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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:36 am 
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Sik wrote:
(especially given how overused pixelart is these days, especially pixelart that tries to look NES-like).

I think the main reason "NES style" pixel art is the most common is because it takes the least amount of effort to draw. Compared to SNES pixel art, there is much less to draw (smaller sprites, less animation for each sprite) and there are much less colors to use, both for each tile and total. After about making 3 frames of animation on an SNES sprite I'm making, I already want to pull my hair out.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:50 am 
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I find 3-color sprites a lot more difficult and time consuming to draw, because of the hard choices it imposes.

I also think that "NES" style is not the most common pixel art by far. The vast majority is just unrestrained-RGB pixel art.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:58 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I find 3-color sprites a lot more difficult and time consuming to draw, because of the hard choices it imposes.

I have to agree with Espozo on this one. With only 3 colors, the choices might even be hard, but there are only 4 possible outcomes for each pixel. Even if you start trying things at random in detailed areas you might end up with something you like (I distinctly remember doing this when drawing hands, trying to convey the idea of fingers). With 15 colors, making bad choices is easy, and there are so many more combinations to try. Even choosing an ideal 15-color palette is hard when the global palette has so many colors to pick from. Working in restricted environments reduces the possibilities, so you have less choices to make.

Would you say that Atari 2600 sprites are harder to draw than NES sprites because they're more limited? I think that there's only so much you can do with 8 pixels across and 1 color per line, so there's no way you'd spend more time filling that space than you would a 16-pixel wide 3-color sprite. NES vs. SNES sounds like a very similar case to me.

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I also think that "NES" style is not the most common pixel art by far. The vast majority is just unrestrained-RGB pixel art.

True. Most people using the terms "pixel art" or "8-bit" are just thinking of blocky graphics.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:15 pm 
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For me, the answer is yes, but I think the Atari 2600 comparison is a bit of a red herring, since the resolution is different. Not so for the NES vs SNES comparison.

With other things equal, though, I do consider 1bpp art more difficult to produce than 2bpp, and 4bpp or 24bpp is much easier. With more colours I can get the look I want without having to manage alternatives. With less colours I have to carefully choose between a pixel here and a pixel there, it is very time consuming for me. It takes me much longer to produce an effect that satisfies me. In particular, trying to express shape with lighting/shading without having a graduated palette to work with is something I find very difficult.

I've worked on pixel art at all of these colour depths, and I've often done so under tight time constraints (like one-hour compos, or game jam), and I can say without a doubt that I work faster with less restricted colour choices. I honestly find NES color restrictions extremely frustrating.

I wouldn't say the same about resolution. Higher resolution art takes me longer.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:35 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
tepples wrote:
In-game, "pixels" are the distinctive appearance aspects of a weapon

What?

I was attempting to come up with a scenario that would justify the title "Pixel Pirate".


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:13 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Unless there's some in-game justification, such as being able to produce unauthorized copies of weapons.

Dude, the character is literally a pirate, clothes and all, that alone justifies the "Pirate" part.

The only way your idea would make sense is if he was counterfeiting pixels, but I really doubt that's the case, unless we start claiming that pirates in real life are people who counterfeit atoms =P


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:17 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
For me, the answer is yes, but I think the Atari 2600 comparison is a bit of a red herring, since the resolution is different. Not so for the NES vs SNES comparison.

I've read something about how sprites on the Atari 2600 can be in a 160x192 space while the BG runs at a different resolution. I know I'm not saying everything even close to correctly, so look here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/169128 ... esolution/ Assuming that we're using sprites, the NES's resolution isn't larger enough than the Atari 2600's resolution to really affect the artwork. However, the amount of colors greatly does.

rainwarrior wrote:
With more colors I can get the look I want without having to manage alternatives. With less colours I have to carefully choose between a pixel here and a pixel there,

