What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

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Nikku4211
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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Nikku4211 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:51 pm

93143 wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:19 pm
I'd say 640x480.

But it's a very difficult question to answer authoritatively, so I'm not being entirely serious. I'm just expressing my feeling of the point where clearly pixelated graphics give way to something that could be called "high-resolution". Pixel art gets pretty tedious at this point, and precise control over every pixel starts to get less important as the pixels get smaller. Also, this roughly corresponds to when PCs broke through the 256-colour ceiling, which further tips the balance away from pixel plotting and towards more sweeping and imprecise techniques.

Look at Master of Orion. The first game was in 320x200, and the second was in 640x480. Both games were a mix of pre-rendered CGI and hand-drawn art, and both games used 8bpp indexed graphics. But in the first game virtually all of the hand-drawn stuff was clearly pixel art, whereas in the second game the bulk of it clearly wasn't; it was mostly small icons that retained the appearance of having been drawn one pixel at a time (and not all of those; even the stars didn't look like pixel art in MoOII).
Oh, because 512x448 is pretty close to 640x480, and you know what that means.

Yes, sprites are still 256x448 in that mode, but for everything else...
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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Oziphantom » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm

Sure nobody makes actual new original amigas. But they are not rare, while they didn't do as well in the US as they should have. The did still do pretty well, especially in games. For example EA used Amigas. Deluxe Paint is the internal EA graphics tool that they then made public. It introduced the IFF file format, which with Commodore they Standardized. To this day games still use the IFF format. Maya will export to IFF, The Sims games still use IFF. Internal data formats stored on Discs of "the big 3"( legal reasons) still use a variant of IFF to store and hold data for level loading. the AIFF audio file format which you mainly only see on MacOS these days, is also part of the original IFF standard. Just Apple had to Apple and make it their own unique format so they changed the endian order and thus AIFF.

That being said you can do it in software with
https://aros.sourceforge.io/
https://www.aeros-os.org/
https://www.morphos-team.net/
https://www.amigaos.net/
on new hardware, or raspberry Pi's etc AEROS gives you linux as well as modern Amiga + 68K Amiga emulation.

For hardware there is ARMiga(https://www.armigaproject.com/) there are also http://wiki.apollo-accelerators.com/dok ... a-v4:start which are the standalone versions, for non AGA there is also things such as
https://www.arananet.net/pedidos/produc ... pre-order/
https://www.arananet.net/pedidos/produc ... -preorder/
which come up from time to time.
MISTer cores also.
Or WinUAE emulator on PC.

For USB some amigas have PMCIA slots so you just use a PMCIA usb card, or you can add some PCI slots to your amiga and then use a USB PCI card, or there are some custom adapters, or the accelerators above add usb.

But such things are academic when the main benefit is CRT monitor and direct hardware mouse ;)
There is also Deluxe Paint II for MS-DOS but it really needs a DOS machine. Its not as good as V or IV or well even III but it what the used to make DOOM.
If you don't trust me on DP being superior here is Mike Ferrari whom did the graphics for the Lucas Arts G.T.As as well as Thumbleweed park. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcJ1Jvtef0 for reference the new magic tool that he speaks of in this video is not out yet, we have talked to Mike about it(last couple of months), its "still in the works" though.

Tablet vs Mouse : its not the screen resolution but the resolution of what you are drawing.
If you are making a title screen in 320x200 sure tablet would be great because you are going to be drawing lines and shapes 100+ pixels and you are going for the overall shape and design.
If you are in 1024x768 but making a 32x48 sprite tablet is now useless as now you are plotting pixels.
i.e you are not going to draw Mario with a tablet, you need to plot each pixel to hint at the shape rather than "draw" it. Your not going to draw shades and then slowly built up the colours and layers. You have 16, you will pick them, and then place each colour for the shading by hand. However I would agree the older "Puck" tablets would be just as good if not better for such a use case, as they have more buttons.

