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Re: Introduction and NES/Film/Music project propsal (paid wo

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:00 pm
by thefox
Sendo wrote:That's great that you're interested. Do you have any stuff that you've worked on before that i could check out?
I replied to you by e-mail.

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:39 pm
by Sendo
Awesome thanks man. I'll get back to you as soon as i can, tomorrow is a bit tricky, but in the evening or Friday night most likely :)

Quick question to you guys...if i have some really noobish questions about working with graphics, and possibly music is it best to ask in the relevant forums or should i stick to the Newbie Help Centre?

I just have to say this site is amazing, i've already begun to understand a lot by going through old threads. So much great information.

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:26 am
by Celius
Hello Sendo!

First of all, I would like to say that I do have interest in the project, but I question whether or not I would be able to commit to it adequately. You know, just with school, work, other stuff, etc. It can become a little too much to handle sometimes (without creating a mediocre/sloppy/rushed product).

But I will say one thing in particular I would be interested in is the art aspect. I consider myself to be a pretty good pixel artist and artist in general. I would be way more motivated to contribute in this regard than programming, but I don't know if that's just me or if that's how everyone feels, haha.

I am also working on my own project, which is a shooter/platformer. It's actually playable now. I was hoping to get a demo up for the community in the somewhat near future, I just have to design the other half of the demo level and expand on what I have a little bit. If you want to see what it looks like you can message me.

In terms of questions about graphics and how stuff works, I would recommend putting it in the Newbie Help Center, just to keep the boards a little more organized. Though you will see threads that are like 20 pages long in the Newbie Help Center due to people asking question after question after question, please don't follow these examples. It's best to split up the questions between separate threads.

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:50 pm
by Sendo
Hey, thanks a lot for your response, sorry i was a bit slow in replying, my computer is temporarily dead (at least i hope it's temporary!).

Awesome that you're interested man, there's actually a few guys who have contacted me now and it seems like the best bet is for me to bring a design brief together which explains more about what i want to do so you guys can have a better understanding of my goals for the game, and then hopefully someone will be up for taking up the project.

Totally understand your issue with commitment. Although it's worth bearing in mind that since this project is going to be connected to my MA work, it will have a two year deadline, i'm hoping that should be enough time for a project of this type?

Regarding graphics, this part i'm actually hoping to largely take on myself, although having said that i'm in no way against a degree of collaboration in this department, so will certainly keep you posted on that if it's something you're interested in :) It's also an area that i'm going to need some help in developing my skills, so i'd love to pick your brains at some point over some ideas and techniques too. Did you draw the image in your avatar? It looks fantastic!

Your project sounds cool, would definitely love to see what you've come up with, especially how you've handled the art etc. When i''m back up and running on my own computer again i'll definitely drop you a message!

Thanks for your advice about my questions, again, when i'm back on my own machine i'll start a couple of threads in the newbie help centre.

Cheers man!

Re: Introduction and NES/Film/Music project propsal (paid wo

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:53 pm
by Sendo
thefox wrote:
Sendo wrote:That's great that you're interested. Do you have any stuff that you've worked on before that i could check out?
I replied to you by e-mail.
Hey man, also just wanted to add that i got your mail, thanks a lot, will get back to you properly as soon as i get back on my own computer :)

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:11 pm
by Sendo
Hello guys, just wanted to let you know that i've still been working hard on this idea.

I'm just about to finish the first semester of my Masters Degree, so far the work i've been doing has been invaluable towards understanding how i want to go about designing aspects of this game and how i want to implement my ideas. I have a basic idea together and i've also been working on some short film sketches that explore some of the themes (noir, body horror, bio technology, dance, abstract narrative, working within limitation etc) i wish to employ in the game. If anyone is interested in those you can check them out here:

Anyway, after receiving some much appreciated advice from Shiro a while back, i've decided that the best way forward for the project is probably if i go ahead and create much of the art and lay out the design brief before any programming begins. I'm in a position financially and time wise to do that now, so i'll be asking a few questions over in the Newbie Help Centre, and i really hope you guys might be able to help me out :D

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:35 am
by slobu
I'd also consider going as far as making your own prototype game. Use Game Maker or Construct for the PC. These programs drastically lower the bar for multimedia and game programming. Who knows, you might choose to just use your prototype!

