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Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be done.
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Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

After drawing countless weird shapes over and over on the train to my son, I manage to pull this off. Of course what was on paper and whats on this image is totally different but paper is always the start. Don't let that art disappear ^^

Of course after seeing a ton of weird organic stages from different games including Life Force. it was a nice exercise to inspire me to make that BG.

I had to rearrange the objects and make the column door back to its original size because it didnt match to the platform on top. If i would had left it one size down it would had messed with the platform's palette when I increased its width. the column door will be a sprite to ease things. I think it would be a pain to try and figure how to replace tiles though I wouldnt mind giving it a try. not like it has to move but one pixel. can move by each 8px square.

The spawner will have to be a sprite as well. With this type of BG it would blend too much in where you wont be able to see it clear enough. besides with it flashing when taking damage it would be a mess and im not up to making little black holes around it so it can stand out. The whole point is search and destroy.

Added the door down below because this will be the first area you will go through after the game begins in that room.

Attachments:
planning3.png
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Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Added walls and edited the platforms. Of course I wont know how well it is until the character is in and his jumping value is implemented.

What do you guys think about grabbing the edges of platforms?

Attachments:
planning4.png
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Author:  dougeff [ Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Quote:
grabbing the edges of platforms?


I think this is something you should discuss with your programmer.

Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

True. with that said working on another area of the map. Theres some adjustments I need to do but im just putting down what i planed out on paper. The boxes stick out too much so i may have to re color those. Boxes on the left are BG and the box on the right will be movable and will be a sprite as well. I have to work on that little light source. its a bit boxy and of course the light itself. May have to make that into a sprite as well.

HAHA just noticed the mistakes i made. gonna have to make those platforms thicker so there wont be no palette issues.

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planning5.png
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Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Sorry about the slow progress. I am working on two other things so this is some what on the bottom of my list. Here is a sample on how things would look connected. I still have a long way to go for the first stage but gives you an outlook of it for now. The character will be able to push and maybe pull objects as you can see. I also recolored the spawner and the box. Spawner blended too much and the boxes were to bright.

Attachments:
Puzzle-1.png
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sample-A.png
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Author:  darryl.revok [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Looking good! Always exciting to see your progress.

A quick thought would be, how about creating multiple layers to the background? Say, if the background is a tissue of some sort, what if there were sections where that was pulled away, and you could see something else behind it? You could use some other colors as well to spruce up the larger background sections.

Perhaps a better description would be to have some accent tiles for the main background. Also, the squareness of the tile repetition stands out to me. I'd try to come up with a repetition that's offset in a way which is a little less apparent.

I like where this is headed.

Author:  tokumaru [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

I have to be honest, this is looking pretty bland and blocky. It's not bad, but the only thing that really stands out is the background, which has an interesting organic look.

The metal door for example, is so bland that it almost looks like a button from Windows 3.1. It's too flat and the shading is too simple. If you added scratches, dents, rust, or any sort of imperfection, I'm sure it'd look more interesting. The same goes for the metal walls, obviously.

Another problem is that the floors are too repetitive. The pink floor pattern (which appears to be made of little Geisha dolls, something I can't unsee now!) repeats after only 8 pixels, without anything ever breaking the monotony. The metal platforms are even worse, repeating after only 4 pixels! If you're gonna use patterns this short, at least add some variety every now and then, with broken/cracked segments, or some ornaments that appear every several pixels, things like that.

The shading on the crates looks confusing to me, and doesn't give them any volume. The color change was also weird, because they appear to be made of metal now, but the structure is still that of a wooden crate. If you want to see some great looking crates on the NES, check out Batman - Return of the joker. Just look at the texture and volume in those crates. And the game even has wood and metal variations.

Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

darryl.revok wrote:
A quick thought would be, how about creating multiple layers to the background? Say, if the background is a tissue of some sort, what if there were sections where that was pulled away. Perhaps a better description would be to have some accent tiles for the main background. Also, the squareness of the tile repetition stands out to me.


Yeah that's some what the plan. I didn't want to put too much stuff until I see the space we have for the tiles because we would need a decent size for the char, objects, enemies, and tiles which you already know.

The squareness I already know. If its standing out to you its been punching me in the eye so how do you think I feel :D Right now I am trying to get a feel for it while keeping the stupid palette thing in mind. If it wasn't for that radius BS this would be easy or if this was an easy forest or cave, anyone can easily put it together.

So yeah once i know the following I can add more curves and everything else to this. These are just all place holders and to get my idea down.

tokumaru wrote:
I have to be honest, this is looking pretty bland and blocky. It's not bad, but the only thing that really stands out is the background, which has an interesting organic look.


as explained above. All of this are just blue prints (place holders) to get the bone structures of what goes where. I refuse to over detail stuff just to have it be put together and then realizing that something needed to be taken out or because of the palette radius takes over and I have to redo everything. So yes its bland and repetitive. once everything is put into place and I see what works I would be more than happy to super over detail everything with that NES has to offer.

I am more of a character designer not a BG designer. Normally you'll have just one person for BG. I know there are some people that does everything with no problem, but I am not on that level yet though I am forcing myself to go beyond those limits. But I appreciate the references and opinions to make this stand out more. It'll get there. I just refuse to do what everyone else does with environments. Forest, caves, forest, caves, forest, caves, castles meh

Author:  darryl.revok [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Yeah, I think tokumaru made some good points for when you get to detailing. Batman: Return of the Joker looks great, although it drove me crazy that Batman's weapon is a gun that shoots sparkles. That didn't seem particularly Batman to me.

One thing I wonder is whether or not it's common to have different eject points within metatiles. This could potentially help some with the blockiness. The way I see it, one byte could define 16 positions for height, 16 positions for width, and then two bits within the collision data could determine if the solid portion is on the top/bottom or left/right.

I agree with you about the level deal. I liked how AVGN made the point that every game has to have a cave where you fight snakes and spiders.

Author:  Fjamesfernandez [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

Fixed the boxes and finally got a darker enough color to work with the stage. Door was edited though honestly with the platform on top even with that metal column fully raised, I don't think there was suppose to be that much lighting going in there. still tweaking the shading but wont be fixing the "repetitive" stuff until later. With that said I will add a few more texture layers to the BG to do different combinations.

Attachments:
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update1.png
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Author:  tokumaru [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Learning NES Limits, Pixel Art, & wat can & can not be d

The boxes are much better!

I don't know if this has been pointed out already, but you have to be careful when using dithering patterns. Due to the way that the NES generates composite video, dithered patterns often generate weird diagonal lines and/or artifact colors. You can see this effect in games by using an emulator that includes blargg's NTSC filter, which accurately simulates the way the NES generates images. If you want to preview your art without having to program a ROM, you can use this.

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