How do you adjust the PAR in your head on the fly?
SNES vs Amiga 8:7 vs 26:25. Making a 48x48 massive sprite, ok sure now you need to make an adjustment. So the Amiga is almost 1:1 but turn on "Be Square" and then Deluxe paint will do the 1:1 calculations for you, so the SNES is off by 1/8, i.e for every 8 pixels you go across the height is 1 less (although you probably want to split the difference), so if you are doing 48x48 you draw out the 48x48 circle then disable "circle mode" and squish it back in 6 pixels. 32x32 you squish about 4, 16x16 you can do 1 or 2 but your probably in a pattern and need to fill it anyway. Not doing a perfect mul8 size then make the judgement call, load it up in the preview tool and see.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Nikku4211 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:14 am

Oziphantom wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm
Sure nobody makes actual new original amigas. But they are not rare, while they didn't do as well in the US as they should have.
Right now, where can I find an Amiga computer for a good(as in not expensive) price?

Also, I'm not sure where I can get a small CRT that also has composite ports, since I don't have a good place in my bedroom for a CRT.
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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by 93143 » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:20 am

Oziphantom wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm
Tablet vs Mouse : its not the screen resolution but the resolution of what you are drawing.
If you are making a title screen in 320x200 sure tablet would be great because you are going to be drawing lines and shapes 100+ pixels and you are going for the overall shape and design.
If you are in 1024x768 but making a 32x48 sprite tablet is now useless as now you are plotting pixels.
i.e you are not going to draw Mario with a tablet, you need to plot each pixel to hint at the shape rather than "draw" it. Your not going to draw shades and then slowly built up the colours and layers. You have 16, you will pick them, and then place each colour for the shading by hand. However I would agree the older "Puck" tablets would be just as good if not better for such a use case, as they have more buttons.
This is the actual answer.

As I mentioned before, the colour depth does matter as well. If you're storing your sprite in 32-bit RGBA, you can very likely use tablet drawing techniques almost regardless of the size (see for example the player and enemy sprites in Touhou). If you're programming on NES and you have 3 colours available (and none of them can be yellow), you'll be leaning toward pixel plotting techniques even for fairly large images, at least for cleanup and detailing.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Oziphantom » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:41 am

Nikku4211 wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:14 am
Oziphantom wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm
Sure nobody makes actual new original amigas. But they are not rare, while they didn't do as well in the US as they should have.
Right now, where can I find an Amiga computer for a good(as in not expensive) price?

Also, I'm not sure where I can get a small CRT that also has composite ports, since I don't have a good place in my bedroom for a CRT.
Well Amiga uses RGBA, so you want an Commodore 1084S monitor. However for SNES work you will need AGA and well those things in the US are "hot right now" for example https://www.ebay.com/itm/Commodore-Amig ... Swi-pgFLr4 it has 83 bids with 3 days left.

You would be better off using the Composite output of a Raspberry Pi and running the Amiga emulator on it or running GraphX2 on it. Also I would try using WINUAE first to make sure you can "get along with" an Amiga. Its fine for people who used computers back then, we understand how they work. But to somebody who has only touched the modern user friendly stuff they will be a steep learning curve.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by turboxray » Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:43 am

Oziphantom wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm
SNES vs Amiga 8:7 vs 26:25.
That's not right. Amiga 320x200 dot clock is only 26:25 PAR in PAL land, and SNES is not 8:7 PAR in PAL land. US/NA model Amiga 320px dot clock is ~0.86 PAR. But really though, just use 1:1 pixels on the Amiga and use the horizontal/vertical adjustment on your monitor to align with that of the SNES, regardless of the region model. Unless you have an AGA model and monitor already, why invest in that kind of money if emulation already exist?