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:39 am
by Sendo
That's an interesting idea. I definitely want to have a fully functioning NES cart by the end of the project, but a prototype which illustrates the nature and flow of the game might be a very good idea, thanks!

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:00 pm
by Kasumi
The first thing: Two of the vimeo links link to the same thing.
The second thing: Have you seen or played this game?

It seems to be very similar to what you want to do, especially in terms of atmosphere. IS it?

The third thing: If it is, why oh why oh why does this need to be on NES?

I'm a guy who can program for things that aren't NES, and is currently making a project for NES that is more complex than most NES games go. (Making an 8way scrolling platformer with slopes+two players simultaneous co-op) And as that guy, I really, really want to know. I realize a lot of people have subtly tried to talk you out of this before, but I have to try as well.

To be honest: With my current project (one that I am in complete control of and answer to no one) I feel like I am wasting my time with NES. I've been on the game for like two years and I keep having to optimize things so that it doesn't drop frames because NES is slow.

In a WEEK I could get done what I have done for NES on anything modern. And it'd be better and never drop frames. In fact, the only reason I'm STILL DOING IT for NES is that I've started at got this far... may as well keep going. Starting a new complicated project? I'll go for PC, thanks.

For more perspective: I'm probably totally capable of doing what you have in mind for NES. (If it's like Limbo without slopes, I might even call it easy) But... Limbo's atmosphere can't really be created on NES. Throughout the entire project, I'd question why we weren't working with something that could really bring it home.

I understand your want for a game, I really do. But NES?

If it's a nostalgia thing, I get it. But then, you could hire out an easy NES game to say you did it.

Because sticking with NES makes things intentionally difficult for your programmers. You making NES music, and NES graphics is fine. In fact, I could take those things and make a retraux game (think Megaman 9 or 10) in no time at all.
(I write a lot, and people skim. So I'm making the following text larger because it is important)

Here's another way to think about it. Whether you make a retraux game (Megaman 9 or 10), or an actual NES game you are doing the same amount of work, correct? All the graphics and music will be the same either way. But when the switch is made from retraux to NES and you are the programmer for the project, the workload SKYROCKETS!

If it were me, you'd probably end up paying me at least 8 times as much for this on NES than if I made it for... PC, or whatever else.

Edit: Oh yeah, and prototyping is a very good idea.

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:13 pm
by Sendo
Wow, thanks for the response man, that's a great post. I have lots of answers to your questions, but i'm literally just about to jump in the shower, will get back to you as soon as i get out!

Thanks for the heads up on the link, it was supposed to be this:

Edited the original post too.

But, yeah, thanks again man, really appreciate the feedback. I'll get back at you ASAP. (Limbo looks great by the way!)

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:22 pm
by Sendo
Hey man i'm back.

Ok, i'll explain the project that i'm working on in a bit more detail. I certainly see where you're coming from but there's several very important reasons why i want to make a game for the NES.

Firstly it's not just about wanting to make a game for the sake of making a game. This is important. The NES game that i want to make is a smaller part of larger project that studies the dissemination of media within a specific era, that being the late 80's early 90's.

So the idea is to make a film, and to create a game of the film that functions and represents within the limitations (both physically and aesthetically) of that time period. It has to be historically accurate in every way (or at least as far as is physically possible).

The integrity of this is massively important and it's for that reason that i can't make it for PC for example.

It's for the same reason that the film i'm making (the digitally shot links above are merely aesthetic sketches) is being shot on 8 or 16mm film. Of course i could shoot it on digital, saving a lot of time and expense, but that would completely defeat the object of the project.

