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Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look good?
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Author:  Espozo [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look good?

I mean like the artwork featured in games like Gunforce 2, In the Hunt, or Undercover Cops. I'm just curious as to what people think. I am (hopefully) going to create someone holding it and animate it at some point in time. This is for a 4bpp 15+ bit RGB system, like the SNES or the M92 or the GBA.

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Author:  darryl.revok [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Looks good. Nice start. If you could squeeze on another barrel, I think it would make it a little better. Right now it looks like it would have four barrels, and the miniguns that I've seen have six.

I think one of the biggest things that makes the IREM games, and the ones developed by Nazca after breaking from IREM, that you're talking about really spectacular are the fluid animations. So I'd think a few frames of the thing firing with shell casings flying all over the place would really help in that direction. And it would definitely need to move a little bit when a gun that beefy is being fired.

By the way, I am a big IREM fan. My dad got a Sega Master System when I was very young and one of my first favorite games as a kid was R-Type for that console, and the last NES game I got as a kid was Metal Storm. Metal Storm had some of the best animation on that system I think, although a little brief. I haven't got a chance to play Undercover Cops yet, but I just picked up a copy of In The Hunt. It's a little slow paced to me for a SHMUP but the art style is superb.

For what console do you plan to design this?

Author:  Espozo [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

darryl.revok wrote:
If you could squeeze on another barrel, I think it would make it a little better.

I tried it, but it looked weird in my opinion.

darryl.revok wrote:
Right now it looks like it would have four barrels, and the miniguns that I've seen have six.

Tell that to Irem:

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darryl.revok wrote:
I think one of the biggest things that makes the IREM games, and the ones developed by Nazca after breaking from IREM, that you're talking about really spectacular are the fluid animations. So I'd think a few frames of the thing firing with shell casings flying all over the place would really help in that direction. And it would definitely need to move a little bit when a gun that beefy is being fired.

I plan on doing all that, if I ever even get to it. I personally think that Metal Slug looks a bit too goofy though for what it is.

darryl.revok wrote:
I just picked up a copy of In The Hunt.

For PS1?

darryl.revok wrote:
For what console do you plan to design this?

Probobly the SNES, but maybe the Irem M92 if I ever get to figure out how to display sprites.

Author:  darryl.revok [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Is that Gunforce Battle Fire Engulfed Terror Island? Best game name ever.

I tried messing with the sprite a little but didn't like what I ended up coming up with. How about doing a spin-up/spin-down animation (it's up to you if you'd want to actually have a spin-up animation since this would delay firing in gameplay) and then a few frames of muzzle flash which could be a separate animation from the gun. Maybe in your engine you could animate the gun shaking by jostling the sprite instead of drawing new frames.

I'm thinking about what would give it that beefy feel in a game like IREM/Nazca, and personally, I think it needs a chain coming off if it's handheld, shell casings spewing out the bottom, it should spin, even after you stop firing, and nice sound effects of a high-pitched whirr and fast paced bullet hits. As the character walks the bullet chain could swing a little, and it would probably sway side to side a little while someone walked with it, slightly altering the perspective.

Metal Slug too goofy? Maybe. But look at Contra. My friend and I just started playing Contra III, and where we are now involves being picked up by a helicopter by grabbing onto a missile, then holding onto this missile as it's fired at the enemy, then jumping between missiles which are all being shot at the enemy, all while continuously gunning down this strange alien vessel. Now that's what I call a coordinated tactical maneuver. Shooter games are often nothing if not over-the-top. That's part of the fun to me. What in the hell will I have to blast to bits next? No telling! :)

Yeah, I got In the Hunt for the PS1. I figure it's probably a little better for the Saturn, but I haven't got a Saturn yet, plus the game is a lot pricier for that console.

Just curious, have you developed any games yet?

Author:  Pik [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Take a crack at a fully-fledged character, then we can truly judge if it fits the style or not. What you have now is a good start though. The colors are pretty nice.

Author:  Espozo [ Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

What I noticed from their art is that

1. They like to use outlines, especially on sprites, (excluding explosions and flashes and other things of that nature) and to a lesser extent on backgrounds and they also have it to where they like to where they have it to where the outline is in two colors: A dark, and a very dark, and the very dark is used in places where it is, of course, very dark. The outline surrounding the top of a car is lighter than the outline surrounding the bottom.

2. They usually like to use about 4-5 different shades of one color, and a very light or dark color from both (like near black or white) can be used in a gradient with more than one color. They like a lot of contrast, so this works out. A random little tidbit I feel like sharing is that almost every palette in R-Type 2 incorporates solid black, while in Gunforce 2, almost every palette incorporates solid white. I don't think they ever really had it to where they used both.

Yes, I know that it's sad that I know this.

darryl.revok wrote:
Is that Gunforce Battle Fire Engulfed Terror Island? Best game name ever.

Gross, no. It's Gunforce 2, which is 1,000x better. That game is awful.

darryl.revok wrote:
Maybe in your engine you could animate the gun shaking by jostling the sprite instead of drawing new frames.

They'd never do that. :wink: Anyway, the gun definitely won't be held perfectly straight, and the arms would need to be animated anyway. Just look at in Metal Slug when you fire the Heavy Machine Gun.

darryl.revok wrote:
Metal Slug too goofy?