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Pokun » Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:28 pm

93143 and Oziphantom explains it very well. It's the resolution of what you draw that matters, which can be 256x224 or more if you draw a paralax background on SNES or 16x16 or so if you make a sprite or metasprite. There's probably no exact number for when free-hand drawing becomes practical, and it might depend on exactly what you are doing and on the artist.
Hand-drawing techniques are not completely useless even on smaller resolutions though, as you do get a bit better overall feel of the image when you draw on hand. Sometimes when I draw a sprite I first do a rough hand-drawing (with the mouse), then clean it up by pixel plotting. It's just to get a rough silhouette of the character or object, and it doesn't always work very well (besides I'm no good with a mouse for hand-drawing in the first place).

Backgrounds in Yoshi Island looks a lot like it's hand-drawn, but I've no idea how the graphics in that game really was made. Saga Frontier 2 for PS1 also has a beautiful hand-drawn look, and I bet it is.


MISTer is really an interesting alternative (considering you have the possibility to try out all those old computers and arcade systems that you don't have money or space for), but I'm not sure how well it works with peripherals such as light pens.

Yeah MSX also has a bunch of light pens. They are interesting, but I've never tried using one. I'm not sure if it would work well to draw on a TV in the first place. It would be easier if the TV surface was horizontal like a paper on a desk. Light pens pretty much disappeared (the Wii is an exception) in favor of the stylus on portable systems, and I guess there is a reason for that.

The modern alternatives for artist are things like Wacom Cintiq but they are quite expensive.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by ccovell » Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:37 pm

On the topic of pixel programs for the Amiga, don't forget Brilliance! It lets you set the bitdepth to match the SNES (32K colours) or Megadrive/PCE (512), as well as custom page sizes, like 256x239, etc. Brilliance has multiple undo levels.

As for aspect ratio, back in the day, a few CRT monitors had overscan switches on the front to toggle between a narrow/wide pixel aspect, which helps with judging art for the SNES/NES. They also had VSize knobs, which did the same thing. Or yeah, you do the same thing in your head or used the calculator on your desk.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Esns68 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:47 am

Hi, I forgot to mention. So after researching these things mentioned I figured out how to configure the color palette in Grafx2, and somehow I never even realized this, you just click on the "PAL" button next to the colors on the bottom, and you'll be in the palette settings. You can set the number of colors and change the color in each color number. So I used that to set color 0 in my sprite to the transparency color, and it worked when I recompiled it and the transparency worked on the sprite image when I tested it!

The background in that program still did the flashing color background but I'm not concerned about that right now.

I still wonder how to make sure I use the right colors that will work on the SNES, Like if there is way to set the depth similar to one of the earlier replies, about Brilliance.
Though it seems like the converters take care of things to make sure it works?

Also, if you were emulate those programs on an Amiga emulator, to develop graphics for the SNES, how would you get the files out of there (PCX files?), onto Windows, to use in the SNES projects? I have not looked through every reply yet, so if that has already been explained, feel free to ignore this.

Which, hearing that about brilliance, I would love to try it. Especially when in the first place I was thinking about trying to use Amiga stuff to do these projects for the SNES, because I heard that Amiga's and the programs were favored in developing for 16 consoles (SNES, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) back then, which is what got me really interested in the Amiga itself. I never grew up with one or anything, but the Amiga seems amazing in such a beautiful, profound way, the style, the music, and everything. Especially with my favorite games originating on it like Lemmings, but all the other programs, games and the demos are awesome. It's so sad how many people (At least in US) are completely unaware of it's existence and it's profound beauty.

But yeah, I would of loved to get an actual Amiga to actually immerse my self in a retro development environment, but Amiga's are super rare and expensive. I also still struggle getting into the Amiga because it seems pretty complicated, with all these associated terms like kickstart, fast slow ram etc. I have a hard time getting a lot of games to work on it an emulator, itself being pretty complicated.

While some of us are on this subject.... I was just wondering if anyone would happen to know any of the graphics editors, or other programs, and the computers used by the Japanese companies back then to develop for those consoles? I'm just very fascinated by all of this, and would love to try out the ones used by the Japanese companies, since it was their games that ruled those consoles.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by none » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:54 am

Esns68 wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:47 am
I still wonder how to make sure I use the right colors that will work on the SNES, Like if there is way to set the depth similar to one of the earlier replies, about Brilliance.
Though it seems like the converters take care of things to make sure it works?
You can right click the PAL button. A "Palettes" window will appear that has an "RGB Scale" slider. Set that to 32 and you should be fine.