However, If you are crazy and have OCD like me, you're going to try to "carefully choose between a pixel here and a pixel there" when making SNES artwork, and it takes far longer than it would on the NES. Like what tokumaru said, every pixel has 4 times the amount of color options on the SNES than the NES, so again, if you're crazy like me, it's going to take about 4x as long. (Not including having more tiles to use on the SNES.) I just can't stand drawing anything that doesn't look "pixel perfect". Even when I play Metal Slug, I often look at a tree in the background and see an oddly placed pixel or two and think "why didn't they fix that?" I often have to convince myself to just stop working on something and go to the next thing so I don't sit there forever on something that no one is even going to notice. Although generally not quite as pretty as pixel art, (unless you're as talented as Rare) I've even thought about using pre rendered graphics just so I don't torture myself.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:35 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I was attempting to come up with a scenario that would justify the title "Pixel Pirate".

I got that, what I didn't get was the pixel = weapon part. Is there a cultural or linguistic aspect that's preventing me from making any sense out of this?


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:40 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
tepples wrote:
I was attempting to come up with a scenario that would justify the title "Pixel Pirate".

I got that, what I didn't get was the pixel = weapon part. Is there a cultural or linguistic aspect that's preventing me from making any sense out of this?

Don't worry, I don't understand it either...


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:53 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
tepples wrote:
I was attempting to come up with a scenario that would justify the title "Pixel Pirate".

I got that, what I didn't get was the pixel = weapon part. Is there a cultural or linguistic aspect that's preventing me from making any sense out of this?

An item's "pixels" would be a picture of the item at rest and in motion. Combining an item's "pixels" with a description of what the item does would let copycats make knockoffs, much like the knockoffs seen at CES (The Daily Dot; Cracked). A "pixel pirate" would then mean anyone involved in the production of lookalike items.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:51 am 
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Well, I like the title. And the "bits of eight" pun. (though, the topic title doesn't immediately evoke "a NES game about a pirate" due to another meaning...)

idea: the X could be more "X-marks-the-spot"-like.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Sik wrote:
(especially given how overused pixelart is these days, especially pixelart that tries to look NES-like).

I think the main reason "NES style" pixel art is the most common is because it takes the least amount of effort to draw. Compared to SNES pixel art, there is much less to draw (smaller sprites, less animation for each sprite) and there are much less colors to use, both for each tile and total. After about making 3 frames of animation on an SNES sprite I'm making, I already want to pull my hair out.


You can draw out a character using an animated outline and flat colors, and fill it out with shading.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:27 pm 
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psycopathicteen wrote:
You can draw out a character using an animated outline and flat colors, and fill it out with shading.

You can, but the result will not be the best possible on the system.


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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:03 pm 
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Myask wrote:
Well, I like the title. And the "bits of eight" pun. (though, the topic title doesn't immediately evoke "a NES game about a pirate" due to another meaning...)

idea: the X could be more "X-marks-the-spot"-like.


Thanks! Certainly going to revisit this very soon, the X was something that happened along the way, impulse is now to make that into a skull and crossbones to unify the logo.

For comments about NES being the easiest to produce and most prevalent form of pixel art, I would argue the opposite. The majority is unrestrained palette and unrestrained technically. It's more akin to SNES or AGA abilities. Working with NES restrictions really makes me think about colours, light and shadow, negative space and forms. It's harder to produce if anything.

I showed the London scene to someone and then said it's 13 colours in total using a handful of tiles. They thought it was totally unrestrained pixel art, to me that is the best compliment.

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 Post subject: Re: NES Pirate
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:25 pm 
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hawken wrote:
Working with NES restrictions really makes me think about colours, light and shadow, negative space and forms. It's harder to produce if anything.

Again, I said if you have this mentality going into the SNES, you're going to have a hard time. It's taken me about 3 days of on and of work just to draw a stupid 64x40 road texture, where on the NES, this wouldn't have taken me longer than 30 minutes. You really only have about 3 colors to work with, so making a gradient for depth isn't that time consuming. You also have a limited amount of tiles, so you wouldn't even make something that big for a road, but I'm aiming for something like Metal Slug quality backgrounds. (I'm going to change tiles whenever the screen scrolls.)


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