I meant art wise. I do think it got pretty bad when they started adding aliens and mummies and zombies. (By the second game...) I think anyone who thinks Metal Slug 3 is better than Metal Slug 1 is high out of their minds.

darryl.revok wrote:
I'm thinking about what would give it that beefy feel in a game like IREM/Nazca, and personally, I think it needs a chain coming off if it's handheld, shell casings spewing out the bottom, it should spin, even after you stop firing, and nice sound effects of a high-pitched whirr and fast paced bullet hits. As the character walks the bullet chain could swing a little, and it would probably sway side to side a little while someone walked with it, slightly altering the perspective.

I thought about that all. You forgot that it would need to rev up though, which would give you time to run out of the way or kill the enemy who is holding it before they kill you. I think it would look slightly cooler if the bullets flew up a little and, I think I'd actually just animate the bullets versus having them be sprites, like the shots from the pistol in Metal Slug.

darryl.revok wrote:
Just curious, have you developed any games yet?

Definitely not. I'm still trying to get the overhead done on a game for the SNES, (and I'd be done with it if it weren't for vram...) forget about any kind of planning or artwork or even really thinking too much of how the game would run. All I know is that it's going to be a run and gun.

Pik wrote:
What you have now is a good start though. The colors are pretty nice.

Thank you.

Author:  Espozo [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Dang it, does anyone have any ideas on how to make artwork faster? This is literally all I've done: :oops:

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Author:  freem [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Espozo wrote:
Dang it, does anyone have any ideas on how to make artwork faster?


Try blocking out the other parts in solid colors and save the shading for later; it'll especially help once you decide to animate these.

Author:  darryl.revok [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

I think you're doing it backwards.

Unless you already have a person drawn that you didn't upload, I would start with designing the person first. How else will you know where the arms connect?

If this is the FIRST thing you draw, you'll have to scale everything else in the game to your gun. Seems backwards. I would pick a good character size for your hardware and genre and then draw the gun to match.

Blocking out the colors is a good idea. Getting your linework down to define the shape of your object is most important.

Honestly what you have so far looks pretty good. I'm glad that you added barrels sticking out the end. That helps out a lot.

Where's the ammo belt? :) Or are those ammo drums under it? A belt would be more fun to animate IMHO.

Author:  Espozo [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

darryl.revok wrote:
Unless you already have a person drawn that you didn't upload, I would start with designing the person first. How else will you know where the arms connect?
darryl.revok wrote:
Where's the ammo belt? Or are those ammo drums under it? A belt would be more fun to animate IMHO.

That's the reason I haven't drawn the belt yet, and no, I don't have a person drawn yet. :( And I have no clue what that tank thing is on the side, it's just that I've seen it in pictures like this, and it also has an ammo backpack that is where the bullets will come from:

Image

Author:  darryl.revok [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

I THINK it's a big DC motor. This are electric. General Electric, in fact!

Author:  Pik [ Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Going with Darryl here, I think it would be a lot easier to draw the character first and then make the gun to match their size. It might go faster that way, too.

Author:  Espozo [ Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Getting there...

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Author:  darryl.revok [ Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

Not bad; dude's torso looks pretty beefy.

Mind if I ask how long this took?

The reason that I ask is that I feel like you may be trying to make every pixel you lay down just right the first time. I feel like that's the biggest reason you're having trouble making progress.

Everybody's got their own styles, and I'm not an expert. I've done a little bit of art professionally but I've never taken any training on it. But I'm pretty sure the best way is to simply to go at it. Make mistakes, correct them, learn from it, hone your technique. Every pixel you lay down is a pixel you learn from. You get better over time, over the years, through experience, through instruction. You get more sure about your actions and how to represent what's in your head. More comfortable with your toolset.

The alternative, which could be better would be to be classically trained, where you're taught the theory behind decisions and how and where and why to do certain things. I mean sure, if someone has the money, and the time, it's certainly better to be taught by an expert. But even then you have to go at the lessons, and make projects over and over whether you're able to do them perfectly or not. Over time, through successes, mistakes, and corrections, you build your skillset.

You asked how you could work faster and I thought about it a lot. I think the answer is not to be afraid to make mistakes. Draw a whole person really quick and then correct it. Draw four frames of animation for your character and then perfect them. I did about 30 frames for my main character before I realized I should redraw a lot of the earlier ones. I was thinking of the first few frames in terms of what looked good for a single image and less of what looked good in an animation. I'd never done animation before.

Author:  Espozo [ Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attemping to create Irem-esque artwork. Does it look goo

I've probably been moving at one pixel per 2 days... I've been working on it when I'm bored. One problem is I don't really know how to design the character. I'm really not sure how the chest works, it just looked kind of cool. I think this is one problem about working at such a low resolution.

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darryl.revok wrote:
Mind if I ask how long this took?

Seemingly forever.

darryl.revok wrote:
The reason that I ask is that I feel like you may be trying to make every pixel you lay down just right the first time. I feel like that's the biggest reason you're having trouble making progress.

Yeah it is, but I'm so stubborn that I can't help it. I'll probably just end up trying to get someone to help me.

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