Converters will reduce bit depth automatically, but the advantage is that things will look the same while painting.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Oziphantom » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am

turboxray wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:43 am
Oziphantom wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:09 pm
SNES vs Amiga 8:7 vs 26:25.
That's not right. Amiga 320x200 dot clock is only 26:25 PAR in PAL land, and SNES is not 8:7 PAR in PAL land. US/NA model Amiga 320px dot clock is ~0.86 PAR. But really though, just use 1:1 pixels on the Amiga and use the horizontal/vertical adjustment on your monitor to align with that of the SNES, regardless of the region model. Unless you have an AGA model and monitor already, why invest in that kind of money if emulation already exist?
True the NTSC is 43:50, which is ~8:9 / but Amigas can switch graphics modes, So you can put an AGA amiga into PAL mode. The clock doesn't change but it does output the PAL screen properly.

And yes you could adjust your monitor to be closer, if you were doing sole SNES dev that would make sense.

But for the sake of making art, actual hardware is as much a benefit as the software. The mouse response, the CRT colour blending etc
Pokun wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:28 pm
93143 and Oziphantom explains it very well. It's the resolution of what you draw that matters, which can be 256x224 or more if you draw a paralax background on SNES or 16x16 or so if you make a sprite or metasprite. There's probably no exact number for when free-hand drawing becomes practical, and it might depend on exactly what you are doing and on the artist.
Hand-drawing techniques are not completely useless even on smaller resolutions though, as you do get a bit better overall feel of the image when you draw on hand. Sometimes when I draw a sprite I first do a rough hand-drawing (with the mouse), then clean it up by pixel plotting. It's just to get a rough silhouette of the character or object, and it doesn't always work very well (besides I'm no good with a mouse for hand-drawing in the first place).
The "traditional" technique is, draw on an overhead projector and then tape it over the screen.
Backgrounds in Yoshi Island looks a lot like it's hand-drawn, but I've no idea how the graphics in that game really was made. Saga Frontier 2 for PS1 also has a beautiful hand-drawn look, and I bet it is.
I'm 100% sure they will have used tablets, although you have to be careful as it has to ft in very tight tile limits etc But for such a case a Tablet would be best.
MISTer is really an interesting alternative (considering you have the possibility to try out all those old computers and arcade systems that you don't have money or space for), but I'm not sure how well it works with peripherals such as light pens.

Yeah MSX also has a bunch of light pens. They are interesting, but I've never tried using one. I'm not sure if it would work well to draw on a TV in the first place. It would be easier if the TV surface was horizontal like a paper on a desk. Light pens pretty much disappeared (the Wii is an exception) in favor of the stylus on portable systems, and I guess there is a reason for that.

The modern alternatives for artist are things like Wacom Cintiq but they are quite expensive.
Light Pens suck. They are a selection tool more than a drawing tool. In order for them to work you have to have light under the spot you want to "select", so basically the screen has to flash white every time you press the button. They are more for selecting existing things on a screen and navigating. They basically have "char" accuracy rather than "pixel" you also want to have a special desk that lets you put the monitor in the desk at an angle. Holding your arm up to the TV in front of you gets sore fast.
ccovell wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:37 pm
On the topic of pixel programs for the Amiga, don't forget Brilliance! It lets you set the bitdepth to match the SNES (32K colours) or Megadrive/PCE (512), as well as custom page sizes, like 256x239, etc. Brilliance has multiple undo levels.