In preparing for this i looked into the possibility of making a game for Master System, Megadrive, SNES and NEO GEO since these consoles also fit in terms of what i'm looking to achieve. However, it was suggested to me that NES was the way to go out of the five. This was coupled with the fact that the NES holds a particular resonance with me as it was the first real console i had as a kid back in 1989.

So yeah, essentially, it's a lot more than just a project to make a fun game. It is part of a much larger artwork. The content is crucial, of course, but what is equally crucial is the integrity of the physical aesthetic as this is the vehicle for the message i wish to explore and a huge part of how i want people to engage with this aspect of the project. I want people to be able to see something that is indistinguishable from the past, to evoke memory, for them to open the box, take out the cartridge, put it in the machine and experience whatever it has to offer.

The box, the case, the manual, the cartridge, the physical interaction. All of these things are as important as the game itself.

(This is also why the film is only being duplicated on VHS and film)

In the same way, it's the reason why i actively want to work with and within the limitations of the console. I'm not concerned with making a complicated game and trying to push the NES beyond what has previously been capable; i want to look at the architecture of the system with a programmer, i want us to study my design brief and say, right, what's the most effective way of achieving the expression of this idea, bearing in mind what we have to work with. In exactly the same way as people did back in the day, condensing a much larger and more complex piece of work into something simple and effective. This is artistry that i really respect and i think it has a really unique beauty.

I hope that all makes sense!? Would love to hear your thoughts. You guys have been really helpful so far, so i appreciate everything you have to say :D

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:21 pm
by Bregalad
Most games based on film licences sucked in the '80s and '90s (and that's probably still the case today but I don't follow today's games).

So does this mean the game has to mimic film based games from the late 80s - early 90s and suck intentionally ?
Of course there was Batman which was okay but that's the only one that comes to mind.

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:29 pm
by Dwedit
Ooh! Ooh! Listing the few good movie-licensed games! This is fun!

There's always Gremlins 2, New Ghostbusters II, Little Mermaid, and Little Nemo.

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:35 pm
by Sendo
Bregalad wrote:Most games based on film licences sucked in the '80s and '90s (and that's probably still the case today but I don't follow today's games).

So does this mean the game has to mimic film based games from the late 80s - early 90s and suck intentionally ?
Of course there was Batman which was okay but that's the only one that comes to mind.
Haha, a way, i do kind of want to explore that.

It's not so much that it has to suck, but i really like the aesthetic of how film games totally changed within the confines of the system, and sometimes you were just left saying WTF?

They were what they were, and that is important to this project. When i was a kid it didn't matter if a game sucked, i only had a few of them so i played it to death anyway. I remember one year we got Home Alone for the SNES. Christ that game was bad, but i had nothing else to play so i found ways to enjoy it, and i found fun in the suckiness. Sometimes i'd want to smash the cartridge, but i'd still go back for more!

I think this is something missing from modern games, particularly of late with the 360 and PS3. Expectations are insanely high, and in many ways the culture is quite throwaway. It takes a lot more effort on behalf of the developer to cause a gamer to really engage with a piece of software now. Average gamers are too quick to drop a difficult title, whereas back then i think there was more perseverance (even if the difficulty was abstract and frustrating), it was more hardcore in many ways.

I also like the way that film games often bent the film to suit the system. Just as almost all arcade ports where 'run and gun' or scrolling beat em up, NES games were often very action based, regardless of whether that fitted the vibe of the film. Batman was a great game, but i don't remember any point in the film where Batman walked along the street punching little robots that looked like wind up trains.

It's exactly this kind of irreverence i want to achieve. I'm not looking to re-create the film in the form of a game, i'm looking to use the NES to capture the meaning and expression of the film in the form of a game, but in a form that is inherently dictated by the style and aesthetic of the NES as a development and artistic platform, if that makes sense?!

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:47 pm
by tepples
Color palette will be the least of your worries; the NES can do four grays just fine.

As for "capture the meaning and expression of the film", that'll depend on what you consider "the meaning and expression of the film" to be.