NES lookalike graphics

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físgalo
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NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:54 pm

So, I'm starting to do pixel art with NES limitations and esthetics. I'm not planning to do a game or something, I'm just doing for fun; rather than doing something that looks like NES, I wanna work with the limitations, to explore all possibilities. This is what I have been made so far, based in modern games:

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This was my first attempt; I know that the right character doesn't fit the limitations, I really had a problem with larger sprites, and at that moment I didn't have things completely right (about sizes, larger sprites, that kind of stuff).

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The second attempt, much easier with smaller sprites.

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And this is the last work I have made; I reuse different elements to have a look more cohesive, but...

I know it's more easy to do screenshots with elements isolated rather than all the graphics in a game, but for the moment, this is what I made. If anyone can give any advice, mistakes, things to improve, I'm all ears! I'm here to improve, and I appreciate anything. After all, I'm here to learn.

lidnariq
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by lidnariq » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:07 pm

I like the aesthetic, and you're making good use of negative space (one of the things that the NES really lends itself to). One problem I see is that the NES only has four-ish brightnesses, and things of different hue but same brightness tend to blur together on-screen - most obviously a problem in the bottom-most left picture.

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tokumaru
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by tokumaru » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:05 pm

Your art is really good, you should definitely team up with someone to make an actual NES game! The only real problem I see is the one you already mentioned, the big guy in the first 2 screens... Not only because of the size, but also the color count, as most parts are using 4 colors instead of 3.

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físgalo
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:28 am

lidnariq wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:07 pm
I like the aesthetic, and you're making good use of negative space (one of the things that the NES really lends itself to). One problem I see is that the NES only has four-ish brightnesses, and things of different hue but same brightness tend to blur together on-screen - most obviously a problem in the bottom-most left picture.
Yeah, I have a hard time with choosing colors, not because the limits of the NES, it's because I tend to think in grayscale all the time, it's something I want to improve. I looked a lot of NES screenshot, sprites, tiles...to learn, but it's a work still in progress.
tokumaru wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:05 pm
Your art is really good, you should definitely team up with someone to make an actual NES game! The only real problem I see is the one you already mentioned, the big guy in the first 2 screens... Not only because of the size, but also the color count, as most parts are using 4 colors instead of 3.
Yes, whit that I didn't know how to resolve; it's something I've been woorking on, like in the last image, bottom right, the body of the creature/ boss I considered it background, but the head is an sprite.

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tokumaru
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by tokumaru » Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:05 am

físgalo wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:28 am
Yes, whit that I didn't know how to resolve; it's something I've been woorking on, like in the last image, bottom right, the body of the creature/ boss I considered it background, but the head is an sprite.
If he's a boss or only appears in specific areas, the obvious solution is indeed to draw him with background tiles. But to move him freely you'd have to make the actual background around him blank.

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físgalo
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:08 pm

tokumaru wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:05 am
físgalo wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:28 am
Yes, whit that I didn't know how to resolve; it's something I've been woorking on, like in the last image, bottom right, the body of the creature/ boss I considered it background, but the head is an sprite.
If he's a boss or only appears in specific areas, the obvious solution is indeed to draw him with background tiles. But to move him freely you'd have to make the actual background around him blank.
Yeah, like some bosses from Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, Gradius 2 and similar, right? That's something I didn't think at first, but later I started to think in game mechanics (even if I have zero idea about it) to do a better job with the backgrounds/ sprites. I started to search a lot of games with large bosses fights to learn how it works.

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físgalo
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:25 am

It's not NES graphics related, but maybe someone finds it curious: between doing NES pixel art, I did all the first gen of Pokémon as Warioland bosses. It's was quite fun. I used the colour pallette of Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Green.

All 151 in one image:
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And a couple of gifs:
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With the first 30 i didn't keep in mind the sprite size limit (and, to be honest, I don't know yet the limits of Game Boy and Game Boy Color graphics, it's something I want to look), but from then to the end I respect the limits. Also, I did I think three mockups with the starters sprites.

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físgalo
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:12 am

So, something new; instead of doing version of othert games, I tried to do a new idea. It's a weird concept, but in a way it have sense. First, the sprites:

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The main character it would be the first: a sheep in a wheelchair with a chainsaw and a cowboy hat. Yep, I'm not kidding. It's may be sound weird (and in fact it is, but it's a mix between a couple of character from the first two movies of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And, for jumping I added a spring (since after all, it's a sheep in a wheelchair). Then I did a couple of enemies for level/ zone; a couple of characters for a slaughterhouse(see below for further explanations), one with a hook meat (also a reference for a character in the second film of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), other with a slaughterhouse gun. Next level would be in the kitchen, with a cook and a kitchen helper, and for the last level it would be a waiter and a customer (the weapon it would be a fork, it was a pain trying to do with that size).

So, instead of doing screenshot, I tried to build a level. I have no idea of level design, or anything like that, I did it to see how it can look. Instead of working with black as transparency, I change it to a intense blue.

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I did the corpe of a lamb, a cow skull, meat hooks, some plataforms...the floor was hard, because I didn't know what to do do for a site like that, and I did some variants. And that's all, I think.

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Goose2k
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by Goose2k » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:46 pm

Looks nice. I like the sprites a lot.

Once you put it all together, it gets quite "noisy" though. I think I would reduce the amount of sharp contrast in the background.

I find looking at OG GameBoy games for really good examples of how to clearly distinguish foreground from background. Warioland in particular does a great job.

Not that I should be giving out artist advice haha :D

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físgalo
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by físgalo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:43 am

Goose2k wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:46 pm
Looks nice. I like the sprites a lot.

Once you put it all together, it gets quite "noisy" though. I think I would reduce the amount of sharp contrast in the background.

I find looking at OG GameBoy games for really good examples of how to clearly distinguish foreground from background. Warioland in particular does a great job.

Not that I should be giving out artist advice haha :D

No, I think you are right, the problem it's that I think I must use all the palette colours to take advantage of it, but I think that with a couple of colours (instead of three-four) it will communicate more, and it would less confussing. I'm not very good with colours, really.

The advantage with GameBoy it's the limited palette. I find it more easy to work with. I did a couple of GameBoy screenshots and I think it's less confusing (I don't know the limits/ rules for GameBoy/ GameBoy Color, it's only a superficial approach, for fun, that I did a while ago, befor all I showed here).

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And with NES colours sometimes I find it hard to mix it to do what I really want. Still learning and researching.

lidnariq
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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by lidnariq » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:59 pm

físgalo wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:43 am
I don't know the limits/ rules for GameBoy
Backgrounds can use all four shades.
Each 8x8 hardware sprite has to choose one of two palettes; those palettes specify three shades.

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Re: NES lookalike graphics

Post by Bregalad » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:42 am

If he's a boss or only appears in specific areas, the obvious solution is indeed to draw him with background tiles. But to move him freely you'd have to make the actual background around him blank.
Not necessairly blank, but a pattern that repeats each N times where N is the movement granularity of your (mini-)boss for the X and Y axes. The easiest is to have the background a solid colour, but if the boss moves in a certain restricted way it's possible to have a repeating pattern, or stripes instead. In my unfinished game I considered having a boss moving in 8-pixel increments on both axis, while the background would be a 8x8 sand backdrop.
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