As for aspect ratio, back in the day, a few CRT monitors had overscan switches on the front to toggle between a narrow/wide pixel aspect, which helps with judging art for the SNES/NES. They also had VSize knobs, which did the same thing. Or yeah, you do the same thing in your head or used the calculator on your desk.
I did mention Brilliance in my post ;) One of the artists actually prefers it to DPV, but then somethings can only be done in DPV. Agies Animator - what a tool that was. I've been trying to find ways to resurrect that art style I think it would be nice to get Vector games back.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Oziphantom » Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:14 am

Esns68 wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:47 am
Hi, I forgot to mention. So after researching these things mentioned I figured out how to configure the color palette in Grafx2, and somehow I never even realized this, you just click on the "PAL" button next to the colors on the bottom, and you'll be in the palette settings. You can set the number of colors and change the color in each color number. So I used that to set color 0 in my sprite to the transparency color, and it worked when I recompiled it and the transparency worked on the sprite image when I tested it!

The background in that program still did the flashing color background but I'm not concerned about that right now.

I still wonder how to make sure I use the right colors that will work on the SNES, Like if there is way to set the depth similar to one of the earlier replies, about Brilliance.
Though it seems like the converters take care of things to make sure it works?

Also, if you were emulate those programs on an Amiga emulator, to develop graphics for the SNES, how would you get the files out of there (PCX files?), onto Windows, to use in the SNES projects? I have not looked through every reply yet, so if that has already been explained, feel free to ignore this.
They will output ILBM stored in an IFF file. I use Paint Shop Pro 7 ( so classic Linus Tech Tips used it to demonstrate Windows programs working on M1 Macs ;) ) but Pro Motion(NG) and Grafx2 would also support it. ImageMagick use to support it seem it might not anymore, but an older version of the lib should still.
Which, hearing that about brilliance, I would love to try it. Especially when in the first place I was thinking about trying to use Amiga stuff to do these projects for the SNES, because I heard that Amiga's and the programs were favored in developing for 16 consoles (SNES, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) back then, which is what got me really interested in the Amiga itself. I never grew up with one or anything, but the Amiga seems amazing in such a beautiful, profound way, the style, the music, and everything. Especially with my favorite games originating on it like Lemmings, but all the other programs, games and the demos are awesome. It's so sad how many people (At least in US) are completely unaware of it's existence and it's profound beauty.

But yeah, I would of loved to get an actual Amiga to actually immerse my self in a retro development environment, but Amiga's are super rare and expensive. I also still struggle getting into the Amiga because it seems pretty complicated, with all these associated terms like kickstart, fast slow ram etc. I have a hard time getting a lot of games to work on it an emulator, itself being pretty complicated.
Kickstart is just the OS/BIOS version, or BIOS version as it ships half the OS on ROM for instant boot ( unless you have an A1000). Fast RAM and SLOW RAM yeah that can be a slight pain but for WB1.3 basically 512K Chip and then as much FAST as you want. But you might get the odd game that needs 1MB Chip. Getting games to work.
ECS - you need kickstart 1.3 and set it to a 68000 and you should be golden. Basically use the A500+ default and 99% of time you will be fine. For AGA games its a lot easier, WHDLOAD patches and WB 2.0 68020 and you should be sorted.
While some of us are on this subject.... I was just wondering if anyone would happen to know any of the graphics editors, or other programs, and the computers used by the Japanese companies back then to develop for those consoles? I'm just very fascinated by all of this, and would love to try out the ones used by the Japanese companies, since it was their games that ruled those consoles.
Capcom X68000s
Most others seemed to use PC-88. Nintendo's official developement systems used SONY NEWS ( basically a Japanese clone of Sun Microsystems - starts out Dual 68K series then went to MIPS RISC, run BSD V or IV can't remember off the top of my head)
SquareSoft from some reason used Macintosh's.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Pokun » Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:34 pm

Yeah I heard Sharp X68000 was great for 16-bit development since it basically had the arcade level hardware of the time (Motorola 68K CPU, YM2151 FM-synthesis sound chip, multi-frequency JAMMA-compatible monitor, powerful video chip and a ton of RAM) but it was expensive.
Sharp X1 was also used to some point I think. MSX was mainly used in the 8-bit era, but was great because of its NES-like video and audio hardware.
Then NEC PC-88 and PC-98 basically became the main PCs in Japan before IBM-PCs started becoming more Japanese-friendly (which means not until at least VGA and DOS/V), so they must have been very common among game developers.
With the exception of the MSX and the IBM-PCs these are all proprietary computers.

