with Google any can't find any info on it.

-Matt

Offline Howard Day

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #294 on: December 17, 2010, 09:04:20 pm
Oh, hey! Sorry about the lag, and the broken links. I am still working on this, on and off. The reason for the missing links is a rather upset e-mail from my web host - I had close to 15GB of stuff stored on his server. I may have been a bit overzealous in clearing it up. :)
 So, here's the plan: I've got a couple of other projects I've got to complete, then I'll power back on this. The major change is the re-coding of the dynamic music system, since the current plugin is apparently very unstable and was causing an irregular crash. After that, I've got the spider bot that needs doing...then the level boss.
That should do it for one level. Then I've got to figure out if I've got interest in doing a full, or even short game.

Thanks for your continued interest!

Offline Ninja Crow

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #295 on: December 17, 2010, 09:58:40 pm
Howard Day, Thanks for the update, it's hard to be patient when the project is this awesome! :)

Offline Kaito

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #296 on: January 08, 2011, 07:30:21 am
isnt looks like he is shooting, he looks like he is recieving it....

Offline The 7th Sin

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Re: Bitten by the sidescroller bug...

Reply #297 on: January 22, 2011, 04:05:51 am
Hey Howard,
I just finished watching the demo of Absent Eden on Pixel Prospector.
Let me just start by stating the obvious, your game is beautiful, and I really do hope that one day there is a mac version. (Without it I'm sadly left in the cold)
The only criticism I have to offer is that when I was watching the video, I kept losing the targeting reticule on the screen, especially when it would zip into the midst of a large group of enemies.
My suggestion to remedy this, would be to change the color scheme of the reticule, from whites and oranges, to mainly blues.
I think this would help it stand out from the enemies.

Well, that wraps things up for me, I will be anxiously monitoring this thread for future developments.

Sincerely,
The 7th Sin