Commodore was very popular in Japan in the late 70s and early 80s (right when the home computer boom started), but this was mainly the Commodore PET series and then the Commodore VIC-20 (called VIC-1001 in Japan), both which Satoru Iwata is famous for starting out with and made his first games for. Commodore 64 certainly had a presence (at least Japanese home computer magazines of the time often had a C64 corner), but it got more competition from Sharp's computers (the MZ series and later the X1) and MSX, so it wasn't as big as it was in North America and western Europe. MSX was big like in the rest of the world where the C64 didn't dominate, or even bigger than in the rest of the world (which is why the MSX has such a wonderful game library).

OP if you are interested in knowing more about how Japanese developers made games back then there are lots of translated interviews at Shmuplations. I read them now and then and they are often very interesting.

I had no idea Amiga wasn't big in USA though. It was popular enough in Sweden (I remember at least two classmates owning one) but it got tough competition from both NES, SNES and the Mega Drive as a gaming system, and IBM-PCs eventually started to take over the PC market.

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
The "traditional" technique is, draw on an overhead projector and then tape it over the screen.
That's an interesting technique. No need for a scanner (which wasn't very common anyway back then). I might just try it out!

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
Backgrounds in Yoshi Island looks a lot like it's hand-drawn, but I've no idea how the graphics in that game really was made. Saga Frontier 2 for PS1 also has a beautiful hand-drawn look, and I bet it is.
I'm 100% sure they will have used tablets, although you have to be careful as it has to ft in very tight tile limits etc But for such a case a Tablet would be best.
I see, so a tablet might have some use for SNES graphics.

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
Light Pens suck. They are a selection tool more than a drawing tool. In order for them to work you have to have light under the spot you want to "select", so basically the screen has to flash white every time you press the button. They are more for selecting existing things on a screen and navigating. They basically have "char" accuracy rather than "pixel" you also want to have a special desk that lets you put the monitor in the desk at an angle. Holding your arm up to the TV in front of you gets sore fast.
Thought as much. Advanced light guns like the Sega Light Phaser and the Nintendo Scope are both using light pen technology and they don't exactly has pixel precision and requires manual calibration each game.

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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Oziphantom » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:03 pm

Pokun wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:34 pm
Yeah I heard Sharp X68000 was great for 16-bit development since it basically had the arcade level hardware of the time (Motorola 68K CPU, YM2151 FM-synthesis sound chip, multi-frequency JAMMA-compatible monitor, powerful video chip and a ton of RAM) but it was expensive.
When it comes to game dev, especially of that era. Hardware cost is immaterial. Nintendo 64 era you used Silicon Graphics Indy, Indigos (2), Challenge XLs those are $200,000+ each computers and every dev needs one.
Sharp X1 was also used to some point I think. MSX was mainly used in the 8-bit era, but was great because of its NES-like video and audio hardware.
Then NEC PC-88 and PC-98 basically became the main PCs in Japan before IBM-PCs started becoming more Japanese-friendly (which means not until at least VGA and DOS/V), so they must have been very common among game developers.
With the exception of the MSX and the IBM-PCs these are all proprietary computers.
I doubt the MSX was a cross dev machine, sure the guy at the back of the shop and other indie devs will have made MSX games on the MSX. But the software houses will have had SAGE IVs, HP 68000s, and other mini computers for development.
Commodore was very popular in Japan in the late 70s and early 80s (right when the home computer boom started), but this was mainly the Commodore PET series and then the Commodore VIC-20 (called VIC-1001 in Japan), both which Satoru Iwata is famous for starting out with and made his first games for. Commodore 64 certainly had a presence (at least Japanese home computer magazines of the time often had a C64 corner), but it got more competition from Sharp's computers (the MZ series and later the X1) and MSX, so it wasn't as big as it was in North America and western Europe. MSX was big like in the rest of the world where the C64 didn't dominate, or even bigger than in the rest of the world (which is why the MSX has such a wonderful game library).
From reading interviews I think the Amiga was quite popular in Japan. Matsuno in his interviews about Orge Battle mentions they loving western games and basically Ogre Battle is about 5 Amiga games combined into one. When Miyamoto was asked how powerful the SuperFX chip would be he told the Japanese Press, "About an Amiga".
OP if you are interested in knowing more about how Japanese developers made games back then there are lots of translated interviews at Shmuplations. I read them now and then and they are often very interesting.
I find these tend to be mostly "hot air puff pieces", it does have some solid interviews though. I recommend these books as well
https://www.amazon.com/Untold-History-J ... B00Q93N29I
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BS ... ype=ebooks
I've not read the 3rd one as it was only available on physical but now it has a Kindle edition
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VJMB4CZ/
The author is a bit arrogant at times and suffers from the "person who knows nothing about subject finds the most innocuous details to be fascinating while failing to ask something of any substance" on a few instances. But some interesting tidbits to be found.
I had no idea Amiga wasn't big in USA though. It was popular enough in Sweden (I remember at least two classmates owning one) but it got tough competition from both NES, SNES and the Mega Drive as a gaming system, and IBM-PCs eventually started to take over the PC market.
Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
The "traditional" technique is, draw on an overhead projector and then tape it over the screen.
That's an interesting technique. No need for a scanner (which wasn't very common anyway back then). I might just try it out!

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
Backgrounds in Yoshi Island looks a lot like it's hand-drawn, but I've no idea how the graphics in that game really was made. Saga Frontier 2 for PS1 also has a beautiful hand-drawn look, and I bet it is.
I'm 100% sure they will have used tablets, although you have to be careful as it has to ft in very tight tile limits etc But for such a case a Tablet would be best.
I see, so a tablet might have some use for SNES graphics.

Oziphantom wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:59 am
Light Pens suck. They are a selection tool more than a drawing tool. In order for them to work you have to have light under the spot you want to "select", so basically the screen has to flash white every time you press the button. They are more for selecting existing things on a screen and navigating. They basically have "char" accuracy rather than "pixel" you also want to have a special desk that lets you put the monitor in the desk at an angle. Holding your arm up to the TV in front of you gets sore fast.
Thought as much. Advanced light guns like the Sega Light Phaser and the Nintendo Scope are both using light pen technology and they don't exactly has pixel precision and requires manual calibration each game.
Think of them as the original "touch screen", there are that accurate. Although they do benefit from you are putting the pen to the screen not trying to see if from a cross the room which helps vs a "gun".

Pokun
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Re: What is your process for creating graphics for the SNES?

Post by Pokun » Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:18 am

After reading lots of interviews with game developers in the 80s you notice that there are a lot of stories of game developers that had no technical education but bought themself an Apple II or other popular home computer and some computer books, learned to program it, made some simpler games and then went to a local game company to ask for a job. Some interviews do mention using an MSX as a work computer (you of course can't run 6502 code on it for NES development). It was used for making the music for example thanks to its MML and similar PSG to the NES' APU, and of course for making graphics with. Some built their own development equipment from arcade parts and stuff. Game Freaks even used Family BASIC for prototyping Quinty on, and its MML was ideal for making NES music.

Bigger companies like Nintendo and Capcom probably used mini computers, but there were lots of small companies apparently using home computers for a long time (maybe mostly before 3D hardware became a requirement). You said yourself that Amiga were used by a lot of SNES developers.


I see, even the Amiga. Commodore was indeed quite popular in Japan. Japan was a huge market so I guess there was room for Commodore as well even after it got all that competition.


I guess the precision of a light pen mainly depends on how much of the photosensor is screened off by the muzzle of the gun or pen, and the distance from the TV. The need to calibrate the light gun every game is mainly because the distance you stand from the TV is different every game you start.

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